Top Five European Soccer Leagues | Serie A and La Liga latest moves
by Mladen Mladenov Scores & Statson
Premier League Season 2018-2019 |
The start of the Premier League last week did not surprise anyone. The two major favorites for the title Liverpool and Manchester City started off strong with clean sheet wins (vs. West Ham 4-0 & vs. Arsenal 0-2). The other top squads in England that also started the season with wins were Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Chelsea. Let’s all check what the second week in the Premier League will offer to us.
1. August 18th – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham (Premier League)
The first interesting game in the second week of the Premier League will be a derby of two teams based in London. Because of the time of Fulham in Championship, this matchup had been slightly forgotten by the fans, but on Saturday we will see why this game is counted as a local derby. Fulham upgraded its squad with lots of players during the summer, but the season’s start presented a home lost against Crystal Palace, in the same time Tottenham won three points at Newcastle which is counted as one of the toughest places to visit in the league. All this is showing that anything else than a home win for the much more experienced squad of Spurs will be a shock in this derby of London.
2. August 18th – Chelsea vs. Arsenal (Premier League)
As we are speaking about a soccer derby in London, check out the late matchup in the Premier League on Saturday between Chelsea and Arsenal. This is clearly a much more anticipated London battle that will capture the attention of fans all over the world. Chelsea is one of the underrated top teams for the season but with its win at the stadium of Huddersfield in the first match day, the boys of Maurizio Sarri stated that they must be taken as serious contenders for the top places. In the same match day, the debut of the other manager (the one of Arsenal Unai Emery) was much worse. Emery lost at home against Manchester City and scared the fans of the red side of London that even after the era of Arsene Wenger, Arsenal will still stay far away from the title battle. In this game, no one among the two teams would like to lose and for this reason, we are expecting a low scoring game that might even finish as a draw.
3. August 19th – Brighton vs. Manchester United (Premier League)
On Sunday, Brighton will host one of the top teams in England – Manchester United with Jose Mourinho. Mourinho is set under a serious pressure from both fans and team directors, but United started the season with a tough home win against Leicester City. At the same time, Brighton started with a loss in London against Watford. For this reason, the hosts in this game which are a fairly good home team will try to avoid a second straight win. Such games are always hard for winning even by the best teams in the league and a surprising result in here might not be the most shocking thing in the world. Do not be surprised if Brighton scores in this fixture counting the not stable defense of United.
4. August 20th – Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool (Premier League)
Probably the second most interesting game for the week in England after the derby between Chelsea and Arsenal will be the game between Palace and Liverpool. Palace started with a great away win against Fulham which gives high hopes to the fans and to the manager of the team Roy Hodgson. Now on Selhurst Park, the Eagles will be hosting one of the top favorites for the title Liverpool. Everyone in England expects great things from Liverpool and the team started showing its potential even in the first week of the league games. The games between those teams had always been high scoring and the upcoming one should not be an exclusion. The favorite in the game is clearly Liverpool and if the team wants the title, it must win tough away games like this one.
Ligue 1 Season 2018-2019 |
The French Ligue 1 started last week with wins for all of the favorites in the league and two great wins for the newcomers Reims and Nimes. Regardless of the fact that the championship looks already decided especially knowing the class and the firepower of PSG we cannot miss previewing some of the interesting games in the country.
1. August 17th – Reims vs. Lyon (Ligue 1)
The winner of Ligue 2 during the last season started the season with a great away win against Nice which is one of the stable teams in France. With this win, Reims showed to its fans that the team will try to secure its place in the top league early in the season. The opponents of the newcomers in this game will be much better than the team of Nice. Reims will be hosting one of the contenders for the top place – Lyon, which started the season strong with a 2-0 win against Amiens. Lyon is still not involved in European games and for this reason, the team can focus on earning some points in Ligue 1. We are expecting to see a really interesting and tough game that will be full of tackles and challenges. We might not see many goals in here, but the game will quickly turn into a derby that will be interesting especially for the neutral fans.
2. August 18th – Guingamp vs. PSG (Ligue 1)
The next interesting game in France will be between the teams of Guingamp and the champions from PSG. Guingamp is far away from its best days but the team is one of the unpredicted squads in the league and we can always expect surprises from them. PSG still cannot rely on all of its players due to a different reason, but even the currently available players on the team are much better than the players of any other team in the league. This game should provide some goals, but a fail of PSG in this matchup looks highly unlikely.
