As we head towards the Christmas months, the soccer comes thick and fast. Whether teams are embarking on a convoluted set of festive fixtures or they’re looking to continue momentum up until the cusp of the winter break, getting December off to a good start is imperative.
This weekend will have to go some to top last weekend’s stellar selection, with our five choices producing a remarkable 19 goals (Yes, yes. You’re all very welcome), but we’ve picked out five games that could produce comparable drama, flair and atmosphere.
You may have to tear yourselves away from your advent calendars though, as four of our games this week are on Sunday.
As per usual, all kick-off times are in Eastern Time. Enjoy the games!
Tottenham vs. Manchester United
Sunday, December 1, 7:00am, NBC Sports Network (Commentary From Arlo White and Tim Howard)
A big game in prospect for both sides after their respective failings in week 12.
Especially for Andre Villas-Boas, who’s position has come under significant pressure in the week following his team’s horror show at the Etihad. After the 6-0 spanking they were on the end of from Manchester City, Tottenham fans will be expecting a response at home to the champions.
But at the moment, it’s difficult to see exactly where this retort is going to come from. Spurs haven’t found the net in any of their last three Premier League games and a defence that looked so assured was torn to pieces last weekend.
Perhaps an even more ominous indicator for North London club is that their opposition seem to be clicking into gear. Granted, United put in a patchy performance away at Cardiff City last weekend, but they stuck five past Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena in midweek. David Moyes described that performance as United’s best of the campaign and it could be the spark their season needs.
Another positive for United is that they have an excellent record away to Spurs, who have failed to beat the Red Devils at White Hart Lane since 2001. Same again here?
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Olympique Lyonnais
Sunday, December 1, 3:00pm, beIN Sport Play
Arguably the two biggest clubs in France face off on Sunday as PSG host Lyon. Whilst there was a period not so long ago that OL used to runaway with Ligue 1 season upon season, these days the Parisians are comfortably the best team in France.
Currently, Laurent Blanc’s team sit four points clear atop of the French league and have shown no signs deviating from their sparkling form. They’ve yet to lose a domestic game this season and have won their last three in a row; scoring ten goals and conceding just once in the process.
It will take an almighty effort for Lyon to go to the Parc Des Princes and win. Especially when you consider the manner in which their performances have oscillated so far this campaign. Remi Garde’s team have regularly struggled away from home too and their form on the road so far makes for some pretty sorry reading having won two and lost four of their six away games.