Pre-match report – 1 May 2018

We know you’re excited for the Champions League semi-finals, but it gets better. The El Clasico happens this week too ­– who do you think will come out on top? Barca may have won the La Liga title, but who will claim bragging rights?

 

Chelsea host Liverpool in an epic top-of-the-table Premier League clash, and Juventus entertain AC Milan in the Coppa Italia final. Our picks are as good as yours. Here we roundup the top games this week:

 

EPL 2017/18 Week 37

Brighton vs Manchester United

Competition : Premier League
Date : Saturday, 5 May 2018
Game Week : 37
Kick-off : 3:00am (GMT +8)
Venue : The American Express Community Stadium (Falmer, East Sussex)

Manchester United may have sealed their spot in the Champions League next season, but knowing the ego of Mourinho, he would want nothing less than a second-place finish in the Premier League – he’s only 4 points away from achieving that.

The Red Devils are in good form as of late, overcoming the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal in recent weeks. In these two games, we have also seen how Pogba, Young and Fellaini can fuel the midfield for Man Utd if they turn it on. However, it won’t be an easy task against a side that is still battling against relegation.

Having grabbed positive results over at high-flying Burnley last week, and top-4 Tottenham the week before (both draws), big-game Hughton would be confident going into this tie. One thing he needs to be careful of is conceding unnecessary fouls, especially when United have the ability to punish them from those.

Prediction: Brighton 0-1 Manchester United

 

 

Chelsea vs Liverpool

Competition : Premier League
Date : Saturday, 6 May 2018
Game Week : 37
Kick-off : 11:30pm (GMT +8)
Venue : Stamford Bridge (London)

Liverpool will be off the back of a Champions League tie with Roma, in which they would have spent all their resources to ensure a berth in the final. With that, said Chelsea can hope for a tired Reds side, but honestly though, Liverpool only need Salah, and does he ever get tired?

With the form the Egyptian’s been on as of late, Conte’s usual tactics of playing 3 at the back is not going to work. Chelsea should employ a defence with a standard back-4 at the very least, if not 5, just to be prudent. Giroud and Morata’s inconsistency will not be helpful, but Hazard, Kante and Fabregas can be relied on for marshalling the midfield.

The last two times these teams faced-off, both occasions ended in 1-1 draws. This time it’s going to be different. Chelsea have a chance if they can shackle Salah, otherwise, Klopp will have his way.

Prediction: Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool

 

 

 

La Liga 2017/18 Week 36

Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Competition : La Liga
Date : Sunday, 7 May 2018
Game Week : 36
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
Venue : Camp Nou (Barcelona)

At this point in the season, it’s no longer do or die for Real Madrid and Barcelona, but it’s more about bragging rights and La Masia’s undefeated streak in La Liga. Real, however, will also be attempting to trump Athletico Madrid for second place.

Based on the last time these two met, Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners, but it was not after a lot of wasted chances and a red card that gave the Barca the much-needed advantage. Seeing that Real still have Champions League commitments, Barcelona have a slight advantage with well-rested key players. Messi and Suarez will be the men to watch.

Real will surely focus most of their defensive tactics to stop Messi, but with Suarez’s pacey and tactical off-the-ball runs, the Uruguayan should get at least one goal, maybe more. But Real Madrid have Ronaldo, who’s always in the mood to take on defenders and score goals.

Pique, Umtiti and Ter Stegen will have to bring their A-game to stop him – or at least try to. More importantly for Real, is Keylor Navas. He was instrumental in preventing the scoreline from going beyond 3-0 in the last El Clasico.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

 

 

 

Ligue 1 2017/18 Week 36

Amiens vs PSG

Competition : Ligue 1
Date : Saturday, 5 May 2018
Game Week : 36
Kick-off : 2:45am (GMT +8)
Venue : Stade de la Licorne (Amiens)

It’s a long way until the Coupe de France, and the question is, will PSG take it easy again, like they did with Guingamp last week. It was really poor from the Ligue 1 champions and their laziness almost caused them to lose.

There was no chemistry whatsoever and to make matters worse, they may be without Di Maria who suffered a groin injury. The next question is: Can Cavani save them again? Not taking away anything from Amiens – who came out of second-placed Monaco with a point – they can cause an upset, more so if the stars align for them.

Historically, these two sides barely butt heads, but the Unicorns haven’t been able to win thus far. Manzala could be the man to come off the bench for Amiens to make a difference, provided PSG don’t turn up the heat from the get-go.

Prediction: Amiens 0-2 PSG

 

 

 

Bundesliga 2017/18 Week 33

Koln vs Bayern Munich

Competition : Bundesliga
Date : Saturday, 5 May 2018
Game Week : 33
Kick-off : 9:30pm (GMT +8)
Venue : RheinEnergieStadion (Köln)

What happens when the team with the worst defence in the Bundesliga takes on the one with the best attack? Koln are already going down next season and now they will have the unenviable task of being the whipping boys for Bayern, who are in preparation to claim the German Cup come May 20.

Lewandowski, Robben and Ribery are a force to be reckoned with, as they have had a hand in the 88 goals the Bavarians have scored in the league this season. It looks like Koln will only be going out there for formalities sake, but once the first goal goes in, it’s open season. Expect a complete rout.

Prediction: Koln 0-5 Bayern Munich

 

 

 

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