Between the Posts weekend preview: a look at the games we will cover in the upcoming weekend
Welcome to the weekend primer of Between the Posts. In this article, you can find out which games are going to be featured on our site during the weekend, including a little preview of these matches.
Saturday, November 10th
Borussia Dortmund – Bayern Munich (Bundesliga), 18:30 CET
In contrast to the last two seasons, something is actually at stake in Der Klassiker, as these two clubs are separated by four points. In Dortmund’s favour, that is.
Saturday’s home side have consistently been playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. In the better games – Hertha BSC, Atlético Madrid – their offense is clicking and there is truly some free-flowing football on display. In the more disappointing games – Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim – the conservative positioning of the double pivot results in sterile possession Sterile possession means that a team controls possession for a spell of time, but fails to create actual goal scoring chances or offensive penetration with it. and problems to create scoring chances.
Bayern have not been themselves this year, result-wise. Even though underlying offensive statistics look fine, scoring has been a problem for Der Rekordmeister, as there are five (!) Bundesliga teams that have scored more goals so far. If Bayern lose this game and the gap widens to seven points, this can already have some serious implications to the title race. Bayern’s title chances are still rated highly, despite being four points behind, going into this weekend. This has two main reasons. One, these kind of predictions expect some regression towards the recent historic performance for all teams. Two, Dortmund has significantly outperformed their expected goals for and against, while Bayern has underperformed on both grounds. For both reasons, Bayern is estimated to be somewhat better than current results indicate and Dortmund somewhat worse.
Brace yourself, Niko Kovač.
Article to be written by Erik Elias.
Atlético Madrid – Athletic Club (LaLiga), 18:30 CET
The days where Athletic shook up LaLiga under managers like Marcelo Bielsa and Ernesto Valverde seem to belong to the past, for now at least. Athletic deserve a lot of respect for their youth academy, but in terms of first team football, things have turned sour for the Basques. Their last win was in late August (!), and scoring goals seems to be a problem for this team.
Midweek Champions League action saw Atlético win in vintage Cholismo style over Dortmund, who had sixty-nine percent possession against Diego Simeone’s men, but came away with zero points. In domestic play, Atléti have been struggling mightily to produce convincing wins. Atlético currently rank 15th in LaLiga in terms of expected goals for, with 10.9 xG from 11 matches played. This indicated that their 13 goals scored is not a conversion issue, but a serious problem to create chances.
So, this game might not be high in scoring and we should not expect either side to turn into an offensive machine overnight, but it probably will be intense, hard-fought and combative for the full ninety minutes.
Article to be written by José Perez.
Sunday, November 11th
Arsenal – Wolverhampton Wanderers (Premier League), 16:30 CET
Wolves rank eleventh in the league table, going into this weekend. Not bad for a newly promoted side, but even more impressive considering that fact that they have been underperforming slightly in comparison to their underlying offensive and defensive statistics. explainer Under manager Nuno Espírito Santo, Wolves play in a recognizable 3-4-2-1 system that rapidly turns into a 5-4-1 when they choose to defend deep.
If you only look at the results, this season appears to be very good for Arsenal. Dive a bit deeper, and it becomes clear that despite a lot of wins, there are structural issues in their build-up – which is very predictable – and that the central defenders experience difficulty when they have to play with a lot of space in the back. Wolves have some excellent and pacey attackers who can punish any team on the break, so Unai Emery’s men should be prepared for that.
Article to be written by Erik Elias.
Manchester City – Manchester United (Premier League), 16:30 CET
It seems letting the opponent score is a new tactic deployed by José Mourinho’s Manchester United, as it was a successful strategy against both Bournemouth and Juventus. All jokes aside, this match still is one of the biggest fixtures in the Premier League – let alone the world – and it is striking that Mourinho has never lost a match at the Etihad stadium as Manchester United manager.
Manchester City are in great form, winning their last six games, scoring twenty-three goals and conceding just once, but United will not be an easy nut to crack.
What’s more… We all know what kind of game this will be, right? Guardiola versus Mourinho. Possession versus counterattacking. Width versus compactness. Action versus reaction. Even though the managerial rivalry has lost some of its intrigue due to Mourinho’s downfall as an elite coach, this still has the potential to be a good one.
Article to be written by Josh Manley.
AC Milan – Juventus (Serie A), 19:30 CET
This used to be one of the biggest fixtures in Italy. As the financial and sporting disparity between Juventus and the rest of Serie A has simply become too big, this match has ceased to be directly relevant for the outcome of Serie A’s title race.
What is lacking in quality for the home side might partly be made up by raw emotion, as the tifosi of San Siro still dearly hate Juventus, maybe even more so after their seven consecutive league titles.
Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan will have to close up the shop if they want a result from this game. If they manage to do so, in Gonzalo Higuain AC Milan have a world-class striker who has something to prove against Juventus and technician Suso is in good form to strike on the counterattack.
Article to be written by Peter M.
Celta de Vigo – Real Madrid (LaLiga), 19:45 CET
Real Madrid’s season is not going like they would have expected, currently sitting sixth in LaLiga and already having axed manager Julen Lopetegui. One of their main issues so far has been the deteriorating chance creation. Now under the guidance of Santiago Solari, it remains to be seen whether this was more of a manager-related issue or more related to the players on the field.
Playing Celta de Vigo away from home this season is not as frightening as it has been the last few years. Manager Antonio Mohamed is yet to find his ideal setup. Celta have loads of aspiring young talent in Stanislav Lobotka, Pione Sisto and Fran Beltrán. The challenge for Mohamed, has been to to make the team function as a unit, having been alternating between a formation with three and two central defenders. In this match, do not expect Celta to sit back and wait for the counterattack, as they are a team that can create chances after long spells of possession.
Article to be written by Om Arvind.