Football Weekend Preview

Football Weekend Preview

The weekend is here again after a long interlude due to the international football break and here comes the preview of selected matches across the major matches:

The English Premier League starts with a blockbuster between Chelsea and Manchester United.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger could miss his first Premier League game of the season because of a groin problem.

Ethan Ampadu hurt his knee during Wales’ friendly defeat by Spain and is another fitness doubt.

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is not expected to recover from a groin injury in time to face Chelsea.

United will also assess the fitness of Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw and Marouane Fellaini, while Marcos Rojo remains out.

Chelsea is vying to remain unbeaten in their opening nine Premier League games for only the third time, having done so in their title-winning seasons of 2005-06 and 2014-15.

Eden Hazard

 

West Ham vs Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur makes the 12-mile journey south to West Ham United on Saturday afternoon aiming to secure a fourth Premier League win in a row.

The Lilywhites have recovered from a sticky patch of form in September to drag themselves to within two points of the summit, while their opponents remain in the lower reaches of the division.

Pellegrini needs to instil some confidence back into his players, who appear to be unable to turn on the style when they come up against the division’s lesser sides.

That should not be a problem this weekend against their title-chasing opponents, as they go in search of back-to-back wins at the London Stadium for the first time since December 2016.

West Ham have defeated Spurs on 14 previous occasions in the Premier League era – against no side have they won more matches, equal with their 14 victories over Southampton – and victory this weekend will once again kickstart their stuttering campaign.

 

Manchester City vs Burnley

Manchester City will attempt to get back to winning ways when Premier League action resumes this weekend, as they welcome Burnley to the Etihad Stadium.

The Citizens played out a goalless draw with Liverpool prior to the international break, leaving three teams locked on 20 points after eight rounds of matches.

Burnley have slowly climbed the table following a poor start to the campaign that saw them collect just one point from the first 15 on offer.

After beating Bournemouth 4-0 at Turf Moor, Burnley then managed to grind out a 2-1 win at Cardiff City in what was billed as an early-season relegation six-pointer, before playing out an uneventful 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town a fortnight ago.

Burnley also boasts an impressive record in matches against the reigning English champions, beating the title winners in each of their last four Premier League campaigns – Manchester United in 2009-10, Man City in 2014-15, Leicester City in 2016-17 and Chelsea in 2017-18.

 

Arsenal vs Leicester City

Arsenal welcomes Leicester to the Emirates looking to extend their winning run to 10 straight games.

The Gunners have moved to within two points of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table after their recent run as they continue to thrive under Unai Emery.

Leicester pushed the north Londoners all the way on their last visit with only a late Olivier Giroud goal sealing an Arsenal win last season. The Foxes got their revenge last May with a 3-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.

Aubameyang of Arsenal.

 

The Spanish La Liga also continues with interesting matchups.

Real Madrid vs Levante

Real Madrid already sits four places off La Liga leaders Sevilla and can fall further behind in the title race unless they get back to winning ways at home to Levante on Saturday, having failed to triumph in their last four outings.

Whether or not his men are able to duke it out against Spain’s giants is another question. Levante was smashed 6-2 at home by Sevilla in September and also dropped points against Valencia and Celta Vigo.

Real Madrid players looking dejected during a recent match.

 

Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid took advantage of unexpected slip-ups from both Barcelona and Real Madrid to catch up with La Liga giants in the battle for the very top of the standings.

The Mattressers grew in form parallel with their rivals’ struggles winning five of last six matches in all competitions. Can they keep such stellar form going and survive a stern Villarreal test on Saturday afternoon at Estadio de la Ceramica?

Diego Simeone had huge issues with his side’s strongest weapon as Atleti conceded an unusually high number of goals at the very start of the season. Things have significantly improved on this field of late and the Mattressers will come into the Villarreal tie having shipped just one goal in the last five games.

They are now level on points with defending champions Barcelona in second place and only a single point shy of table-toppers Sevilla after eight rounds in Primera Division.

 

Barcelona vs Sevilla

It has not quite been the start to the season that Barcelona fans would have expected, however, with the 25-time Spanish champions dropping points in four of their eight league matches this term. They are actually without a win in their last four in the top flight, which has led to criticism of head coach Ernesto Valverde.

