It’s that time of the week again, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the famous FUTBIN TOTW predictions! Once again we have some huge names sneaking into the lineup, and once again it looks like you made a big mistake if you chose to not finish all of those Weekend League matches!
As usual we kick start these predictions with a goalkeeper, and this time it’s from a massive game within the Premier League. Arsenal played hosts to Manchester United this week, and despite United’s CL momentum, and Arsenal’s collapse in the Europa League, the tables turned for this one. Arsenal took home the points with a 2-0 win, however if it wasn’t for Leno things could have been very different. With 4 absolutely massive saves, a clean sheet, and yet another top tier performance, surely this week is when he makes the team.
Portugal is our next destination this week, as Porto travel to Feirense for their Liga Nos fixture this week. It's a case of deja vu here, as it was only a week ago that Pepe made these predictions for providing the match winning goal from his center back position. Well, the same thing has happened again this week, and while he may not have managed to secure the clean sheet, he did have a fairly solid match, and once again provided the game winning goal in Porto’s 2-1 victory.
Straight off the back of a horrific Champions League exit to a marvelous Ajax performance, Madrid really needed to silence their critics with a league win over Valladolid. Things couldn’t have started much worse Madrid, conceding a penalty, luckily avoiding a goal thanks to VAR and then still going down 1-0. They did quickly recover though, and in the end they left the match as 4-1 winners. Benzema was in great form, scoring twice and providing an assist, however with his multiple special cards and the fact that Ben Yedder (another French La Liga striker) will be making the team, it only felt right to look elsewhere. Varane picked up the goal to level the match, and was fairly solid from there on out, which for us, may just be enough for his first inform of the campaign.
Sometimes picking a nomination from a match is extremely straight forward. A clean sheet with a goal, or a hat-trick from a striker would usually do the trick, however some matches are an all round incredible team performance, and this is when things get messy. Bayern smashes Wolfsburg 6-0 on Saturday, and in turn provided us a list of potential candidates. Luckily for us both Lewandowski and Ribery have special cards in packs at the moment, which leaves us with Kimmich and Gnabry. Gnabry provided an assist and scored on the day, while Kimmich secured the clean sheet and scored. We went with Kimmich, but anything could happen on Wednesday!
Inter Milan were hosts to SPAL this week for their domestic fixture, where on paper they looked like the nailed on winners. Luckily they didn’t disappoint either, securing the points with a comfortable 2-0 win. Gagliardini was a monster in the midfield, controlling the match, terrorising the opposition, and also finding the back of the net himself. The only question that remains, is whether or not this will be enough for his first inform of the campaign.
Back across to Germany now, where we find a display of dominance from an attacking player, undertaking a more central role. Hoffenheim were narrow 2-1 winners over Nuernberg this week, and there is only one man who could feature within our nominations. Kramaric was given a central role again here, and once again he was brilliant. Scoring once from the spot, and a second late in the match, not only did he secure his side the points, but has given himself every chance of a second inform as well.
With the game tied at half time, Liverpool fans like myself were praying that Burnley could withstand the attacking onslaught and take a point away from the match. Sterling however had other plans. The first goal may have been controversial, however Sterling went on to score twice more, securing the points for his club, the match ball, and yet another nomination in our team of the week predictions.
Straight from the league leaders, Manchester City, to the challengers now, as we focus on Liverpool’s home fixture against Burnley. Things did not start well for the hosts, with Burnley scoring directly from a corner, however they showed the determination and desire required, allowing them to finish the match as 4-2 winners. Firmino has every chance of stealing this spot with two goals, however with them both being fairly straight forward tap-ins, Mane is the man for us. With 2 goals and another great performance, could he be seeing a second inform this week?
Across to Spain now, where we find a La Liga clash between Sevilla and Real Sociedad. The game itself provided fans with a massive 7 goals, however it wasn’t good new for Sociedad, as 5 of these went in favour of Sevilla. With the match ending 5-2, Ben Yedder was the runaway hero on the day. Scoring not once, not twice, but three times, he not only secured his hat-trick, but his place within our predictions as well.
The Premier League provided nothing but shocks, surprises and incredible comebacks this weekend, the Leicester/Fulham game however, was not one of these! Leicester picked up the points with a 3-1 win in the end, with Vardy playing his part in each and every goal. Finding the back of the net twice, and finding the assist for the third, it feels like he has once again landed himself in the perfect position for an upgrade this week.
