5 Things to Watch During Week 3

  1. How long will it take Frank de Boer to win his first game at Inter Milan? – Frank de Boer has taken on a tough job as he looks to rebuild the Italian Giants. Inter Milan have fallen on hard times. They are undergoing a major rebuild.  Inter has some talent on their side, but they do have some major holes in the squad.  Frank looks to be rebuilding with the arrivals of Joao Mario and Gabigol.  This will provide De Boer with some better midfield talent.  They already have added Banega, Eder, Candreca, and Brozovic to their squad and now will look to turn around the results on the field. They lost the first game of the season, 2-0 to Chievo.  This weekend, they host Palermo.  They have won 3 of the last 6 against them.  I think Frank de Boer is a great hire and can do a great job rebuilding this giant.
  2. Can Hull City maintain their amazing start? – Hull City has been the story of the season so far as they have won all three of their games this season. They started the season with a surprise 2-1 win over last season’s champions Leicester. Then they defeated Swansea 2-0 and this week they defeated Exeter 3-1 in the English League Cup.  They have an interim coach in Mike Phelan who has them playing excellent football.  His side consists of just 20 players with no new signings this summer and 4 injured players.  They have only used 12 players this season so far, making just one substitution in their first two games.  This weekend they face off with Manchester United.  It should be great test for Phelan and Hull City.
  3. Can Atletico get a win against a promoted side? – Atletico Madrid played a very good first game of the season in which they had 27 shots and 62% possession. They were able to take the lead but then just seconds after they took the lead they conceded a late equalizer against Alaves. This week, they face another one of the promoted sides Leganes.  Leganes won their first game in La Liga last Monday 1-0 over Celta Vigo.  Can this newly promoted side provide more trouble for Atletico Madrid?  While it is very early in the campaign, two weeks in a row dropping points could be very troubling for Atleti.
  4. How will Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich set up and play? – Carlo Ancelotti makes his Bundesliga debut, which is the only big 5 league that he has not managed. He has won the league title in Italy, France, and England. He has also won the Champions League while in Italy and Spain.  Can he repeat his success in Germany?  He takes over a great team that has won 4 straight league titles and they will look to make it 5 in a row this season.  It will be interesting to see how he sets his side up this season.  He will have some interesting team decisions to make this season.  At center back, he has Mats Hummels, Javi Martinez, Jerome Boateng, and Holger Badstuber.  In the wide positions he has Ribery, Muller, Robben, Costa, and Coman.  It appears that Renato Sanches is not fit to start, but the teenager should make his debut this weekend for Munich.  It will be interesting to see how Ancelotti sets up his team.
  5. Which French team will drop points first – Nice, Lyon, or PSG? – Three teams have gotten off to the perfect start this season. Lyon, PSG, and Nice are all perfect this season. They have won all of the games and are yet to concede a goal this season.  Lyon sits on top of the table thanks to 5 goals from Alexandre Lacazette.  PSG is second since they have scored 4 goals this season.  Nice is in third after winning both of their opening games 1-0.  This week, PSG faces the biggest test as they travel down to Monaco.  Lyon faces Dijon this weekend and Nice host Lille.  I think that the odds would be on Nice to be the first team to either concede or drop points, however I think it might happen this weekend for PSG as they face a tough Monaco side.  Hopefully all three of these sides can keep their runs going and make this Ligue 1 season one to watch.

5 Games to Watch This Weekend

Villarreal vs. Sevilla – Taking a look at the battle for fourth place, this will be a very big early season 6 pointer.  I know it is very early, but this game could go a long way in deciding who gets into the 4th and final Champions League spot.  Villarreal started the season with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Granada.  Sevilla won their first game of the season in a 10 goal thriller 6-4 over Espanyol.

My Pick – Villarreal 2, Sevilla 3: Goals by Pato, Castillejo, Vietto (2), and Yedder
Brad’s Pick – Villarreal 1, Sevilla 2: Goals by Pato, Vietto, N’Zonzi

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen – Two teams that will most likely end up in and around the top four of the Bundesliga face off to start the season.  Monchengladbach finished fourth last season and Leverkusen finished third.  This is an early season major clash in Germany.  This will be a massive early season test for these two teams.

My Pick – Monchengladbach 1, Leverkusen 1: Goals by Raffael, Stindl, Mehmedi, and Volland
Brad’s Pick – Monchengladbach 2, Leverkusen 3: Goals by Dahoud, Kramer, Mehmedi, and Volland (2)

Napoli vs. AC Milan – Napoli did not get off to the start that they would have hoped for after losing Higuain this summer.  They drew 2-2 with newly promoted Pescara.  This week they hope to win their first game of the season as they host AC Milan.  Milan defeated their old boss last week when they beat Torino 3-2.  Napoli looks to be a hungry team and hope to get off to a great start.  Look out for the AC Milan goalkeeper as Gianluigi Donnarumma is making headlines.

My Pick – Napoli 3, AC Milan 2: Goals by Mertens, Gabbiadini, Hamsik, and Bacca (2)
Brad’s Pick – Napoli 1, AC Milan 1: Goals by Hamsik and Bonaventura

Monaco vs. Paris Saint-Germain – This is the first game between PSG and one of the two teams that people think can challenge them for the title.  Monaco got off to a disappointing start as they drew 2-2 to start the season before winning their second game 1-0.  If they are going to get themselves into the title race, they will need to get a result against PSG this weekend.

My Pick – Monaco 1, PSG 1: Goals by Fabinho and Moura
Brad’s Pick – Monaco 2, PSG 3: Goals by Moutinho, Silva, Cavani (2) and Matuidi

Hull City vs. Manchester United – Both of these teams have gotten off to a great start this season as they have both won their two opening games.  United have been good under Jose Mourinho and should be the favorites to win this weekend.  They are looking full of confidence and Zlatan seems to have settled extremely well.

My Pick – Hull 1, United 2: Goals by Snodgrass, Ibrahimovic, and Martial
Brad’s Pick – Hull 1, United 3: Goals by Livermore, Pogba, and Ibrahimovic (2)

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