Here are the 5 games that you should watch this weekend. The Champions League group stage starts next week…how will that affect the teams this weekend?
- Manchester United vs. Liverpool
TV – Saturday, September 12th at 12:30 pm EST on NBC
The two most decorated teams in English football square off in what has to be the best rivalry in all of England. Manchester United has won 20 league titles, 11 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, and 3 Champions League titles. Liverpool has won 18 league titles, 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, and 5 Champions League titles. Liverpool has lost seven of their last eight trips to Old Trafford in all competitions. This is going to be a big test for both teams, since they both lost last week. On the Liverpool side, Coutinho is suspended for the meeting. Henderson and Lallana both look set to miss out. Whie Manchester’s David De Gea just signed a new contract so he should be in goal for the first time this year.
My Prediction – United at home and with De Gea back means United should be the favorites, plus no Coutinho. I am going United 2-1 with Mata and Herrera scoring for United and Benteke for Liverpool.
James’ Prediction – United 3, Liverpool 1 with the goals coming from Rooney, Depay, and Martial for United and Benteke for Liverpool
- Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona
TV – Saturday, September 12th at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports
The last two Spanish champions battle in the first big clash between the Madrid teams and Barcelona. Atletico is one of the best home teams in the league and will look to make that count. However, Barcelona has won 10 of their last 11 away from home in the league. No Bravo, Pique, or Alves for Barcelona means that Ter Stegen should start in goal and Roberto and Vermaelen will keep their places in the back line. Tiago is the only injury question for Atleti. This game will be tight.
My Prediction – This game is always very close and will require a lot of work from the Atletico defense. Barcelona will be strong in attack and midfield, so I am going Barcelona 2, Atletico 1 with goals from Messi and Neymar for Barcelona and Jackson Martinez for Madrid.
James’ Prediction – Atletico 2, Barcelona 2 with goals from Griezmann, Martinez, Messi, and Neymar.
- Inter Milan vs. AC Milan
TV – Sunday, August 30th at 2:45 pm on beIN Sports Connect
For the first time in a long time, neither of these teams is in Europe. What does that mean is that they both spent a ton of money to get back not just into Europe, but also into the Champions League. Look for Ivan Perišić to start in the new looking front three for Inter with on fire Stevan Jovetić and Marco Icardi. Adriano and Bacca should lead the line for AC Milan, but Mario Balotelli might have a role to play. This should be a fascinating spectacle.
My Prediction – AC Milan have not really hit their stride, look for Inter to take advantage and probably score a late winner. Inter 2, AC 1. Goals from Perišić and Jovetić for Inter and Bacca for AC.
James’ Prediction – Inter 2, AC 1 with goals from Jovetić (2) and Adriano.
- Hannover 96 vs. Borussia Dortmund
TV – Saturday, September 12th at 9:30 pm EST on Fox Soccer Plus
Borussia Dortmund has been the hottest team in Germany and currently sit on top of the Bundesliga. They will hope to go a perfect 4 for 4 this season. Marco Reus is a bit of a doubt, but new loan signing Adnan Januzaj could feature. Aubameyang also picked up a bit of a knock and should start, but he might have to miss out as well. Hannover meanwhile has been struggling and will look to add to their one point so far.
My Prediction – Strong possession and pressure from Dortmund mean this game is over at the half. Dortmund 3, Hannover 0. Goals from Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, and Januzaj.
James’ Prediction – Hannover scores but Dortmund wins 4-1. Goals from Karamen, Aubameyang (2), and Mkhitaryan (2).
- Everton vs. Chelsea
TV – Saturday, September 12th at 7:45 am EST on NBCSN
Last year this match was a thrilling 6-3 win for Chelsea. Can they repeat last season and get their season finally started? This is a big match for Matić and Fabregas, as the two have showed some weaknesses when teams attack them. Everton might be at home, but they will look to counter and this is where they are lethal, as displayed in the game versus Southampton earlier this season. Barkley and Lukaku will work to get on the ball and attack the Chelsea defense. Chelsea has kept only one clean sheet in their last nine league matches, including 10 goals in their first 4 games this season. That is just 5 fewer than they gave up in the whole of their 2004/05 title winning campaign. Courtois just had surgery and will be out for a couple months, so let the reign of Begović begin.
My Prediction – New goalie and what appears to be a weak midfield could spell trouble for Chelsea. Look for both teams to score. Everton 2, Chelsea 2 with goals from Lukaku (2), Costa and Pedro.
James’ Prediction – Chelsea gets a much needed win, 3-2 over Everton. Goals from Pedro, Costa, Hazard, Lukaku, and Barkley.
Other Games on TV this Weekend
Saturday, September 12th
9:30 am EST – Bayern Munich vs. Augsburg on Fox Sports 1
9:30 am EST – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Darnstadt 98 on Fox Sports 2
10:00 am EST – Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City on NBCSN
10:00 am EST – Arsenal vs. Stoke City on USA Network
12:00 pm EST – Frosinone vs. Roma on beIN Sports
4:00 pm EST – Real Betis vs. Real Sociedad on beIN Sports
Sunday, September 13th
8:30 am EST – Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur on NBCSN
9:00 am EST – Empoli vs. Napoli on beIN Sports
9:30 am EST – Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen on Fox Sports 1
11:30 am EST – Schalke 04 vs. Mainz 05 on Fox Sports 1
12:00 pm EST – Lazio vs. Udinese on beIN Sports
11:00 am EST – Leicester City vs. Aston Villa on NBCSN
Monday, September 14th
2:30 pm EST – Rayo Vallecano vs. Deportivo La Coruna on beIN Sports
3:00 pm EST – West Ham United vs. Newcastle United