Thursday, June 29, 2017

Germany vs Mexico 
Competition: Confederations Cup 
Venue: Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht, Sochi
Date: 29 June 2017
Kick-off Time: 19:00 GMT

Germany team started the Confederations Cup competition with a dramatic win over relative minnows Australia (3-2) but cruised through the group stage, only dropping points to Chile team in a 1-1 draw. By defeating Cameroon by a comfortable 3-1 margin in the third group stage match, Germany extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 13 games with 10 wins and 3 draws. This is the 1st meeting between these two sides since 2005 when Germany beat Mexico 4-3 on penalties in the Confederations Cup.
Timo Werner bagged two goals last time out and should retain his starting berth as lone forward. The likes of Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka should play just behind the RB Leipzig star, while Sebastian Rudy and Emre Can are likely to start in the middle of the park. Players, Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich, will play as wing backs with players, Antonio Rudiger, Shkodran Mustafi and Matthias Ginter, forming the three man backline. Coach, Joachim Low, is likely to rely on Marc Ter Stegen as first-choice goalkeeper.
Mexico, on the other side, have qualified as runners-up in Group A. The team was impressive in the 2-2 draw against Portugal on matchday 1 and fight back from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 win against  New Zealand in the second fixture. Mexico recorded back to back wins by overcaming Russia (2-1) in the third and final match. Mexico have lost just one of their last 16 matches. El Tri have scored two goals in each of the three games so far and could find the back of the net against Germany, that has conceded in all three matches so far.
Player, Carlos Salcedo, is ruled out for the remainder of the competition because of a shoulder injury while Chicharito Hernandez, Hector Moreno and Diego Reyes are all doubts for this match. Hirving Lozano is likely to make the starting XI once again with Marco Fabian and Raul Jimenez supporting Chicharito up front. Andres Guardado is banned for this match because he has two yellow cards. 
Germany vs Mexico probable lineups:
Germany: terStegen – Ginter, Mustafi, Rudiger – Kimmich, Rudy(Can), Goretzka, Draxler, J.Hector – Ti.Werner, Stindl
Mexico: Ochoa – Moreno, Araujo, Alanis – Damm, J.dos Santos, D.Reyes, Aquino – Fabian – Chicharito, R.Jimenez
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Germany vs Australia
Competition: Confederations Cup
Date: 19 June 2017

Kick-off Time: 16:00 GMT
Venue: Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht, Sochi 
Germany team, the current world champions, might be the biggest favourites in the Confederations Cup competition, but their coach, Low, still decided to rest almost all the stars and they have arrived in Russia with a combined composition and a lot of debutants. It would take a long time to mention all the players, who won't be part of this competition, so it is easier to mention who is present from those who have played a more significant role so far: center-back Mustafi, left back J.Hector, and midfielders Can and Draxler. In this new edition, Germany team has played two duels and in that friendly match with Denmark the result was 1-1, while they defeated San Marino with 7-0 in a qualifying match.
New striker, Wagner, has scored all 03 goals, although San Marino is not a measurable rival, either in strength or current form. Much better test was a duel with Denmark, and they were two minutes before the end saved by Kimmich's goal, although they dominated for the most part of the game. Pretty different teams have been playing in the 02 mentioned duels and therefore it is difficult to say which players will start this duel, but it is fairly certain that they will play with three center-backs and in a slightly different formation than usual when they are complete.

