Week 10

5 Games to Watch This Weekend

Tottenham vs. Leicester – Last season champions seem to be finding their form again as they have won all of their Champions League games and their last Premier League game.  They come into this game in 12th place.  They travel to London this weekend to face Tottenham.  Tottenham is the only unbeaten team left in the Premier League.  Tottenham enter the game having drawn their last two games however.  They are without Moussa Sissoko who was given a three match ban for his elbow on Harry Arter last weekend.  Harry Kane and Toby Alderweired are back in training.  Toby might play but it looks like it is too soon for Harry.  Leicester are without Mendy and Benalouane.  Matthew James and Andy King are doubts.  It looks like Vardy and Slimani could start but Okazaki is close to starting.  Is this Tottenham’s first loss? Will Leicester get back to their form from last season?

My Pick – Tottenham 1, Leicester 1: Alli and Slimani

Brad’s Pick – Tottenham 2, Leicester 0: Alli and Eriksen

Atletico Madrid vs. Malaga – This game is a must watch to see how Atletico Madrid respond to their first loss of the season.  They were defeated by Sevilla last time out.  This weekend they host Malaga who have won 3, drawn 3, and lost 3.  They are unbeaten in their last three games including wins over Bilbao and Leganes.  Atletico has dominated the last 5 winning 3 of the 6 with 2 draws.  Atletico Madrid is without injured Cerci, Augusto, and Moya.  Koke is out of the game due to his two yellow cards he saw against Sevilla.  Look for Gaitan to start on the right-hand side.  Gimenez is healthy but Savic looks set to hold his spot.  Malaga are without Diego Llorente, Weligton, Charles, Keko, and Miguel Torres due to injury.  Bakary Kone is doubtful but looks set to play due to a lack of options.  Juanpi is back from suspension and should play behind Sandro.  Can Atletico bounce back?  Can Malaga continue their current form?

My Pick – Atletico 2, Malaga 1: Griezmann, Carrasco, and Sandro

Brad’s Pick – Atletico 2, Malaga 1: Griezmann (2) and Juanpi

Hoffenheim vs. Hertha Berlin – Third and fourth meet in Germany this weekend as Hoffenheim host Hertha Berlin.  Hoffenheim is one of the three unbeaten teams left in the Bundesliga as they have won their last four straight games after drawing their first four games.  Hertha Berlin has only lost 1 game all season and that was against Bayern Munich.  Hertha is 1 point above Hoffenheim right now and 3 points behind Bayern Munich.  Hoffenheim is without Mark Uth.  Otherwise, they should play a very strong side.  Hertha Berlin have a much longer injury list.  They are without Duda, Darida, Koerber, Lustenberger, and Plattenhardt.  Valentin Stocker is suspended.  Good news, American John Brooks has been great for Hertha this season.  Can Hoffenheim stay unbeaten? Will Hertha keep pace with Bayern?

My Pick – Hoffenheim 2, Hertha 2: Wagner, Kramaric, Ibisevic, and Kalou

Brad’s Pick – Hoffenheim 1, Hertha 0: Demirbay

Juventus vs. Napoli – Probably one of the best games of the weekend as first place takes on third place in the Serie A when Juventus hosts Napoli.  Juventus lost just their second game of the season last weekend but rebounded well with a win this week over Sampdoria.  Napoli has won their last two after losing two games in a row. These two teams are separated by just four points this season and Napoli could really put some pressure on Juventus if they win.  Juventus are without Dybala and Pjaca.  This means that we will see Mandzukic and Higuain up front.  Claudio Marchisio has returned and should start in the midfield.  Evra is a doubt and likely not to feature.  Napoli seems to have found some balance after losing Arkadiusz Milik to a knee injury.  Manolo Gabbiadini was his replacement but he is out on suspension.  Raul Albiol has returned to training but is not likely to play.  Will Juventus stay on top of the league? Can Napoli tighten the gap?

My Pick – Juventus 3, Napoli 2: Higuain (2), Pjanic, Callejon, and Insigne

Brad’s Pick – Juventus 1, Napoli 1: Higuain and Callejon

Toulouse vs. Lyon – This weekend in France we have two teams that seem to be traveling in different directions.  Toulouse has won 4 of their last 6 and only lost twice all season.  They are currently in 4th place in the league.  They host Lyon this weekend who has only won 3 times in their last 11 games.  They started the season with two wins and won their first Champions League game, but since then have only managed to win twice in the league.  Jessy Pi and Clement Michelin may return this weekend but Toulouse is without Tongo Doumbia and Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro.  Dodi Lukebakio is ineligible.  Lyon are without Jallet and Valbuena.  Nabil Fekir is back and should partner with Lacazette up front.  Lyon are in desperate need of a victory.  Can they get back on track? Can Toulouse stay in the race for a European place?

