Football Weekend Preview: Arsenal, Liverpool Clash in Top-of-the-bill Encounter

Football Weekend Preview: Arsenal, Liverpool Clash in Top-of-the-bill Encounter

The football weekend is here again with a host of mouthwatering clash especially in the English Premier League where Arsenal hosts Liverpool at The Emirates.

Here is a preview of some matches to be played in the English Premier League:

ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL

Things have been going very well for Unai Emery at Arsenal so far, but Saturday’s visit of Liverpool will be a good marker of exactly where the Gunners are in their post-Arsene Wenger transition.

Arsenal is unbeaten in their last 13 matches across all competitions and winning 12 of those.

Liverpool has conceded just four goals in their opening 10 games – their lowest ever at this stage of a Premier League season and more than three times fewer than opponents Arsenal have shipped in the same time.

Liverpool now sits joint-top of the table alongside Man City having dropped only four of a possible 30 points this season, and they should arrive in North London well rested given that they were not in EFL Cup action during the week.

 

BOURNEMOUTH VS MANCHESTER UNITED

Bournemouth welcome Manchester United to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with the Red Devils trailing the Cherries in the Premier League table.

The hosts have won five of their past six games in all competitions, and Eddie Howe’s team play a fine brand of football.

While United manager Jose Mourinho appears to have steadied the ship after September’s 3-1 away defeat to West Ham United, the Old Trafford giants have won just two of their five games since.

Martial and Pogba against Everton

It’s been a difficult start to the season for Mourinho’s team, and the Portuguese will be hoping to encounter calmer waters before Christmas.

United have been well below the lofty standards they set during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge, and the body language of the manager and his players indicates all is not well.

United’s performances have mirrored the tension at Old Trafford, but victories over Newcastle United and Everton, as well as the second-half performance in the draw away to Chelsea, have temporarily eased worries.

 

MANCHESTER CITY VS SOUTHAMPTON

Manchester City returns to Premier League action on Sunday with the visit of Southampton.

Only Huddersfield have scored fewer goals in the league than Saints this season with six in 10 games a sorry return for Mark Hughes’ side.

Manchester City players celebrate against Fulham in the Carabao Cup

It doesn’t bode well for their clash against a side who have the best defensive record in the league having only let three slip by so far this term.

Southampton is enduring another season of toil under former City boss Mark Hughes. The Saints are the second-lowest scorers in the top flight, with just six to their name all season.

 

CHELSEA VS CRYSTAL PALACE

Chelsea returns to Premier League action on Sunday with a London derby as Crystal Palace head to Stamford Bridge.

Maurizio Sarri’s Blues headed into game week 11 of the season two points off Manchester City in the top spot, with Ross Barkley hitting top form in a 4-0 cruise at Burnley.

A weakened Chelsea side just about saw off Frank Lampard’s Derby County in a pulsating midweek EFL Cup tie, and Roy Hodgson’s Palace will be keen to put Sarri’s defence to the test after securing a morale-boosting 2-2 draw against Arsenal last weekend.

 

There is a host of matches in the Spanish La Liga and here is a preview of some of them:

LEGANES VS ATLETICO MADRID

Leganes hosts Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Saturday afternoon. In what has been a refreshingly unpredictable season thus far, Atletico sits in fourth place behind leaders Barcelona, second-placed Alaves and Sevilla.

Three points separate first and fifth, so it’s crucial for Diego Simeone’s side not to slip up and keep pace with the leading pack.

Atletico Madrid

With city rivals Real Madrid enduring a dreadful start to the season, Atletico may emerge as Barcelona’s closest contenders for the league title.

A win for Atletico will send them top of the table, albeit for only a few hours before Barcelona play Rayo Vallecano.

Meanwhile, Leganes sit in 18th, one point away from safety. A win for the home side will send them out of the relegation zone, so there’s plenty of motivation for them to cause an upset.

 

REAL MADRID VS VALLADOLID

Real Madrid will look to end a run of five games without a win in La Liga when they welcome high-flying Real Valladolid to the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.

Los Blancos has incredibly lost four of their last five in the league to sit down in ninth position, and are currently seven points off division leaders Barcelona after 10 matches of the 2018-19 campaign.

Santiago Solari has been placed in temporary charge of Madrid, and his reign started with a 4-0 win over Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.

Valladolid was winless in their first five matches of the 2018-19 campaign, drawing three times and suffering two defeats.

There were plenty of positive signs, however, and they managed to put four straight victories on the board between September 27 and October 21.

Valladolid is also unbeaten on their travels in La Liga this season, and have conceded just three times on the road, which is a very impressive record at this stage.

 

RAYO VALLECANO VS BARCELONA

Barcelona will be looking for their third straight La Liga win when they travel to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night.

