We are back to club league football action starting this weekend with FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Manchester United were lucky to escape with a victory against Tottenham last weekend, but it shows how good a team also is when in tough times they managed to secure a win. After last week’s performance, there will be huge pressure on Wayne Rooney, Memphis Depay and Juan Mata to deliver the goods for Manchester United in the first Friday Night fixture for 12 years in the Premier League.
United showed last week on the solid improvements that they have made on the defensive end especially with Schneiderlin and Carrick to provide cover to the back line and the signing of Darmian to sure up defence on the right back position. Sergio Romero might look like some what of an enigma, especially since he hasn’t played a club game in over 8 months till last week; but the man is the no.1 keeper of Argentina and he showed it last week.
Aston Villa have had their struggles especially in the transfer market. While they have signed a few decent players, the loss of captain Delph and talismanic goalscorer Benteke, leads you to wonder where the goals are going to come from for the Villans in front of their home fans. Tim Sherwood had a problem of defence ever since he has taken over the Villa side. He has since signed Micah Richards to join his team and partner Clark, but due to his lack of playing time over the last few years; he isn’t the man that he used to be and will take some time to get back in the groove.
Villa have relied a lot on Sherwoods enthusiasm, home crowd support and some of their key players like Delph/Benteke to deliver the results last year. But since they have disappeared, this Villa side is still finding its own face in the Premier League. Manchester United will be expected to improve on their 4th place showing from last year, and they head to a ground where they haven’t lost since 1995; and I expect them to put in a solid match winning performance in this Friday Night encounter.
Spanish Super Cup
Bilbao v Barcelona – Over 2.5 goals @ 1.70 (Betfair) – 3 points
Luiz Suares to score Anytime @ 2.18 (888Sports) 2.5 points
Barcelona showed us on Tuesday night the class that they are all about in the UEFA Super Cup especially lead by talismanic player Leo Messi. Messi scored 2 free kick goals within the first 25 minutes to showcase what a world class player he is; and also counted on the support of Luis Suarez to add more goals for the team. Going back to last season, since May, barring 2 games, they have had action of over 2.5 goals in all of their games. Barcelona can owe that in general for their striking triumvirate of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. As Neymar is out with pumps, others have had to fill in and Suarez and Messi need to step up their game to deliver; which they showed on Tuesday. Defensively, Barcelona have generally tended to struggle with ted Stegen in between the posts; and that is most likely going to happen in this Super Cup as well.
Bilbao have been an average team from last year, but managed to reach the final of the Copa del Rey, which has resulted in their appearance in this game. Barcelona had smashed them 3-1 in that encounter, and will know to have the number on their opponents in that game. They relied a lot on 34 year old Aduriz to find the back of the net, and he managed to hit 19 times last campaign; and the team will rely on similar performance again tonight.
Barcelona have showcased a team with great talent and great firepower; and they should be able to land the over 2.5 goals themselves, but it also has the insurance that Bilbao will try to go for it and score goals also.