Barcelona’s last La Liga win was a 2-1 success at Real Sociedad on September 15. Since then, they have drawn with Girona, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia, in addition to suffering a 2-1 defeat at Leganes.

Sevilla has made serious waves in La Liga this season. Indeed, only Barcelona (19) have scored more goals (18) than Sevilla in the league this term, and the White and Reds currently sit top of the division ahead of the clash at Camp Nou.

 

Here is the preview of some selected matches in the German Bundesliga:

Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich

Can Bayern Munich turn a corner on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Volkswagen Arena to tackle Wolfsburg in the eighth round of Bundesliga?

The defending champions are in a massive crisis coming into this Wolfsburg tie. They fell down to sixth place in the league ladder after picking up only a single point from last three league outings.

Wolfsburg began the new season on the right foot under Bruno Labbadia. Nevertheless, their form has seen somewhat of a slide of late as the Wolves are winless in last five league games.

Labbadia’s men have troubles with the lack of meticulousness at the back. They shipped two or more goals in four of last five Bundesliga affairs.

However, we have to mention that Wolfsburg managed to clinch a point in their last trip to Allianz Arena, while Bayern only picked up a last-gasp victory in the reverse fixture at Volkswagen Arena thanks to a Robert Lewandowski stoppage-time winner.

 

Stuttgart vs Borussia Dortmund

Top of the table meets the very bottom on Saturday afternoon as Stuttgart host Dortmund at Mercedes-Benz-Arena for their eighth-round fixture after the international break.

Die Schwarzgelben took the most from Bayern Munich’s massive crisis to reach the very top of the Bundesliga ladder with a run of four wins and a draw in last five league games.

Stuttgart fell to the rock-bottom of the league ladder by losing 3-1 to fellow strugglers Hannover 96 allowing their rivals snatch their maiden victory of the season.

 

The Italian Serie A is also going to showcase some interesting matches too.

Roma vs SPAL

Roma will take on SPAL at home looking to make it a fourth straight win in their first competitive match after the international break.

The Giallorossi have a busy fixture list coming up, with two games against Russian outfit CSKA Moscow in the Champions League before facing tricky tests against Napoli and Fiorentina.

They will have a great chance to pick up all three points against a SPAL side who burst out of the gates early but who have fallen flat in recent weeks.

SPAL initially were building their form of their strong defending, but that has fallen apart in recent times as they have struggled to contain their opposition.

 

Juventus vs Genoa

Eight wins out of eight have Juventus cruising along and leaving others in their wake ahead of their showdown with Genoa this Saturday.

Can the Bianconeri make it a record-breaking nine straight opening league wins ahead of their Champions League match against Manchester United?

Genoa will be heavily relying on their Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek yet again, as he has raced to the top of the Serie A scoring charts with nine goals in just eight matches.

 

Udinese vs Napoli

Napoli may be six points shy of the top spot, but they’re the closest challengers to Juventus in Serie A. Carlo Ancelotti has seen his side have their struggles in the league this season, but six wins from their first eight isn’t a bad record.

The Partenopei continue their pursuit of the champions this weekend, ahead of a visit to Udinese. While the away side has got their Champions League future to worry about in the coming days, they have to set that to one side in order to make a winning return to Serie A action.

Udinese has endured a torrid campaign having claimed just two wins in eight matches this season. They have suffered four defeats in that run and are slowly being dragged into the bottom three.

The hosts have found things tough of late, losing three games on the spin and falling towards the drop zone. They had some real issues last season in their attempt to avoid the drop and found themselves in the bottom three very late in the campaign.

They’re only three points clear of safety at the minute, and the Zebrette need to get their act together or risk dropping out of the top flight.

 

Inter Milan vs AC Milan

Inter Milan will arrive at the San Siro in tremendous form, winning their last six games in all competitions after an indifferent start to the season and find themselves in third place.

AC Milan also comes into the derby in good form, unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions winning their last three.

However, AC Milan has had a distantly average season at best thus far and find themselves in mid-table having played one game less – winning three, drawing three and losing one to leave them in 10th place.

A win for AC Milan would see them shoot up the league standings, one point behind their great rivals but a defeat for the Rossoneri would be a blow to their European qualification ambitions this season which looks set to be competitive as ever this year.

 

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