Football Matches: Top 5 Matches You Just Can’t Miss this Weekend

Top 5 Football Matches You Just Can’t Miss this Weekend

Weekend, football, and nailbiting clashes – the ultimate stressbuster in existence. After a gloomy, and practically never-ending week; we are finally here, hours away from kicking off this weekend’s scheduled, unadulterated action.

We don’t have any Premier League matches this week, but have a number of intriguing FA Cup fifth round clashes to look forward to.

With a host of football matches to choose from, picking just the right one can often be a hectic task. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to help fellow fanatics out.

Here are five football matches that you can’t afford to miss this weekend:

Newport vs Manchester City (Saturday, 11:00 pm)

On paper, this fixture seems like a mismatch of the highest order, but FA Cup’s knack for churning out unpredictable results makes this an interesting contest. Newport County play in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, and shouldn’t pose much threat to City’s flamboyance, but their home stadium could make things interesting for neutrals.

The pitch at Newport isn’t the greatest out there and won’t aid Manchester City’s effortless passing football. Pep Guardiola‘s men have enough quality to beat any team in the world, but they probably won’t find it a walk in the park, this weekend.

Prediction: Newport 0-2 Manchester City

Real Madrid vs Girona (Sunday, 4:30 pm)

Santiago Solari’s Real Madrid had to dig deep to get the 2-1 win at Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Ajax. The match against Girona won’t probably be that competitive, but Real Madrid can’t afford to slack against a side as potent as Girona.

After a lackluster start to the league campaign, Los Blancos seem to have steadied their ship. They have produced some impressive results over the last couple of weeks — including a 3-1 win at Atletico Madrid — and will look to get another comprehensive win under their belt against the 17th-placed side in the division.

Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Girona

Also Read: Champions League Round of 16 – As it happened

FC Nurnberg vs Borussia Dortmund (Tuesday, 1:00 am)

This match isn’t technically this weekend but is still a part of Gameweek 21 in the Bundesliga.

Statistically, the worst team in the division, FC Nurnberg, will look to get an unlikely win when they host Lucien Favre’s leaders on Monday night. The hosts haven’t been able to hold their ground in the division so far but would love to make a statement against the most impressive team in Germany, this season.

Borussia, on the other hand, are going through a rough patch. They were handed an emphatic 3-0 drubbing at Tottenham on Wednesday night and will need a proper response. They still have a five-point advantage over second-placed Bayern, which they will be desperate to maintain right at the end of the campaign.

Prediction: Nurnberg 1-3 Dortmund

FC Barcelona vs Real Valladolid (Sunday, 1:15 am)

La Liga leaders, Barcelona, will look to return to winning ways when they welcome Real Valladolid to Camp Nou on Saturday night.

The Catalans haven’t won any of their last three matches across all competitions, delivering sub-par performances in all three of them. Their talisman, Lionel Messi, has struggled in recent games, while players like Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal have failed to justify their potential.

Beating the league 15th-best side shouldn’t be a problem, but the Blaugrana will be under pressure to produce something worth remembering.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Valladolid

Chelsea vs Manchester United (Tuesday, 1:00 am)

Manchester United will look to will need to at their very best if they are to get the better of Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United were handed a harsh reality check by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Now, the Norwegian, who endured the first defeat of his Manchester United managerial career on Tuesday night, will seek a fitting response from his spirited men against a familiar foe.

Chelsea, too, aren’t in the best of forms. They were beaten 6-0 at Manchester City, last Sunday, and could only manage a narrow 2-1 win at Malmo in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie. It’s difficult to pick a favourite here, but United’s 2-0 defeat against PSG could give Chelsea an edge. It is a football match you just cannot miss.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United 

Unai Emery Backs Arsenal to Bounce Back from Shock UEL Defeat at BATE

Unai Emery Backs Arsenal to Bounce Back from Shock UEL Defeat at BATE

Arsenal head coach, Unai Emery, has backed his side to book a place in the UEFA Europa League round-of-16 despite succumbing to a shock defeat in Belarus on Thursday night. 

The Premier League outfit were dealt an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie, with Stanislaw Drahun heading home just moments before the half time whistle to secure a historic win for the hosts.

