Club soccer is back after taking its final international break of 2016.  It’s all club matches from now until March, which means Fan Futsal will have games every week from now until then.  Let’s discuss some of the more interesting matches this upcoming weekend.

Liga MX

It’s the final weekend of the Apertura regular season in Mexico and there’s still a bunch of clubs fighting for playoff positions.  Tijuana knows that it’s in the playoffs, but has the chance to lock up the first overall seed if they can defeat Veracruz on the road.  You’ll recall from past posts and the Form Rankings that Veracruz is in dreadful form and leaking goals at an astonishing rate.  Tijuana should win this one handedly.  Pachuca faces America in what should be a good match between two solid championship contenders.  Chivas faces Necaxa with both clubs sitting in playoff spots.  It would be a pretty impressive feat for Necaxa to hold onto their playoff position having only just been promoted.  We’ll also be watching to see if Pumas and Toluca can hold onto the last two playoff spots or if Leon and/or Monterrey can sneak in.  None of the four clubs are playing each other and all of them are playing clubs that currently sit below them in the table.  Should be quite the dramatic finish to an interesting regular season in Liga MX.

 

EPL

The Premier League returns with some intriguing matches this weekend.  Starting things off is Manchester United hosting Arsenal.  Jose vs Arsene is always fun to watch and this will be no exception.  Jose’s antics seem to be growing wilder by the week and we’re not sure what will happen this week.  No Zlatan (due to yellow card accumulation) should make for an interesting lineup dynamic as Man U will be forced to play a different style.  The two other most interesting matches in the EPL are Southampton at home to Liverpool and West Ham travelling across London to Tottenham.  Southampton have one of the better defenses in the league, but are on a three-match winless streak.  Liverpool are flying high as they have the most potent offense in the league, sit top of the table, and are unbeaten since their second match against Burnley.  Tottenham remain undefeated but surprisingly sit in 5th place with that undefeated record.  They have the best defense in the league by far and face a West Ham team that is struggling to put goals on the scoreboard.  London derbies are always feisty though, so this should be a good one to tune into. 

 

La Liga

In Spain, Real Madrid remain the last undefeated club in the league and sit two points clear of Barca at the top of the table.  Real takes on Atletico Madrid this weekend in what is always a fiery and passionate match.  If you’re around and can catch the game on Saturday, it will be must watch TV.  Barca have a less taxing match as they face Malaga at the Camp Nou.  Another good match will be Villareal’s stingy defense travelling to Bilbao (Athletic Club) for a clash between two of the top seven clubs in the league.  Those are the best games at the top of the table.  At the bottom of the table, winless Granada goes to Valencia, who’re winless in their last three matches themselves.  Also, 17th place Leganes looks to halt their four-match losing streak when they face 19th place Osasuna.

 

Serie A

In the country shaped like a boot, 1st place Juve takes on relegation placed Pescara at home in what could be an absolute one-sided affair.  Pescara are on a four-match losing streak and Juve haven’t lost at home in Serie A since August… of 2015.  The Milan derby is Sunday and should be a full-blooded match.  Inter has been struggling this year and AC have themselves in a Champions League spot, but you can never guess how this match will turn out.  Another great match should be Atalanta at home versus Roma.  Both are top five clubs who’re on at least a six-match undefeated run.  The last game that warrants mentioning is Bologna versus Palermo.  Palermo have lost five consecutive matches and are winless in seven. Bologna have lost two straight and are also winless in seven.  Will either be able to break their winless run?

Derbies are everywhere this weekend.  Which ones will you be watching?  Is there anything else we missed?  Let us know in the comments section.

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Posted on Nov 16, 2016 10:45 PM

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Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about why Fan Futsal is the perfect complement to an NFL RedZone-style soccer channel.  While that is still the case, Fan Futsal is also the perfect fantasy soccer game for fans who prefer to focus on one game at a time.  Let me explain.

Fan Futsal has a simplified fantasy lineup selection and scoring process.  Users select clubs instead of individual players for their fantasy teams, and there are only three fantasy scoring elements – Goals For, Goals Against, and Results (win, loss or draw).  These scoring elements are then emphasized or deemphasized depending on the club’s position in the 5-team fantasy lineup.  The scoring element ‘Goals For’ is emphasized for the striker (ST) and midfielder (MD) positions in Fan Futsal.  Goals Against is emphasized for the goalkeeper (GK) and defender (DF) positions. 

What this means for users: when they are watching a match, they can keep up with their Fan Futsal performance without taking too much focus off their preferred match.  Without changing the channel from the Manchester United-Arsenal game, users can quickly calculate how they’re faring overall in an EPL Fan Futsal fantasy game.  As the scores of other matches scroll across the screen, that user is immediately able to understand what those other match scores mean for their Fan Futsal team. 

