Battle of the Leagues, Matchday 2: Bad day for Premier League!


After a thrilling opening round of fixtures in ESPN’s Battle of the Leagues, presented by EA Sports FIFA 22, we’ve got our first glimpse of what the all-star teams representing the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Eredivisie, Major League Soccer and Liga MX have to offer.

Group A continues with Bundesliga vs. LaLiga and Ligue 1 vs. Major League Soccer, while Group B brings us Liga MX vs. Serie A and Premier League vs. Eredivisie simulated on EA Sports’ FIFA 22.

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You can catch up on the tournament rules and format here, then check out below to see the team selections, tactics and prematch chat before watching highlights of the matches and get the managers’ real-time reactions.

Jump to: Bundesliga vs. LaLiga | Ligue 1 vs. MLS | Liga MX vs. Serie A | Premier League vs. Eredivisie | Results, match stats & standings




Gab Marcotti (Bundesliga)

“So we completely battered MLS in the opener (our 4.00 xG tells its own story), but were held to a 1-1 draw. Part of me was tempted to lay into my forwards — Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland — for their poor finishing, but then I remembered they’re pretty good in real life so I figured I’d give them another go.

“Axel Witsel picked up an injury in midfield, which is fine. I’m putting Denis Zakaria in for him and that’s pretty much like-for-like. In fact, he might even be better suited to dealing with Memphis Depay. Witsel going out means I can have another Dortmund guy in my XI, so I put in Raphael Guerreiro for Angelino. I reckon Guerreiro can help pin Ousmane Dembele back and might even be a bit quicker than Angelino. Rodri went for pace up front — Inaki Williams, Vinicius Junior, Dembele — so I’m dropping Matthias Ginter for Edmond Tapsoba for this match.

“As ever, I expect the defenders to have their hands full with Lewandowski and Haaland. We need to keep them supplied with the ball, and that’s up to Moussa Diaby and Filip Kostic. Diaby, especially, could have done better in the opener. I have my eye on him.”

Rodrigo Faez (LaLiga)

“Despite our opening result (a 2-0 loss to Ligue 1), I will keep faith with the same group that played against Ligue 1. My formation will be 4-2-3-1 to take advantage of Inaki Williams’ pace. His speed will be the key of the game up front, as will his firepower in the opposition’s penalty area.

“In defence, it’ll be important to keep an eye on Haaland and Lewandowski. They should start, so that’s why I’ll stick with Eder Militao, Jules Kounde and Ferland Mendy, who all have plenty of pace for the counter-attacks.”


Bundesliga: 4-4-2, fast build-up (attack), press after long ball (defence)

First XI — Manuel Neuer; Nordi Mukiele, Mats Hummels, Edmond Tapsoba, Raphael Guerreiro; Moussa Diaby, Joshua Kimmich, Denis Zakaria, Filip Kostic; Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland

Substitutes — Koen Casteels, Angelino, Matthias Ginter, Florian Neuhaus, Serge Gnabry, Christopher Nkunku, Andrej Kramaric

LaLiga: 4-2-3-1, balanced (attack), balanced (defence)

First XI — Jan Oblak; Kieran Trippier, Jules Kounde, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy; Frenkie de Jong, Marcos Llorente; Ousmane Dembele, Memphis Depay, Vinicius Junior; Inaki Williams

Substitutes — Unai Simon, Pau Torres, Jose Gaya, Sergio Canales, Mikel Oyarzabal, Karim Benzema



Memphis Depay drives home from the spot to level things up vs. Bundesliga.



Julien Laurens (Ligue 1)

“The team performed so well against LaLiga that there’s no reason to change too much. We were strong and tactically disciplined in the first half, and then excellent with the ball after the break.

“Our 4-3-3 formation was well balanced and very effective, so we’ll keep the same tactics and the same starting XI apart from Hassane Kamara, who got injured by an over-the-top tackle. Tiago Djalo did a great job replacing him and will start at left-back against MLS. I have, however, made a tactical tweak, increasing the intensity by building attacks faster and pressing on turnovers to win the ball back quicker.”

Nedum Onuoha (Major League Soccer)

“This will likely be the biggest test of the whole event as we go up against the ‘anti-FFP’ Ligue 1 team. I mean, how do you stop Lionel Messi? Perhaps you don’t. However, my players were good enough to surprise a few people with a great performance and a 1-1 draw against the Bundesliga in the opening game.

“So I’m keeping it the same against Messi & Co., as everyone deserves to keep their place in my team for our second game.”