Unai Emery’s side, as expected, were the outright favorites going into the match. However, the picture, in the end, turned out to be quite different than anticipated. Arsenal dominated possession (77%) and sprayed the ball around comfortably, but BATE’s low block made sure to keep them out of threatening areas. With Mesut Ozil left out of the squad, Arsenal struggled to play between BATE’s defensive lines and cut a frustrating figure.

Drahun’s thumping header on the stroke of half time took the wind out of Arsenal’s sails. They tried to get back into the game but lacked the intensity to make the hosts suffer. Finally, to make matters worse, Alexandre Lacazette was given marching orders in the dying minutes of the match for a blatant elbow on BATE’s Aleksandar Filipovic.

With the return leg set to be played in one week’s time, Arsenal need some major improvements to turn the tie around, and Emery remains confident his side have enough quality to book their place in the last-16.

“We play another 90 minutes next week and I’m sure it’s going to be different. We worked. I am happy with players’ effort. Our big opportunity is next week at home.” Unai Emery said, as quoted by Daily Mail.

“Today is not the result we wanted. We deserved more but they worked for this. Next week is going to be different. I trust in our players and in our stadium with our supporters. We can win or lose but we play the second match and I trust in our work and preparations to make a different result.”

“I am not shocked. I knew before the match it would be two games. We wanted to get best result. I respect them and watched matches they played. They are defensively well organised. We worked to stop them but they scored one. In attacking moments we had more chances than them but the last action was not efficient.”

“We did all to win. It’s the first 90 minutes. But we know it’s more difficult, we prefer a better result.”

On Lacazette’s dismissal, the Emery added:

“I didn’t see the action but we need to control the frustration. It’s bad news. Next week we won’t have him but there is a chance for another player.”

The decision to leave Ozil out of the squad probably didn’t bode well for Emery’s side, but the former Paris Saint-Germain refused to concede.

He said: “Today those that were here, we can win with them and we deserved that.”

“Last week we won (against Huddersfield) and we played with the same players. It’s not for one player or another player. We can win with every player and lose with the same players.”

Also Read: Mou explained how to use Ozil

Champions League Last-16: Tottenham 3-0 Dortmund – Match Report and Talking Points

Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Borussia Dortmund

Premier League outfit, Tottenham Hotspur, took a gigantic step towards qualifying for the Champions League quarter-finals with an emphatic 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday night.

Heung-Min Son opened the scoring for the Wembley outfit in the 47th minute, before two late goals in quick succession from Jan Vertonghen and Fernando Llorente sealed an astounding win for Tottenham Hotspur, beating Borussia Dortmund 3 – 0.

Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund have been two of the most exciting teams in Europe this season, and last night, once again, their exuberance showed on the pitch. From the first minute, the two sides looked ready to pounce, determined to punish each and every slip-up. The first real opportunity of the night fell to Tottenham’s Lucas Moura, who failed to keep his volleyed effort on target. As expected, the Bundesliga leaders hit back, with Christian Pulisic forcing Hugo Lloris into action just minutes after Moura’s attempt.

Both keepers were once again called into action before the half-time whistle, as Son’s adventurous effort forced a fine save out of Roman Burki, while Lloris had to showcase his cat-like reflexes to deny Dan Axel Zagadou’s well-timed header from point-blank range.

The two teams came out all guns blazing in the second half, looking desperate to draw first blood. Thankfully for the home supporters, it was Spurs who turned out to be more clinical of the two. Son — who had been absolutely splendid on the night — volleyed home a peach of a delivery from left wing-back Jan Vertonghen to give Tottenham the lead. The goal just two minutes into the second half rattled the visitors, forcing them to fall back and regroup.

Dortmund tried their best to come back but were dealt a sucker punched in the 83rd minute when an inspired Vertonghen doubled the hosts’ advantage. If Vertonghen’s goal wasn’t bad enough, the German side conceded another, just four minutes later, through substitute Fernando Llorente’s glancing header inside the far post.



Dortmund’s First-Half Supremacy

Considering their position in the Bundesliga table, Dortmund, quite naturally, came into the tie as favorites. With Marco Reus and Lukasz Piszczek ruled out, their trip to London was never meant to be straight-forward, but no one really expected them to be beaten so comprehensively.

