Sevilla v Real Madrid Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Real Madrid will return to La Liga action on Sunday when they travel south to Andalusia to take on Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Los Blancos will be looking to return to winning ways after going down 3-0 to French champions Paris Saint-Germain on matchday one of this season’s Champions League. 


Manager Zinedine Zidane will be hoping his side can put in a good performances against the La Liga high flyers, who have started this campaign brightly, winning three and drawing one in their opening four games under former Real manager Julen Lopetegui. “Being top means nothing,” Lopetegui said last week, “but it does tell us the team is doing things well.” 

His current side are on ten points, but Real can climb above them Sunday with an away win.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Sunday 22 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports, DAZN & Facebook Watch
Referee? Juan Martínez Munuera

Team News

Sergio Ramos will return to face his old side, having been suspended for the game in Paris. Luka Modrić, Isco, Federico Valverde, Marcelo and Marco Asensio remain sidelined for Los Blancos, while Sevilla have former Man City wideman Nolito out injured.



Predicted Lineups

Sevilla Vaclík; Pozo, Koundé, Santos Silva; Escudero, Jordan, Gudelj, Óliver Torres; Vázquez, Hernández, Munir.
Real Madrid Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Rodríguez, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale; Benzema, Hazard.

Head to Head Record

Here’s some stats for you: 

  • Real Madrid have scored more away goals (113) against Sevilla than any other opponents.
  • In their last 18 visits to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, Real Madrid have lost 11 times, more than at any other ground. 
  • Since Zidane’s return as Real Madrid manager, the club have won only one of seven away games.

Last season saw Madrid suffer a 3-0 defeat to Los Rojiblancos, André Silva netting a brace and Wissam Ben Yedder also on target before half time.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-SEVILLA-REAL MADRID

Real Madrid did respond by beating Sevilla 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu on matchday 20 back in January, with goals from Casemiro and Luka Modrić in the dying embers of the match.


Recent Form

A lot was said of Sevilla when players such as André Silva, Pablo Sarabia, Quincy Promes and Wissam Ben Yedder all departed in the summer, leaving fans wondering where the goals would come from. The club responded by bringing in a Monchi-approved battalion of new players, including Joan Jordán from Eibar, Javier Hernández from West Ham and Luuk de Jong; formerly of PSV Eindhoven.

With Sevilla unbeaten in their first four matches, Julen Lopetegui has done remarkable job to help guide his side to the top of the table in the early stages of the campaign. The most recent league win came away against Alavés – with Jordán, who has two goals to his name so far, netting. 

FBL-ESP-LIGA-SEVILLA-CELTA

Madrid’s form has been mixed since Zinedine Zidane took the reins once again. Despite being unbeaten in the league this season with two draws and two wins, Los Blancos’ form has still left fans scratching their heads as to whether the Frenchman is the right person to take the club forward. 

An unconvincing 3-2 win over Levante at home last time round gave fans a glimmer of hope, but Sunday’s encounter will prove a big test. Zidane’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet all season too, shipping six goals in the first four league games on top of the three they let in against PSG.

Zinedine Zidane


Here’s how each team has performed in their last four league games:

Sevilla Real Madrid
Espanyol 0-2 Sevilla (18/8) Celta Vigo 1-2 Real Madrid (17/8)
Granada 0-1 Sevilla (23/8) Real Madrid 1-1 Real Valladolid (24/8)
Sevilla 1-1 Celta Vigo (30/8) Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid (1/9)
Alavés 0-1 Sevilla (15/9) Real Madrid 3-2 Levante (14/9)

Prediction

Madrid have looked shaky and look short of ideas thus far this season, while Sevilla will want to put on a show for the fans after drawing in their only home game so far this season

TOPSHOT-FBL-ESP-LIGA-REAL MADRID-LEVANTE

The pressure is on Zidane going into the match and he will be hopeful his side can deliver. Asensio, Modrić, Valverde, Diaz, Isco and Marcelo are all expected to be out – so Hazard, Bale and Benzema, who all started in midweek against PSG, need to step up to the plate.

However, Sevilla look the more comfortable and may pile yet more misery on Zidane on Sunday. 

Prediction: Sevilla 2-0 Real Madrid

Let’

Eden Hazard: The Brilliant Belgian Who Mesmerised Fans Across the World

Eden Hazard is number 16 in 90min’s Top 20 Greatest Footballers of the Decade series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next four weeks.


“I’m signing for the champion’s league winner.” 

Not only was this ​tweet from Eden Hazard one of the most infamous grammatical errors of all time, but it set the stage for one of the most mesmeric footballing careers we have ever seen.

Yes, the Belgian propelled himself to superstardom during his time with Chelsea, but it was clear from a young age that Hazard was destined for greatness.

FBL-EUR-C3-CHELSEA-ARSENAL-FINAL

Promoted to the senior side at Lille when he was still a teenager, Hazard already looked as though he had been playing top-flight football for years. His composure on the ball, coupled with his frightening natural ability, had fans around Europe drooling with excitement.

