So here we have it, TOTW 4 is already upon us and with it we see a whole heap of competition for the limited 23 spots. This week will see a variety of players just missing out on their first inform, while others will sneak in by the skin of their teeth. Anyhow, without further ado, let’s take a look at these predictions!
We kick start these predictions with the first of many players from the Serie A. Napoli were hosts to Sampdoria for their weekend fixture, where despite the game looking extremely straightforward on paper, the match itself provided all sorts of drama. Napoli still cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win, but Ospina was a man on fire between the sticks. Commanding his defence, dominating the air and providing 7 saves, not only left him as man of the match, but also saw him as our first nomination this week.
This selection could be seen as slightly controversial, however with the lack of superstar performances at the back, we could easily see Garay sneaking into the final lineup. Barcelona travelled to Valencia on the weekend, and with the recent lack of form, they really needed to start securing some wins. Garay however had other plans. He was defensively solid throughout, and when we then consider the fact that he scored the opener during this 1-1 draw, he has a real shout of forcing his way into this week's team.
Over to Italy next, where we find Sampdoria on the road to Atalanta. The match itself was incredibly tight, with just a single goal separating the two sides. Both sides were mainly solid across the board, with extremely tight defending and limited chances. Tonelli is a prime example of this, however, on top of his solid defensive display, he was also the man to secure the games only goal.
Everything just seems to be getting worse and worse for Sporting right now. They lost a handful of top players in the summer, have had issues with management and fans for years, and it now seems like they are simply plummeting to new lows. Portimonense were hosts to Sporting for their weekly fixture, and as you may have guessed, it was the hosts who took the points. The match ended 4-2, and despite not quite managing a clean sheet, with a goal and an assist to his name, Manafa makes our predictions.
Ross Barkley was a man who had the world at his feet at one point, however injuries and disagreements seemed to really hinder his progress into the superstar many expected. The change in management at Chelsea however, may be the uplift and beginning of the revival he needed. Chelsea continued their fantastic start to the season with a 3-0 win over Southampton on the weekend, and with a goal and an assist to his name, Barkley sneaks into these predictions.
After Leipzig's rise to fame a couple of years back now, things have become increasingly difficult for the German club. As more and more players decided to move on, they have struggled to replace the quality they have lost, and while they are still pushing towards the top of the table, they don’t appear to be quite as dangerous as before. This weekend however, showed the world a glimpse of what they are capable of, as they destroyed Nuernberg 6-0 in fine fashion. There are several possible candidates for this spot, however we have decided to opt with Sabitzer, who provided a goal and an assist on the day, while commanding the midfield.
Every single week this man seems to preform, and every single week I recieve what feels like hundreds of messages asking me why he has failed to make these predictions. Well fear not loyal readers, his time has come, and this week he does make the list! Ajax were comfortable 5-0 winners over Alkmaar this week, and as usual, Ziyech put in a near perfect performance from the midfield. With an almost perfect match rating, a goal and an assist to his name, Ziyech finally features in our predictions.
Words cannot do this youngster justice, nothing can be said that will surprise the footballing world anymore, as he just seems to go from strength to strength. Many younger footballers achieve big money moves very early in their careers, moves that they are perhaps not ready for and therefore begin to crumble under the excessive pressure. Not Mbappe though, this kid loves it, and he once again showed why he is one of the best in the world, as he scored a sensational 4 goals in PSG’s 5-0 thrashing over Lyon.
This was an extremely tough decision, and one that could go in almost any direction when the actual TOTW is announced. Arsenal were away to Fulham for their weekend fixture, where they continued their recent form as they obliterated the opposition in a 5-1 win. Ramsey was incredible, scoring a phenomenal and providing an assist. Lacazette was on fire, scoring twice to give Arsenal that initial lead. However, our selection falls with Aubameyang, who scored twice and provided an assist, after coming on as a substitute in the second half.
Over to Italy again now, where we find the first of two superstar strikers to feature from the Serie A. Inter Milan were on the road this weekend, as they travelled to SPAL for their fixture. The result made the game look incredibly tight, with the visitors only just managing to squeeze past SPAL in a 2-1 victory. The fact that Icardi is the man named in this list, should tell you all the information you need to know, as obviously, he scored both goals for Inter Milan.
