XT PREVIEW - MATCHDAY 10
CLASH OF LAST SEASON'S ALMOSTS
Andrey vs Osman
Having both missed out so narrowly in last season's scudetto, this match has revenge written all over it. After Osman was knocked out of the running in the pinultimate weekend, Andrey lost out on the title on the very last match to a resurgent Romanista10. There is no doubt this stung Andrey to the core but he has returned an equally as strong prospect this season. Adrian Mutu's suspensions and injuries have not helped Andrey and he finds himself six points off the league leader as we approach the mid-point of the season. However, Andrey's team are in incredible form at the moment, having scored 10 goals and conceding none in their last three matches, and will look to make it four wins on the trot against last season's rival.
Though Osman's team managed to create many more chances than Pietro's men in their match last week, his team somehow slumped to a 2-0 loss. After a narrow defeat to Romanista10 the week before, this added to Osman's disappointing start to the season; something that Osman himself has widely blamed on a shoddy transfer campaign in the summer and the woeful form of pre-season superstar Diego. Surely a win is vital here if he is to stand any chance at another run at the title?
MID-SEASON 6-POINTER FOR RELEGATION CANDIDATES
Deano vs ac_milan_forever
After propping up the table last season, AS Deano were hoping that the only way was up this year. However, a poor start to the season has made repeating this feat a very distinct possibility with Julio Baptista and Jan-Klaas Huntelaar both in the early running for flops-of-the-season. A win here is vital if Deano's men wish to start moving away from the dreaded wooden spoon.
Having finally secured their first win last week against naervod, ac_milan_forever will be hoping that star-player and XT Serie A's record signing Samuel Eto'o can start banging the goals in and start a winning run for the bottom-of-the-table team. He could also do with some of his midfielders chipping in, seeing as the team has only managed four goals in nine matches so far this season.
THE ONLY WAY IS UP
ilgenio vs Amiumtaur
It is difficult to comprehend why AC Murasaki find themselves near the foot of the table seeing as Diego Milito is currently scoring for fun, Ronaldinho can't help but continue to make assists and the team has one of the best defensive records in the league. However, the league doesn't lie and although ilgenio has double the points of this weekend's opposition, it isn't saying much seeing as they are both way off the pace. AC Murasaki will be looking for a strong victory here in a bid to start to fulfil their clear potential.
FC Amium are having a horrible time of it this season. Scoring hasn't been too much of a problem for them; it's the goals against column which is worrying. With an average of over two goals conceded per game, it is clear where Amiumtaur is falling down. However, transfer rumours have been ripe in recent days as Amiumtaur has put almost all of his squad on the market in a show of disgust for his team. No-one more so than Amauri who, it seems, his manager cannot wait to get his hands off. The deals being pondered are certainly nothing short of intruiging, many calling them ridiculous, others calling them shrewd and wise, but this must all be put out the window for now, with all the focus being put on this tricky encounter.
POTENTIAL BANANA SKIN FOR LEAGUE LEADERS
naervod vs Romanista10
The suspension of Mauro Zárate comes at a dreadful time for naervod as he takes on the run-away leaders of the league. Tomasso Rocchi is the natural replacement for the Argentinian up front, but is not the player he once was. AC Acceglio will look to their promising midfield and strong defensive line to continue to perform well in order to take something from this tough match.
Unbeaten champions A.S. Ripi failed to win for only the second time in nine matches last weekend in a tightly fought draw against ilgenio. However, if the chasing pack have any chance of catching Romanista10's squad, who already lead by six points, then they need the champion to start losing, not just draw the odd match. The rest of the league as a whole is hoping that naervod's men will play out of their skins and defeat the seemingly unstoppable A.S. Ripi.
CLASH OF THE INCONSISTENTS
saviola vs Anomander Rake
This tasty confrontation between the teams in 4th and 5th respectively could go either way as they both look to turn their inconsistent form into victorious runs. Malinwa were delighted to qualify for Europe last season and confidence was high this time around. However, saviola's men started poorly and last year's great achievement was beginning to look like a flash in the pan. Since then though, saviola has picked his squad up and they are now unbeaten in five matches; a run he'll look to extend this weekend.
Conversly, Anomander Rake's men have suffered the opposite pattern of results. After a stunning start of four wins in their first five matches, the squad have since failed to win in four. He will need his front men to find their scoring boots once again and help out midfield star Marek Hamsik who has been carrying the team in recent weeks if his team is to get it's title-chase back on track.
TWO TEAMS WITH A BRIGHT FUTURE
Pietro vs CinqueDiMaggio
FC Ubriaconi have lived up to their pre-season touting as a possible black horse this time around. After a sloppy start, Pietro's squad has won an impressive four wins on the bounce, and now find themselves in 3rd place, level on points with Andrey in 2nd. However, Pietro will need another quality defensive display like the one that ensured his victory over Osman last week if he is to have a chance this weekend without suspended star-man and captain Antonio Di Natale once again.
After a promising start, FC Novamona have suffered in recent weeks due the injury to Alberto Paloschi and the suddenly mis-firing Antonio Cassano. Missing out on European football on goal difference really hurt CinqueDiMaggio last season and he will be looking for a strong performance this weekend to keep up the chase. A clean-sheet from Julio Cesar would also, I'm sure, be a welcome change for the quality keeper.