Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid (Brandon - @Alcxntara6)
The season’s first Madrid derby promises a spectacle. Both teams from Madrid are level on 23 points, with Real having the advantage in goal difference. Zidane’s squad have faced unexpected difficulties early in their season, but the omnipresent threat of Cristiano Ronaldo is a priceless boon to Los Blancos. A loss for Real could potentially see them fall 11 points off the top; thus, a win is imperative for the away side, less they want to see their title hopes further diminished. On the other hand, Atlético’s troubles have been in the Champions League, where their woeful campaign has left them barely afloat. Simeone’s attack has looked like a toothless tiger, with Antoine Griezmann devolving and currently being outscored by midfielder Thomas Partey. The game is the first capital derby at the Wanda Metropolitano, a stadium that hasn’t exactly improved Atléti’s condition in the short run. A win for either side could catalyze a turn in fortunes, but the derby may play out into a defensive stalemate, considering the compact style of ‘El Cholo.’
Atlético Madrid – Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Savic, Filipe Luís; Saúl, Gabi, Koke, Thomas; Griezmann, Correa
Real Madrid – Casilla; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Isco; Asensio, Benzema, Ronaldo
Arsenal vs Tottenham (Noah - @EriksensationaI)
It’s been a long international break, but club football is back, and back with a bang. Matchweek 12 of Premier League football kicks off with bitter rivals facing each other, as Tottenham Hotspur will be facing Arsenal in the North London Derby. The surging Spurs have been on great form as of late, in both the Champions League and the PL. Leading their group consisting of Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and APOEL as well as being 3rd in the league shows that. The Gunners may not have shown the same level of success, but don’t let that fool you. Teams can always turn on like a switch when they play a rival. That could very well be the case at Emirates Stadium.
Full preview here.
Napoli vs AC Milan (Antonio - @lorenzinho18)
After an abysmal international break for all Italians, Napoli vs Milan comes at a very good time, as many fans can now be optimistic about their teams getting a big result to help them out in the league. After their worst league performance this year, Napoli look to bounce back with the help of a big crowd at the San Paolo. With a win, Napoli would keep their one point lead at the top of the table, and potentially add on to it depending on the results of other matches. Milan on the other hand, come into this game after a 2-0 win away at Sassuolo. Realistically, Milan will come to the San Paolo in hopes of picking up a draw. As of late, Milan's problem has been not being able to find any real consistency, given that they haven't shown that they can beat any team in the top 6. However with a win, Milan would continue to put pressure on the top 6, and potentially find some confidence to take into the second half of the season. This match will call for both teams to put their best team forward, given that a win would be huge for boths positioning in the table.
Napoli – Reina; Rui; Albiol; Koulibaly; Hysaj; Allan; Jorginho; Hamsik; Insigne; Mertens; Callejon
Milan – Donnarumma; Romagnoli; Bonucci; Musacchio; Rodriguez; Biglia; Kessie; Calabria; Calhanoglu; Suso; Kalinic
Basaksehir vs Galatasaray (Ethan - @TedescoTime)
Two of Istanbul’s five clubs feature in a 1st vs 2nd match up. After a disappointing 16/17 season, the Turkish record-champions find themselves top in the Turkish Süper Lig. Basaksehir made savvy deal after savvy deal in the summer transfer window, including Gaël Clichy, Eljero Elia, and Mevlüt Erdinc while selling Cengiz Ünder to Roma. Although not a part of the big 3 in Istanbul, Basaksehir have achieved a top 4 finish in every year since they reached the Süper Lig in 2014/15. Galatasaray find themselves without European competition this season as they were eliminated in the Europa League playoff round by Swedish dark horse Östersund. Meanwhile, Basaksehir find themselves bottom of Group C in the Europa League on 2 points after 4 matches. Basaksehir have won their last 3 matches against Galatasaray, including a 4-0 victory last April. An unorthodox Istanbul derby is sure to be an entertaining showing for the neutral spectator.
