Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen (18/10/2014)
Kick Off: 14:30
Venue: Allianz Arena
Doing the rounds this week was the story of how Bayern coach Pep Guardiola aspires to one day mange English Premier League side Manchester United. But if his record since taking over as coach of the Bavarian club is anything to go by in terms of gauging the length of his tenure with them, then Manchester United will have to wait for a good few years yet. Due to Borussia Dortmund’s troubles this season in the league, Bayern are already pulling clear of the pack even at this early stage of the season, and look firm favourites to retain their Bundesliga crown. The only blot in Bayern’s recent proverbial coffee book will be that Thiago Alcantara has suffered yet another long term injury just after returning from another, which adds to the woes of already being without key men in the form of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez. This should be no issue at the weekend however, as their opponents Bremen haven’t won any of their last 5. A man to watch in this game will most certainly be Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski who, after a solid 4 goals in his first 7 league games, should raise that tally to his usual extraordinary goalscoring heights.
Prediction: Bayern Munich Win (3-0)
Arsenal vs. Hull City (18/04/2014)
Kick Off: 15:00
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Venue: The Emirates
Arsenal just cant seem to be able to keep their players fit. The Gunners were already were short of options with Theo Walcott, Mathieu Debuchy, Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta all out injured; but that situation has worsened during the international break with record-signing Mesut Ozil now out also and his likely replacement in the side Tomas Rosicky is also now a doubt after picking up a knock. Arsenal also have has some shaky results lately and need to start picking up points if they are going to be considered title challengers beyond Christmas, they should though get back on the winning horse this weekend against their FA Cup final opponents from last season in Hull City. Hull haven’t won any of their last 4 games conceding 8 in the process; and Arsenal have beaten the Tigers on the last 5 occasions they have played. A win for Arsenal, with so many players out injured and after his good performances for his country over the international period, eyes will be on Arsenals golden buy Jack Wilshere to provide the attacking and creative threat of the Arsenal attack and is the player to watch in this game.
Prediction: Arsenal Win (2-1)
Levante vs. Real Madrid (18/10/2014)
Kick Off: 15:00
Competition: Liga BBVA
Venue: Estadi Ciutat de València
Even if Real Madrid played 10 Sunday league players and Cristiano Ronaldo against Levante I would still back them to win. The reason for this assumption in 3 fold; firstly, the aforementioned Cristiano Ronaldo is in video game level form and already has a quite ridiculous 13 goals in his first 7 league outings, and has just surpassed the record for all time hat tricks in Spanish league football. Also, as a whole Real Madrid have banished the poor early season form they had and have scored 22 goals in their last 5 games in all competitions, conceding just 4 in the process. Lastly, they are up against a Levante team devoid in confidence who sit just 1 place above the drop zone, they have also lost all of their last 3 games at home conceding 9 and not scoring a single one. Real Madrid win in the first La Liga game of the weekend.
Prediction: Real Madrid Win (0-4)
AS Roma vs. Chievo (18/10/2014)
Kick Off: 17:00
Competition: Serie A
Venue: Stadio Olimpico
Roma will be hurting after they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat away at title rivals Juventus in their last league game, losing their 100% start to the season, and they will be looking to regain the winning feeling as soon as possible to keep pace in the race for the Scudetto. At home Roma have been formidable this season, only conceding 1 goal thus far and winning every game at the Olimpico. They come up against Chievo, and manager Eugenio Corini’s side last tasted victory with a 1-0 win over Napoli back on September 14, but since then have recorded three defeats and a draw. So with the visitors desperate to pick up points, Alberto Paloschi and Maxi Lopez are likely to be tasked with providing attacking threat for Chievo. As for Roma, Kevin Strootman has returned to training following a lengthy injury layoff, but is not expected to be involved at the weekend, while Gervinho is likely to start up front and will provide the attacking impetus that he has already showed in abundance this season.
Prediction: AS Roma Win (2-0)
Barcelona vs. Eibar (18/10/2014)
Kick Off: 19:00
Competition: Liga BBVA
Venue: Nou Camp
Barcelona have started the season in fine form and already Luis Enrique’s impact is evident. Whereas in former years there was a vulnerability about their defensive shape, they look much stronger now. This is clear with the fact that until last weekend, no team had recorded a shot on target against the Catalans, and they are also yet to concede a goal so far this season, and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will be hoping to extend his already new record for the longest time taken to eventually concede a goal at the start of a Spanish league season. Luis Enrique seems to prefer Jeremy Mathieu over Gerard Pique, with the Frenchman expected to take the Spain international’s place again at the centre of the Barcelona back-line alongside Javier Mascherano. Otherwise, there are few changes expected for Barca, and all eyes will be on Lionel Messi, who if he score a hat trick or nmore will overtake legendary Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra and become all time leading La Liga goalscorer at just 27; wow. Expect Levante to just try and soak up the visitor’s pressure and hit them on the counter attack. With Neymar, Lionel Messi and Pedro leading the line however, the Catalans should find at least one goal here. Levante will not pose much of a threat going forward, so this could be a low-scoring win for Barca who can make it four from four, but if Barcelona score early, it could get embarrassing for the minnows who are happy just to be playing at the Camp Nou.
Prediction: Barcelona Win (3-0)
Sassuolo vs. Juventus (18/10/2014)
Kick Off: 19:45
Competition: Serie A
Venue: Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore
This game sees Serie A leaders Juventus try to maintain their perfect start to the season away at Sassuolo. They Old Lady beat main title rivals Roma last match day, but with Roma expected to win this weekend, if Juventus fail to, all that hard work they put in will essentially be cancelled out; and if that were to happen, they should be kicking themselves after, because this is a fixture they should be picking up 3 points in. Juventus sit on top of the table with 18 points out of 18, where as Sassuolo sit bottom with 3 from 18 also. Recent and overall form also points to a Juventus win, Sassuolo haven’t won any of their last 4 home games, compared to Juventus who aside from a 1-0 defeat away at Athletio Madrid in the Champions League, have won every single one of their away games so far this season; Juventus have also beaten Sassuolo on every occasion they have met them in recent times, winning in all 4 competitive meetings. A player to watch in this match is Juventus frontman Carlos Tevez, who is two goals clear of second place in the goalscoring charts at this early stage of the campaign and will look to add to his tally of 6 goals in 6 game so far.
Prediction: Juventus Win (1-3)
Acca in full
Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen (Home Win)
Arsenal vs. Hull City (Home Win)
Levante vs. Real Madrid (Away Win)
AS Roma vs. Chievo (Home Win)
Barcelona vs. Eibar (Home Win)
Sassuolo vs. Juventus (Away Win)