He picked up the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award in his debut season and retained it in the following campaign, and that form saw Zinedine Zidane confess to ​Marca in 2010 that he felt Hazard would be a perfect fit for ​Real Madrid – how’s that for foreshadowing?

Those two seasons were good, but it was the 2010/11 campaign which saw Hazard make the jump up to the next level.

The brilliant Belgian racked up 12 goals and 14 assists to fire Lille to an unlikely league and cup double, and Hazard, now 20 years old, was deservedly named as the Player of the Year. He was a superstar.

Lille's forward Eden Hazard runs with th

But wait, there’s more.

Hazard’s 2011/12 season was perhaps the finest to have ever been seen in France at the time and has since been compared to ​Kylian Mbappe’s meteoric rise in recent years. Hazard buried 22 goals and 18 assists, but it wasn’t enough to steer Lille to the title. It was clear he deserved a big move.

Fortunately for ​Chelsea, this all happened just as they lifted the ​Champions League for the first time in their history, and also whilst Chelsea legend Joe Cole was on loan at Lille from ​Liverpool. The stars had aligned, and one conversation with Cole and a poorly used apostrophe later, Hazard was on his way to Stamford Bridge.

£32m was a lot of money back in 2012, but it would go on to represent perhaps the greatest piece of business in Chelsea history.

Eden Hazard

If fans were in any doubt about his pedigree, Hazard had won them over by the time his debut came to an end. His close control allowed him to turn a defender, before he slotted the ball through perfectly to Branislav Ivanovic to find the back of the net against ​Wigan Athletic.

It was 2-0 just minutes later, and Hazard was again the mastermind. His ludicrous agility and dribbling made two defenders look like fools, and they could do nothing but scythe him down in the penalty area.

Chelsea had found themselves a real star. He managed 13 goals and 24 assists in all competitions in his debut season, and fans and players alike knew that they were witnessing something special.


I’ve said to him that he’s got absolutely everything. He’s got the potential, he’s 22 years of age and his ability on the ball is scaring the life out of people.”

– Frank Lampard, 2013.


The 2013/14 campaign was when the ​Premier League really stood up and took notice of Hazard. Whilst his statistics may have dropped, his overall level of performance certainly did not.

He was deservedly nominated for the Ballon d’Or, picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award and finished second behind just Liverpool’s ​Luis Suarez in the running for the PFA Player of the Year prize.

Hazard did manage to pick up the senior award in the following season after firing Chelsea to their first league title since 2010, with the Belgian netting the all-important goal in a 1-0 win over ​Crystal Palace to secure the trophy.

Unfortunately, as we so often see from the Blues, they love to follow up glory with catastrophe. Hazard was one of many players to underwhelm in the 2015/16 campaign, but they bounced back in emphatic fashion.

Eden Hazard

Like an unchained animal, Hazard ran riot on English football. Playing in the inside-forward role under new manager Antonio Conte, the Belgian was given all the creative freedom he could possibly desire, so it should come as no surprise that 16 goals and another Premier League title followed.

By this point, Hazard’s quality was indisputable. He had proven to be a magician with the ball, embarrassing defender after defender with his frightening ability to accelerate past players like they weren’t even there. 

Unsurprisingly, his form had caught the eye of Real Madrid. Los Blancos, who were now managed by the same Zidane that had heaped praise on Hazard back in 2010, began flirting with the winger, and Hazard certainly flirted back.

Revealing his dream of working with Zidane and playing in Madrid, it seemed like Chelsea would one day be forced to part ways with Hazard.

The Blues did get a few more mesmeric seasons out of Hazard, who helped Chelsea to the Europa League title in his final year, before he began pushing for a move to Real.

With one year left on his contract, Chelsea had no leverage at all in the negotiations, yet still managed to negotiate a deal which will see them earn up to £150m. Blues fans have given club director Marina Granovskaia a lot of grief, but they couldn’t deny that she had outdone herself there.

Now finally with Real, it remains to be seen what Hazard can do with his time in Spain. He is living out a childhood dream and will certainly hope that playing in ​La Liga will help him finally pick up the Ballon d’Or which has eluded him throughout his career.

Eden Hazard

Over the years, we have seen plenty of outstanding footballers, but rarely do we see talents like Hazard. Calling him world class almost doesn’t do him justice. 

The kind of things he can do with a football are out of this world and, when his career eventually comes to a close, he deserves to be remembered as one of the best to ever lace up a pair of boots.


Number 20 – Arjen Robben: The Flying Dutchman Who Became a Modern Legend at Bayern Munich

Number 19 – Mohamed Salah: The Humble King Who Conquered Rome and Took Liverpool By Storm

Number 18 – Sergio Aguero: The Man Who Painted Manchester Blue With One Kick of a Football​

​Number 17 – Manuel Neuer: The Bayern Munich & Germany Legend Who Revolutionised Goalkeeeping


Let’

Real Madrid: The XI That Should Start Against Sevilla in La Liga

​Real Madrid travel to face Sevilla on Sunday evening in La Liga and all eyes will be on Zinedine Zidane and his men to see how they bounce back after a humiliating drubbing at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek.