Basaksehir – Babacan; Clichy, Epureanu, Attamah, Caiçara; Belözoglu, Inler; Elia, Mossoró, Visca; Adebayor
Galatasaray – Muslera; Cigerci, Aziz, Maicon, Mariano; Fernando, N’Diaye; Rodrigues, Belhanda, Feghouli; Gomis
Monterrey vs Tigres UANL (Ethan - @TedescoTime)
Two of the most passionate fanbases in Mexico face off this weekend in El Clásico Regiomontano (Mountain Range Derby). Although not historically part of the big Liga MX teams, the Monterrey-based clubs are making a push. Currently 1st and 2nd in the Liga MX Apertura, Monterrey and Tigres have two of the top scorers in the league: Avilés Hurtado of Monterrey and Enner Valencia of Tigres. Tigres have not lost a match in a month, while Monterrey defeated Club America midweek to seal a spot in the Copa MX final. Tigres and Andre-Pierre Gignac will want to leapfrog Monterrey, but los Rayados will look to extend their 2-point lead atop Liga MX. The combination of passion, starpower, and hate means that if you watch one Liga MX match this season, make it El Clásico Regiomontano.
Monterrey – Carrizo; Fuentes, Basanta, N. Sánchez, Montes, Juarez; A. Gonzalez, Ortiz, C. Sánchez; Hurtado, Funes Mori
Tigres – Guzmán; Torres, Juninho, Ayala, Rodríguez; Aquino, Dueñas, Carioca, Damm; Valencia, Gignac
The Weekly Picks series intends to get accurate, informational, and non-biased articles to educate the wider footballing world. Our mission with this is to promote both the giant clashes of world football along with some matches that may sneak under the radar. We hope you enjoy the series!
Manchester City vs Arsenal (@GoonerMazz)
November 5 - 3:15 PM CET / 2:15 PM GMT / 9:15 AM EST
Manchester City play host for Arsenal at the Etihad this weekend in one of the matchups to savor for the neutrals. Currently in the form of their life under Pep Guardiola, they have not lost a single game in the Premier league as of yet, and they face an Arsenal side that have only won 1 away game out of 5 this season in the Premier League. Despite this, they were the last team to beat Manchester City. This match promises to be an exciting game with immense attacking talent on show from both sides.
Manchester City – Ederson; Delph, Otamendi, Stones, Walker; Silva, Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Sane, Jesus, Sterling
Arsenal – Cech; Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny; Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bellerin; Sanchez, Özil; Lacazette
Manchester United vs Chelsea (@EriksensationaI)
November 5 – 5:30 PM CET / 4:30 PM GMT / 11:30 AM EST
It’s red vs. blue on Sunday, as two prominent English sides square off on Nov. 5. 4 points separate the sides as they head into this crucial game in Stamford Bridge. Manchester United are heading into this game in good form. They may have lost to Huddersfield 2-1, but they’ve won 7 out of the last 9 games played in all competitions, including a win over Tottenham from a Martial goal late in the game. They’ve been fantastic the entire season, but people question their legitimacy over how capable they are in big games. Beating Crystal Palace 4-0 is great and all, but it’s games like Chelsea (especially away from home) that determine if you’re league winning material or not. Jose Mourinho is also one to play “boring football” in games like the one upcoming. However, you can’t necessarily blame him. No team in the league is capable of walking into a top six side and comfortably win while playing attacking football. Fitness doesn’t look to be an issue, and playing 3 at the back will usually lead to static football. Less creativity from moving players high up the pitch and being stable enough to defend counter attacks led by Chelsea’s star man Eden Hazard looks like it’ll be enough for a draw, which is what I think Mourinho wants to take from this match. Chelsea are 4th in the league table as it stands, but that could potentially drop after this matchday. In terms of form, the blues have seen worse in the past, but their past wins seem a little scrappy. On top of that, they recently lost 3-0 to AS Roma in the Champions League. Going back from a tough European matchday back at home to face a team considered to be Premier League favorites, Chelsea could find themselves dropping points. United are a tough team to break down, and without Kante, Chelsea's midfield looks extremely unstable.
