Four matches to watch this weekend

FC Lazio
Man. United v Tottenham @Old Trafford @8pm on Aug.26

Spurs have won just twice in their last 10 visits to Old Trafford. More often than not, their dreams turn into nightmares at the Theatre of Dreams but right now they hold a cudgel with which to beat this version of a stressed Jose Mourinho and his malfunctioning Manchester United team.

It was said that Mauricio Pochettino was on the list of managers to replace Louis Van Gaal but the United hierarchy chose Mourinho, a decision they are now fretting on.

Mourinho’s fears should be eased with the return to training of his big hitters like Nemanja Matic, and Alexis Sanchez, who pulled out at the last minute against Brighton last weekend and

Paul Pogba, who has captained United twice this season revealed, ”Today was a bad performance from all of us and we have to wake up for the next game,” after the Brighton loss.

The attitude of the team was not right before, during and after the Brighton loss, but they cannot afford to be the same against Spurs or else the new season would unravel very quickly.

Current Form: Man. Utd [L-W-L-W-L-L]; Tottenham [W-W-L-W-L]

Head to head

21/04/18 FAC Man. United 2 – 1 Tottenham

31/01/18 PRL Tottenham 2 – 0 Man. United

28/10/17 PRL Man. United 1 – 0 Tottenham

14/05/17 PRL Tottenham 2 – 1 Man. United

11/12/16 PRL Man. United 1 – 0 Tottenham

Last 10 visits to Old Trafford

1. Sat 28/10/17 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 0 Tottenham

2. Sun 11/12/16 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 0 Tottenham

3. Sat 08/08/15 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 0 Tottenham

4. Sun 15/03/15 PRL Man. Utd 3 – 0 Tottenham

5. Wed 01/01/14 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 2 Tottenham

6. Sat 29/09/12 PRL Man. Utd 2 – 3 Tottenham

7. Mon 22/08/11 PRL Man. Utd 3 – 0 Tottenham

8. Sat 30/10/10 PRL Man. Utd 2 – 0 Tottenham

9. Sat 24/04/10 PRL Man. Utd 3 – 1 Tottenham

10. Sat 25/04/09 PRL Man. Utd 5 – 2 Tottenham

Prediction: Man. United 1-1 Tottenham

Juventus v Lazio @Allianz Stadium @5pm on Aug.25

Defending Serie A champions turned a loss into a win on the opening weekend away to Chievo, which showed the group’s mindset under Max Allegri.

Lazio played a very good first 45 minutes against Napoli and justifiably led into the interval but were undone in the second half by better movement and higher pressing.

Lazio beat Juve 2-1 at the Allianz Stadium last October to end their two-year Serie A unbeaten home run while there is also good news for Simone Inzaghi as there will be returns for Lucas Leiva and Senad Lulic to shore up his midfield.

For Juve, there is a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, who would love to open his goals account for the Old Lady after a barren outing against Chievo where he attempted nine shots and got four on target.

Current Form: Juventus [W-L-W-W-W]; Lazio [L-L-L-W-W]

Head to head

03/03/18 SEA Lazio 0 – 1 Juventus

14/10/17 SEA Juventus 1 – 2 Lazio

13/08/17 SUC Juventus 2 – 3 Lazio

17/05/17 COI Juventus 2 – 0 Lazio

22/01/17 SEA Juventus 2 – 0 Lazio

Prediction: Juventus 3-1 Lazio

Napoli v AC Milan @Stadio San Paolo @7:30pm on Aug.25

The last time AC Milan enjoyed a victory over Napoli was on December 14, 2014. In 12 subsequent encounters, the Rossoneri have had to endure seven defeats.

Carlo Ancelotti will lead Napoli against his beloved AC Milan, where he spent six years as a player and nine as a manager.

Also returning to face old friends will be Gonzalo Higuain, who will lead Milan’s attack. There could be a debut for David Ospina, who signed from Arsenal.

After their first match was postponed because of the Ponte Morandi Bridge collapse, Gennaro Gattuso will be hoping for at least a point to kick off the season but that will be a tall order at San Paolo.

Current Form: Napoli [W-L-W-L-W]; AC Milan [L-W-L-L-W]

Head to head

Sun 15/04/18 SEA AC Milan 0 – 0 Napoli

Sat 18/11/17 SEA Napoli 2 – 1 AC Milan

Sat 21/01/17 SEA AC Milan 1 – 2 Napoli

Sat 27/08/16 SEA Napoli 4 – 2 AC Milan

Mon 22/02/16 SEA Napoli 1 – 1 AC Milan

Prediction: Napoli 3-2 AC Milan

Sevilla v Villarreal @Estadio Sánchez Pizjuán @9:15pm on Aug.26

Villarreal finished in the fifth position last season, three points better than Sevilla, who finished in seventh but already the Yellow Submarine are doing catch-up after losing their opening day fixture at home, 2-1 to Real Sociedad.

In what is expected to be a heated affair, the kickoff was moved to the late evening because of a forecast of high temperatures.

Current Form: Sevilla [W-W-L-W-W]; Villarreal [L-W-D-L-D]

Head to head

Sat 14/04/18 LAL Sevilla 2 – 2 Villarreal

Sun 26/11/17 LAL Villarreal 2 – 3 Sevilla

Sun 05/02/17 LAL Sevilla 0 – 0 Villarreal

Sun 28/08/16 LAL Villarreal 0 – 0 Sevilla

Sun 13/03/16 LAL Sevilla 4 – 2 Villarreal

Prediction: Sevilla 2-0 Villarreal


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