Top 5 European Soccer Leagues 2018-2019 | Preview Summary - Aug 20-Aug 26
by Mladen Mladenov Scores & Statson
Premier League Season 2018-2019 |
The action in the English Premier League slowly becomes more impressive. We already saw some great games after only 2 match days in the Premier League. The third week in England will surely not provide fewer emotions to the soccer fans. Let’s not lose more time and get straight into the games for the upcoming round in one of the best soccer leagues in the world.
1. August 25h – Wolverhampton vs. Manchester City (Premier League) Not surprisingly Manchester City started the season strong with an away win against Arsenal and a crushing success versus Huddersfield. The next matchup for the blue team of Manchester will be against one of the newcomers in the Premier League – Wolverhampton. The Premier League had not welcomed Wolves friendly and after two games the team has only one point. The city might be lacking its superstar Kevin De Bryune but this does not mean that we cannot see a copy of the game of Manchester City against Huddersfield and a similar amount of goals.
2. August 25th – Arsenal vs. West Ham United (Premier League) The ‘’after Arsene Wenger” era for Arsenal had not started in the best possible way. Arsenal started the season with two losses (against Chelsea and Manchester City). Badly for Unai Emery and his players in the third round of the Premier League the opponent once again will be not among the outsiders in the league. The reality is that regardless of the fact that both Arsenal and West Ham United had registered two losses in the first two games of the league, both teams have a fairly good squad. The squad potential of Arsenal is well known, but West Ham also should not be underestimated. In this game, no one would like to lose for a third straight time and for this reason we might not see many goals. Both defenses showed that they are not stable, but in this game, they will give their best. If Arsenal does not win in here the clouds around the head of Emery will become extremely dark…
3. August 26th – Newcastle vs. Chelsea (Premier League) One of the most interesting games in the Premier League for the week will be played in Newcastle where the hosts will be hosting Chelsea fully equipped with all of its stars. Newcastle’s home schedule this season is really tough with three straight matchups against top teams (Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal). After the loss against Tottenham in the opening day, Newcastle had a rough game in Cardiff where for a big period of time the team played with 10 men. In the end, Kennedy (who in fact is loaned out to Newcastle by Chelsea) missed a penalty that took away the three points from the team. On the other side, Chelsea had been flying high with two wins and ambitions for a third straight. The games between those teams had always been interesting and this one should not be much different. The performance of each of the defenses will be the most important thing in this derby.
4. August 27th – Manchester United vs. Tottenham (Premier League) The biggest derby in the third matchday in the Premier League will be held on Monday when Manchester United will host Tottenham. Manchester United started the season fairly bad, but not surprising since everyone expected rough times for Mourinho and his chemistry lacking squad. After a close win against Leicester City and a shocking defeat against Brighton, Mourinho’s Red Devils will face Tottenham who is in a good form. Tottenham won against Newcastle and Fulham and the expectations are that they will not lose at Old Trafford. It will be interesting to see how Manchester United will react after the crushing defeat that the team experienced against a low-level team such as Brighton. Another lost for the red team from Manchester might not be the most surprising thing that you could see next week.
Ligue 1 Season 2018-2019 |
The season of the newcomers keeps on going in Ligue 1 in France. Many people believed that the opening wins of Nimes and Reims were just a pure luck but after the second straight three points for those two newcomers, everyone started taking Nimes and Reims seriously. Reims shocked Nice and Lyon, while Nimes knocked down Angers and the last year UEFA Europe League finalists from Marseille. Rather than that everything else in France is normal and usual mainly because PSG is first. Let’s check what are the top soccer games in France for the next week.
1. August 24th – Lyon vs. Strasbourg (Ligue 1) One of the favorites in Ligue 1 Lyon started the 2018-2019 season with a win at home against Amiens and when everyone expected a series of won games, one of the newcomers in the league Reims shocked Memphis Depay and company. After this game, Lyon is coming back on Groupama Stadium to host Strasbourg that showed some promising things in its first two games. If it was not for the late goal of St. Etienne in the second round of Ligue 1, Strasbourg would have taken 6 points from the first two games. Still, 4 points after two matches is not bad for a team that will most likely end up in the second part of the standing at the end of the season. Counting the fact that Strasbourg missed winning its last game against St. Etienne regardless of the fact that they were with an extra man shows that the team is still not ready for consecutive good performances and the most anticipated outcome of this next game is to see how Lyon comes back on the winning road.
