SASSUOLO – MILAN
Things were looking good for Milan just a month ago, when the Rossoneri were even competing for a Champions League qualification. Soon after this, Milan lost their positions in the Serie A. Right now Enzo Montella’s team is 7th in the standings, falling ten points behind the 3rd Napoli. It’s difficult to say that Milan still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League, but Europa League is still a realistic goal for Montella and his boys.
This weekend Milan is travelling to meet Sassuolo in a game from the 26th round of the Serie A. Last week the Rossoneri achieved a difficult win over Fiorentina at the Stadio San Siro. It was a great game for the new signing Gerard Deulofeu, who scored his first goal for the legendary club. The Spaniard is leaving great impressions with the Milan shirt so far, so we should expect to see him once again in the starting eleven.
Sassuolo are currently 12th in the Serie A standings. Eusebio Di Francesco’s team is generally safe in the battle for survival. The Neroverdi are waiting for the season to finish, before starting to prepare for the next one. In the last round Sassuolo won its visit to Udinese. Di Francesco’s boys won three of their last five games, which helped them to secure their Serie A future this season.
Vincenzo Montella will be without the services of four of his first team players. Alessio Romagnoli, Giacomo Bonaventura, Mattia De Sciglio and Riccardo Montolivo are all out because of different injuries, while Luca Antonelli is doubtful for the game with a calf injury.
Francesco Magnanelli is missing the game for Sassuolo, as he’s out until the end of the season with a serious knee injury. Luca Antei, Antonino Ragusa, Pol Lirola and Davide Biondini are under a quiestion for the clash.
ARSENAL – HULL CITY
After winning two consecutive times in the Premier League, Arsenal will try to bounce back against Hull City at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners lost two times in a row against Watford and Chelsea, basically surrending from fighting for the title. And if they continue like this, they could miss Champions League qualification as well. Especially when we know how strong is the competition for the Top 4 this season.
Now Arsenal will face a team who caused a major surprise in the last round of the Premier League. Hull City managed to beat Liverpool, which allowed them to move from the last spot in the standings. Now The Tigers will try to continue surprising everyone, this time trying to take something from Arsenal.
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger is once again put under a serious pressure. More and more of Arsenal’s fans want the legendary frenchman to quit the club after the end of the season. And if Arsenal really remain out of the Top 4 after the end of the campaign, maybe their wish will come true.
Arsene Wenger will be without Santi Cazorla against Hull City. The Spaniard is still recovering from his latest injury. Aaron Ramsey is also injured, while a late fitness test will determine if Hector Bellerin could participate in the match.
Hull City will be without the services of Ryan Mason, Allan McGregor, Michael Dawson, Curtis Davies and Alex Bruce, who are all injured and still unavaliable.
This is a must-win game for Arsenal. The Gunners could leave the Top 4 if they lose points against Hull, with Liverpool and Manchester United being very close to the Londoners. And if Arsenal don’t win, the pressure on Arsene Wenger’s shoulders will become enormous. Hull City on the other hand continue to battle against relegation.
SEVILLA – REAL M
Sevilla against Real Madrid is the biggest derby of the 18th round of the Spanish La Liga. Sevilla are currently 2nd in the standings – just four points behind Real Madrid, although the Los Blancos still have a game in hand.
Sevilla are performing greatly under the management of the Argentine Jorge Sampaoli. The former Chile manager is enjoying some great time in Spanish football and it’s not a surprise that he turned Sevilla into a title contender in his first season in the club. The Rojablancos won four of their last give matches in La Liga and lost just once – against Granada.
Real Madrid are the only team in the country who is still unbeaten. Zinedine Zidane’s boys are performing incredibly good in the league so far and they did not lose neither one of their 16 games so far. And they will surely try to continue in this way at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Sunday night.
Jorge Sampaoli will be without the services of Ivan Lopez Alvarez, who is recovering from an injury. Daniel Carrico and Carlos Fernández Luna are doubtful for the game, while Benoit Tremoulinas and Michael Krohn-Dehli are fit and ready to play.
Zinedine Zidane is facing some troubles in defense, because Sergio Ramos and Pepe are recovering from injuries and they are both doubtful for the visit to Seville. The same could be said about Isco, who is also recovering from injury. The good news come from Mateo Kovacic and Lucas Vasque, who recovered from their injuries and they could be used by the manager.
This is certainly the most interesting game of the 18th round of La Liga. Sevilla could make an important step to their dream – winning the league, while three points for Real Madrid would mean an even more comfort for the Los Blancos on the top.
MAN UTD – LIVERPOOL
Manchester United against Liverpool. It’s time once again to enjoy one of the biggest football derbies on the planet! The two most successful teams in England will meet at the Old Trafford and we should expect another thrilling spectacle.
