Previews

Match Preview: Hull City vs Manchester United

Premier League Preview: Hull City versus Manchester United
 
Manchester United play Hull City in a top-four clash on Saturday evening at KCOM Stadium as they look to maintain their perfect start to their campaign. Although observers might have predicted an easy victory for United a couple of weeks ago, the resilient Hull side, who beat Leicester City on the opening day, will likely offer them a tough fight this weekend.
 
Off-field malaise and a lack of transfer activity prompted pundits to pencil the Tigers in for a swift return to the Championship, but under interim manager and former Red Devils midfielder Mike Phelan, they have defied the odds to register three consecutive wins.

Match Preview - Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool

Tottenham Hotspur versus Liverpool
 
We open GW3 with a mouth-watering clash where Liverpool travel to White Hart Lane in search of their second victory over three weeks in north London, after humbling Arsenal 4-3 at Emirates Stadium on the opening day. However, consistency remains an issue at the Jurgen Klopp’s camp as their recent 5-0 thrashing of Burton Albion was preceded by a 2-0 defeat to Premier League newbies in Burnley on gameweek two.
 
Tottenham, on the other hand, have not enjoyed a start they would have fancied as they managed only a narrow victory over Crystal Palace after drawing 1-1 with Everton.

Leicester vs Arsenal

Arsenal travel to Leicester City on Saturday evening in search of their first Premier League victory after being on the receiving end of a 4-3 humiliation at home at the hands of Liverpool. Saturday’s hosts also endured a similar, if not, worse start to their 2016/17 campaign, losing 2-1 to top-flight new boys Hull City.
 
The Gunners finished runners-up last season, but the probability of their emulating their last season’s accomplishments this season looks only as high as Leicester successfully defending their Premier League title. Their fans are not upbeat about the new season either, with the club finding making top class acquisitions a Herculean task.
 
The hosts, on the other hand, can consider themselves lucky to only lose N’Golo Kante in the wake of their title win, with many top performers of the last season attracting interests from big clubs such as their Saturday’s opponents and Chelsea.

Man City vs Stoke City

Manchester City travel to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon as Pep Guardiola eyes at a hundred percent start to his managerial career in England having masterminded a humble 2-1 win against Sunderland in the Premier League curtain raiser. The hosts, on the other hand, will hope to cause an upset, after only eking out a draw with the newly promoted Middlesbrough side last weekend.
 
The hosts have largely improved since the days of Tony Pulis, and under Mark Hughes, they have been playing some swashbuckling football. However, their league positions have not shown any improvement despite the club bringing in many big names such as Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic, and Bojan Krkic.

Man United vs Southampton

We kick-off GW2 with Southampton’s visit to Manchester United as the Saints look to register their first Premier League victory of the 2016/17 season at Old Trafford, a venue where they have won back-to-back league games. United, after thrashing Bournemouth 3-1 through goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the opener, will hope to maintain their momentum with a win on Friday night.
 
Jose Mourinho has made shrewd signings, spending £145million – excluding agent fees and adds on – on players, who have greatly improved the team. Southampton gaffer Claude Puel, on the other hand, is looking to stabilize the club after many talismans, including former manager Ronald Koeman, Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane, and Victor Wanyama, departed the club for greener pastures.

Arsenal Vs Liverpool

Arsenal begin their 2016/17 Premier League season with a home fixture against fellow title contenders Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. After finishing their last season as runners-up, manager Arsene Wenger will hope to finish one place higher despite all the negativity surrounding the club in terms of transfers.
 
The Gunners began their summer purchase rather early, signing Granit Xhaka for upwards of £30million in May, but they have since been quiet although they have brought in future prospects in Takuma Asano, Kelechi Nwakali, and Sunday’s potential starter in Rob Holding.
 
The Emirates Stadium faithful are left frustrated with the club not bringing in a cover for the injured Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista.

Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Rejuvenated Manchester United will take on Bournemouth in their first Premier League game of the 16/17 season on Sunday afternoon. Fresh off the back of a Community Shield victory over defending champions Leicester City last weekend, the Red Devils will look to begin their title chase with a victory over a side susceptible to the second season syndrome.
 
Bournemouth have established some stability under 38-year-old Eddie Howe. Having said that, performing against a United side that only recently appointed Jose Mourinho will definitely be a Herculean task.

Leicester City vs Manchester United

Premier League champions Leicester City will face the Emirates FA Cup holders Manchester United for the Community Shield trophy on Sunday evening at Wembley Stadium.
 
Although many regard the traditional curtain raiser to the English football season as a friendly, a victory this weekend will definitely offer a decisive psychological boost heading into the new season.
 
The Reds fans will delight visiting the national stadium after nearly three months.

Germany Vs France

Hosts France go up against World Cup winners Germany at Stade Velodrome on Thursday afternoon. Both sides will head into the second semi-finals of European Championship 2016 knowing whom they will face at Stade de France three days later, with Portugal and Wales contesting in the first semi-finals 24 hours before kickoff in Marseille.
 
Both sides have been enjoying a stellar campaign so far, registering two victories and a draw each in the group stages.

Wales Vs Portugal

Wales and Portugal lock horns with each other in European Championship’s first semi-finals at Stade de Lyon on Wednesday night. The former will hope to extend their fairytale run by one more game whilst Portugal will look to prevent history from repeating itself, with their surprise loss against Greece in Euro 2004 finals still haunting them.
 
Portugal’s run in this year’s tournament has been less than stellar as they are yet to register a win in normal time. Drawing all three games in the group stages, the Seleccao managed to edge past Croatia in the round of 16 only after a 120-minute affair whilst the quarter-finals fixture against Poland went to penalties.
 
Wales, meanwhile, have been one of the most entertaining sides so far despite espousing a defence-first approach.

Germany vs Italy

Italy will lock horns with World Cup 2014 winners Germany on Saturday night at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in the third quarterfinal of European Championship 2016. Germany edged past Slovakia in the round of 16 whilst Italy vanquished holders Spain 2-0 to book their place in the quarterfinal.
 
Germany have an appalling record against Italy as they are winless in eight competitive contests against them. Their last meeting came four years ago — when a Mario Balotelli-inspired Italy defeated Germany 2-1 in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

Wales vs Belgium

Two nation’s golden generations will clash when Belgium go up against Wales at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille on Friday night. Wales have not participated in any major tournament in 58 years; reachingquarter-finals of European Championship is a crowningachievement in itself for a nation, whose population is 18 times smaller than that of England. However, the Gareth Bale-inspired Welsh side will look to cause a major upset against the best-ranked team in the tournament, and none will dare to claim they cannot, given their passion.
 
Team news
 
Marc Wilmots has been sweating over the fitness of Eden Hazard, who has not been training because of a thigh injury; however, he is pencilled in to be fit in time for the kick-off.

Italy Vs Spain

Italy will lock horns with defending champions Spain on Monday afternoon at Stade de France in what has been billed as the most exciting match in the first knockout stage of European Championship. Both sides featured in the Euro ’12 finals, which saw the Italians ship four goals, and much like how the tournament has panned out so far, the match will likely be exciting and unpredictable.
 
Spain are coming off a surprising 2-1 defeat at the hands of Group D winners Croatia whilst Italy are heading into the crunch class in the wake of a shock 1-0 loss against the Republic of Ireland.

France vs Rep of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland will face off against host nation France in the round-of-16 stage of UEFA European Championship at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday afternoon. Despite being on the brink of an early exit, Ireland have progressed to the knockout stages in light of their heroic 1-0 win against winners of Group E in Italy on matchday three.
 
Undefeated France have not failed to capitalize on their home advantage, topping Group A, ahead of Switzerland, Albania, and Romania.

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