Chelsea - Courtois; Alonso, Cahill, Luiz, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Drinkwater, Bakayoko; Hazard, Morata
Manchester United - De Gea; Young, Jones, Smalling, Bailly, Valencia; Matic, Herrera; Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Lukaku
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (@DerHeynckes)
November 4 – 6:30 PM CET / 5:30 PM GMT / 1:30 PM EST
The second Der Klassiker is set to be a heavyweight of a tie this Saturday at the Signal Iduna Park. With no shortage of classic encounters between the two heavyweights of German football, it seems only fair to look back at the last time Jupp Heynckes faced Borussia Dortmund as the Bayern manager and crowned the Bavarians as the champions of Europe. However, what matters now is the present and on form Dortmund can beat anyone in the world, and with Kimmich out of Bayern's matchday squad due to indigestion Dortmund could look set to capitalize against the Bavarian giants at home and retake first spot in the Bundesliga table.
Bayern – Ulreich; Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Rafinha; Rudy, Martínez; Coman, Thiago, Robben; Lewandowski
Dortmund - Bürki; Schmelzer, Toprak, Sokratis, Bartra; Weigl; Götze, Castro; Philipp, Aubameyang, Yarmolenko
Fiorentina vs Roma (@Alcxntara6)
November 5 – 2:00 PM CET / 1:00 PM GMT / 9:00 AM EST
Two Italian giants face off at the Stadio Artemio Franchi this weekend, as 5th place Roma clash with 7th place Fiorentina. Both teams approach their meet-up from opposite ends of the spectrum: Roma are coming off a convincing 3-0 Champions League victory over Chelsea, whereas Fiorentina will be looking to bounce back after a shameful 2-1 loss to bottom-table dwellers Crotone. Roma will look to extend their 5-game winning streak, during which they’ve scored 9 and conceded only 3. On the other hand, Fiorentina will hope to continue their promising home record, and close the gap between them and the top 6 teams. Eusebio Di Francesco’s men will strive to pierce Fiorentina’s questionable backline, especially considering their stellar attacking options in the revitalized ‘Il Faraone’ — Stephan El Shaarawy — and the perpetually-clinical Edin Džeko. Conversely, Argentinian youngster Giovanni Simeone will hope to notch up another goal, Federico Chiesa is likely to cause issues for Roma’s defense, and Fiorentina’s spine will likely comprise of Italian’s Davide Astori and Marco Benassi. Two Italian giants will be looking to regain their elite status, and the victor will ride a surging wave of confidence into the upcoming weeks.
Roma - Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Jesus, Kolarov; Gonalons, Nainggolan, Pellegrini; El Shaarawy, Džeko, Perotti
Fiorentina - Sportiello; Laurini, Astori, Pezzella, Biraghi; Benassi, Badelj, Veretout; Chiesa, Simeone, Eysseric
Valencia vs Leganés (@TedescoTime)
November 4 - 1:00 PM CET / 12:00 PM GMT / 8:00 AM EST
Valencia and Leganés are the two of the more intriguing stories of La Liga season so far. Valencia are overcoming some tumultuous past few seasons, finding themselves 2nd in the league, while Leganés are currently 7th after finishing the last campaign 4 points out of the relegation zone. This match is particularly captivating once you look towards the stats of each club. Valencia’s high-scoring attack has scored 3 or more goals on 5 separate occasions in La Liga until now, is up against Leganés’ stingy defense. Leganés has allowed the second-fewest goals and xG (@11tegen11) in La Liga, however, Asier Garitano’s men have scored just 9 goals, tied for 5th-fewest.
