4 matches to watch | Conte needs another win and Mourinho can’t afford to lose

Jose Mourinho on his appointment as Manchester United Manager.

Photo: ManUtd.com
Jose Mourinho on his appointment as Manchester United Manager. Photo: ManUtd.com

Chelsea vs. Leicester City @Stamford Bridge @12.30pm on Oct. 15

The last time Leicester City visited Stamford Bridge, they visited as champions. Now, they are on course to set a worse record than Chelsea did for the defense of the EPL crown. Last Thursday, bookmakers in the UK were swamped with a deluge of wagers on the sacking of Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte. So, apart from the fact that both are Italians, both are also under considerable pressure to deliver, which makes for a match that could be cagey and won by the odd goal.

Current Form: Chelsea [W-L-W-L-D]; Leicester [D-W-L-L-W]

Head to head

20/09/16     LEC    Leicester City         2 – 4   Chelsea

15/05/16     PRL    Chelsea                1 – 1   Leicester City

14/12/15     PRL    Leicester City         2 – 1   Chelsea

29/04/15     PRL    Leicester City         1 – 3   Chelsea

23/08/14     PRL    Chelsea                2 – 0   Leicester City

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City

Napoli vs. Roma @Stadio San Paolo @2pm on Oct.15

Both teams are the likeliest contenders for Juve’s crown, but both are already hampered. Roma have already drawn and lost: 3-1 defeat to Torino and a 2-2 draw with Cagliari; which means they are already playing catch-up. Both lost influential players in the summer – Morale Pjanic left Roma while Gonzalo Higuain left Napoli.

At the moment, Napoli are four points adrift of the champions in second while Roma are a further point behind. A win is almost the surety to stay in the title race because Juventus host a not-s—strong Udinese. Even a draw between these two would mean that the gap to Juve would just lengthen. Napoli was also dealt the blow Arkadiusz Milik’s injury during the international break.

Current Form: Napoli [L-W-W-D-W]; Roma [W-W-L-W-L]

Head to head

25/04/16     SEA    Roma             1 – 0   Napoli

13/12/15     SEA    Napoli           0 – 0   Roma

04/04/15     SEA    Roma             1 – 0   Napoli

01/11/14     SEA    Napoli           2 – 0   Roma

09/03/14     SEA    Napoli           1 – 0   Roma

Prediction: Napoli 2-1 Roma

Real Betis vs. Real Madrid @Estadio Benito Villamarín @7:45pm on Oct. 15

Four consecutive draws has seen Real Madrid under pressure and going into a Champions League week, Zinedine Zidane would be cajoling a win out of his players on Saturday. The good news is that Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals during the international break and would have some more confidence in front of goal at the Estadio Benito Villamarín where Real Betis have shown that they are a match for any team on their very good day.

Current Form: Betis [L-W-L-D-W]; Madrid [D-D-D-D-W]

Head to head

24/01/16     PRD   Real Betis     1 – 1   Real Madrid

29/08/15     PRD   Real Madrid    5 – 0   Real Betis

18/01/14     PRD   Real Betis     0 – 5   Real Madrid

18/08/13     PRD   Real Madrid 2 – 1   Real Betis

20/04/13     PRD   Real Madrid 3 – 1   Real Betis

Prediction: Betis 1-3 Real Madrid

Liverpool vs. Manchester Utd @Anfield @8pm on Oct.17

This is the biggest match in England and one Jose Mourinho cannot afford to lose. He has a lot of puzzles to unravel before Monday, but in no way can he afford a third league loss in just eight weeks of the new season.

After a good start, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and Paul Pogba seem to have gone off the boil while Jurgen Klopp has got his players setting a high tempo and high press on opponents. This should be a spectacle.

Recent Form: Liverpool [W-W-W-W-W]; Man. United [D-W-W-W-D]

Head to head

17/03/16     UEL    Man. United 1 – 1   Liverpool

10/03/16     UEL    Liverpool     2 – 0   Man. United

17/01/16     PRL    Liverpool     0 – 1   Man. United

12/09/15     PRL    Man. United 3 – 1   Liverpool

22/03/15     PRL    Liverpool     1 – 2   Man. United

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Man. United

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