Game Week : Previews

GameWeek 2  : EPL

Key Matches: The biggest clash of this round of matches is Manchester United vs. Chelsea. It’s been termed in the media as the battle between ‘’The Chosen One vs. The Special One’’. David Moyes’ difficult start to his Manchester United career pits him against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who is at the top of the table with 2 wins and 6 points. Arsenal suffered a defeat at the hands of Aston Villa at home last weekend, so they will like to put their season back-on-track but they face Fulham, who are always a difficult side to negotiate with on their home turf. Aston Villa’s performance against Arsenal last weekend and in the midweek against Chelsea, face Liverpool at Villa Park. The Reds were unconvincing in their home win against Stoke City, and now face a stern test against an in-form Villa side.

Team News: Against the backdrop of the underlying tensions between United and Chelsea over Wayne Rooney, David Moyes has indicated that the striker might start against the team that are trying really hard to buy him before the transfer window ends. Arsenal has only one fit central defender in the form of Per Mertesacker, so a make-shift back four with Barcary Sagna partnering Mertesacker, will face a stern test against the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz of Fulham.

Predictions: Expect a scored draw between Manchester United and Chelsea, both teams will cancel each other out. Arsenal should have enough to get a point at Craven Cottage, even with a make-shift back four. With Liverpool’s unconvincing performance at home against Stoke City and Aston Villa’s performances against Arsenal and Chelsea, expect Villa to get all three points against the Merseyside team.

GameWeek 2 :  La Liga

Key Matches: Everyone knows that la Liga has become a two-horse race between Barcelona and Real Madrid, so the margin of error for both the teams is minimal. Against this backdrop, Barcelona visits the Estadio La Rosaleda to take on Malaga, who performed admirably in last season’s Champions League. A draw for the top 2 is like a defeat and with Real Madrid facing lowly Granada; Barcelona is under pressure to get all three points. For large parts of last season, Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on the top 2. Can they perform at the same level and beat Rayo Vallecano at the Vicente Calderon?

Team News: Lionel Messi has a thigh injury, which flared up in the first leg of the Supercopa against Atletico Madrid. It is highly unlikely that we will see the Argentine in action this weekend. Fabregas will continue to take his place and expect Neymar to start for Barcelona.

Predictions: Malaga will give Barcelona a stern test but the latter has too much quality in their ranks to get all three points. Expect Real Madrid to get a comfortable win against Granada and Atletico to get all three points against Vallecano.

GameWeek 3 : Bundesliga

Key Matches: Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach can turn out to be a fascinating contest. Leverkusen finished 3rd in last season’s league standings and Monchengladbach is gunning for a Europa League spot. Hannover 96 and FC Schalke also promises to be a closely fought contest.

Team News: Look out for South Korean Heung-Min Son, the new signing at Leverkusen. His success with Hamburg last season led to suggestion that he can emulate the same influence that Andre Schurrle had at Leverkusen.

Predictions: Both the matches between, Leverkusen-Monchengladbach and Hannover-Schalke, will be hard fought contest but expect wins from Leverkusen and Schalke.

GameWeek 1  : Serie A 

Key Matches: This season’s Serie A can turn out to be one of the most memorable ones. With a number of teams strengthening and some world class players joining the ranks, after a long time a few curious eyes will turn to Serie A. With back-to-back titles, Juventus will be looking to make it three in a row. Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente have signed for them, which makes them a potent attacking threat. They face Sampdoria, away from home. Last season’s runners up, Napoli, sold their prized asset Edinson Cavani to PSG but has added Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol, José María Callejón and Pepe Reina to their ranks and looks like serious title contenders. They start their campaign against Chievo Verona. AC Milan will like to get back to the top this season. They have added the young talented Italian midfielder, Andrea Poli to their squad. They start their campaign against promoted team, Hellas Verona. The other Milan giant, Inter Milan would like to forget their last campaign, where they finished 9th in the league. They have made some significant additions to the squad in the form of midfielder Saphir Taider and forwards, Mauro Icardi and Ishak Belfodil. They start their campaign against Genoa, at the San Siro.

Team News: Napoli’s big spending already makes them the team to watch-out for and will be interesting to see how the likes of Higuain and Callejón combine. Expect Carlos Tevez to be a certain starter for Juventus.

Predictions: Juventus has a tricky start against Sampdoria and is hard to predict but expect wins from both the Milan teams and Napoli.

Goalden Times Editorial Team

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