3. August 18th – Monaco vs. Lille (Ligue 1)
The champions of Ligue 1 before two years are among the contenders for the top places in France, but their potential might not be enough to compete with the potential of PSG. Still, Monaco is a serious team that can beat anyone not only in France but in the whole of Europe. After a great 3-1 win against Nantes, Monaco will be hosting Lille that also registered a 3-1 win, but at home and against Rennes. Back in the years Monaco and Lille was a derby between two teams competing for the title, but now the reality is much different. Still, this Saturday fixture should present lots of emotions and if the teams have a good day in front of goal we might see lots of chances in front of both goalies. The home win is the most anticipated result in here, but surely not the safest bet.
4. August 19th – Nimes vs. Marseille (Ligue 1)
Probably one of the most interesting games in France for the week will be the one between one of the newcomers in the league Nimes and one of the most successful teams in France Marseille. Nimes started the season in Ligue 1 with a spectacular comeback win against Angers away from home. Nimes was behind 3-1 in the 77th minute, but end up winning the game with 3-4. After this great start of the season, the opposition in the second match day will be much better. Nimes will be hosting Marseille which is leading the table after a 4-0 home win against Toulouse. Marseille had a great last season and now the fans of the team are dreaming for even more. Goals in this game should not be lacking and we encourage you to pay attention to this kind of bets.
La Liga Season 2018-2019 |
The Spanish La Liga Season 2018-2019 will be much different than the last couple of seasons in the country. The most interesting duel between two players (Ronaldo & Messi) is finally over at least on domestic competition. Ronaldo left Real Madrid which is probably the biggest news that we saw during the transfer period in the summer in the whole world. In the same time Barcelona upgraded its squad with some perspective players, Atletico Madrid kept the core of the team will all other teams tried to decrease the gap between themselves and the favorites for the top places. Let’s quickly check what happened in Spain during the summer and what kind of changes we will see in the teams.
As we already noted the biggest transfer for the summer was the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Juventus. Real was also left by Mateo Kovacic who had been loaned out to Chelsea a few days ago. In the same time, Madrid had still not found a real replacement for Ronaldo. The team bought Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea, Alvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad and the promising young talent Vinicius from Flamengo but still there had not been a big offensive transfer in Madrid. Such is expected, but at the moment Real Madrid looks much more weakened that during the last season.
Meanwhile, Barcelona kept all of its stats (excluding Iniesta who basically retired from serious soccer competitions). The other big names that left the team were Paulinho, Andre Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Gerard Deulofeu, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina but all of them were replaced with equally good and even more perspective replacements. First of all, Rafinha is back after a loan period in Inter, same is active for Munir El Haddadi who spent the last season in Alaves. In the same time three, really promising talents like Malcolm from Bordeaux, Clement Lenglet from Sevilla and Arthur from Gremio were bought by Barcelona in order to freshen up the squad around Messi. In addition to those transfers, Arturo Vidal was taken from Bayern Munich which is probably the most serious transfer that Barcelona accomplished during the summer so far.
In the squad of Atletico Madrid, some changes also happened. The team was left by Fernando Torres, Gabi, Sime Vrsaljko and Kevin Gameiro but in the same time, Diego Simeone secured some great replacements. Luciano Vietto is back after a loan period in Valencia, while Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon), Antonio Adan (Real Betis), Jonny Castro (Celta Vigo), Santiago Arias (PSV), Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Rodri (Villarreal) and Thomas Lemar (Monaco) came to help Griezmann and company to fight for the title in La Liga and the trophy in the Champions League.
Another top team in the league Sevilla is also going to some changes. Sandro, Miguel Layun, Sergio Rico, Joaquin Correa and Clement Lenglet all left the team while Andre Silva, Tomas Vaclik, Joris Gnagnon and Aleix Vidal are going to replace the misses. With those transfers, Sevilla showed that the team is still going to be among the favorites but anything else than the fourth place in the league will be a miracle. The situation for Valencia is slightly different and the team will be a bigger favorite than Sevilla for the much desired fourth place in the league. Valencia was left by some key players likes Goncalo Guedes, Andreas Pereira, Nani, Martin Montoya and Joao Cancelo, but the team was also able to secure some great incoming transfers. Kevin Gameiro will be one of the leaders of the attack of Valencia together with another great newcomer like Michy Batshuayi. The defense of the team on the other side will be strengthening with players like Mouctar Diakhaby, Cristiano Piccini, and Daniel Wass.