The first forty-five showcased Borussia Dortmund’s attacking prowess, as they were making constant inroads into the Tottenham area. Jadon Sancho did his best to fill in for Reus but failed to apply the finishing touch. Lucien Favre’s side weren’t that poor on the night, but their finishing, most definitely, didn’t justify their potential.

Tottenham Show their Class

For a team that didn’t spend a single dime in the last two transfer windows, Tottenham have fared quite well this season. Last night, they needed to be at their best to fend off Dortmund, and it’s safe to say that the boys in white did enough to make their coach proud.

After tackling Dortmund’s relentlessness in the first half, Spurs took the game to the visitors. Their passing and movement were already commendable, and they only needed to add the finishing touch into the mix. Son’s opener just a couple of minutes into the second half took the wind out of Dortmund’s sails, while Vertonghen and Llorente’s double virtually knocked them out of the contest.

A Mountain to Climb in the Second Leg

Borussia Dortmund were outplayed and outclassed by a relentless Tottenham side on Wednesday night. The Germans are now without a win in their last four games in all competitions and need a to turn things around before the second leg.

Tottenham, even without Harry Kane and Dele Alli, handed the Bundesliga leaders a comprehensive beating. And if Dortmund aren’t careful enough, the situation could get a lot worse in the return leg.

Tottenham vs Dortmund |Champions League: Preview, Team News, and Prediction

Tottenham vs Dortmund |Champions League: Preview, Team News, and Prediction

Tottenham vs Dortmund

  • Tottenham Hotspur welcome Borussia Dortmund, to Wembley for the first leg of their hugely-anticipated Champions League round-of-16 clash.

Hotspur needed a dramatic 1-1 draw at Barcelona to secure their place in the knockouts. Dortmund, on the other hand, edged Atletico Madrid on goal difference to qualify as group winners.

Both teams have some brilliant players at their disposal, making tonight’s fixture a must-watch footballing spectacle.

Tottenham Hotspur

For a team that didn’t spend a dime in the summer transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur have done a superb job in the 2018/19 campaign. In the Premier League, they sit just five points behind Liverpool and Manchester City — played a game less than City. They took a bit of time to find their feet in Europe — picking up one point from their first three group games — but made sure to turn it around in their last three fixtures.

Hotspur squandered many golden opportunities against PSV and Eindhoven before eventually making them count, but the determination they showed against Barcelona in their last group stage fixture, showed their quality. The Lilywhites won’t have Harry Kane for the first leg, but Son Heung-min and Fernando Llorente should fill in handsomely for the club’s leading goalscorer. Moussa Sissoko is likely to miss the tie but Christian Eriksen’s creativity should compensate for Sissoko’s doggedness.

Also Read: PL Gameweek 26 – As it happened

Borussia Dortmund

When Lucien Favre took charge of the club in the summer of 2018, not many expected him to make such an immediate impact. BVB have been one of the most impressive sides in Europe this season and have looked capable of beating any team on their day. Thankfully, the days have not been far and few between. They currently have a five-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga table and are now the bookies’ favorites for ending Bayern Munich’s supremacy. 

BVB recent form, however, hasn’t been very encouraging. The German outfit have failed to win any of their last three matches and are currently lacking the confidence required to see games off. Favre must realize that his side are feeling the burden of expectations and must teach them how to respond on the pitch. They have some explosive players within their ranks, but recent results show they are still a team in transition. Marco Reus’ — who has 17 goals for Dortmund in all competitions — absence would be a big blow for Favre’s leaders, but an in-form Jadon Sancho (8 goals and 10 assists) should fill in perfectly for the injured German.

Head to Head and Prediction

Wednesday night’s encounter will be their fifth competitive meet in history. Spurs came out top during last season’s group stage double-header, while Dortmund registered a 5-1 aggregate win in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League back in 2016.

Wednesday’s fixture, on paper, seems perfectly balanced. Hotspur, statistically, are the more in-form team but they, too, have vulnerabilities at the back. Dortmund have one of the best attacks in the world and are capable of punishing each of Spurs’ mistakes. Tonight promises to be a helter-skelter of a contest, guaranteed to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Tottenham vs Dortmund

Hotspur is expected to win with a scoreline of 2-1.

