MATCH PREVIEWS


PREDICTION: FRANCE VS POLAND

QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP 4 DECEMBER @ 15:00 GMT

After topping Group D, France meet Group C second place Poland in the 2022 World Cup Round of 16, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, on Sunday. Both nations advanced despite losing their final group games.

France managed to break the defending champions curse at the World Cup but they couldn’t finish a perfect group run, after the surprizing 1-0 defeat against Tunisia. Up next Deschamps' team is a last 16 tie against  Poland.

In the last group stage game, Poland was defeated 2-0 by Argentina and qualified thanks to goal difference. For a while it looked to be even tighter than that, as at full-time in their match Poland had been going through on fair play having picked up fewer yellow cards than third-placed Mexico. A late goal for Saudi Arabia saved the day for the Polish.  Levandowski and co will have to perform much better than they have done so far in this competition if they want to make it through to the Quarter-Finals.

The possible start-up lines are:

France (4-2-3-1): Lloris - Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T Hernandez - Tchouameni, Rabiot - Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe - Giroud

Poland (4-2-3-1)Szczesny - Cash, Glik, Kiwior, Bereszynski - Krychowiak, Bielik - Frankowski, Zielinski, Kaminski – Lewandowski

The two countries have played one another 16 times in total. France won 8 games, Poland won 3 and 5 ended in draws. France have kept clean sheets in the last three meetings with Poland. The Polish failed to score in two of their three group games at the World Cup. Therefore, we back-up France to win to nil.

Our prediction: France to win to nil

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PREDICTION: ARGENTINA VS AUSTRALIA

QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP 3 DECEMBER @ 19:00 GMT

After the shock defeat to Saudi Arabia, Argentina secured the top spot in Group C and have been rewarded with what looks like an easy tie against Australia.

The Aussies exceeded all expectations to progress from their group, beating Denmark 1-0 in their final match to secure their place in the last 16. But in this round Arnold's well-drilled unit will be outsiders toa more formidable Argentina and will need to put in a lot more effort and concentration to make the  it to the final eight for the first time ever.

Argentina overcame after the surprising defeat against Saudi Arabia in their first group game to finish at the top of Group C and qualify for the round of 16. The Albiceleste secured an important 2-0 victory against Poland this week and will be confident ahead of this fixture.

Both Argentina and Australia should have no injury concerns coming into this game.

The possible start-up lines are:

Argentina (4-3-3): E. Martinez - Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Tagliafico - Mac Allister, Fernandez, De Paul - Alvarez, Messi, Di Maria

Australia (4-1-4-1): Ryan - Karacic, Souttar, Rowles, Behich – Mooy - Leckie, Irvine, McGree, Goodwin - Duke

We're expecting to see plenty of goals, most likely in favour of Argentina. In four of Argentina's last six games in all competitions there have been scored over 2.5 goals. Australia let in 4-goals against France in their first group game and their defence is likely to take another hammering at the hands of Messi and co in the last 16.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: SERBIA VS SWITZERLAND

QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP 2 DECEMBER @ 19:00 GMT

Serbia and Switzerland will play in the last round of group stages, to determine who gets to the Round of 16. Previously the two teams met in the same tournament stage, 4 years ago in Russia. In that game The Rossocrociati made it to the next round after a 2-1 victory with a late 90’ goal.

Serbia are the only team without a win in Group G and have just one point from two games. In their open group match The Eagles fell to an expected defeat against Brazil although they managed to hold on for quite some time. In the second game they draw 3-3 against Cameroon, after leading with a 2 goals advantage.

Switzerland are in a very good position to progress to the knockout stages, courtesy of a 1-0 victory against Cameroon in their first game in Group G. Even a draw would be enough for them to book a spot in the knockout round but if Cameroon defeat Brazil, the second-placed team will be decided on goal difference.

Serbia have no injury concerns for the game. On the other side Noah Okafor will need to be assed after an injury.  

The possible start-up lines are:

Serbia (3-4-3): Milinkovic-Savic - Milenkovic, Veljkovic, Pavlovic - Zivkovic, Maksimovic, Lukic, Kostic- Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Mitrovic

Switzerland (4-2-3-1): Sommer - Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez - Xhaka, Freuler - Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas - Embolo

This match will most likely be a tight contest and we expect to end in a draw.

Our prediction: Draw

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PREDICTION: INTER MILAN VS SAMPDORIA

SERIE A 29 OCTOBER @ 19:45 BST

Inter will be hosting Sampdoria at San Siro on Saturday afternoon. The too teams are in different situations now. Inter have manged to pick-up after a mediocre start of the season while Sampdoria are struggling in the relegation zone.

Inter are unbeaten in their last 7 games in all competitions and are playing catch-up with the rest of the Serie A title challengers. They are currently 8 points behind the leader Napoli so that for now a Champions League position seams more reasonable. With a victory in this match they could climb up to the fourth place depending on the other league results.

Sampdoria have recently appointed a new manager Dejan Stankovic, with whom they obtained their first victory of the season. Though they had to resist a tough from the newly promoted, Omar Colley’s 78th minute strike brought the 3 points to Sampdoria. With only one victory in their last 20 league trips to face Inter, ‘I Blucerchiati’ will have a very hard mission.

The possible start-up lines are:

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Onana - Skriniar, De Vrij, Acerbi - Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco - Correa, Martinez

Sampdoria (4-2-3-1): Audero - Bereszynski, Amione, Colley, Augello - Rincon, Villar - Gabbiadini, Sabiri, Djuricic - Caputo

Inter have picked up four wins from their last six league games against Sampdoria and have kept a clean sheet in their last three home games.

Our prediction: Inter to Win-to-Nil

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PREDICTION: LEICESTER VS MANCHESTER CITY

PREMIER LEAGUE 29 OCTOBER @ 12:30 BST

Manchester City will be traveling to King Power Stadium in Leicester for a new round of action in Premier League.

Leicester are currently 17th in the league table with 11 points from 12 games, just 2 points clear off the relegation zone. In the previous round they trashed Wolverhampton away 4-0 after an enchanting game and with two wins in a row their morale is high for the match against the champions. The three consecutive clean sheets also shows The Foxes are in the right direction, having eased some of the pressure of them. Furthermore they are unbeaten at home this month taking 7 points out of 9 possible.

The visitors are 2nd in the league and have been impressive so far this season. Being 2 point’s behind the leader Arsenal they will be looking to keep up with them. In Champions League The Citizens were held to a disappointing 0-0 at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola’s side have gone without a single victory or a single goal in their last three away games. More Worries for the fans is the possible absence of Erling Haaland.

The possible start-up lines are:

Leicester City (4-5-1): Ward - Castagne, Faes, Amartey, Justin – Soumare - Maddison, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes- Vardy

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson - Cancelo, Dias, Akanji, Laporte - Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne - Foden, Alvarez, Grealish

The last four league meetings between the two teams have ended with at least 7 goals. Moreover three of the host's last six outings have also produced 4 or more goals.

Our prediction: Over 3.5 goals

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PREDICTION: WERDER BREMEN VS HERTA BERLIN

BUNDESLIGA 28 OCTOBER @ 19:30 BST

Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin lock horns at the Wohninvest Weserstadion on Friday. Both teams will hope to gain points and stay above the relegation zone.

Werder Bremen will try to bounce back after a series of three defeats in all competitions. They are currently in the 11th place with 15 points, 4 more than their opponents. ‘Die Werderaner’ have earned most of their points on the road, obtaining just one victory on home soil. On the bright side Bremen have scored 2 goals or more in of the 11 games in Bundesliga.

The visitors are 3 points clear the relegation zone after their only second league win last week against Schalke (2-1). Second-half goals from Lucas Tousart and Wilfried Kanga helped them to bounce back after five winless games.

The possible start-up lines are:

Werder Bremen (3-5-2): Pavlenka - Pieper, Veljkovic, Stark - Weiser, Schmid, Bittencourt, Stage, Jung - Fullkrug, Ducksch

Hertha Berlin (4-4-2): Christensen - Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt - Tousart, Serdar - Lukabakio, Ejuke - Kanga, Jovetic

We expect to see an entertaining encounter with plenty of goals. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Hertha Berlin's last 3 games in Bundesliga. Moreover, Werder Bremen have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 matches against Hertha Berlin in all competitions.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: FIORENTINA VS INTER MILAN

SERIE A 22 OCTOBER @ 19:45 BST

The final game to be played on Saturday, October 22nd in Serie A, is an important clash at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The host are currently in 13th place in the Serie A after an inconsistent evolution this season so far. They have only taken 4 points out of the last 5 games in the domestic league. In their previous match Fiorentina drew 1-1 away at Lecce. In the past few years, Fiorentina have failed to win against Inter in any of the clubs' last 10 league meetings and they are currently 8 points behind.

Inter are in seventh place in the league table. In the previous game they have past Salernitana by a 2-0 margin. The Nerazzurri will look to achieve a similar result this weekend. In Champions League they have managed to take 4 points off their rivals Barcelona and stand a very good chance to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition.

The possible start-up lines are:

Fiorentina (4-5-1):Terracciano - Dodo, Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi - Amrabat, Bonaventura; Gonzalez, Barak, Kouame  Cabral

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Onana - Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni - Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco - Martinez, Dzeko

We saw three or more goals in three of the last five head-to-head duels. Moreover Inter have scored and conceded in all of their last nine Serie A away matches - each game ending with a total of at least three goals scored. Therefor we expect to see over 2.5 goals scored in this match.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED

PREMIER LEAGUE 22 OCTOBER @ 17:30 BST

Chelsea is in the fourth position in Premier League, only separated by one point from Manchester United currently fifth. We expect a very close match and a tight result as both teams have had good performances lately.

Although Chelsea have shown marked improvement under Graham Potter, they played out a 0-0 stalemate against Brentford this week. The Blues will be hoping to get all the three points and continue chasing the leader Arsenal which is already 7 points ahead. Previously Chelsea had an impressive run with 5 consecutive wins in all competitions and will be a tough nut to crack for United.

Manchester United obtained a massive victory against Tottenham Hotspur midweek and will be intent on establishing their top-four. The Red Devils haven't lost any of their last five matches in all competitions and they are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 games against Chelsea.

The possible start-up lines are:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Kepa - Azpilicueta, Silva, Chalobah - Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell - Sterling, Mount - Aubameyang

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea - Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw - Casemiro, Fred - Antony, Fernandes, Sancho – Rashford

The last four meetings between the two clubs have ended in stalemates than have produced under 2.5 goals. These two sides are perfectly matched and Saturday's encounter. We expect this match to end in a draw.

Our prediction: Draw

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PREDICTION: PORTO VS BENFICA

PRIMEIRA LIGA 21 OCTOBER @ 20:15 BST

Porto and Benfica meet on Friday night at Estádio do Dragão in one of the classic Portuguese derbies. The two teams occupy the first two places in the league table and are only separated by 3 points. In case of a victory Porto would equalize the current leader Benfica.

Porto come into this game on the back of a 6-0 win over Anadia in the third round of the Taca de Portugal. Previously they won 3-0 at Leverkusen in Champions League continuing their excellent run of 5 wins in all competitions. Sergio Conceicao's side have scored 17 goals, while they have kept four consecutive clean sheets.

On the other side Benfica, beat Caldas 1-1 (3-5 after penalties) in the third round of the Taca de Portugal. They are still yet to lose this season, in all competitions after 18 games. In Premeira Liga, they have won eight of their nine matches. Benfica draw in four out of their last five games, but two of those have come against a top European club PSG in the Champions League.

The possible start-up lines are:

Porto (4-4-2): Costa - Mario, Cardoso, Carmo, Zaidu - Otavio, Uribe, Eustaquio, Pepe - Evanilson, Taremi

Benfica (4-2-3-1): Vlachodimos - Gilberto, A. Silva, Otamendi, Grimaldo - Fernandez, Aursenes - Goncalves, Mario, R. Silva – Ramos

Benfica were unable to win at Estádio do Dragão since 2019 and will face a highly motivated FC Porto. Still they will be keen to protect the three point advantage in the league table. We expect the match to end in a draw.

Our prediction: Draw

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PREDICTION: ALANYASPOR VS ANTALYASPOR

TURKISH SUPER LIG 14 OCTOBER @ 18:00 BST


Antalyaspor travels to Bahçeşehir School Arena for the Super Lig game, round 10, against Alanyaspor on Friday night. Neither of these teams are in particularly good form and, as such, both could really do with three points.

Alanyaspor have only taken 4 points from their last five games and they are currently on the 11th place in the league table with 9 points from 9 games. In the previous round, on Sunday they have lost 1-0 at Hatayspor after Burak Oksuz scored in the 72nd minute, resulting in a third away defeat.  On the bright side Alanya have lost just one of their last five games on home soil which give them hopes for the Friday’s match.

Although Anatalyaspor have won 2 of their first 3 opening games Nuri Sahin’s further evolution is disappointing. In the last 5 games they have 4 defeats and 1 draw. The Scorpions are occupying the 16th place with 7 points form 8 games and they are currently in the relegation zone.  

The possible start-up lines are:

Alanyaspor (4-3-3): Runarsson - Pereira, Bayir, Aksoy, Balkovec - Doumbia, Gunes, Bekiroglu  Karaca, Aydin, Koka

Antalyaspor (4-2-3-1): Usyal - Balci, Sari, Toprak, Vural - Fernando, Akyol - Gumus, Adriano, Ghacha - Wright

Although the have lost their last 3 heads-t-o heads against Antalyaspor, Antalyaspor is in a much better shape lately picking up some points. Moreover their opponents have lost three of their five on the road games including their last two.

Our prediction: Alanyaspor to win

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PREDICTION: NETHERLANDS VS BELGIUM

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 25 SEPTEMBER @ 19:45 BST


Belgium will be travelling to Amsterdam, for the UEFA Nations League match on against Netherlands on Sunday. The Dutch only need one point in this match to qualify in the competition finals. Back in June Netherlands have won 4-1 away in Belgium.

Holland won in the previous round in Poland 2-0 and are currently the leader of League A, Group 4, three points clear from their Sunday opponent. Louis van Gall remains unbeaten in an impressive series of 14 games since taking over in August 2021

Belgium are sitting in the second place in Group 4 and will be hopping to overtake the top spot from Netherlands. Earlier this week The Red Devils edged Wales 2-1, in an important win.

Out of 138 games played between the teams, Netherlands have won 56 whereas Belgium have managed 41 victories, 41 ended in a draw.

Team news

Netherlands are missing Tim Krul while other 4 players are doubtful: Teun Koppmeiners, Mephis Depay, Steven Berghuis and Frenkie de Jong. Belgium have no absent players.

The possible start-up lines are:

Netherlands (3-5-2): Pasveer - Timber, van Dijk, Ake - Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Berguis, Blind - Bergwijn, Gakpo

Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois - Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Theate - Castagne, Tielemans, Witsel, Carrasco - De Bruyne, Hazard – Batshuay

We expect to see an open, entertaining clash on Sunday with many goals as three of the last seven meetings between the two have witnessed at least four goals scored. Moreover, four of the Netherlands' last five games in the Nations League have produced over 2.5 goals and in Belgium’s last six games there were scored at least three goals.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: CZECH REPUBLIC VS PORTUGAL

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 24 SEPTEMBER @ 19:45 BST


Czech Republic are set to play Portugal at the Eden Arena on Saturday in the UEFA Nations League. Back in June Portugal won 2-0. In four head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Portugal hold a clear advantage. They have won three games and lost one.

Czech Republic will aim to keep their top flight position, currently being third in the group, three points below their visitors. In the previous round the ‘The Locomotive’ lost 2-0 against the leader Spain.

Portugal will attempt to keep their hopes for the final. They currently occupy the second place in League A, Group 2, just one point below Spain. Previously, ‘The Navigators’ lost 1-0 in Switzerland.

Team news

Cristiano Ronaldo, the leading goalscorer for his country is back after missing the first 4 games in Nations League. For Czech Republic there are no absents among the top selected players.

The possible start-up lines are:

Czech Republic (3-4-3): Vaclik - Zima, Brabec, Jemelka - Coufal, Kral, Soucek, Zeleny - Cerny, Schick, Hlozek

Portugal (4-3-): Patricio - Dalot, Dias, Pereira, Mendes - Neves, Carvalho, Fernandes - B. Silva, Ronaldo, Leao

Portugal have the ambition of a top spot and a final in Nations League this year. Despite their absences in defence, a strong midfield should be enough to allow them to control the game. On the other side Czech Republic will be looking to maintain their group position and avoid relegation.