As an example, if you were watching the Liverpool 6-1 beatdown of Watford last weekend and didn’t want to change the channel, you could stay tuned in to the Liverpool match and not miss out on the Fan Futsal experience.  Say you had Southampton at DF and Manchester United at ST in your Fan Futsal lineup.  As scores from those matches scrolled across the bottom of the Liverpool match you’re watching, you would know that Hull scoring twice on Southampton had a negative effect on your fantasy team, while Man U pumping in three goals was great for your fantasy team.  There’s no reason to shift your attention and focus off the Liverpool vs Watford match if you don’t want to.  The simplified scoring system is a compelling reason why Fan Futsal is such a unique and great game for soccer fans who may or may not have played fantasy soccer before. 

Fan Futsal is a free daily fantasy game, so there’s no reason not to try it out.  It’s easy to sign up, enter a game, pick a lineup, and follow along.  There’s no season-long commitment and no financial risk.

Sign up now and start playing today on fanfutsal.com.  It’s a fantasy soccer experience unlike anything else.

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Posted on Nov 14, 2016 07:47 AM

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Here are the Fan Futsal Form Rankings after this past weekend's slate of matches.  Reminder that there are no Fan Futsal games this weekend due to the international break.

Bundesliga

Bundesliga Form Rankings

 

EPL

EPL Form Rankings

 

La Liga

La Liga Form Rankings

 

Liga MX

Liga MX Form Rankings

 

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 Form Rankings

 

Serie A

Serie A Form Rankings

 

What do you think about these rankings?  Let us know in the comments section.

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Posted on Nov 08, 2016 09:50 AM

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The international break is upon us, but let’s recap results from this weekend before we take a week off from club soccer.

Liga MX

Tigres went on the road to Tijuana and got a big 1-0 victory on Friday.  The win pulled Tigres level with Pachuca on points and both clubs sit 3 points back of Tijuana with one match remaining in the Apertura regular season.  Pachuca wasn’t able to take advantage of Tijuana’s loss to move into first place.  They fell 1-2 while visiting Cruz Azul.  Chivas and America are safely qualified for the playoffs as both drew 1-1 on the road against Leon and Atlas respectively.  Necaxa, Pumas, Toluca, Leon, and Monterrey are all still alive in the playoff hunt for 3 spots.  Necaxa got a huge 3-1 win over Puebla to knock Puebla out of playoff contention and all but seal their playoff fate.  Necaxa sits in 6th place and a draw next match should be enough to qualify for the playoffs.  Pumas drew 1-1 against Morelia to drop into 7th place.  Toluca pulled out a 3-2 road victory against Queretaro to vault themselves into 8th place.  Leon lurks in 9th place, one point back, after their draw against Chivas.  Lastly, Monterrey thrashed Veracruz 4-0 to keep themselves in the playoff conversation heading into the last week of matches.  We’d like to give a special shout out to Veracruz and Chiapas who are both in absolutely dreadful form.  Veracruz has lost eight consecutive matches, while Chiapas has not won a Liga MX match in thirteen matches.  Both clubs are looking forward to the end of the season where they will regroup and hope for better things in the Clausura.

 

Ligue 1

Nice lost for the first time this season against a resolute Caen team.  The result still sees Nice remain in first place, but their lead shrink to 3 points over PSG and Monaco who are hot on their heels.  For Caen, the result was huge as it moved them out of the relegation zone and up into 15th place.  As previously mentioned, both PSG and Monaco won their matches in dominant fashion.  PSG demolished 5th place Rennes 4-0 at the Parc des Princes.  Monaco smashed relegation placed Nancy 6-0.  There wasn’t any movement in table positions for the top 6 clubs as Guingamp, Rennes, and Toulouse all failed to register wins, but were able to hold their positions.  Other items to note were Metz halting their losing streak with a 0-0 draw after four consecutive Ligue 1 losses.  Lorient continued to languish in dead last after losing 1-2 at Bordeaux.

 

Bundesliga

Newly promoted RB Leipzig won yet again (this time 3-1 over Mainz) and is tied with German giants Bayern Munich at the top of the table ten matches into the Bundesliga season.  There’s still a mighty long way to go in the season, but that is quite an impressive feat (even if they are backed by a multi-billion dollar corporation and nearly universally despised as a club throughout all of Germany).  Bayern dropped points at home in this round to Hoffenheim, which means that all three undefeated clubs remained undefeated and the top of the table remained unchanged.  Hertha and Dortmund were able to pick up multi-goal victories to move themselves into 4th and 5th place respectively after Köln lost 0-1 on the road to Eintracht Frankfurt.  Hamburg actually scored two goals in a single match to double their tally on the season, but it wasn’t nearly enough as Dortmund put five past them.  That kept Hamburg at the foot of the table with Ingolstadt.  Both are on 2 points and winless through ten matches.  Hamburg’s 50+ year run in the top flight looks in serious jeopardy unless some drastic changes are made at the club soon.