Manchester United finally started to find themselves under Jose Mourinho’s management. The Red Devils won all of their last five games in the Premier League, which allowed them to come close to their main goal – a place in the Top 4 of the league and Champions League football. Jose Mourinho is also finally able to breathe more freely, after being heavily criticized for the lack of results.
Liverpool on the other hand is once again a contender for the title under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp. Just like it was expected, the German manager transformed Liverpool into a powerhouse in English football and now The Reds are not shy to admit their ambition to win the title. In the last round Liverpool lost two points during the visit to Sunderland, but now they will try to fix their mistake against their biggest rival.
Jose Mourinho’s biggest problems are related to the condition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is sick. It remains to be seen how the Swede striker will feel in the hours before the game. Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo are also recovering from injuries.
Jurgen Klopp can’t use Danny Ings and Cameron Brannagan, who are injured. Marko Grujic is also recovering, while James Milner and Joel Matip are once again healthy and ready to play.
This is surely the biggest game in English football and we should all expect a thrilling match at the Old Trafford. The two teams shared the points at the Anfield, when Jose Mourinho was heavily criticized for his defensive approach to the game. Let’s see how he is going to build his tactics for this one.
SOUTHAMPTON – LIVERPOOL
After showing some great football since the start of the new season, Liverpool finally did it. The Reds are now on the top of the Premier League, proving to everyone that they are going to be one of the major contenders for the league title. And this weekend they will have to keep their spot, travelling to face Southampton.
Four wins in the last five games and not losing even once. This is how Liverpool performed lately and they certainly deserved to take the first place after eleven games played so far. The Reds have one point advantage in front of Chelsea and two in front of Manchester City. That’s why they need to win against Southampton, because the battle for the top is too fierce right now.
Southampton on the other hand are not enjoying a good form lately. The Saints are in a run of a three consecutive games without a win, losing two in a row – against Chelsea and Hull City. They are currently sitting at the middle of the table, but they are just three points above the relegation zone.
Liverpool will be without the injured Danny Ings, while Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are doubtful for the match. Sheyi Ojo is back to training.
There are much more problems for Southampton right now. Jeremy Pied and Matthew Robert Targett are injured, while Dusan Tadic, Fraser Forster, Alex McCarthy, Pierre Emil Højbjerg and Cedric Soares are all doubtful for the match. The good news are related to Shane Long, who is once again fully fit to play.
Last season Southampton beat Liverpool 3-2 at the St. Mary’s, with Sadio Mane scoring two goals for The Saints. It’s curious, because now Mane is a Liverpool player. Graziano Pelle also scored once for Southampton, but he’s not their player anymore, too. For Liverpool the goals were scored by Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.
WOLFSBURG – BAYER LEVERKUSEN
Times are hard for Wolfsburg at the moment. The Wolves are underperforming and are currently placed at the relegation play-off in the Bundesliga, which is far from satisfactory for their usually high ambitions and overall class of the squad. They need wins and points as soon as possible, but now they will face a difficult challenge against Bayer Leverkusen.
As for Leverkusen, we could say that their performance is also not the best one possible for a team with their potential. Bayer can’t even get into the Bundesliga Top 10 at the moment, being placed 11th in the table. Part of the reason for that are the two consecutive losses against Werder and Hoffenheim, which really hurted the club’s position in the table. It’s also surprising that so far Leverkusen conceded more goals than they actually scored – 12 conceded goals and just 11 scored.
For Wolfsburg these stats are even worse. The Wolves managed to win just one game in the Bundesliga so far – against Augsburg, but they also scored just five goals in eight games so far, which is a really poor stat for their offense. There is just one team in Germany who is scoring less goals than Wolfsburg at the moment and that’s Hamburger SV.
Leverkusen will rely once again on their mexican stiker Javier Hernandez. Chicharito scored five goals in the league since the start of the campaign, being one of the most deadliest players in Germany at the moment. But if Bayer want to do better than they did in their last two games, they will need more effort from the whole team.
This is not an easy game to predict, mainly because both teams are facing difficulties at the moment. But we could say that Leverkusen are a slight favourite to get the three points.
WBA – MAN CITY
Six consecutive games without a win for Manchester City. Josep Guardiola has all the right to be worried right now, although City is still at the top of the league at the current moment. But they need to starting winning again and do it right now, if they want to keep the first spot.
This weekend The Citizens will travel away from home to meet West Bromwich Albion, who is also without a win in four consecutive Premier League games.
During the week City lost against Manchester United in a League Cup game, but we should note that Josep Guardiola played a lot of his reserve players at the Old Trafford, clearly prioritizing the game against West Brom. City are joint on top with Arsenal and Liverpool, so even if they win against West Brom, they could lose the first spot because of goal difference. That’s why they need a big win at The Hawthorns as well.