2. August 25th – PSG vs. Angers (Ligue 1) The domination of PSG last year and the lack of notable new additions in the opponents of the team for the title creates the impression that Ligue 1 in 2018-2019 will be really boring for a second straight season. PSG registered two wins in the first two games of the season while Angers is on the opposite side with two losses. In this upcoming game on Saturday, anything else than a crushing win for PSG and many goals in the game will be a complete shock.
3. August 26th – Bordeaux vs. Monaco (Ligue 1) Two of the French teams competing in European competitions are facing each other on Sunday. Bordeaux will be playing in the playoffs of the UEFA Europe League while Monaco will be in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. The start of the season for both sides was really different. Bordeaux clearly is weakened compared to last season, mostly due to the leaving of Malcolm who went to Barcelona. Monaco was also left by some key players but the team will once again compete for the top places in the league. On Sunday we should see a real derby that might finish in any way, but the most anticipated result should be a draw.
4. August 26th – Marseille vs. Rennes (Ligue 1) Marseille looks like the second strongest team in Ligue 1 after PSG during this season, but the problem for the team might be the lack of consistency which was a problem last year as well. Marseille crushed Toulouse in the first game of the season, but after than collapsed against Nimes away from home. Now, most people will expect a home win against the strong team of Rennes, but no one can be sure about the performance of Marseille since they can beat anyone and lose against anyone.
La Liga Season 2018-2019 |
1. August 25th – Atletico Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano (La Liga) After the leaving of Cristiano Ronaldo, the biggest opponent of Barcelona for the title in La Liga for this season should be Atletico Madrid. Atletico kept all of its key players and compared to Ronaldo lacking Real Madrid looks like a better opponent for the title. In the first match day of La Liga Atletico had a tough visit at Valencia which ended as a draw. Still, Atleti was the better team and the players of Diego Simeone can feel sorry about the two lost points after this game. Anyways, this is behind the back of Atletico Madrid that will host Rayo Vallecano in the next round. Vallecano showed that the team is currently in bad form after losing the first home game of the season against Sevilla (1-4). Now in this Saturday’s game, we are expecting to see a win for Atleti and the first goal of Griezmann in La Liga.
2. August 25th – Valladolid vs. Barcelona (La Liga) Valladolid as one of the newcomers in La Liga for this season has an extremely tough home opener against Barcelona and Leo Messi. Valladolid showed some good things on defense after drawing (0-0) away from home in Girona. Still, this might not be enough counting the fact that the opposition in the next game will be called Barcelona. Barcelona had a tough first half at home against Alaves in the last round, but in the second half, the team scored 3 goals. In this game, in Valladolid, we are expecting to see a win for Barcelona that might not be accompanied by a lot of goals.
3. August 26th – Sevilla vs. Villarreal (La Liga) One of the interesting matchups in La Liga in the last few seasons had been the game between Sevilla and Villarreal. The games between those teams had always provided plenty of quality soccer and interesting moments. At the moment Sevilla looks like the favorite, but we must not forget that Villarreal had a busy transfer period in which the team added plenty of talent. Especially if we see an early goal in here, we can expect many goals.
4. August 26th – Girona vs. Real Madrid (La Liga) The last season for Girona in La Liga was really successful and the team finished 10th in the league which counting the fact that the team has a low budget is a great success. Last year Girona won the home game against Real with 2-1 and made a spectacular show on Santiago Bernabeu the ended with a 6-3 win for Madrid. Now, the things are much different and Girona will have a much harder second season in La Liga. In the same time, Real Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo is much worse and much different. The Ronaldo effect was seen in the first game when Bernabeu was almost empty, which had not happened during the years of Ronaldo in the team. The post-Ronaldo Real Madrid still is a huge mystery and a shock in this game will be not the most surprising thing that we can see on the soccer fields in Europe during this weekend.
Seria A Season 2018-2019 |
The schedule in Seria A heats up fast and we will see some amazing games in the second round of the league. After the successful start of Juventus in the league and the surprising loss of Inter combined with the interesting derby between Lazio and Napoli that finished with a win for Napoli, we are heading to another portion of Italian soccer spectacles.
1. August 25th – Juventus vs. Lazio (Seria A) Juventus is the clearly the biggest favorite for the trophy not only in Seria A but in the Champions League which creates many expectations for the team from Torino. The new Juve with Cristiano Ronaldo started with a late drama comeback win against Chievo in Verona. In this game, Juventus won with 2-3, but Ronaldo did not prove that he is adjusted to his new life in Italy. Ronaldo missed a couple of great chances against Chievo, but we are pretty sure that he will show his greatness in the second round when Juventus will have a derby match against Lazio. Lazio most likely will not repeat its great last season performance, but still, the blue team from Rome is a tough opponent. We are expecting to see a much better performance by Ronaldo and some goals in this Saturday’s derby.
