Motherwell started out the season with 2 straight losses against Rangers and St Johnstone which saw them sitting at the bottom of the table until they have revitalized themselves with 3 straight victories on the trot at home in front of their home fans. The struggles they have had defensively has been the reason for their poor start of the season, conceding in 7 out of their 11 games played. Motherwell form in front of the net is excellent scoring in all 11 games played this season, and they will aim to replicate that form as they seek the opportunity to move into the next round of the Scotland League Cup. Their goal scoring efforts have been led by Moult who has scored 5 goals in the league and 2 in the league cup till now; and he will look to continue on that rich vein of form tonight.
German Bundesliga : Hamburger vs Borussia Dortmund
20th September 2017 – Kickoff 20:30
Both teams started their season with two wins in a row, but since then Hamburger has suffered two defeats and dropped to the middle of the table, while Borussia played one draw and won again and they are currently the leaders with ten points. The sides are separated by four points in the standings. Both sides suffered another defeat where Hamburger lost in the Cup while Borussia at the start of the Champions League.
The return of Julian Weigl is a huge boost for Borussia Dortmund. The promising midfielder has been out of action through injury, making his first senior appearances as a second-half substitute against FC Köln.
Peter Bosz confirmed that Marc Bartra, André Schürrle, and Mario Götze all trained “to a limited extent” on Monday, with the latter of Dortmund’s three returning stars in contention for a place in die Schwarzgelben’s squad.
For Hamburger SV, Nicolai Müller and Filip Kostic’s absence from their hosting of Dortmund will seriously hinder the ability to attack the visitors. Centre-back Rick van Drongelen, signed from Sparta Rotterdam for £2.7m in the summer, is also missing for Markus Gisdol’s side.
AC Milan have been rocking this year so far after their huge amount of investment in players and now they sit in 5th spot 3 points behind Inter Milan in 3rd. Milan have spent money in signing players like The 200+ Million of investment had helped them sign players like Nikola Kalinic, Andre Silva, Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Mussachio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Andrea Conti and Ricardo Rodriguez shows how serious the new Chinese owners are to get back Milan to the glory days. Milan have managed to grind out a few victories in recent weeks beating Udinese 2-1 and Austria Vienna 5-1 in the Europa League; showcasing how slowly the team is adjusting themselves together. Milan’s only blemish was a fantastic counter attacking display that they got hammered at the hands of Lazio by losing 4-1; but other than that they are developing into a strong team that should challenge for the 4th Europa League spot.
Schalke opened the season with a bit surprising victory at home over Leipzig, but then suffered defeat away to Hannover with a narrow result, however bounced back in a positive way after international break. They firstly won at home over Stuttgart 3:1, but also recorded their first victory on the road, last Saturday afternoon when the side won over Werder Bremen 1:2.
Their opponents opened the game a bit better and took the lead in 20th minute with a goal from Sane, but the visitors were a bit lucky too since they managed to level up the result just two minutes later via an own goal. However, players of Schalke proved to be much more concrete in the second halftime and were willing to risk a bit more towards the end, scoring the precious goal via Goretzka in 83rd minute. The team is now sharing the third position with Bayern Munich, being just a point below first placed duo from Dortmund and Hannover.
Schalke should be playing in 3-4-2-1 formation with Burgstaller as central striker, plus Harit and Konoplyanka as his offensive support. Offensive midfielder Alessandro Schopf (3/1) is doubtful but with chances to play.
Leicester City have been struggling so far this campaign in the Premier League with 1 victory, 3 losses and a solitary draw from their 5 games played so far; while they romped to a 4-1 victory away to Sheffield United. Now with Champions League agenda not in their hand, they will aim to have a good cup run. Manager Shakespeare will be tempted to rotate the squad especially since they play Liverpool twice in a span of 4 days. Players like Slimani, Musa, Iheanacho, Ulloa, Amartey, Gray, King, Chilwell, Huth and Jakupovic should get a good run out in this encounter ahead of their game on the weekend. Leicester City managed to score in 5 out of the 6 competitive fixtures they have played which should mean they could find the back of the net with such talented attacking players at their disposal and in front of their home fans. The fact that they have conceded in 5 out of 6 games played; showcasing their vulnerability at the back for a team like Liverpool to attack.
