Weekend Boxset: Irresistible forces and Immobile objects


Friday 25 November



Bundesliga: RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg



19:30 GMT on BT Sport 1 (US: FS2)



Both of these clubs were promoted last season. The home side, Leipzig, now sit proudly atop the Bundesliga, three points ahead of Bayern Munich after a blistering start to the season which no one foresaw and very few are happy about. Freiburg sit comfortably in tenth, that away record hindering their rise up the table. Leipzig are hogging the headlines with their extraordinary rise off the back of such exciting players as Naby Keita, Emil Forsberg, Timo Werner and Scottish international Oliver Burke. But Freiburg also has plenty of vibrancy in Maximilian Philipp, Enzo Grifo and Nils Petersen and in Christian Streich they have a coach committed to giving their opponents a game.



 


Saturday 26th November



Premier League: Burnley v Man City



12:30 GMT on BT Sport 1 (US: NBCSN)



Anyone who follows a mid table Premier League team will know how quickly you can go from trundling along nicely in 12th one week before dropping to fourth from bottom in three weeks. Burnley have had some great results recently against Palace, Manchester United and Everton but the 4-0 drubbing against West Brom is concerning, especially in view of some testing fixtures ahead starting with Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team overcame a difficult encounter with Borussia Mönchengladbach to ease themselves into the second round of the Champions League. City’s record after Champs League games is not brilliant and the wily Sean Dyche will back his team’s recent knack of upsetting better teams by trying to win this game.



 


Premier League: Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur



17:30 on BT Sport 1 (US: NBC)



This old school London derby comes in the wake of Tottenham’s departure from the Champions League. Chelsea have prospered without European competition and responding nicely to Antonio Conte’s methods. Particularly intriguing has been the rise of Victor Moses. The Nigeria international has never settled since leaving Wigan but has featured heavily in the Blue’s march to the top of the table. Tottenham were fortunate to get their first win in four Premier League games against West Ham last week and will not relish a bruising encounter against their west London rivals.



 


Primeira Liga: Belenenses v FC Porto



20:30 on BT Sport 3



The visitors go into this game after having suffered an early cup exit at the hands of G.D. Chaves in the fourth round. In fact they have only mustered one win in their last five competitions. The Dragon’s  conceded a last minute equaliser to Benfica in the Classico in their last league outing and come into this game off the back of a 0-0 draw with Copenhagen which was not sufficient to secure a place in the Champions League Final 16. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team are currently second in the table but teetering.  Belenenses’ win at Feirense, last matchday, broke a three game losing streak but the Lisbon based club were winless from September. There may be trouble if Porto trip up again.








Don't forget to download this week's Sound Of Football Podcast. This week, Graham, Terry and Jan discuss the emotive subject of a possible return of standing areas at Premier League games.

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Sunday 27th November



Serie A: Palermo v Lazio



11:30 on BT Sport 1



Check it out guys, Lazio are fourth. Ciro Immobile is the star man with nine goals in 13 games. The Italian is having the best season of since his ill fated spell in Germany and is being ably supported by Balde Keita. Coach Simone Inzaghi has done an amazing job given that the club’s pre-season was almost torpedoed when Marcelo Bielsa bailed on the club despite agreeing to take over the club. This should be a breeze for the Rome club given that their Sicilian opponents are garbage frankly. Palermo have only managed one point in their last 8 (eight) games and have lost their last five. You can get odds of 5.5 for a home win at a certain leading bookmaker. I wouldn’t.



 


Ligue 1: Nice v Bastia



16:00 GMT on BT Sport ESPN



Nice have a new stadium, new backers, a new coach and new ambitions. Coach, Lucien Favre has brought in plenty of experience in Dante. The Brazilian defender from Wolfsburg and of course the precocious Mario Ballotelli who has been in decent form since his arrival score six goals in just six games. Alassane Plea while not as productive has seven in 13 and is Ligue 1’s top scorer. Between them they have helped fire Nice to the top of the table going into this weekend. Bastia like a foul and had two players sent off two weeks ago against Lyon. They are set up to be direct and physical. The epitome of a relegation battler and a potential banana skin for Nice who lost their Europa League match with Schalke on Thursday.



 


MLS Conference Final 2nd Leg: Colorado Rapids v Seattle Sounders



21:00 GMT on Sky Sports 4 (US: ESPN)



This is something of a bold call given that Lyon v PSG is on the other side. However, the second leg of this MLS Cup semi-final is nicely poised with the Sounders enjoying a one goal advantage.The Sounders have a decent record at Dick Sporting Goods Park having won four of their last six visits and losing the other two with ten men. Despite their enormous fan base, the Sounders have never made it as for as the MLS Cup Final since joining the league in 2009. This is a matter of great chagrin since their closest rivals, Portland won in last season after only their fifth year. Toronto or Montreal will meet the winners in the Final.



 



Many thanks for reading. If you enjoy this newsletter then please feel free to share with your friends. Enjoy the weekend.



 



Regards,



 



Terry



 



 

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