Football is the most popular sports in the world, and the year 2018 have brought more excitement to it as the club football has entered into the second half of the season. So mark your calendars, here are few of the most exciting football fixtures in 2018’s first quarter.
Premier League Football Fixtures in 2018
Premier league has been the most exciting league for the past many years now and we all have our favorites at the start of the season for different reasons but none can predict how the points table will look at the end of the season due to the strong competition among the big clubs of England.
Half of the season has passed and it looks like Man City will be crowned champions of England in May but all is not over in football until the final whistle of the last day. We have a lot of interesting fixtures coming up in the first Quarter of 2018.
Manchester City, who are flying high this season will visit the Anfield on 14th January, 2018 for one of the most remarkable football fixtures in 2018. Liverpool presumably won’t put much pressure on the league leaders but with the signing of Van Dijk and the reds having the best defensive record at home this season, may give the visiting side a tough time.
The month of February will kick off in style when Red Devils will visit London to meet Tottenham in the league fixture. Spurs will be desperate to meet Manchester United to avenge their previous meeting, where United emerged as winners with the score 1-0 at full time. With forwards like Harry Kane, Dele Alli in White and Lukaku and Rashford in Red we can expect a lot of goals in this one of the most awaited football fixtures in 2018.
Just after two days, the London side will face Liverpool on the 4th of Feb, 2018. Both the sides will try to win the game as victory can secure them a spot in top 4. Last time the two sides faced each other was in October, and it was a sheer joy for the Spurs side as they enjoyed a victory thumping Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley.
In a week’s time Tottenham will again have a tough fixture when they will lock horns with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in North London Derby. The emotions will be very high at the Wembley as the Lilywhites left Emirates without a point when they allowed 2 goals to Arsenal in November and failed to score any. At the moment, the Gunners are 2 points behind their North London rivals and a win can put them ahead of them but Pochettino’s men will not play for anything less than a win and Arsenal needs to be too solid at the back if they are to stop the on-song Harry Kane.
25th Feb, 2018 will be a big day in the Premiere League, when the Gunners will host the League Leaders, Man City in a league game. Although a loss won’t hurt City much who are 15 points clear at the top but Arsenal just cannot afford to lose as it may weaken their chances for grabbing a top 4 spot which will see them miss the Champions League again next season as they are missing it the ongoing season.
Arsene Wenger will be desperate to beat the Citizens, not for the sake of the trophy but for his glorious record, when he led all famous ‘The Invincibles’ to the winning podium remaining unbeaten the entire season back in 2003–04. Now, half the season has passed and Manchester City are yet to lose to any Premiere League side which puts Wenger’s record in real danger. Let’s see what happens in one of the most enthralling football fixtures in 2018.
Alvaro Morata made headlines after scoring a stunning header from the centre of the box, when last time Chelsea and Manchester United played each other in early November of 2017. The two Premiere League giants will face each other again on the 25th of February, 2018 at Old Trafford. The match will be of great importance as Chelsea are just a point behind Manchester United at this moment and a win in this fixture will take them to the 2nd position. Jose Mourinho on the other hand will be keen to retain the runners-up spot and not lose in front of the home fans.
The month of March will see the Red Devils host Liverpool, and the old fierce rivalry between the Reds will come to life again. Last time these two were up against each other, the match turned out to be lackluster where none of the teams were able to find the back of the net. Pundits and critics discouraged Mourinho’s tactics referring as old school and boring who deployed most of his men to defend rather attack. Liverpool enjoyed 63% of the possession but was unable to unlock United’s defense. This time Klopp will be determined to grind out a win out of this fixture to cement his team’s place in the Top 4.
The defending champions will host Tottenham on the 31st of March, 2018 at Stamford Bridge. The visitors will be keen to balance the equation from their last meeting in August, where despite having more possession, more shots on target and more corners, the Blues handed them a defeat with the scoreboard showing 2-1 at full time. The tactical battle between Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte will be a treat to watch as the two sides have the most balanced squads in the Premiere League currently.
