Around the Western World in 10 Games! The weekend’s first evening is usually a little light, but here are your still pretty solid matchups —
1. Arsenal vs. Leicester City – English Premier League
The Premiere is back! I may be Noob, but even I know to get excited.
I started tracking soccer – just a little – two seasons ago, towards the end of Leicester’s championship campaign. I now understand just how much of a breath of fresh air it was, as the league is normally dominated by seven particular teams, and Leicester ain’t one.
B. Atlas vs. America – Liga MX
And it’s a matchup of two top half teams from last season’s Clausura (second half! Nooooooooob learningness), this should be the more competitive of the this league’s offerings this date.
3. Stade Rennes vs. Lyon – Ligue 1
Lyon just missed out on making this year’s UEFA Champion’s League last season, finishing 4th. Stade Rennes was a top half club.
4. Edmonton vs. NY Cosmos – North American Soccer League
NASL is the much smaller Tier Two League, compared to USL, and so their postseason only has four teams. The fabled Cosmos finished third in the leagues Spring Season, and so is in decent position to perhaps finish with one of the two best overall non-division champion records and get in the playoff mix. Edmonton, Canadia should fall to them, even at home.
5. Zulte-Waregem vs. Brugge – Belgian Jupiler League
Last season’s #2 hosts #3.
UEFA ranks’s Belgiums’s top flite league as 8th best on the continent, right behind surprising-to-me-is-this-high Russia and surprisingly-low-to-me Portugal.
6. Ballymena vs. Crusaders – Northern Irish Premiership
Crusaders were the only team to seriously challenge Linfield last season for this group’s Champions League slot. But like Crusaders, Ballymena also got into the Europa League, with a 4th place finish.
7. Bangor City vs. T.N.S. – Welsh Premier
The New Saints lapped the field last season, though have already lost in the early stages of the 2017-18 Champions League. Bangor City finished 4th and achieved a Europa League slot.
8. America de Cali vs. Deportivo Cali – Copa Colombia
The battle for Santiago de Cali is on! This semifinal FA Cup match is the second of the two-legged tie. Deportivo leads 1-0 on aggregate.
9. FCI Tallinn vs. Levadia Tallinn – Estonian Meistriliiga
This league’s top four teams are all from Tallinn. This matchup features #3 and #4.
10. Maribor vs. Donzale – Slovenian Prva Liga
Maribor is the superpower of this league, should handle last season’s #4 squad easily.