Our prediction: Portugal to win

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PREDICTION: ITALY VS ENGLAND

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 23 SEPTEMBER @ 19:45 BST


Italy will host England in the UEFA Nations League today, looking to pick up a morale-boosting victory on home soil.

The Azzurri still hold a chance of making it to the finals of the competition. They are currently third in the group, just one point behind the second place. In the previous game they lost with a categorical score, 5-2 in Germany.

England head into this contest on the back of some disappointing performances, and they are still winless from their last four games.  With just two points earned, England are the last in Group 3 and stand very little chances of moving to the next round. In the previous game The Three Lions have been trashed by Hungary 4-0 at home.

Back in June the two teams butted heads in front of a youthful Molineux crowd, with only children and their guardians permitted to attend. The game ended in a draw 0-0 with England’s team in possession 58% of the time.

The possible start-up lines are:

Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma - Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Bonucci, Emerson - Barella, Tonali, Jorginho - Gnonto, Immobile, Grifo

England (3-4-3): Ramsdale - James, Tomori, Maguire - Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, Chilwell - Sterling, Kane, Foden

Neither team have been in great form of late with both having serious trouble in the previous games. Moreover, three of the last four head to heads have ended level.

Our prediction: Draw

Image credit: uefa.com


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PREDICTION: ATLETICO MADRID VS REAL MADRID

LA LIGA 18 SEPTEMBER @ 20:00 BST


Real Madrid will be the visitors at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday for the La Liga local derby against Atlético Madrid. In the Champions League earlier this week, both clubs faced German teams but endured and enjoyed contrasting nights.

Real Madrid go into this clash after a 2-0 Champions League victory with the eclipse of RB Leipzig in their last match. With a brilliant start of a season, they are the leader in La Liga with maximum of points. A win on Sunday would boast a perfect track record for the previous 6 games.

Atlético Madrid will be looking to improve on their last match, a 2-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League. In La Liga they have ten points, and a +5 goal difference from three wins, a draw and a loss in the five matches played, currently sitting on the 7th place. In their last league match, Los Colchoneros beat Celta Vigo 4-1.

Atletico are missing the injured Stefan Savic, Jan Oblak and Jose Gimenez. Thomas Lemar and Sergio Reguilon are also doubtful. Real has one missing player Karim Benzema. Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez are doubtful for Los Blancos.

The possible start-up lines are:

Atletico Madrid (3-5-2): Grbic- Reinido, Lemar, Llorente, Paul, Niguez - Morata, Felix

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois-  Mendy, Alaba, Rudiger, Carvajal – Modric, Tchoameni, Kroos – Hazard, Junior, Valverde

Real Madrid are on an eight-game winning streak in all competitions after beating Mallorca 4-1, and RB Leipzig 2-0. Their firepower and current shape looks unstoppable for any defence.

Our prediction: Real Madrid to Win

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PREDICTION: WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS VS MANCHESTER CITY

PREMIER LEAGUE 17 SEPTEMBER @ 12:30 BST


Premier League is back in action this weekend. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City lock horns at Molineux Stadium on Saturday.

The Citizens return to the domestic league after two Champions League victories, 2-1 at home against Dortmund and 4-0 away at Sevilla. They have made an impressive start of season winning six out of the eight games and drawing two. In Premier League, City sits 2nd, 1 point behind the leader Arsenal. A win in this match could take Guardiola’s team in the first place of the League Table.

The hosts have not been in action since beating Southampton 1-0 on September 3. Currently they occupy the 14th place and are yet to hit their stride this season. Although they possess a three-game unbeaten run, a lack of firepower is felt in Lage’s side is felt, having only scored 5 goals this season.

The new transfer Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho are out injured, whereas Diego Costa is doubtful for the Wolfes. The Citizens have two doubtful players: Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Wlker.

The possible start-up lines are:

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa - Jonny, Kilman, Collins, Ait-Nouri - Nunes, Neves, Moutinho - Neto, Jimenez, Podence

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson - Stones, Akanji, Dias, Cancelo - Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne - Silva, Haaland, Foden

In four out of the last six encounters in Premier League between the two team have been scored over 2.5 goals. Furthermore, in City’s six of the last eight games there have been seen over 2.5 goals.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: MAINZ VS HERTHA BERLIN

BUNDESLIGA 16 SEPTEMBER @ 29:30 BST


Mainz and Hertha Berlin meet tonight in the Bundesliga at the MEWA ARENA. With a win, Mainz could move into the league top four. The 05ers are targeting their third victory in a row over Hertha.

Mainz have mixed results this season. They are sixth in the league table with ten points from six games after winning three games, drawing one and loosing two. In the previous round Mainz lost away at Hoffenheim (4-1), playing in 10 after the 41’ dismissal of Alexander Hack.

In the previous round Hertha recorded a 2-2 draw at Leverkusen. Under the new coach Sandro Schwartz, they managed to get four points from their last two matches after a difficult start of a season.

Mainz are missing Alexander Hack (after the previous round red card) and Marcus Ingvartsen wit a knee injury. Burkardt is doubtful. On the other side, Hertha are missing Kelian Nsona and Linus Gechter which are both injured.

The possible start-up lines are:

Mainz (3-4-3): Zentner - Tauer, Bell, Leitsch - Widmer, Kohr, Barreiro, Caricol - Lee, Burgzorg; Onisiwo

Hertha Berlin (4-3-3): Christensen - Kenny, Uremovic, Kempf, Plattenhardt - Tousart, Sunjic, Serdar - Lukebakio, Kanga, Ejuke

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of Mainz's last 10 games in Bundesliga. Moreover, in the previous season clash between the two, there were score three goals (2-1 win for Mainz).

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: RENNES VS FENERBAHCE 

EUROPA LEAGUE 15 SEPTEMBER @ 20:00 BST


One of the most interesting matches in the upcoming round of Europa League is the Rennes vs Fenerbahce taking place at Roazhon Park tonight.

Both teams have won their first-round games in Europa League group stages. A second victory would give a good head-start in the qualifications for any of the two. In the domestic championship both teams are also doing well so far.

Rennes have won in the previous round with a late 94’ goal at AEK Larnaca in a very balanced game against a tough and well-organized team. In Ligue I, Les Rennais obtain a very clear victory 5-0 against Auxerre. Currently they sit six in the league table 2 points below a European competition place.

Fenerbahce have also won in the previous round with a late goal (92’) against Dynamo Kiev. In Super Lig the Yellow Cannaries won the last game against Kayserispor 2-0 and are occupying now the 7th place in the table, but with one game played less. A victory would allow them to climb up to the 2nd position.

The possible start-up lines are:

Rennes (4-2-3-1): Mandanda - Traore, Rodon, Theate, Meling - Ugochukwu, Tait - Bourigeaud, Majer, Sulemana - Abline

Fenerbahce (3-5-2): Bayindir - Henrique, Szalai, Peres - Kadioglu, Kahveci, Arao, Crespo, Alioski- King, Pedro

Both teams have scored in their first-round matches. Fenerbahce scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 Europa League games. Rennes have scored at least 2 goals in 3 of their last 4 games in all competitions. We expect this to be a close match and to see goals on both sides.

Our prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS BARCELONA 

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 13 SEPTEMBER @ 20:00 BST


Barcelona will play away tonight at Allianz Arena in Munich against Bayern in a classic European derby. In the first round of UEFA Champions League, groups stage, both teams have won their games.

The Bavarians won 2-0 at Inter Milan. Sane scored the first goal, followed by an own goal of Inter’s center-back Danilo D’Ambrosio. In Bundesliga, Bayern have won 3 games and draw 3, currently sitting 3rd in the table. After a brilliant start, they have only managed to draw the last 3 matches, including Saturday’s 2-2 at home against Stuttgart.

Barcelona are in a better shape with an impressive start of the new season, winning 5 of their last 6 games in all competitions. In Champion’s League they trashed Victoria Plzen 5-1 at home. In La Liga on Saturday, The Catalans won without any doubts 4-0 at Cadiz. Moreover, Xavi’s team have scored 20 goals and only conceded 2.

Bayern is missing Kingsley Coman (injured) which most probably will be replaced by Jamal Musiala. Bouna Sarr is also doubtful. Barcelona has no missing players.

The possible start-up lines are:

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, De Ligt, L Hernandez, Davies - Kimmich, Sabitzer - Gnabry, Muller, Sane - Mane

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen - Kounde, Araujo, E Garcia, Balde - Gavi, Busquets, Pedri - Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembele

Bayern Munich averaged 4 goals/game in Bundesliga so far whereas Barcelona averaged 3.2 in La Liga. Furthermore, in the last 5 H2H matches, the two teams averaged 6.2 goals. Therefore, we expect to see plenty of goals tonight.

Our prediction: Over 3.5 goals

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PREDICTION: INTER MILAN VS TORINO 

SERIE A 10 SEPTEMBER @ 17:00 BST


Inter Milan and Torino lock horns at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Serie A today.

Inter aims to bounce back after two defeats: 2-0 at Bayern Munich in Champions League and 3-2 with the city rivals Milan, last weekend. The Milanese team seats 8th in the table after five games, 4 points below the leader Atalanta. Still, looking at the previous games Inter have won each of their last six in Serie A, scoring at least two goals. Moreover, they have gone unbeaten against Torino since 2019, winning five games and drawing one.

Torino returned to winning ways last week against Lecce with a 1-0 win. Previously, the Turin team picked up three wins and one draw from their first four games across all competitions. They have only suffered one defeat away, against the leader Atalanta (3-1) on the 1st of September.

The possible start-up lines are:

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic - Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni - Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Darmian - Correa, Martinez

Torino (3-4-2-1): Milinkovic-Savic - Djidji, Buongiorno, Rodriguez - Lazaro, Lukic, Linetty, Vojvoda - Radonjic, Vlasic – Sanabria

In Inter’s five of the last six games this season there have been scored at least three goals, with their last four Serie A tussles averaging 4.0. Torino have scored in 5 of the last 6 games this season.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: INTER MILAN VS BAYERN MUNICH 

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 7 SEPTEMBER @ 20:00 BST


Inter Milan host Bayern Munich at San Siro today in the first round of Group C of UEFA Champions League. The two European giants meet for the first time in the last 5 years in all competitions. In Champions League they have previously met in the season 2010/2011 when Inter eliminated Bayern in the 16th round thanks to an away goal after 3-3 on aggregates.

This season both clubs are in a good shape although the last round didn’t see any of the teams winning.

Nerazzurri won three games and lost two in Serie A currently sitting 8th in the league table.  On Sunday they lost in the Milanese derby 3-2 against Milan in a well balanced game. Still Inter are the division's second-top scorers and have won each of their last six league games as hosts.

Bayern have won four of their last six games in all competitions this season and they are 3rd in Bundesliga, just one point behind Freiburg and Dortmund. In the previous round The Bavarians only managed a 1-1 draw away at Union Berlin. But with an impressive number of 26 goals scored in all competitions, Inter’s defence should have some serious concerns.

The possible start-up lines are:

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic - Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni - Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco - Martinez, Dzeko

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, De Ligt, Upamecano, Davies - Sabitzer, Kimmich - Coman, Musiala, Sane – Mane

Bayern have won 3 of their away matches against Inter in all competitions and are still unbeaten this season. Inter lost 2 out of the last 5 games and have a fragile defence. Therefore, we expect Bayern to win the game.  

Our prediction: Bayern Munich to win

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS ARSENAL 

PREMIER LEAGUE 4 SEPTEMBER @ 16:30 BST


Manchester United host the leader Arsenal at Old Trafford in a classic derby on Sunday, which is the real test for both teams.

Arsenal have started the season with five straight wins getting the maximum points on offer in Premier League. However, they have not met yet any of the top teams and they are struggling with injuries in midfield.

Manchester United have won their last three league games. With the three consecutive wins over Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester, The Reds sit 5th in the table league before this round. Still, they have only scored five goals so far which is the least of any teams in the first half,

In the last six direct game, Arsenal have won three games, draw two and lost just one.

The possible start-up lines are:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea - Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia - Casemiro, Eriksen - Sancho, Fernandes, Ronaldo - Rashford

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale - White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko - Xhaka, Lokonga - Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli – Jesus

Although Arsenal have made a phenomenal start of season, they are facing some serious injuries issues and meeting a top rival which appears to be finding their feet recently. Therefore, we predict the game will end in a draw.

Our prediction: Draw

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS WEST HAM 

PREMIER LEAGUE 3 SEPTEMBER @ 15:00 BST


West Ham makes a short trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday for a new London derby with Chelsea. The two team are having a hesitating start of season and it’s time for both to get to wining ways.

Chelsea is having the worst start of season since 2015/2016 occupying the 10th place with just 7 points from 15 on offer. In the previous round The Blues lost at Southampton 2-1 on Tuesday night. On the bright side the acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (who is currently injured with a broken jaw) and Thomas Tuchel should bring a much needed improvement.

West Ham have lost three of the five matches in Premier League so far. Still, The Hammers are getting a momentum after collecting four points from the last two games with Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.

Heads-to-heads, Chelsea have secured three wins from their last four matches against West Ham having a higher morale to their opponents.

The possible start-up lines are:

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy - Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly - Azpilicueta, Gallagher, Jorginho, Cucurella - Mount, Sterling, Broja

West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Fabianski - Coufal, Kehrer, Zouma, Palmieri - Rice, Soucek - Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals – Antonio

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Chelsea's last 4 games in Premier League. Therefore we expect to see over 2.5 in this game.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS FULHAM 

PREMIER LEAGUE 3 SEPTEMBER @ 15:00 BST


Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham meet on Saturday in their first London derby after The Cottagers returned in the top flight.

Tottenham are third in the table heading into the weekend. They will be hoping to return to winning ways after the 1-1 draw at West Ham in midweek. The hosts are yet to lose this season in Premier League, picking up three wins and two draws, scoring 10 goals and receiving 4.

Fulham have won at home on Tuesday this week, 2-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion. The Cottagers have gained eight points from the first 15 points on offer and held a respectable 7th place in the table. But on the road they are yet to win this season in all competitions. They also failed to win any of their last three Championship games on the road last term.

In the previous clashes Tottenham was clearly the better team having won 6 of the last 7 games in all competitions.

The possible start-up lines are:

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3): Lloris - Sanchez, Dier, Davies - Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bissouma, Sessegnon - Richarlison, Kane, Son

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno - Tete, Ream, Adarabioyo, Robinson - Reed, Palhinha - Decordova-Reid, Pereira, Kebano – Mitrovic

In four of the last six encounters between Tottenham and Fulham we have seen goals on both sides.

Our prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: FENERBAHCE VS AUSTRIA VIENNA 

EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY-OFF 25 AUGUST @ 18:00 BST


Austria Vienna travel to Ulker Stadyumu Fenerbahce in Istambul for the second leg of the Europa League qualifiers. After a doubtless 2-0 win away for Fenerbahce, the mission for the Austrian team to outturn the qualification seams close to impossible.

In the first leg Joshua King scored early (8’) announcing a clearly controlled game for The Yellow Canaries with 63% possession. The Viennese team struggled to come back in the game having only 2 shots on target in the whole match. To make things more frustrating Serdan Dursun expanded the difference on the scoreboard with an 89’ goal.

Fenerbahce are on a three-game winning streak and have not lost any of the last six in all competitions, with the last defeat dating back in July against Dynamo Kiev.

On the other side Austria Vienna have won the last two games in Bundesliga but the overall performance this season is mediocre: 3 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw in all competitions.

The possible start-up lines are:

Fenerbahce (3-4-3): Bayindir - Lemos, Szalai, Peres - Kadioglu, Yuksek, Crespo, Alioski - Rossi, Dursun, Valencia

Austria Vienna (5-3-2): Fruchtl - Ranftl, Handl, Muhl, Koumetio, Da Graca - Braunoda, Fischer, Holland - Gruber, Fitz

Fenerbahce showed the difference in between them and Austria Wien in the first leg and we expect them to have an even easier job in the return game on the home soil.

Our prediction: Fenerbahce to win to nil

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PREDICTION: PSV EINDHOVEN VS GLASGOW RANGERS 

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFIERS FINALS 24 AUGUST @ 20:00 BST


PSV Eindhoven host today Rangers at Philips Stadion for the second leg of the Champions League qualifiers final. In the first leg PSV were able to get a hard-earned draw with a late goal. This leaves the qualification to be decided in tonight’s match. However the losing team will play in the Europa League Groups stage.

In last week’s match PSV took the lead in 37’ with Ibrahim Sangare’s goal, but the host equalised just three minutes later through Antonio Colak. The 70th minute saw the hosts edge in front with a strike from Tom Lawrence. Armando Obispo’s header brought the equaliser in 78’.

