This Week’s Big 5 games
So every week, I will look over the schedule from all of the leagues and pick out 5 or so games that I think will be the best games to watch, or will have a large impact on the league. I will give you my take on the game and a prediction and then James will give you his.
This week marks the start of the EPL and Ligue 1 season. With all this being said, here are the big 5 games for the weekend.
- Manchester United vs. Tottenham
TV – Saturday August 8th at 7:45 am ET on NBCSN
This is a scintillating match to kick of the English Premier League. Manchester United can put the first marker down in what may be a tight Premier League. Louis van Gaal will look for a better start than last year. His lineup should be interesting in this game. The big question will be will we see David de Gea all season or will this be his last game? Tottenham will look to make a huge splash on the first weekend. A win for them could go a long way for them in the race for the top four. Their big question is can Harry Kane carry them all season. Look for Lloris to start, but he is still doubtful with his wrist injury.
My Prediction – United 2, Tottenham 1. Look for Rooney and Kane to score and then Mata for the winner.
James’ Prediction – Man Utd 2, Tottenham 1. Strong start to the season for the Reds with goals from Fellani and Depay, though Defense looks very poor and will be an issue. Kane pops one in as well.
- Lille vs. Paris Saint-Germain
TV – Friday August 7th at 2:30 pm ET on beINsports1
The champions of the Ligue 1 take to the road to start this season. They will be without their big Swede, as Zlatan will miss due to a knee injury. Look for Cavani to start up front and work to make a case for starting there this season. Di Maria will not feature in the game but will most likely be in the stands. This game kicks off the Ligue 1 season with excitement. Lille are hoping they can get back into European football next season. This game might not be the best way to start that for them.
My Prediction – PSG 3, Lille 1. Cavani shows he is world class with an opening day brace. One more from Pastore. Look for Lille to peg one back late on.
James’ Prediction – PSG 2, Lille 1. No let up from previous champs as they look to start fast. Look shakky earlier but break it open early second half.
- Stoke vs. Liverpool
TV – Sunday August 9th at 11:00 am ET on NBCSN
Everyone in Liverpool remembers what happened the last time Liverpool traveled to Stoke. It was Steven Gerrard’s final game as a Red and they lost 6-1. This will be a game in which Liverpool will hope to get some revenge and get off to a good start. Stoke City are looking to continue the high from last season and maybe push even further up the table. This is going to be a really good game and both teams will want to play beautiful football. Glen Johnson will make his debut for his new team and face his old team. Benteke will get his first start for Liverpool, as will Milner, Clyne, and Joe Gomez.
My Prediction – Stoke 2, Liverpool 3. Bent eke will get off to a great start as will Lallana as the both chip in goals but it will be new signing James Milner who gets the winner. Stoke play great football and score two beautiful goals.
James’ Prediction – Liverpool 1, Stoke 1. Tough start as neither team looks strong but Liverpool strongly underwhelms with the loss of Sterling, their goal scoring is going to need big performances from Henderson and Coutinho and possible Clyne to move up forward on a more consistent basis
- Nice vs. Monaco
TV – Saturday August 8th at 3:00 pm ET on beINsports1
As I pointed out on Wednesday, I think Monaco will be able to push PSG this season and in order for this to happen, they will need to get off to a fast start. These two close rivals will be looking to continue their great form. This should be a great game and will have a lot of young talent on display. The derby de la Cote d’Azur will kick off the season well for one of these teams.
My Prediction – Monaco 2 – Nice 2. Neither team gets going early. Look for Monaco to get early lead in second half but Nice will peg them back. Llook for Haten Ben Arfa to score.
James’ Prediction – Monaco 3, Nice 1. Too much attacking and an early 2 goals will put Nice on tilt.
- Chelsea vs. Swansea
TV – Saturday August 8th at 12:30 pm ET on NBC
Chelsea will start their defense of the title this season with Swansea coming to the Bridge. They will have a very similar starting XI as they did last season and will look to push on this season. Loic Remy maybe the starting forward for this game, as Diego Costa is doubtful with a hamstring issue. Those hamstrings will go a long way in deciding this title. Swansea could make some noise this summer as they look to keep pushing on from a good end of their season last year. Under Mourinho, Chelsea has gotten all three points on every opening day of the Premier League. This will most likely be the same this season.
My Prediction – Chelsea 1, Swansea 0. No Costa means that Chelsea may struggle. They will nick a goal and mat likely keep a clean sheet. Look for Hazard to create the goal.
James’ Prediction – Chelsea 3, Swansea 0. Way too much star power and they are at home. Not a close match at all. Goals by Hazard 2, one from Ivanovic or Terry. 2 assist game from Cesc.
Other games on TV this weekend
Saturday August 8th
10:00 am ET – Bournemouth vs. Aston Villa on NBCSN
Sunday August 9th
8:30 am – Arsenal vs. West Ham on NBCSN
Monday August 10th
3:00 pm ET – West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City on NBCSN
3:00 pm ET – Lyon vs. Lorient on beINsports1