The international break is over and players are back with their clubs prepared to earn their paychecks. Manchester United take a trip to Anfield on Saturday in the Premier League in what is possibly the biggest match of the weekend.
Liverpool will hope to return back and prove a point after potentially dropping points in their last two games as they welcome in-form Red Devils, while City host Stoke City.
Take a look at our top tips for today as we provide you insightful prediction with 80% positive outcome, to play safe you can actually guide any game if you feel otherwise but what’s the point if you can’t risk it to take the biscuit. Good Luck
Ajax vs Sparta Rotterdam
These two sides have met over 100 times in their history, and as you might expect its Ajax who has dominated this fixture to date, picking up 6 wins, 21 draws, and just 23 defeats against Sparta Rotterdam.
Ajax has won four of their last six matches, three of which have been accompanied by a clean sheet. Sparta Rotterdam has lost all of their last four games, and on three of those occasions, they have failed to score.
Prediction: Ajax win
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Since Jose Mourinho took charge of Manchester United ahead of 2016-17; these two clubs have won the exact same number of points in the Premier League (88). Liverpool has scored 16 more goals (91 v 75) but has conceded 23 more (54 v 31).
Playing away against Liverpool will be a real challenge. Though Liverpool is not on their best form they still continue to score goals. I believe there is no way Liverpool should win this one considering the difference in form of both teams. Both teams will need to quickly build up their chemistry again after the international break and given the odds of Man United conceding a goal
Prediction: Home Win or draw
Manchester City vs Stoke City
Manchester City has kept a clean sheet in 70% of their competitive games this season, winning 90% of them in the process. They have won 75% of their last four league outings by at least a five-goal margin.
City will look to carry on their good form against Stoke to weekend after the international break
Prediction: City Win & Over 2.5
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
It may only be seven games into the new Premier League season, but Crystal Palace looks destined for the relegation zone at the moment. They have set a few unwanted records already this season, Chelsea FC has won four and lost two of their last six meetings with Crystal Palace, keeping a clean sheet in three of these four wins.
Prediction: over 2.5
Watford vs Arsenal
The curse of the international break has struck again with mustafi missing the game with a torn ligament and could miss a month which could be a blow to the Gunners but it does give holding a chance to have a run in the side.
Watford has conceded at least three goals in 75% of their competitive home games this season, and in 75% of their last four hostings of Arsenal. Arsenal has scored three or more in 40% of their competitive games, winning 70% of them and winning 100% of their last four visits to Vicarage Road.
Prediction: over 2.5
Celtic vs Dundee United
Celtic’s incredible unbeaten run domestically has seen a couple of wobbles recently. Both St Johnstone and Hibernian have threatened to end that streak at Celtic Park in recent weeks, Celtic are undefeated in their last 47 league games. The Bohys have scored at least twice in 13 of their last 15 in the league, while Dundee is without a win in their last five away trips.
Prediction: Celtic Wins & under 3.5
Getafe vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid has made an unconvincing start to their title defence and they’ll be a bit wary of a Getafe side that gave Barcelona their toughest game so far a few weeks back.
Real Madrid has won the last seven meetings between the clubs. They scored over 2.5 goals in all of those games, and have won their last 12 away league games, scoring over 2.5 goals in 9 of those matches. There have been over 2.5 goals in 4 of Getafe’s last 5 matches.
Prediction: Madrid wins & Over 2.5
Atletico vs Barcelona
This is the biggest game of the season so far in La Liga, particularly you sense for Atletico Madrid. They simply can’t afford to lose it, if they are to consider themselves genuine title contenders.
Despite a couple of notable Champions League successes, Atleti’s recent league record against Barcelona is very poor. The Catalans have won their last 5 away games against Atleti in domestic competitions. Atlético de Madrid have not won in their last 14 La Liga games against Barcelona (D3 L11), their worst run without a win against them in the competition.
Barcelona have won their seven La Liga 17/18 games and may equal their best start in the competition (eight wins in 13/14)
Prediction: Barcelona win or draw
Bayern Munich vs Freiburg
Bayern Munich has conceded 7 goals in their last 3 matches. Bayern Munich has kept a clean sheet in just 2 of their last 7 home matches. Only one of the last nine meetings between Bayern and Freiburg had over 4.5 goals scored.
Bayern Munich won 4-1 at home to Freiburg when the two sides last met in May this year. Bayern has won 15 of the 17 matches at home to Freiburg.
Prediction: Bayern Wins & over 2.5
Juventus vs Lazio
With Dybala leading the way, Juve hasn’t been shy in terms of goals. They’ve been scoring plenty, hitting at least two in six of their last seven at home. They’ve scored two or more in 23 of their last 27 home league games, and we’re backing them to do the same again here
Juve has won 37 of their last 38 home league games. Juventus won at home to all of the top eight last season, with 67% of their wins at homecoming by at least two goals, and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between these two sides.
Prediction: Over 2.5
Dijon vs PSG
PSG will be expecting to comfortably beat Dijon when they visit the relegation-threatened side this weekend in Ligue 1. The visitors are in excellent form in both domestic and European competition so far in 2017/18 and few would bet against them recording another three points here.
In six previous meetings, Dijon has won once and PSG the other five, and PSG have scored a huge 27 goals from their eight Ligue 1 games this season.
Prediction: PSG win & over 2.5
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
Tottenham fans have been dreading the move to Wembley after their shambolic performances there in the Champions League last season, and so far their fears are proving to be well founded
Tottenham have conceded in 67% of their Premier League games at Wembley, whilst Bournemouth has scored in 69% of their last 13 away days. The visitors have only lost by more than a two-goal margin in 13% of their league games this season, and have won four and drawn one of their five meetings with Bournemouth.
Prediction: Tottenham wins
Roma vs Napoli
With Napoli flying, and Dries Mertens leading the way, it’s hard to argue with the visitors. Roma can be confident of a goal after scoring in their last 27 home league games, but Napoli should overpower them in this game.
Napoli’s last 11 games have seen over 2.5 goals scored. Roma won all but three home games last season, slipping up to three of their fellow top five sides. The two encounters between these sides last season saw the away team come out on top.
Prediction: over 1.5
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.