Weekly Segment: The Three Most Exciting Games This Week!
Another entertaining weekend of football is on the horizon as a week of European qualification is over and league football returns!
With a clash between reigning champions and league chasers, European hopefuls and Premier League heavyweights, here are this week’s three most exciting games.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Ham United (Saturday 26th August 5:30pm)
Beginning this weekend’s action, we head to the Amex Stadium as Brighton and Hove Albion host West Ham United.
The Seagulls have made a strong start to the new season with comfortable 4-1 victories over both Luton Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Manager Roberto De Zerbi will expect more of the same from his side as they continue their monumental ascent through English football.
Paraguayan starlet Julio Enciso will be a big miss for Brighton but they retain a strong starting XI regardless and West Ham face a tough trip this Saturday.
The Hammers are also unbeaten after their first two games with a commendable 3-1 win over London rivals Chelsea last Sunday following an opening day draw against Bournemouth.
After a summer of doubt, the Hammers will take confidence from a strong league start and they’ll certainly need it to overcome the vicious attacking threat that Brighton pose.
The Londoners will be without influential centre-back Nayef Aguerd following his two yellow cards against Chelsea but fans will be hopeful that new boy James Ward-Prowse can continue on from an impressive debut.
Key Stat: West Ham have failed to beat Brighton in 12 meetings between the two sides with their last win over the Seagulls coming back in April 2012.
Players to Watch: Solly March has scored three goals in Brighton’s first two matches, including a four-minute brace against Wolves last Saturday. James Ward-Prowse impressed on his debut, providing two assists in West Ham’s 3-1 win over Chelsea.
Paris Saint-Germain vs RC Lens (Saturday 26th August 8pm)
Game two this weekend takes us to France as last season’s Ligue 1 winners PSG host runners-up Lens at the Parc des Princes.
Last season saw the two sides take a victory each in this fixture with both games ending 3-1 to the respective winner. The new season has seen poor starts for both teams with PSG sitting in 11th place on two points and Lens in 14th place on one point.
After a dramatic summer surrounding superstar Kylian Mbappe and the departure of Neymar, PSG won’t want to continue their dogged start while Lens will be looking to regain some of last season’s form and they have a relatively decent record against their hosts in recent years.
The French champions could be without the likes of Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes alongside the loss of Neymar, but that shouldn’t make too much of a dent in their hopes to win this fixture.
Key Stat: Both teams have scored in eight of the last 11 meetings between these two sides.
Players to Watch: Kylian Mbappe has returned to Paris as the star man, scoring their only goal so far this season. Deiver Machado has opened his account for the season with two goals in two games for Lens.
Newcastle United vs Liverpool (Sunday August 27th 4.30pm)
The weekend culminates in a return to England for arguably the game of the weekend with Liverpool travelling to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United on Sunday.
Both sides have made a fairly solid start to the season. Newcastle thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 on the opening day before a tough 1-0 loss to Manchester City while Liverpool opened their account with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Chelsea followed by a commanding 3-1 victory over Bournemouth.
Both sides have strengthened in places this summer with Newcastle looking to continue on from their outstanding European charge last season with Liverpool having had somewhat of an overhaul in midfield.
The Reds have taken the spoils in this fixture thus far but the Magpies are a club on the rise and are a constant threat at the moment with their confident, attacking playstyle. Liverpool will have to be cautious coming into this one, but history is most definitely on their side.
Key Stat: Newcastle have failed to beat Liverpool in 13 games with their last win over the Merseyside club coming back in December 2015.
Players to Watch: Alexander Isak began the season with two goals against Aston Villa as he eyes up a big season for the Magpies. Luis Diaz has started the season in a similar fashion, netting twice in two games for Liverpool.
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