My Pick – Toulouse 1, Lyon 1: Braithwaite and Lacazette

Brad’s Pick – Toulouse 1, Lyon 2: Braithwaite, Gonalons, and Lacazette

Look Back on Week 9

  1. Le Classique – This was not the game to watch in France this weekend as PSG did not have the ability to break down a well disciplined and defensive Marseille.  It was a point that did not really help PSG, as Nice continued their spectacular form.  Nice was tied with Metz before they scored twice in the last 6 minutes of the game.  Nice are now 4 points clear of Monaco and 6 points clear of PSG.  This is starting to look better and better for Nice each week and might be the end of the PSG reign on Ligue 1.
  2. How will Manchester City respond? – I think this is more of a mixed response.  They came back and earned a point this weekend against Southampton that keeps them on top of the table, but makes it now a month since their last win.  They get the chance to get back to winning ways this week as they face off with Manchester United in the League Cup.  Arsenal also failed to win this weekend as they drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough.  Liverpool defeated West Brom 2-1 to move level on points with City and Arsenal.  Chelsea made the statement of the weekend as they defeated Manchester United 4-0.  They are now top 4, just a point behind the other 3.  Tottenham have fallen to 5th following their draw with Bournemouth.  The race is really tight and it is anybody’s call who will come out on top.
  3. Are Milan for real? – Potentially.  They have such a young exciting team right now and they came away with a massive win against Juventus this weekend.  Manuel Locatelli scored an absolute stunner for the match winner.  Then at the end of the game Gianluigi Donnarumma saved the game with a beautiful save.  This team is fantastic this weekend and did a great job earning all three points.  Juventus stay on top but the gap is only 2 points between them and Milan and Roma.  Napoli is 4 points behind Juventus.  This is starting to look like a potential title race in Italy.
  4. Is this the weekend that the Madrid clubs slip up? – Kinda? Real Madrid needed a late goal from Morata to earn all three points and maintain their unbeaten season.  Atletico Madrid suffered their first defeat of the season.  They lost 1-0 to Sevilla this weekend.  The top of the table is so tight that now Real Madrid is on top with 21 points.  Sevilla sits in second with 20 points.  Barcelona, who also needed a very late goal from the penalty spot to defeat Valencia, is now in third and 2 points behind Real Madrid.  Villarreal maintained their unbeaten season as they defeated Las Palmas 2-1.  Atletico has fallen to 5th place.
  5. How many unbeaten teams will we have in the Bundesliga after this weekend? – Three.   Bayern Munich remained unbeaten after their 2-0 win over Monchengladbach.  Leipzig remained unbeaten following a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen.  Hoffenheim managed to win their 4th game of the season and stay unbeaten as they defeated Leverkusen 3-0.  The only undefeated team to suffer defeat was Koln who lost their first game of the season 2-1 to Hertha Berlin. Munich are still on top of the table with a 2 point lead over Leipzig.  Hertha is a point behind Leipzig and Hoffenheim is now in the top 4.

Score from the Weekend

Me – 72 (4)
Brad – 43 (1)

Team of the Weekend

Goalkeeper
G. Donnarumma (Milan)

Defenders
R. Fanni (Marseille), Jemerson (Monaco), N. Maksimovic (Napoli), D. Alaba (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders
P. Coutinho (Liverpool), X. Shaqiri (Stoke), N. Keita (Leipzig)

Forwards
N. Kalinic (Fiorentina), S. Ramirez (Malaga), F. Orellana (Celta Vigo)

