Between the Posts weekend preview: a look at the games we will write about next 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. (Game times are in CET.)
Saturday (October 27th)
Borussia Dortmund – Hertha BSC (Bundesliga), 14:30 CET
Dortmund are off to a hot start under the guidance of Lucien Favre. And by hot, we mean HOT. In twelve official games under the new manager, Dortmund have won ten and drawn two. The defense has improved significantly, with Die BVB conceding just nine goals in twelve games so far. But it is a red-hot offense that makes this team special: in the last four Bundesliga games, Dortmund have scored 19 goals; a league goal tally only matched by Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Mönchengladbach…in eight full games. Even if scoring phenom Paco Alcácer would still be out injured, Dortmund have plenty of offensive firepower left to score four or five goals again, with Marko Reus, Jaden Sancho, Christian Pulisic and Jacob Bruun Larsen all enjoying really nice spells of form as well.
Dortmund will take on Hertha BSC, who, after a surprise start, have only grabbed one win in their last four.
Article to be written by Sam Planting
Atlético Madrid – Real Sociedad (LaLiga), 19:45 CET
Okay, we know that Diego Simeone’s Atlético don’t need a ton of offensive fireworks to win games, but their offense’s start to the has been a tad worrisome. 8.7 Expected Goals – and ten actual goals – in nine league games is simple not enough for a team that strives to compete with the two big boys for the LaLiga title. What makes the sputtering offense even more frustrating for Atléti fans, is that the attacking lull comes in a period where Real Madrid and Barcelona seem more vulnerable than ever.
Atlético will try to find back some of their offensive magic against Real Sociedad on Saturday night. After a 4-0 shallacking at the hands of Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek, we can be sure that Atlético will approach this game aggressively. Sociedad might prove to be a problem. The mid-table side has some really nice talent in the squad, with Mikel Oyarzabal and Igor Zubeldía as the faces of a new generation of very gifted, young Sociedad players.
Article to be written by Om Arvind
Sunday (October 28th)
Crystal Palace – Arsenal (Premier League), 13:30 CET
It has been fun going for Arsenal fans lately. Like, really. After Unai Emery had a very tough start to his managerial career at the Emirates, opening at home against reigning champs Manchester City (0-2 loss, deserved) and at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea (3-2 loss, bit unlucky), Arsenal have been flying. They have won ten official games in a row, scoring 31 times during this streak. Emery utilizes a 4-2-3-1 formation with aggressively high positioned fullbacks on the flanks, and a plethora of skilful passing midfielders occupying the center of the pitch, who will try to pass the opponent to death. Sounds pretty Arsenal-y, right? Two big question remain for Emery: (1) if (and if so, how) to use both of his top strikers, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, at the same time, and (2) how to protect his vulnerable center-back pairing as much as possible against isolated situations in counter-attacks of the opponent.
Even though Sunday’s opponents, Crystal Palace, have only managed to get one point from their last four league games, Arsenal could be in for a tough afternoon. Speedy, explosive players like Andros Townsend, Jordan Ayew and in particular the majestic Wilfried Zaha are the exact type of attackers that have given Arsenal’s defense headaches in the past.
Article to be written by Peter M.
RB Leipzig – Schalke 04 (Bundesliga), 14:30 CET
After a pretty shaky start to the season – losing 4-1 at Dortmund on the opening day, and getting beat 3-2 by ‘little Red Bull brother’ Salzburg – RB Leipzig have put themselves back on track to compete in the upper tier of the Bundesliga once again. Leipzig haven’t lost in their last seven league games, and conceded only once in their last four. Coach Ralph Rangnick has the famous RB press working again, and with attacking talent like Timo Werner, Jean-Kévin Augustin, Yussuf Poulsen, Marcel Sabitzer and Emil Forsberg, it would only be a matter of time before the offense started to produce again.
Schalke had a rude awakening this year after their fairytale-like 2017/2018 season. They lost their first five league games in a row, making a repeat of last year’s second place finish impossible after only a month of league football. Manager Domenico Tedesco has righted the ship since the awful start. He has done so by strengthening the defense. Schalke have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five games. Now it is time for the offense, who has scored just five goals in eight Bundesliga games, to step up as well.
Article to be written by Abel Meszaros
Barcelona – Real Madrid (LaLiga), 15:15 CET
Well… Nobody needs to be prepped up for this one, right? Arguably the biggest domestic match in club football – even without the two players that have characterized not only this fixture, but the whole game of football in the past decade.
Barcelona has mostly dominated the ball in El Clásico this millennium, while Real Madrid would sit back and try to strike on the counterattack. Under Julen Lopetegui, Real Madrid are trying to adapt to a more possession-oriented approach, even though a side effect of that style change is their deteriorating chance creation. This match might turn out to be a fascinating clash between two sides that pass and press.
Being a football aficionado, you have probably read that this will be the first Clásico since 2007 that will not feature either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. There will still be plenty of talent on the field Sunday afternoon. Must-watch game!
Article to be written by Guillaume Maebe
Manchester United – Everton (Premier League), 16:00 CET
Everton are just about where you expect them to be, jostling for the seventh place in the Premier League. Under the ownership of Farhad Moshiri, it is the club’s long-term vision to attack the top-six in England. They are currently in eight place though, but for now, it is fair to say that manager Marco Silva is doing an okay job. His team plays some Portuguese flavoured football, in a well-organized 4-2-3-1.
As we all know, Manchester United’s manager is also Portuguese, which means this probably will be a battle between two teams that settle in a medium block A mid block of medium blockrefers to a team that retreats in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents some way into their own half. or a low-medium block. United was on the receiving end of a proper football lesson against Juventus last Wednesday, a match that once again exposed their structural tactical issues.
Article to be written by Josh Manley
Napoli – AS Roma (Serie A), 19:30 CET
After Napoli beat Liverpool in the Champions League earlier, they were a mere 150 seconds away from beating PSG away from home, last Wednesday. Carlo Ancelotti has instilled a 4-4-2 formation that grants defensive solidity off the ball and positional flexibility in possession.
While Napoli is looking to be the prime contender for the best-of-the-rest-spot in Serie A and, Roma has shown a _lot_ of inconsistency, as they currently are ranked seventh in the league. Just when things are looking to go well, they deservedly lose 0-2 to minnows SPAL at home.
In this game, expect Napoli to have more of the ball and circulate it through central midfielders Allan and Hamšík who look to feed the roaming striking duo Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne.
Article to be written by José Pérez
Monday (October 29th), 20:00 CET
Tottenham Hotspur – Manchester City (Premier League), 20:00 CET
Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola have, in broad strokes, the same football philosophy. They want their teams to build up from the back through positional play and win the ball back as quickly as possible when it is lost.
Even though Pochettino has shown that he can be more pragmatic when he feels Tottenham needs it, in the last two games against Manchester City, this was not the case.
In both games, Spurs played a high defensive line and pressed Guardiola’s side throughout large parts of the match. As it yielded zero points for Tottenham and a total of seven goals for City, it remains to be seen if Pochettino will opt to let his team defend a bit deeper this time around.
Article to be written by Erik Elias