Noob is here. And he’s in effect. Makin’ you work up a sweat…
OK, that’ll make comparatively more sense soon.
The 10 most important matches for us, the newish American fans, to follow! Let’s push right into them.
NYCFC vs. Dallas – MLS
At time of posting, NYCFC lead the Eastern Conference. If Atlanta United come back against Montreal impact, they could be tied or in position #B. Dallas are #3, but could get jumped by New York Red Bulls tonight.
Dallas crapped the bed the entire final stretch last season, wasting an otherwise strong season and just missed the Playoffs. But they’re defense is stepped up and then some now; they’ve given up just three goals so far in ’18.
NYCFC can dominate on either side of the ball, will likely try to push the pace at home.
RESULT: NYCFC 3-1
Dare Noob say?
Push it real good.
B. Manchester United vs. Arsenal – English Premier
It’s mathematically possible for #B Man Utd. to still fall out of the top four and miss the next Champions League. Noob could also win Powerball and fulfill his dream of travelling by John Madden-style super-bus to the annual Scrabble tournament in Homer, Alaska.
It’s not my only dream. But it IS a dream.
Arsenal are in 6th, locked in for Europa League.
RESULT: Man Utd 2-1 Man U gets the winner in second half injury time!
Noob also dreams of Number B.
Lyon vs. Manchester City – UEFA women’s Champions League
The first leg of the Semifinal went scoreless. The three-time defending champions will find the back of the net at home though, win through. It’s like American women’s college basketball. There’s just not a lot of parity in the game yet.
RESULT: Lyon 1-0
Celtic vs. Rangers – Scottish Premier
Celtic just hosted Rangers two matches ago. Weird. Celtic lambasted them 4-0.
Anywho! Celtic are on the edge of wrapping up the league title. Rangers have slipped to 3rd, and could miss even Europa League if they don’t get it together. But getting it together doesn’t happen for others at Celtic.
RESULT: Celtic 5-0
Wrong Ranger, wrong kit, Viggo.
Galatasaray vs. Besiktas – Turkey Super Lig
Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are tied for 1st. Besiktas and Istanbul Basaksehir are tied for 3rd. This is going to be an epic league title finish!
And Noob is far from certain Galatasaray are going to get the story ending they want. They’ve been inconsistent at best down the stretch. They fare well enough against quality teams, but keep losing to garbage teams near or at the table’s bottom.
Besiktas, meanwhile, have won four straight. But they haven’t beaten a good team since February.
RESULT: Galatasaray 2-0
Ajax vs. AZ Alkmaar – Netherlands Eredivisie
Just the top two Dutch teams get into Champions League these days. Alkmaar are running out of time to be one. They’re five points down in the table to Ajax for that second slot. (And Eindhoven have already won the league.)
RESULT: Ajax 3-0
For-real photo of AZ goalie fighting off a charging Ajax fan.
APOEL Nicosia vs. Apollon Limassol – Cyprus First Division
Cyprus? Yip! This league just cracked the top 20 in UEFA rankings.
APOEL took the regular season title, but Apollon Limassol has overtaken them now that the league is divided into Championship and Relegation subdivisions. The new leaders have won five straight league matches. Given how they’re beating teams on both offense and defense handily, they’re looking likely to hold onto the league’s lone Champions League berth.
RESULT: APOEL 2-1 And into the lead by a point!
FCSB vs. Cluj – Romania Liga I
It’s a similar story here as in Cyprus. Cluj won the regular season battle, but FCSB have passed them in the Championship Playoffs.
It’s not like Cluj has been losing. To anyone. They’ve simply become a sister-kissing machine – nothing but draws of late nearly. FCSB haven’t loss since February themselves, and have the momentum and home pitch advantage today.
LDU de Quito vs. Barcelona SC – Ecuador Serie A
Noob transitions you out of Europe with a match featuring a club named for a European club. No sense disorienting any Noobites on a Sunday.
They’re ten games into the First Stage of the 2018-season. #1 BSC sports the best offense and defense so far. #B LDU de Quito will be their toughest test so far. Only one team from Ecuador qualifies for Copa Libertadories, South America’s version of Champions League.
RESULT: Quito 2-1
Jeonbuk vs. Suwon Bluewings – South Korea K League 1
This is South Korea’s top-flight league. Last year this was “K-League Classic”.
Defending champs Jeonbuk and #B Suwon have each lost only once nine games into this season. Both losses were to crap teams, but right during AFC Champions League qualification. Noob wonders if either was even playing starters.
Jeonbuk have scored the most so far, and have only allowed four goals to date. Noob sees no reason to think Suwon will upset them at home.
RESULT: Suwon 2-0