Los Blancos are yet to lose a match in the league this season, but they currently sit fourth in the table having drawn two of their four matches.

They face a Sevilla side who are enjoying a fine start to the new season, topping the table and two points clear of their next opponents.


The pressure is mounting on Zidane and he will be looking for a strong showing from his men as they bid to get their season back on track. With that in mind, here’s our take on how Los Blancos should line up on Sunday.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

Sergio Ramos

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – Another shaky night for Courtois in Paris on Wednesday. The Belgian has continued to concede goals at will and it’s proving to be a real cause for concern. Courtois’ performance was further scrutinised as his counterpart in the PSG match was Keylor Navas – a man who left the club in the summer due to insufficient playtime. 

Nonetheless, Courtois is the number one choice and should retain his place in the side. He can expect a busy evening against an in-form Sevilla side. 

Dani Carvajal (RB) – Carvajal struggled against a lethal PSG side on Wednesday, but he will most likely keep his spot in the team. The right back will be aware of the threat that his next opponents carry and his role will be key on Sunday if Real wish to come away with the points. 

Raphael Varane (CB) – Varane is one of the best around in his position. His speed, ability to read play and aerial threat make him a forward’s nightmare. The Frenchman may have been part of the side that fell to the ​embarrassing 3-0 defeat on Wednesday, but he will keep his place in the side.

Sergio Ramos (CB) – A no-brainer. Ramos skipped the match against PSG through suspension and it’s safe to say that his commanding presence was sorely missed. To put his importance to the side into perspective, Real Madrid’s past five Champions League defeats have all come when he has not been in the team. Certain starter.

Ferland Mendy (LB) – With Marcelo an injury doubt, Mendy may well keep hold of his spot for the upcoming match. The left back didn’t have his best game in midweek – along with most others – but he is already proving to be a useful addition to the squad. His pace going forward allows him to support attacks and provide an outlet, which could prove useful on Sunday. 


Midfielders

James Rodriguez

Casemiro (CM) – Casemiro is regarded as one of the world’s best holding midfielders, and with good reason. The Brazilian has proven his worth on countless occasions and he will need to be at his best on Sunday against a potent Los Hispalenses side.

Toni Kroos (CM) – Kroos has the ability to dictate the tempo of a match and control the game from midfield. He can play an intricate one-two or he can spread the play with a cross-field ball that opens up the space. Zidane will look to Kroos on Sunday to set the tempo and intensity of the performance, both on and off the ball – something that the Frenchman questioned after the match against PSG.

James Rodriguez (CM) – With Luka Modric a major doubt for the next match, James will most likely have another chance to impress. The Colombian was one of the few who performed well on Wednesday, despite the heavy thrashing. He has already proven his worth to Zidane this season and his creativity will be crucial on Sunday to help supply the forwards.


Forwards

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

Gareth Bale (RW) – ​Bale has been one of Real Madrid’s best players this season, it’s as simple as that. Once deemed surplus to requirements, he is now a pivotal member of this squad. The Welshman had a goal ruled out on Wednesday, but his overall performance was, once again, very impressive. His manager will be hoping he can continue his fine form on the weekend. 

Eden Hazard (LW) – ​Hazard made his Champions League debut for Los Blancos on Wednesday and it was, well…underwhelming. The Belgian superstar hasn’t exactly hit the ground running but there is no disputing his quality. There will be an expectation on Sunday that Hazard provides some much-needed quality against Sevilla to help ease the frustrations. 

Karim Benzema (ST) – Benzema has had a strong start to the new season and is managing to keep Luka Jovic out of the side. He has already come up with some important goals and Zidane will look to him throughout the season to provide a cutting edge. 


Let’

9 Potential Candidates to Replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid

Real Madrid are in trouble. That much is clear. And when Real Madrid are in trouble, the man in the dugout is too.

Zinedine Zidane, having cheated this system once with his impromptu ride off into the sunset, knows this all too well. The night is dark now, and full of terrors. 

So, naturally, thoughts of a New Dawn are creeping in. But who to usher in this transformation?

Well, how about these nine blokes:


Guti

Jose Maria Gutierrez alias Guti

Heavily touted following Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari’s sackings, Guti is currently unattached, making himself an enticingly cheap option. He certainly knows the club, and having coached the Youth Side for five years, he’s acutely aware of the young talent who may be required to refresh the side.

Of course, in Zidanish style, he has never been a fully-fledged manager before, and his only suitors right now are Aris Thessaloniki, whom no one has ever described as being like Real Madrid in any way whatsoever.


Raul

Novak Djokovic

Another one-named club legend looking for first-team love: it’s Raul! The former striker is now heading up Real Madrid B, and offers basically the same plusses as Guti. 

Both may end up being too close to Zidane in mould, but we still don’t know if that’s an issue or not.


