Lots of stories from this weekend, so let's jump right into the big ones.
Man United versus Man City lived up to the hype. City played very well and dominated the first half, while United made halftime adjustments and got back into the game. While the second half didn't produce goals, it was a lively match throughout with City deservedly winning 2-1 for their full match performance. Elsewhere in the Prem, Stoke is an absolute mess right now and sitting bottom of the table after a meltdown at home against Tottenham. Arsenal finally got a win, Watford stormed back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 on the road, and Liverpool thrashed the Champions Leicester City 4-1.
In La Liga, Barcelona shockingly lost at home to newly promoted Deportivo Alavés. Not sure anyone saw that one coming. Real remained perfect to be the only team on 9 points through 3 matches after Las Palmas finally lost their first match. Oddly, there are still 6 undefeated teams in La Liga after 3 matches. It will be interesting to see how long each of the teams can remain undefeated.
Tigres UANL remained undefeated in Liga MX in a match we highlighted in our Pre-Game Presser. Tigres’ defensive style prevailed as they posted yet another shutout. Elsewhere, Pachuca and Tijuana dropped points, while Pumas UNAM, Chivas, and America all picked up wins to tighten things at the top of the table. Leon climbed out of the basement after a 4-1 thumping of Atlas.
PSG stumbled again in Ligue 1, drawing 1-1 with Saint-Etienne. At the bottom of the table, Angers and Nancy both picked up wins and scored their first goals of the year. Lorient is now the Ligue 1 punching bag with 0 points through 4 matches and a -8 goal difference.
That’s what we noticed this weekend. What else did you see? Let us know in the comments section.
All Leagues are back in action this weekend and we have a number of interesting narratives. Here are some that we're following:
Both Angers and Nancy have a combined 0 goals through 3 matches each in Ligue 1. Expect Angers to get on the board this weekend, but Nancy may continue their struggle for goals in their bottom of the table matchup with Lorient. On the other end of the table, can first place Guingamp continue their amazing run to start the year with a home match against Montpellier? It's certainly a winable game.
In the Bundesliga, Schalke and Bayern kick things off Friday in a battle of two of the biggest clubs in Germany. Another interesting match is the second versus third place match between Köln and Wolfsburg. It's only 1 match in, so don't read too much into that second and third place label but should still be a good game. Also, Red Bull Leipzig versus Borussia Dortmund should be a very offensive affair.
In La Liga, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have home matches against newly promoted clubs. Those should be lopsided affairs with truckloads of goals for the home teams in the forecast. Atletico Madrid is winless 2 matches into the season and will look to get a win on the road against a Celta Vigo squad with 0 points on the year. Sevilla against Las Palmas is the matchup of the weekend in La Liga with 2 clubs off to strong starts this campaign.
Over in Italy, Genoa is top of the table with a perfect start and faces a Fiorentina team that has 1 win and 1 loss on the year. Juventus and Sampdoria are the other 2 clubs with perfect records thus far. Juve's record should continue unblemished. Sampdoria may find it very tough on the road against a strong Roma team. That match will be the one to follow in Italy.
On the other side of the Atlantic, third place Tigres UANL will look to remain undefeated as they go on the road to face 4th place Morelia. Morelia has the most goals scored and most goals conceded in the league, while Tigres has conceded the fewest goals. That will make for an interesting clash of styles. The other top teams (Tijuana, Pachuca, and America) are all on the road, which may open the door for Pumas UNAM or Chivas to make some gains in the standings.
That's what we're looking for this weekend. What are you watching? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.
Only MLS was in action this weekend, so we just have the one Form Ranking this week. We recognize there is a lot of movement in the rankings each week, so we're constantly tweaking our algorithm. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
After getting thumped on the road in the prior week, Chicago's 3-0 demolition of Philly at home vaulted them to the top of our Form Rankings. Conversely, Philly had a large fall from 1st to 10th. New England climbed out of the basement and into 14th with their 2-0 victory over Colorado. There wasn't too much other movement in the rankings as only 12 of the 20 teams had matches.
Liga MX rankings will be back next Wednesday and Ligue 1 & EPL rankings will start the following week. Let us know if you agree with our rankings or if you have any other suggestions in the comments section below.
We only had a handful of MLS games this past weekend, so we'll keep this Post-Game Presser short and sweet.
The two New York clubs made statement wins to validate their Eastern Conference title credentials. It looks like the two of them and Toronto FC will be a three horse race for the top spot in the East. Philly suffered a bad road defeat to the lowly Chicago Fire that pretty much ended their hopes of competing for the top spot in the conference. The Union should be battling Montreal for positioning between the 4th and 5th playoff spot in the East for the rest of the season.
In the Western Conference, LA got back to winning ways like we expected in the Pre-Game Presser. And Dallas beat Portland to lock themselves in as the favorites to win the Supporter's Shield. Colorado lost to New England on the road to put a dent in their own Supporter's Shield campaign. Overall, it was a fun, tough to predict weekend in MLS like always.
Don't forget to check in tomorrow to see our updated MLS Form Rankings. And we'll have our Pre-Game Presser on Thursday to preview this weekend's action.
Let us know if we missed anything in the comments section below.
With it being the international break, the only club matches this weekend are in MLS. Here’s what to watch for:
The two best matchups will be DC United at New York City FC and Portland at Dallas. NYCFC haven’t been the best home side and DC had a big 4-point week last week. This is a big match for both teams battling for playoff positions. In the other match, Portland got a much needed victory over Seattle last week and Dallas maintained pace in the Supporter’s Shield race. Expect a goal-fest in this one.
Colorado at New England could be a snoozer as Colorado’s stingy defense and New England’s anemic attack isn’t a recipe for beautiful soccer. Now that that’s been said, expect a 5-3 Colorado road win (kidding…but it is MLS and that wouldn’t be surprising).
There’s not much narrative in any of the other 3 matches. Philly will look to exercise some demons from a devastating draw to the Fire to end their playoff chances 2 years ago. LA and Columbus seem to be moving in opposite directions, but this could be a game where LA gets back on track and Columbus reverts to their inconsistent 2016 form. Lastly, New York Red Bulls at Vancouver Whitecaps will be a contest between a consistent performing Eastern conference team versus an unpredictable mid to lower-performing Western conference team.
MLS is always fun to watch because it’s tough to predict. It should be a fun weekend of games to hold you over until all leagues resume next weekend.
Remember, there’s no fantasy games this week, but you should still play the Pick ‘Em matches (found on the lobby page). Predict what will happen in the matches and earn FFC. And let us know what you’re looking for this weekend in the comments section below.