Montenegro didn’t look like having big chances to get back into the race for the qualifying ticket, but thanks to three latest victories they have improved the situation now and this match now comes as probably the most important one so far in the qualifiers. Poland is leading the table with three points more than Denmark and Montenegro, so the hosts surely can’t afford to lose in this one.
Moreover, they will be visiting Poland in the last round, so in case of winning both matches, they even have a chance to end up first in the end and earn a direct ticket. However, nobody is thinking about that, since they firstly need to get a victory over Denmark, in order to keep their chances high – even if not, they are still competing for the play-off stage via second position. In the last match played, Montenegro won over Romania narrowly at home 1:0, but are overall in a decent form having two more consecutive victories, over Kazakhstan and Armenia.
Forward Fatos Beciraj (49/9) is suspended for this, while the team won’t count at recently called-up goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic (39/0), defender Marko Basa (39/2), midfielders Nebojsa Kosovic (4/0) and Marko Bakic (11/0) and forward Mirko Vucinic (46/17).
Walsall didn’t look well last time out, as the side suffered 2:0 defeat on the road against Wigan in eleventh round of League One on Saturday afternoon. They weren’t expected to get something out of the match, but the team was really limited to a passive role and couldn’t do many important things in offense.
On the other side, players of Wigan looked way better and more dominant, scoring a goal via Grigg in each halftime, second one from penalty for completely deserved and expected victory overall. This was their first defeat after four official matches, as the side continues to be in the second part of the table, at the moment at thirteenth position, with four points more than relegating worried sides. They are playing way better at home and need to get something here in order to stay competition for the knockout stage. Rotation is surely expected.
Sporting made their first setback in the season last time out, but surely having their Champions League game against Barcelona in their heads, as they took just a point in a 1:1 draw away to Moreirense last Saturday evening. They had much more of the ball possession but didn’t move the ball that well in attack, with the home team remaining far more dangerous in attack.
Hosts took the lead in 42nd minute via Costa, however Sporting responded via an own goal in 60th minute, tried to attack later on, but couldn’t actually create real goalscoring chances. They are now two points behind Porto at the table and can only get back to the leading position in case of a victory here. As for Champions League, they suffered narrow defeat at home against Barcelona 0:1 with an own goal and will have hell of a task to progress further in group together with Juventus and Olympiakos as two other opponents.
Hosts should be playing in 4-4-1-1 formation with Dost as central striker, plus Fernandes as central offensive midfielder behind him. Forward Seydou Doumbia (3/0) picked up injury against Barcelona and misses this one. Forward Daniel Podence has problem with finger and remains doubtful.
Eupen actually gave a good fight last weekend away from home against Mouscron and had the lead at the end of the first halftime but still stood defeated in the end with 3:2 result. Hosts took the lead via Govea in 35th minute, while the visitors responded well and deservedly reverted the scoreline till the halftime whistle via goals from Tirpan and Leye.
They weren’t looking that bad in the second halftime either, but their defensive lineup simply needs to improve in order to avoid the relegation battle, as the hosts somehow easily reached the three pointer via an own goal in 53rd and Bolingi in 69th minute. Eupen now stands second from the bottom with four points earned in first eight rounds, which is two more than rock bottom placed Oostende. Knowing that all four points were earned in front of own fans, there is no other option for them but to try to attack here.
Midfielder Abdelkarim Fadlalla (1/0) is probably out for this one, same as injured forward Eric Ocansey (6/1).
Schalke host Leverkusen in this game with a poor run of 2 straight losses in their last 2 games to Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim without even scoring a goal. They had conceded 5 goals in that time and have yet to build on their 3 wins that they started out the season with. Defensively they have conceded in 5 out of their 6 games played so far, which has seen their struggles particularly multiple in the last game. Schalke will come into this encounter relying on the likes of Burgstaller, Konoplyanka, Di Santo, Embolo to try and get back to their scoring form that they have struggled on.
Lyon come into this encounter after suffering some struggles in recent weeks with 3 games on the trot without a victory they drew 1-1 in the last round against Apollon, followed by a 2-0 defeat to PSG and then a 3-3 draw with Dijon. Lyon lost their top striker Lacazette in the off-season but have supplanted their strike force Mariano Diaz and Bertrand Traore to aid the likes of Fekir and Depay in their efforts to find the back of the net. While it is an important competition, the defensive liabilities and possible rotation will see Lyon looking vulnerable at the defensive end and would likely to concede in this encounter.
PSG vs Bayern, UEFA Champions League
Date: 27th September 2017 Kickoff Time: 20:45 CET
An interesting clash where the Qatar investment will be proven to be successful or not. With Mbappe, Neymar, PSG are expected as the second candidat after Real Madrid to be champion, even their best result is only going to quarter-final. They are expected to beat Bayern Muchen in 2nd round of the group phase.
German side are in 2nd year under management of Ancelotti and they seem to be much weaker than recent years. Ancelotti set Ribery and Robben back to main squad, the veterans who passed the top of performance from a couple of years. This summer he pushed younger name on loan as Sanches and Costa, and bring James from Real Madrid. So I don’t think he is expert on transfer, not only this summer but also from when he worked for Chelsea or Real Madrid. Bayern lost a lot of power and motivation and I think the empire of Ancelotti will come to an end soon.
Basel is having far away from a positive season so far and they can be really thankful that the side managed to get the direct placement to the group stage of Champions League, otherwise is a huge question mark whether they would be playing in it in case the side had to play additional Champions League qualifying rounds.
They couldn’t do much more in the first round of Champions League since the side visited in-form Manchester United and suffered 3:0 defeat, while despite everything, they have a chance of reaching the knockout stage, since the group isn’t that strong with Benfica and CSKA Moscow who are probably bit better this season, but can be played with. As for the domestic league, they come from a 1:0 narrow home victory over Zurich, standing now third at the table with six points less than leaders from Zurich and a four victories, two draws and three defeats record for now having first victory after four winless rounds.
They should be playing in 3-4-3 formation with Oberlin, Wolfswinkel and Steffen as forwards. Offensive midfielder Mohamed Elyounoussi (7/1) is injured, same as veteran goalkeeper Germano Vailati who anyway didn’t perform much lately. Midfielder Omar Gaber (1/0) is also out.
Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid , UEFA Champions League
Date: 26th September 2017 Kickoff Time: 20:45 CET
Borussia have been looking pretty solid in their domestic championship, winning all games except draw with Freiburg. That 0:0 draw was a surprising one since Freiburg played with a man down sice 29th minute, but then they went on to lose in London against Tottenham. However, they bounced back perfectly, having won next three games with a goal difference 14:1. They beat Koln, HSV and Monchengladbach in the last game. It`s needless to say that Dortmund were in complete control, and with three goals from Aubameyang, two from Philipp and one from Weigl, they recorded their biggest win of the season. Hosts are coming here without injured Durm, Guerreiro, Reus and Schmelzer, while Rode and Schurrle are questionable.
Liverpool haven’t necessary had it all their way so far this season with them managing to get their first victory in 5 games by beating Leicester City in the encounter on the weekend which needed a total team effort especially going forward. Liverpool have been extremely entertaining offensively and managed to find the back of the net in 8 out of 10 competitive games played by them this season. They have relied on the likes of Salah, Mane, Firmino, Coutinho and Can to get most of their goals this season; and a strong showing from them will be required in order for Liverpool to get into a winning position. Defensively, Liverpool are shambolic and haven’t strengthened in this area this season having now conceded in 8 out of their last 10 games including in 5 straight games.