Champions League – A Quick Look at This Week’s Fixtures

A Quick Look at This Weeks Champions League Fixtures

It’s been a long, long wait, but finally, the Champions League is back in all its unpredictable and nail-biting glory. 

The most elite footballing tournament in Europe, Champions League is set to kick-start its knockout stage from tonight, and we can’t wait for the ball to roll. Round-of-16 matches may not have the intensity of the semi-finals, but they gave us the first true taste of nerve-wracking end-to-end action.

This week, UEFA Champions League has four fixtures in store. The first leg doesn’t necessarily have the same stakes, but they are just as crucial. So, without further ado, let’s take a brief look at this week’s matches. 

AS Roma vs FC Porto

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Both Roma and Porto will fancy themselves to get into the final-8 of the Champions League this season.

The Italians, who famously knocked Barcelona out of the quarter-finals, last season, qualified second behind Real Madrid in Group G to reach the last-16, this term. Porto, on the other hand, picked out 16 points out of a possible 18 to top Group D.

The two teams aren’t as decorated as many of their fellow round-of-16 participants, but they, most definitely, are just as determined. Porto have a better group stage record this season, but they probably won’t find much joy playing at the ever-intimidating Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday.

Prediction: Roma 3-1 Porto

Manchester United vs Paris Saint-Germain

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester 
Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Premier League giants, Manchester United, will welcome Paris Saint-Germain to Old Trafford for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie on Tuesday night.

When the tie was announced in December, most followers considered it to be a walk in the park for the Ligue 1 outfit. In many ways, the assumption, especially considering United’s form at the time, was spot on. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment has single-handedly turned the tie on its head. United are currently enjoying an 11-game unbeaten run — 10 wins — and look capable of beating any team on their day. 

Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, have lost Neymar and Edinson Cavani to injuries and will be forced to rely only on Kylian Mbappe up top. The Frenchman is undoubtedly capable of producing something special but has his work cut out for him against an in-form Manchester United.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-2 PSG

Also Read: Manchester United next Superstar – Marcus Rashford

Tottenham Hotspur vs Borussia Dortmund

Venue: Wembley, London
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham will look to topple the odds when they host Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night.

The Wembley boys have done superbly well to cope with the absences of Harry Kane and Dele Alli. They are only five points behind Liverpool in the Premier League table and will look to carry their domestic form into Europe. Spurs ousted Inter Milan to get into the final-16, and they most certainly won’t let all that effort go to waste so early in the tournament. 

Borussia Dortmund haven’t won any of their last three matches and will look for a response at Wembley. They have been one of the most impressive teams in Europe this season and will need to be at their best to get something out of their trip to London.

Prediction: Spurs 2-1 Dortmund

Ajax vs Real Madrid

Venue: Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Defending champions, Real Madrid, will look to keep the 2018/19 knockouts in style when they make the trip to Ajax on Wednesday.

Santiago Solari’s men haven’t had the best of seasons so far. A poor start to La Liga has left them six points behind leaders Barcelona. However, their recent form has been quite encouraging. Most of their star players are back to their best, allowing Los Blancos to almost toy with their opponents. Winning the tournament for a fourth straight season seems like a distant dream, but the 13-time winners have never been too fond of normalcy.

Ajax’s young brigade are excited to play the European champions, but they won’t probably fancy getting much out of Wednesdays’ lop-sided contest.

Prediction: Ajax 1-3 Real Madrid

Sergio ’11’ Aguero: Revisiting All His Premier League Hat-Tricks

Sergio '11' Aguero: Revisiting All His Premier League Hat-Tricks

With his superb treble against Chelsea on Sunday night, Manchester City record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, equaled the great Alan Shearer’s record of 11 Premier League hat-tricks. 

Following the Argentine’s hat-trick on Sunday, Alan Shearer took a bit of time to praise the Manchester City legend, tipping him to break his record over the coming days. 

“It is only a matter of time before he goes and gets number 12, 13 and 14 in the Premier League,” said Shearer, as quoted by BBC.

“I am delighted for him and City are lucky to have him.”

In this section, we skip through the former Atletico Madrid forward’s Manchester City career and revisit each of his 11 Premier League hat-tricks.

