TOP-5 MIDWEEK Clashes you should NOT miss

Holidays are over, and we are all back to our duties, however, our beloved football world is still holding our hands not letting us to fall into post-holiday depression. Here we present a couple of awesome games that will color up your weekdays.

Manchester United vs Hull City

English League Cup, Semifinals

January 10, 20:00 UTC

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England

Referee: Kevin Friend

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After defeating West Ham and Newcastle United in the quarterfinals, Hull City and Manchester United are here to decide who will be the first finalist of English League Cup. Taking into account how the recent forms of these teams differ from each other, one might think of a possibility of seeing Jose Mourinho’s first final as the Red Devils’ head. The Manchester side are undefeated in their last 14 games in all competitions, having won the vast majority of it. Hull City, on contrast, have won only two clashes out of their last 10 games.

The head-to-head statistics of these teams are not giving hope to Hull City either. There have no wins against Red Devils with only one draw and eight losses in last nine face-to-face encounters.

However, League Cup has always been keen on surprising the fans, and the weekend win against Swansea (2-0) might be a big push for Hull City enthusiasm. League Cup final might be one of the only chances to shine in the current season.

Missing Players

Manchester United: Rojo (injured), Bailly (out of squad)

Hull City: Bruce, Will Keane, Luer, Odubajo, Davies (all injured), Elmohamady, Mbokani (out of squad)

Southampton vs Liverpool

English League Cup, Semifinals

January 11, 19:45 UTC

Venue: Saint Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, England

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

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Liverpool being in the second semifinals of the League Cup brings the fans hope to witness the historic English battle Manchester United vs Liverpool… But still there is a chance of having final Hull City vs Southampton, which, to be honest, does not seem a realistic scenario. Why? Southampton, as well as Hull City, are not having their best season. Three out of the last five games have been lost, last four games bringing no wins to the Saints. Head-to-head statistics against Liverpool, however, are not that bad for Southampton. Last two games have been home clashes with no loss, as the Saints won (3-2) and drew (0-0) last two face-to-face encounters.

Missing Players

Southampton: Austin, Boufal, Hesketh, Mccarthy, Targett, Pied, Fonte (all injured)

Liverpool: Ings, Henderson (both injured), Matip (unfit), Mane (out of squad)

Barcelona vs Athletic

January 11, 20:15 UTC

Copa del Rey, Round of 16

Venue: Cam Nou, Barcelona, Spain

Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano, Spain

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If the top-5 clashes of the midweek were not sorted by dates in this selection, this would be first game as measured by the importance of the matches. Athletic Bilbao managed to win the first leg clash (2-1) and a simple draw will help Athletic to proceed the defending champions. Barcelona, in turn, are not experiencing their best season. Failing to win against Villarreal during the weekend, Luis Enrique side went down the league table and are now occupying the third position. The football fans expect Athletic to “park the bus”, while Barcelona squad will be furious in their attempt to prove all the critics wrong. I am certainly not missing the clash.

Missing players

Barcelona: Cillessen (injured)

Athletic Bilbao: Aketxe, De Marcos, Yeray (all injured)

Juventus vs Atalanta

Coppa Italia, Round of 16

January 11, 19:45 UTC

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

Referee: Piero Giacomelli

Juventus vs Atalanta is one of the clashes in Coppa Italia Round of 16 which really needs attention. This is the game of the first and sixth teams of Serie A, which is at least worth a glance. Despite the fact Massimiliano Allegri’s team is not expected to feature with their first team, they are still the obvious favorites of the opposition.

Sevilla vs Real Madrid

January 12, 21:15 UTC

Copa del Rey, Round of 16

Venue: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain

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The result of this two-leg clash has been predetermined in the first-leg. Zinedine Zidane’s unstoppable machine went through Sevilla (3-0), despite the fact that the latter show pretty decent football in the current season and are even above Barcelona in Spanish La Liga league table. They are now occupying the second place. However, the actual game flow was is not obvious from the score. The referee of the clash (Mateu Lahoz) has been criticized recently for numerous mistakes, all in favor of the Madrid side. Will Sevilla be able to revive the intrigue of the clash if the arbitrage is fairer? Less likely, as Los Blancos look incredible in any case. But one thing is sure: Jorge Sampaoli side will try to correct their mistakes, and their try is worth watching.

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