Roberto Martinez

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFYING-SCO-BEL

Perhaps a head-scratcher for those versed in the Premier League, but Bobby Martinez is a bonafide candidate for the job – look at the odds! – and he should be treated with the respect that deserves…

…Hence why I’ll refrain from speaking further, cause, you know, if I speak I’m in trouble. 


Joachim Low

Joachim Loew,Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

With his cachet growing staler and staler in Germany, Joachim Low needs a way out, and what better way out than one of the biggest club sides in the world?

Sure, his 13 years away from the club game could prove problematic, as well as the various tactical foibles that have blemished his (let’s remind ourselves) otherwise wildly successful tenure as Die Mannschaft manager. 

He could reinvigorate Toni Kroos, though? He could also send him spiralling away from elite-level football, who knows?


Marcelino

FBL-ESP-LIGA-CELTA VIGO-VALENCIA

This spot was initially reserved for Julen Lopetegui – in a semi-tongue-in-cheek way, but also in recognition of his initial efforts at Sevilla. However, Marcelino is probably a likelier proposition, even with Real’s propensity to re-hire. 

His work at Valencia speaks for itself, though there’s something about his career trajectory that seems more suited to Barcelona, in an Ernesto Valverde kind of way, compared to Real. Then again, that could be nonsense. Competent option to have in the back pocket, for sure. 


Jose Mourinho

FBL-FRA-FIFA-CONGRESS

Speaking of re-hires, Señor Jose Mourinho! He’s still pally with Florentino Perez, he’s in need of a job and – save for the incumbent boss – he’s the last man to win a La Liga title at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Sure, he comes with some baggage, but don’t we all? Don’t cancel Mourinho just yet. 


Arsene Wenger

FRANCE-FBL-FRA-WENGER-PORTRAIT-BLACK AND WHITE

Speaking of needing a job and pertaining a bit of baggage…

Monsieur Arsene Wenger, ladies and gentleman! 

Sure, he may have more six-goal plus losses this decade than league titles, and he may be quasi-retired, but he’s not retired retired, and, in the same vein as Mou, he could do with a legacy revamp.

He certainly deserves one, and I’m almost certain he could get something out of Eden Hazard and co. up top. Food for thought, for sure. 


Massimiliano Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri

His European ‘struggles’ could be a cause for concern at such a continentally-obsessed club, but his league record speaks for itself, and he offers just the right balance of safe pair of hands/fresh blood. 

Needs to show he can do it away from the Juventus Stadium, and the Bernabeu would certainly be a great start. His work with – how should I put it – elder statesman is also encouraging, considering the number of geriatric Galacticos.


Mauricio Pochettino

FBL-EUR-C1-TOTTENHAM-PRESSER

The number one target, one would assume. Pochettino has proved himself time and again in north London, none more so than in that heroic journey to the Champions League final last season. 

He’s continually been linked with Los Blancos, and continually refused to really bat away such links. He’s clearly interested, and he’s clearly becoming a little jaded by life at Tottenham. Would he jump ship in the middle of the season? Only time will tell. 


Let’

5 Way Too Early Predictions About the 2019/20 Champions League After Matchday 1

The UEFA Champions League roared back into life this week for matchday one of the 2019/20 season, bringing goals, drama and plenty of memorable moments.

Here are five way too early predictions about what will happen in the rest of the campaign…


Dinamo Zagreb Won’t Finish Bottom of Their Group

FBL-EUR-C1-DINAMO-ATALANTA

Perennial Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have never been able to translate their domestic dominance into any kind of European success and the club has finished bottom of their Champions League group every time they have reached this stage since 1999.

In both 2011/12 and 2016/17, Dinamo lost all six games. In 2012/13, they got a solitary point, while in 2015/16 they actually beat Arsenal, but lost every other game and still finished fourth.

This time, they have made a flying start by thrashing Italian debutants Atalanta 4-0 on matchday one – winger Miroslav Orsic scored a hat-trick – and will hope to build on that; maybe even eventually matching their 1998/99 group stage points tally of eight.

Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk are the other teams in the group.


Inter Will Flop

FBL-EUR-C1-INTER-SLAVIA PRAGUE

Having, at last, returned to the Champions League last season after a six-year absence, then hiring revered coach Antonio Conte and signing Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Diego Godin and rising Italy starlet Nicolo Barella over the summer, and making a flying start to their Serie A campaign, Inter had been billed as a dark horse in Europe’s elite competition in 2019/20.

They were always going to be up against it after being put in a group with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund, but the Nerazzurri couldn’t even beat Slavia Prague at home to get three points on the board on matchday one, while the other giants entertained each other.

It took a 92nd minute equaliser from Barella just to salvage one point at San Siro after Peter Olayinka had put Slavia on course for a famous win. Unless Inter are going to seriously pull it out of the bag against Barcelona and Dortmund later, they really needed maximum points.


The Top Scorer Will Be Someone ‘New’

FC Salzburg vs KRC Genk  - Champions League Group E

Either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo has been top scorer in the Champions League every season since 2007. The only player who came close to breaking that dominance was Neymar when he tied as joint top scorer with both on 10 goals back in the 2014/15 campaign.