Wigan Athletic, 2011

Having already scored three Premier League goals for his new club, Sergio Aguero was beaming with confidence going into the match against Wigan Atletic. In only his third start for the club, Aguero announced his arrival to the world, scoring a superb right-footed hat-trick. 

Sergio '11' Aguero: Revisiting All His Premier League Hat-Tricks
Courtesy: Daily Mail

Tottenham, 2014

Sergio Aguero bagged his first four-goal haul in the 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium. He opened scored two penalties, missed one, and converted the other two with his right and left foot, respectively.

QPR, 2015

Sergio Aguero scored half of Manchester City six goals in an end-of-season routing of Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium. He netted his first after just four minutes of play before adding further goals on the 50th and 65th minute, respectively.

Newcastle, 2015

Sergio Aguero was at his merciless best against Newcastle United as he scored five goals in an emphatic 6-1 goal. Aguero took only 20 minutes to bag five goals, scoring in the 42nd, 49th, 50th, 60th, and 62nd minute, respectively. His hattrick came in just eight minutes – the fastest in the club’s history.

Chelsea, 2016

Sergio Aguero’s first hat-trick away from saw him score all three goals in a 3-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. His first was a clinical strike into the bottom corner, while the second was a composed finish from a perfect through ball. He scored his third from the spot.

Watford, 2017

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a left-footed tap-in, then netted a superb header, and finally completed his ‘perfect hat-trick’ with a brilliant right-footed solo effort. Thanks to the Argentine’s exploits, Manchester City recorded a commanding 6-0 win at Watford. 

Newcastle, 2018

Aguero bagged all three goals as Manchester City beat Newcastle 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium. He opened his scoring through a glancing header from Kevin de Bruyne’s delivery, doubled his tally from the spot, before securing his treble with a cheeky low strike.

 Leicester City, 2018

Kun Aguero bagged his third hat-trick of the 2017/18 campaign against Leicester City. He became the only player to score four goals in a single match that Premier League campaign. A 20-year screamer to beat Kasper Schmeichel was the pick of the bunch.

Huddersfield, 2018

Huddersfield stopper, Ben Hamer, endured a horrendous night as Manchester City recorded a 6-1 win at the Etihad Stadium. Aguero, as always, was at his opportunistic best as he punished almost all of Huddersfield’s defensive errors.

Arsenal, 2019

Following last weeks shock 2-1 defeat at Newcastle, Manchester City needed to respond, and their record goalscorer made sure they responded in style. The Argentine, who scored all three of City’s goals in a 3-1 win, scored a diving header to get off the mark, while his other two goals were tap-ins from close range.

Chelsea, 2019

An in-form Manchester City hammered Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night. Aguero scored a superb curler for his first, pounced on a Ross Barkley mistake for his second, and finally secured the match ball through a clinical strike from the spot.

Also Read: Game Week 26 – As it happened

Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea – Match Report and Takeaways as Champions Annihilate the Blues

Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea – Match Report and Takeaways as Champions Annihilate the Blues

Manchester City forward, Sergio Aguero, netted a superb hat-trick as the defending champions recorded an outrageous 6-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night. 

The win saw Manchester City move to the top of the Premier League table, edging Liverpool — who have a game in hand — out on goal difference. 

The hosts were at their ruthless best on the night, virtually killing off the tie inside the opening twenty-five minutes. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring after just four minutes of play, capitalizing on Chelsea’s first big slip-up on the night. Sergio Aguero doubled his side’s tally minutes later, slotting his outside-the-box effort into the top corner, rendering Kepa Arrizabalaga useless. 

Aguero doubled his tally just six minutes after his first goal. Chelsea’s Ross Barkley cluelessly headed the ball inside his own area, inviting the in-form Argentinian to pounce. Manchester City scored their fourth in the 25th minute, as an unmarked Ilkay Gundogan collected the ball on the edge of the area to slot mercilessly into the bottom corner. 

Pep Guardiola’s men kept up the tempo in the second half and kept creating chances one after the other. Finally, their relentless paid off in the 56th minute when Aguero completed his treble from the spot after Cesar Azpilicueta brought down Sterling inside the area. Raheem Sterling completed his brace 10 minutes from time, tapping home from point-blank range to make it 6-0 for City.