5 Things to Watch During Week 9

  1. Le Classique – This weekend is the Derby of France as PSG hosts Marseille. This is the biggest game in France each season, regardless of where the teams are in standings. These are the only two French teams to have won European trophies.  This season, both teams are not happy with how they have started.  PSG is currently in third place, but they have their sights on the top of the table as the club has won the title for the last four seasons.  Marseille has struggled recently as they have had some poor decisions made at the top.  They are currently in the bottom half of the table as they sit with 3 wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses.  Marseille have a new club owner in Frank McCourt and a new manager Rudi Garcia this season.  Both clubs will look to make a statement as the rest of France and the world watches.
  2. How will Manchester City respond? – City traveled to Catalunya this week and came away on the wrong end of a 4-0 defeat. City actually played well for the most part before Claudio Bravo made a horrible mistake and handled the ball and was sent off. City has now failed to win in their last four games in all competitions.  They are now level on points with Arsenal.  When they take the field this weekend, they could no longer be on top of the table.  How will Pep set up his team to respond? Will Aguero come into the team? How will he play?  The pressure is building on Pep.  How will City respond?
  3. Are Milan for real? – AC Milan looks like a team that might be back in the conversation. This weekend they face their perennial rivals for the title, Juventus. They might not have been in the conversation the last couple years but they are one of the most recognizable teams in the world.  They are currently level on points with Roma and just 5 points behind Juventus.  Roma will be massive Milan fans this weekend as they will need a victory from Milan to keep Juventus close.  Milan will be looking to make a statement this weekend.  This will be a massive game this weekend.
  4. Is this the weekend that the Madrid clubs slip up? As a Barcelona fan, I sure hope so. Atletico faces a tough trip to Sevilla and Real Madrid host Athletic Bilbao. Sevilla currently sits third in the table and is just 1 point behind the Madrid clubs.  They have been very strong.  The only team to beat them is Athletic Bilbao.  Bilbao has suffered 3 defeats but has 5 wins, which is the same as Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Barcelona.  Bilbao is 3 points back so a win will put them in the mix.  If Sevilla and Bilbao both win this weekend, then the title race in Spain only gets more interesting as potentially 6 teams will all be within 4 points.
  5. How many unbeaten teams will we have in the Bundesliga after this weekend? – Right now there are four teams left that are unbeaten. Bayern Munich has won 5 games and drawn 2. Koln and Leipzig have each won 4 games and drawn 3.  Hoffenheim has won 3 games and drawn 4.  Munich faces a tough test this weekend when they host Monchengladbach.  Gladbach have given Munich trouble over the last couple years but with Ancelotti in charge, maybe the story will be different.  Koln might have the toughest game of the weekend as they travel to Berlin to face Hertha.  The surprise undefeated team in RB Leipzig.  The newly promoted side has been amazing and they will look to maintain their unbeaten run against Werder Bremen.  Lastly, Hoffenheim will look to maintain their unbeaten run when they travel to Bayer Leverkusen.  I think at least 1 of these teams will suffer defeat this weekend.

5 Games to Watch This Weekend

Chelsea vs. Manchester United – After a drab affair last Monday against Liverpool, Jose Mourinho now faces his old club this weekend.  This will be one of the most watched games this weekend.  Conte is without Kurt Zouma, but John Terry and Willian may be back.  Mourinho has his whole team available except Phil Jones.    Chelsea has looked good in their 3-4-3 formation.  After losing two straight to Liverpool and Arsenal, they have won the last two games.  United will be looking to get back to winning ways after back to back draws.  Mourinho will not want to lose this game.

My Pick – Chelsea 3, United 1: Hazard, Costa (2), and Pogba

Brad’s Pick – Chelsea 2, United 2: Costa, Hazard, Ibrahimovic, and Pogba

Sevilla vs. Atletico Madrid – Jorge Sampaoli seems to have Sevilla rolling.  He is without Tremoulinas and Krohn-Dehli.  Look for Vietto to start up front with Vitolo and Nasri.  Gameiro returns to face his old club as he lines up for Atletico.  Cerci, Augusto and Moya are out.  Gimenez is doubtful.  Sevilla have looked strong this season but they are facing a tough opponent.

My Pick – Sevilla 1, Atleti 2: Vietto, Griezmann, and Niguez

Brad’s Pick – Sevilla 1, Atleti 1: Nasri, Koke, and Gameiro

Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach – Unbeaten Munich are without Ribery and Starke.  Their opponents have a much longer list of injuries.  Gladbach are without Drmic, Dominguez, Doncoure, Schulz, and Christensen.  Thorgan Hazard and Raffael are doubtful.  The injury list did not prevent Gladbach from getting a big win in Scotland.  Look for Bayern to dominate this game.