But neither got on the scoresheet on matchday one. Ronaldo’s Juventus scored twice, but he didn’t net either of them, while Messi was returning from injury and only played half an hour of Barcelona’s 0-0 draw against Borussia Dortmund.

There is no doubt that will change, but is it not possible to at least think there might be someone else at the top of the pile for the first time in 12 years?

Red Bull Salzburg could be a surprise package this year. The Austrian champions, who ruthlessly tore apart Genk on Tuesday, have good Europa League pedigree and the longer they stay in the more chance there is for the frightening Erling Håland to add to his tally.

There will be others who fancy their chances – Kylian Mbappe, for one, who will be aided by Paris Saint-Germain’s usual habit of scoring prolifically in the group stage. Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are others to obviously keep an eye on.


One English Club Won’t Make It Out of the Group Stage

Frank Lampard

Despite Premier League dominance of last season’s Champions League, Manchester City were the only English club to begin the new campaign with a win this week.

Liverpool were beaten in Napoli, while Chelsea lost to Valencia, and Tottenham underperformed during a draw with Olympiacos.

One would expect holders Liverpool to turn things around, although their European away record is now six defeats from their last eight games (excluding neutral finals). The Reds struggled to even get through the group last season, relying on a home win against Napoli on matchday six.

Tottenham will also fancy their chances of recovery, not least because they have made something of a habit of European comebacks over the last 12 months.

The English side most in danger of early elimination is Chelsea. Say what you like, but Frank Lampard is a second-year manager with no experience coaching at this level, while the young players who have been driving the team back home are equally untested in European football.

Defeat at home to a Valencia side in disarray at the start of this season was a bad way to start, and they now find themselves in a very open group where Ajax pose an even greater threat.


Atletico Madrid or Juventus Will Reach the Final

FBL-EUR-C1-ATLETICO-JUVENTUS

They lost four consecutive finals between from 2014 to 2017 and this year could be the year that either Atletico Madrid or Juventus return to the showpiece event.

The clubs played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Wanda Metropolitano on matchday one and seem to be among the best equipped to gar far as weaker Real Madrid and Barcelona sides struggle to live up to their previous lofty standards.

Paris Saint-Germain, 3-0 victors over Real this week, have hardly given reason in recent years to suggest they can last the distance after often fading when the knockout stages come around, while Bayern Munich have been getting further and further away from European glory.


Champions League matchday two will take place next month on 1/2 October.

Let’

This Weekend’s 7 Must-Watch Games From Around Europe

​Now we’ve all calmed down after yet another exhilarating mid-week of Champions League action, it’s time to put our domestic football hats back on with a myriad of exciting clashes to look forward to.

The Premier League has already sprung a great deal of surprises this season, with more twists and turns expected in this weekend’s clashes. In mainland Europe, Juventus bizarrely are not top of the Serie A table after three games, while over in Germany the same applies for Bayern Munich. La Liga football is following suit, as Barcelona sit outside the top two after four matches for the first time in, what we can assume, has been about 150 years.

With all that in mind, here are a handful of the fixtures you shouldn’t miss this weekend from across the footballing calendar.


Saturday: Leicester vs. Tottenham (Premier League)

Hugo Lloris,Jamie Vardy

Fixtures against the top six are coming thick and fast for ​Leicester, who will be desperate to bounce back from their narrow 1-0 defeat away at Manchester United last weekend.

Tipped as one of the sides to break into the upper echelons of the ​Premier League this season, home clashes with sides such as Tottenham will provide the perfect platform from which the Foxes can justify such suggestions. 

In ​Spurs’ case, traveling to Greece for their recent Champions League outing on Wednesday before a midday kick off on Saturday may present some issues. But, in truth, the real issue lies in their makeshift defence, that seemingly doesn’t possess a right-back. Those fears were compounded against Olympiakos, when they blew a two goal lead to draw their opening group clash.


Saturday: Werder Bremen vs. RB Leipzig (Bundesliga)

Timo Werner

With a young side flourishing under an equally youthful manager, RB Leipzig have set the benchmark for what is required in the ​Bundesliga this season with some fine displays thus far.

Boasting one of Europe’s hottest strikers in Timo Werner up front, a key creator in Emil Forsberg, and the division’s best defence of last season, this Leipzig side are no longer dark horses for the title.

Coming up against Werder Bremen on Saturday, few would back against the visitors taking the spoils, but having lost their two opening matches Die Werderaner have rallied to win their last two and may pose a threat.


Saturday: AC Milan vs. Inter (Serie A)

Matias Vecino

The Derby della Madonnina is back this weekend with both sides led by managers who are in their first seasons at their respective clubs. This San Siro clash is steeped in rich history, with the two clubs having come to blows on nearly 300 occasions, while also famously sharing a stadium.

Antoino Conte’s ​Nerazzurri currently lead the ​Serie A table with three wins from three matches, while the ​Rossoneri sit three points behind them. Everyone loves a derby, and this fixture rests among the best that world football has to offer, as the late kick-off time will only add to the spectacle under the floodlights.

Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku will also be tasting their first Milan derby, and what better way to endear yourself to your new supporters than by getting one over on your arch rivals?


Sunday: Sevilla vs. Real Madrid (La Liga)

Sergio Ramos

Two unbeaten sides in Spain’s top division come to blows on Sunday with the home side looking to retain their place atop of ​La Liga. Three wins and a draw have placed Sevilla ahead of Los Blancos, who themselves sit two points behind Los Hispalenses ahead of this crunch clash.

Sergio Ramos will be pitted against his former side once more, but what makes this far more engrossing is seeing the response of the ​Madrid players after getting thumped 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Zinedine Zidane questioned the intensity levels shown by his side, something which seems almost unfathomable when that boast Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard up front. This one is set up to be a corker.


Sunday: Chelsea vs. Liverpool (Premier League)

TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-SUPERCUP-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA

One totally new-look side takes on a mostly identical team to last season, as Frank Lampard’s ​Chelsea play host to Premier League table-toppers ​Liverpool.

It’s a fixture that has blessed the division on many occasions previously, and while not possessing quite the same aura as before, still pits two top six sides against one another. The early season indications are that the Reds are the team to beat this campaign, but a youthful Blues side may very well spring a few surprises given their sprightly exuberance.

Both sides lost their Champions League openers in midweek, but that should only work to heighten the match as a spectacle with the clubs eager to right the wrongs that saw them come unstuck in Europe.


Sunday: PSV Eindhoven vs. Ajax (Eredivisie)

FBL-NED-EREDIVISIE-EINDHOVEN-AJAX

These two clubs played out an almighty scrap for Dutch superiority last season, going head-to-head in one of the most enthralling Eredivisie title races in recent memory.

Ajax eventually pipped PSV to the post by three points, yet their quest for the crown looks like following a similar pattern once again if their early season form is anything to go by. 

Once again it is a close-knit battle, with both sides level on 13 points after five matches. Boasting such dominance over the sides below them, these clashes can prove pivotal in deciding who reigns supreme in the Netherlands, no matter how early in the season they are.

Expect goals, drama and flares, plenty of flares.


Sunday: Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-LYON-PARIS

Despite netting 12 goals and conceding only four, Lyon have somehow managed to only win two of their opening five Ligue 1 matches. 

Hosting the champions, Lyon always welcome Les Parisiens with a hostile atmosphere, which in turn makes for an exciting clash. For Thomas Tuchel’s side, they will be hoping for more of the same they displayed in midweek, after putting the sword to Madrid with a thumping 3-0 win in their Champions League curtain raiser.

Meanwhile, Moussa Dembele currently sits top of the charts in France for goals scored, followed closely by teammate Memphis Depay, meaning the PSG back four will need to be on their toes on Sunday.


Let’

Twitter Reacts as Real Madrid Become the Laughing Stock of the Champions League

​Real Madrid. The Real Madrid team who just recently won three Champions League trophies in a row and four in five years. The Real Madrid who have won the competition 13 times. The Real Madrid who are the biggest club in the world. Well, that Real Madrid, are now a team who just can’t seem to hack it in Europe. They can’t really seem to hack it anywhere right now.

After being thumped by Ajax in the round of 16 last season, their European woes continued with another bruising at PSG.

Madrid just never got going. Aside from Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, no one even played remotely well. It was worse than poor.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

To rub salt in the wounds, it was former Real Madrid man Angel Di Maria who scored the goals to inflict defeat on the Spanish side.

Di Maria’s first goal came from an error from ​Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian has struggled in Spain, and this remarkable stat just about sums it up.

You can imagine Chelsea fans right now, revelling in the failings of their former goalkeeper, making a howler on the biggest stage. Chelsea Twitter was having a field day.

It seems like Blues fans had already forgotten about their loss to Valencia, and if anything, a Courtois mistake was as good as a Chelsea win.



If only ​Madrid had a top goalkeeper in their ranks to take the Belgian’s place. Oh wait, he was on the other team…


Angel Di Maria really loves the big stage. Every time you switch on to watch a PSG game in the Champions League, he seems to score one or two goals.

Real Madrid should be looking at signing a player like him. Seems exactly like a potential Los Blancos player…



A lot of eyes were on Real Madrid new signing ​Eden Hazard. A joyful footballer. One of the world’s best. Surely the man to turn around Madrid’s fortunes.

Based on this performance, probably not…

In the future maybe though…once he loses a bit of weight.




In all seriousness, praise has to go to PSG. They are heading in the right direction, and they seem to have – finally – struck the right balance between defence and attack.

A lot of that seems to be down to the signing of Idrissa Gueye. Twitter was impressed too.




A pleasant night then all in all for PSG, but they shouldn’t get too excited though. They’ll face a lot more difficult challenges in Europe this season and across the next few weeks – for example, Brugge and Galatasaray.

I’d say I feel bad for Real Madrid fans. But I don’t. Three back to back Champions League wins is enough success to last a lifetime. They’ll just spend hundreds of millions of pounds next summer to sort out their problems and get back to the top again. They’ll be just fine.