In Eredivisie, PSV won 3-1 at Eagles in the previous round and 4-1 home with Emmen. They are undefeated the season so far in all competitions.

Rangers have 1 draw and 3 wins in Premiership and stand 2nd in the table 2 points behind Celtic. In the previous round of Champion’s League qualifiers, The Gers had encountered serious opposition from the Belgium team Royale Union and managed to pass over with 3-2 on aggregate.

The possible start-up lines are:

PSV (4-3-3): Benitez - Teze, Ramalho, Obispo, Max - Sangare, Veerman, Gutierrez - Saibari, De Jong, Gakpo

Rangers (4-3-3): McLaughlin - Tavernier, Goldson, Sands, Barisic - Lundstram, Davis, Jack - Tillman, Colak, Kent

After the draw from the first leg, PSV should be able to make use of home advantage and pick up a slender advantage, progressing to the next stage.

Our prediction: PSV to win the match

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PREDICTION: BENFICA VS DYNAMO KIEV

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFIERS FINALS 23 AUGUST @ 20:00 BST


Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv meet today at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica stadium, for the second leg of the Champions League qualification final. In the previous match last week, the Portuguese club, secured a comfortable two-goal advantage.

The Eagles head into the game after a 11-game winning streak across all competitions, having lost the last time back in May, 1-0 against Porto in Primeira Liga. This season they are going without losses in the championship having won all three games so far.

Dynamo Kiev is in a difficult situation due to the war in Ukraine. Most of their previous season squad has left the team, meaning that the current team is far from being competitive. Moreover, the domestic championship is suspended and the European games are being played away.

The possible start-up lines are:

Benfica Lisbon (4-2-3-1):
Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Otamendi, FMorato, Grimaldo - Luis, Fernandez - Mario, Silva, Neres - Ramos

Dynamo Kiev (4-3-3): Bushchan - Kedziora, Zabarnyi, Syrota, Dubinchak - Shaparenko, Andriyevskiy, Shepeliev - Buyalskyi, Tsygankov, Besedin

With both team heading into attacks we expect to see a total of more than 2.5 goals.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals


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PREDICTION: OSASUNA VS SEVILLA

LA LIGA, 12 AUGUST @ 20:00 BST


Sevilla will look to kick off their La Liga campaing in style when they take on Osasuna at Estadio el Sadar. Los Sevillanos were having their ups and downs in pre-season, but they did well to beat Cadiz thanks to Thomas Delaney’s goal. The Andalusian outfit are undefeated in the previous five meetings with Osasuna in Pamplona, which is surely giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of Friday’s clash.

New signing Marcao is likely to make his La Liga debut against los Rojillos, as well as loanees Isco and Alex Telles. Osasuna, on the other hand, will rely on new recruit Moi Gomez, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition back-line. Anyhow, away win should be considered as Osasuna suit Sevilla. All Kike Saverio, Aitor Fernandez, and Ante Budimir are injured for the hosts, while there are no absentees in the away side.

Our prediction is: Draw

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PREDICTION: FREIBURG VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND

BUNDESLIGA, 12 AUGUST @ 19:30 BST


Europa-Park Stadion will host Friday’s Bundesliga game between Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund. Freiburg could not have wished for a better start to the season, with the team rolling over Augsburg 4-0 on the road, and they must be high on spirits ahead of the visit of Borussia Dortmund. A man to watch in the home team will be Italian winger Vincenzo Grifo, who continues where he left last season. All Kimberly Ezekwem, Lukas Kubler, Lucas Holer, and Kevin Schade should miss out with injuries for the home side.

Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, defeated Bayer Leverkusen thanks to Marco Reus’ goal. The club chiefs are still searching for Erling Haaland’s replacement as new signing Sebastien Haller remains on the sidelines alongside Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Karim Adeyemi, Tom Rothe, and Niklas Sule. Anyhow, beating Freiburg on the road is easier said than done.

Our prediction is: Draw

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PREDICTION: PSV VS MONACO

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFIERS SEMI-FINALS 8 AUGUST @ 19:30 BST


PSV and Monaco meet today at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven for the second leg of the Champions League Qualifiers Semi-Final.

In the first leg, the match was very tight ending 1-1. Although PSV hoped to secure a good advantage taking the league through Joey Veerman (39’), they were equalized by Axel Disasi (80’). This leave everything to today’s match, with both sides standing fair chances to qualify in the playoff.

The season started very encouraging for PSV with a 5-3 win over Ajax in the Super Cup final and a 4-1 win at home against Emmen in Eredivisie. Monaco started with a 2-1 win at Strasbourg in Ligue 1.

The possible start-up lines are:

PSV Eindhoven (4-3-3): Benitez - Hoever, Teze, Obispo, Max- Sangare, Veerman, Til - Bakayoko, De Jong, Gakpo

Monaco (4-2-3-1): Nubel - Vanderson, Disasi, Maripan, Jakobs - Matazo, Fofana - Diop, Volland, Golovin - Ben Yedder

PSV Eindhoven have no losses in their last five matches, with four wins and a draw. In that five-game stretch they scored a lot of goals averaging over three goals per game. PSV scored four or more goals on three occasions. On the other side, Monaco had no wins in four games prior to last weekend’s victory. Having that said, we are predicting that PSV will win the match.

Our prediction: PSV to win 

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PREDICTION: PSG VS NANTES

FRANCE, SUPER CUP 31 JULY @ 19:00 GMT


There will be fireworks when PSG and Nantes face each other at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv in the French Super Cup. Les Parisiens regained the Ligue 1 trophy without any difficulties last term, and, no doubt, they want to kick off the new season in great manner as well. Angel Di Maria is no longer part of the team, but the club chiefs did well to keep hold of attacking trio Messi – Mbape – Neymar in the summer transfer window.

New signings Vitinha and Nordi Mukiele should make their PSG debuts in the Super Cup. Les Canaris, on the other hand, head into the match following back-to-back wins over Caen and Lorient in pre-season, but the star-studded capital club will pose a much bigger threat for the nominal visitors than their previous rivals. Defender Charles Traore should be the only absentee in the away team, while there are no injury worries in the home team.

Our prediction: PSG win the match

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PREDICTION: RB LEIPZIG VS BAYERN MUNICH

GERMANY, SUPER CUP 30 JULY @ 19:30 GMT


There will be fireworks when Leipzig and Bayern Munich face each other at Red Bull Arena in a highly-anticipated German Super Cup. Leipzig did well to win the DFB Pokal last season, with the team booking their place in the Champions League as well, but keep in mind that the likes of Nordi Mukiele, Tyler Adams, and Brian Brobbey are no longer part of the team.

As always, a man to keep an eye on in the home team will be France international Christopher Nkunku, who scored 20 goals in the Bundesliga last term. The Bavarians, on the other hand, did well to sign the likes of Sadio Mane, Ryan Graveneberch, and Noussair Mazraoui in the summer, but key striker Robert Lewandowski is no longer part of the team. Since new FCB recruits will need time to adapt to the new surroundings, we believe that there is a big value in betting on draw.

Our prediction: Draw

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS MANCHESTER CITY

ENGLAND, COMMUNITY SHIELD 30 JULY @ 17:00 GMT

All eyes will be on King Power Stadium when Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head in the 2022 Community Shield. The Reds did well to crush Leipzig 5-0 in their last warm-up game, with summer signing Darwin Nunez scoring four goals, and, no doubt, the former Benfica man will lead the line for Jurgen Klopp’s team against Man City. Sadio Mane is no longer part of the team, but the opposition back-line should have Mohamed Salah at bay.

The Citizens, on the other hand, will rely on big-money signing Erling Haaland in the upcoming season. The Norway rising star scored the winner in a friendly against Bayern Munich, and we predict that he will make life difficult for Liverpool defenders as well. Given the attacking potentials of the two sides, both teams to score betting option should definitely be considered. Aymeric Laporte remains in the recovery room, while Jurgen Klopp should have a full squad to choose from for the trophy game.

Our prediction: Both teams to score and 3+ goals in match

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PREDICTION: LOS ANGELS FC VS NEW YORK RED BULLS

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER 26 JUNE @ 20:00 GMT

Los Angeles FC will play in this game after a 1-1 MLS draw vs Seattle Sounders FC. In that game, Los Angeles FC had 47% possession and 11 attempts at goal with 7 of them on target. The only player on the scoresheet for Los Angeles FC was Cristián Arango (79'). For their opponents, Seattle Sounders FC got 13 shots at goal with 5 of them on target. Albert Rusnák (58') was the scorer for Seattle Sounders FC.

It has been all too rare in recent times where Los Angeles FC have kept a clean sheet. The reality is that Los Angeles FC have seen their defense breached in 5 of their previous 6 clashes, leaking 10 goals along the way. We will find out whether or not that trend can be continued on here.

New York Red Bulls will come into the clash following a 3-0 Open Cup win in the defeat of New York City FC in their previous outing. Through-out their six latest matches, Gerhard Struber's New York Red Bulls have had reason to celebrate scoring 9 times - yielding them a goals scored per game average of 1.5.

The last league clash between the two was MLS match day 30 on 12/08/2019 when it ended Los Angeles FC 4-2 New York Red Bulls. In that match, Los Angeles FC managed 60% possession and 12 shots on goal with 6 on target. The goal-scorers were Jordan Harvey (23'), Latif Blessing (25'), Tyler Miller (45' Own goal), Carlos Vela (61') and Eddie Segura (72').New York Red Bulls got 11 attempts at goal with 4 of them on target. Cristian Cásseres (42') was the scorer.

Our prediction: Under 1.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: WALES VS BELGIUM

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 11 JUNE @ 19:45 GMT

Wales play host to Belgium in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday evening having suffered back-to-back defeats in Group A4. Although the Dragons will be satisfied with their World Cup spot, they require a result against a Belgium side who have just hit six past Poland.

Having matched the highs that they achieved during Euro 2016 with qualification for the World Cup, it was always going to be a big ask for Wales to collect a result against the Netherlands on Wednesday. To the credit of Rob Page and his team, they came within seconds of earning a hugely credible result in Cardiff, equalizing through Rhys Norrington-Davies in the 92nd minute. However, the visitors went straight up the other end, Wout Weghorst netting the decisive goal to earn his team a 2-1 win and condemn Wales to their second successive Nations League setback. With Belgium and the reverse fixture with Netherlands still to come before June 14, no-one would be quick to criticize Wales if they continue to fall short, a five-match period over two weeks a brutal end to an already-exhausting campaign. Nevertheless, Page will want to ensure that their stint in the top tier in this competition is not a brief one, heaping the pressure on at least a draw being recorded against their familiar foes. Since September 2012, these two teams have met on seven occasions, playing each other in three qualification campaigns and that famous Euro 2016 quarter-final. Wales have more than held their own - only losing one of the last six games - but Roberto Martinez's side seemingly have an extra edge about them having been trounced 4-1 at home to the Netherlands last week.

In response, Belgium came from behind to put six goals past Poland on Wednesday, the demolition occurring in the absence of the injured Romelu Lukaku. The Red Devils still sit three points adrift of group leaders Netherlands, although they will certainly have a spring in their step when they take to the pitch in Cardiff. Belgium are also closing in on scoring in every fixture over a four-year period, the last time that they drew a blank coming against France in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: ROMANIA VS FINLAND

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 11 JUNE @ 19:45 GMT

Romania head into their UEFA Nations League fixture with Finland having started life in Group B3 with successive defeats. In sharp contrast, Finland have collected four points from two games, and victory on Saturday evening would realistically ensure that relegation from the third tier is no longer a possibility.

When the draw was made, there was every expectation that the four nations would take points off one another, promotion and relegation being decided by small margins. To a large degree, that has proven to be the case with Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro all collecting one win apiece from their opening two games. However, Romania remain rooted to the bottom of the table with two losses and no goals, Edward Iordanescu left under pressure to try to instigate a change in fortunes over the next week. That may prove far easier said than done, Romania's only two wins in nine attempts coming against the likes of Armenia and Liechtenstein. For balance, three of their last four games have come away from home, a draw in Israel being posted before the defeats to Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In sharp contrast, Finland have largely been on an upward trajectory, with two of their four defeats since Euro 2020 coming at the hands of France. At the end of last year, Markku Kanerva witnessed his team win in Kazakhstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they head into this fixture on the back of an excellent 2-0 win over Montenegro. Both goals came from Joel Pohjanpalo, the Bayer Leverkusen man now in double figures for his country and assisting the efforts of legendary teammate Teemu Pukki.

This game will represent just the fourth-ever competitive game between the nations, the last occasion coming in October 2015 when they played out a 1-1 draw in qualification ahead of Euro 2016.

Our prediction: X2 Finland does not lose the match

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PREDICTION: FEROE ISLANDS VS LITHUANIA

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 11 JUNE @ 17:00 GMT

Following two defeats each in their opening UEFA Nations League fixtures, something must give when Faroe Islands and Lithuania go head to head on Saturday. The outcome in Torshavn could well play a huge part in deciding who suffers relegation from Group C1, after both sides have failed to score a single goal during the 2022 campaign so far.

Following an unbeaten campaign in Group D1 of the 2020 Nations League, the Faroe Islands earned an impressive promotion to the third tier of the competition ahead of the 2022 edition. However, the step up in quality has proved to be a step too far for Saturday's hosts as things stand. As mentioned above, the Faroe Islands have lost each of their opening two games over the course of the past week, failing to score in either encounter. Beginning with a heavy 4-0 defeat to group favourites Turkey in Istanbul was to be expected, but manager Hakan Ericson will have expected more from his side when they hosted Luxembourg on Tuesday evening. The odds were slightly in their opponent's favour anyway, but little else could have gone wrong for Ericson's men during their 1-0 defeat. Rene Shaki Joensen saw red midway through the second half for a professional foul as the last man, before Gerson Rodrigues converted from the spot for the visitors just seven minutes later. Solvi Vatnhamar then became the second Faroe Islands player to receive his marching order 10 minutes from time to round off a miserable evening, but Ericson will be expecting his team to get their Nations League campaign up and running when they welcome fellow strugglers Lithuania to Torshavn on Saturday.

Meanwhile, as previously alluded to, Lithuania have also suffered a disappointing opening week to their 2022 Nations League campaign. Like their hosts at the weekend, Lithuania have also been on the receiving end of two defeats without finding the back of the net themselves. First, Valdas Ivanauskas' men were downed 2-0 at home to Luxembourg on the opening matchday, before being humiliated in a 6-0 thrashing to Turkey on Tuesday. After falling 2-0 behind to a Dogukan Sinik brace inside the opening 14 minutes, Ivanauskas' side had recovered well to keep the scoreline as it was for the remainder of the first half, but after Serdar Dursun found a third from the penalty spot before the hour mark, Lithuania collapsed late on as pride and energy levels drained from their players. Like the Faroe Islands, a much-improved performance and result will be targeted on Saturday, with each side viewing the other as the perfect opponent in Group C1 to kickstart their campaign. Promotion was never a likely option from the third tier with a hugely talented Turkey side within the group, but avoiding relegation to League D will be the priority when these two struggling nations take to the field here.
Our prediction: Faroe Islands to win the game

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PREDICTION: ITALY VS GERMANY

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 4 JUNE @ 19:45 GMT

After a dismal few months abruptly ended an incredibly successful cycle, Italy kick off their latest UEFA Nations League campaign against old rivals Germany on Saturday evening, in Bologna. The European champions missed out on qualification for Qatar 2022 due to a humbling playoff defeat and were heavily beaten in midweek, while their neighbors cruised into this winter's World Cup, where they will seek a fifth global crown.

An era ended in Palermo, just over two months ago, as Italy's Euro 2020 winners repeated the same mistakes as their predecessors back in 2017, when the Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. Amid recrimination and calls, from some quarters, for the axe to fall on coach Roberto Mancini - previously lauded for leading his nation to an improbably long unbeaten run and winning the Euros - a painful 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia ended hopes of making the upcoming finals in the playoffs' semi-final stage. After a relatively meaningless friendly win over Turkey just a few days after, Italy's most recent get-together commenced in embarrassing fashion, as the 'Finalissima' clash with Argentina - bringing together the reigning champions of Europe and South America - saw them suffer a 3-0 loss at Wembley. Their new Nations League campaign now starts at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, as Mancini's transitional squad tackle League A Group 3, which also features England and Hungary. With a flurry of fixtures to come in the following fortnight - a total of four in 10 days - Italy will have to quickly forget their Finalissima fiasco and hit the ground running against the most formidable of opening opponents.