Pep Guardiola’s biggest worry is called Kevin de Bruyne. The belgian star suffered a calf injury, which is going to keep him sidelined for some time. Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph are also not avaliable for pick, while Pablo Zabaleta is a slight doubt for the visit to West Bromwich.
WBA’s manager Tony Pulis’ only worry is James McClean, who is doubtful for the game. Except him, everyone at The Hawthorns is ready to play against The Citizens.
Manchester City are clearly not in the best shape possible at the moment, but this game is going to be a good chance for them to find the right rhythm once again. Guardiola’s side can’t afford to lose any points no more, because this season the competition in the Premier League is more fierce than ever. Every point lost could be fatal for one’s ambition to clinch the title and everyone at Manchester City know this very well.
TOTTENHAM – LEICESTER
If it was not about losing points in two consecutive games, now Tottenham would be at the top of the table in the Premier League. But the Londoners didn’t win neither one of their games against West Bromwich and Bournemouth, which means that now they are even out of the Top 4. Although they may quickly go back there, if this time they do the job against the champion Leicester City at home.
Even being at 5th place in the table, Tottenham are just one point away from the leader Manchester City, which is proving how competitive the Premier League is this season. Spurs are one of the best teams in the league, so they will surely aim even for the gold medals this season.
Last season the gold medals were won by Tottenham’s next opponent Leicester City. The Foxes are doing a great job in the Champions League, but they are not as much convincing in the Premier League. Leicester is currently 12th in the standings, with Claudio Ranieri’s team being more close to the relegation zone than it is to the top. Although a lot of people would say that such a dip in the form, compared to the last season, was absolutely expected.
Tottenham’s manager Mauricio Pochettino will be without the services of Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld, who are still injured. Except them, everyone else at the White Hart Lane is fit and ready to play.
Claudio Ranieri’s headaches come from the injuries of Andy King, Nampalys Mendy and Matty James, although King and James are close to coming back in action.
Last season Leicester won at the White Hart Lane, when Robert Huth scored a late winner for The Foxes. Now Spurs will have the chance to avenge the loss and eventually get back into the Top 4 of the Premier League.
CHELSEA – LEICESTER
The fairytale for Leicester City seems to be over, with the shocking champions of the Premier League being ten points behind the current leader Manchester City in the standings. But did anyone really expect that Claudio Ranieri’s boys could repeat their extraordinary performance from last season? Well, it’s still too early to judge what will happen with Leicester’s season, but so far they look a lot more average than last season.
Now The Foxes will travel to Chelsea to meet Antonio Conte’s side at the Stamford Bridge in London. In the last round Chelsea put an end to their terrible run of three consecutive games without a win in the league, outperforming Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. It’s safe to say that things didn’t look too good for Antonio Conte after such a performance in three matches in a row, but now the Italian manager could get a breath of fresh air.
Chelsea are still five points behind the leader Manchester City, so they need to be really consistent in their performance in future, if they want to keep their chances for Premier League glory alive. The competition for the gold medals looks absolutely brutal this season, so The Blues can’t allow themselves such terrible streaks of results.
Leicester are already enjoying Champions League football for first time in their history, but they also need to up their Premier League game, if they want to enjoy something better than just a mid-table existence in the standings this season. The Foxes managed to keep two of their star players – Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, while Chelsea managed to snatch N’Golo Kante from them.
The Foxes will have to follow carefully Diego Costa’s movements on the pitch, taking into account that the Spanish international is the Premier League’s top scorer so far with six goals from seven games played.
EINTRACHT – BAYERN MUNCHEN
After a dissapointing draw against Koln at home, Bayern Munich are travelling to Frankfurt to meet Eintracht in a game from the 7th round of the German Bundesliga.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team started the new Bundesliga season in a brilliant way, winning five consecutive games and being once again the most dominant team in the league. Losing two points against Koln at home was really surprising, but now the Bavarians could fix their mistake in Frankfurt.
Eintracht are currently sitting in the middle of the table with 10 points won from six games played. Niko Kovac’s team lost against Freiburg in the last round of the Bundesliga, but overally they made a good start in the Bundesliga this season, winning half of their games so far.
If you look at Bayern’s stats from the first six games so far, you will see that they are truly impressive. Carlo Ancelotti’s team scored 16 goals in six games and conceded just two, with one of them against Koln in the last round. Robert Lewandowski is once again being Bayern’s most profilic striker, scoring five times since the start of the campaign. It’s also surprising to see how Joshua Kimmich is performing so far, with the youngster being Bayern’s second most profilic player in front of the goal, scoring three times in the first six games.
Eintracht will rely on the offensive qualities of Alexander Meier, who has three goals on his account since the start of the campaign. Niko Covac’s boys scored just eight goals in the first six games, which is not showing us any impressive attacking form by them so far. And now, when they are facing the team with the best defense in the league, it would be really difficult for them to grab something from this game, at least offensively.