Let’

PSG 3-0 Real Madrid: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Angel Di Maria Outclasses Former Side

​A much anticipated Champions League group game between two of Europe’s strongest teams ended with PSG claiming all three points, as the French champions were simply too good for a Real Madrid side who looked short of ideas. 

PSG started the better team, with a goal inside the first 15 minutes, courtesy of Angel Di Maria. However, huge questions will be raised over Thibaut Courtois, who let the ball in at his near post.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

Real Madrid posed one or two early problems for the PSG defence. Eden Hazard fizzed an early shot just wide shortly after Di Maria’s goal.

That was the best Madrid could hope for. They were just not in the game at all after that. Di Maria then doubled the lead for the French side 20 minutes later, with a cracking shot from the edge of the box.

Later in the first half, Gareth Bale thought he had scored an unbelievable goal, volleying the ball over the head of Keylor Navas, but it was ruled out, after VAR intervention, for a handball. 

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

The second half continued in the same fashion, with PSG dominating and creating chance after chance, and Madrid unable to outdo the magnificent Idrissa Gueye in midfield.

​Karim Benzema thought he had scored Real’s first goal of the game, but again, ruled out for offside.

PSG made it three in added time, with the full backs linking up superbly when through on the Madrid goal. Thomas Meunier ended up slotting home after some brilliant play between himself and Bernat.


PSG

Key Talking Point

With no ​Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, how would PSG cope? Their two best players were out with an injury and suspension respectively.

However, Argentine Angel Di Maria stepped up in their absence. Di Maria enjoys these big Champions League nights. He showed that again with a high quality performance.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

His confidence on the ball and ability to go past players is of the highest order, and it was capped off with two goals to put the game to bed early on.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Navas (7); Meunier (8), Silva (7), Kimpembe (6), Bernat (7); Marquinhos (7), Gueye (9*), Veratti (7); Sarabia (7), Icardi (7); Di Maria (8)

Subs: Choupo-Moting (7), Herrera (6), Diallo (N/A)


STAR MAN

It’s not often that a player who scores twice and plays brilliantly doesn’t get the star man award. I could have easily given it to Di Maria.

But for years, PSG have been wondering why they just can’t crack the Champions League? They have all the best offensive players in the world, but what’s missing?

The answer may just be Idrissa Gueye. He was phenomenal. Signed from Everton for around £30m (a bargain in this day and age), the midfielder was EVERYWHERE. Single-handedly, he ran the Madrid midfield ragged.

Adding a vital balance in midfield alongside Marco Verratti and Marquinhos, Gueye might just be the missing piece in PSG’s attempted conquest of Europe. 


REAL MADRID

Key Talking Point

Many were curious as to how Real Madrid would bounce back – especially in Europe – after a very average 2018/19 campaign. 

However, things are looking bad for Spanish side. They were awful on the night. Their midfield was pedestrian, full backs woeful, and their forwards – barring Bale – played like they were pulling a tractor.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

If things continue like this, then Madrid fans will be worried. They could be in for another long season.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (4); Carvajal (4), Militao (6), Varane (5), Mendy (4); Casemiro (5), Kroos (4), James (7); Bale (7), Benzema (6); Hazard (4).

Subs: Vasquez (5), Jovic (6), Vinicius Junior (6).


STAR MAN

Zinedine Zidane was so desperate to get rid of Bale all summer, yet the Welshman was by far, Real Madrid’s best player. Alongside James Rodriguez, he was really the only player who played well.

Bale was lively and aggressive in the first half, looking to take on Bernat at every opportunity. On his day, the winger is simply unplayable.

He even had a truly stunning goal ruled out by VAR for handball. That goal would have capped off a very good first half performance for Bale, as he seemed to disappear a bit more in the second half.


Looking Ahead

PSG are genuine Champions League contenders. We say this every season, but this year, something feels right about them.

The balance in midfield that has been sorely lacking year after year is spot on, with Gueye adding that bite. They really should go deep in the competition this year.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

Real Madrid, on the other hand, don’t have a chance. It is as simple as that. Their swagger is gone. They are no longer formidable. An ageing midfield accompanied by some weak defenders is a recipe for disaster.

The players just don’t seem to be up for it either. They don’t care anymore. Something has to change at the club, but regardless, Madrid are in for a long, long season.

Let’

Eden Hazard Shouldn’t Be Surprised That Real Madrid Supporters Are ‘Fanatical’ About Winning

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard can hardly be surprised that fans at the Bernabeu take losing far worse than anything he experienced at Chelsea, with the Belgian admitting that Los Blancos supporters are much more ‘fanatical’ about their team than he was used to in England.

Real fans are not known for their forgiving nature, with Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale among the superstars who have been booed by their own supporters. Meanwhile, legend Iker Casillas was ultimately treated poorly by the club despite giving 25 years to Real.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-REAL MADRID

Hazard has claimed that losing a game at Chelsea was ‘disappointing’, sure, but was never seen as a ‘disaster’, and he is already well aware that things are not so in the Spanish capital.

