As we enter the last weekend in October, the league tables are starting to take shape and most leagues have open title races. No one club in any league has truly distanced itself from the pack like PSG, Juve, or Bayern have done in recent years. Let’s discuss some of the most intriguing matches for this weekend.
Nice looks to continue their undefeated start and five match win streak as they host 14th placed Nantes. Monaco travel to Saint-Etienne in what should be a good match between the highest scoring club in Ligue 1 by far and a solid defensive squad. PSG are also on the road, but they face a struggling Lille side who sit 16th. Toulouse is at home against slumping Lyon, who look out of sorts after losing three of their last four. Guingamp and Angers should be a good battle between two top half of the table clubs.
Across the Channel, league leaders Man City are on the road against West Brom who’re winless in four. City are winless in three EPL matches, but have been able to maintain their top spot. Second place Arsenal are unbeaten in eight matches since their opening game defeat. They go to last place Sunderland, who’re the last remaining winless club in all of England’s 4 professional leagues. Third place Liverpool face eleventh place Crystal Palace. The top three clubs are all tied on points and only separated by the smallest goal differential margins. Chelsea at Southampton and Tottenham hosting Leicester are the two best matches of the weekend. Both Chelsea and Tottenham are only 1 point behind the top 3 clubs in the table. It’s worth noting Tottenham is the last remaining undefeated club in the EPL.
Back over on the continent, first place Real Madrid travel to Deportivo Alaves. Madrid remains undefeated on the season and Alaves sits firmly mid table, though they have been slipping in recent weeks after their strong start. Second place Sevilla, coming off their victory over Atletico Madrid, face currently relegation placed Sporting Gijon. Third place Barcelona have winless and last-placed Granada at the Camp Nou this weekend. We smell a beatdown in that one. Villareal, who’re the only other undefeated La Liga club, play mid-table Eibar on the road. Atletico try to recover from their first loss of the season as they host Malaga in a match that will likely have few goals.
Across the Atlantic and in the New World, the match of the weekend is Tijuana at Toluca. Tijuana has a three-point lead at the top of the table and Toluca sits in a respectable seventh place. All the other matches feature top half of the table clubs against bottom half clubs. Second place Pachuca is at home against Atlas. Tigres takes on Monterrey. Veracruz, who is in 17th place and has a six-match losing streak is at home against a suddenly vulnerable PUMAS team that has lost two in a row. It will be interesting to see if Veracruz can break their duck in this match.
What else are you looking forward to seeing this weekend? Let us know in the comments section.
This is the final Form Rankings for MLS as the regular reason is over. Fear not though, as we'll continue to update our rankings for the other leagues. Quick reminder that these rankings are based on a club's last 5 league matches and how these 5 matches translate to Fan Futsal value. Here's the rankings for this week:
Hello and welcome to the Post-Game Presser. This past weekend MLS finished their regular season, we had some surprises in the Bundesliga & Serie A, and Liga LX pretty much followed the script. Let's discuss.
FC Dallas drew 0-0 on the road against third place LA Galaxy, which was enough for them to secure the Supporter’s Shield and a single season double (they also won the US Open Cup). They enter the playoffs as the number 1 overall seed and are looking to complete the first ever domestic treble in MLS history, though they will be missing influential playmaker Mauro Diaz for the remainder of the season after he received news of a torn Achilles. Colorado could only draw against last place Houston, but they finished second in the West and enter the playoffs as the number 2 overall seed. Seattle continued their winning ways, knocking off Real Salt Lake to finish fourth and host a midweek playoff game this week. Real Salt Lake stumbles into the playoffs in sixth and will be on the road to face LA. The last qualifying team in the West was Sporting KC. They handedly beat San Jose 2-0 and will travel to face Seattle midweek.
Over in the East, the Red Bulls defeated Philly on the road 2-0 to claim the regular season Eastern Conference crown and the Champions League birth that comes with it. Red Bulls look very strong and will be favorites to come out of the East. Philly has been in absolute free-fall since August and backed their way into a playoff appearance claiming the sixth and final playoff seed. New York City smashed Columbus 4-1 to cement their second-place spot and first round bye. Toronto defeated Chicago, but NYCFC’s win meant they finished in third place. TFC will host Philly midweek in the first round of the playoffs. DC and Montreal both lost on the road against clubs out of the playoffs, which meant that they remained in 4th and 5th place respectively. DC plays at home against Montreal midweek as a product of those results. All of this should make for a very interesting playoff situation.
The surprise of the weekend in the Bundesliga was Borussia Dortmund drawing 3-3 on the road against formerly last place Ingolstadt. They needed a stoppage time equalizer (from the American teenager Christian Pulisic) to pull out the draw as well. The result sees them slip to 6th place in the table and six points behind Bayern. Köln suffered their first loss of the season, losing 1-2 to Hertha on the road. Bayern, Leipzig, and Hoffenheim remained undefeated through 8 matches as all won by multiple goals this weekend. Wolfsburg’s woeful form continued even after their manager’s dismissal as they lost and fell to 16th in the table. Hamburg lost yet again and only have 2 goals scored on the season. They sit dead last in the table with a -13 goal differential.