Ligue 1: 4-3-3, fast build-up (attack), press after losing ball (defence)

First XI — Anthony Lopes; Hamari Traore, Jason Denayer, Marquinhos, Tiago Djalo: Houssem Aouar, Benjamin Andre, Renato Sanches; Lionel Messi, Wissam Ben Yedder, Neymar

Substitutes — Pau Lopez, Youcef Atal, Nuno Mendes, Boubacar Kamara, Facundo Medina, Gelson Martins, Kylian Mbappe

MLS: 4-2-3-1. balanced (attack), balanced (defence)

First XI — Andre Blake; Kyle Duncan, Aaron Long, Miles Robinson, Kemar Lawrence; Diego Chara, Blaise Matuidi; Carlos Vela, Nicolas Lodeiro, Nani; Josef Martinez

Substitutes — Bill Hamid, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Kai Wagner, Giovani dos Santos, Yeferson Soteldo, Luiz Araujo, Raul Ruidiaz



Julien Laurens loses control as his Ligue 1 side equalise vs. Nedum Onuoha’s MLS.




Herc Gomez (Liga MX)

“Yes, we lost our first game, but I trust this lineup to get the job done. Aggression, pace and competitiveness all over the pitch, I need more service to Andre-Pierre Gignac and think that Maxi Meza and Nico Lopez can do it.

“We’re not overthinking things — we’re believing in ourselves and sticking to what we do best.”

Kay Murray (Serie A)

After an unlucky result against the Premier League’s best XI, the Calcio All-Stars are back at it. I’m giving them the continuity they need to keep developing the chemistry they showed against in their opening match.

“This team has it all, and should comfortably pick up three points against anyone they face from now on. They have “OP” (“overpowered”) defenders who will fancy their chances against any striker, a mix of box-to-box and attack-minded midfielders and a nice mix of high-rated strikers like Ciro Immobile and Lautaro Martinez to finish the MANY chances created for them.”


Liga MX: 4-3-3, fast build-up (attack), pressure on heavy touch (defence)

First XI — Nahuel Guzman; Juan Escobar, Matheus Doria, William Tesillo, Salvador Reyes; Fernando Gorriaran, Luis Romo, Richard Sanchez; Nico Lopez, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Maxi Meza

Substitutes — Guillermo Ochoa, Jorge Sanchez, Cesar Montes, Rogelio Funes Mori, Rubens Sambueza, Luis Montes, Orbelin Pineda

Serie A: 4-3-1-2, balanced (defence), balanced (attack)

First XI — Samir Handanovic; Juan Cuadrado, Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar, Theo Hernandez; Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Franck Kessie, Nicolo Barella; Paulo Dybala; Ciro Immobile, Lautaro Martinez

Substitutes — Mike Maignan, Leonardo Spinazzola, Giorgio Chiellini, Luis Alberto, Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa, Dries Mertens



Dries Mertens scores deep into injury time to give Serie A the win vs. Liga MX after some incredible saves from Nahuel Guzman.



Mark Ogden (Premier League)

“I’m adopting more or less the same approach as in the first game against Serie A, but with a change of personnel in order to keep the squad fresh and content.

“The inclusion of Jack Grealish will hopefully add to the attacking quality of the team, but it’s very much a case of continuing the form shown in the first game, but hopefully with fewer goals conceded. To help with that, this time we’ll have a balanced attacking approach, in a change to the focus on fast build-up play last time out.”

Fresia Cousino Arias (Eredivisie)

“We picked up a win on Matchday 1, beating Liga MX 2-1, but I’m not satisfied and know we must do better if we want to win this competition!

“We have momentum, confidence is rising and the Premier League team presents much more of a challenge. In comes Philipp Max at left-back to provide more stability and more defensive skill, while Joey Veerman offers more energy to chase and press the best England’s clubs have to offer.”


Premier League: 4-3-3, balanced (attack), press after losing ball (defence)

First XI — Edouard Mendy; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Ruben Dias, Lucas Digne; Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne; Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo

Substitutes — Ederson, Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Sadio Mane

Eredivisie: 4-2-2-2, balanced (attack), balanced (defence)

First XI — Justin Bijlow; Lutsharel Geertruida, Jurrien Timber, Marcos Senesi, Philipp Max; Joey Veerman, Fredrik Midtsjo; Mario Gotze, Cody Gakpo; Steven Berghuis, Dusan Tadic

Substitutes — Lars Unnerstall, Owen Wijndal, Riechedly Bazoer, Davy Klaassen, Joey Veerman, Eran Zahavi, Jesper Karlsson



Ibrahim Sangare scores one before being sent off for a horrible challenge on Harry Kane.


Group A

Bundesliga 1-1 LaLiga

Haaland 60′
Depay 66′

Ligue 1 3-1 Major League Soccer

Aouar 22′, Ben Yedder 62′ 70′
Martinez 13′

Group B

Liga MX 0-1 Serie A

Mertens 90′

Premier League 1-2 Eredivisie

Kane 6′
Sangare 20′ (sent off 32′), Midtsjo 24′


Group A

Bundesliga 1-1 Major League Soccer
Ligue 1 2-0 LaLiga

Group B

Premier League 4-2 Serie A
Liga MX 1-2 Eredivisie


Group A

Bundesliga vs. Ligue 1
Major League Soccer vs. LaLiga

Group B

Serie A vs. Eredivisie
Premier League vs. Liga MX

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