Big games everywhere you turn this weekend. Big and consequential games.
The season is relatively new or fresh (except in climes like Nigeria) but there are already clear indications of the battle teams in respective leagues are looking to fight. Every team fights a different battle right from the first blast of the whistle. While some battle to win the league or clinch a position in the top zone, others fight to maintain a mid-table position. And then there is the relegation battle which is usually brutal and often down to the wire.
These battles make every game a must watch given the consequences the outcome may have on the teams. Speaking of consequences, table toppers in the NPFL, Bundesliga, English Premier League and the Serie A will all face a big test this weekend and may have to relinquish their lead if they fail to get positive result.
Enyimba VS Wikki Tourist and Kano Pillars VS Warri Wolves are naturally an interesting game to see but with the circumstances surrounding those games at this point in time, it just got more interesting.
Enyimba, Warri Wolves and Wikki Tourist occupy the first, second and third position respectively on the NPFL log and the gap between them is just 4 points. A win for Enyimba here might see them extend their lead further and strengthen their hold on the title while a defeat might throw the title race open as it will reduce the lead to just 1point with 7 games to go.
Wikki Tourist have an impressive away record and it’d be interesting to see how intend to get anything away from this game against Enyimba. Similarly, Warri Wolves will be looking to repeat the feat carried out by Nassarawa United earlier on in the season by defeating Kano Pillars in the much dreaded Sani Abacha Stadium in order to keep their title hopes alive.
Will it be two home defeats for Kano Pillars at home this season after 12 years of invincibility? Will Enyimba increase their lead or throw the title race open? Big questions begging for answers.
Manchester City started the season on a high note – scoring freely and defending like the Warriors of Sparta. They however tasted their first league defeat in the hands of West Ham who are proving to be the giant killers of the league.
The defeat not only soiled Manchester City’s impressive 100% record, it also cut the lead they established on the log. All that separate them and Manchester United is just 2points as we enter into match day 7.
Manchester City will travel to White Hart lane to face Tottenham with this at the back of their mind. Should they fail to win and Manchester United get maximum points against Sunderland, then we may have a new table topper in the English Premier League.
Another game worth of a mention is the game between high-flying Leicester City and an inconsistent Arsenal. Leicester City remain the only unbeaten side in the EPL having won three and drawn three games. They will be hosting an Arsenal side that have been largely inconsistent all through the season. Leicester, for all their troubles, are yet to face any of the traditional ‘top four’ clubs and while this is not an attempt to ridicule their unbeaten record, the game against Arsenal is definitely the biggest test of their resolve and quality. A victory will boost confidence and improve their standing while a loss might just prove to be the beginning of the end.
It’s been a surprise-surprise season in Italy. Who would have thought that Juventus will be 13th after 5 matches behind clubs like Sampdoria, Sassuolo, Atalanta and Chievo Verona? No one (if you ask me). More surprising is the absolutely excellent start Inter Milan are having. They have won all their five games and are sitting firmly on top of the Serie A table.
This weekend, they will be facing Fiorentina who are behind them on the log with three points and a defeat with two goals margin might just give us a new leader in the Serie A.
I am also keeping an eye on the game between Napoli and Juventus. Both teams have had an underwhelming start. A win here for either could prove crucial and may act as the turning point.
It’s just six games played and Bayern Munich are already on the throne. Their excellent quality and form have seen them won all of their six games. This weekend, they will file out against Mainz while their biggest rival, Dortmund – who are just two points behind them – will face Darmstadt.
Both teams have to win. A defeat for either will either tilt things into a monopoly or further brace the duopoly. It all depends on how it plays out. Watch out also for Wolfsburg who seem to be doing fine without Kevin De Bruyne. Volkswagen are already in enough trouble now and a losing club will be the last thing they want.
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