In Italy, AC Milan had the big win of the weekend as two of their teenagers sparkled in their 1-0 victory over table toppers Juventus. Their 17 year-old keeper (Donnarumma) made a handful of miraculous saves to preserve the shutout and their 18 year-old midfielder (Locatelli) scored the lone goal with a rifle from outside the 18. The future looks bright in the red side of Milan if they can hang on to their youngsters. The blue side of Milan (Inter) is not enjoying things right now as they suffered another loss to drop into 14th in the table. Roma pounded Palermo 4-1 to gain ground on Juve and are now only 2 points back in the table. Napoli also got back to winning ways with a 2-1 road win over Crotone and Torino drew with Lazio 2-2. Crotone remains the only winless team in Italy and has 1 point on the season with a -13 goal differential through 9 matches.
As we said in the intro, Liga MX pretty much followed the script in matches this weekend. The top 3 clubs (Tijuana, Pachuca, and Tigres respectively) all won with the 4th place club (Chivas) losing to second place Pachuca. America and Toluca tied 1-1, which isn’t surprising given both clubs are upper middle clubs in the table right now. Necaxa beat 17th place Veracruz in what was Veracruz’s sixth consecutive league defeat. First place Tijuana unsurprisingly beat last place Chiapas. There isn’t much else to report as all matches went as expected.
What else were you watching this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.
It's time to look at the biggest matches for this upcoming weekend in this week's Pre-Game Presser.
It’s the final weekend of the MLS regular season and there’s only one playoff spot legitimately to be decided. Sporting KC and Portland are tied for the sixth and final playoff spot in the West and Sporting KC hold a 1 goal advantage in the tiebreakers. Sporting play already eliminated San Jose at home. Portland, who’re winless on the road, are facing already eliminated Vancouver. These two matches should be very interesting to follow. There are a number of battles for playoff positioning within each conference too. Toronto and NYCFC are fighting for the second spot in the East and a first round bye. TFC hosts Chicago and NYCFC hosts Columbus. Colorado and Dallas are battling it out for the Supporter’s Shield and top spot in the West. Dallas holds a two-point lead and the first tiebreaker, so a draw against LA on the road will see them win both. Colorado needs to beat Houston at home and hope that Dallas loses. So much is on the line the last weekend in MLS and the drama is going to be fantastic to watch. All games start at the same time too, so it should be a bit of madness if you’re playing the MLS Fan Futsal game this week.
The match of the weekend in Italy will be third place AC Milan hosting first place Juventus. Milan is off to a very good start this campaign and has their fans believing that they may be contending for the Scudetto and a return to the Champions League next year. They have four wins and a draw in their last five Serie A matches. Juve has four straight wins and sits atop Serie A with a five-point lead and are the perennial title favorites. Another exciting matchup will be fourth place Torino against sixth place Lazio. Torino has had a very hot start to the season and is the second most in-form club in Italy (after AC Milan) according to our latest Form Rankings. Napoli will look to stop their slide as they’ve lost two straight matches. You have to like their chances as they’re on the road to face winless Crotone who are glued to the bottom of the table.
In Spain, Atletico faces Sevilla on the road and Real Madrid takes on Bilbao at the Bernabeu. Both clubs are tied on 18 points and are in first in La Liga. Atletico and Sevilla should be a thrilling match on Sunday with Sevilla sitting on 17 points in the table and in third place. Barca sit all the way down in fourth (only two points back of the leaders) and travel to Valencia who continue to struggle for consistency. Villareal is hosting Las Palmas in a match between fifth and seventh in the table. The top seven teams are all playing each other with the exception of Barca playing Valencia who sit in 14th. At the bottom of the table, winless Granada have a very good shot of breaking their streak as they host Sporting Gijon, who’re the coldest team in La Liga according to our Form Rankings.
The EPL’s main attraction this weekend will be Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge as manager of Manchester United. That’s the last match of the weekend in the EPL and should be an interesting match simply for the narrative. Based on the way Man U has been playing, don’t be surprised if this is a low scoring affair with both clubs’ managers focused on defensive tactics at the moment. Elsewhere, league leaders Man City are facing a surging Southampton side. Second place Arsenal are at home against a fading Middlesbrough. Tottenham are on the road against AFC Bournemouth in what may likely be a very sneaky good game to watch. Bournemouth tries to play possession soccer and Tottenham’s pressing style should make this an entertaining one to watch.
What else are you watching for this weekend? Let us know in the comments section.
This week's Form Rankings are back after a layoff due to the international break. Since we recap and preview the matches in our Post-Game and Pre-Game Presser's each week, we're not going to include write ups on these Form Rankings anymore.
We do want to remind you that these rankings are based on a club's last 5 league matches and how their performance translates to Fan Futsal value. With that said, here are the hottest and coldest teams for the seven leagues on Fan Futsal.
What do you think about these rankings? Let us know in the comments section.