Football fans have got lots to cheer about this week. This week, on 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th October, 2013, epic soccer matches will be played. The competitions include- UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and La Liga. The teams in the fray include big names like- Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Juventus, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. Let’s analyze these epic matches that will be contested between strong teams.
Epic Champions League matches on 23rd and 24th October 2013
UEFA Champions League brings with it high octane action and excitement. Last year, we had a big surprise when Dortmund humbled Real Madrid and Barca were thrashed by Bayern Munich.
This time around, the competition is even stronger. Lots of teams are capable of lifting the trophy. This is good for the competition. The two big UEFA Champions League matches to be played are :
Arsenal Vs Borussia Dortmund- 23rd October
Arsenal will play host to Borussia Dortmund in this cracker of a match. Arsenal FC has the home advantage. The home crowd at Emirates stadium will sing their hearts out for the team. But Dortmund’s travelling fans are also notorious. They are very well known to put home fans in shame with their chanting.
Tactically, Arsenal are superior to Dortmund, but not by a very large margin. After the arrival of Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal now look like a well oiled high performance engine. Mesut is good at attacking and Flamini provides that much appreciated protection for the back four.
Dortmund have their own weapons. The lethal ones are- Lewandowski, Reus and Aubameyang. The Pole can pop up with a goal any time! He showed his goal scoring skills against Real Madrid in last year’s Champions league semifinals.
According to me, the match will be an evenly contested one. Both teams are somewhat on the same level. Arsenal though has an advantage- the home advantage! And their recent form has been great.
AC Milan Vs FC Barcelona- 23rd October
AC Milan and Barcelona have fought against each other more than twice in the past years’ champions League matches. Each and every time, Barcelona got the better of AC Milan.
This time around, Milan have home advantage. The match will be played at San Siro. But Milan’s squad is not very strong.
Barcelona have had a good League campaign so far. But at times, they seem to look toothless in attack. Sometimes it feels like they are over reliant on maverick Messi. Meanwhile, Messi has just recovered from an injury and didn’t impress in his substitute appearance against Osasuna.
Real Madrid Vs Juventus- 24th October
A classic match between two traditional powerhouses! Both the clubs have rich history and traditions. Both clubs have a very large fan base.
Real Madrid will be far more lethal at Santiago Bernabeu. Their attacking prowess was on display in the recent match against Malaga. The match against Malaga ended 2-0 in Madrid’s favor. But don’t get fooled by the score line. The score would have been more emphatic had it been not for Will Cabarello’s (Malaga’s Goalie) heroics! Real Madrid appear to be in great form ahead of this crucial clash with the Old Lady.
Juventus recently suffered a defeat against Fiorentina in a Serie A match. They were 2-0 ahead. But a second half onslaught by Viola turned things around. Juve lost the match 4-2. Giuseppe Rossi scored a hat-trick for the Viola. This result has cast shadows on the form of Juventus ahead of the big and crucial match against Real Madrid.
Gianluigi Buffon in particular had a very bad match against Viola. It is high time that Juventus pull themselves together for this big match.
FC Barcelona Vs Real Madrid (El Clasico)- 26th October
El Clasico is a melting point of talent, rivalry, traditions and history. Two Spanish giants will take on each other in this year’s first El Clasico.
The match will be played at Camp Nou, Barca’s home ground. Home advantage will certainly inspire Barca. But Real have good form to boast about. Their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is in good scoring form. Gareth Bale also has impressed with his substitute appearance against Malaga.
The tiring schedule (match is to be played 2 days after Champions League matches) means that the players’ stamina will be tested. It also remains to be seen that whether the managers will rotate players in their squad.
Just two days before the El Clasico, both teams take on two mighty teams- AC Milan and Juventus respectively in their Champions League group stages. This will leave the players fatigued.
Chelsea Vs Manchester City- 27th October
In an English Premier League encounter, Chelsea FC will take on Manchester City. Both teams have had change of manager. New players have been bought by both the teams. And both teams played well in their most recent EPL matches.
The dates of all the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and La Liga matches analyzed here are according to the Indian Standard Time (IST). Enjoy this awesome week which is full of high octane footballing action!