2. August 25th – Napoli vs. Milan (Seria A) If you think that Seria’s A only derby on Saturday will be the game between Juventus and Lazio you are totally wrong. The later game in Seria A will be the match between Napoli and Milan. Napoli started the season with a win against Lazio and now in the second game, the Neapolitans will have another hard task against the refreshed team of Milan. This will be the first game of Milan for the season since the opening game for the season against Genoa was postponed because of the tragic bridge accident that happened in Genoa. In this game, we are expecting to see some goals, but we cannot give a clear prediction of the outcome since Milan still had not shown his new face.
3. August 26th – Inter vs. Torino (Seria A) Just like its local rival Milan, Inter also went through some squad changes in the summer and the fans of the team are expecting to see something better in this starting season. Unfortunately, Inter started the season with an away loss against Sassuolo which brought back the tough times on Giuseppe Meazza. The situation for Torino is not much different since the team lost its home opener against Roma. Now both teams will try to avoid a second straight loss and this might mean that we could see a small number of jails in this Sunday’s derby in Italy.
4. August 26th – Roma vs. Atalanta (Seria A) The soccer week in Italy ends with a fourth great derby. This time, two of the top teams from last season Roma and Atalanta will face in a direct clash for an early lead in Seria A. Atalanta started the season with a great home win against Frosinone, while Roma won one of the toughest away games in Seria A in the visit against the team of Torino. The games between Roma and Atalanta usually provide plenty of emotions and some goals and this game should not be different. Roma is the slightest favorite not only because of the better squad potential but also because of the fact that Atalanta is involved in the playoffs of the UEFA Europe League and will have tough games against the Danish FC Copenhagen.
German Bundesliga Season 2018-2019 |
The last top soccer league in Europe that starts for this season is the German Bundesliga. During the last week in Germany, we saw some soccer, but this was just the start of the Deutsch Pokal tournament. In the starting rounds of this tournament we saw some surprises, but surely general conclusions for the Bundesliga teams cannot be done only because of some of the upsets which happened. Surely the tournament will have a new winner since Eintracht Frankfurt had been already eliminated, but this does not mean that Eintracht will be among the outsiders in the league for the upcoming year.
Most teams in Germany performed some interesting transfers during the summer, but there were not many shocking moves. Still, there is plenty that we can mention regarding transfers in the German Bundesliga. We start with the moves in Bayern Munich where many specialists predicted much more movement. The notable transfers in Bayern were the releases of Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal plus the official signing of Leon Goretzka which was a transfer known since more than half a year. Next, to all this, we can mention the return of Serge Gnabry after a loan at Hoffenheim. Schalke 04 in the same time added a couple of interesting players including Mark Uth from Hoffenheim, while also selling some role players including the young talent Thilo Kehrer to PSG. Speaking of Hoffenheim, the team replaced a couple of its players with another perspective once and kept the tradition to rely on fairly young guys that had been mainly underestimated in their previous teams or at least at some point of their career.
One of the most active teams in Germany during the transfer period was Borussia Dortmund that understood the need for some fresh blood. Roman Weidenfeller left Dortmund after years of honorable representation. Weidenfeller retired while players like Erik Durm, Michy Batshuayi, Andre Schurrle, Gonzalo Castro, Andriy Yarmolenko and Sokratis left the yellow team from Dortmund. Their replacements might not be as spectacular, but still, we can see interesting new names like Thomas Delaney, Achraf Hakimi and especially Axel Witsel who is one of the best Belgian soccer players at the moment. In the same time, Bayer Leverkusen added some young new talents like Paulinho from Vasco da Gama and Isaac Thelin from Anderlecht. Bernd Leno who went to Arsenal was replaced by the longtime starter of Eintracht Frankfurt Lukas Hradecky.
RB Leipzig officially sold Naby Keita to Liverpool and from a first glimpse did not replace him appropriately. Gladbach also did not find a fair replacement of the new addition of Southampton Jannik Vestergaard but in the same time signed with a good forward such as Alassane Plea from Nice. All other teams did not perform anything spectacular and most of them mainly added some pieces from the relegated ex-grand Hamburger which lost lots of players after relegating to the Second Bundesliga.