INTER – CAGLIARI
If there’s something which Inter really misses in the last few years, this must be consistency. And just look at that – Frank de Boer’s team managed to beat Juventus for a first time in the last few years, but instead of keep this momentum, they won just one of their next three games in the Serie A. Something which didn’t allow them to improve that much their position in the standings.
In the last round Inter once again dissapointed its supporters, losing the derby against Roma in the capital. In seven games played so far, the San Siro giants won three games, lost two and shared the points in two more. With this type of inconsistency, Inter could hardly bring the Champions League football back to San Siro.
This weekend the Nerazurri welcome Cagliari in Milan and they have to win, if they want to try once again building some winning momentum. If there’s something which Inter really needs at this moment, this is winning games and points. Frank de Boer is also highly criticized since he took over from the sacked Roberto Mancini and his position is also not looking very safe at the moment.
Cagliari on the other hand are holding a position at the middle of the table with 10 points won so far – just one less than Inter. They are in a fine run of two consecutive wins against Sampdoria and Crotone, which allows them to travel to San Siro with boosted confidence. If any Inter fans think that it’s going to be an easy game for the Nerazzurri, they should probably think again.
It’s safe to say that we should expect a game from two teams with similar strenght right now. Of course, Inter have the more expensive players, but they lack the team chemistry to defend their reputation as one of Italy’s most iconic clubs.
JUVENTUS – UDINESE
Can anyone stop Juventus in the Serie A this season? This is the question everybody asks himself for another year. So far the answer is not very positive, taking into account that The Old Lady lost points in just one of their first seven games in league – against Inter at the San Siro. Juve are currently alone on the top in the Serie A with 18 points, which guarantees them four points of advantage on the top ahead of Napoli.
In their next game the Turin giants are welcoming Udinese at the beautiful Juventus Stadium. Udinese are not enjoying a very good season in the Calcio so far. The former Champions League participants are currently just one point above the relegation zone in Serie A, having won just one of their last five games and losing three of them. Udinese lost their last two matches in the Serie A – against Sassuolo and Lazio. Even more alarming is that they scored just six goals in their first seven games of the new season, which is making it even more difficult for them to win points.
Juventus on the other hand scored 15 goals so far and conceded just four, which makes them the team with the best defense in the Serie A so far. This fact is probably not surprising for anyone who follows closely Italian football.
Juve have the best defenders in the league, but they also have the best striker in the Serie A as well. Gonzalo Higuain started the season off the bench, but now he’s becoming more and more important for the Old Lady. El Pipita already scored six goals for the team in the league and he’s once again the big favourite to become the topscorer of the Serie A. Expect to see him on the scoresheet against Udinese as well.
SOUTHAMPTON – BURNLEY
Southampton and Burnley are facing each other at the St. Mary’s Stadium in a game from the 8th round of the English Premier League.
Just two points are separating the two teams in the standings after the first seven rounds. Southampton are currently placed at the 10th spot, while Burnley are 14th. This is a typical game from the midtable of the league, so it could really go in either way.
Southampton will be without some important players like Ryan Bertrand, Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long, who are all injured at the moment. Cedric Soares, Matt Targett, Sofiane Boufal and Jeremy Pied are also not avaliable for the manager Claude Puel.
Burnley will travel to St. Mary’s without Tom Heaton and Ashley Barnes, who are also recovering from injuries. We could easily say that Sean Dyche has to deal with a lot of less problems than Claude Puel. It’s still about to be seen how this is going to influence what’s about to happen on the pitch.
When the two teams met during the 2014/15 Premier League campaign, they exchanged a win against each other. Burnley won the game at home, but a few months later The Saints did the same at the St. Mary’s, winning with 2-0. The overall record between these two teams is absolutely equal – 17 wins for Southampton, 17 wins for Burnley and 14 draws. Now one of them could lead the head to head record at the St. Mary’s.
We should note that alongside Stoke City, Burnley is the team with the lowest amount of goals scored since the the start of the new campaign – just 5. Southampton on the other hand is one of the teams with the strongest defenses in the league, conceding just six goals in the first seven rounds of the league.
SWANSEA – MANCHESTER CITY
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is looking like the team to beat in the English Premier League since the start of the new season. The Citizens won all of the their first five games in the league and they are currently alone on the top with a full active of 15 points.
The Spanish manager took over at Manchester City after the end of the last season and he rapidly managed to improve The Blues, transforming them into a fearful side once again. Guardiola’s City is showing the best football in the Premier League so far, so don’t be surprised if you see them on top for a long time since now.
But that’s the big enjoyment of the Premier League – you never know how and when the situation could change. It’s true that City’s start of the new campaign is amazing, but it’s a long season ahead, so we still can’t know how the table would look like in May. We should wait and see.