The 28-year-old, who missed the first three games of the season following his €100m – potentially rising to €145m – move from Chelsea, is yet to find out the consequences of losing. His sole appearance so far came as a substitute in a 3-2 win over Levante over the weekend.

And yet he knows that defeat is not an option if he wants to stay on the right side of a fan group that has intense expectations beyond that of any other club in the world.

“At Chelsea when we lost, we were disappointed, like the fans, but I never felt it was a disaster, it’s different in Spain,” Hazard has revealed in an official Champions League interview.

Eden Hazard

“I think that here the fans are really fans, football is everything to them and they need players to give everything, in England there aren’t so many fans.

“Of course, people there like football and everyone, be that young people, adults or teenagers, is really interested in football, but they aren’t so fanatical about their teams.”

His comments may come across as disrespectful towards Chelsea fans, and in England in general, but the Belgian is just trying to express the circumstances he now finds himself in.

Rarely has a club in England been used to winning over an extended period. Teams rise to the top and fall away at regular intervals and things have long been much more competitive.

Eden Hazard

In Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated La Liga since its inception 90 years ago, winning 59 titles between them – Real alone have won 33. Only once since 1951 has neither club finished in the top three, while just four titles so far this century were won by other sides.

It is only natural that fan expectations should be higher than in a country like England where 24 different clubs have been crowned champions, as opposed to just nine in Spain.

Hazard may yet find about just how ‘fanatical’ supporters in Spain can get when things don’t go to plan.

Let’

Champions League: Picking a Combined XI From Teams in Group A

The Champions League group stage is about to get underway, in which teams split into eight different groups to try and battle it out for a place in the knockout round.

Group A will see Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Galatasaray and Club Brugge clash with one another, but only two of those sides can make it through. This is one of those groups which looks fairly simple to predict, but football has a funny way of throwing curve balls.

​Here’s a combined XI of all four sides, and I bet you can’t guess which two are going to dominate it…


Goalkeeper & Defenders

FBL-FRA-CUP-PARIS-STRASBOURG

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – The temptation to go with ex-Liverpool man Simon Mignolet is huge, but ​Courtois probably (definitely) just edges it.​ On his day, the Belgian is up there amongst the best in the world, and he will be vital to ​Real‘s chances of progressing.

Dani Carvajal (RB) – If this was a few years in the future, PSG’s Colin Dagba would probably deserve the spot, but it’s Carvajal’s to lose at the minute. Always one of Real’s most dependable players, the Spaniard rarely disappoints.

Thiago Silva (CB) – With Silva leading the side, PSG have developed into a real force to be reckoned with. He continues to perform at an elite level, and he will likely be one of the ​Champions League’s top performers this year.

Sergio Ramos (CB) – ​Ramos has been one of the world’s best defenders for years now, and he still looks to be as good as ever. With a love of scoring goals and getting sent off, you won’t want to take your eyes off Ramos.

Marcelo (LB) – Ferland Mendy is coming for his throne, but ​Marcelo keeps his spot for the time being. He prefers to do his defending in the attacking third, which always makes for exciting viewing.


Midfielders

Luca Modric

Marco Verratti (DM) – There isn’t a team in Europe who wouldn’t want Verratti in their ranks. The diminutive Italian is phenomenal defensively, and his ability with the ball at his feet is utterly superb. He has mastered his role, and he makes PSG so much better than they already are anyway.

Luka Modric (CM) – What is there left to say about ​Modric? The Croatian is an incredible footballer who is capable of pulling the strings for Real with ease. There’s a reason he won the Ballon d’Or last year.

Toni Kroos (CM) – This third spot is a tough one. Galatasaray’s Younes Belhanda and Brugge’s Hans Vanaken are both solid candidates, but it’s difficult to overlook ​Kroos. Like Modric, Kroos is a midfield maestro, and he’s also reliable defensively. If he gets going, he’s a defender’s nightmare.


Forwards

FBL-FRA-CUP-RENNES-PSG

Neymar (RW) – The forward line is fairly self-explanatory. Let’s kick things off with ​Neymar, who is amongst the best wingers in world football, let alone Group A. The Brazilian is a magician with the ball, and he is capable of dancing around defenders with ease. If PSG are to top this group, they will need big performances from Neymar when he returns from suspension.

Kylian Mbappe (ST) – Like Neymar, ​Mbappe is in that upper echelon of global superstars. He can score and create goals with frightening ease, and he will certainly be expecting to finish the competition as one of the top scorers. However, keep an eye out for Falcao and Mbaye Diagne of Galatasaray and Brugge respectively, who will both ask questions of defenders this year.

Eden Hazard (LW) – The final piece in the most obvious trio in history, ​Hazard is also an elite talent. His frightening blend of pace, agility and dribbling makes him almost impossible to stop, and if he can continue to add goals to his game, then he will be even better. Brugge’s Krepin Diatta has the potential to be one of Group A’s best-kept secrets, but this should be all about Hazard.


Let’