Laliga’s Football Fixtures in 2018
Laliga will spice up in the month of January when the mighty Real Madrid will visit Mestalla Stadium to play Valencia away in a Laliga fixture. The fixture with Los Murciélagos has not been an easy one for the Whites in the recent past when Madrid only managed a draw against them in this season and lost to them last season. With Bale coming back for the defending champions, they will make things very tough for the home side but the lack of concentration of their defenders may cost them. Real Madrid currently sits on no. 4 spot at Laliga with a game in hand, and winning against Valencia will see them clinch the 3rd spot.
In a week’s time Valencia will fly to Madrid to meet another club from Madrid, Atletico Madrid. In their last meeting the match ended up in a goalless draw but this time it will be different. With Diego Costa enforcing Atletico’s attack by rejoining them this winter, the Rojiblanco’s will have the upper hand in the fixture. On the flip side, Valencia will be keen to grab the second league position from their opponents and will charge higher on the pitch with Zaza leading their attack.
On the 4th of March, 2018, Camp Nou will host Atletico Madrid in an interesting fixture of Laliga. Atletico Madrid will be looking to return home with all 3 points against Barcelona, while Messi and co. would be happy with a draw as they lead the Laliga table with 9 points lead to Atletico Madrid. Ernesto Valverde, the manager of the Barcelona team will surely be favorite with Dembele coming back in the squad. Atletico Madrid will have to be rock solid at the back to stop Messi, Suarez and Dembele if they want to keep the Laliga race alive which makes it one of the most gripping football fixtures in 2018.
Serie A Football Fixtures in 2018
To everyone’s surprise, Serie A this season has turned out to be the most interesting league, where it seems the title race will go down to the wire till May. On 22nd of January, 2018 Inter Milan will welcome AS Roma in San Siro. Luciano Spalletti will host the side he managed last season in Inter colors this time. The Wolves currently sit at 4th position but with two games in hand they can challenge for the Scudetto. Inter holds the 3rd position in Serie A for now, and they need to win these crunch football fixtures in 2018 in order to play any European Football next season, which they are missing this season.
The month of March will dawn in Italy with the mighty ‘Milan Derby’. AC Milan will compete against their city rivals Inter Milan. Keeping in view the performances both the clubs displayed this season, everyone will put money on Inter but Milan derby is all about unpredictability and surprises. Inter’s ace Mauro Icardi, the top scorer of Serie A this season will lead the attacking pack against Milan and is to give a tough time to Milan’s defenders.
The league leader’s Napoli will also play Roma in a thrilling contest on the 4th of March, 2018. Napoli’s loss in this game may cost them the league as it will take Juventus to the top of the table, with the most important part of the league yet to come and lack of squad depth, Napoli may fall short again of winning the league. On the other hand, Roma will secure the place in top 4 and will open the race for all the top 5 sides to win the league.
Bundesliga Football Fixtures in 2018
In Germany, the Bundesliga is going very much according to everyone’s expectations, and once again Bayern Munich is clear at the top with an 11 point lead. Bayern will meet Hoffenheim on the 27th of January, 2018, the team that toyed with them in the last head to head competition, defeating them 2-0. But the Bavarians have gathered themselves under Jupp Heynckes, and are surely looking for revenge this time in what we might call a sensational football fixtures in 2018.
The most exciting game of Bundesliga, Der Klassiker will be played on 31st March, when the two powerhouses of German football will take on each other. Although Borussia Dortmund are potentially out of the league race, but after sacking Peter Bosz, the team has regrouped well under the new manager Peter Stoger and has ground out results in their favor.
UCL Football Fixtures in 2018
UEFA Champions League Draw took place on 11th of December last year, where all the teams were waiting to find their opponents for Round of 16. Germany had only one team representing them in the round of 16 for the first time since 2008-09 season where England have 5 sides with most representation. The veteran midfielder Xabi Alonso was the drawmaster of the Round Of 16 for this season and the final ties look like this.
First tie will see Juventus playing the North London side, Tottenham Hotspur. The two sides have never faced each other before in a European fixture. After thumping the defending champions Real Madrid in the group stages, Pochettino will be gearing up to meet the runners-up of last season now. An unstoppable Harry Kane will be up against the impregnable Buffon which will be a treat to watch. On the other end, Dybala, Douglas Costa and Gonzalo Higuain will test Hugo Lloris, who on his day can ruin any striker’s day. All in all it will be a great game of football as free flowing Spurs will be up against the compact Juventus, but Pochettino lacks European experience while Allegri has played 2 UCL finals in last 3 years which will see him lead Juventus through to the Quarter Finals of the UCL.
