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.
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.
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.
Scottish football tomorrow with the Old Firm Derby between Rangers and Celtic, the two Glasgow teams go head to head in a 12:00 kick off at Ibrox.
The home side have done very well in recent years and have managed to get back to the Premier League, where they rightly belong in my opinion. Scottish football is good to watch, especially when it involves Rangers or Celtic. The home side are currently in 3rd in the league and have 11 points from their first 6 games, this consists of 3 wins, 2 draws and a defeat. 5 out of the 6 league games Rangers have been involved with have finished with over 2.5 goals. The only game that didn’t ended 0-0 vs Hearts.
Rangers are an attacking side and have a decent squad this year. Are they capable of beating Celtic. I’m not sure they are just yet. This will be a heated game for sure and I expect a few tough tackles going in with it being these two sides.
Nordsjaelland come into his game sitting at the top of the Superligaen table with 6 wins from 9 games and aiming to continue their good run of scoring form heading into his encounter. While they have struggled to find a victory in their last 2 games, goals haven’t been hard to come by as they have seen themselves scoring 22 goals in just 9 games in the short season so far. With the scoring led by Asante (7 goals), Marcondes (6 goals) and Donyoh (5 goals); they have been on a roll in the scoring department. On the defensive end they have been poor conceding goals in 7 out of their 9 games played so far this season; which will give optimism to any team that are playing them.
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.
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.
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.