Four Key Matches: Golden Eaglets start quest for 6th title as Liverpool welcome Spurs

Golden Eaglets of Nigeria (Photo Credit: Ahmed Yusuf on Twitter)
Golden Eaglets of Nigeria (Photo Credit: Ahmed Yusuf on Twitter)

1) Nigeria (Golden Eaglets) v Hungary @Estadio Olimpico, Goiania @9pm on Oct.26

The Golden Eaglets came into the encounter last night boasting a better pedigree, but were also cautious especially because they did not qualify for the last tournament held in India, where England became champions, though the English have missed out on defending their title.

Meanwhile the Hungarians, whom the Golden Eaglets beat 2-0 on the path to winning the 2015 edition came through the European qualifiers as the best losing quarter-finalist by beating Belgium on penalties.

The five-time world champions came to the party with some potential world beaters in their ranks like Akinkunmi Amoo, Ibraheem Jabaar, Wisdom Ubani, and Olakunle Olusegun. At the end of proceedings, the Golden Eaglets, led by veteran U-17 coaches, Manu Garba and Nduka Ugbade proved too much for the Hungarians. The Europeans were beaten 4-2.

Garba told, “Everyone should get ready to see a fantastic Nigerian team that play great football and have the trophy in their sights.”

We wish the Golden Eaglets luck as their continued their campaign with their next group game with Ecuador on October 29.

2) Liverpool v Tottenham @Anfield @5:30pm on Oct.27

Liverpool’s winning league streak was snapped at Old Trafford last weekend and they will want to show that was a mere hiccup on the way to a first title in 30 years and they welcome a Tottenham looking for lost identity and who they don’t normally forfeit any point to.

United stopped Liverpool full-backs from marauding and that largely curtailed the Reds until late, when they poached the equaliser to keep their grip on top of the EPL table.

Jurgen Klopp’s team are unbeaten in their last 42 home matches in the EPL while Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to climb up the table from their present seventh place.

Current Form: Liverpool [W-D-W-W-W]; Tottenham [W-D-L-L-W]

Head to head

01/06/19 UCL Tottenham 0 – 2 Liverpool

31/03/19 PRL Liverpool 2 – 1 Tottenham

15/09/18 PRL Tottenham 1 – 2 Liverpool

04/02/18 PRL Liverpool 2 – 2 Tottenham

22/10/17 PRL Tottenham 4 – 1 Liverpool

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham

3) Paris Saint Germain v Olympic Marseille @Parc des Princes @9pm on Oct.27

PSG are once again running away with the league having built another very good side with Angel di Maria in inspired form. Kylian Mbappe returned to the team in a midweek massacre of Club Brugge in the Champions League, scoring three goals off the bench.

A raft of players should make returns from suspension – Juan Bernat is back for PSG while Andre Vilas-Boas should name Dimitri Payet and Morgan Sanson in his starting 11 although he said this week that, “We obviously dream of winning, but [PSG] it’s a team from another league.”

Marseille’s league form has been dodgy, and they have not won against the Parisians in more than eight years – just one win in their last 22 meetings and this meeting looks much more daunting than ever.

Current Form: PSG [W-W-W-W-W]; Marseille [W-L-D-D-D]

Head to head

17/03/19 LI1 PSG 3 – 1 Marseille

28/10/18 LI1 Marseille 0 – 2 PSG

28/02/18 CDF PSG 3 – 0 Marseille

25/02/18 LI1 PSG 3 – 0 Marseille

22/10/17 LI1 Marseille 2 – 2 PSG

Prediction: PSG 4-1 Marseille

4) Besiktas v Galatasaray @Vodafone Park @5pm on Oct.27

The battle of giants comes up with its 346th installment and there has been no decrease in fervour amongst the supporters since that first meeting in 1924.

Both teams have not started the league season well with Besiktas languishing in 12th position with nine points from their first eight matches while Gala are slightly better with 13 points, in the sixth position – five points off current league leaders, Alanyaspor. The major reason for their lowly league places must be ascribed to a lack of goals.

Ryan Babel, an inverted winger cum forward leads the Gala goal charts with just three goals while Besiktas have fared no better with their top goal scorer being Guven Yalcin with two goals, while the whole team has scored just 10 goals. Galatasaray have been quick in trying to remedy their situation by signing Florin Andone from Brighton and he has responded with two goals in three appearances.

If Besiktas will stand any chance on Sunday, they will have to score more than one goal.

Current Form: Besiktas [D-W-L-L-D]; Galatasaray [L-W-W-D-L]

Head to head

05/05/19 SUL Galatasaray 2 – 0 Besiktas

02/12/18 SUL Besiktas 1 – 0 Galatasaray

29/04/18 SUL Galatasaray 2 – 0 Besiktas

02/12/17 SUL Besiktas 3 – 0 Galatasaray

27/02/17 SUL Galatasaray 0 – 1 Besiktas

Prediction: Besiktas 2-2 Galatasaray

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