Top 5 NBA Upcoming Games Of Leading Teams

Every matchup in the NBA is important, even when there’s a huge difference in the quality of the opposing team. However, some matchups come with a different intensity, either due to rivalry in their history or a battle for dominance in shared conferences. 

Here we will look at matchups that promise extreme intensity, highlight plays, drama, and entertainment beyond the norm. The 2022-23 NBA season has already seen some of those matches; an example is the most recent Christmas day specials between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks and the young Grizzlies team against the Warriors. We will look at the next best five matchups as the season progresses into the new year.

Los Angeles Lakers Vs Los Angeles Clippers (25 January)

Star power is everything in Los Angeles, both on and off the court. There are several stars on these two squads. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook lead the Lakers, while Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are two of the league’s best wings for the Clippers. The Clippers have won the last nine meetings, with the Lakers’ previous victory coming in the 2020 season. The Lakers have historically dominated this rivalry, leading the overall series 150-83.

  • Anthony Davis was having a monstrous season until he sustained a foot injury, and he should be back in time for this game, although his return date remains unknown.
  •  Russell Westbrook is flourishing as floor general from the bench, and if he continues at this pace with Lebron James actively scoring with ease, the Lakers might end their losing streak against the Clippers.
  • The Los Angeles Clippers have won their two encounters against the Lakers this season, and the Lake show will be looking to get one back in this game. 
  • Paul George remains the consistent starter between the duo, as Kawhi has been carefully managed for maximum future performance in the postseason. 

Brooklyn Nets Vs Philadelphia 76ers 

The significance of this clash may be understood by recalling the blockbuster trade that the Sixers and Nets executed at the previous year’s trade deadline, which brought Ben Simmons to Brooklyn and James Harden to Philadelphia. Following the deal, the two teams only faced off once, with the Nets defeating the Sixers in Philadelphia despite Simmons’ absence from the starting lineup. This season, Simmons already returned to Philadelphia on November 22 and received nothing close to a warm welcome as the 76ers fans constantly booed him. 

  • Following the sacking of Steve Nash, the Brooklyn Nets have been playing the best basketball of their life in a while. The personality change in the head coach position has helped propel the team to greater heights.
  • Brooklyn Nets acquired an injured T.J. Warren from Indiana Pacers in the offseason and has nursed him back to full health; he has been incredible for them coming off the bench.
  • The Duo of Joel Embiid and James Harden is working out just fine. Embiid is scoring ridiculously while Harden has embraced the playmaking position, as he even dished out his career-high assist this season.
  • Tyrese Maxey should be back in full health for this game which gives the 76ers an edge.

Memphis Grizzlies Vs Golden State Warriors

There’s so much bad blood between these two teams, and it all began when they faced up in an entertaining Western Conference semifinals matchup last season. The Golden State Warriors prevailed in six games, but Grizzlies fans had different ideas. They thought that their team’s failure to win was due to Ja Morant’s injury midway through the series, which prevented him from playing in the next three games despite having put on outstanding performances in the first three. They already faced up this season in a Christmas special matchup, but the Grizzlies were humiliated as they lost the game 123-109 to a Warriors team without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins. 

  • Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins should be back in time for the second out of the four games scheduled against the Grizzlies.
  • Ja Morant and the rest of the team will be aiming for a revenge game due to how they were defeated in the first matchup.

Phoenix Suns Vs Dallas Mavericks (26 January)

The rematch of the Western Conference semifinal series from last year, which Dallas won in seven games. However, the Mavericks didn’t only defy the odds by winning Game 7 on the road; to win the West finals, they utterly destroyed the top-seeded Suns. Dallas always stayed caught up and had a 46-point lead before cruising to a 33-point victory.

 Suns defeated the Mavericks in the season’s opening game, but Luka Doncic was present in their most recent meeting, which the Mavericks won 130-111. The Suns were without veteran point guard Chris Paul in that game. This game is one to watch out for, provided all the star players are healthy.

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Denver Nuggets Vs Philadelphia 76ers (28 January)

The two best big guys in the game right now, Nikola Jokic of Denver and Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, will face off. In each of the previous two seasons, these two players were first and second in the Kia MVP race, with Jokic consistently outperforming Embiid. 

Jokic, with his playmaking and scoring abilities, is the best passing big man of this generation and may be the best of all time. He serves as the offensive engine for the Nuggets. The two respect one another, evident during the MVP battle the previous season.

  • One thing is sure, the aforementioned players will put up a show, with Jamal Murray and James Harden set for their little contest as floor generals. 

The games mentioned above are tipped to put you on the edge as we prepare to enter a new year of more action-packed games in the current NBA season.

