Written by Bobby McMahon on November 18, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal, Bayern Mnchen, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Manchester City, Napoli, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Real Sociedad, Valencia
Back to domestic action this weekend. League games Saturday, Sunday and in a couple of cases on Monday and the MLS Cup Final on Sunday – more on that one later in the weekend.
Norwich v Arsenal in the Barclay’s Premier League
This is the early morning game on Saturday so get the coffee on and hopefully this sets the tone for a great weekend.
Arsenal currently 7th have played 5 of top 6 teams in their first 11 matches
Robin van Persie has scored 29 goals in 28 league appearances in 2011.
Thomas Vermaelen has only started three Premier League matches for Arsenal but he has made more clearances than any other Arsenal player – 8 in all
Arsenal got their first away win on their last trip – that to Chelsea. But they also own a horrendous goals against tally with 17 goals conceded in 5 away games
Norwich have lost 2 of their last 7 league games (+ three wins, two draws) but are winless in their last three ( 2 draws and a loss)
Norwich along with Blackburn are the only sides yet to keep a clean sheet
Norwich have conceded a five penalties this season – the most in the league
This is the sort of game that is a must win for Arsenal in order to maintain a challenge for a top 4 spot – 4 teams ahead of them are playing each other
Arsenal with one eye on Dortmund in midweek and coming off an international break – a tricky assignment?
Manchester City v Newcastle in the Barclay’s Premier League
The only two remaining unbeaten sides in Premier League
City have scored 39 goals in their 11 games and while Newcastle have conceded only eight – both best in the categories
City have started 19 different players; Newcastle 16 but goalkeeper and defence has started all 11 games
First of consecutive Saturday’s in Manchester for Newcastle – United at Old Trafford next week – then Newcastle is at home to Chelsea December 3rd
Manchester City is the most efficient side in the Premier League in front of goal – 5.64 shots per goal
But Newcastle’s Demba Ba is an efficient individual with a ratio of 2.88 shots per goal
City has only scored once in opening 15 minutes this season and have yet to concede in that time; 30 of their 39 goals have come in the 2nd half
Newcastle have lost 6 of the last 7 meetings against Man City drawing one during this stretch, and their last win came in 2005.
Left back Ryan Taylor does like to get forward – he leads Newcastle players with 23 attempts on goal and he has scored two.
Napoli v Lazio in Serie A
Corresponding fixture last season finished 4-3 to Napoli and Edinson Cavani scored a hat trick as Napoli fought back from 0-2 and 2-3 down to win.
Napoli match with Juventus was postponed 2 weeks ago and they lost 2-1 to Catania the week before
Cavani opened scoring against Catania with his first goal since round 2
Lazio sitting top with Udinese on same points – seven points ahead of Napoli with a game more played
Lazio beat Parma 1-0 on a Sculli goal two weeks ago
Lazio unbeaten in Serie A since a 2-1 home defeat to Genoa on September 18 – since then six wins and two draws.
Miroslav Klose is likely to miss game on account of an injury picked up on international duty; defender Andre Dias also out
Lazio has yet to allow a goal in final 15 minutes this season and have taken 13 of their 21 points away from home
Lazio is at home to Juventus next Saturday
Napoli at home to Manchester City in a must win match in Champions League midweek – they have rotated their squad before other CL games this season and may do so again
Valencia v Real Madrid in La Liga
Corresponding game last season finished Valencia 3-6 Real Madrid
Since Jose Mourinho’s arrival, Real Madrid have won six of their seven matches following an international break
Real Madrid had 14 players away on international duty
Real Madrid 39 goals in all – 15 away from home and only conceded 1 goal away from home
Ronaldo 13 goals in 11 league games; Higuain 11 in 11
Valencia’s Jonas with a couple goals against Egypt for Brazil and he also scored the second fastest Champions League goal in history against Bayer Leverkusen a couple of weeks ago – in 10.5 seconds
Jonas signed for Valencia Jan, 2011 from Gremio in Brazil and boy did they get a deal. The release clause was only €1.25 million
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga
League leaders Bayern Munich against champions Borussia Dortmund, five points behind in second.
Manuel Neuer has allowed only four goals in the opening twelve games of the season for Bayern and at one point had 8 consecutive clean sheets
Mario Gomez has already scored 13 league goals for Bayern – the last Bayern Munich player to get off to such a prolific start? Der Bomber Gerd Müller in the 1977-78 season
Borussia Dortmund with 5 wins and a draw in their last 6 Bundesliga matches; a vast improvement on 3 losses and a draw in first 6
If you get a chance to watch the match be on the look-out for a player that we will be raving about after next summer’s European Championship – Mats Hummels. Centre back Hummels was let go by Bayern Munich and found a home with Dortmund.
Fantasy Football move
Joe Hart (Manchester City) was traded for Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) and the additional $2.5M pocketed for another move coming next week. Rationale – needed the money and I needed to create space for another Manchester City player having already hit the maximum of three.
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