The Spanish champions have beaten Sevilla and Real Madrid in their last two matches to rise to the top of La Liga and will fancy their chances of overcoming a Rayo side that sit down in 19th spot in the division.

Rayo has only managed 10 goals in their 10 league matches this season, and have conceded 20, which is the second-worst defensive record in the division behind basement side Huesca.

 

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

BAYERN MUNICH VS FREIBURG

Bayern Munich hasn’t scored in 1 of their 4 home matches in Bundesliga this season with the champions on a winning streak of four matches.

They failed to impress once again on Tuesday, barely advancing past Regionalliga (fourth division) opposition Rodinghausen in the second round of DFB Pokal.

Bayern seemed to be right on track to clinch a demolishing confidence-boosting victory when Sandro Wagner and Thomas Muller bagged two early goals within the opening 13 minutes of play at Bremer Brucke, but the team had to defend the victory right until the very end of the match (ended 1-2).

SC Freiburg has won just 1 of their last 5 Bundesliga games against Bayern Munich.

 

WOLFSBURG VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND

Dortmund allowed the reigning champions Bayern to narrow the gap down to two points at the top of the Bundesliga ladder after the last weekend’s slip-up against Hertha BSC.

Lucien Favre’s men were unlucky to concede a stoppage-time leveller through Salomon Kalou who ended BVB’s thread of seven consecutive wins in all competitions in the previous round.

Die Schwarzgelben were on a streak of six consecutive wins over Wolfsburg before teams shared spoils in a goalless draw in mid-January this year.

BVB notched at least three goals in four straight matches against the Wolves beforehand.

 

The Italian Serie A also plays hosts to some interesting matches and here is a pick of them:

FIORENTINA VS AS ROMA

Fiorentina has picked up just one win from their last five games and will be hoping to take advantage of Roma’s inconsistent form to further improve their European chances on Saturday evening.

The Viola currently sit in sixth place, just three points behind AC Milan, who have risen into fourth place after finally getting to play their makeup game.

At this point, they are in contention for the Europa League but are at a tricky juncture as any slip-ups could see them slide back down the table, especially with a whole crop of sides, including smaller teams like Sassuolo and Torino nipping at their heels.

Even Roma, despite their inconsistent nature, are still in the running and presently sit in eighth place, tied with Fiorentina on 15 points and are only out of a Europa League spot due to their inferior goal differential.

The Giallorossi drew Napoli 1-1 in their recent game and have been quite excellent here and there, notably beating Lazio in the Derby della Capitale.

In the Champions League, they have also done well, winning their last two games and now sitting joint-top with reigning holders Real Madrid on six points.

Roma has lost two games on the road so far this term but did manage a draw against Napoli, despite the Partenopei dominating that game.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina, who clearly are trying to build their season off their home form, dropped points to Cagliari and are on a three-game winless streak.

 

INTER MILAN VS GENOA

After losing 2-1 to AC Milan, Genoa face another trip to Italy’s fashion capital as they now will take on the Rossoneri’s cross-town rivals Inter on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Inter will be looking to pick up a seventh straight Serie A win to wrap up the week as they look ahead to facing Barcelona in the Champions League next week.

Nothing short of a relatively comfortable win for the Nerazzurri is expected here at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, as the visitors are winless in their last four games and have failed to win all but one of their last 11 on the road.

 

JUVENTUS VS CAGLIARI

Juventus did slip up against Genoa, and that was a shock in itself, but clearly they were already focused on their upcoming tie with Manchester United.

Now with one foot already in the round of 16 after beating the Red Devils at Old Trafford, although they will still be somewhat focused on the visit from the Premier League giants, they won’t want to leave anything to chance here as they have not looked at their best in their last two games.

Nonetheless, even not playing at their best, they’re still getting results and with Cagliari not being the highest scoring side – coupled with Juve’s strong defence, the hosts should get back to winning ways here with confidence in front of their home support.

 

UDINESE VS AC MILAN

Udinese have had a very poor start to the Serie A season, and so far they have just two wins from their first ten games. Recently they have been poor, with four defeats and a draw in their last five.

The small piece of good news for them is that the draw came last weekend against Genoa, giving them something to build on going forward.

With nine points they are just three clear of the relegation places right now, and could really do with putting another win on the board.

That won’t be easy here though, with high flying AC Milan the visitors. Udinese is going to have to dig deep if they want to take anything from this game.

AC Milan has started the season very well with five wins and three draws from their opening ten games. They are just four points off their rivals Inter Milan, who currently occupy second in the standings, although where they are now is roughly where they are expected to finish this season.

They come here on the back of two good home wins against Genoa and Sampdoria, and are looking for their third win in a row against Udinese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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