An Abysmal Chelsea Display

Going up against the defending champions was always going to be difficult, but no one probably expected Maurizio Sarri’s men to be so helpless. They looked short of confidence right from the very beginning and failed to turn it around despite their best attempts.

The Blues’ illustrious midfield was outplayed by Pep Guardiola’s champions. Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard’s chemistry didn’t fetch the desired results. And their defenders were in sixes and sevens.

Manchester City Show their Class

Following last week’s shock defeat to Newcastle United, defending champions, Manchester City, needed to come up with a fitting response. Back-to-back wins over Arsenal and Everton already marked their return, but last night’s display showed why they deserve to retain their shiny Premier League crown.

Not only were they clinical in front of goal, but they also made sure to show their quality in non-threatening areas. They pressed relentlessly, carved out chances, and did their best to capitalize on each mouth-watering chance.

Sergio Aguero Delivers

Manchester City’s record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, produced yet another perfect performance on the night. Last weekend, he scored all three of City’s goals to hand them a commanding win over Arsenal. And On Sunday night, Against Arsenal’s crosstown rivals, he looked just as menacing.

His treble on the night was his 11th Premier League hat-trick of his illustrious career, level with current record holder, the great Alan Shearer. Apart from scoring three perfect goals, Aguero did his best to keep hold of the ball, bring his team-mates into play, and defend whenever required. A 10/10 performance from one of the best in the business.

Manchester City are next in action away to League Two side Newport County in the FA Cup on Saturday. Chelsea, on the other hand, will be involved in Europa League action next Thursday, when they make the trip to Malmo in the round-of-32.

Also Read: 5 memorable clashes between Man City vs Chelsea

Manchester City vs Chelsea – Five Most Memorable Clashes

Manchester City vs Chelsea - Five Most Memorable Clashes

Reigning champions Manchester City will look to keep the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool when they welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night. 

The stakes, as always, are sky-high. For the defending champions, Sunday’s fixture is about asserting dominance and keeping themselves alive in the title race. For Chelsea, on the other hand, it’s about European recognition, about keeping the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United at bay. 

In the reverse fixture, Chelsea handed Pep Guardiola’s champions a bitter 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. That ill-fated result in London allowed Liverpool to get a foothold in the title race, but now, things have once again started to turn. Liverpool don’t look impenetrable anymore, and City, not timid. Maurizio Sarri’s men probably aren’t at par with the holders, but they, too, won’t back down without a fight. 

Manchester City will be wary of the side that handed them their first home defeat of the season. But thanks to their best-in-class home record — 12 wins in 13 matches — they’ll feel pretty confident coming into this one. Chelsea are winless in their last six league away games against their top-six rivals, losing the last four. But if they can channel the energy they had produced in the reverse fixture, they’ll have a pretty great chance of pulling off an upset. 

These two old foes have produced some memorable clashes over the years, and here we take a look at five of those that kept us on the edge of our seats. 

Here are the five most memorable clashes between Manchester City and Chelsea:

Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea, 03 December 2016

Fourth-placed Manchester City knew they had a mountain to climb against Antonio Conte’s relentless Chelsea. Both teams carved out chances in the first half, but Gary Cahill’s unfortunate own goal handed Manchester City the lead at the stroke of half-time. 

Courtesy: Manchester Evening News

The Blues came out all guns blazing in the second half and turned the game on its head through Diego Costa and Willian’s second-half strikes. Eden Hazard added the third goal in injury time. 

Also Read: Man City – All or Nothing

Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea, 15 February 2014

Having endured two defeats to Chelsea in the Premier League, Manchester City came into the FA Cup 5th round clash looking for revenge. They started the game on the front foot and got themselves deservedly ahead in the 16th minute as Stevan Jovetic hit the back of the net. 

Courtesy: Manchester City

Chelsea did their best to get back into the match but were thoroughly outplayed by a determined Manchester City squad. Samir Nasri doubled City’s advantage in the second half to seal the win. 

Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City, 05 August 2018

To be fair, this FA Community Shield clash probably isn’t one of the most memorable meetings in history, but it’s safe to say that it was mighty significant. 

