This Week’s Big 5 games
This week marks the start of the Bundesliga season and the second week for the BPL and Ligue 1. So without further ado, here are the big 5 games for the weekend.
- Manchester City vs. Chelsea
TV – Sunday August 16th at 11:00 am ET on NBCSN
While one game will not determine the title race, Manchester City can give themselves a nice boost really early in the season. If City is able to win, they will have a 5 point lead on Chelsea. City laid down a great marker at the start of the season when they beat West Brom 3-0. The only change to their lineup could be Sergio Aguero entering the starting lineup. For Chelsea, their draw against Swansea was disappointing. For this match, Courtois is suspended and it will mean Asmir Begovic will make his first start. I would anticipate Ramires playing in midfield for Oscar with Fabregas pushing forward.
My Prediction – City 1, Chelsea 1; Jose will most likely park the bus and try to get a point from the Ethiad. I think this will happen with Aguero and Hazard scoring their first goals of the season.
James’ Prediction – City 2, Chelsea 1; A big match for Chelsea as they CANNOT drop points a second week in a row, even if they are away. But they DO. Man City imposes their will in the back half and Chelsea under perform as they still look a tad rusty. Goals by Aguero, Silva, and one from a fortunate bounce in favor of Costa who is beginning to look more fit and ready to break out in the coming game weeks.
- Borussia Dortmund vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
TV – Saturday August 15th at 11:30 am ET on Fox Sports 2
The Thomas Tuchel era starts with a big test when Borussia Monchengladbach comes to Signal Iduna Park. Monchengladbach qualified for the Champions League last season and will hope that Lars Stindl and Josip Drmic can step up following the departures of Christoph Kramer and Max Kruse. Dortmund will look to get off to a great start as they try to make it back to the Champions League.
My Prediction – Dortmund 2, Monchengladbach 1; Dortmund will be a much stronger team. Look for Aubameyang and Reus to be the difference.
James’ Prediction – Dortmund 2, Mochengladbach 1; Tough early test, a positive pre-season builds right into the regular season but a late goal erases the clean sheet opportunity.
- Guingamp vs. Lyon
TV – Saturday August 15th at 1:00 pm ET on beIN Sports
If Lyon are to challenge PSG for the title this season then they will need to find their offense. They showed little signs of offense last week when they again failed to score for the 5th game in a row. Mathieu Valbuena has been brought in to help with this. Guingamp will also look to get their season off to a better start as they suffered defeat in the first Derby Breton against Rennes.
My Prediction – Guingamp 1, Lyon 2; Lyon will finally score and look for Valbuena to be the difference. Fekir and Lacazette to score for Lyon and Briand for Guingamp.
James’ Prediction – Guingamp 0, Lyon 2; Losing to PSG provides fire to come back home and dominate. Lacazette scores 2.
- Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
TV – Sunday August 16th at 8:30 am ET on NBCSN
In Arsenal’s second London derby, the Gunners are hoping for a better outcome this time around. Alexis Sanchez could return to the starting lineup which would be a huge boast for Arsenal. Crystal Palace will attempt to win their second game in a row behind the great play from Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur last week. While this game is much more in doubt now than it was this time last week, look for Arsenal to come out strong.
My Prediction – Crystal Palace 2, Arsenal 3; Sanchez will make the difference this week but it will not be easy for Arsenal. Sanchez, Walcott, and Oxlade to score while Cabaye and Bolasie score for Palace.
James’ Prediction – Crystal Palace 2, Arsenal 3; Disappointing week 1, Arsenal right the ship behind a healthy Sanchez who nets 2 to go along with one from Cazorla. Again, the back line falters and Palace nets in 2 (1 from Cabaye, 1 from Murray) which continues to put Wenger on the hot seat.
- West Ham United vs. Leicester City
TV – Saturday, August 15th at 10:00 am ET on US
In what is an early top four clash this season ;), West Ham and Leicester face off against one another. West Ham is coming off an historic win in the Emirates and will look to keep that going. The 16-year old Reece Oxford is likely to keep his place in the team after he played great against Mesut Ozil. Leicester also got a huge win this season. Claudio Ranieri got his team off to a great start and will look to keep that going. Sakho and Vardy are both expected to start despite having rough weeks in the newspapers.
My Prediction – West Ham 2, Leicester 1; the home field advantage could make the difference and West Ham will look to win 2 in a row.
James’ Prediction – West Ham 1, Leicester City 0; Top of the table battle ends with the Hammers sitting very pretty after 2 weeks! A view they rarely and may never see again for a long time. Sahko nets a goal off a pretty header that is going to be up for goal of the week.
Other games on TV this weekend
Saturday August 15th
7:45 am ET – Southampton vs. Everton on NBCSN
10:00 am ET – Tottenham vs. Stoke City on NBCSN
9:30 am ET – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hoffenheim on Fox Sports 2
9:30 am ET – Werder Bremen vs Schalke 04 on Fox Soccer Plus
Sunday August 16th
9:30 am ET – Wolfsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on Fox Sports 1
11:30 am ET – Stuttgart vs. Koln on Fox Soccer Plus
11:00 am ET – Lorient vs Bastia on beIN Sports
3:00 pm ET – PSG vs. Gazelec Ajaccio on beIN Sports
8:30 am – Arsenal vs. West Ham on NBCSN
Monday August 17th
3:00 pm ET – Liverpool vs. Bournemouth on NBCSN
5:00 pm ET – Barcelona vs. Athletic Club on ESPN2