Weekend ahead: Man city Clashes with Liverpool as Real Madrid face off against Levante

Weekend ahead: Man city Clashes with Liverpool as Real Madrid face off against Levante

By Papi Briano ‘Spanish Football Matador’

“I promise you that Klopp will win the premier league this season”, that’s what Ahmad shocked me with as we were having dinner at the airport. I almost choked on my chicken bone which was really spicy too. Liverpool fans can get delusional, they don’t handle good times well.  

I know you missed the football madness over the International break but here we are now.  Just a thought, can you imagine a World Cup without Argentina or even worse Leo Messi? As it stands, we are very close to that realization since they lie 5th in their standings and that’s only good enough to secure a play-off round against New Zealand.  Until then, how about we worry about our weekend matches starting with the big one from England.  

Man City versus Liverpool: Guardiola has always been a high maintenance guy.  He effectively now has the most expensive defence in football history.  He even doubts Aguero’s capabilities and prefers Gabriel Jesus.  City haven’t gelled yet and often don’t look smart enough to understand Pep’s tactical complexities. Their last game against Bournemouth, although a win, may point to a fighting spirit but looked at critically it’s not hard to see that it stands to be a difficult first half of the season.  Liverpool on the other hand come into this one with a chip on their shoulder having held onto Coutinho after all the flirting with Barcelona.  Salah has looked a decent signing and their connection with Sadio Mane is electrifying on normal days; that’s how good those two are.  Klopp’s men are devastating going forward and when you add Coutinho back in the mix this Saturday it looks a bit nightmarish for City if that creaky expensive backline is not on red alert.  Liverpool have won four and drawn two of their last six matches against Manchester City and when you throw in the fact that they have scored 8 goals in their last three matches I have to favour Liverpool to get a result in this one. Smart money will be on both teams to score.  I wonder what Ahmad will tell the next stranger he sees if Liverpool beat Man City!!

Real Madrid versus Levante: Isn’t Asensio the best young player you have seen in a while? That kid is putting up some prime time performances and you can’t help but believe that he is the next big thing on the world stage.  Madrid were held to a scintillating draw against Valencia in the last round thanks to Benzema profligacy in front of goal. On a different night he would have scored 7 times!! Such is life in football. Levante have started strongly this season with 4 points from their 2 games including a win over Villarreal.  Don’t be fooled by that statistic, Madrid should take them to school in this encounter especially with that guy Isco playing as if his life depends on it.  

Sevilla versus Eibar: Sevilla’s new coach, Eduardo Berizzo, reminds me of the crazy Sampaoli from last season only that he is more balanced. His team has not switched on yet but they look like they will be a handful once the season gathers momentum.  Eibar on the other hand have looked decent so far but the thing about them is they seem to always concede when playing away from home.  Couple this with the fact that Sevilla have a formidable home record and the chances for Eibar dim that much more. Eibar haven’t beaten Sevilla since winning promotion to La Liga.  Enough said.  

Barcelona versus Espanyol: This is the ‘Catalan derby’ one thing is guaranteed here, it will be feisty.  Barca record signing Ousmane Dembele is set to make his debut this weekend including the 40M Euro ‘misfit’ Paulinho. These are strange times at Barca and while we keep a pulse on the happenings there it’s only fair there’s more upheaval to come.  Espanyol have just one point from their two games in La Liga so far and have lost eight games in a row at Camp Nou. Even though their striker Sergio Garcia said that the more noise he hears at Camp Nou the better he will be it still won’t be enough against this Barca side which will also welcome that bad man, Luis Suarez from injury.  Messi and co have scored 4 times or more in 5 of their last 6 home games against Espanyol.  You already know where the money is!!

 

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