Courtesy: Manchester Evening News

Maurizio Sarri’s first match in charge saw Chelsea thoroughly outplayed by a confident Manchester City side. Pep Guardiola didn’t have all his players at his disposal, but he still managed to register a comfortable win. Sergio Aguero scored a brace to take the match ball home. 

Chelsea 6-0 Manchester City, 27 October 2007

Chelsea’s most emphatic success over Manchester City in the Premier League era came in late October 2007. The Blues were a place behind Manchester City in league standings, so, the result, as expected came as a shock to many. 

Courtesy: Twitter

A brace from Didier Drogba and a goal each from Michael Essien, Joe Cole, Andriy Shevchenko, and Salomon Kalou, sealed the win.

Chelsea 2-4 Manchester City, 27 February 2010

A pair of braces from Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy saw Manchester City inflict Chelsea’s first home defeat of the season. The Stamford Bridge side were the outright favourites coming into the game, but the Sky Blues made sure to spoil the party for good. 

Courtesy: BBC

Frank Lampard also netted a brace in a match that saw two Chelsea players — Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack — get sent off.

Top 5 Football Matches You Just Can’t Miss this Weekend

Top 5 Football Matches You Just Can't Miss this Weekend

Weekend, football, and nailbiting clashes – the ultimate stressbuster in existence. After a gloomy, and practically never-ending week; we are finally here, hours away from kicking off this weekend’s scheduled, unadulterated action.

With a host of football fixtures to choose from, picking just the right one can often be a hectic task. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to help fellow fanatics out.

Here are the five football matches you can’t miss, this weekend:

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona (Monday 1:15 AM IST)

Having played out a nail-biting 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night, Barcelona turn their attention back to La Liga. 
Courtesy: Barca Blaugranes
Last week, Valencia gave Barcelona a real run for their money at Camp Nou, forcing Lionel Messi to come to his side’s rescue after they found themselves 2-0 down in the first half. Athletic – 12th in La Liga – are coming into the match on the back of a frustrating loss to rivals Real Sociedad in the Basque Derby at Anoeta. Both sides don’t look at their best, but Barcelona’s star-studded squad should definitely have the upper hand. 
Prediction: Bilbao 1-2 Barcelona

Bayern Munich vs Schalke 04 (Saturday 11:00 PM IST)

Third-placed Bayern Munich will look to climb up the Bundesliga rankings when they welcome Schalke 04 to the Allianz Arena on Saturday night. At first, Borussia Dortmund’s advantage at the top of the Bundesliga table didn’t look that intimidating, as most people tipped Bayern to eventually catch up. But now, after 20 league matches, that seven-point advantage has started to look a lot more ominous. On paper, Bayern Munich have the best squad in the division. But sadly, their performances haven’t quite been able to justify the hype.
Courtesy: Goal

Schalke, too, have endured a frustrating campaign, so far, and have only been able to pick up 22 points from their first 20 games. They two teams have played out some great matches over the years, but we see only one winner at the Allianz on Sunday.

Prediction: Bayern 3-0 Schalke 04

Liverpool vs Bournemouth (Saturday 8:30 PM IST)

Jurgen Klopp’s leaders will aim to get back to winning ways when they welcome Bournemouth to Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday night. Following back-to-back draws at Leicester City and West Ham, Liverpool find themselves under a bit of pressure going into the match against Bournemouth. Manchester City’s win over Everton saw them replace the Reds at the summit, but a win against Bournemouth will once again restore the natural order. 
Courtesy: Liverpool
Bournemouth don’t have such sky-high ambitions, but they, too, are desperate to maintain consistency in the Premier League. Eddie Howe’s side thumped Chelsea 4-0 a couple of weeks back, only to follow up with a 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Cardiff City. It’s difficult to call this one, but it most definitely will be an entertaining evening of football. 
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth

Manchester City vs Chelsea (Sunday 9:30 PM IST)

Premier League holders, Manchester City, will look to extend their purple patch when they welcome Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea haven’t been the most consistent team this season. At times, they have looked outstanding, just full of confidence. While on the other, they have looked uncertain and toothless. Gonzalo Higuain’s addition should change things for the better, but it’s still too early to judge the Argentinian’s impact. 
Courtesy: Sky Sports
Following the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United, Manchester City have bounced back with consecutive wins over Arsenal and Everton. Chelsea will probably be a tougher nut to crack, but the reigning champions are still the outright favourites. 
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Chelsea