My Pick – Bayern 2, Gladbach 1: Costa, Lewandowski, and Stindl

Brad’s Pick – Bayern 4, Gladbach 1: Lewandowski(2), Muller,  Alonso, and Hahn

Milan vs. Juventus – Milan plays a very young team that features the future Italy goalkeeper in 17 year old Gianluigi Donnarumma.  He has been remarkable.  Suso and Niang have been great on either side of Bacca this season.  Juventus are without Rugani, Chiellini, Asamoah, and Mandzukic.  This means that Benatia, Bonucci, and Barzagli will start at the back.  This looks to be a tight game but I am not sure Milan are ready yet for Juventus.

My Pick – Milan 1, Juventus 2: Niang, Higuain, and Pjanic

Brad’s Pick – Milan 2, Juventus 3: Suso, Bonaventura, Dybala, and Higuain (2)

PSG vs. Marseille – PSG will be without Javier Pastore.  Veratti, Di Maria, and Motta are all doubtful.  Marseille are without Cabella, Abou Diaby, and Veinqueur.  Fanni and Alessandrini are doubtful.  This could be a turning point in the season for both teams.  Look for this game to be open but the squad strength of PSG might be the difference.

My Pick – PSG 2, Marseille 1: Moura, Cavani, and Gomis

Brad’s Pick – PSG 2, Marseille 0: Moura and Matuidi

 

A Look Back at Week 8

  1. Will we have a new team on top of the Premier League? – No but it is tight at the top.  Manchester City opened the door for another team to take the top spot this weekend when City drew 1-1 with Everton on Saturday.  Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the second half.  City missed two penalties but Nolito eventually leveled the score.  This means that Tottenham could go top of the table, but they also needed a comeback goal.  Nacer Chadli scored against his old club Tottenham to give West Brom a lead with 8 minutes to go in the game.  Dele Alli then scored the equalizer in the 89th minute of the game.  Arsenal closed the gap on City as they defeated Swansea City 3-2 despite going down to 10 men.  Then Liverpool played a scoreless draw today with Manchester United.  This means that City is still top, but level on points with Arsenal.  Tottenham is a point behind them and Liverpool is 2 points back.
  2. How will Barcelona respond? – The answer is good but it does not help that all of the top 6 in Spain won this weekend.  Barcelona took the lead thanks to Rafinha.  He would double the score just 15 minutes later.  Suarez would put the game out of reach just before halftime.  Then Leo Messi came on in the second half and with his third touch of the game, he scored the fourth and final goal.  This means that Barcelona got back to winning ways and is feeling good ahead of Pep’s return this week.  However, they are still 2 points back from the Madrid clubs.  Atletico Madrid put 7 past Granada and Real Madrid scored 6 against Betis.  Barcelona is in need of some help if they are to get back to the top of the table.\
  3. Can Ingolstadt or Hamburger get their first win of the season? – While neither team was able to get their first win of the season, Hamburger was able to get their second point of the season and move off the bottom of the table.  Hamburger went to Monchengladbach and drew 0-0.  This is their second draw of the season.  Ingolstadt gave up two first half goals to Koln and that pretty much sealed the defeat for them.  They were able to get a late consolation goal.   Both teams will turn their sights to next weekend.  Hamburger gets to host Eintracht Frankfurt.  Frankfurt is in 8th place on the table.  Ingolstadt hosts the high flying Borussia Dortmund.  This could be a tough weekend in the season for both of these teams.
  4. Will we ever see another close Serie A campaign? – Maybe next year.  Juventus got another victory this weekend and is now 5 points clear having just lost 1 game this season.  Napoli was second before the weekend and is now 5th thanks to their 3-1 defeat against Roma.  Roma jumped to 2nd thanks to the win but they are still a way off Juventus.  The race for the other Champions League places is going to be interesting.  The distance between 2nd and 8th is just 3 points.  This is what will be worth watching as the season goes on.  AC Milan seems to have righted the ship as they are in third place now.  Juventus looks set for another Scudetto this season but there is always hope.
  5. Can PSG respond to Nice and Toulouse winning already this weekend? – The answer is yes.  PSG got two first half goals from Moura and Cavani.  This put the game out of reach, however, Diarra would pull Nancy one back but it was not enough.  PSG would get the win and move into 2nd place.  They are 4 points behind Nice and level on points with Monaco.  This sets up an interesting weekend next weekend as Monaco host Montpellier first.  Then Nice travels to Metz and finally PSG hosts Marseille.  This could be the weekend that PSG reclaims the top spot in the league as they seem to be settling into good form.