Manchester City will be once again without their best striker Sergio Aguero, who was suspended for three games after the home win against West Ham. In Aguero’s absence, City’s attack could be once again led by the young Nigerian forward Kelechi Iheanacho, who is showing a great promise with his performances lately.
It’s curious that Swansea and Manchester City will play for a second time in just a few days of time. The two sides met in Wednesday for the League Cup with Manchester City winning 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium. But you should take a note that both teams played their reserve teams in this game, so right now you should expect to see a totally different match.
Can Manchester City enjoy a sixth win in a row and continue to be alone on the top of table? Or Swansea could once again steal some points from the big sharks, just like they did against Chelsea? We will find out very soon.
Let’s direct our attention to the Norwegian Eliteserien once again, because Molde are hosting the champion and current leader in the league Rosenborg. It’s 21 points which are separating the two teams in the table, which is saying a lot for the difference between them at the moment.
After winning the Eliteserien last year, now Rosenborg are once again looking unstoppable. They are 18 points ahead of Brann at the top of the league and now nobody thinks that they could lose the title. Kare Ingebrigtsen’s team lost just one game in 24 played rounds so far, conceiding just 16 goals in the process. These stats are showing you that Rosenborg’s biggest asset is their defense, which is almost unbreakable. They also have the best attack in the league, scoring 54 goals in just 24 games so far.
Molde on the other hand are still fighting for a place among the first three teams in the table and a chance to play some European football next year. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s boys are just three points behind the 3rd Odd, so nothing is lost just yet. Molde won just one point in their last two games and now they will have the difficult task to bounce back against the strongest team in the country. Before that Molde won four games in a row, which was a great run for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and his player. A run which allowed them once again to compete for the Top 3 in the Eliteserien.
In May the two teams met again and Rosenborg won with 3-1 at home, so it’s clear which is the better team at the moment. The standings are also speaking for themselves. But Molde is a dangerous team, which should not be underestimated, so Rosenborg will have to play with a full force, if they want to take the win from this one.
HULL CITY – ARSENAL
The Champions League & Europa League games are officially over now and it’s time for some Premier League action once again. We are turning our attention to KCOM Stadium in Hull, where Hull City are facing Arsenal.
Sean Dyche’s Hull started the new season in the Premier League in a brilliant way, winning their first two games against champions Leicester City and Swansea, before acquiring just one point in their last two games. Right now Hull are positioned in the first half of the table, but it remains to be seen if The Tigres would be able to hold their position.
Arsenal on the other hand started the new campaign badly, before starting to improve in their last two games. The Gunners have the same ammount of points as Hull – 7, with Arsene Wenger’s boys winning their last two matches against Watford and Southampton.
Speaking about Arsenal, we should note that many of the club’s fans continue to criticize the way Arsene Wenger is managing the team. The French manager spend a lot of money on new players during the summer, but neither one of them was really a high profile signing. Something which is confusing a lot of Arsenal fans once again.
There are some serious problems for Arsene Wenger before the trip to Hull. Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott are all injured, which means that the French tactician will have to build his starting line up without their services.
Sean Dyche is also facing some headaches because of injured players. Greg Luer, Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Moses Obudajo and Michael Dawson are not avaliable for Hull City, so we could say that both managers are facing a similar ammount of problems before the game at KCOM Stadium. Let’s see who is about to prevail in this clash.
HELSINBORG – NORRKOPING
Five losses in a row. Seven consecutive games without a win in the Allsvenskan. This is how you could describe the nightmare which Helsingborg is living right now in the elite of Swedish football. If it was not about his name, fame and reputation, Helsinborg’s manager Henrik Larsson most surely would be already fired right now.
Soon enough being a contender for the gold medals, right now Helsinborg must fight for its elite status in Swedish football. Now Henrik Larsson’s team will try to record its first win from its last seven games, welcoming at home ground one of the strongest teams in the league Norrköping.
Norrköping are currently just one point behind the leader in the Allsvenskan Malmo FF. Jens Gustafsson’s team won four of its last five games in the league, which is in a really strong contrast to Helsingborg’s performance. And most surely, it’s absolutely clear which team is the big favourite to take the win from this clash.
Something more – Norrköping is also the team with the most deadliest attack in the Allsvenskan this season. They have scored 46 goals in 21 games played, which is more than any other team in the league so far. The current leader Malmo FF have scored 44 times. Norrköping is also the team with the second best defense in the league – they have conceded 20 goals so far, with only Malmo conceiding less – 16.
Helsingborg on the other hand conceded 42 goals in 21 games played – a terrible performance in defense for Henrik Larsson’s team. They are also not scoring much – just 24 goals for 21 games, which is far away from the stats which Henrik Larsson would probably want to see.
Norrköping is the big favourite in this game, based on overall class and recent form. For Helsingborg it’s going to be a difficult fight against relegation until the end of the season.