No strangers to being overturned by the Macedonians - who they strode past during qualifying to secure a spot in Qatar, despite losing 2-1 to them at home - Germany arrive in Emilia-Romagna full of optimism under the fresh management of coach Hansi Flick. Having helped his predecessor Joachim Low to lead Die Mannschaft to World Cup glory eight years ago, the former Bayern Munich manager - a Champions League winner in 2020 - now oversees an exciting crop of young players. Following the relative failures of a last-16 exit at the Euros, and being beaten to a place in the Nations League finale by Spain, the new-look Nationalelf will prepare for November's global gathering by measuring themselves against the two Euro finalists and a Hungary side which caused them such problems in a 2-2 draw last summer. Stating that his squad's aim is to top their Nations League group, Flick now takes his men to Dall'Ara with Germany unbeaten in their last four games against the Italians, who are undergoing a rebuild which could rival the size of that performed by Low and company prior to 2014.

Our prediction: Germany to win the match

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PREDICTION: BELARUS VS SLOVAKIA

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 3 JUNE @ 19:45 GMT

Belarus and Slovakia will kick off the new UEFA Nations League campaign on Friday, when they square off in Serbia. The visitors find themselves in League C after their relegation last term, while Belarus will again aim for promotion after just falling short last time around.

Belarus' push to rise to League B in the UEFA Nations League in the 2020 campaign went down to the final day, as they topped the group after five games with three wins and 10 points. They headed into the last game against Albania, with the winner sealing top spot, and the White Wings fell to a narrow defeat away from home, as Max Ebong's 80th-minute goal was not enough to trigger a turnaround after a Sokol Cikalleshi brace and a Rey Manaj goal had their hosts 3-2 up. That saw Georgy Kondratiev's men drop from top spot and miss out on promotion by a point, before they had to endure a tough World Cup Qualifying campaign, picking up just three points from eight outings. The White Wings most recently returned to action in March with a pair of international friendlies against India and Bahrain, and they were able to put consecutive victories together, firstly triumphing 3-0 in Riffa before Andrey Solovey hit the only goal in a 1-0 win over the latter. They will now look to begin the new continental term in a positive manner with what would be an impressive win to kickstart their bid to rise to the second tier of the Nations League this time around.

Their visitors, meanwhile, will aim to bounce back after their relegation and kick off with a victory in Serbia. Slovakia had a tough Nations League campaign in 2020, beginning life in group B with defeats to Czech Republic and Scotland and a loss and a draw against Israel. A 1-0 win over Scotland kept them in contention to survive on the final day, but they went on to lose the reverse fixture against Czech Republic, dropping to League C as a result, before they fell short in World Cup Qualifying. Two draws and a defeat left them unable to catch second-placed Russia, before Stefan Tarkovic's men were at least able to finish on a high with a 6-0 thrashing of Malta as Ondrej Duda hit a hat-trick alongside a brace from Albert Rusnak and a Vernon De Marco goal. Now on the back of a 2-0 win away at Finland in a friendly in March, and coming in as favourites, the Falcons will look to begin the new campaign on the front foot with a positive result.

Our prediction: Slovakia to win the match

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PREDICTION: LICHTENSTEIN VS MOLDOVA

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 3 JUNE @ 19:45 GMT

Two of European football's underdogs meet as Liechtenstein welcome Moldova to the Rheinpark Stadion on Friday evening during the opening matchday of the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League. The visitors have joined their hosts in the bottom tier of the competition - League D - after suffering relegation last year and will be looking to return to the third tier at the first attempt.

The world's 192nd-best men's football team - at least according to FIFA's rankings - will have a rare opportunity of a victory when they take on the 180th-ranked team. Liechtenstein were unable to grab their chance of an unlikely promotion during the 2020-21 campaign, having been drawn in League D Group 2 alongside lowly San Marino and Gibraltar - the only European teams ranked below them. They did manage a 2-0 win over the Sammarinese but could only finish second in the group, three points behind Gib, who snatched a crucial 1-0 victory during the pair's first meeting. Martin Stocklasa's side will face a slightly tougher task this time round as they enter a group also featuring Latvia and Andorra, but they will fancy their chances of grabbing an opening win on Friday. The Blues-Reds may have only won two of 67 World Cup qualifying matches and lost 13 of their last 14 games, but they are coming up against a side with similarly-unimpressive statistics and one whom they have beaten once and drawn with once in their two previous meetings.

Indeed, Moldova can go one better than their upcoming opponents, having lost 14 of their last 15 matches, including each of the last 11. That form saw them relegated from League C last campaign, finishing bottom of Group 3 having taken just one point from a draw with third-placed Kosovo. Manager Engin Firat left his post without a win to his name after 11 games in charge of the Moldovan national side and was replaced by Roberto Bordin. The Libyan has at least managed one win from his 12 games in the dugout, but The Selectionata's slide down the world rankings has continued. Moldova have never qualified for a major international tournament in their 28-year history and now face a battle simply to move up from the bottom rung of the Nations League ladder.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 goals scored in this match

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PREDICTION: HUDDERSFIELD VS NOTTINGHAM  FOREST

CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF 29 MAY @ 16:30 GMT

There is one place left in the Premier League for next season and on Sunday Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest will battle it out for that final spot in the Championship play-off final.

This will be the fourth meeting between these two sides this season and Forest have the edge. The City Ground club won the first meet 2-0 in Huddersfield back in September, the Terriers then won 1-0 away in December and Forest claimed a 2-1 FA Cup victory in March.

Championship play-off finals tend to be close games, which should be no surprise considering what is at stake, and four of the last six have been decided by one-goal margins, while one went the full distance and required penalties. I’m expecting another close clash on Sunday between two fairly evenly-matched teams and one market that stands out here is both teams to score.

Both teams to score may have only been a winning bet in one of the three meetings between these two sides this season, but there are a few reasons to expect both to find a way through at Wembley.

Huddersfield have scored in each of their last nine games and there have been goals at both ends in three of their last five. Forest have only failed to score in three of their last 18 games across all competitions, and both teams have scored in four of their last five.

There were goals at both ends in Forest’s two games against Sheffield United in the semi-finals and in the away leg of Huddersfield’s tie with Luton, so at evens backing both teams to score looks a strong option for the main bet.

Forest go into the game as favourites but I think these teams are fairly evenly matched and this game could well be all square after 90 minutes. The Terriers finished the season with 82 points and Forest managed 80, and both enjoyed strong finishes to the campaign. Huddersfield go into the play-off final on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run, while Forest have lost just three of their last 21 games against Championship opposition – and one of those was against the Blades last time out as they ultimately went on to win the tie via a penalty shootout.

Huddersfield Town predicted lineup (3-5-2): Nicholls (GK) – Lees, Hogg, Colwill – Pipa, Holmes, Russell, O'Brien, Toffolo – Sinani, Ward.

Nottingham Forest predicted lineup (3-4-1-2): Samba (GK) – Worrall, Cook, McKenna – Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback – Zinckernagel – Johnson, Surridge.

Our prediction: Both teams to score? Yes

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS REAL MADRID

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 28 MAY @ 20:00 GMT

Liverpool and Real Madrid face off in Paris on Saturday as the two European giants meet in the final of the Champions League for the second time in five years.

Real emerged victorious when the two sides clashed at this stage of the competition back in 2018, with Gareth Bale scoring twice for the Spanish outfit in a 3-1 victory.

Los Blancos claimed a 3-1 aggregate win over Liverpool in the quarter-finals last season but they go into the game as the underdogs, which is perhaps unsurprising given the Reds’ form over the last few months.

Liverpool may have fallen short in their quadruple bid despite beating Wolves 3-1 in the final round of Premier League fixtures but they still have the chance to secure a treble, and they go into the game unbeaten in their last 18 games – winning 15 of those.

Real’s only injury concern is Eden Hazard, who is rated as a doubt at this stage, while Liverpool have midfield worries as Thiago and Fabinho are considered doubtful and forward Divock Origi is definitely missing.

Player-for-player it is hard to argue against Liverpool being the better team in this match-up but this Real side simply don’t know when they are beaten. The La Liga champions have been behind at some stage but fought back to win in all of the previous knockout rounds so rather than focus on a result for the main bet the goals markets stand out, and over 2.5 goals looks an excellent option.

Under 2.5 goals has been a winning bet in each of the last three Champions League finals but that run is likely to end on Saturday. There have been at least three goals scored in four of Liverpool’s last six games and in seven of Real’s last 10. The goals have eased off for the Spanish outfit of late and only one of their last four games has gone over 2.5 goals – but that happened after they had claimed the La Liga crown, and in the 12 games prior to that four-game streak 11 produced three or more goals.

Since the Champions League knockout stages began, five of Real’s six games have seen over three goals and over 3.5 goals would have been a winning bet in all five of those clashes, while three of Liverpool’s last four European fixtures have produced at least three goals.

Liverpool's predicted line-up (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahim Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita; Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz.

Real Madrid's predicted line-up (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Fede Valverde, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.

Our prediction: Both teams to score and Over 2.5 Goals 

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PREDICTION: MARSEILLE VS STRASBOURG

LIGUE 1, 21 MAY @ 20:00 GMT

Two sides still left with plenty to fight for on the final day of the Ligue 1 season lock horns at the Orange Velodrome on Saturday night, as Marseille face off against Strasbourg. The hosts will seal a top-three finish with just a point on their own turf, while Julien Stephan's side have not given up hope of a place in the Europa League.

Despite recovering from the Europa Conference League heartbreak in ideal fashion against Lorient, Marseille's final away game of the season saw them easily put to the sword by Rennes, who crucially kept their Champions League hopes alive with a 2-0 success. At one stage, Jorge Sampaoli's side were seemingly cruising towards a second-placed finish behind runaway champions Paris Saint-Germain, but Monaco have since overtaken the third-placed Olympiens on goal difference in the table, and defeat in Saturday's final game would open the door for Rennes to leapfrog them into the top three. However, Marseille's Champions League destiny remains in their own hands, and a draw would be enough to see them dine at Europe's top table next term, but winning just one of their last five games in all competitions is hardly a confidence-boosting run of form. Sampaoli's side have also been anything but consistent on home soil this season, and with a devastating injury to star man Dimitri Payet to work around, Marseille's clash with Strasbourg will not be the walk in the park the form book would have suggested 12 months ago.

The magic that Julien Stephan has woven at Strasbourg was not enough to see him award the Manager of the Year accolade - that title went to his Rennes replacement Bruno Genesio - but the Coureurs boss now has the chance to pip his former club to the post on the final day. Both sets of players were celebrating at the end of Strasbourg's clash with Clermont last Saturday, with Adrien Thomasson's header sealing a 1-0 win for Stephan's side, while results elsewhere meant that their visitors were safe from the drop. Strasbourg will begin the final day just about clinging onto fifth spot by the skin of their teeth, but Nice and Lens can still usurp Les Coureurs into the Conference League Qualifying spot, with the former away to Reims while Les Sang et Or take on Monaco. Les Aiglons are only behind Stephan's side on goal difference, but losing just one of their 15 Ligue 1 games since February certainly spells optimism for this weekend's visitors to the Orange Velodrome, even if a tally of one win from their last six away from home may lower expectations somewhat. Marseille eased to a 2-0 win at the Stade de la Meinau earlier this term to extend their unbeaten league run against Strasbourg to 12 games since a 1-0 loss in April 2005, and it has been 25 years since Les Coureurs won away in the league against Marseille, but the absence of Payet could threaten that stellar streak for the hosts here.

Our prediction: Draw game

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PREDICTION: LILLE VS RENNES

LIGUE 1, 21 MAY @ 20:00 GMT

Dethroned Ligue 1 champions Lille end their disappointing 2021-22 campaign at home to Champions League hopefuls Rennes on Saturday night at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. The hosts got the better of Nice in a confidence-boosting 3-1 rout last time out, while Les Rouge et Noir kept their Champions League hopes alive by beating Marseille 2-0.

Lille's downhill struggle since the departure of Christophe Galtier has seen the 2020-21 champions languish in mid-table obscurity throughout the season, but Les Dogues were at least able to get one over their former manager during their trip to the Allianz Riviera. Justin Kluivert's smart finish put Les Aiglons ahead, but Jonathan David ended his goal drought with a second-half brace before Timothy Weah rounded Walter Benitez to complete the job for Les Dogues, who ended Galtier's hopes of leading Nice into the Champions League next season. However, Jocelyn Gourvennec's side will also not be present in the first, second or third tier of European football, as Les Dogues sit smack-bang in the middle of the table in 10th and can only rise as high as ninth on the final day, with Nantes only ahead of Les Dogues on goal difference. The small consolation of a guaranteed top-half finish will not mask the disappointment of the underwhelming campaign for Lille, whose win against Nice represents only their second from their last eight in Ligue 1 - a streak that also includes four defeats from their last six.

Bruno Genesio may not have been able to lead Rennes past Leicester City in the Europa Conference League, but the 55-year-old's domestic exploits saw him crowned the Manager of the Year as he prays for results across the country to go his way this weekend. Taking advantage of Dimitri Payet's absence through injury, Rennes eased to a 2-0 win over Marseille last time out through Benjamin Bourigeaud and Lovro Majer's first-half efforts - keeping their hopes of a top-three finish alive in the process. Les Rouge et Noir start the day three points behind both Marseille and Monaco in fourth, so nothing less than a victory will do on Lille's turf, while they must also hope for a massive favour from Lens and/or Strasbourg to qualify for the Champions League. On the other hand, Rennes could still plummet out of the top six as Nice and Strasbourg remain close behind, and they travel to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy without a Ligue 1 clean sheet away from home in 2022 - losing back-to-back away games to Strasbourg and Nantes in the past few weeks.

Our prediction: Rennes to win the match

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PREDICTION: SUNDERLAND VS WYCOMBE WANDERERS

LEAGUE ONE PLAY-OFF, 21 MAY @ 15:00 GMT

Seeking to secure promotion to the Championship, Sunderland will lock horns with Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium in the League One playoff final on Saturday afternoon. The Black Cats are looking to escape the third tier at the fourth time of asking, while the Chairboys will be looking to make an immediate return to the second tier following their relegation 12 months ago.

The appointment of Alex Neil in February has worked wonders for Sunderland, who head into the playoff final full of confidence and boasting an impressive run of form. The 40-year-old boss suffered a 2-1 defeat at home against MK Dons in just his second game in charge, but the Black Cats have since put together a 15-game unbeaten run, including nine victories. After finishing fifth in the League One table, Sunderland beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 on aggregate in the playoff semi-finals, with Patrick Roberts scoring a 93rd-minute winner in the second leg at Hillsborough to set up a showpiece event with Wycombe in the capital. Sunderland fans will not want to be reminded of their poor record in the playoffs, which has seen them fail to secure promotion in each of their last seven attempts over the last 35 years. Sunderland have won two and drawn one of their last three meetings with the Chairboys and have scored 10 goals in the process, so they should be confident of finding the net once again this weekend.

While many may feel that Wycombe Wanderers are punching above their weight once again, they have reached this year's playoff final on merit and manager Gareth Ainsworth deserves all the plaudits that come his way. The Chairboys secured the final playoff spot on the last day of the season with victory away at Burton Albion, before beating MK Dons 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals to book their place at Wembley for the second time in three years. A slender 1-0 defeat to the Dons in the second leg brought an end to their 13-game unbeaten run, but nevertheless, Wycombe remain in high spirits and will use their recent triumph at Wembley to spur them on this weekend. Wycombe, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the 2019-20 final, could become the first team in League One playoff history to win the final twice within a three-year period. Ainsworth and co know what it takes to win on the big stage, but they head into Saturday's contest having won only one of their six previous meetings against Sunderland, a narrow 1-0 win at Adams Park in October 2019.

Our prediction: Sunderland to win the match

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PREDICTION: FREIBURG VS RB LEIPZIG

DFB POKAL, 21 MAY @ 19:00 GMT

The Olympiastadion in Berlin will play host to the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday evening as Freiburg and RB Leipzig lock horns for a chance to clinch domestic silverware. Freiburg will be competing in their first ever German Cup final in their 118-year history, while Leipzig are taking part in the showpiece event for the third time in the last four years.

