Scouting for fixtures is a weekly blog for people who love the beautiful game. It comes out every Sunday and hand picks upcoming matches worldwide that week, which look set for 90 minutes of non-stop action.
All times are in GMT.
- Chelsea vs PSG ( Wed 09 19:45 )
John Obi Mikel of all people give Chelsea a glimmer of hope in qualifying for the next round of the Champions League on Tuesday night. The current PL champions are a steep 18 points from the top spot, despite the 12 match undefeated run; but the aftershocks of their disaster that was the first half of the season are still felt in the Chelsea camp. Hiddink’s team are very much capable of nicking a win at home, but is that enough? The first leg which ended 2-1 to PSG means Chelsea need to win 1-0 0r by a 2 goal deficit. With a defence reminiscent of a leaky drain pipe, the 1-0 win seems near impossible, looking like goals is the name of the game. The Parisian side at last end their run of 25 games unbeaten with an entertaining game at Stadio Olympico, losing 2-1 against an attacking Lyon side. If Chelsea want to win successfully they have to do the same, but with a PSG side effortlessly dominating like they are, the chances are slim.
2. Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham ( Thu 10 18:00 )
It’ll be fascinating to see how two near complete teams will fair at the Signal Iduna, both teams play elegant, precision football, in abundance of exiting players and are in a rich vein of form. If this tie was a year ago, it’s likely Spurs would’ve Spurs’ed up in typical Spurs fashion, but Tottenham’s exponential improvements mean they’re close to winning their first ever premier league title. Dortmund are as exiting as ever to watch, capable of beating any team on their day. The only position where there is a noticeable drop (off a cliff) in quality is between the two goalkeepers, where Hugo Lloris trumps Roman Bürki in every attribute. The high profile Europa league fixture, or on par with the Man Utd vs Liverpool, it’s likely the winner (over the two legs) are odds on to win the whole competition. Very difficult to call but expect top drawer football on display.
3. Liverpool vs Manchester United (Thu 10 20:05 )
For the first time ever, the two most successful English clubs ever play each other in the Europa League. Granted both teams aren’t fit to hold that title in their current state, but that will never undermine the importance of this tie. To everyone’s surprise, the Red Devils are ones currently playing the unpredictable, lightning quick, attacking style that Klopp’s hammering into his players, with varying degrees of success. Liverpool seem to oscillate too, between completely blowing teams away or bottling it, the mentality is what needs to be dealt with here. Lucky for Liverpool the club mentality isn’t an issue in this game, where it’s more than just the three points. The derby always produces magic, has done throughout history, drama, spectacular goals, red cards, fights, comebacks; it means everything to the fans and players alike.
4. Houston Dynamo vs FC Dallas ( Sun 13 01:30 )
This Texas derby goes against the grain of the overused clichés that the MLS is just a comfortable retirement plan for big names in the game, or doesn’t have the same passion as in Europe. The MLS returns this week and this is the pick of the week in the North American continent, the rivalry runs deep, extending to every sport at every level but FC Dallas hold the upper hand here. Houston have lost their last 6 matches, some in spectacular fashion. The other key stat is the goals, 4.5 goals a game for the last 3 years. The winning team gets to fire a howitzer, that’s a freaking cannon! It just screams Texas.
Real Madrid vs Roma ( Tue 08 19:45 )
Athletic Club vs Valencia ( Thur 10 20:05 )
Manchester United vs West Ham ( Sun 13 16:00 )
Feel like I missed out any matches or wanna give me any feedback? Comment Below.