In the group stages, Basel were drawn with Manchester United. Here, in the round of 16 they will be visiting Manchester again only to play their city rivals Manchester City marking another spectacular football fixtures in 2018. Basel currently sits on 2nd position in the Swiss super league while the citizens enjoy 1st position in Premier league. Basel will not pose any kind of threat as Pep’s vast experience of UCL and City’s red hot form already make this tie a formality. The tie will be a walk in the park for the blues and they must already be seeing themselves in the Quarter finals of the competition.
Porto will see Liverpool in the UCL Round of 16. The sides have met four times before with Reds yet to lose, tagging 2 wins to their name and playing draw twice. The English Club sits on no. 4 in their league while Porto are leading the table back in Portugal. The legendary Iker Casillas will stand between the sticks for Porto with the fantastic 4 of Liverpool Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Salah against him. Porto’s defensive abilities should not be underestimated as they only allowed 7 goals in 16 league games and has beaten Monaco and Leipzig on their way, while Liverpool defensive stories are stories to forget which may hand them the return ticket from round of 16. Still, Liverpool are a better team on paper and looks like they will be through to the next stage of UCL.
The Red Devils will meet Sevilla from Spain in the Pre-Quarter Final Round. Sevilla have never seen Manchester United on the field, and it will be a tough task for them. Sevillistas have an amazing record in the Europa league winning it 5 times in 10 years and for 3 consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2016 but they haven’t been impressive much in UCL. Manchester United qualified by winning the Europa League and have been good in the Premier League. Jose Mourinho won’t be caring much as this tie looks already in favor of the Reds.
The most exciting tie, is when the 12 time European Champions Real Madrid will lock their horns against Paris Saint Germain. For most of the football fans, the tie has emerged earlier than they expected as they were looking forward for the two favorites to meet each other in the semi final or final of the competition. However, this tie will have no favorites; both the teams have some superb strike forces that can tear apart any defense with Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo for Los blancos and Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani for the Parisians. Both the sides have immensely talented midfield with Rabiot, Di Maria, Veratti for the blues and Kroos, Modric, Isco, Casemiro for the whites. Even the defense is balanced with Ramos, Carvajal, Marcelo and Varane for the Spanish side and Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Thomas Meunier for the French Capital. Both the teams have met 6 times before this, with each winning twice and settling for a draw twice. On paper and stats wise the teams look pretty equal but the recent European triumph of Real Madrid and Ronaldo scoring in every single game of group stage may give an edge to the whites.
The Italian giants AS Roma are tied with the Ukranian Champions Shakhtar Donetsk in the top 16 stage. Shakhtar had a bumpy road qualifying for the knockout stages but their last fixture, where they defeated English side Manchester City, left the world football stunned. Roma also had a decent campaign and secured top position in group stages with Atletico Madrid and Chelsea placed in the same group. One of its kind football fixtures in 2018, the tie will be interesting to see with Roma having bright chances to excel to next stage.
Another intriguing tie will see mighty Barcelona play Chelsea. The clubs share a rivalry for a long time when back in 2009 UCL semi final, Barca marched onto final due to some horrible decisions made against the blues by referee. The blues had their revenge 3 years later when in 2012, the same Chelsea shattered Barcelona dreams in UCL semi final and defeated them to reach the finals and eventually winning it. The teams have met 12 times with the blues having an upper hand. Surprisingly, Messi has yet to score his first ever goal against the English giants. The tie will be a great battle between the players and managers, as Conte and Valverde, both are known for their tactical mastery.
In the last tie, German champions are drawn against Besiktas. Bayern beat Besiktas 2-0, both away and home in the 1997 group stage UCL, the teams’ only fixtures. Bayern will be pleased to encounter the Turkish side. With the likes of James Rodriguez, Hummels, Muller, Lewandowski in their side, they look clear winners and only a miracle for Besiktas can end the Bavarians UCL campaign.