Score Update

Me – 68 (8)

Brad –42 (4)

Games to Watch This Week

Tuesday – Lyon vs. Juventus – Lyon France will host the game to watch on Tuesday.  Juventus is on top of the group table with a win and a draw so far this campaign as they defeated Dinamo and drew with Sevilla.  Lyon meanwhile defeated Dinamo but lost against Sevilla.  A win for either team could be the difference between advancing and going home early.

Wednesday – Barcelona vs. Manchester City – Pep returns to the Camp Nou this week as he brings Manchester City to Barcelona.  His City side has failed to win in their last 3 games.  Now they face a Barcelona team that will be looking to make a statement.  Can Pep get 3 points in his old home or will Barcelona send a reminder to the rest of the world?

Thursday – Manchester United vs. Fenerbache – Manchester United will look to get their second win in the Europa League this week as they host Fenerbache.  The Turkish side is top of the table so far following their victory over Feyenoord and their draw with Zorya.  Manchester United defeated Zorya last time out after losing to Feyenoord in the opening round.  United will be in need of 3 points this week.

Week 8

  1. Will we have a new team on top of the Premier League? – Manchester City suffered their first loss of the season last time out and they now have 3 teams hot on their heels. Tottenham and Liverpool have won 4 games in a row and are now within 1 and 2 points respectively. Arsenal has won 5 in a row and is now 2 points back.  These three teams are all playing great football and are hopeful that they can all be in the title hunt this season.  This weekend, Manchester City faces a tough opponent in Everton.  If they drop points, it will open the door.  Arsenal host Bob Bradley’s Swansea in the first game to ever have an American manager.  Tottenham travels to West Brom this weekend.  Liverpool hosts Manchester United in the biggest game of the weekend.  Will Manchester City slip up and give us a new top team in England?
  2. How will Barcelona respond? – Last time out, Barcelona fell to a 4-3 defeat to Celta Vigo. They played horribly and looked like a team that was not interested. This weekend they face Deportivo La Coruna.  They will be expected to come away with an easy victory.  Jordi Alva and Seri Roberto are both out injured so look for Vidal and Digne to fill in.  Umtiti and Messi have returned to training this weekend.  This is going to be a big game for Barcelona as any more dropped points and they might find the hole too big to climb out of.
  3. Can Ingolstadt or Hamburger get their first win of the season? – Every team in the Bundesliga has won at least 1 of their first 6 games this season except Ingolstadt and Hamburger. Both of these teams do have a point as they drew against each other in the first game of the season. They have each lost their last 5 games.  This weekend will be another chance for one of these teams to move off the bottom and up the table.  Ingolstadt has a tough trip to Koln this weekend and Hamburger travels to Monchengladbach.  If these two fail to come away with any points this weekend, then they risk being left behind by the rest of the league.
  4. Will we ever see another close Serie A campaign? – It seems like Juventus is extremely superior to the rest of the Italian teams. They have run away with the league the last couple of years and all signs are pointing towards another title for Juventus. Through 7 games, Juventus have only lost 1 game so far and are 4 points above Napoli in second place.  They have conceded only 4 goals this season and scored 15.  Both are the best in the league so far.  This weekend, they face Udinese.  They will be favored by a lot and expected to come away with all 3 points.  This will be crucial since their nearest rivals face off with each other.  A draw between Napoli and Roma could almost end the title race right now if Juve wins.
  5. Can PSG respond to Nice and Toulouse winning already this weekend? – Nice defeated Lyon 2-0 today and Toulouse came up with a massive victory over Monaco. This means that Nice now sits atop the table 4 points above Monaco and 5 points above Toulouse. PSG is the last team in the top 4 to play this weekend and they are in need of a win as they sit 7 points behind Nice.  If they are going to win the league again then they will need to turn their form around quickly.  Nice seems to be the real deal as they are undefeated this season.  PSG has lost 2 games this season.  They are in fourth and in need of a turnaround.  PSG travels to Nancy this weekend.  Nancy are on the bottom of the table and should give PSG a chance to move up the table.

5 Games to Watch This Weekend

Liverpool vs. Manchester United – The Northwest Derby takes place this weekend and Jose Mourinho will be looking to get his side going with a marquee win over his new rivals Liverpool.  Jurgen Klopp will look to continue their run of 4 wins in a row.  This has to be the biggest game of the weekend and all eyes will be on Anfield on Monday.

