beIN SPORTS USA by Tim Stannard
Ligue Un: PSG v Bordeaux – Live on beIN SPORTS from 10:55AM ET / 7:55AM PT
PSG need to refocus after Bayern Munich bashing
Remember that whole Ney-ves / Cavani business from a week or two ago? About the penalties? Not a thing any more. We’ve moved on.
Now, PSG are all perky in the locker room department from Ben Arfa’s lawyer getting uppity about the player being stuck in the reserves. The Champions League stuffing of Bayern Munich was a huge statement of intent for PSG and proof if any were needed that if you spend half a billion dollars on player, then progress is possible.
But matters are returning to Ligue Un on Saturday, and Unai Emery’s men are needing a big result at home against visiting Bordeaux – a vintage outfit this year – after last week’s goalless shutout against Montpelier. “It’s a team who loves a lot playing football,” was the approving comment from the PSG boss ahead of the game. A grizzled battle for PSG is on the cards if there is any sense of relaxation is in the French air.
Although PSG are unbeaten in the past 27 Ligue Un games, Bordeaux have not lost in 14 under the stewardship of Jocelyn Gourvennec and thanks in part to a hot run of form from tricky Brazilian forward, Malcom. Europe may be La-La Land for PSG, but Ligue Un remains…Tom Cruise. A bit hit and miss.
Serie A: Milan v Roma – Live on beIN SPORTS from 12:15PM ET / 9:15AM PT
A must-win match for Milan as Roma come to rumble
Here’s a telling fact for you. Which is all too rare in Can’t Miss. 66% of Milan’s goals come from set-pieces. That’s a third apparently. And that makes sense as Milan’s team this season is basically an MLS-style expansion outfit making its debut. Work on the free-kicks and pens first. Especially when up against the likes of Juventus and Napoli, who are well-formed purring football machines.
Despite the difficulties of trying to build what is to all intents and purposes a brand-new side, Vincenzo Montella is expected to deliver success straight away and also manage a group of players who are low on confidence after two defeats in the past four Serie A games, the most recent of which coming against Sampdoria last week. “I have a group of lads who are very available, but sometimes there’s a bit of anxiety,” admitted the Milan man.
No such problems for Roma, three wins on the bounce and a stack of goals from Edin Dzeko – six in the past four games – sees the visitors potentially fancying their chances of an upset in San Siro and more anxiety for Milan.
La Liga: Real Madrid v Espanyol – Live on beIN SPORTS from 2:35PM ET / 11:35AM PT
No margin for error for Real Madrid back at the Bernabeu
So, it’s all in the head then. The 3-1 dismantling of Borussia Dortmund by Real Madrid in the Champions League showed that there is nothing wrong with Real Madrid physically. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were on fire, although the former ended up injured. Of course.
But it has been Problem City in La Primera in the Santiago Bernabeu of late with two draws and a defeat to Valencia, Levante and Betis respectively. Not good. A gaggle of excuses have been offered up to explain the inexplicable even to Coach Zizou: players not as fired up as last year…chances created not going in…opposition growing in confidence as the games go on.
Espanyol fit the criteria of the other three teams that have stopped Real Madrid in its tracks in the previous banana skins – more than competent, run by the vastly experienced and vastly handsome Quique Sanchez Flores. With Barcelona expected to trounce a laid-low Las Palmas at the Camp Nou, Real Madrid will have to get their act together against Espanyol.
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