Finally, it’s happening! For those of you who don’t know me, I am a huge Higuain fan on FIFA, I still remember his last OTW card and the rollercoaster of emotions it provided me across the year, so to be in the privileged position of experiencing this again, it’s safe to say I am very excited. AC Milan have finally found some sort of form, and this continued on the weekend as they brushed past Chievo in a 3-1 victory. Suso was a man on fire, providing assists for all three goals, however, after his recent inform, Higuain with 2 goals looks very likely to make the list!
Substitutes and Reserves
Onto the bench now, and our first selection sees us heading across to America. Montreal played hosts to Columbus in their MLS fixture, and with a scoreline of 3-0, it would appear to have been one way traffic throughout. The reality however, is that Bush was in superb form, providing a total of 9 saves and ensuring his side kept their clean sheet come the final whistle.
When we usually talk about multiple goals, or even multiple assists, we are almost always referring to an attacking player. When Union travelled to Rosario for their weekend match, this mould was broken and one of the best performances of the week was found. Union won the match 4-0, and not only did Martinez secure a clean sheet, but he also played a part in all four goals, scoring twice and assisting the other two.
Over to Germany next, where league leaders Bayern Munich had a fairly straight forward match at home to Gladbach. Well, this is what everyone believed at least, Gladbach however had very different plans. The match ended 3-0, in favour of the visitors, and there was no real standout superstar, instead a fantastic team performance across the board. Despite this, such a result really warrants an inform, and Hofmann is our choice here. With 2 assists and a great showing across the midfield, he has put himself in with a real chance of an inform this week.
We come across our first, and only non-gold inform of the predictions now. Vitoria de Setubal played hosts to Moreirense for their weekend fixture, and in a game that provided us three goals, all three went in favour of the hosts. Pereira was the man behind the first, the second, and yes you guessed it, the third as well, securing his spot within these predictions.
Kasimpasa were comfortable 3-1 winners over Goztepe on the weekend, and there was one man who really stole the show. With 1 goal, 2 assists and a near perfect match rating, Trezeguet picks up from where he left off last season, and has a serious chance at bagging his first inform very early into the year.
Heerenveen were on the road this weekend, as they travelled to De Graafschap for their fixture. The home sides goal was under siege from start to finish, as Heerenveen commanded the match during a 5-0 win. Zeneli was absolutely breathtaking, scoring a perfect match rating, and providing 3 assists across the match.
Flying back across to America now, where Portland dominated Salt Lake in a comfortable 4-1 victory. Blanco played a part in three of these goals, scoring twice and assisting a third to force his way into this final lineup.
Back over to France now, where Lille brushed aside Saint Etienne in a comfortable 3-1 victory. Bamba was simply sensational on the day, playing a part in every single goal and terrorising the oppositions defence from start to finish. With 2 goals and 1 assist, he cruises into our predictions this week.
Over to Scotland now, where Celtic continued to show their dominance, as they have for several years now. In an extremely comfortable win over St Johnstone, there was only one man who could possibly take this spot, a man who goes by the name of Forrest. Scoring not once, not twice, not even three times, but four goals, he has to be a lock for his first inform this week.
There was an abundance of strikers this week who managed to bag themselves 2 goals, which is why we have such a mixed selection across these predictions. Watford's early success in the Premier League has well and truly come to a halt now, a fact that was cemented on the weekend as they played hosts to Bournemouth. It was all one way traffic on the day, with the visitors securing an extremely comfortable 4-0 victory. While there were several standout performances, King is the man who makes our list, with 2 goals to his name during the win.
What a match. There was drama every step of the way, unexpected twists and turns, and a finalee to satisfy any neutral football fan. In a 7 goal thriller, Dortmund left as 4-3 winners over Augsburg, in a roller-coaster of a match. Alcacer was the hero on the day, and has guaranteed himself a spot in this TOTW with his sensational hat-trick on the weekend.
Our final selection sees us heading back to England, however this time it’s not the Premier League we are targeting, but the Championship instead. Birmingham were 3-1 winners over Rotherham in their weekend fixture, and if you haven't guessed it already, Jutkiewicz was the man behind each and every goal, giving him the last spot in our shortlist.