Valencia – Neto; Gayà, Gabriel, Garay, Montoya; Guedes, Kondogbia, Parejo, Soler; Rodrigo, Zaza
Leganés – Cuéllar; García, Siovas, Dos Santos, Zaldúa; Gabriel Pires, Pérez; Szymanowski, Eraso, Amrabat; Beauvue
Toronto vs New York Red Bulls (@TedescoTime)
November 5 - 8:00 PM CET / 7:00 PM GMT / 3:00 PM EST
After an exciting first leg, record-setting Toronto FC host Jesse Marsch’s New York Red Bulls squad. The first leg ended 2-1 in favor of Toronto, in no small part due to Sebastian Giovinco’s set piece magic. The atomic ant scored his 14th free kick since 2015, handing Toronto a second away goal to savor. Toronto could fall to complacency as they hold a slim advantage, especially now that Vazquez and Bono might be unavailable for Greg Vanney. A tough one to call, this match will be a great showcase for the neutral.
Toronto – Irwin; Morrow, Mavinga, Moor, Zavaleta, Beitashour; Osorio, Bradley, Delgado; Altidore, Giovinco
Red Bulls – Robles; Lawrence, Perrinelle, Long, Murillo, Adams; Royer, Martins, Davis; Kljestan; Wright-Phillips
As this is the first edition of Weekly Picks, we would like to begin this week's edition with a short explanation regarding the idea behind this series. The Weekly Picks series intends to get accurate, informational, and non-biased articles to educate the wider footballing world. Our mission with this is to promote both the giant clashes of world football along with some matches that may sneak under the radar. We hope you enjoy the series!
Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
October 28 - 12:30 PM GMT / 7:30 AM EST
The weekend of football begins with a top of the table clash between second and third in the Premier League. Despite just recently getting a well-earned point from an away trip to the Bernabeu, Spurs come into this match after a humiliating 2-3 collapse against Slaven Bilic’s underachieving West Ham in the EFL Cup. Man United lost their first match of the season last weekend to David Wagner’s ambitious Huddersfield. The Red Devils bounced back through a convincing 2-0 victory with a heavily rotated squad against Swansea in midweek. Both managers have tinkered with their tactics as of late, making the build-up to this match that little bit more interesting.
Man Utd – De Gea; Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Valencia; Matic, Herrera; Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Mata; Lukaku
Spurs – Lloris; Davies, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Aurier; Winks, Eriksen; Son, Alli, Kane
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona
October 28 - 8:45 PM Local / 7:45 PM GMT / 2:45 PM EST
The first Basque-Catalan showdown of the season is here, with league leaders Barcelona traveling to San Mamés to face 11th place Athletic Bilbao. Despite the enormous loss of Neymar, Messi and co. lead the pack by 4 points after only 9 matches, and Valverde’s men have yet to lose a game since their September 16th Supercopa matchup with Real Madrid. Conversely, Bilbao sit on just 11 points so far, and have won only 1 of their last 10 across all competitions. Iker Muniain’s long-term injury has debilitated the Athletic attack, who have struggled to find any goalscoring form. A win for Athletic is almost a necessity, but their floundering attack will have difficulty puncturing a Barcelona defense that has only conceded 3 goals in the league. Messi has only lost twice in 31 matches against the Basque club, and it is unlikely that that record will increase to 3.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alba, Umtiti, Pique, Semedo; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Deulofeu, Suárez, Messi
Bilbao – Arrizabalaga; Balenziaga, Laporte, Núñez, Lekue; San José, Vesga; Susaeta, García, Williams; Aduriz
Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig
October 28 – 6:30 PM Local / 5:30 PM GMT / 12:30 PM EST
History vs Nouveau Riche; a match that is almost destined to be a fiery affair, the German record champions Bayern Munich are set to host the ever-controversial “RasenBallsport” Leipzig this Saturday at the Allianz Arena in the wake of their midweek clash. Leipzig were able to push Bayern to extra time and penalties, despite Naby Keita being sent off in the 53rd minute. The reigning champions booked their ticket to the next round via penalties. An important game for both outfits, a loss could prove to be detrimental to either campaign. Bayern are in yet another injury crisis with Neuer, Ribéry, Müller, James, and Bernat set to be sidelined. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s healthy squad could look to exploit Bayern’s absences as they did in their DFB Cup game at midweek. Overall, it will prove to be a captivating and unpredictable tie, sure to please the neutrals.