My Pick – Liverpool 2, United 2: Goals by Coutinho, Mane, Ibrahimovic, and Rashford
Brad’s Pick – Liverpool 2, United 3: Goals by Firmino, Mane, Ibrahimovic, Rashford, and Mata

Villarreal vs. Celta Vigo – This game really intrigues me as a fan of the Spanish Liga.  These are two teams that could in the future really make a claim at being consistently being around the top 4.  I think that Celta is a team that could rise up and become the next big club in Spain.  Celta is coming off their win against Barcelona and having gone unbeaten in their last 4, winning 3 in a row.  Villarreal is unbeaten for the season having won 3 and drawn 4 games.  While these are 5 spots apart in the table, they are only 3 points apart.  Look for the winner to be in the conversation for a Champions League place.

My Pick – Villarreal 2, Celta 1: Goals by Sansone, Pato, and Aspas
Brad’s Pick – Villarreal 1, Celta 2: Goals by Castillejo, Sisto, and Wass

Wolfsburg vs. Leipzig – Leipzig are one of the more intriguing teams in the league this season.  They have come into the league with big aspirations and a bad reputation.  They have had a meteoric rise up the leagues.  Leipzig are unbeaten this season and sit in 5th place.  This is the first time that they face Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.  Wolfsburg have had a rough season so far as they have only won 1 game so far this season.  They are a talented team that will hope to end Leipzig’s unbeaten season this weekend.

My Pick – Wolfsburg 1, Leipzig 2: Goals by Draxler, Werner, and Forsberg
Brad’s Pick – Wolfsburg 1, Leipzig 1: Goals by Draxler and Werner

Napoli vs. Roma – This weekend sees the second place team host the third place team in Italy and both teams are in desperate need of a victory if they are going to stay in the race for the Scudetto.  Right now Napoli is 4 points behind Juventus and Roma is 5 points back.  Napoli are without Arkadiusz Milik who got injured over the international break.  How they are able to replace him will have a great impact on this game.

My Pick – Napoli 2, Roma 1: Goals by Gabbiadini, Callejon, and Salah
Brad’s Pick – Napoli 2, Roma 3: Goals by Callejon, Hamsik, Dzeko (2), and Salah

Stade Rennais vs. Bordeaux – This weekend we focus on the 6th and 7th place teams in Ligue 1.  Bordeaux and Rennes are 2 of 4 teams that have 13 points so far.  A win this weekend will put either one of these two teams right into the mix for a European place.  Rennes has a long list of injuries and suspensions but might get Gourcuff back this weekend.  Rennes are perfect at home but this might be the end of that run.

My Pick – Rennes 1, Bordeaux 1: Goals by Sio and Menez
Brad’s Pick – Rennes 1, Bordeaux 0: Goal by Andre