A memorable 2021-22 campaign for Freiburg has seen Christian Streich's side qualify for the Europa League after securing sixth place in the Bundesliga, the club's highest top-flight finish for nine years. Die Breisgau-Brasilianer were in the hunt for Champions League football heading into their final two league games, but defeats against Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen, losing to the latter 2-1 away from home last weekend, quashed their top-four hopes. Nevertheless, Freiburg could end the season on a real high as they bid to win their first ever domestic cup on Saturday. Freiburg will not be phased by making the trip to Berlin, as they have played all of their previous five matches in this season's DFB-Pokal away from home. Victories against third-tier outfits Wurzburger Kickers and Osnabruck in the first two rounds were followed by a comfortable 4-1 win over Hoffenheim in the middle of January. Freiburg then edged past Bochum 2-1 after extra time – with Roland Sallai netting a dramatic 120th-minute winner on that occasion – before claiming a 3-1 victory against Hamburg in the semi-finals. Freiburg's hopes of success on Saturday could prove challenging, however, as they have failed to win any of their last five meetings against Leipzig, although their last two encounters in the league this season both ended as 1-1 draws.

After a rocky start to their Bundesliga campaign under Jesse Marsch, RB Leipzig have since turned their fortunes around under current boss Domenico Tedesco, who has successfully guided the club to their fourth successive top-four finish, ending the campaign just one point clear of Union Berlin in fifth and three points clear of Freiburg in sixth. Leipzig have reached the final twice in the last three years but lost on both occasions, suffering a 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in 2019 before losing 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund last season; only MSV Duisburg (four) and Alemannia Aachen (three) have participated in more German Cup finals without lifting the trophy. Die Roten Bullen have comfortably progressed through each round to reach this year's final, with their first four victories against lower-league quartet Sandhausen, Babelsberg, Hansa Rostock and Hannover 96, before beating top-four rivals Union Berlin 2-1 on home soil in the semi-finals. Leipzig head into Saturday's final after winning only two of their last six matches across all competitions, but considering that they have won three and drawn three of their last seven meetings against Freiburg, scoring on each occasion, they will be confident of success in Berlin.

Our prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS CHELSEA

PREMIER LEAGUE 14 MAY @ 16:45 GMT

Not for the first time this season, Liverpool and Chelsea renew hostilities at Wembley Stadium with a trophy on the line, this time doing battle in the final of the 141st FA Cup final. For the London club, the FA Cup represents the only piece of domestic silverware left on the line this season, and fellow capital side Crystal Palace were no match for the Blues' superiority in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Liverpool won one of their many battles of dominance with Manchester City to make it to the showpiece event, and the prospect of a four-trophy haul is still lingering in the minds of the travelling Merseyside fans.

The top-flight title is therefore out of their own hands, but the EFL Cup has already been placed in the trophy case, a journey to Paris for another Champions League final with Real Madrid awaits, and the Reds are potentially only 90 minutes away from ending a 16-year drought in the FA Cup. For all of his successful endeavours in other tournaments, Klopp had never taken Liverpool beyond the fifth round of the FA Cup before the 2021-22 edition, as the Reds saw off Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and Man City to book their Wembley appearance.

Starting the season as European champions before adding the world label to their name tag, Chelsea can only enjoy another couple of weeks as reigning Champions League holders, and even third place in the Premier League was not all that safe for a long while. However, on the back of Todd Boehly's consortium being confirmed as the club's new owners, the Blues ended a three-game winless run in the Premier League with a straightforward 3-0 success over Leeds United on Wednesday, as Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku deepened the Whites' demotion fears. Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle, Luton Town and Middlesbrough have also been sent packing at the hands of Chelsea in this year's tournament, although they made hard work of more than one of those ties against lower-league opposition, and a ninth FA Cup crown would see them become the outright third-most successful team in the tournament - currently sharing that accolade with Tottenham Hotspur. Since Liverpool last got their hands on the cup 16 years ago, Chelsea have triumphed in the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2018 editions - even beating Liverpool in the London Olympics year - and they have found the back of the net at least twice in all of their FA Cup games this term, amassing 14 in total. Ending the season with another FA Cup in the glass case would be a surefire way for Tuchel to write his name into the new owners' good books early doors. Chelsea can breathe a little easier in the knowledge that they should now wrap up a top-four finish in the Premier League with minimal difficulty, and ending the season with another FA Cup in the glass case would be a surefire way for Tuchel to write his name into the new owners' good books early doors.

Our prediction: Liverpool to win the cup

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PREDICTION: EMPOLI VS SALERNITANA

SERIE A 14 MAY @ 14:00 GMT

With their 'Great Escape' from Serie A relegation just two games from fruition, Salernitana tackle their final away game against Empoli on Saturday. After both sides were promoted together just over a year ago, they have experienced contrasting fortunes, as this week's hosts started spectacularly before slumping down the standings, while their visitors have won four of their last six to finally haul themselves out of the drop zone.

On the cusp of a fifth victory since their stunning revival started in mid-April, Salernitana were cruelly denied an important three points last weekend, as relegation rivals Cagliari fought back to equalize in the ninth minute of second-half stoppage time at Stadio Arechi. Still a point clear of their Sardinian counterparts in the standings, though, after a win over rock-bottom Venezia three days beforehand, the Granata have their destiny in their own hands before taking on Empoli and then Udinese - both of whom have relatively little left to play for - in the final two rounds. Going unbeaten in six games - quite a feat for a side more accustomed to weekly defeats since their top-flight return last summer - a run of 14 points from a possible 18 has helped survival specialist Davide Nicola to steer his men to within touching distance of Serie A salvation. Having previously kept both Genoa and Torino up against the odds, Nicola has recently engineered victories over Sampdoria, Udinese and Fiorentina. As a result, Salernitana fans can dream of extending their stay among the elite to a second season, after suffering more than two decades in the lower leagues. If they can now gain a measure of revenge for their 4-2 defeat to Empoli last October by winning Saturday's reverse fixture, then the Granata faithful really can plan a party at the Arechi next week.

Despite returning empty-handed from Milan, Aurelio Andreazzoli's side have lost only seven of their 18 away fixtures in the top flight this season, and have actually fared worse at home than on the road; picking up five points fewer at Stadio Carlo Castellani while conceding a bucketful of goals. Though mathematically safe from relegation, which was surely the Tuscan club's main aim after last year's promotion, a long tail to their 2021-22 campaign has left something of a bitter taste. Therefore, posting just a fifth home victory of the season would at least sweeten the pill on Saturday.

Our prediction: Salernitana to win the game

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PREDICTION: RENNES VS MARSEILLE

LIGUE 1: 14 MAY @ 18:00 GMT

Two teams with plenty to fight for in the final stages of the 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign that will lock horns on Saturday night, as Rennes welcome Marseille to Roazhon Park. Rennes are currently fifth in the table, one point behind fourth-placed Nice, while Marseille sit second, three clear of third-placed Monaco with two games of the season left.

Rennes have actually lost three of their last five Ligue 1 matches, including a damaging 2-1 reverse at Nantes on Wednesday night, but they have won their last two home games against Lorient and Saint-Etienne, scoring seven times and keeping two clean sheets in the process. A total of 62 points from 36 matches has left them in fifth spot in the table, which would mean qualification for the Europa Conference League playoff round, but they are only two points clear of sixth-placed Strasbourg with two games left, so a lot could still change. Rennes could actually still finish second, sitting six points behind second-placed Marseille ahead of this match, so the Champions League and Europa League are still on offer heading into the next set of fixtures. Bruno Genesio's side can only look after themselves and see where that takes them, but a poor result on Saturday would put them under major pressure leading into their final game of the season away to Lille, which has the potential to be a tough fixture despite the struggles of last season's champions. Rennes have been excellent at home this season, picking up 40 points from 18 matches, with only Paris Saint-Germain (48) securing more points in front of their own supporters in 2021-22.

Marseille, though, have the best away record in Ligue 1 this season, collecting 39 points from 18 matches, and they could potentially secure second spot in the table with a victory this weekend. Jorge Sampaoli's side are three points clear of third-placed Monaco with an identical goal difference, but they have a better head-to-head record over the team directly below them, which could potentially be used to separate the sides depending on what happens in their next two matches. Finishing second could ensure that they qualify for the group stage of the Champions League alongside PSG, while third would put them in the third qualifying round of the European Cup. Marseille, who lost to Feyenoord in the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League, will enter this match off the back of a 3-0 victory over Lorient last weekend, and they have now been victorious in three of their last four games in France's top flight. Les Olympiens have a tough end to the season, though, taking on two teams that have European ambitions of their own, with final-day opponents Strasbourg currently just two points behind Rennes in sixth.

Our prediction: Rennes to win or draw
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PREDICTION: LUTON TOWN VS HUDDERSFIELD

CHAMPIONSHIP: 13 MAY @ 19:45 GMT

Luton Town and Huddersfield Town will look to move a step closer to the Premier League when they square off in the first leg of their Championship playoff semi-final at Kenilworth Road. While the visitors have long been guaranteed a place in the top six of the standings, the hosts only secured their spot on the final day, even if they did ultimately finish with a five-point cushion.

Having witnessed his team suffer a 7-0 defeat at Fulham in their penultimate fixture, Luton boss Nathan Jones would have naturally had doubts over how his players would rock up for such a pressure-filled contest against Reading on the final weekend. Such was the results elsewhere that Luton could have lost to the 21st-placed team in the division and still made the playoffs, but a 1-0 victory was the morale-booster that they required heading into the upcoming double-header. Harry Cornick's decisive goal was opportunistic in the extreme, the forward lurking behind the goalkeeper to dispossess him and score into an empty net, and it ensured that the second half was more comfortable than it could have been. The Hatters were not at their best during the run-in, claiming just three wins from eight matches and one of their two defeats coming away at their next opponents. Nevertheless, everyone associated with the club will simply be satisfied to still be in the mix for a surprise promotion to the top flight, just eight years after they were leaving the fifth tier of English football. From Huddersfield's perspective, Carlos Corberan has transformed the club from relegation possibilities into favourites to reach the Championship playoff final in less than a year, an achievement which should not be overlooked when award ceremonies take place over the coming weeks. What Huddersfield have achieved since December is quite remarkable, a total of 54 points coming from 26 games during a period which has included just two defeats, those disappointments coming back-to-back in March.

Since returning from the international break, the Terriers have posted six wins from seven, including prevailing in their last four outings and scoring twice in each of them. This squad of players have been efficient and shown character to end the season in third position, but it remains to be seen how they will cope with heading into this contest as favourites, even if there will be an acceptance that they will become underdogs should they reach the final. Left-sided player Harry Toffolo has scored in his last three appearances, doubling his total for the season, while top goalscorer Danny Ward ended a five-game drought with a strike against Bristol City on the final day.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: FREIBURG VS UNION BERLIN

BUNDESLIGA: 7 MAY @ 14:30 GMT

Freiburg could confirm a remarkable Champions League qualification when they host Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday. The hosts climbed into the top four after coming out on top in a seven-goal thriller last weekend, whilst the visitors dropped points against bottom of the table to fall out of the top six ahead of the penultimate weekend in Germany's top flight.

Freiburg have certainly thrilled spectators as the surprise package for much of the campaign so far, but after playing out encounters containing 13 goals across their last two outings, they have certainly provided another form of entertainment recently. Saturday's hosts bounced back to come out on top at fellow European hopefuls Hoffenheim last weekend. Roland Sallai got the ball rolling midway through the first half, but after an even opening 45, Christian Streich's side had to settle for a 1-1 scoreline heading into the break. However, despite falling behind just four minutes after the restart, Christian Gunter, Lucas Holer and Woo-Yeong Jeong netted in a clinical second-half display to provide a crucial three points in Freiburg's season. RB Leipzig's surprise defeat to Gladbach at Borussia-Park later in matchday 32 means that Freiburg occupy fourth spot heading into their final home game of the season at the Europa-Park Stadion. Just one point is keeping Streich's men in the final Champions League qualification spot however, so any slip-up on Saturday, or in next weekend's tough trip to third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, could well prove costly. 

A raucous home atmosphere will be roaring on the Black Forest side against Union, when a first-ever qualification for Europe's grand stage could be confirmed depending on results elsewhere too, and if their last two fixtures are anything to go by, there could well be plenty of entertainment on display too. Meanwhile, Union fell behind in the race for continental qualification after unexpectedly being held by already-relegated Greuther Furth last weekend. Union's home record has been exceptional over the last couple of seasons, but their bottom-of-the-table opponents stood firm to restrict Die Eisernen to very little in front of goal. After falling behind during an extremely disappointing opening 45, Urs Fischer's side improved after the interval, but Sven Michel's equaliser just two minutes after coming off the bench was all that Union could manage. A fourth-straight victory for FC Koln elsewhere on the weekend saw Union drop down into seventh ahead of matchday 33 this weekend, meaning their destiny would be now out of their control. However, Freiburg's participation in the DFB-Pokal final later this month means that another continental qualification spot has been opened up in seventh place.             

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

PREMIER LEAGUE: 7 MAY @ 19:45 GMT

Liverpool's relentless quadruple quest continues on Saturday evening when they welcome top-four chasing Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield. Fresh from booking their place in a third Champions League final from the last five seasons, Jurgen Klopp's side play their penultimate home game of an unforgettable campaign against a team with plenty riding on the fixture themselves.

Whispers about the possibility of a fabled quadruple have grown louder and louder in recent weeks, and Liverpool are now closer to achieving that mythical feat than any other English club in history. With the EFL Cup already under their belts, Liverpool have an FA Cup final against Chelsea coming up next Saturday and a Champions League final against Real Madrid looming on May 28 in what will be their 63rd game of the season. The Reds are the first club to have ever reached the final of all of those competitions in a single season, but no sooner had they booked their place in the latter than minds would have started drifting towards Saturday's visit of Spurs. Such is the unforgiving nature of a quadruple push that every single game for Liverpool is now a must-win, and even that may not be enough with Premier League matters still in Manchester City's hands. Liverpool will be hoping that the devastating nature of Man City's latest Champions League exit carries over into their meeting with Newcastle United on Sunday, but first the Reds must do their own job and keep the pressure on Pep Guardiola's defending champions.

The potent Tottenham attack of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski will be as great a threat to Liverpool's unbeaten, league-leading home record this season as any they have faced so far, although the Reds do boast a formidable record in this fixture. Liverpool have lost only one of their last 18 meetings with Tottenham, winning 12 of those, while at Anfield that record extends to no defeats in 10 and just one in their last 27. However, manager Antonio Conte has drawn 1-1 on both of his own previous league visits to Anfield, and the wily Italian's winning experience may be Tottenham's best hope of halting the Liverpool juggernaut this weekend. The majority of focus will understandably be on the potential implications of this match on the title race, but it is a huge game for Tottenham too as they look to book their place in the Champions League next season. Spurs currently sit two points adrift of Arsenal either side of the dotted line, with a blockbuster North London derby between the pair looming next week.

Our prediction: Liverpool to win the match

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PREDICTION: REAL BETIS VS BARCELONA

LA LIGA: 7 MAY @ 20:00 GMT

Barcelona will be looking to strengthen their grip on second spot in the La Liga table when they make the trip to Seville on Saturday evening to take on fifth-placed Real Betis. The Catalan giants are currently two points clear of third-placed Sevilla, while Real Betis are three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in the race for a top-four finish.

Real Betis lifted the Copa del Rey for just the third time in their history last month by beating Valencia in the final, while they are also very much in the argument for a top-four spot heading into the final straight. Indeed, a total of 58 points from 34 matches has left them in fifth spot in the table, just three points behind fourth-placed Atletico on the same number of games, and a victory in this match would leave them in a confident mood ahead of their final three fixtures against Valencia, Granada and Real Madrid. The Green and Whites, who have not claimed a top-four spot in La Liga since 2005, were held to a goalless draw by Getafe in their last match on May 2, and they have only actually picked up just two points from their last three league fixtures, last winning away to Cadiz on April 9. Manuel Pellegrini's side have won nine, drawn two and lost six of their 17 home league games this season to collect 29 points, and they will be welcoming a Barcelona side with the second-best away record in Spain's top flight this term, having picked up 31 points from their 17 matches. Real Betis recorded a 1-0 victory at Camp Nou in the reverse game earlier this season, but they suffered a 3-2 defeat when the pair locked horns in Seville last term.

Over the last week, Barcelona have had to watch Real Madrid win the La Liga title and then book their spot in the Champions League final, which would certainly have been difficult for the Catalan outfit. Xavi's side will finish the season trophyless but will be determined to secure the runners-up spot in La Liga, and they are in pole position to finish immediately behind Real Madrid, currently sitting two points clear of third-placed Sevilla and five ahead of fourth-placed Atletico.

Real Betis would move to within five points of Barcelona if they triumphed on Saturday, though, and the Catalan giants are not yet sure of a top-four finish despite sitting eight clear of fifth spot ahead of the next set of fixtures. Xavi's team have actually lost three of their last five matches in all competitions, including two of their last four in the league against Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano, but they will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 win over Mallorca last weekend, where Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets were both on the scoresheet.              