LIVERPOOL – LEICESTER
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool started the new season in the Premier League on a high note, winning their visit to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, but after that The Reds faced some difficulties in the next two games to come.
Just a week after the great win against Arsenal, Liverpool surprisingly lost against Burnley, while they were also unable to win their visit against Tottenham in the capital. This left the Reds with just four points from the first three games, which is right now placing the team at the wrong side of the table.
After being on the road in the first three games, the match against the champions Leicester City is going to be the first one for Liverpool at home this season. It’s really difficult to start your campaign with three games in a row away from home, but now Jurgen Klopp’s boys could finally return back to the Anfield. You could be sure that the support for them from the crowd is going to be incredible, so it’s not going to be an easy atmosphere for Leicester’s players to perform at.
Leicester’s performance since the beginning of the new season is absolutely similar to Liverpool’s. The Foxes recorded a win, a draw and a loss in their first three games, so now their active counts to four points as well. Leicester lost an important player like N’Golo Kanté during the summer, but they managed to keep Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, which is great news for the manager Claudio Ranieri and everyone who loves the club. It would be very naive to think that the Foxes could defend their title this season, but you could be sure that they are going to try to protect their reputation as much as they can. It’s going to be an interesting season indeed.
ARSENAL – SOUTHAMPTON
Arsenal are hosting Southampton at the Emirates Stadium in London, looking to celebrate their first home win in the English Premier League this season.
Arsene Wenger’s team have played just one home game since the beginning the season – against Liverpool, which the Gunners lost after a lot of goals and dramatic moments at the Emirates. Afterwards Arsenal won four points from the next two games against Leicester City and Watford, so now the Gunners will be looking to continue with their good form in the last two games.
Southampton on the other hand started without a win in the first three games of the new season. The Saints lost against Manchester United and shared the points with Watford and Sunderland. It would be really optimistic to think that Southampton will record their first win in the Premier League at the Emirates, but they’d certainly try to get at least a point from the trip to the capital.
Arsenal showed some good effiency in ther attack against Watford at the Vicarage Road. Alexis Sanchez started the game as a striker and we saw the Chilean scoring one of the three goals in Heurelho Gomes’ net. The other two were scored by Santi Cazorla from a penalty kick and Mesut Ozil.
Southampton were unable to use their home advantage against Sunderland at the St. Mary’s Stadium in their last game. They were close to losing the game as well, taking into account that Jermaine Defoe scored for Sunderland ten minutes before the end. Luckily for the Saints, Jay Rodriguez saved a point for Southampton, scoring five minutes later.
This game is a good chance for Arsenal to get back on track and record a second straight win in the Premier League. The Gunners are going to need every point they could get this season, if they want to fight with the other powerhouses in the league.
ASIAN HANDICAP +0,25 STRATEGY
BRUGGE – STANDART
Two of the traditionally strong teams in Belgium Club Brugge and Standard Liege are going head to head in one of the most interesting games of the 5th round of the First Division A.
Club Brugge can’t find consistency since the beginning of the new season, winning and losing twice in the first four games. This is one of the teams who fight for the title on a regular basis, but they could hardly fight for the title with results like these. Brugge’s manager Michel Preud’homme is aware of this, so we could expect to see some improvement from the team in near future. Why not against Standard Liege?
The results of Standard Liege since the start of the new campaign are not much better, too. Yannick Ferreira’s boys won just once in the first four games, losing once and sharing the points in two of them. Just like Club Brugge, these are unacceptable results for one of the traditionally strong teams in Belgium.
During the summer Club Brugge paid 3 million euro to Valencia for the talented midfielder Tomas Pina, while more than 4 million euro were paid for the left winger Anthony Limbombe (NEC Nijmegen) and the right back Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax). It seems that they would need some more time to fit in the team, though.
Standard Liege were unable ot qualify for the play-offs in the First Division A last season and the club’s financial problems did not allowed them to improve their squad that much. Standard’s most expensive signing this summer was the right winger Isaac Mbenza, who was bought for 1,50 million euro from Valenciennes. This is not really a sign for high ambition from a club who have a rich history in the league, but Liege’s best team is obviously facing difficult times in the last few years.
STROMSGODSET – MOLDE
Strømsgodset are facing Molde in Norway’s Eliteserien in a game, which both teams require to win if they want to keep their hopes for european qualification alive.
Both teams are currently sitting at the middle of the table with an active of 34 points each, but they are also not that far away from the Europa League places. There are currently six teams in the Eliteserien who are in the mix for Europa League participation, so every point from now is important.
Strømsgodset are in a truly terrible form lately. Bjorn Ingebretsen’s team didn’t win either one of its last five games, losing three of them – a form, which will hardly allow them to play in Europe next season, except if they do not improve as soon as possible. And the home game against Molde is a good chance to begin.