A Look Back at Week 7

  1. Can West Ham put an end to their 4 game losing skid? – The answer is yes and no. West Ham did not get all three points this weekend, but they did end their 4 game losing streak. In the second half, Middlesbrough took the lead thanks to Christian Stuani just 6 minutes into the half. The lead did not last very long as Dimitri Payet leveled the scored just 6 minutes later. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. This game earned West Ham their 4th point of the season. West Ham remains in the bottom 3 of the table and has only won 1 game all season. After the international break, West Ham has a trip across London to face Crystal Palace and then a home game against Sunderland. Pressure will surely only be mounting on Slaven Bilic. The home game against Sunderland is surely a must win.
  2. Can Real Madrid get back to winning ways in the league? –  Gareth Bale earned a point for Real Madrid. This weekend they faced a tough Eibar side that has a fantastic defense. Eibar took the lead in the 6th minute thanks to Fran Rico.  That lead did not last long as Gareth Bale leveled the score thanks to the assist from Ronaldo.  That was all the scoring in the game and it would earn Real Madrid their third draw in a row in the league.  It has allowed Atletico Madrid to catch them in the table. They did do better than their rivals Barcelona who suffered a 4-3 defeat at Celta Vigo. They conceded 3 goals in 11 minutes in the first half and that was pretty much the game. They had a strong comeback in the second half, but a horrible mistake gave Celta their 4th and put the game just out of reach.  They are now in 4th, 2 points behind the Madrid clubs.
  3. Is France becoming one of the better title races? –  This weekend only made it better as Nice, Monaco, and PSG all won this weekend plus Lyon won to move up to fifth just 3 points now behind PSG in third. Nice defeat Lorient thanks to Mario Balotelli.  Balotelli scored the go ahead goal in the 86th minute.  Balotelli took his shirt off to earn a yellow and then in the 93rd minute got sent off for arguing with the official.  PSG defeated Bordeaux thanks to two first half goals by Edinson Cavani. Monaco might have had the best weekend as they put 7 past Metz. Nice and Monaco are within a point and PSG is just 4 points behind Nice. The question is can Nice and Monaco keep it up?
  4. Mauro Icardi is lighting up the Serie A – Mauro remains the top scorer in the league but he was caught this weekend. Mauro enter the weekend with 6 goals from 6 games and he did not score as his Inter side fell 2-1 to Roma. In terms of the top scorers, Mauro did not score this weekend but his rivals did. Carlos Bacca scored from the penalty spot to help Milan come back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 over Sassuolo. More interestingly, Gonzalo Higuain scored twice this weekend to help Juventus defeat Empoli 3-0. After the international break, it will be interesting to see it Mauro can pick his great form back up as Inter will need his help.  They have dropped to 9th thanks to their defeat. Juventus did pick up some points at the top thanks to Atalanta defeating Napoli 1-0.
  5. How long can Bayern go unbeaten this season? –  They are still undefeated after this weekend, but they have now dropped points. They drew 1-1 with Koln this weekend in a very good game.  Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern a first half lead. In the second half, Anthony Modeste leveled the score and kept both teams unbeaten so far this season. However, Bayern did pick up points on Dortmund as Dortmund fell 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen. This defeat for Dortmund means that Hertha Berlin is now in second just 3 points behind Bayern. Hertha defeated Hamburger 2-0 this weekend. They are a point above Dortmund, Koln, and Leipzig (the other unbeaten team). While it was not the weekend that Munich would have hoped for in terms of their match, they do maintain their spot on top and are still unbeaten.

Week 7

  1. Can West Ham put an end to their 4 game losing skid? – After winning their first game in the Olympic stadium, the wheels have fallen off for the Hammers. They have lost 4 straight and are now in the relegation zone. After a fantastic first season under Slavan Bilic, the goals were just a little bit higher this season especially with their brand new stadium. The season started with a defeat on the road but then West Ham were able to win their opener in the London Stadium. Since that opening 1-0 win against Bournemouth, they have thrown away a 2 goal lead and conceded 7 goals in two games at home. They have conceded a total of 11 goals in their last 3 games. The goals have also dried up as they have only scored 7 goals all season, including 2 each in back to back 4-2 defeats. This week they host Middlesbrough as they look for their second win of the season. Middlesbrough has had their own troubles this season as they are in the middle of a three game losing streak themselves. Can West Ham right the ship or is Bilic on his way out soon?
  2. Can Real Madrid get back to winning ways in the league? – Los Blancos are on top of the league right now as they are 1 of three teams that have not suffered defeat this season, but they have drawn their last 2 games in the league. Zidane will hope to turn that all around this weekend as they return home to face Eibar. Eibar has been a tough team this season, winning 3 of their opening 6 games and only conceding 1 goal per game on average. Real Madrid, on the other hand, is averaging 2.5 goals per game. This is a game that will feature one of the best offensive teams and a strong defensive team. Eibar will set up to defend first and then counter Real Madrid. They have been good at that as they have defeated Valencia and Real Sociedad and drawn with Sevilla despite being down 2 men.  Real Madrid will be heavy favorites this weekend but 3 points is not for sure.
  3. Is France becoming one of the better title races? – It has been a while since we have been able to say that we are not sure who is going to win the French race. I am not sure if that means that this title race is going to be good or if another team will run away with it, but it seems like it could be a good one. PSG has lost twice this season already and they sit outside of the Champions League places right now. Lyon is down in 9th place and looks to be struggling since Alexandre Lacazette got injured. Nice is on top of the table as they are the only team that is still unbeaten in the league. Monaco sits in second just 1 point behind Nice. In fact, the top 7 teams are all within 5 points of each other. This is shaping up to be a great season in Ligue 1.
  4. Mauro Icardi is lighting up the Serie A – The Inter frontman has scored 6 goals in the first 6 games of the season. Inter has scored 8 goals all season. That is 75% of the goals scored by Icardi. In fact, he has scored the same amount of goals as Inter has conceded this season. Inter has started the season very well as they have 11 points so far and are currently in third place. Mauro Icardi is showing the world how good he can be and if he is able to keep this up, then he might be able to return Inter to their past glories and back into the Champions League. This weekend, Inter face off with Roma who are also looking to compete for a spot in the Champions League. This should be a great game and it will be interesting to see if Icardi can keep up his 1 goal a game average.
  5. How long can Bayern go unbeaten this season? – Carlo Ancelotti is having a dream start to the Bundesliga as his Bayern side has a perfect 5 wins from 5 so far and this weekend they face off with Koln, the only other unbeaten team in the Bundesliga. Bayern are on top of the table and have a 3 point lead on Dortmund and a 4 point lead on Koln. They have scored an average of 3 goals a game and conceded just once all season. Lewandowski has scored 5 goals this season. They are the strongest side in the country and will look to make a long run unbeaten this season. They face Koln this weekend and then Eintracht Frankfurt, Monchengladbach, Augsburg, and Hoffenheim before their November 19th showdown in Dortmund. Can they make it to that game? Will they make it past that game? It should be interesting to watch, especially if they survive this weekend.