Our prediction: Both teams to score in the match

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PREDICTION: LILLE VS MONACO

LIGUE 1: 6 MAY @ 20:00 GMT

Monaco will be looking to snatch a spot on the Ligue 1 podium when they travel to face dethroned champions Lille in the weekend's opening game at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Friday evening. The hosts are now out of the running for the European spots, sat down in 10th in the standings, whilst Monaco come into the weekend in fourth.

The most optimistic Lille fans may still have fancied their teams chances of breaking into the top five after they bounced back from two defeats thanks to a late winner from Zeki Celik at home to Strasbourg on April 24. That optimism will have come crashing down with a disastrous performance, though, away against a relegation-threatened Troyes side last weekend. Jocelyn Gourvennec's side may have dominated much of the first half but things would crumble after ESTAC took the lead through a penalty just before the break. First, Renato Sanches talked himself into a second yellow card, then the hosts put a second penalty away, then Burak Yilmaz's wild lunge saw Lille reduced to nine, and finally, salt was applied to the wound as Troyes made it 3-0 with a third penalty. The performance earned Les Dogues the unwanted statistic of becoming the first team to receive two red cards and give away three penalties in a Ligue 1 game for 30 years and saw them all but officially drop out of the running for a spot in Europe, now nine points behind fifth-placed Nice with three to play.

Life on the South Coast, on the other hand, continues to get brighter - not just in terms of the improving weather, but as a result of Monaco's impressive recent performances. They picked up another comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Angers at the weekend as top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder's goal on the hour mark sealed the result after an own goal from the unfortunate Abdoulaye Bamba late in the first period. The win extends Les Monegasques' winning streak to seven matches - stretching all the way back to their surprise 3-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in mid-March - which is the best ongoing run across all of Europe's big five leagues.

Two consecutive wins for Rennes leaves the pair glued together, level on points in the battle for the final step of the podium and the Champions League football which that provides. With Les Rennais boasting the far superior goal difference, Philippe Clement will have to hope that they slip up in the remaining three games and that his side can stretch their impressive run a bit further.

Our prediction: Monaco to win the game

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS BRENTFORD

PREMIER LEAGUE: 2 MAY @ 20:00 GMT

In their last home game this season Manchester United hosts Brentford. In order to secure a place in Europe, The Red Devils have to close the 6 points gap to Tottenham. Having 2 games extra including todays’ game victory is a must.

In the previous round United managed to avoid a third loss in a row by equalising Chelsea in a 1-1 draw last Thursday. After a disappointing season, they will welcome Erik ten Hag as a new head coach this summer, keeping Rangnick as a consultant. In the last two games, United will paly away at Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace, but even with 3 wins these last 3 games they can only accumulate a total of 64 points, their lowest ever in all Premier League seasons.

Brentford hope to secure a place in the first half after an amazing series of positive results. They have won 5 of the last 7 games, drew one and won one. In the last three games Brentford will play against Southampton, Everton and Leeds United. For Brentford this is the first presence in the top flight since 1947-1947 and their first visit at Old Trafford for 1975.

Team news

Manchester United have 6 absent players: Pogba, Shaw, Maguire, Sancho, Cavani and Greenwood. Fred and Wan-Bisaaka are doubtful. Brentford are missing Zanka, Onyeka and Canos. Ajer and Norgaard are expected to return after missing the Tottenham game.

The possible start-up lines are:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea - Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles - Matic, McTominay - Rashford, Fernandes, Elanga - Ronaldo

Brentford (3-5-2): Raya - Ajer, Jansson, Sorensen - Roerslev, Eriksen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry - Mbeumo, Toney

In 6 of the last seven matches between the two, have been scored over 2.5 goals. Three of Man Utd's last four outings and three of Brentford's last five games have also witnessed over 2.5 goals scored.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: REAL MADRID VS ESPANYOL

LA LIGA: 30 APRIL @ 15:15 GMT

Real Madrid will welcome Espanyol to Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon knowing that a point would be enough to win the La Liga title with four matches to spare. Los Blancos will enter the contest off the back of a 4-3 defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in Manchester, while Espanyol, who are 13th in Spain's top flight on 39 points, suffered a 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano in the league last time out.

Real Madrid have been, by a distance, the best team in La Liga this season, winning 24, drawing six and losing three of their 33 matches to collect 78 points, which has left them 15 points ahead of second-placed Barcelona. As a result, a point against Espanyol on Sunday would be enough for them to be confirmed as Spanish champions for the 35th time in their history and allow them to enter their final four league games of the season against Atletico Madrid, Levante, Cadiz and Real Betis under no pressure. Los Blancos have work to do in the Champions League semi-finals, though, following their 4-3 defeat to Man City in the first leg on Tuesday night; in truth, the La Liga outfit could have been blown away in the first half, but they managed to stay in the clash, with Karim Benzema netting twice during another brilliant performance. The second leg of the last-four clash takes place at Bernabeu next Wednesday, so it will be fascinating to see how head coach Carlo Ancelotti approaches this match, with the Italian looking to balance keeping his players fresh with potentially suffering a morale-damaging result.

Espanyol will be hoping to spoil the party this weekend, but the Catalan outfit will enter the match off the back of a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Rayo Vallecano on April 21. A total of 39 points from 33 matches has left Vicente Moreno's side in 13th position in the table, nine points clear of the relegation zone, so they are going to be a top-flight side again next term unless something incredible happens in the final weeks of the campaign.

Our prediction: Under 3.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: SPEZIA VS LAZIO

SERIE A: 30 APRIL @ 19:45 GMT

Still in the thick of a battle for European qualification, Lazio travel to mid-table Spezia on Saturday evening seeking a fourth win from four against them in Serie A. Beaten by Milan's late goal last weekend, Maurizio Sarri's side have taken just a point from their last two matches and are clinging onto sixth place in the standings, while their hosts have all but secured their stay in the top flight.

Denied at the death last Sunday, crestfallen Lazio were defeated for the third time by Milan this season, as the league leaders struck in stoppage time to render Ciro Immobile's fourth-minute opener meaningless. Only similar setbacks for fellow top-six contenders Atalanta and Fiorentina allowed the Biancocelesti to retain their place above both in the table, while arch-rivals Roma remain two above them in fifth. Representing only their third Serie A loss as hosts this term, that 2-1 reverse leaves Lazio in an almighty scrap for a Europa League spot, with Sampdoria, Juventus and Verona being their final three opponents of an inconsistent campaign. Only of late has the Aquile's away form improved, after being the main factor behind their inability to contend for the top four, and they have won on four of their last six road trips in the top flight - as many as from their previous 16. Perhaps their most straightforward remaining engagement, at least on paper, Lazio will expect to continue that trend in La Spezia this weekend, having won each of their three Serie A matches against their latest opponents. Indeed, a 6-1 victory for the Biancocelesti in August's reverse fixture - when Capocannoniere leader Immobile bolstered his tally with a first-half hat-trick - indicates their supremacy since Spezia were promoted two years ago.

Having lost 11 times and conceded at a rate of over two goals per game away from home this season, Spezia will no doubt be delighted to return to the familiar environs of Stadio Alberto Picco, following a 2-1 defeat at Torino last weekend. Two goals down heading towards the game's conclusion, the Aquilotti's consolation - a 97th-minute strike by Rey Manaj - means that 18% of their goals in Serie A this term have been netted in second-half injury time; the highest percentage of any side. They are certainly persistent, then, but late goals alone have not been enough for Thiago Motta's side to pull comprehensively clear of the bottom three. With a cushion of eight points between them and 17th-placed Genoa, the Ligurian outfit should still preserve their top-flight status for a further year, which would complete the club's objective when the former Barcelona midfielder took charge last summer, following Vincenzo Italiano's departure for Fiorentina. A meagre tally of six goals from their last eight outings will trouble Motta though, ahead of Lazio's arrival, as their visitors are more than adept in the attacking department and will most likely find the net themselves.             

Our prediction: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: LEEDS UNITED VS MANCHESTER CITY

PREMIER LEAGUE: 30 APRIL @ 17:30 GMT

Manchester City will be looking to remain in the driving seat for the Premier League title when they travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United on Saturday evening. The Citizens came out on top in a seven-goal thriller against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, while the Whites played out a goalless draw away at Crystal Palace on Monday.

When Jesse Marsch took the reins from Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road in February, Leeds were positioned in the relegation zone and hopes of clambering their way to safety seemed slim. While demotion to the Championship still remains a possibility, fears of the drop have eased since Marsch's arrival. The American started out with back-to-back league defeats against Leicester City and Aston Villa, but he has since made his mark with the Whites, accumulating 11 points during a five-game unbeaten run.

Leeds remain 16th in the Premier League table and five points clear of the bottom three, though Everton in 18th place still have one game in hand. Marsch has notably tightened up what once was a leaky defence, with Leeds conceding only four goals in their last five games and keeping successive clean sheets in their last two matches against Watford and Crystal Palace, just their fourth and fifth shutouts in 2021-22. Considering that they shipped 21 goals in their previous six matches, Leeds have made vast improvements defensively, but their backline will now face the "ultimate test" according to Marsch, when they come up against league leaders Man City, who thumped the Whites 7-0 earlier this season.

Despite victory, City supporters came away from the Etihad Stadium slightly aggrieved that their side had not scored more against the Spanish giants, after carving out a plethora of chances throughout the 90 minutes. Nevertheless, City remain on course to reach their second successive Champions League final. Guardiola and co will now put their European efforts to one side as they turn their attention back to the Premier League title race. At the time of writing, City currently sit one point clear of Liverpool in second, though the Reds could momentarily climb to the summit if they were to beat Newcastle United in Saturday's lunchtime kickoff, before the Citizens aim to jump back to the top five hours later.

Our prediction: Man City to win the match

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PREDICTION: ATHLETIC BILBAO VS ATLETICO MADRID

LA LIGA: 30 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT

Atletico Madrid will be bidding to strengthen their grip on a top-four spot in La Liga when they head to San Mames on Saturday evening to take on Athletic Bilbao. Diego Simeone's side are currently fourth in the table, four points clear of fifth-placed Real Betis, while Athletic occupy eighth, seven points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad in the race for a European finish.

Athletic will enter Saturday's contest off the back of a 3-2 victory at Cadiz last time out, with first-half goals from Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain and Mikel Vesga proving enough to secure all three points despite the relegation-threatened hosts launching a late response at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla.

Marcelino's side currently sit eighth in the table, now just four points behind seventh-placed Villarreal, but they are seven points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad, so a Europa League spot looks beyond them. The Basque outfit have not finished higher than eighth in Spain's top flight since 2017, so seventh would certainly be a big step in the right direction, and they will fancy their chances of picking up a respectable amount of points in their final five games of the campaign. Athletic have matches against top-four outfits Atletico and Sevilla, in addition to facing Valencia, Granada and Osasuna, with three of their final five games coming in front of their own supporters. The Lions have secured 27 points from their 16 home league games this term and will be taking on an Atletico side that have been inconsistent on their travels this season, picking up just 24 points from their 16 fixtures away from Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico have been unable to defend their La Liga title this season, and bitter rivals Real Madrid could actually win the league this weekend; Simeone's side are instead focusing on securing a top-four spot, currently sitting fourth in the table, four points ahead of fifth-placed Real Betis.The Red and Whites are just two points behind second-placed Barcelona, meanwhile, and the runners-up spot in the league would go down as a successful campaign considering their issues during stages of the season. Atletico have only won one of their last three in the league and will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw at home to Granada on April 20.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS EVERTON

PREMIER LEAGUE: 24 APRIL @ 16:30 GMT

Liverpool are hoping to win again after their last result, a 4-0 Premier League triumph versus Manchester United. In that game, Liverpool had 72% possession and 14 attempts on goal with 5 of them on target.

Liverpool haven’t been able to stop scoring goals, netting in each and every one of their last 6 matches. They’ve claimed a sum of 17 during that period while also conceding a total of 8. Going into this one, Liverpool have not been beaten in their last 20 league matches at home. What a fortress.

The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp doesn’t have any fitness worries to speak of ahead of this clash thanks to a fully healthy squad available for selection.

Liverpool possible starting line-up line is: Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson; Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane

In their previous fixture, Everton drew 1-1 in the Premier League tie with Leicester City. In that match, Everton managed 36% possession and 13 shots at goal with 3 on target.

Throughout their 6 latest matches, Frank Lampard's Everton have seen their efforts on goal rewarded 6 times, giving them a goals scored per game average of 1. Going into this encounter, Everton haven’t won away from home in the past 13 league games. Their travelling supporters must be so depressed.

Everton possible starting lineup: Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Lucas Digne; Fabian Delph, Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure; Richarlison, Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend

Inspecting their most recent head to head meetings stretching back to 04/12/2019 shows that Liverpool have won 3 of them & Everton 1, with the tally of drawn matches being 2. In all, 19 goals were shared by the two clubs throughout the course of those matches, with 12 for The Reds and 7 coming from The Toffees. That’s an average goals per game of 3.17.

Our prediction: Liverpool to win and both teams to score

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PREDICTION: ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER UNITED

PREMIER LEAGUE: 23 APRIL @ 16:30 GMT

Arsenal will be looking for a repeat result of a 2-4 Premier League triumph vs Chelsea. In that match, Arsenal had 32% possession and 14 shots at goal with 4 on target.

It has been seldom in recent times where Arsenal have kept a clean sheet. The reality is that Arsenal have seen their defence breached in 5 of their previous 6 games, letting in 10 goals along the way. In any event, we’ll just have to find out if that trend might be maintained in this upcoming game.

A look at their previous results shows us that Arsenal have left without a victory over Manchester United in their last 2 league matches and are without a win at home for the past 2 league matches.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:

Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Nketiah

Following on from suffering a loss in their previous game against Liverpool in Premier League competition, Manchester United will be hoping to turn things around here. In that game, Manchester United managed 28% possession and 2 attempts at goal with 1 of them on target. Liverpool got 14 attempts at goal with 5 on target.

The numbers tell their own story, and Manchester United have been scored against in 6 of their last 6 games, seeing their opponents hit 11 goals in total. At the back, Manchester United just haven’t been too solid at all.

Analysis of their past results shows that Manchester United have not beaten Arsenal when having played them away from home in the previous 3 league games.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Telles; Matic, McTominay; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldoir last 3 league games.

Our prediction: Both teams to score? Yes

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PREDICTION: INTER MILAN VS AS ROMA

SERIE A: 23 APRIL @ 21:00 GMT

Inter Milan will be hoping for a repeat of their last result, following a 3-0 Coppa Italia success versus AC Milan. In that match, Inter Milan managed 48% possession and 10 shots on goal with 4 on target.

Their most recent results shine a light on the fact that much respect should be given to the Inter Milan backline. Inter Milan have given the opposition little, resulting in the number of goals that have gone past their goalkeeper during their last six matches standing at 3. We shall soon see whether or not that trend will be continued on here.

Looking at their past form shows that Inter Milan have not been beaten in the league by Roma in their last 9 matches. A long run without a loss and are unbeaten in their last 3 home league matches.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:

Handanovic; De Vrij, Skriniar, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko

In their last game, Roma drew 1-1 in the Serie A tie with SSC Napoli. In that match, Roma had 51% possession and 8 shots on goal with 6 on target. The only player on the scoresheet for Roma was Stephan El Shaarawy (91'). For their opponents, SSC Napoli got 9 shots on goal with 4 on target. Lorenzo Insigne (11') scored for SSC Napoli.

In their previous half-dozen clashes, Roma have bagged the sum of 12 goals. Roma have also scored on each one of those occasions. During those fixtures, they have seen 4 goals go into their own net.

Checking on their most recent head to head clashes stretching back to 06/12/2019 shows that Inter Milan have won 3 of these and Roma 0, with the tally of drawn matches standing at 3.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Cristante, Oliveira, Zalewski; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Abraham

Our prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND

BUNDESLIGA: 23 APRIL @ 21:30 GMT

Bayern Munich will want to continue from where they left off last time out with the 0-3 Bundesliga 1 triumph over Arminia Bielefeld. In that game, Bayern Munich had 76% possession and 22 shots on goal with 8 of them on target.

Their more recent scorelines really do illustrate the point that quality has been evident in the Bayern Munich backline. Bayern Munich have been miserly, resulting in the number of goals that have flown into the back of their net over the course of their last 6 matches standing at 3.