If you are an avid bettor and are looking for a trusted bookmaker and great bonuses, a Free Betting Reviews article on Christmas Bonuses from trusted bookmakers can help you.

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Ligue 1 Returns at the end of 2022: What to Expect

Ligue 1 has all the bragging rights this season. For a league dismissed mainly by a majority for the lack of good competition for the top teams, players from there have proven otherwise after recently dropping a masterclass performance on the biggest of stages, the World Cup.

Eventual World Cup winner Lionel Messi and runner-up Kylian Mbappe both play for the top Ligue 1 team, Paris Saint Germain, and they were undoubtedly the best players in the tournament. However, the French league returns after a six-week break due to the first-ever winter World Cup in 2022. As the league prepares to return to action on the 28th of December, here are the latest news, previews, and predictions for upcoming matches.

Follow Half A Goal for more Ligue 1 news, match previews, and predictions.

What are the Latest News In Ligue 1?

Here we will look at the recent happenings in the league and players that have significant achievements during the break in the infamous World Cup. 

PSG Forward Wins The World Cup

Lionel Andres Messi was a man on a mission in the 2022 World Cup. The Argentine laid it all on the pitch in what he said to be the last World Cup he would participate in. Messi finally took home the prize he had been seeking, and he is now fully qualified to lay claim to the title of G.O.A.T. He has won every football championship, so it is fair to declare him the greatest player ever.

The awkward aspect is that Lionel Messi had to play against Kylian Mbappe, a PSG player, to complete the task. As the Argentine raised the trophy, Mbappe sobbed in grief. While Mbappe scored the most goals, Messi was the tournament’s top player. As PSG strives to win the Champions League this season, this won’t impact their relationship at the club level.

Angers Sacks Manager Gerald Baticle

In nearly exactly one month since he was placed on administrative leave and Abdel Bouhazama took over as manager in the interim, Angers has fired Gérald Baticle. Le SCO had a solid start to the previous campaign, which included a convincing 3-0 victory against Lyon.

Still, their play has deteriorated recently, with the team languishing at the bottom of Ligue 1. The lengthy Lyon assistant’s contract was set to expire after the 2024–2025 campaign. The team had suffered seven straight losses going into the international break, with their only win in the entire season coming against Nice in the middle of September.

Sofiane Boufal And Azzedine Ounahi To Leave Angers? 

It’s not shocking to see Angers yet in the spotlight again. The Moroccan pair of Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Ounahi was one of the strong performers for Morocco in the just concluded World Cup. Their days at the bottom-placed team in Ligue 1 are supposedly over; thus, they have unavoidably drawn interest from all across Europe.

Both Atlas Lions want to go, according to L’Équipe. The former Southampton player had previously had bids from the Middle East to quit his formative club, where he would return in 2020. Boufal has since deleted any references to Le SCO from his social media. His teammate could move on this summer, but Lille’s offer was rejected. Leicester has already expressed interest, but the club would like to sell Ounahi and keep him on loan through the end of the current campaign. 

Neymar And Kylian Mbappe Will Play For PSG Against Strasbourg

For Paris Saint-Ligue Germain’s 1 season opener against Strasbourg on Wednesday night, both Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are anticipated to play. While the tournament-winning captain Lionel Messi’s return date is yet unknown, the Frenchman and the Brazilian quickly returned from their World Cup campaigns. A final decision will be made following Tuesday’s practice regarding whether the forwards will start or play off the bench against the Alsatians. Last Wednesday, Mbappé skipped any permitted vacation time and went back to the practice field three days after the World Cup final, while Neymar returned the following day.

Two Key Departures From Nantes Ahead Of Restart

Antoine Kombouaré, the manager of Nantes, announced that Fábio and Dennis Appiah would depart the organization during the forthcoming transfer window before the team’s trip to Troyes this week. Since neither full-back was present for the team’s most recent practice, he acknowledged that he had let them out by opening the door. Both, according to Kombouaré, planned to relocate this winter. Fábio is expected to move to Grêmio upon his return to Brazil. Appiah, however, is anticipated to sign with Saint-Étienne, a team currently fighting for survival in Ligue 2 following their relegation last year and accompanying points deduction.

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Matchday 16 Preview And Predictions

With all the exciting actions set to be back in Ligue 1, here we will make a preview and prediction for the opening game of the matchday.

Ajaccio Vs Angers

To open Ligue 1 matchday 16, two struggling teams, Ajaccio and Angers, go toe to toe. 

Match Preview

Ajaccio needs help as a team and must learn how to make the best of a bad situation. The fact that they are injury-free will be very welcome news for head coach Olivier Panataloni. Only two teams in the league, including Ajaccio, have scored fewer goals than in the games they have played. They only scored 14 goals in 15 games, the same as Auxerre. Despite their struggles to win games and their position in the relegation zone, Ajaccio is defending well.

