Scouting for Fixtures: Apr 24 – Apr 30

Scouting for fixtures is a weekly blog for people who love the beautiful game. As well as seeking out the most entertaining games, each preview weaves the clubs into a greater football narrative. Each article is a selection of hand picked upcoming matches worldwide that week, which looks set for 90 minutes of non-stop action. 

Guy chatting absolutely anything in a desperate attempt to keep the reader’s attention in this football-esque blog. I also do football previews, kinda… 

All times are GMT.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund ( Wed 26 19:45 )

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#1 Reliable source

Andreas Möller’s kinda-but-not-really mullet and the oversized shirts time stamps the picture above to the late 1990’s. But 20 years on some Dortmund player may once again have to wipe away the FC Bayern tears after refereeing decisions put the game to bed against Real Madrid. Now reliable sources have surfaced, claiming the referee Viktor Kassai was actually Real Madrid fan, Part of a mafia so we can expect some foul play. So with the semi-finals of DFB Pokal rolling around the BVB fans will have no sympathy to Bayern’s recent misadventures in Europe, as they themselves fell prey to a ruthless defeat, 4-1, just 3 weeks ago. But no team encapsulates the song ‘You’re only second rate’ more than BVB do; they reach the finals 3 times in the last 3 years and lost every single time. Strong emotions have been brewing for both sides, and the game on Wednesday may be a much-needed release, in a sure to be classic cup game.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Monaco ( Wed 26 20:05 )

When it comes to goal records, many thought in an age of modern football the risk required to break records like that were far gone, along with the disappearance of the 4-2-4 and progressive importance of defending. At the current rate, Monaco expects to hit 107 league goals this season, just shy of the Ligue 1 record set by RC Paris in 1960, but being 2nd highest goal scorers of all time is nothing to be ashamed of. That goal scoring record propelled them into 1st place in Ligue 1 and the semi-finals of the Champions league and Coupe de France, where they face PSG. While Monaco is potentially aiming for a supreme treble, PSG waits another year for European success. While they dominated domestically, PSG looked like the team to put french football on the European radar, but never quite reached the heights that were expected. As time passed, even one of the most dominating performances in the 2015/16 season was met with memes on the state of french football. The last time – until now – a french side reached the UCL semi-finals were 7 years ago, and you have to go back to 1993 to find a French name on the trophy. Now it’s the coupe de France semi-finals and chances are the winner of this game will have their hands on the trophy. If that’s PSG, it’s their first step in taking back their domestic dominance. If it’s Monaco, it’s their first step to achieving the greatest and most difficult accomplishment a domestic side could do, a league, domestic cup and European treble.

Manchester City vs Manchester United ( Thu 27 20:00 )

You’ve got the best manager in the world, funded by endless amounts of money, and you’re season hopes are getting a champions league place for next season. Both teams fit the description and are the but end of a multitude of jokes that collectively could even rival the likes of Arsenal. Now, theirs a chance of one of them not even getting a champions league spot. As things stand, Man City have a game in hand with a 4 point gap, which could easily disappear to a 1 point gap with a game in hand if MUFC embarrasses the home side like they did to Chelsea last week. Though with Ibrahimovic out and resorting to playing the CB combination of Eric Bailly and a coke bottle isn’t ideal. The top quality attack and tin pot defence combo is a one that both sides are well versed in and can lead to some high scoring games; just look at the last time that happened which ended 6-6 on aggregate.

Rangers vs Celtic ( Sat 29 12:00 )

More of a rivalry in spirit, than in the most real sense of the word, as Celtic has a cool 33 point lead – and 3 place lead – on their rivals. Scottish football doesn’t have much going for it, in fact, a 44,000-word essay was written on this very topic (yes, riveting). But if there is one – and I’m yet to find another – reason for watching Scottish football, this would be it. If you want my summary on why you should watch the old firm it’s right here:

The games are end-to-end in a very literal way, with the last match ending 0-1 but had a shot on goal every 2.1 minutes (a scathing stat on the state of Scottish football if there was any). That 0-1 was an outlier in another wise goal-fest of a game, averaging 3.5 goals per game in the last 6

I made the most egregious sin of not including this fixture a few weeks ago, but thankfully we’ve been blessed to re-witness one of the greatest games a football fan can watch. If you don’t agree I suggest having a look at this.

Tottenham vs Arsenal ( Sun 30 16:30 )

To those Tottenham supporters who are currently in the 3rd year of uni life, who will complete their entire school career and 21 years of life experience without ever witnessing a season where Tottenham finished above Arsenal. But that’s about to change this season, surely? That’s what we thought last season and then this happens:

Tottenham blew their chance to finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995 with a miserable collapse at Newcastle.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side failed to gain the point they needed to secured second spot, even though they were playing against 10 men for 23 minutes, and Arsenal trounced bottom-club Aston Villa to ensure another St Totteringham’s Day in North London.

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Though ArsenalFanTV is a place of many wonderful characters with a study into the many forms of anger and it’s manifestations, you can find an almost perfect negative correlation with their view count and Arsenal performances. And they’re growing at an exponential rate. For the young Arsenal fans out there, next season may be your first ever outside of European football, if you’re under 23. The hate is very much alive and kicking, literally. Arsenal won’t give up North London superiority without a fight.

Roma vs Lazio ( Sun 30 11:30 )

This would be the 3rd Roman derby in the last 2 months, and with 5 games left, Lazio is holding onto their European spot for dear life.

For a player, that atmosphere is the equivalent of shooting a bucket of adrenaline into your blood stream. Plus, it’s not going to just be a shin-kicking contest out there, as Roma and Lazio have the quality to put on a real show, with 54 and 44 goals scored in Serie A respectively.                                                                                                              

– me

Quoting myself on this one, and the goal tally increased to 70 and 60 respectively now. The stakes are higher for Lazio as they are the top card in a house of cards, one loss can see them tumbling down the table.

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