Bayern – Ulreich; Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Kimmich; Martínez, Vidal; Coman, Thiago, Robben; Lewandowski
Leipzig – Gulácsi; Bernardo, Orban, Upamecano, Klostermann; Demme, Kampl; Forsberg, Sabitzer; Werner, Augustin
AC Milan vs Junvetus
October 28 – 6:00 PM Local / 5:00 PM GMT / 12:00 PM EST
A derby of extraordinary proportions, the two most successful team in Italian history will battle on Saturday as the Rossoneri host the Old Lady in what is sure to be an exciting encounter. Despite failing to reach the enormous hype that was placed on them coming into the season, Milan will be sure to turn up on Saturday in order to keep their relatively successful form against the Turin giants intact. A win in this match could spring Milan back into the mix for European qualification, while the Bianconeri desperately need a win to keep pace with Napoli, Inter, and Lazio. With both sides being close to a fully-available squad, (bar suspensions to Bonucci and Mandzukic) Milan and Juventus will have no excuses to give less than 100% on matchday.
Milan – Donnarumma; Rodriguez, Romagnoli, Musacchio, Calabria; Calhanoglu, Biglia, Kessie; Borini, Silva, Suso
Juventus – Buffon; Sandro, Chiellini, Rugani, Lichtsteiner; Khedira, Pjanio; Costa, Dybala, Cuadrado; Higuain
Zenit St. Petersburg vs Lokomotiv Moscow
October 29 – 5:30 PM Local / 2:30 PM GMT / 9:30 AM EST
A bit outside of the normal realm of European football, a first vs second clash in Russia is set up as an interesting showing. Ex-Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini’s Zenit squad have scored 23 goals in the RPL, paired with the league’s stingiest defense with merely 6 goals allowed. Lokomotiv are the surprise package in the RPL season; the Moscow-based outfit find themselves top of the table after an 8th place finish last term. The Red-Greens qualified for the Europa League due to winning the Russian Cup; they currently sit top of Group F after three matchdays. Recent history between these two clubs has been dominated by Zenit. Lokomotiv have failed to earn all 3 points in their last 13 attempts against the St. Petersburg club, although Lokomotiv supporters will say this season is different.
Zenit – Lunev; Criscito, Mammana, Mevlja, Ivanovic; Erokhin, Kranevitter, Paredes; Kokorin, Driussi, Rigoni
Lokomotiv – Guilherme; Denisov, Pejcinovic, Kverkvelia, Ignatjev; Tarasov, Denisov; Fernandes, Anton Miranchuk, Alexei Miranchuk; Éder
Panathinaikos vs Olympiacos
October 28 – 7:30 PM Local / 5:30 PM GMT / 12:30 PM EST
Continuing down a route of less watched football leagues, Panathinaikos take on Olympiacos. With a name like “Derby of the Eternal Enemies”, there’s not a better phrase to describe the passion fans pour into their clubs. The rivalry started due to basic differences in the ideologies and demographics of each fanbase. Panathinaikos represented the upper class of Athens while Olympiacos’ first fans were made up of the dock workers in the Athenian suburb of Piraeus. Tifos and flares are guaranteed for this match, adding to the incredible atmosphere in Athens. Over the years, Olympiacos has been the more successful of the two, with 74 major trophies compared to Panathinaikos’ 42. Panathinaikos can claim European supremacy over Olympiacos, however, reaching the 1971 European cup final and appearing in two Champions League semifinals. In the past 10 fixtures, Olympiacos has come out victorious 5 times, Panathinaikos 3 times, and a draw was the final result on 2 occasions.
Panathinaikos – Vlachodimos; Hult, Kolovetsios, Moledo, Coulibaly; Hiljemark, Kourbelis, Sylla; Lod, Molins, Villafáñez
Olympiacos – Proto; Koutris, Nikolaou, Engels, Figueiras; Odjidja-Ofoe, Romao; Carcela-Gonzalez, Fourtounis, Pardo; Ansarifard