Match preview for 17.09.2019: Napoli vs Liverpool
The reigning champions have made an ecstatic start to their season that even the injury to their Golden-Glove winning keeper has not slowed them down. Their performance in the Premier League has been to such an extent that rival manager Pep Guardiola has joked that the title race is already over.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have posted 15 points on the board from a possible 15, and are once again in line to register the best defensive returns in the competition. Also keep in mind that while the rest 19 in contention have already lost the dream to manage an unbeaten PL campaign, the Reds are going strong with a 100% win-record.
As such, they are riding high on momentum, and the Italians will have to put forth the display of a lifetime to manage the day without incident.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men too have begun on a good note, though not on the same level as their opponents for the day. The 2018-19 Serie A runners-up have won two of their total three fixtures in the league, and their sole loss had come against none other than the defending champions Juve, and that too on the road.
Match preview for 14.09.2019: Tottenham vs Crystal Palace
The 2018-19 Champions League runners-up are beasts that have been forced into a corner. There’s no telling how fierce they might react, and if previous h2h clashes are any indication, the hosts should be having the upper hand this weekend.
Take into consideration the fact that Hotspur won eight of the previous ten such encounters and four of the last five at this venue. Moreover, they have the home advantage, and importantly, Palace is yet to record a league win at this stadium.
In addition, in the last 15 years, only once have the visitors won here too.
Moreover, a major chunk of these wins has been associated with a clean sheet as well. In fact, six of the former eight encounters between these two ended with Spurs recording wins to nil, and the guests have been able to register just two goals from their prior nine trips here.
As such, count on the hosts adding such a win to an already long series. And building on the same note – with the absolute master-classes of defensive performances under the belt for Roy Hodgson’s men, the fixture has all the probability in the world to end up as a low-scoring one.
Match preview for 05.09.2019: Romania vs Spain
Despite the initial stutter, Romania have got things back under control and are currently on a three-match unbeaten run. The hosts thrashed Malta by a 4-0 scoreline in their last trip on the road, while at home, they got the better of Faroe Islands who managed not more than one consolation goal against the four that the home team slotted.
Nevertheless, it needs saying the only defeat that Romania has succumbed in the table, was against Sweden who are currently second in the table.
On the other hand, the Spaniards, who are on their way to Bucharest this Thursday, will be coming into the matchup on the back of a very convincing 3-0 victory over the Swedes. They are also on a four-match winning streak in the qualifiers and have tasted defeat just twice in their last ten games.
The visitors have so far been winning without breaking much of a sweat and have racked up eleven goals to their names while conceding just twice. However, considering that Romania have also found the back of the net as many times as the away side, an exciting clash is definitely in the reckoning.
Match preview for 29.08.2019: Wolves vs Torino
Wolves overcame the odds in the first leg of their tie and subsequently posted an impressive 3-2 scoreline over Torino in their maiden clash in Turin last week. The hosts were much the more clinical of the two sides and would have had a comfy two-goal cushion to carry back to the Molineux, had it not been for a late penalty given against them, which Belotti coolly converted.
Torino surprisingly registered fifteen attempts at goal in that matchup, which was eight more than what their counterparts had achieved. Yet, they managed to beat the goalkeeper just once in open play.
Although the margin seems slender, the fact that they conceded three away goals in itself has reduced Torino’s chances of making it into the next round. With home advantage into the midst as well for the Wanderers, Torino will need nothing short of a miracle to make it into the group stages now.
Match preview for 22.08.2019: Braga vs Spartak Moscow
The Portuguese outlooks are under dilemma after their loss against Sporting when their 21 attempts failed to see the winning goal. They are sure to get right back into their strong suit with improved tactics and comebacks. That game constituted the lone defeat in this season fixture so far.
The opposition had already faced Thun in the Qualifiers and this is their second team to encounter. They have three wins out of their six Russian Premier League games in this season. The visitors have just made a comeback into winning ways after a series of draws and loss in the season.
The host has scored seven goals against Brondby in the Qualifiers on aggregate from both the legs of the game. Overall the host carries an average 2.6 goals per game from their last five clashes. The opposite side failed to see the back of the net in only one game in the last five overall encounters.
Match preview for 13.08.2019: Ajax vs PAOK
Ajax failed to clinch the win in the first leg of their tie which saw both sides share the spoils with two goals each. The hosts went into the break, in that fixture, trailing by a goal. However, the squad cut the deficit twelve minutes after the restart through Huntelaar.
Although the Dutch outfit missed out on the win, the ball is in their court this week as they have two crucial away goals in the bag. The visitors will have to score at least two if they are to salvage their hopes of staying in the competition and to put the pressure back on the home team.
Netting two in Amsterdam will not be as easy as scoring back home, especially with Ajax boasting a two-game unbeaten run here at the moment. The side from Greece will have to put in the extra effort throughout the ninety minutes as they are the underdogs by a mile in this one.