Speaking of Molde, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team is performing brightly in the last few weeks. Molde is enjoying a fine run of three wins in a row, winning against Bodø / Glimt, Aalesund and Odd. This type of performance revived Molde’s chances for european qualification this season, so it remains to be seen if they will keep this form in the next few weeks as well.
Strømsgodset’s main attacking force remains the 26-years old Marcus Pedersen, who’ve scored seven times since the beginning of the season. Tokmac Nguen, Oyvind Storflor and Lars Vilsvik added three more so far.
Molde do not have a player who could be called a goal machine at the moment. Ole Gunnar Solskjær is relying on everyone scoring at some point and that’s the reason why the team do not have a leading goalscorer with outstanding statistics at this point.
This is one of the most interesting games in the Eliteserien this weekend, because both teams would like to keep their chances for european qualification at the end of the season.
KALMAR – NORRKOPING
One of the major contenders for the title in Sweden’s Allsvenskan Norrköping is travelling to Kalmar with the first spot in the league in mind.
Norrköping is just one point behind the current leader Malmo FF, who in same time is playing away from home against GIF Sundsvall. Norrköping’s players are aware that one possible mistake by the leader could mean that they could top the league.
But if this is meant to happen, Jens Gustafsson’s boys must do their job against Kalmar first. Norrköping won four of their last five games in the Allsvenskan, losing their first position in the league against Gefle last week. It was a serious dissapointment to lose two points against one of the weakest teams in the league, so now Norrköping are determined to fix their mistake.
Kalmar are comfortably sitting in the middle of the table with 25 points from 19 played games so far. Peter Swardh’s team can’t find consistency in its performances with two wins, two draws and one lose in its five games in the league.
The last game between the two teams in April was entirely one sided, with Norrköping winning with 4-1 at home. But in their overall head to head records, Kalmar is the team who have more wins in this rivalry – six wins for them, compared to five wins for Norrköping. The draws are two.
Clearly this game is more important to Norrköping than it is to Kalmar. Jens Gustafsson’s team is still leading a fierce battle with Malmo for the gold medals, so every point from now is from vital importance. Norrköping dissapointed with its performance last week against Gefle, but now they have the chance to repair the damages.
Kalmar on the other hand could hardly think about something significant this season, but they can still play for their fans and reputation.
Asian handicap -1.0 goals
ASIAN HANDICAP +0.0
Asian handicap betting methods
ASIAN HANDICAP AND BIGGER ODDS
MORE GOALS STRATEGY
Team to win second half is a strategy you could use in your everyday soccer predictions. It’s a betting method in which you must predict which team will score more goals in the second half of the game you have chosen. In other words, it’s about winning just the second half, not the entire game. Who wins the entire game is not important here.
For example, Team A is playing against Team B. Team A wins the first half of the game with a 1-0 result. The second half ends 1-2 for Team B. The overall result of the game is 2-2, but the second half is won by Team B. So, if you bet that Team B is going to win the second half, then you win. It doesn’t matter that the overall result of the game is a draw.
This is a good strategy to use, if you know that certain teams are stronger or weaker during their second halves. For example, if you know that Tottenham is always getting better after the break, scoring more goals and conceding less, than it’s a good idea to bet that they will win the second half of a certain game.
And if you know that AC Milan is always reducing the tempo in the second 45 minutes, where they’re often getting hammered by their opponents, then it’s a good idea to use this stat against them. See, like almost everything else in betting, it’s all about the statistics and the tendencies. Follow them closely and see where you could make a good hit and increase your overall betting success.
This is one of the methods you could use in your soccer predictions the next time when you decide to place a bet. Don’t forget to prepare well and study your move before making it, though
LEVEL ASIAN HANDICAP STRATEGY
LUZERN – BASEL 07.08.2016
Luzern welcomes the champion Basel in the big derby clash of the 3rd round of the Swiss Super League.
These are the two teams which are sharing the top of the league with with full six points after the first two rounds. Last year Luzern finished 3rd in the championship and now Marcus Babbel’s team is motivated to do even better this season.
But now they are facing the absolute hegemon of Swiss football of the last ten years Basel. RotBlau won the league seven times in a row now and it would be a huge surprise if someone stops them now. But clearly Luzern is one of the few teams who stand a chance against Basel.
Both teams won their first two games since the beginning of the season. Basel beat Sion and Vaduz, scoring the impressive 8 goals for 180 minutes of football. They also conceded just once.
Luzern on the other hand beat Lugano in the first round and they repeated the performance against Grasshopper last week. In a big contrast to Basel, Marcus Babbel’s boys conceded four goals for their first two games, which is not a goodtestimonial for Luzern’s defense so far.
Basel won three of the four games between the two teams last year, but we should point out what happened in the last time they met. On May 16 Luzern won with the impressive 4-0 against Basel, which was one of the most shocking results for the season. And something which probably boosts a little bit Luzern’s confidence before this week’s meeting.
