You are most welcome FIFA, may we have our club players back now? International football seems so much like a drag, nothing to spice the past weekend, qualifiers were dull and uninspiring; the friendlies were even worst, finally the bread and butter of league football returns to our respective television sets.
In this segment, we intend to preview major matches from around the world with the intention of wetting your appetites. This weekend, its primarily about the debuts of recently transferred players especially in the Premier League; we highlight our top 7 debutants and the likely effects they may have on their team’s fortunes whilst also previewing the top games across the world this weekend.
For the games this weekend, it does not come any bigger than the Derby D’ Italia between Internationale and Juventus; remember that Inter Milan were responsible for breaking the old lady’s long standing unbeaten streak last season. However, this is a different Inter side, new manager, a focus on Youth as against splashing the cash on major established names. Walter Mazzarri has started his Inter reign quite well, two wins out of two is a fantastic way to start the season, but this will be their toughest test thus far. In Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba; Juve have probably the most in form Midfielders in the league and a lot will depend on them being at the top of their game to create,take chances and also stop the likes of Ricky Alvarez and Freddy Guarin from winning the midfield battle. A great game in prospect, but I expect Juve to get its 100th victory in this tie.
In Spain, Tata Martino has his second big test in as many games as Barcelona take on restructured Sevilla, who are looking a completely different side these days after the sales of many of its marquee players. Barcelona have to be firm favourites for this and are expected to extend their brilliant start to the season with another victory. In England, the big game has to be at Goodisson Park, where the Toffees (Everton) host Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea; both teams are undefeated so far with Everton winless in three games. The emergence of Ross Barkley is a huge boost to Everton, but we would have to see how big a loss Fellani would be. For Chelsea, its the problem of fitting so many good midfield players in the starting 11; debuts are expected for new signings Samuel Etoo and Willian; but Juan Mata may just remain on the bench for this one. A draw seems a reasonable result for both teams.
A return to Italy for another big match up for the weekend, another derby match; this time its the Derby della Lanterna contested between Sampdoria and Genoa; both teams have realistic targets of finishing mid table and I strongly believe they are equipped to achieve this. Sampdoria have a point from two games whilst Genoa are still yet to get points on the board; I expect Sampdoria to take the day despite Genoa’s 120th year anniversary celebration, but as we know the case with derbies the form book does not exist.
We round up by highlighting the top 7 debutants and the effect they would have on their clubs respectively:
1. Samuel Etoo (Chelsea) – A proven goal scorer, world class striker, the final piece in Jose’s puzzle. Can he lead Chelsea to EPL victory come May? I think he can.
2. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)- Exciting, electrifying and extremely over prized, tough debut game against Villarreal. All the best Gareth.
3. Maroune Fellani (Manchester United)- ToughTackling, aggressive midfielder, is he the Solution to Manchester United’s midfield problems.
4. Alessandro Matri (AC Milan)- Milan need a forward that could pouch, they got him at a very good bargain. Can Milan compete for the scudetto?
5. Mezut Ozil (Arsenal)- The euphoria on his arrival has been quite electric, but Arsenal fans need to calm down and get the manager to put him to good use.
6. Victor Moses (Liverpool)- A good move for a good player with the world cup firmly in mind.
7. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspurs)- A lot has been said about his abilities, its time to show it in a really big league.
Till next weekend, enjoy the weekend.
Written by Adeyemi Adesanya