Meanwhile, Angers’ season has yet to be particularly successful. They only have a few victories and are the only team in league with fewer than ten points, eight. They have the poorest defense in the league and are attempting to organize their attack at the very least to offset how they are routinely giving up goals.

Match Predictions

The two squads are barely distinguishable. If the championships ended today, both would be demoted. Ajaccio will want to maximize the opportunity of playing in front of their supporters for the first game back, while Angers are on a seven-game losing streak. Ajaccio is the favorite to win.

Ligue 1 returns for matchday 16 and will see few actions as teams aim to reconvene and get back their chemistry after the World Cup break. Some teams will be missing players due to injuries sustained during the tournament or lack of physical fitness due to the break. However, the opening game between Angers and Ajaccio promises a lot of action as they both have something to prove in this game.

English Premier League Returns, Latest News, Predictions

The English Premier League is undoubtedly one of the most exciting leagues in football. After a six-week hiatus as a result of the World Cup tournament, Premier League returns to our screens, and the race to the title, top four, and avoidance of relegation continue. It’s different battles for different teams in the league. Arsenal remains first in the league, five points clear of second-placed Manchester City. These teams so far are the bonafide contenders in the English Premier League this season as the battle for the title continues. 

What are the Latest Premier League News?

Here we look at the happenings in the premier league ahead of the return to action on Boxing day.

Arsenal Suffers A Huge Title Blow?

The recent World Cup injury to Gabriel Jesus’ knee could impact Arsenal. The Brazilian striker only had five goals in 14 Premier League games before the break, but his impact on Arsenal’s performance since moving from City has been profound. Other players have stepped up in scoring, but it will be difficult to replace everything else Jesus brings. Gabriel Jesus’ return date is unknown. Therefore, Arsenal may need to hunt for a substitute striker during the January transfer window.

Brentford’s Talisman’s Scandal

Brentford is 10th in the Premier League, and they might be in trouble if the accusation against their star forward Ivan Toney is proven right. According to the charges, the English striker is accused of breaking 30 additional FA betting rules. The striker might receive a lengthy suspension if the accusations are true. Given that he has been involved in 11 of Brentford’s 26 goals across all competitions this season, the Bees will likely be keeping an eye on how the situation plays out.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Signs Matheus Cunha

The Wolves are last in the Premier League table, and they will take some consistent performance to get out of the relegation zone. They have taken a step in the right direction by signing Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid. Cunha has scored seven goals in 54 games for Atletico. Due to his little playing time this year, he was left off the Brazil World Cup roster. After selecting former Spain, Real Madrid, and Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui as manager, Wolves, who are now last in the Premier League standings with 10 points from their first 15 games, will be hoping that the forward can produce the goals necessary to avoid relegation.

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Premier League Returns 

The Premier League returns on the 26th of December 2022, and we will witness the infamous boxing day fixtures. Sadly, there are no heavy-weight matchups on boxing day, but we will look at key matches and make previews and predictions.

Brentford Vs Tottenham

On Boxing Day, the top-tier domestic football returns, and Brentford will host Tottenham in West London. After pulling off an unexpected 2-1 victory over Manchester City in their final match before the World Cup, Brentford will be eager to continue where they left off.

While Spurs have only won two of their previous five away games, Brentford is a strong team in front of their home crowd, scoring 12 of their 19 goals. The Bees are by no means easy prey, but the Spurs never give up hope of scoring. The Premier League schedule’s opening game is expected to be an exciting one. This match has the potential for both teams to score. 

Arsenal Vs West Ham

With a win in north London, the Gunners can take an eight-point lead in the title battle. Before losing to Juventus in a friendly match during the World Cup break, Arsenal defeated Lyon and AC Milan in Dubai. West Ham drew with Fulham after defeating Cambridge and Udinese, and David Moyes was under increasing pressure to recover from a shaky start.

West Ham has historically feared Arsenal, but the visitors should present a challenge for a squad without its top attacker. However, the Hammers’ offensive shortcomings will limit their prospects of a surprise. The pick here is a win for Arsenal by a small margin. 

Chelsea Vs Bournemouth

Watching Chelsea and Bournemouth square off against one another will be amazing. The Blues are on the mend, and the Cherries are fighting to stay in the top division. Both teams are in hazardous situations, with a spot in the Champions League or a safe spot on the line in the middle of the league. Chelsea narrowly defeated Bournemouth in their most recent meeting, which was played to a close result. However, so far this season, the Blues have outperformed Bournemouth. As a result, Chelsea has a higher chance of achieving victory.

The Premier League will see plenty of action, but these picks are specially made for our new and old bettors for maximum returns. 

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