The emphatic derby display by Manchester City was definitely the highlight of last weekend’s events; even overshadowing the big money derby in France between Monaco and Paris Germain. This weekend would be no different from last weekend as we have a number of mouth watering match ups to look forward to.
We begin in France as the big game for the week has to be the visit of Lille to Lyon in a battle between past champions of the champion-at and currently fourth versus eighth on the standings; both teams have had contrasting starts to the season with Lyon particularly disappointing especially with their ouster from the Champions League by Real Socieadad. Both teams are undefeated in two, so expect a tough encounter between both teams. Up front Nolan Roux has being the top marksman for Lille whilst Clement Grenier leads scoring from midfield for Lyon, a lot will depend on both players in determining the destination of the three maximum points.
In England, precisely London. Its derby day as Jose Mourinho takes his stuttering Chelsea side to face his prodigy and former manager in North London with the aim of ensuring that Tottenham lose another derby and Andreas Villas Boa eats his words for comments made going into this epic derby. Both managers found success as managers of Porto and have identical managerial paths, but the relationship seems to have hit the rocks. Players to watch out for in this encounter would be Christian Eriksen, who has really made Spurs tick since his arrival and Oscar who seems to be Jose Mourinho’s new baby boy. Spurs go into this game having conceded only one goal in eight games, stating that they have found some level of consistence and solidity at the back, especially with Paulinho and Capoue screening and patrolling the area in front of the back four. This Chelsea side on the other hand seem more like a departure from standards of the previous Mourinho era, not tactically strong, not as proficient in front of goal and defensive lapses here and there. This game has the makings of battle for the ages; its going to be an epic adding to its potential for combustion is the snatched signing of Willian right from under the noses of Spurs when the player had undergone a medical at White Hart Lane. Talk about making yourself a persona non grata.
In Spain, its also derby day in the capital; as Athletico Madrid take on Real Madrid; Athletico look like a side that has the makings of a team that can push the big two all the way. Victory in the Madrid derby will go a long way in laying credence to this assertion. In Diego Costa and Koke; Athletico Madrid have the top scorer and top assist provider in the league currently; but you really can’t put much pasted Cristiano Ronaldo led Real Madrid especially with the ever magnificent Isco controlling things from midfield. Prior to Athletico Madrid Copa Del Rey final victory; Los Blancos had won 16 of the last 20 encounters between both sides even having a 10 game winning streak; Athletico finally have a chance to register a league win in the El Derbi Madrileno for the first time since the 99/2000 season.
Also, there is the small matter of the Turin Derby, gone were the days when this derby did mean something; both teams no longer share the same stadium, Juventus have continued to wax stronger domestically and in Europe with Torino being perennial relegation candidates. This game gets added significance due to the transfer of Angelo Ogbonna across the city from Torino to Juve; he can expect a hostile reception from the Torino faithful.
Upset of the Weekend
Stade de Reims getting at least a point against Monaco.
Key Battle of the weekend
Christian Eriksen v Oscar
To good to Lose
Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg
Highlight of the weekend
Gareth Bale’s home debut.
Written by Adeyemi Adesanya