Torino were on the road this week, as they travelled to Frosinone for their Serie A fixture. Things started badly for the guests, going down 1-0 just before half time, leaving them with a mountain to climb if they were to take home the points. Luckily Belotti was ready for the challenge, scoring twice in the second half to secure the win, and a possible second inform as well.
Substitutes and Reserves
Onto the bench now, and our first stop is the MLS, a league only recently back into action for their new season. Columbus were away to New England for their fixture this week, and luckily for them the journey was worthwhile. Columbus left with a 2-0 win, however it was far from smooth sailing on the day. Steffen made a total of 4 saves across the match, including one from the spot, to not only secure the clean sheet, but also secure his spot within our predictions this week.
Back across to the MLS now, where Los Angeles were dominant 4-1 winners over Portland this week. With the league only having been back for a couple of weeks, it didn’t take Vela long to leave his mark once again, scoring once and assisting two in a superb performance. Could this be time for his second Inform?
Back across to France now, where Amiens took the points with a narrow 2-1 win over Nimes this week. Now Pieters may not have quite managed to help his team secure the clean sheet, however it was his goal that separated the two clubs at the final whistle. He also secured the highest match rating, and for a fullback, we felt like this may just about be enough.
Over to Holland now, where we find a 5 goal thriller between ADO Den Haag and SC Heerenveen. The match finished 3-2, in favour of the visitors SC Heerenveen, and luckily for us there was a clean cut nomination for this week’s predictions. Vlap was simply sensational in the midfield, controlling the play from start to finish, and also managing to find the back of the net twice himself.
Newcastle against Everton was one of the incredible Premier League games that took place this week, with the end result surprising even the most confident of Newcastle fans. With just 25 minutes remaining on the clock, Everton looked to be cruising as they held onto their 2-0 lead. Perez however had other plans, finding Rondon for the first, and then scoring twice himself to overturn the result and help bring the points home for Newcastle.
With the Chinese Super League back in action, it was only a matter of time before we saw them flowing into our predictions once again! This week our attention turns to Beijing Guoan and their 4-0 away win against Chongqing Lifan. Viera was brilliant from the very start, and with a perfect rating, a goal under his belt and 2 assists, there was simply no chance he was missing out on a spot this week.
There is absolutely no place for violence, racism, or any kind of abuse in this modern world, and that most definitely includes football. Now I’m not sure if the card type selected is correct, whether a normal inform would be more fitting, or even if excluding Grealish for a single goal is the correct move. What I do know though, is the way that Grealish reacted to the assault, and the manner in which he continued to play and score the winner, was truly inspirational. Whether he makes the team on Wednesday or not, it was well worth including him for these reasons alone.
Central Coast Mariners suffered a heavy hole defeat this week, as Wellington Phoenix racked up a monumental 8-2 victory away from home. With such a big scoreline, we weren’t stuck for nominations here, however we decided that Singh deserved the nod. With 2 goals and 2 assists, he secured a near perfect match rating, and a possible upgrade on Wednesday as well.
As soon as the Carniball event was announced, numerous people across all of social media were dreaming of a possible Neres card. EA sadly decided to exclude this man, but luckily Neres had a plan to make up for this. Ajax picked up the points with a 4-0 win at home to Fortuna Sittard this week, still riding that high from their Champions League win mid-week. Once again Tadic was spectacular, scoring twice and dominating the match from start to finish, however with his MOTM card in packs, our attention turns to the opposite wing. Neres also scored twice, putting in a marvelous performance, earning his spot amongst the elite this week.
League leaders Juventus played hosts to Udinese for their Serie A fixture this week, and with a display of dominance they left the match as comfortable 4-1 winners. Kean showed the fans just what he can offer, while also showing the world that he could be one of the future stars. Scoring twice and securing the man of the match award before being substituted, should be enough to see him hit an inform from this match.
It’s that time in the predictions again to feature yet another Cologne player, and this time we are looking at a possible second Inform. Cologne were runaway 5-1 winners at home to Arminia Bielefeld this week, and while there were plenty of top class performances, one man stole the show. With 3 goals under his belt, the match ball, and the man of the match award, Terodde definitely deserves another inform this week.
We always like to end this write up with a bang, which is often why we save one of the most prolific performances until last. Consadole Sapporo picked up the points with a 5-2 win over Shimizu S-Pulse this week, with one man holding the spotlight across the entire 90 minutes. Lopes scores not one, not two, not even three, but four goals, to secure the man of the match award, and his place amongst the elite.