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William Quansah’s top 5 entertaining soccer clubs to watch in 2019

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William Quansah’s top 5 entertaining soccer clubs to watch in 2019

by William Quansah, Reporter

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/5g6gv

The calendar year 2018 is coming to an end, yet we’re only halfway through the 2018-2019 season. So much has happened over the past four months in soccer. There has been amazing games, surprise teams, underperformers, and shocking results. As fans, we can get caught up looking at just results, yet we forget the real reason why we watch the beautiful game: entertainment. Here are the top 5 entertaining teams to watch in 2019 to help you discover/re-discover your love for soccer.

5. Liverpool

At their full potential, Liverpool could be at the very top of this list. After coming off a successful season headlined by a Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, they haven’t disappointed in terms of results. They’re atop of the Premier League by a point above Manchester City as they’ve won many of their games “ugly.”

Their wins have come down to one thing: their quality. With a strong defense led by January signing Virgil van Dijk, and Summer signing goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Liverpool haven’t had to rely on their offense that’s been struggling to connect and score goals early on. Nonetheless, the front attacking three of PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané are starting to click as Liverpool has started December nicely with a comprehensive 4-1 victory at Bournemouth, and qualification for the Champions league knockout stage at home against Napoli, winning 1-0 all in the same week. They beat their main rival Manchester United convincingly 3-1 in the following week.

Liverpool is best known for their relentless pressure on opponents’ defenders when they don’t have the ball. This allows them to pick the ball high up the field making it easy for their front three to create chances. Led by coach Jurgen Klopp, the players’ hard work ethic to defend all over the pitch no matter what their position is, makes for an exciting game as the opposition are kept alert.

Players to Watch: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Andy Roberson, Virgil Van Dijk, and Alisson Becker

4. Paris Saint-Germain(PSG)

A PSG game always guarantees goals. With, arguably, the best attack of Neymar, Kopa Trophy winner Kylian Mbappe,and Edinson Cavani, PSG can be a handful for any team. PSG are sure winners of their domestic league, Ligue 1, as their nearest competitors, Lille OSC, are 13 points adrift. Fans are always given a show as Neymar and Mbappe are the best showboaters in the world with their variety of skills.

Despite their great attack, there is another main reason why PSG is a team you should watch: their discipline. When the attack is stifled by a tough team, in particularly in the Champions League, the players get frustrated and lack discipline leading them into making poor decisions and leaving their defense vulnerable. This vulnerable defense gives viewers another avenue towards an exciting game as equal and stronger teams are able to advantage.

Players to Watch: Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Edinson Cavani

3. Barcelona

Barcelona has been the epitome of soccer entertainment for years, and this year is no different. Coach Ernesto Valverde is in his second year at the club and has started the season nicely as Barcelona’s in first place in La Liga and have qualified for the Champions League knockout phase with one game to spare.

In Valverde’s first press conference as coach he said, “My plan is to deepen style, to turn it around again and to keep advancing.”

He’s done this by employing a robust 4-4-2 formation, giving defensive stability while maintaining the club’s well-known attacking brilliance, known as “Tiki-taka”. Tiki-taka is where a team uses short, accurate passes to find gaps on the opposition’s defense while retaining possession. In this style of play all players, including defenders, push forward to score goals.

Led by the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, Barcelona are the best team to watch to fall in love with the game. Messi has vowed to give Barcelona fans the prize they most the want: the Champions League title. With their skill, experience, and promising young players there’s no reason they can’t.

Players to Watch: Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, and Ousmane Dembele

2. Borussia Dortmund

The runner-up is Borussia Dortmund. For the past six seasons, Bayern Munich have been runaway winners in the Bundesliga, but this year has been different. We’re halfway through the season and Dortmund are clear of everyone by seven points, and clear of third place Bayern by nine.

New coach Lucien Favre has made excellent signings in Axel Witsel, Thomas Delaney,and super-sub Paco Alcacer, while also getting best out of his given players, especially injury-prone Marco Reus and 18-year-old Englishman Jadon Sancho.

Dortmund attacks with no fear even when going against tough opposition. This was evident in their 4-0 thrashing of Atlético Madrid and their comeback 3-2 win against their main rivals Bayern. With the defensive stability provided by Witsel and Delaney in front of the already strong back four, Dortmund is able to get the ball back quickly and counter their opposition through the pace and trickery of Reus, Sancho, and Alcacer. Favre has done a good job of combining exciting young players with experienced ones. After 14 matches, Dortmund leads the Bundesliga in goals(39), led by the league’s top goal scorer Alacer’s (12). Reus and Sancho have combined for 15 goals as well.

Players to Watch: Jadon Sancho, Axel Witsel, Paco Alcacer,and Marco Reus

1. Manchester City

City has been dominant as predicted again this season. They win their matches with conviction while giving their fans a show week in and week out. With the most goals and passes in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s side has picked up where they left off from their record-breaking 100 point championship season. City’s free flowing game consists of passing the ball anywhere on the field, even when there’s pressure on their defense. This gives viewers many opportunities to see City lose possession and be exposed through a counter attack as the opposition would already be in City’s half, or, in most cases, see a beautiful goal strung together by the likes of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, and more.

In an interview with City TV after clinching the Premier League last season about his philosophy, Guardiola said, “The idea is fundamental…you have to give passes and passes, an extra pass, an extra pass.” He would later go on to say, “With the ball we try to play. We let them[players] run to try to attack in the right moment.”

This freedom Guardiola gives his players is what makes City exciting to watch. Without their main playmaker Kevin De Bruyne (injury), City is second in the league, trailing Liverpool by a point. De Bruyne is now back and has scored in his first start back in a win against Leicester in the Carabao Cup. Man City has a deep squad with many players who don’t even start that would make it into other top sides in the world. This gives Guardiola many options with the opportunity to rest players ensuring viewers a side that’s not as tired as its counterparts.

City have the best odds to win all four competitions(Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup) they’re in so they should be plenty of opportunities to watch them.

Players to Watch: Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Ederson, Leroy Sane, and Raheem Sterling

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William Quansah’s top 5 entertaining soccer clubs to watch in 2019