Juventus have a lot of wrongs to right after their poor performance in mid-week against Barcelona that saw them lose by a score of 3-0. Juventus steel at the back hasn’t been the same since Bonucci had left the club with no solid re-enforcements to back up. The one solid start that Juventus have done so far is on the offensive end. Prior to the Barcelona game, they have managed to rack up an average of 3 goals per game to start of the campaign in Italy; and will be aiming to replicate that form tonight against Sassuolo in Serie A. Dybala, Higuaín and Manduzkic have gotten off to a good start netting 8 goals among them; Dybala in particular has already netted 5. Juventus have also strengthened with the likes of Bernadeschi, Matuidi and Costa being added to their midfield lineup to lend creativity up front.
Hibernian have started out the season well after returning to the Premiership with a good start in their 5 games, winning 2, drawing 2 and losing just 1 game. Hibernian have been in great scoring form to start the campaign netting a goal in 9 out of their 10 competitive fixtures to date including in the Scottish League Cup. Simon Murray (10 goals) and Anthony Stokes (6 goals) have been leading the line for Hibs to start out the campaign and their success in front of goal has actually helped them in their early season form. Defensively, they’ve shown signs of struggled leaking goals in all 5 of their Premier League encounters played until now.
Aue barely escaped the relegation last season in second tier of German football and looking at their results during the preparational period, it was obvious that the side will be having difficulties again. However start into the new season wasn’t that bad for now, as the team has seven points in five rounds which might be a bit above expectations.
Still, there is no room for excitement or anything like that, since everyone knows that the season is more than long. In the most recent game, players of Aue managed to surprise and come with a three pointer on the road to Ingolstadt, playing very smart and being very concrete with the ball to their feet. Kopke brought them into the lead in 15th minute, while the hosts had more of the ball possession and were searching for an equalizer, but the guests scored second at the start of repetition via Bertram, while the players of Ingolstadt only managed to reduce the deficit in 84th via Lezcano, being without enough time to respond further.
Home team continues to miss midfielder Adler who is long term absentee and without performing so far in the season. Defender Hertner (5/0) is doubtful for this one, same as midfielder Soukou (2/1).
Vitesse didn’t manage to get the title of Dutch Super Cup as they suffered defeat to Feyenoord only after penalty kicks series, however their start in the new season can be described as very good since the team has three victories and one defeat in first four rounds, standing currently at second position sharing with few more teams that position and being three points off from leaders from Feyenoord.
They have opened Eredivisie season with victories over Breda and Roda, then defeat in front of own fans against AZ Alkmaar came, but the side reacted perfectly well after the international break with a 3:0 victory over Excelsior. It was perfectly deserved victory for the players of Vitesse, who stood on the field as a way more mature side and took the lead in 45th minute via Castaignos. With a second goal added in 53rd from the penalty kick via Matavz, they played even more openly and secured the victory with a goal from Linssen in 74th minute, while their opponents did almost nothing in attack.
Defender Kruiswijk (3/0) is injured, same as midfielder Serero (3/0). Midfielder Ali is doubtful for this one.
Tottenham hadn’t enjoyed a great season at Wembley last season losing 2 out of their 3 games in their temporary home in football. This season in Wembley also didn’t start out too well either with Tottenham failing to get a victory in a single game so far this season. While Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen have started out in good early season form with goals and assists to kick start their campaign off in good form. Tottenham’s solid 3-0 victory against Everton on this weekend, should give them plenty of confidence to find the back of the net in this game. Defensively, Tottenham have showed signs of cracks with the wider pitch at Wembley seeing the wingers of the oppositions get in behind them to put in crosses and score goals behind them much like Alonso, Brady and Moses did in their games against them.