During an interesting sports week, Hollywood money made its way into Football with the £2million take over of National Football League side, Wrexham by famous “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds, and his less famous partner, Rob McElhenney (creator of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”).
Going into the weekend, upsets are happening as the famous ‘Down-under’ tourney, Aussie Open, rumbles on. But the weekend’s tastiest action might be taking place in the city of lights – Las Vegas, in the main event of UFC 258, between Gilbert “Durinho” Burns and Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman.
European Managers’ Dilemma As Champions League Football Returns
The European manager’s headache is about to escalate exponentially. Everyone knows what the return of UEFA Champions League Football signify…league points falling like raindrops.
More round trips, more strategy sessions, more team rotations, more training sessions and more game time will wear out most league leaders. It’s time to shape up or ship out!
The time to win or lose the domestic league title is now! Europe will divide attention, league leaders will slip up now because they’ll want to keep one hand on the domestic league title and be reaching out to the UCL with the other.
What match-ups are we looking forward to this weekend?
Serie A – Can Gattuso Save His Job – Napoli vs Juventus
Zlatan may have scored 500 league goals but the spotlight won’t be on AC Milan this weekend because the crunch-tie is going to be at Naples where Napoli hosts Juventus.
Despite being 6th on the table, some birds are whispering that Napoli’s gaffer, Gennaro Gattuso’s job might be on the line. Napoli has managed only 2 wins in their last 6 games, while a resurgent 3rd-placed Juventus are romping their way back up the Serie A table.
If Gattuso’s career is truly on the line, then Cristiano Ronaldo might be putting the final nails in the coffin. Juventus win is the only result on the card.
(Image Credit – cbssports.com)
La Liga – Floundering Madrid Handed Hope – Real Madrid vs Valencia
Disappointing Barcelona will be thanking their stars Messi didn’t get another sending off for his elbow in the Copa Del Ray disaster against Sevilla midweek. They face a terrible Deportivo Alaves this weekend.
The weekend’s teasing tie, however, will be on Real Madrid who host Valencia. Once upon a time, this would have been a tastier tie but Valencia’s Jekyll-and-Hyde form won’t make things interesting like before. They keep going up and down the table like a yo-yo.
So why is the game a big deal? A win for Madrid ensures they keep leaders Atletico within sight. If there’s a time capable of spoiling Madrid’s plans, it’s the unstable Valencia. If red-hot Benzema comes with his scoring boots, then its bye-bye Valencia.
(Image Credit – Getty Images)
Bundesliga – Wolfsburg vs Borussia Mochengladbach (Battle of the Greens)
While the Bavarian Devils, Bayern Munich, are still celebrating the World Championship status with the 1-0 defeat of Mexican challengers, Tigres, action continues in the Bundesliga.
This weekend’s feisty encounter would see red-hot Wolfsburg facing Borrusia Monchegladbach. Flavour-of-the-month Wolfsburg vs 7th-placed and former flavour-of-month M’Gladbach. Wolfsburg is currently the in-form team in Germany, they won their last 5 games without conceding any goals – unusual in Germany this season.
M’Gladbach are looking to regain their place in Europe and won’t mind dragging Wolfsburg down to climb up. It’s not going to be easy. Expect a free-scoring tie because there will be goals (no less than 3). It’s easy for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for Wolfsburg to lose this one.
(Image Credit – soikeo.io)
EPL – Pep Awaits Mourinho’s Armada in Winner-Takes-All – Mancity vs Tottenham
Pep’s 15-match winning streak couldn’t have asked for a more difficult opponent, the wounded visiting Jose Mourinho and Tottenham. Pep has won 10 Premier League games on the bounce with Jose winning just 1 out of the last 6 away games. Advantage Pep and Mancity!
Here’s a little disturbing nugget for Pep though – Tottenham have beaten Mancity 10 times they moved to the Ethiad in 2003/04. Also the last team to beat Pep before the winning streak began was Tottenham (2-0 at the Spurs Stadium). If Pep goes into this, mad and seeing the red mist, Spurs will cash in with fast breaks and 2 quick, unreplied goals.
Expect Mourinho to park the bus, his boys won’t repeat the 5-4 midweek disaster they put up against Everton in the FA Cup. Pep’s boys must be patient and take whatever chances come their way – there won’t be many…Mancity to drop points in this game.
(Image Credit – cartilagefreecaptain.sbnation.com)
UFC 258 Main Event – kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns
This weekend’s “Pick of the week” is none other than the fast growing, crunchy, knockout world of Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC 258 Main Event in Las Vegas, which pitches our very own, Auchi-born Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman against Brazil-born George “Durinho” Burns.
It’s the battle of former best friends and sparring partners (no less than 300 times together in the gym!), the rumble between the knockout puncher and the submission specialist! Dana White couldn’t have found a better pound-for-pound opponent for Usman if you asked around – what a match-up!
These mixed martial arts dynamos will be putting their 8-year friendship apart while trading blows for the UFC Welterweight gold. They’ll be throwing everything at each other like they’re fighting borrowed bodies. It won’t be a sight for the faint-hearted, that much is promised.
Defending Champ, Usman is an established grappler with pace and lungs of iron, Burns is the submission master – once he grabs hold of you, it’s a mini-trip to elysium.
It’s hard to separate these young Turks, so the fighting will do the ultimate talking but most industry watchers, while not disrespecting Burns, believe Usman will come out of the Octagon with his gold wrapped around his waist. Usman by unanimous decision.
(Image Credit – mmafighting.com)
What do you think of this weekend’s upcoming action? Don’t fail to drop your comments.