With Bundesliga action for the second half of the season about to kick off on Friday with Bayern facing off against Hamburg, here are the five things we are looking out for: Four In A Row  For Bayern? After winning three Bundesliga titles in a row without much competition from closest rivals, Borussia Dortmund’s tenacious form this season poses a genuine title challenge for Bayern. Though Dortmund rode on their blistering attack’s heroics to become table toppers, it has only opening week happiness for the Yellow and Blacks. Bayern with their ruthless consistency have grabbed the top spot gaining on their bitter rivals’ occasional slipups. But it has not been easy going for the Bavarian giants as they had to dig deep to gain points this season and even tasted their first defeat for the first time in three years in the Hinrunde against a revitalized Monchengladbach. When it comes to their chances of winning the fourth consecutive title, they […]

After a month long hiatus, the Bundesliga finally resumes with a clash between Hamburg and Bayern Munich at the Volksparkstadion. Both sides enter the game in poor ‘mid-season friendly’ form. In their only friendly game of the break, Bayern fielded a full strength side but nevertheless lost 2-1 to 2nd division side Karlsruher SC, and Hamburg lost their friendlies to Erfurt, Ajax and Young Boys. However, the first competitive game of 2016 has a different setting altogether and mid-season friendlies can be dismissed as simple experimental periods. The Managers Pep Guardiola has announced his departure from Bayern at the end of the season but rightly stresses that his time at Bayern was a success. The chance to once again add a Bundesliga trophy to his collection starts against Hamburg, but his time without too many inured players. Only missing Mario Götze, Franck Ribery and Mehdi Benatia, Bayern could practically field their first choice starting XI for the first time this […]

The Serie A champions have found their feet after a stuttering start to this season and with 10 wins in a row they are firmly back in the title race, sitting just two points behind leaders Napoli. Max Allegri tweeted this after the win against Udinese: Il dieci nel calcio è il numero della magia, e dieci vittorie di fila lo sono. Ora vietato rilassarsi che c’è una Coppa da difendere! — Massimiliano Allegri (@OfficialAllegri) January 17, 2016 Which means: “In football, the number 10 represents magic, which is what our winning streak feels like. Now, however, we can’t relax, we have a Cup to defend!”. Let us take stock of the situation and analyse the decisive factors which helped Juventus recover from their tough start. Dramatic Derby della Mole win was a massive moment for Juventus With the pressure intensifying on Massimiliano Allegri and his team after a shocking 1-0 loss at Sassuolo, Juventus needed a positive response in […]

According to reports published by Marca, Manchester United target Gareth Bale is set to extend his contract at Real Madrid in an attempt to ward off interest from England. The Welshman was signed from Tottenham Hotspur as Cristiano Ronaldo’s heir apparent, and it seems as if he is set to take over the reins at the Spanish capital in the months to come. Gareth Bale has been the subject of much interest as leaked documents reveal that he was signed for a total fee of €100,759,418, making him the most expensive player in Europe. The Welshman was repeatedly targeted by Manchester United who are reportedly keen on signing the Real Madrid superstar in an attempt to bolster their attacking prowess. Wheels are in motion, claim Marca As reported by Marca, Real Madrid have initiated the process to extend Gareth Bale’s contract at the club. The new deal will reportedly reflect his importance in the dressing room as he is being […]

Tottenham and Leicester City face each other for the third time in two weeks, as the teams rally their troops for a third round FA Cup face off.  With one draw and a loss, Pochettino’s side will look to right the wrongs by snatching a victory against the Foxes. In a game that saw Leicester almost snatching away the victory, Harry Kane was the man called upon to salvage a replay against the Foxes who ran amok their defense. With the two teams that have been surprise performers this season, only one can go ahead to the fourth round of the oldest football competition. Having played thrice already this season, two games have ended in a hard fought draw and the most recent one with Leicester snatching away all three points. However this FA cup clash will be important to the two sides as they both look to stay alive in the competition. Managerial Tactics Claudio Ranieri Ranieri is one of the […]

Liverpool FC take on Exeter City in the FA Cup 3rd round replay, having seen their make-shift side escape with a 2-2 draw in the last game. The Reds are reeling from the sucker punch of the loss against arch rivals Manchester United at Anfield. Having also only drawn against Exeter in the previous tie, they will hope to put the pain of the derby loss behind them and progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Exeter, on the other hand, have the chance to travel to Anfield and write their name in the FA Cup folklore by taking the scalp of one of the biggest clubs in England. Jurgen Klopp vs Paul Tisdale Klopp is expected to name a strong line up, having had most of his team come back from injury. Liverpool have deployed a 4-3-3 formation for most of Klopp’s tenure, and it is expected to be much the same on Wednesday evening, with a high pressing game being […]

The European football season is all but underway now, with action resuming in both La Liga and the Serie A, while the Premier League in the UK grinds its way on without a mid-season break. It is only the the Bundesliga that is yet to start after a long winter break , but there was plenty of action to smack our lips on, in the bygone weekend of European football. In Spain, it’s the other team from Madrid who still lead the proceedings, just like they did a couple of years back. However, FC Barcelona are right on their tails, having played one match less due to their FIFA Club World Cup engagements. In Italy, Napoli reigns supreme, ushering in the memories of the bygone days of Diego Maradona, while the mighty Juventus slowly closes in. Meanwhile, things are as tight as ever in the Premier League, with both Arsenal FC and Leicester City still tied on the same number […]

Chelsea FC might have changed their manager, but they are nowhere near to being back to their Premier League winning selves that they were last season. The return of Guus Hiddink was expected to change things around for the Blues, who are desperately looking to put some distance between them and the relegation zone. However, as matches go by, they seem to be inching closer to the bottom three with a flurry of meaningless draws. This is not something that is going to please the Chelsea FC fans, but compared to the unrest that we saw in the stands earlier in the season, the Chelsea FC faithful seem to have calmed down a lot more, and are backing the team. But the lack of good results is something that is not going to please them. Still the same miserable midfield A lot was expected of the Dutchman, but just about one month into his second term as the Chelsea FC […]

Real Madrid host Sporting Gijon at the Santiago Bernabeu in their first game after FIFA imposed a two-window transfer ban on them. The announcement of the ban is yet another embarrassment for Real Madrid this season. Zinedine Zidane, in his second game as Real manager, will want his men to shift the fans’ focus from the transfer ban to the team’s performance. It will be a David v Goliath battle on Sunday as Real Madrid will be looking to close in on the top spot in the league while Sporting Gijon will be trying their best to get out of the relegation zone. The odds are definitely in Real Madrid’s favour as they will play at home with a much superior squad available. All being said, Sporting Gijon have frustrated Real Madrid the last time these two met, which was on the opening day of La Liga in a goalless match that led to Real Madrid dropping 2 points at […]

The Catalans are set to renew their age old rivalry with the Basques as FC Barcelona battle Athletic Bilbao in Matchday 20 of La Liga at the Camp Nou on Sunday.  A Lionel Messi inspired FC Barcelona demolished lowly Granada by four goals to nil last weekend to cement their 2nd position in the La Liga table. Luis Enrique’s men now have the task of overcoming eighth place Athletic Bilbao who lost 2-0 away to Sevilla in their last league outing. FC Barcelona have won their last 11 league games against Athletic Bilbao in all competitions at the Camp Nou, which is their longest winning streak in history. The Blaugrana have scored in each of their last 17 league matches at the Camp Nou and are odds on favourites to make it 18 in a row against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Some key battles on and off the pitch are likely to influence the final outcome of this fascinating match up […]