Heeeyyyyyooooo!! Thank. The. Lord. that the International Break is over; with that being said congratulations to Peru, Denmark, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden and the other nations who found their way into that ‘tournament that’s supposedly/allegedly happening in Russia next summer’. Oh and thoughts and prayers to Italy and Ireland who join other notables like the U.S., Chile, Ghana, Netherlands and Cameroon among others to not make the big ol’ tourney in Russia next summer.
But now we’re back to business with club play until January (the next International Break/Holiday break for some leagues). Not only is soccer back, but it’s Tiger Woods back with 3 MASSIVE rivalries around the world. Kulla will get into a preview of the famous and insane North London Derby between Tottenham and Arsenal so don’t worry about that preview (uhhhhh lemme guess who he’s gonna pick…).
Let’s rock and rollllllll.
All-Time Record: 98-90-17 (56% win/draw rate)
Tottenham @ Arsenal 7:30 am ET
You may be wondering… why would they make one of the biggest matches of the season so early (12:30 in England)? Well because they want to limit the drinking and fights/brawls leading up to the game because this game becomes a safety issue in London. That’s how big of a deal this game is. An Arsenal player even one time tore his ACL mid game, but put his fingers up to show ‘2-0’ to the Tottenham fans to remind them they were still losing.
Kulla will get into this match into much deeper detail, but I’ll still give you some nuggets of info and a pick. Arsenal are currently on their longest winless run against their London rivals, with no wins in their last 6 encounters, but have been a tough opponent to beat at home this season. Pochettino, the Spurs manager, has yet to lose to the North London foes but has drawn each of the 3 times they’ve met at Arsenal. Naturally the game is a PICK in Vegas, but I like Tottenham because of their more consistent play and form right now. Tottenham PICK (Even).
Southampton (+1½) @ Liverpool
Manchester City @ Leicester City (+1½)
Everton @ Crystal Palace (Pick -120)
Swansea City @ Burnley (-½)
Chelsea (-1) @ West Brom
Huddersfield Town (+½) @ Bournemouth
12:00 Serie A (Italy)
Lazio @ Roma (Pick -120)
Newcastle United @ Manchester United (-1½)
Real Madrid @ Atletico Madrid 12:45 ET
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid come into the Madrid Derby both tied in 3rd place with 23 points through 11 matches, but Real owns the tiebreaker with +13 goal differential (3 more than their Madrid rivals). Ronnie only has 1 goal through 7 matches for Real, his lowest in a long time and it clearly seems to be impacting them this season. They started slow and then rebounded, only to lose 2 of their last 4 matches in all competitions. Atletico meanwhile, have yet to lose a game this season in the league, with 6 wins and 5 draws through their 11 matches. They are unbeaten at home in the league this season in their new stadium, but have had lackluster performances as of late. I love Atletico not being favored here, as they love to pack it in and keep it low scoring. I see a draw here for Real’s first trip to the new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Ateltico Madrid (+½).
AC Milan @ Napoli (-1)… (Insigne Revenge Game)
West Ham United @ Watford (-½)… (Don’t sleep on Watford!)
Stoke City @ Brighton & Hove Albion (Pick -130)
That’s all from this weekend’s games. The Rome Derby, the Madrid Derby, and of course the North London Derby dominate this weekend’s slate of sexy games. I hope you can wake up for these games, eat some breakfast, have a cup of coffee and shotgun a beer before your Saturday/Sunday football indulgences.