Germany last 5 matches:
15/11/16 Italy 0 – 0 Germany
22/03/17 Germany 1 – 0 England
26/03/17 Azerbaijan 1 – 4 Germany
06/06/17 Denmark 1 – 1 Germany
10/06/17 Germany 7 – 0 San Marino

Australia has a reputation of playing very good at the Confederations Cup in the past, but those were the years when Australia had a good team, while they are now of a pretty modest quality and they are the outsiders on this competition. Australia doesn't have great prospects even in this group with Germany and Chile, but they have the right to hope for some surprise. Much more important for Australia is what will happen in the last two qualifying rounds for World Cup, because they are now only 3rd in their group, and that position only takes them in the additional playoffs. It is also important to say that the second ranked, Saudi Arabia, has the same number of points, and leading Japan only one more, and a direct placement on the World Cup is also achievable for the Australia team.
Australia has not lost any games in the previous eight rounds, however, they have made four draws with four wins and this is a problem. In the previous two duels, they have celebrated two victories and particularly important is the one against their direct opponent of Saudi Arabia, that was defeated with 3-2 after a great fight. The problem is that they will play in Japan at the next round, and until then they remain in this competition, while they were defeated in the last game by Brazil with 4-0. They did not play in their strongest team, and the biggest problem is the injury of the midfielder, Jedinak.

Australia last 5 matches:
15/11/16 Thailand 2 – 2 Australia
23/03/17 Iraq 1 – 1 Australia
28/03/17 Australia 2 – 0 UAE
08/06/17 Australia 3 – 2 Saudi Arabia
13/06/17 Australia 0 – 4 Brazil

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Portugal vs Mexico
Competition: Confederations Cup
Date: 18 June 2017
Kick-off Time: 16:00 GMT
Venue: Kazan Arena 
Portugal - Mexico probable lineups:
Portugal: Patricio – Semedo, Fonte, Pepe, Guerreiro – Moutinho, Carvalho – Quaresma, A.Gomes, Ronaldo – A.Silva
Mexico: Ochoa – Salcedo, D.Reyes, Moreno, Layun – Herrera, J.dos Santos – Fabian, G.dos Santos, Vela – Chicharito(Jimenez) 
Portugal team is coming to the Confederations Cup as European champions, and that very title itself is a great obligation to prove themselves in the prelude for the World Cup in Russia, and maybe even win a new trophy, which would not have been a surprise when looking at the composition with which they came to this competition. Interestingly, this is the 1st participation for Portugal in the Confederations Cup and perhaps this is an additional motive, but somehow it seems that they do not need special motive, because when the best footballer of the world Crisitano Ronaldo, after a very difficult season and winning two trophies with Real Madrid team, decided to help his national team instead of going to vacation, then the others should have to be maximally motivated to play at the highest level.
After winning the title of the UEFA European champions, Portugal team suffered an unpleasant defeat at the start of qualifiers from Switzerland and are now not sure they will win the first place and go directly to the World Cup, but they still have a chance for the 2nd  place, and the players are known to be masters when it comes to playoffs. In the meantime they lost a friendly match against Sweden, while they won the last two games without any goals received. They played a friendly match against Cyprus team in a combined team and they won with 4-0, while they played in a stronger composition against Latvia, and won with 3-0, with 2 goals by Cristiano Ronaldo. Coach, Santos, has not brought players: Joao Maria, Sanchez, and Rafa Silva from his standard players to this competition. The rest are there and are really among the first favourites.
Mexico team is doing considerably better than Portugal in the qualifiers and it can almost be said that they have secured a placement in the World Cup next year, though their job is still a little easier since the group of three teams goes directly to World Cup and Mexico surely holds first place, and no one has defeated them yet. It is clear that the job will be routinely finished and next summer they will be seen again in the World Cup of Russia, while now it remains to see what they can do in this kind of prelude for World Cup. Judging by the composition, they can do a lot, because they decided to give advantage to this competition instead of Gold Cup, which will start next month and it is certain that their big stars will not play in that competition as well.
They are practically the best here, although some are missing like: Hernandez, Gutierrez or Pineda. They took advantage of the fact that this contest merely adds to the qualifiers, because they had to be serious and strong in both games, so they defeated Honduras with 3-0, while USA was tougher opponent and they ended with 1-1. That point was sufficient enough but they still need only one win in the remaining four rounds. Mexico is also a record player with 5 appearances at Confederations Cup, and they also have one title and now want to repeat that all led by some great players such as: Chicharito, Herrera, Vela, Dos Santos and others.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mexico vs United States
Competition: WC Qualification CONCACAF
Date: 12 June 2017
Venue: Estadio Azteca
Kick-off Time: 01:30 GMT 