Leading up to this clash, Bayern Munich have not lost a league tie with Borussia Dortmund in their previous 6 games and are undefeated in their previous 5 home league matches.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:

Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski

Borussia Dortmund will go into the clash following a 6-1 Bundesliga 1 win against VfL Wolfsburg in their most recent outing. In that game, Borussia Dortmund had 60% possession and 12 attempts on goal with 8 of them on target.

Over the course of their last six clashes, Borussia Dortmund have helped themselves to a tally of 12 goals. Borussia Dortmund have also scored on each one of those occasions. In that time, they’ve seen 6 goals go against them. Having said that, time will tell if such a trend shall be replicated in this upcoming game.

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:

Hitz; Pongracic, Akanji, Zagadou; Wolf, Bellingham, Can, Guerreiro; Brandt, Reus; Haaland

Checking on their past head to head meetings going back to 06/04/2019 tells us that these fixtures have not been happy ones for Borussia Dortmund. They’ve not managed to come away with any victories at all while Bayern Munich have maintained the edge over them, getting wins in 100 per cent of those matches played.

There were also goals galore in those games, with 26 overall which averages out at 4.33 goals per match. The last league meeting between these sides was Bundesliga 1 match day 14 on 04/12/2021 which ended up with the score at Borussia Dortmund 2-3 Bayern Munich.

Our prediction: Bayern Munich to win and Over 2.5 goals  

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL

PREMIER LEAGUE: 16 APRIL @ 15:30 GMT

Having both booked their spots in the Champions League semi-finals, Manchester City and Liverpool renew hostilities in the final four of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon at Wembley Stadium. The two sides played out a pulsating 2-2 draw in last weekend's Premier League encounter at the Etihad and are bidding to meet either Chelsea or Crystal Palace in the showpiece event this weekend.

Perhaps giving Atletico Madrid a taste of their own medicine somewhat, Man City kept a cool head while Diego Simeone and co lost theirs at the Wanda Metropolitano, and the Champions League crown is now within touching distance for the reigning Premier League champions. Twice City went ahead against Liverpool in last weekend's top-of-the-table Premier League battle, and twice they were pegged back, but the destiny of the trophy is still in their own hands, and they have enjoyed a relatively simple run to the FA Cup semi-finals. Swindon Town, Fulham, Peterborough United and Southampton have all been no match for Guardiola's men in this year's competition, but they have bowed out in the semi-finals two seasons in a row, and the Catalan coach will be wary of the final-four curse striking again. City have only managed to claim one FA Cup in Guardiola's tenure so far in 2018-19, but they bring a 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions to Wembley Stadium.

Never before have Liverpool managed to reach the semi-finals of the EFL Cup, FA Cup and Champions League in one season, and aspirations of a remarkable quadruple are very much still a possibility, even though they will be relying on Man City dropping points to have a shot at Premier League glory. The Reds have knocked Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City, Norwich City and Nottingham Forest out of the tournament to reach the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2014-15 - before Klopp had arrived - and they have made the final on eight of the last 10 occasions that they have reached the final four. The draw with Benfica marked a seventh game without defeat in all competitions for the Reds - who have found the back of the net at least twice in six of those games - but they have now gone five games without a win versus Man City after the Etihad spectacular earlier this month. City and Liverpool have not been familiar foes in the FA Cup down the years, with the most recent meeting between the two clubs in the competition coming all the way back in 2002-03.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS WOLFSBURG

BUNDESLIGA: 16 APRIL @ 14:30 GMT

Borussia Dortmund could confirm their qualification for next season's Champions League when they welcome Wolfsburg to Signal Iduna Park in the Bundesliga on Saturday. Both sides returned to winning ways last weekend after suffering winless streaks, with the hosts retaining a glimmer of hope in the title race, whilst the visitors pulled further away from danger at the other end of the table.

Dortmund put their heavy 4-1 defeat to RB Leipzig behind them when they visited relegation-threatened Stuttgart last Friday evening. Despite initially being named as a substitute, Julian Brandt was the difference after replacing the injured Giovanni Reyna just six minutes into the contest. The former Bayer Leverkusen man got his first goal within six minutes of his arrival after being set up by the unselfish Erling Braut Haaland, before sealing the three points midway through the second half. The result was far from comfortable however, with Die Roten unfortunate not to take something from the game after missing a host of chances against BVB in the second 45. Those three points briefly pulled Marco Rose's side to within six points of Bayern Munich at the summit ahead of their game against Augsburg a day later, and when the Bavarians looked to be heading towards a frustrating goalless draw, Dortmund appeared to have been given another lifeline in the title race. However, Robert Lewandowski netted from the penalty spot inside the final 10 minutes to spare Bayern's blushes, and to leave Dortmund nine points behind once more heading into matchday 30 this weekend. With the leaders not due to play until Sunday, Dortmund once again have the opportunity to temporarily close the gap, and were they to better their result this weekend, the Bundesliga title race could well be blown open ahead of Der Klassiker next Saturday.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg picked up only their second win in seven Bundesliga outings when they hammered Arminia Bielefeld 4-0 at the Volkswagen Arena last time out. Three successive defeats prior to it had left Die Wolfe looking over their shoulders once again during their dismal season, but a much-improved showing and result has all but put those fears to bed. Eight points separate Florian Kohfeldt's men from last weekend's opponents in the relegation playoff spot, so with only five games to play at the time of writing, it would take an almighty disaster for Wolfsburg to suffer a catastrophic drop out of the top flight. As a result, the focus will be turning towards a positive finish to this poor campaign in order to head into the summer on a high note before looking to make a return to European football next season.

Our prediction: Dortmund to win the match

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PREDICTION: FIORENTINA VS VENEZIA

SERIE A: 16 APRIL @ 15:30 GMT

With one side pursuing European ambitions and the other scrapping for survival, seventh-placed Fiorentina meet relegation-threatened Venezia on Saturday. The teams convene at Stadio Artemio Franchi having endured vastly differing fortunes of late, as the Viola have won three of their last four, while the Venetians suffered a sixth straight defeat last weekend.

Adding to their victory in the Derby dell'Arno at the start of April, a remarkable season for Fiorentina reached a new high last Sunday, as they returned from Naples with all three points from one of their toughest assignments so far. As a result, Vincenzo Italiano's men have now won five of their last eight league matches, a period during which they have added 17 points to their tally - fewer only than fellow form side Roma (18) in Serie A. Indeed, they are now 23 points better off than they were at this stage last season. Fiorentina sit seventh in the standings - two points behind Lazio in the final European qualification spot, but with a game in hand - and are also in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, in which they also won away to Napoli at the start of the year. Their aspirations of returning to continental football will be tempered, however, by an upcoming fixture list that pits them against Milan, Roma and old foes Juve, the latter of whom they not only meet in the second leg of the Coppa semis but also in a potentially explosive final day fixture in Florence.

Following a heartbreaking stoppage-time loss to Udinese last week, Venezia have now gone 11 matches without recording a home win, but one of their two league victories at Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo this season came against Fiorentina back in October. The last time the Lagunari won both Serie A fixtures against the Viola was as long ago as the 1941-42 season, but they are in acute need of pulling off such a feat on Saturday, with time running out to retain their top-flight status. Currently sitting three points adrift of safety, but with a game in hand on most of their survival rivals, Paolo Zanetti's side have now lost each of their last six league games; the last time they endured a worse streak within a single Serie A season was in 1966-67.  In all, one victory from 18 attempts leaves Venezia in dire trouble, and in that spell they have scored only 14 goals. French forward Thomas Henry has been directly involved in seven, including three of their last four, but his supporting cast - assembled from far and wide as part of a scattergun transfer policy - have failed to perform.                                                                

Our prediction: Fiorentina to win the match

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PREDICTION: RENNES VS MONACO

LIGUE 1: 15 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


Roazhon Park in Brittany will be the site of a critical Ligue 1 fixture between Rennes and Monaco, who are each targeting a place in Europe next season. Stade Rennais come into this contest on Friday unbeaten in their previous five matches in all competitions, while Les Monegasques have won their last three domestic encounters and are only a single point behind Nice for a place in the Europa Conference League.

Winning the league is probably out of reach, but nonetheless Bruno Genesio and his team are on pace for a record-setting top-flight campaign, with 56 points after 31 fixtures, equalling their highest-ever tally at this stage of the competition in 1998-99. Throughout 2021-22 they have been incredibly potent in the final third, scoring 67 goals, three fewer than league leaders Paris Saint-Germain. Their deep attacking side have been extremely clinical on home soil, scoring 20 goals domestically at Roazhon Park in their previous five games played there, while conceding just two. Rennes have only competed in the Champions League group stage once before (2020-21), and at the moment, they find themselves with a chance to guarantee they make it back to at least that point next season, currently trailing Olympique de Marseille by three points for second place. Genesio has always been keen on attacking football, and the slick collective style of play that he has brought to this side seems to be what they needed to reach the next level. Les Rouge et Noir have effectively executed a preventative marking style when they hit the field, an approach that focuses on anticipating the loss of a ball to counter the opponent quickly.

When Monaco were knocked out of the Europa League last month, it appeared as though that would be the last European match we would see them play until at least the 2023-24 campaign. Since their exit from that competition however, their fortunes in the league have changed dramatically, with Philippe Clement's side currently on their longest winning run since he took over, sitting two points behind Strasbourg for a place in the qualifying portion of the Europa League next season. In what has been a tumultuous campaign in the principality featuring a team that have been hot and cold, Les Monegasques seem to be finding their footing in the nick of time. While they have done what is needed to pick up three points in each of their previous three encounters, it has not been easy, as they narrowly defeated relegation-threatened sides Metz and Troyes, both times by a 2-1 score. Their individual class has carried them through numerous matches, and that quality will be put to the test over the next seven days as they face two teams (Rennes and Nice) who stand in their way of a return visit to European competition. Those upcoming encounters could determine their European fate, and Les Rouges et Blancs will fancy their chances against Stade Rennais, a side that they have defeated 49 times in Ligue 1, more than any other top-flight opponent.

Our prediction: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: ATLETICO MADRID VS MANCHESTER CITY

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 13 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


Manchester City travels to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium for the second leg clash against Atletico Madrid having with the one goal ahead advantage from the home game match.

Atletico’s mission of overturning the 1-0 deficit is far from being an easy one. Although the first leg result left them with decent chances for a come-back, in reality The Citizens had far more scoring chances and controlled the game from an end to another.

After the entertaining 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the top of the table clash on Sunday, City are now unbeaten in their last 9 games and have won 6 of their last 7 away matches. In Champion’s League they kept a clean sheet in the last 3 games and have high hopes for securing a spot in the semi-finals.

In La Liga, Atletico suffered a disappointing defeat 1-0 to Mallorca allowing Betis and Sociedad to come 1 point close and 3 points respectively, hastening their battle for the 4th place. In today’s match, Atletico must score against a very well-organized defence which didn’t even allow them to fire a shit on target in the first leg.

Team news

Hector Herrera is out for Atletico, whereas Jose Gimenez is doubtful. Yannick Carrasco returns.

City has 3 absent players: Ruben Dias, Cole Palmer and Gabriel Jesus. Kyle Walker returns after his suspension.

The possible start-up lines are:

Atletico Madrid (3-5-2): Oblak - Savic, Felipe, Reinildo - Vrsaljko, Llorente, Koke, Lemar, Lodi - Griezmann, Felix

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson - Walker, Stones, Laporte, Ake - Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne - Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

Madrid have gone under 2.5 goals in four of their last five games whereas City have seen under 2.5 in four of their last five away matches. Thus, we expect at tight match.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 goals on regular time

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PREDICTION: EVERTON VS MANCHESTER UNITED

PREMIER LEAGUE: 9 APRIL @ 12:30 GMT


Two teams in desperate need of the three points will lock horns for a key Premier League contest on Saturday afternoon, as Everton welcome Manchester United to Goodison Park. Everton's relegation fears deepened on Wednesday when they lost 3-2 at fellow strugglers Burnley, while Man United saw their top-four hopes take a hit last weekend, dropping points at home to Leicester City.

Everton are one of six teams to have never been relegated from the Premier League, but there is no question that the Merseyside giants are locked in a battle for their lives heading into the final straight, and the pressure is already firmly on head coach Frank Lampard despite his recent arrival. The Toffees picked up a vital 1-0 win over Newcastle United before the international break but have lost their last two in the league, going down 2-1 at West Ham United last weekend before suffering a damaging 3-2 reverse away to fellow relegation candidates Burnley on Wednesday night. Everton are currently 17th in the table, just one point clear of 18th-placed Burnley on the same number of matches, while they are only three ahead of 19th-placed Watford, but the Hornets have played a game more. The Merseyside club are now heading into a tough run of fixtures, facing Man United, Leicester (H), Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester (A) before a trip to Watford on May 11, and there is no question that the home supporters will be demanding a response at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

Man United will not be in the mood to hand out any favours this weekend, though, as the Red Devils require three points to keep their top-four hopes alive heading into the final straight. Last weekend's 1-1 draw with Leicester, coupled with the other results in England's top flight, has left Ralf Rangnick's side in seventh spot, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on the same number of matches; it is not an impossible task, but they will also likely have to finish above Arsenal and West Ham. Man United have only won one of their last six matches in all competitions during a disappointing run, while they suffered a 4-1 loss at Manchester City in their last away league fixture towards the start of March, but they should be in a confident mood heading into this game, having only lost once to Everton in all competitions since April 2015.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: VILLARREAL VS ATHLETIC BILBAO

PRIMERA DIVISION: 9 APRIL @ 17:30 GMT


A key battle in the race for top six spots in the La Liga table will take place at El Madrigal on Saturday, as Villarreal host Athletic Bilbao. The seventh-placed hosts currently sit one place and one point better off than their visitors while they come into the game on the back of a victory over Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final tie.

After an underwhelming first half to the season, Villarreal bounced back to put themselves in a strong position for a high finish in La Liga, as they picked up nine wins and 29 points from a span of 13 league games between mid-December and mid-March. However, their hopes of a top-six finish took a major hit recently, as Unai Emery's side have suffered defeats in each of their last two La Liga outings, firstly falling to relegation-threatened Cadiz as Ruben Sobrino hit the only goal of the game in the dying embers. Following a damning 2-0 defeat to basement side Levante, the Yellow Submarine headed into the first leg of their tricky Champions League quarter-final meeting with Bayern Munich on home turf, and they took a somewhat surprising advantage, as Arnaut Danjuma hit the only goal of the game in Spain inside the first 10 minutes. Now turning their focus back to the Spanish top flight, Emery's men will aim to move further clear of their visitors and cut the six-point gap between themselves and sixth-placed Real Sociedad with a home victory at the weekend.

Athletic Bilbao make the trip aiming to leapfrog their opponents after an important victory in their push for the top six. While Marcelino's men have impressed at various points throughout the season, they have often struggled for consistency and went into a recent meeting with Elche having lost two and won one of their previous four league outings. They were able to return to winning ways, though, as Alex Berenguer and Asier Villalibre got on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win on home turf, with Josan's late goal for the visitors not enough to salvage a result. That win saw the Basque outfit move back within a point of Saturday's opponents and seven points behind the top six with eight games to play, and they will now be keen to establish a winning run to boost their claim for continental qualification.

Our prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: CAGLIARI VS JUVENTUS

SERIE A: 9 APRIL @ 19:45 GMT


Following the latest hammer blow to their ambitions last weekend, Juventus look to bounce back and consolidate their top four spot with a win at Cagliari on Saturday. The Bianconeri travel to Sardinia after Derby d'Italia defeat to Inter effectively ended their Scudetto hopes for another year, while their hosts have lost four successive Serie A matches to slip into acute danger near the foot of the standings.

Having crashed out of the Champions League in ignominious fashion last month, Juventus may have returned from the international break with a win over rock-bottom Salernitana, but it was last Sunday's clash with old foes Inter that would test their mettle - with victory all but essential if they were to stay in the title race. Their second successive loss in the Derby d'Italia, after January's Supercoppa Italiana also went the way of the Nerazzurri, sees Max Allegri's men with only the Coppa Italia and securing a return to the Champions League to play for, but at least the latter objective remains on course due to their consistency over the past few months. Winning six games and drawing three on the road, the Bianconeri have averaged two goals per game during that time, so will be confident of maintaining their five-point buffer to Roma in fifth when they tackle their favourite prey on Saturday. Juve have won 10 of their last 11 Serie A meetings with Cagliari - including December's reverse fixture in Turin - and have kept eight clean sheets in the process.

