Stoke are really playing bad, after losing at Old Trafford against Manchester United 3:0 now they will host Huddersfield at home. Huddersfield are coming off a big defeat to West Ham conceding 4 goals in a 1:4 home loss to Hammers. Huddersfield received only 1 yellow card in that 1:4 trashing with only Smith getting in the ref’s notepad. They were way too soft against West Ham and that costed them, a lot.
Now they will meet Stoke that lost last 4 games and also are not getting too many bookings, both of these teams should up their aggression in this game. Both Stoke and Huddersfield are in bad positions and coming off big defeats. Stoke must play sharper and show some passion at long last. Line for Huddersfield is too high and hosts are only set on 2 bookings for big odds, more than possible in this poor situation and losing streak. Tensions are high and supporters will expect more from Stoke.
Hertha Berlin and Borusia Dortmund will go head to head on Friday night for the Bundesliga week opener, where the new Borusia Dortmund coach Peter Stoger, will try to get back to wining ways away from home at the German Capital.
The host are placed 11th in the table after 18 games played with 24 points. They will enter this match after ending their three unbeaten streak last week being beaten 1-0 by Stuttgart. While the visitors are placed fourth in the table with 29 points they have gone now on three unbeaten streak with the new coach.
Even though the visitors have now three games being unbeaten, but starting 2018 with goalless draw at home against Wolfsburg was not the start they have been looking for and would be considered as disappointing start for BVB.
The visitors will travel to the German Capital without Guerreiro and Marko Reus due to injuries. While Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who missed last weekend’s clash for “disciplinary reasons”, has not travelled with the team, but, with Gotze, Kagawa, Yormolenko and Pulisic, Dortmund have plenty of forces on the attack.
Atletico Madrid didn’t look that well last time out previous Saturday evening but the side managed to take a narrow 1:0 victory away from home against Getafe and record their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions (two victories in Copa del Rey and two in LaLiga).
Only goal was scored back in 27th minute via Gameiro, as the guests looked better in the first halftime and took the lead deservedly, however stood more and more passive as the time was progressing, finally managing to pull out a three pointer in a bit to passive game style for their standards.
The side continues being second at the table having nine points less than league leaders from Barcelona, but also having already eleven points more than out of Champions League fifth placed Villarreal. As for the Cope del Rey competition, there’s no reason for them to calculate anymore since we are already close to the competition’s ending.
First choice goalkeeper Oblak (19/0) is unavailable for this one, same as defenders Vrsaljko (8/0) and Filipe Luis (12/1).
Monaco broke their winning run of six matches in all competitions with a goalless game away to Montpellier last weekend on Saturday evening. Must be said, the game looked like a balanced one but still the visitors were the ones who had more concrete chances.
If any of the side was to win the game, it would be the visiting, however the final result isn’t far from fair one. Hosts looked more dangerous in the first halftime, but the guests dominated the second however only a goal scored was missing.
After this setback, Monaco continues to be second at the table but now sharing the position with Lyon and having just a point more than fourth and out of Champions League zone placed Marseille – on the other hand, they are eleven points behind leaders from PSG.
Falcao should lead their attack in 4-2-3-1 formation with the help of Keita, Lemar and Diakhaby as offensive midfielders. Falcao is set to make a return here, while offensive midfielder Adama Traore (3/3) remains injured, as well as offensive Gabriel Boschilia (3/0) and midfielder Youri Tielemans (12/0). Forward Guido Carrillo is doubtful.
In 2018, Manchester United played two games, and won both, first over Everton in the championship of England, and then in the FA Cup against Dery County. Both matches ended with a score of 2:0. In the Premier League standings, Manchester United is on the second line, has 47 points in its credit.
For the upcoming game, Stoke City is preparing without a head coach, which further complicates the task Stoke. The management of the club until the last pulled with the dismissal of Mark Hughes, and now we have to wait for “the sea weather.” Meanwhile, for future guests the delay in the death is similar, because the “red and white” are in the relegation zone, in the piggy bank of the “potters” 20 points, 18th in the standings.
The team is winless in 4 games. Mark Hughes lost his job and the team now is in the hands of a caretaker with speculation still on for a permanent replacement. The last 2 results were really unacceptable. Stoke lost at home to Newcastle in relegation six-pointer which sent the team into the drop zone. The FA Cup defeat to a League 2 side Coventry further frustrated their fans. Add a few key injuries into the mix as Shawcross, Johnson and Jese likely to miss the game and Stoke’s chances are going from slim to almost nonexistent.