Two of Basel’s players are on fire since the beginning of the season. Matias Delgado scored three times in the first two games, while the new signing Seydou Doumbia added two more goals.
Luzern’s top scoring player so far is the australian Tomi Juric, who scored two times since the start of the campaign.
OOSTENDE – CLUB BRUGGE 05.08.2016
The champion of Belgium Club Brugge is hitting the road once again, travelling to Oostende to face the local KV Oostende in a second round game of the Super Division A.
This is a second away game in a row for the champions, after they already managed to beat Mechelen in the first round. Jose Heriberto Izquierdo and Dion Cools scored the winning goals for the Blauw-Zwart, while Hans Vanaken managed to record his first assist for the season.
KV Oostende didn’t start well the new season in the Super Division A, after losing with 1-2 their visit to Genk. The zimbabwian striker Knowledge Musona scored KV Oostende’s first goal for this season, but it was not enough for his team to take at least a point from the game. Nikolaos Karelis and Mbwana Samatta’s goals added first three points for Genk, which is one of the teams to aim for the title this season in Super Division A.
The statistics are not very kind to KV Oostende before Club Brugge’s visit to Albertparkstadion. The two teams faced each other ten times so far and KV Oostende is still looking for its first win. In eight of these games Club Brugges took the win, while in two times the game ended with a draw. So, if you are a lover of the statistics, then you should consider that Club Brugges is the absolute favorite in this clash.
KV Oostende and Club Brugge faced each other four times last season, with the Blauw-Zwart taking the win in three of occasions and one of the games ending with a 2-2 draw.
The current champions are the clear favorite in this game. KV Oostende have the advantage to play in front of their own fans, but history is showing us that this fact is rarely helping them against this opponent.
FULHAM – NEWCASTLE 05.08.2016
England’s Championship is beginning once again and we will have the privilege to enjoy a great game for the start of the new season. Fulham welcomes Newcastle at the Craven Cottage in a clash between two of the teams which will aim to return to the Premier League next season.
The Cottagers are being led by the serbian manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who already has the experience of promoting a team to the Premier League. Chelsea’s ex-midfielder already did this with Watford, so now he will try to do it again with Fulham.
The Londoners made some new signings during the summer. Their most expensive purchase is the goalkeeper David Button, who was bought from Brentford for the sum of 1.90 million pounds. Fulham also signed Floyd Ayite from SC Bastia, Kevin McDonald from Wolves, Michael Madl from Sturm Graz and Denis Odoi from KSC Lokeren. The Cottagers will be led once again by their captain Scott Parker, who remained in the team for this season as well.
Everything else, but a quick return to the Premier League would be a huge dissapointment to Newcastle. The high-profile spanish manager Rafael Benitez chose to continue his work at the club, so right now he’s arguably the most decorated manager in the Championship.
During the summer Newcastle made two expensive purchases, paying a total amount of 20 milion pounds for two players – the right midfielder Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth and the striker Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace. Grant Hanley and Matz Sels were also signed from Blackburn and KAA Gent respectivelly. In same time the club was left by four of its star players – Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend, Remy Cabella and Papiss Demba Cisse,
This will be one of the derby clashes of the english Championship this season and we expect with a huge interest the tactical battle between Slavisa Jokanovic and Rafael Benitez.
BLACKBURN – NORWICH 06.08.2016
Blackburn Rovers is hosting Norwich City in a first round game of the English Champioship. The game will be played at Ewood Park in Blackburn.
There was a time when Blackburn were even Premier League champions, but now the times are a lot different for the Rovers. This season they will try once again to reach a promotion and this is something which the manager Owen Coyle has already did in his career so far.
We can say though that the fans’ hopes were a little bit diminished with the club’s unimpressive summer transfer campaign so far. Blackburn didn’t buy neither one new player since the market was open, with just a few players signing on a free transfer – Gordon Greer (Brighton), Danny Graham (Sunderland), Anthony Stokes (Celtic) and Liam Feeney (Bolton). The youngster Jack Byrne was loaned from Manchester City as well. The summer transfer market is far from over, but so far Blackburn’s activity there is far from impressive.
Norwich on the other hand made one big signing so far, paying 2.5 million pounds to Liverpool for the spanish right winger Sergi Canos. Canos is just 19-years old player who Liverpool signed in 2013 from Barcelona’s famous youth academy. It’s remain to be seen how much impact he could have on Norwich’s season, but the expectations towards him are big. He’s a technical player with a big promise, so he’s a player to watch. Except the spanish starlet, Norwich also signed the goalkeeper Michael McGovern, who left the scottish Hamilton with a free transfer.
In the head to head Blackburn has an advantage over Norwich – 19 to 11 wins, but in their last clash from 2015 Norwich managed to win at the Ewood Park with 2-1. In 11 of the occasions the game between the two teams ended with a draw.