 

EPL

Finally, in England Liverpool are top of the league after eleven matches.  They play breathless attacking soccer at times that is truly a joy to watch and absolutely calamitous defensive soccer at times, which can also be a joy to watch, mainly for comedic purposes.  As a neutral, any game involving Liverpool is likely one you will want to tune in to watch.  Liverpool put a veritable smackdown on Watford 6-1 at Anfield this weekend.  The other lopsided result of the weekend was Chelsea destroying Everton 5-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to move into second place.  Chelsea is on a five match winning streak in the Prem after their 0-3 loss to Arsenal in late September.  The switch to a three man back line has proved to be a stroke of genius from Conte.  Man City were utterly dominating in their match, but just didn’t put Middlesbrough away.  Boro got a 91st minute equalizer and the match finished 1-1.  The two other top teams squared off in the North London derby.  Arsenal took the lead in the first half, but Tottenham equalized in the second.  Both goals came with a bit of controversy as there is an offside debate on Arsenal’s goal and questions about the penalty awarded that led to the Spurs goal.  Man U had a cathartic 3-1 win over Swansea to stop their winless streak.  The loss keeps Swansea in 19th place and in serious trouble of relegation if things don’t change soon.  Lastly, congrats to Sunderland, who improbably won 2-1 after going down to ten men.  It was their first win of the season, which delighted those loyal fans in the Northeast. 

What did you think about these matches?  Anything we missed?  Any opinions on the goals from the North London Derby?  Let us know in the comments section.

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Posted on Nov 07, 2016 05:52 PM

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We are headed into the last weekend of matches before the final international break of 2016.  Clubs will want to head into the break on a positive note and there are plenty of interesting matches for us to look at this weekend.  Let’s start in the land of wine and cheese.

Ligue 1

The match with the highest stakes is third-place PSG hosting fifth-place Rennes on Sunday.  Both clubs are unbeaten in their last four matches with each having three wins and a draw.  Most of the rest of the matches are between clubs in either half of the table.  First-place Nice, and their six-match winning streak, is at Caen, who’re in the relegation zone.  Second-place Monaco hosts relegation placed Nancy.  Fourth-place Guingamp has a tough matchup, travelling to middle of the table Dijon.  Guingamp has three straight victories, but Dijon hasn’t lost in their last five Ligue 1 matches.  It should be an interesting weekend in Ligue 1 as matches always tend to have attacking soccer, though the scoring doesn’t always align with what you’d expect from attacking soccer.

 

Liga MX

There is a clash of the big boys on Friday with Tijuana hosting Tigres.  These are two of the top three clubs in the league table and both boast stout defenses.  We expect this to be a tightly contested defensive battle as the Apertura comes close to its conclusion.  The next best match of the weekend is Chivas at surging Leon.  After Leon’s dreadful start to the season, they are enjoying an eight-match unbeaten streak that has seen them climb to 8th in the table and are looking to hold onto the final playoff spot.  That battle for the last 2-3 playoff spots will be very interesting.  At least seven teams are fighting for three spots.  Pumas faces Morelia in what could be a playoff berth clinching match for Pumas.  Necaxa takes on Puebla and these clubs are only separated by 2 points in the table.  Toluca is at Queretaro, who look like outsiders in this playoff race.  Monterrey, though they sit 11th, may be in the best shape as they play lowly Veracruz.  Veracruz is on a seven match Liga MX losing streak and is absolutely hemorrhaging goals.  They allow more than two goals per game on average and have the worst defense in the league.  The playoff race these next two weeks will make for some great matches.

 

Bundesliga

Bayern versus Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena is going to be electric.  First versus third.  Both clubs undefeated.  Hoffenheim is on a five-match win streak in the Bundesliga.  Bayern has the best defense and offense in the league.  This should be an outstanding match.  Elsewhere, Leipzig takes on Mainz.  Leipzig has the second-best defense in the league and will be looking to remain undefeated, while Mainz looks to climb the table and challenge for a European spot.  Köln and Frankfurt face off in what should be a defensive affair.  Both clubs are conceding less than a goal per match.  Hertha and M’gladbach should be a good match too with both clubs being European place contenders in recent years.  There are great matches all over Germany this weekend and who doesn’t love watching the Bundesliga?  Some of the most entertaining soccer in the world is played there and we will be sure to catch as many games as we can.

 

Serie A

Napoli against Lazio is the best match of the weekend in Italy.  Napoli lost to Juve last week and will be looking to get back to winning ways.  Lazio has been on a roll and are undefeated in their last six Serie A matches.  Second place Roma hosts winless in their last six matches Bologna.  AC Milan will like their matchup as they travel to Palermo.  Juve is on the road at Chievo.  Inter and their new interim manager will be expecting a win against last place (but no longer winless) Crotone.  The first match of the weekend, Torino vs Cagliari should be a good match with both teams level on 16 points.  There’s not much else to report in Serie A for this weekend.  We’ll just be watching to see if any clubs can keep pace with Juve in the title race or if they will begin to pull away.

 

What else are you looking forward to this weekend?  Let us know in the comments section below.

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Posted on Nov 02, 2016 06:48 PM

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