Bournemouth looks like they have found their goal scoring form of last season back as they have a total of seven goals in their last three games. They are deep in relegation battle and are just a lone point above Stoke who occupies the final relegation spot. They are unbeaten in their last three games however with two draws and a win and will seek to cause an upset here against an Arsenal team who are on the brink of crisis. Bournemouth will have to make do with a few absentees with Tyrone Mings being out for some time now, Jermain Defoe is injured as is Junior Stanislas and Joshua King will face a late fitness test.
Arsenal have only won once in six games and the fans are now tired of manager Arsene Wenger reign at the helm with reports that they have agreed for Carlo Ancelotti to take over in the summer. They are now five points behind the final champions league spot and could start losing grip on challenging for that position if they do not start picking up points soon. their are already calls from some supporter for them to do a Man United and put all effort in the Europa league as a means for silverware and a guaranteed spot to the Champions league. The future of star man Alexis Sanchez has been the subject of debate all week with a move to either of the Manchester clubs looking more likely than ever and even Mesut Ozil could be on the move if Alexis future is sorted.
It could be said that three weeks break came in the right moment for Leipzig, as the side suffered 2:3 home defeat against Hertha Berlin in most recent game, defeat that was their fourth game without a victory in Bundesliga, fifth game without a victory combined with Champions League game.
Their guests entered the game better, took the lead in fifth minute via Selke, staying with a man less already in next moments – however, remaining very threatening in attack via counter attacks, doubling up the lead via Kalou in 31st minute.
They even scored third in 51st again via Selke, while the hosts only managed to reduce the deficit via Orban and Halstenberg even though they have created much more and had much more of the ball possession. The side is now at fifth position with just two points less than second placed Schalke and surely aiming a victory here.
During the break, they had a friendly game against Dukla Prague which they won with a 2:0 result thanks to goals from Palacios-Martinez and Bruma one in each halftime.
Home team should be playing in 4-4-2 formation with Werner and Poulsen as forwards. Forward Timo Werner had some problems in previous days and maybe won’t be playing for full ninety minutes here. Offensive midfielder Emil Forsberg (12/1) and left back Marcel Halstenberg (15/2) both remain sidelined with injuries.
Fortuna Sittard are doing brilliantly at the moment and are hoping to secure that automatic promotion spot ahead of NEC. They are currently two points better of than NEC albeit having played a game more and will see this game as a must win to stay ahead of their rival. They have been playing some scintillating football at home averaging three home goals scored which is an outstanding feat. They are also in good form coming into this game with the sole blemish in six games being the 4-2 home loss to AZ Alkmaar in the cup. The remaining five games have all been high scoring wins. The team will not want to relax in this game especially since their opponents cannot get promoted, so, the momentum is with the home side for this game.
Jong Ajax have been playing in a quite well also and the 7-0 demolition of Volendam in the last round was impressive. They have been faltering a bit away from home in the last six rounds having lost three and drawn one in the six away games prior to this one. They are still a force to be reckoned with as they can up the ante when they need to as evidenced by the Volendam result.
Both teams are playing quite well, being the top scoring sides in the division and this games looks dead on for goals
Barcelona will face Celta Vigo in Camp Nou for 2nd leg Copa Del Rey after 1-1 result in 1st leg last week. This is Copa Del Rey match of two teams that at the moment are hard to predict.
Why I call this match is difficult to predict? Because we don’t know how Barcelona is going to approach this 2nd leg of match. In first leg they didn’t use Messi & Suarez, both of them weren’t even on the bench & Dembele only played as a subs. Are they going take this 2nd leg seriously now that they have a chance to go through to the next round or still play without Messi & Suarez & not even start Dembele? Who knows. However, Barcelona has confirmed their squad will be Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Digne, Vermaelen, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Paulinho, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Carles Aleñá, Suárez, Messi, Dembélé. So at least we know for sure Suarez, Messi & Dembele will feature in this game either in XI or on the bench. I think Barcelona will go with their strong XI.
Brno hosts Znojmo in their second match of the Tipsport league in which they are one of the hosts. It is the first match for the visiting team which play in second division. Znojmo is the 6`th team of the second division while Brno is the 12`th team of the Synot league and not playing that great. They already lost 9 matches in the league with only 4 wins so far. In this competition they will try to get some confidence back and playing at home will help. Brno won the first match 3:1 over Pardubice from second division.
This year we got 5 teams from the first league, 2 foreign teams, 8 teams from the second division and Prostejov as the leader of the third league. Of course the top teams are favorites for the trophy but often there are surprises. In this competition the emphasys is on scoring and the defense os often put in second place. So this is a highly goals scoring league and often we will ses games with 5+ goals which is no surprise because of the league difference.