5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶 | OneFootball

5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶 | OneFootball

Icon: OneFootball


Padraig Whelan·21 October 2022

5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶

Article image:5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶

There is now one month to go until the World Cup but there is still plenty of tasty domestic action before then.

This is what to look forward to this weekend …

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Montréal v New York City FC

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It is crunch time in the Major League Soccer season as we reach the Conference semi-final stage.

The standout match-up of the remaining fixtures comes in the east, where Montréal take on NYCFC for the right to meet Philadelphia Union in the final.

Second-seeds Montréal play host to the defending champions on Sunday and are promising dark horses, having ousted Orlando in the opening round.

But they face a tougher task this time against the boys from the Big Apple, who were ruthless in seeing off Inter Miami 3-0 in their first game, ending the career of Gonzalo Higuaín in the process.

Diminutive former Atalanta playmaker Maxi Moralez was the star man and if the Canadians are to have any hope of springing a big surprise, they have to keep a lid on his talents.

Spice rating: Mild 🌶

Randers v Nordsjaelland

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Who saw this unlikeliest of title races coming in Denmark then?

This Sunday, the early pace-setters after 13 games face off as top of the table Nordsjaelland travel to Randers in second, currently holding a two-point lead and just three weeks after they won the reverse fixture 3-1 at home.

It is a refreshing change to the picture at the top and one that is completely unexpected given recent seasons in Denmark where Copenhagen and Midtjylland have combined for eight out of the past 10 titles.

Those sides are currently languishing in mid-table, while the current top two have came from nowhere to challenge for the country’s biggest honour. Randers finished fifth and 15 points off the top last season, while Nordsjaelland came 10th in a 12-team league.

Their rise has been an enjoyable surprise for neutral observers and an away win could put Nordsjaelland in a comfortable position as they look for what would be just their second league title in the club’s history. For Randers, a fairytale title victory would be their first ever.

Spice rating: Medium 🌶 🌶

Swansea v Cardiff

Article image:5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶

The spiciest fixture the Championship can offer takes place on Sunday afternoon as Swansea and Cardiff meet in the South Wales derby.

Revenge will be foremost on the minds of the visitors as they head west following the humiliation that they suffered at the hands of the Swans last season.

For the first time in the fixture’s history, one team did the double and Swansea did it in style too – winning 3-0 at home before thrashing their rivals 4-0 in the capital in April.

In fact, in the last six derbies, Cardiff have lost five times and scored just once. There is little optimism in the Bluebirds camp of a change to that run too.

They recruited 17 new faces over the summer but have lost their last two and currently sit 18th, while the Swans are hovering just outside the play-offs.

Will the form book really go out the window?

Spice rating: Hot 🌶 🌶 🌶

Porto v Benfica

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The Primeira Liga has evaded Benfica for three long years but if the early going this season is any indicator, they are desperate to reclaim that crown.

They face the toughest test to both those credentials and their unbeaten start when they travel to defending champions Porto on Friday night.

This fixture comes at a time, even this early in the campaign, where the ramifications on the title race will be felt as Benfica currently hold a three-point lead on their rivals, although they have won on just four of their last 23 trips to Porto.

It is also a contest that boasts some of the league’s star early performers for the current season sprinkled across both sides.

Mehdi Taremi, Pepê Aquino and Otávio have arguably been the home side’s standout players so far, while João Mário, Gonçalo Ramos, Alejandro Grimaldo and David Neres have been the big factors behind the Eagles’ undefeated start.

Spice rating: Fire 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶

Roma v Napoli

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So far this season, table-topping Napoli have been unstoppable. And that’s not just in Serie A but in the Champions League too where they breezed to four wins from four in a tough group to book their last 16 berth with two games to spare.

They are yet to taste defeat and have already travelled to San Siro this season and taken down defending champions Milan in their own back garden but face a similarly daunting challenge this Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Derby del Sole (or derby of the sun) between these sides may not be one of Italy’s most notable but there is no love lost between them – and their current positions in the table adds an extra sizzle of spice to an already intriguing affair.

While Luciano Spalletti and co. have taken much of the early season plaudits, José Mourinho and his players have sailed under the radar, despite sitting just four points behind Napoli and having an impressive win at San Siro of their own – memorably coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Inter with their banned coach watching from a van outside the ground.

Napoli are runaway leaders as the league’s top scorers and most exciting side to watch but Roma have been a tough prospect in the capital and have conceded just six times in their last 11 home games. Something has to give in the most fascinating fixture of the weekend.

Spice rating: Insane 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