Villarreal also kept most of its potential and the team will be once again among the best teams in the league. Rodri and Carlos Bacca might have left Villarreal, but players like Santi Cazorla, Miguel Layun, Ramiro Funes Mori, Gerard Moreno and Karl Toko Ekambi will be expected to increase the potential of the team. The other teams that were fairly active during the transfer period were the teams of Real Betis, Espanyol, Celta Vigo, Levante, Alaves and Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao Bought Yuri Berchiche from PSG and sold for a lot of money its goalkeeper Kepa (Chelsea). Alaves got new guys like John Guidetti and Patrick Twumasi, while Levante replaced some pieces of its team by selling Jefferson Lerma to Bournemouth and signing players like Coke (Schalke 04), Nikola Vukcevic (Braga) and Raphael Dwamena (Zurich). Celta Vigo was left by some rotation players like Theo Bongonda, John Guidetti, Sergi Gomez, Jonny Castro and Daniel Wass but freshened its lineup with guys like Okay Yokuslu and Sofiane Boufal. Espanyol replaced Gerard Moreno with Borja Iglesias while Real Betis tried to even develop its team from being a contender for League Europe places to being a contender for Champions League places. Betis was left by Adan, Durmisi and Fabian Ruiz but added guys like Sergio Canales, Takashi Inui, Joel Robles, Antonio Barragan, Sidnei and the starter of the Portuguese national soccer team William Carvalho.
Seria A Season 2018-2019 |
Seria A grabbed a lot more attention of the fans around the globe mainly after the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo in Juventus. The power of the team from Torino was even increased with the signing of guys like Joao Cancelo, Emre Can, Mattia Perin, the buying of Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich and the huge return of Leonardo Bonucci after a season in Milan. The team also loaned Higuain and sold Mattia Caldara together with releasing its club legend Gianluigi Buffon who joined PSG. All these transfers made Juventus absolute favorite not only for the title in Seria A but also for the trophy in the Champions League. The opposition in Italy also added some talent, but the quality of the other team's newcomers is much weaker than the added quality in Juventus.
Inter, for example, added lots of new players. Stefan de Vrij, Kwadwo Asamoah, Keita Balde, Sime Vrsaljko and Radja Nainggolan together with Lautaro Martinez must bring back the glory days of the blue team in Milano. Same was done by the local rival Milan who added some interesting players like Pepe Reina, Ivan Strinic, Alen Halilovic, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Mattia Caldara and Gonzalo Higuain. With those additions, Milan developed its team and showed to its fans that good times are about to come.
Another top team in the league Napoli probably weakened its squad not only with the leaving of Maurizio Sarri but also with the leaving of important players like Pepe Reina and Jorginho. Changes happened also in the team of Roma. Roma was left by Alisson who joined Liverpool and Radja Nainggolan who went to Inter. In the same time, the team from Rome got new guys like Ivan Marcano from Porto, Bryan Cristante from Atalanta, Ante Coric from Dinamo Zagreb, Robin Olsen from FC Copenhagen, Gregoire Defrel from Sassuolo, Davide Santon from Inter, Javier Pastore from PSG and the promising young talent Justin Kluivert from Ajax. The local rivals from Lazio lost two of its best players Felipe Anderson and Stefan de Vrij and only added guys like Milan Badelj from Fiorentina, Riza Durmisi from Real Betis, Valon Berisha from RB Salzburg, Francesco Acerbi from Sassuolo and Joaquin Correa from Sevilla. With those changes, Lazio added variety but maybe lost quality.
The other two teams that made interesting transfers were the teams of Atalanta and Fiorentina. Atalanta officially got Duvan Zapata, Mario Pasalic, kept its main players and only sold guys like Jasmin Kurtic, Alberto Paloschi, Andrea Peagna and etc. Fiorentina in the same time decided to mainly added promising players like Marko Pjaca, Gerson, and Riccardo Saponara, while was left by guys like Milan Badelj, Khouma Babacar, and Nikola Kalinic.