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid (Saturday 8:45 PM IST)

Santiago Solari’s Real Madrid make the short trip to Atletico knowing a win at the Wanda Metropolitano would see them clinch the second spot in La Liga table. The hosts have only lost two matches in the Spanish top-flight this season, but their most recent slip-up happened away at Betis last weekend. Atletico have struggled to score this season, but with only 14 goals conceded they once again have the best defensive record in the division.
Courtesy: Daily Post
Real Madrid are in fine form at the moment and will fancy themselves to get all three points from the trip. However, after Wednesday’s demanding Clasico, fatigue could turn out to be a deciding factor on Saturday night. 
Prediction: Atletico 1-2 Real Madrid

Fantasy Premier League: Differential Picks for Gameweek 26

Fantasy Premier League: Differential Picks for Gameweek 26

Gameweek 25 offered plenty. We saw Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool drop two invaluable points at West Ham United, allowing Manchester City — who thumped Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday — to cut the deficit at the top of the Premier League table. Other top-four contenders enjoyed a successful Gameweek, with all three of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United picking up comfortable wins. 

Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium headlines Gameweek 26, but other fixtures, too, are just as capable of keeping us on the edge of our seats. Fantasy Premier League managers are in for a difficult Matchday, and this section is all about making their task a little easier. 

Here are the top differential picks for Gameweek 26: 

Michy Batshuayi – Crystal Palace vs West Ham – £6.5m

The on loan and in-form Crystal Palace forward is owned by only 0.6% of managers for Palace’s home clash with West Ham United. The Belgian only played for eight minutes against Fulham, last week, but did enough to catch everyone’s attention. He looked sharp, kept the opposition on their toes and made his chances count. 

Batshuayi came up with an impressive assist for Jeffrey Schlupp to double Palace’s advantage, eventually helping them to a comfortable 2-0 win. West Ham, who have managed only one clean sheet in the last eight Gameweeks, aren’t the grittiest of opponents and should present the Belgium international with an opportunity or two. He will be an asset to the Fantasy Premier League managers.

Ashley Westwood – Brighton vs Burnley – £4.5m

The versatile Burnley midfielder is chosen by only 2.9% of managers for the Clarets’ visit to Brighton & Hove Albion. Burnley have been in fine form lately and are unbeaten over the last six Premier League Gameweeks. Westwood may not be one of the hottest names in the English top-flight, but he has certainly been pivotal for Sean Dyche’s men. 

He has created 14 chances between Gameweek 20 and 25, which is more than any of his team-mates. Westwood has also provided assists in three of those matches, picking up points against Manchester United, Huddersfield, and Watford. Brighton haven’t been at their best lately. 

Salomon Rondon – Wolves vs Newcastle United – £5.7m

The Venezuelan forward is picked by only 3.5% of managers for his trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Rondon has been Newcastle’s primary attacking threat this season and we expect him to extend his excellent run deep into the season.

With the fitness issues brushed aside, Rondon is finally living up to the billing. After providing a crucial assist in the 3-0 routing of Cardiff on January 19th, he scored Newcastle’s opener in the shock 2-1 win over Manchester City, last Wednesday. Wolverhampton Wanderers aren’t the most straightforward of opponents, but considering the form he’s in, he could prove to be an invaluable addition for Gameweek 26. 

Alexandre Lacazette – Huddersfield vs Arsenal – £9.3m

The French striker is selected by only 6.7% of managers for the Gunners’ trip to Huddersfield Town, this weekend. Gameweek 25 wasn’t too great for the North London club. They were completely outplayed by the Premier League champions and could barely do anything to improve their state. This week, however, they have a much greater chance of bagging all three points. 

Defensively, Huddersfield have been all over the place this season, offering very little resistance. Lacazette, on the other hand, has been quite clinical in front of goal, netting 9 goals in 24 appearances, this season. The prospect of facing the league’s worst side must surely be exciting for the forward, who would be aiming to touch double digits for goals in this matchday itself. Seeing the form he is in Fantasy Premier League managers cannot afford to ignore him.

Also Read: Man City determined to win the title