The Score After The Midweek Games

Me – 60 (2)
Brad – 38 (1)

5 Games to Watch This Weekend

Tottenham vs. Manchester City – The final two unbeaten teams in the Premier League meet in London this weekend. They both are coming off midweek Champions League games in which Tottenham traveled to Moscow and earned 3 points, meanwhile Manchester City traveled to Glasgow and drew 3-3 with Celtic. City has been dominating in the league and will hope to continue their domination this weekend. Harry Kane is still missing with an injury for Tottenham. Kevin De Bruyne and Kompany are out injured with Nolito missing the game due to his three match ban.

My Pick – Tottenham 1, City 2: Heung-Min, Aguero, Sterling

Real Madrid vs. Eibar – The defending European Champions are looking to get back to winning ways this weekend as they host Eibar. Real Madrid has won 5 games against Eibar in a row including 4-0 and 2-0 last season. This season they will look to continue that streak. Casemiro and Marcelo are out for Real Madrid and Galvez is out for Eibar. That will be a big miss for Eibar. I think Galvez might be the difference in the game and give Real Madrid their first win in the last 3 La Liga games.

My Pick – Madrid 2, Eibar 0: Benzema, Ronaldo, and Leon

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund – In what has to be the undercard to the battle between Munich and Koln, these two teams will meet in Leverkusen. Dortmund is currently in second place just 3 points behind Bayern Munich. They can catch Munich if they slip up this weekend. Leverkusen started slowly and will be looking to right the ship this weekend. Bellarabi, Yurchenko, and Pohjanpalo are out for Leverkusen. For Dortmund the list is quite long. They are without Reus, Bender, Durm, Subotic, Bartra, and Joo-Ho.

My Pick – Leverkusen 1, Dortmund 2: Chicarito, Aubameyang, and Dembele

Roma vs. Inter – Inter are one of the hottest teams in the league right now as they are unbeaten since the first weekend of the season. They are lead by Mauro Icardi who has scored 6 goals this season and Perisic has the other 2 goals for Inter. Roma meanwhile have slumped lately losing 2 of their last 3. They had ambitions of winning the league this year but they will need to turn around their current form. Rudiger, Rui, and Vermaelen are out injured for Roma. Inter is without Andreolli, but Joao Mario is a doubt.

My Pick – Roma 3, Inter 2: Perotti, Dzeko, Salah, Icardi, and Perisic

Lyon vs. Saint-Etienne – The Derby Rhone-Alpes takes place this weekend as Lyon host Saint-Etienne. Both clubs have a long history in Ligue 1 and against each other. Most seasons they are both in and around the top 3 of the Ligue 1. This season has not gone as planed so far. Lyon’s leading scorer is Alex Lacazette and Lyon’s form reflects the lost of Lacazette. They are also without Gonalons and Yanga-Mbiwa due to suspension and Grenier and Jallet through injury. Etienne also has a long injury list with Perrin, Polomat, M’Bengue, Saivet, Lemoine, Pogba, and Gabriel all out. Three points will go a long way for both teams.

My Pick – Lyon 2, Etienne 1: Fekir, Cornet, and Beric