Mexico 1-1 United States (World Cup Qualification CONCACAF.) 
6' Michael Bradley 0-1 // 23' Carlos Vela 1-1

Mexico faced the United States in the WQ Qualification CONCACAF at Estadion Azteca, and the final score of the game was 1-1.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Juventus vs Real Madrid - Competition: UEFA Champions League Final
Date: 3 June 2017
Kick-off Time: 19:45 GMT
Venue: National Stadium, Cardiff

Real Madrid could defend  its UEFA Champions League title, as they defeated Juventus in the Champions League final. Real Madrid scored 4 goals, while Juventus only one single goal. The match ended with the score 4-1.

Juventus (1-4) Real Madrid (Champions League Final)
20' Cristiano Ronaldo 0-1 // 27' Mario Mandzukic 1-1 // 61' Casemiro 1-2 // 64' Cristiano Ronaldo 1-3 // 90' Marco Asensio 1-4 

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Real Madrid vs Juventus
Competition: UEFA Champions League Final

Date: 3 June 2017
Kick-off Time: 19:45 GMT
Venue: National Stadium, Cardiff

Real Madrid might be still under the pressure of the UEFA Champions League finale, for the simple reason that the team has been the best in Europe for the past 11 times, and in the previous three seasons the team won the title of the champion of Europe, so they have just admitted that the Spanish championship is their priority this season and the trophy in La Liga. The team was under great pressure untill the very end there because of Barcelona, ​​and pressure was also present because it has been waiting for this trophy since 2012. They endured all pressures and became the champions, but this does not mean that they do not want a new European title, since they are already in the finals.
Real Madrid had even the toughest path than their opponents because they eliminated: Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli in the semi-finals, which is the only team that managed to defeat them this season in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid's defence is not the strongest part of the team, but the attack has scored in all matches not only in the UEFA Champions League but also in other competitions and they have already set the new record there. There is also a special motive in this duel because of the elimination in the semi-finals two seasons ago when Juventus defeated them in two duels. The Coach, Zidane, is not having big problems with absences, although it is questionable whether players: Carvajal and Pepe will play, while the recovered Bale will probably stay on the bench.
For many years, Juventus has no real competitor in Italy and they are mainly routinely coming to the title for six years in a row, but this season, they have only confirmed the first place, which they were actually holding for almost the entire championship. The team is not so dominant in the Cup, it is also the best three seasons in a row, so it has only one more thing to win, which is the title of the champions of Europe for which it is waiting for a long time. Juventus played the finals two seasons ago, and they were not able to parry Barcelona, so they were defeated, so the elimination of Barcelona in the 1/4 finals this season was a sort of revenge. Last season, they were eliminated in the round of sixteen, but they did not have the luck because their rival was Bayern Munich.
This season, apart from Barcelona, Juvnetus was better in the knockout stages. Was better than Porto and Monaco in the semi-finals, and what is certainly worth mentioning is that it received only one goal in the six games of the knockout stage, while it received only two goals in the six rounds of the group stage. Overall, Juventus has not lost any games in the UEFA Champions League and has only played three draws. They relaxed a little bit in the finish of Serie A, but not so much to endanger the title. To build their confidence, Juventus team celebrated in the last two matches and since they were able to rest the players, they are entering pretty fresh in the finals in which coach, Allegri, had virtually the strongest forces at his disposal except for the young midfielder, Pjaca.

Real Madrid - Juventus probable lineups: 
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Marcelo, Danilo, Varane, Ramos; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo
Juventus (4-2-3-1): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Dani Alves, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain

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