Not only have their latest visitors been generally dominant in recent clashes between the two very different clubs, but Cagliari have also lost nine of their last 10 league games at home to the Old Lady - conceding at least three goals on five of those occasions. They also enter the weekend amid a worrying downturn in fortunes, as Walter Mazzarri's men have lost each of their last four outings; conceding 11 goals. That equals the club's worst run since the start of last year, with a previous five-match unbeaten run that clawed them out of the bottom three fading fast in the memory. Joao Pedro's opener in the Rossoblu's chastening 5-1 defeat to Udinese last weekend has been their only goal during that fruitless spell, and the manner in which his side subsequently folded at the Dacia Arena will be of serious concern to both the club captain and Mazzarri. Still hovering precariously above the drop zone - leading 18th-placed Venezia by three points, but having played a game more - Cagliari are definitely not out of the woods yet and have a long way to go before retaining their top-flight status. Upcoming clashes with Genoa and Venezia - the latter a potential demotion decider on the final day - are more likely to define their destiny than events on Saturday evening, though, when they start as long-shot outsiders.

Our prediction: Juventus to win the match

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PREDICTION: LORIENT VS SAINT-ETIENNE

LIGUE 1: 8 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


Lorient will welcome Saint-Etienne to the Stade du Moustoir for their crucial Ligue 1 relegation battle on Friday night. Both sides head into this contest off the back of heavy defeats against the league's top two sides last weekend, with Lorient conceding five against Paris Saint-Germain, while Saint-Etienne let in four against Marseille.

Lorient suffered their heaviest Ligue 1 defeat for over five years when they were beaten 5-1 away at league leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday. Christophe Pelissier's side still remain in a precarious position in the Ligue 1 standings, currently hovering just one point above the bottom three with eight games remaining. While Lorient were not expected to cause an upset at the Parc des Princes, they will fancy their chances of success on Friday against fellow strugglers Saint-Etienne. Encounters with basement club Bordeaux, Metz and Troyes will also be viewed as winnable games as they head into the final stretch.

Les Merlus have won more Ligue 1 games on home soil against Saint-Etienne than any other team in the division, coming out on top in seven of their 12 meetings at the Stade du Moustoir. However, in this season's top flight, Lorient have accumulated the fewest points against teams currently in the bottom half of the table (11). Pelissier's men have also won only one of their last 11 league matches at home, winning 2-0 against Lens in February, so they will need to be on top of their game if they are to claim maximum points on Friday.

After claiming five points from three league matches in March, Saint-Etienne began the month of April with a 4-2 home defeat against Marseille. With the other four teams around them at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table also failing to win last weekend, Pascal Dupraz's men remain in 18th place, four points above Metz in the bottom two and one point behind both Clermont and Friday's opponents Lorient in the two positions above them. Saint-Etienne head into Friday's contest having won only one of their last six Ligue 1 away games. Les Verts have also lost their last two encounters at the Stade du Moustoir, losing both by a 2-1 scoreline. Dupraz's side played out a 1-1 draw against Les Merlus in the reverse fixture back in August, but they will be hoping to improve in the final third this time around, after seeing only three of their 20 shots on goal hit the target in that game.                                                                                   

  Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS REAL MADRID

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 6 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


The two giants of the European football Chelsea and Real Madrid face each other at Stamford Bridge tonight in the first leg of the quarter-finals of UEFA Champions League. This is a reiteration of the 2020-21 semi-finals when Chelsea made it to the finals after 3-1 on aggregates.

Real Madrid is in a terrific shape winning 6 of their last 7 games and running away with La Liga title. With just 8 rounds left, Los Blancos have a consistent 9 points ahead of the second place Barcelona. In the previous Champions League round, Real overpassed PSG, one of the title favourites with 3-1 on aggregates.

In Premier League, Chelsea lost surprisingly 4-1 at home with Brantford, suffering only the second defeat in the league this year from 9 games. In Champions League In Champions League, The Blues eliminated Lille in the last 8 after 2-1 on aggregates.

Team news

Chelsea’s only confirmed absence is Ben Chilwell (injured). Cristian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are doubtful and unlikely to start. For Real Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic are injured. Isco is doubtful. Ferland Mendy and Casemiro are returning following suspension.

The possible start-up lines are:

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy - Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger - James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso - Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois - Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy - Kroos, Casemiro, Modric - Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Junior

In three of the last four meetings between Chelsea and Real Madrid in all competitions both teams scored.

Our prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER CITY VS ATLETICO MADRID

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 5 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


In the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals Atletico Madrid travels to Etihad to face Manchester City tonight. After sending home the city rivals United (2-1 on aggregates) in the previous round, Atletico will be hoping to return with a positive result from Manchester, having the advantage of playing the second leg on home soil.

Manchester City pasted Sporting Lisbon In the last 16 with an impressive 5-0 on aggregates giving The Lions no hope even from the first leg. In Premier League, The Citizens maintain their leader position after the Saturday win (2-0) at Burnley, extending their unbeaten streak to seven games. But the battle with Chelsea is as tough as it can be as the Stanford Bridge team is only following them close with just one point behind.

In La Liga, Atletico sits 3rd, equal to 4h place Sevilla and 2nd place Barcelona. Last weekend the Colchoneros beat Alaves 4-1 at home extending their winning run to 6 games in all competitions including the  1-0 victory at Old Trafford.

The possible start-up lines are:

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson - Cancelo, Laporte, Stones, Zinchenko - Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne - Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

Atletico Madrid (3-5-2): Oblak - Savic, Hermoso, Reinildo - Llorente, De Paul, Kondogbia, Koke, Lodi - Griezmann, Felix

Today’s game is the first ever competition meeting between the two clubs. With a second leg at Madrid, Atletico will do whatever it takes to keep this tight, so we expect a game lacking goals.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: CRYSTAL PALACE VS ARSENAL

PREMIER LEAGUE: 4 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


Arsenal continues the battle for a top four place at the end of Premier League season today, when travelling to Selhurst Park in South London to meet Crystal Palace. The game brings face to face two of the top previous Arsenal’s midfielders Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta.

Before the game Arsenal and their city rivals Tottenham are equal in the league table with 54 points, but The Gunners have one more game in hand. Two victories in the remaining games would offer them a solid option for securing at least a 4th place with just 8 round left.

Arsenal’s shape this year is impressive having lost just 2 games against the top two Manchester City and Liverpool, drew once and won 6.  In the previous match before the World Cup qualifiers break, they have won 1-0 at Villa Park, returning home with 3 huge points.

Crystal Palace is 12th in the league table with 34 points after a series of mixed results this year in Premier League: 5 draws, 2 wins and 3 victories. The Eagles mores is still on the upwards trend after the 4-0 win against Everton in FA Cup and the previous league game draw at home 0-0 against the leader Manchester City.

Team news

The absent players at Crystal Palace are Ferguson, McArthur, Olise and Zaha. At Arsenal are missing the international England’s star Ramsdale and Tomiyasu, but Saka might return following a COVID-19 test.

The possible start-up lines are:

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita - Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell - Gallagher, Kouyate, Hughes - Eze, Mateta, Edouard

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno - Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney - Xhaka, Partey - Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli – Lacazette

Arsenal have won 5 of their 5 away matches in Premier League. Crystal Palace have seen over 2.5 goals in 8 of their last games against Arsenal.

Our prediction: Arsenal to win and Over 2.5 goals scored in the match 

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PREDICTION: JUVENTUS VS INTER MILAN

SERIE A: 3 APRIL @ 19:45 GMT


Juventus are hoping to win again after their last result, a 2-0 Serie A victory against Salernitana. In that game, Juventus had 57% possession and 12 shots at goal with 7 of them on target.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus have hit the back of the net 10 times in their last six outings. At the other end, the tally of goals that they have conceded in those games amounts to 6. Analysis of their past results shows that Juventus have not beaten in the league by Inter Milan in their previous 2 games and are undefeated in their last 8 league matches at home. A run that they’ll hope to extend here.

Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Rugani, De Sciglio; Cuadrado, Arthur, Locatelli, Rabiot; Dybala, Vlahovic.

In their previous fixture, Inter Milan drew 1-1 in the Serie A match with Fiorentina. In that game, Inter Milan managed 51% possession and 13 attempts on goal with 5 of them on target.

A sequence of outstanding displays by the Inter Milan defensive players has resulted in the number of goals they’ve conceded standing at 2 from their last 6 fixtures in total. During the same period of time, their forwards have scored 8. That being said, we must now wait to see if the trend shall be replicated in this next game or not.

Pre-game facts show that Inter Milan: haven't been defeated in their previous 4 league matches away from home and have not won away from home in their last 4 league matches.

Inter Milan: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Lautaro, Dzeko.

Looking at the statistics for their head to head duels dating back to 17/01/2021, there has been little to separate the clubs with Juventus winning 2 of those games, Inter Milan 2 and 2 being draws after 90 minutes of play. A sum of 15 goals were shared by the two clubs in these games, with 7 of them from Juve and 8 belonging to Nerazzurri. The average goals per game has been 2.5.

Our prediction: Under 2.5 Goals 

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PREDICTION: BARCELONA VS SEVILLA

LA LIGA: 3 APRIL @ 20:00 GMT


Barcelona will be looking for a repeat result of a 0-4 La Liga success against Real Madrid. In that match, Barcelona managed 59% possession and 18 attempts on goal with 10 on target. For Barcelona, goals were scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (29', 51'), Ronald Araújo (38') and Ferrán Torres (47'). On the other side, Real Madrid CF got 14 shots at goal with 4 of them on target.

Their most recent results highlight the fact that huge efforts have been put in by the Barcelona rearguard. Barcelona have been miserly, seeing the total number of goals that have gone past their goalkeeper during their past six matches standing at 2.

In their last fixture, Sevilla drew 0-0 in the La Liga match with Real Sociedad. In that match, Sevilla managed 60% possession and 10 attempts on goal with 0 on target. Real Sociedad got 13 attempts at goal with 2 of them on target. Their past results show that Sevilla are winless against Barcelona when they have played them away from home in the previous 18 matches in the league. A shocking away run it has been.

For 5 of the previous 6 clashes involving Sevilla, a comparatively low number of goals have gone in between them and their opposition. The overall average goals scored per game within that period comes out as just 1.33, with the average goals for Sevillistas standing at 0.67. It will be interesting to find out whether or not that trend will be continued on into this next match.

An examination of their past head to head clashes going back to 19/06/2020 shows us that Barcelona have won 2 of these games and Sevilla 1, with the tally of drawn games being 3. A total of 11 goals were scored between the two sides in these games, with 7 for Barça and 4 created by Sevillistas. This gives an average number of goals per game equal to 1.83.

Our prediction: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS LEICESTER CITY

PREMIER LEAGUE: 2 APRIL @ 17:30 GMT


Manchester United will be looking to improve on their last outing here after the 0-1 Champions League losing effort in their last game against Atlético Madrid.

It has been a rare occasion in recent times that Manchester United have shown defensive steel. The reality is that Manchester United have seen their defence breached in 5 of their previous 6 games, giving up 10 goals during that time. That kind of trend isn’t assured to be continued into this game, of course. Their past results show that Manchester United have left without a victory over Leicester City in their last 3 league matches but they haven’t been defeated in their previous 5 league matches at home.

Manchester United possible starting lineup: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo

Leicester City go into this match after a 2-1 Premier League win versus Brentford in their previous fixture. In that match, Leicester City managed 53% possession and 12 attempts at goal with 4 of them on target. For Leicester City, the goals were scored by Timothy Castagne (20') and James Maddison (33'). On the other side, Brentford got 15 shots on goal with 6 on target. Yoane Wissa (85') was the scorer for Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers's Leicester City have fired home a total of 8 times throughout their previous 6 matches. The number of goals that have been scored against them during those same clashes equals 5.

Leicester City possible starting lineup: Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu; Justin, Dewsbury-Hall, Tielemans, Castagne; Maddison, Daka, Barnes

A glance at their most recent head-to-head clashes dating back to 14/09/2019 shows that Manchester United have won 2 of these games and Leicester City 3, with the number of drawn matches being 1. In all, 20 goals were scored between the two sides throughout the course of those matches, with 9 from The Red Devils and 11 created by The Foxes. This gives an average number of goals per game equal to 3.33.

Our prediction: Manchester United to Win 

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PREDICTION: BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS RB LEIPZIG

BUNDESLIGA: 2 APRIL @ 17:30 GMT


Borussia Dortmund prepare for this fixture coming off the back of a 1-1 Bundesliga 1 tied result vs Cologne.

In that match, Borussia Dortmund managed 45% possession and 9 attempts on goal with 3 of them on target. The only player on the scoresheet for Borussia Dortmund was Marius Wolf (8'). For their opponents, 1. FC Köln had 11 attempts at goal with 1 on target. Sebastian Andersson (36') scored for Cologne.

Borussia Dortmund have been on a persistent run of goalscoring form, finding the back of the net every time they’ve gone out to play in their last 6 matches. They have claimed a sum of 12 during that time while seeing the number of goals scored against them stand at 4. However, time will tell if the trend might persist in this game or not.

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup: Kobel; Can, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Bellingham; Reus, Reyna, Hazard; Haaland.

In their last fixture, RB Leipzig drew 0-0 in the Bundesliga 1 tie with Eintracht Frankfurt. In that game, RB Leipzig had 55% possession and 15 attempts on goal with 7 of them on target. Eintracht Frankfurt got 6 attempts on goal with 0 of them on target.

A succession of resolute performances from the RB Leipzig defensive unit has resulted in the number of goals they’ve conceded standing at 3 from their past 6 outings overall. In that period of time, their own forwards have managed to score 15.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup: Gulacsi; Simakan, Orban, Gvardiol; Henrichs, Laimer, Haidara, Angelino; Olmo, Nkunku; Silva.

Looking over their most recent head-to-head meetings dating back to 17/12/2019 tells us that Borussia Dortmund have won 4 of them & RB Leipzig 1, with the number of draws being 1. Loads of goals were seen in those games, too - 25 in all at an average of 4.17 goals per meeting.

Our prediction: Both teams to score? Yes

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PREDICTION: SWEDEN VS CZECH REPUBLIC

WORLD CUP EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS: 24 MARCH @ 19:45 GMT


Sweden will be hosting Czech Republic tonight at the Friends Arena in Stockolm – Solna, looking at a place in the finals where the winning team will meet Poland which is already qualified.

After a disappointing evolution in the last two group stage games – 1-0 loss in Spain and 2-0 loss in Georgia- Sweden is playing their last chance for a place at the Qatar World Cup 2022. The support of their home fans is a huge asset, since the yellow-blues haven’t lost a game at home since September 2020.  But the absence of the suspended super-star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the main concern of coach Janne Andersson.  

Czech Republic finished third in Group E, behind Wales and Belgium, although they won the last 2 games. Still the Czechs advanced to the play-offs due to their UEFA Nations League finish. From the defeat against Belgium in September, Czech Republic have been undefeated for 5 games and they are now in a clear shape growth trend. Still, the 8 missing players is a serious reason of concern for coach Jaroslaw Silhavy.

The possible start-up lines are:

Sweden (4-4-2): Olsen - Lindelof, Danielson, Helander, Augustinsson - Kulusevski, Ekdal, Olsson, Forsberg - Isak, Quaison

Czech Republic (4-2-3-1): Vaclik- Brabec, Kalas, Zima, Mateju - Sadilek, Soucek - Masopust, Barak, Pesek - Hlozek

Both teams have scored in each of their three previous meetings. Sweden have scored 5-goals in their last two home games. The Czech Republic have scored in each of their last five international matches.

Our prediction: Both team to score in the regular time

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PREDICTION: PORTUGAL VS TURKEY

WORLD CUP EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS: 24 MARCH @ 19:45 GMT


Portugal hosts Turkey in the World Cup 2022 European Qualifiers semi-final at Estadio do Dragao on Thursday. Both teams finished second in their groups are now forced to take the play-off route in order to secure a spot in the final tournament.

Portugal finished second in group A, 3 points behind Serbia after a dramatic defeat in the last round, produced by Alexandar Mitrovic 90’ goal. The defeat at Estadio da Luz was the first one at home in the World Cup Qualifiers since 2008. The goalless draw in Ireland from the previous round also proved to be decisive for the group’s final configuration.

But even if ‘The Navigators’ manage to pass to the finals, they will be facing an even tougher opponent, Italy, which are expected to have a quite facile game against North-Macedonia. This means that one of the two heavy-weights will watch the Qatar World Cup from TV.

On the other side Turkey finished second in group G, just 2 points behind Netherlands. Although winning their last 3 games in a raw, the points lost at home in the draw with Norway and the 6-1 humiliating defeat in The Netherlands proved to be crucial. Still, Turkey is on an up-rising trend since their Euro 2020 crash when they left from the group stage without any points. In the World Cup Qualifiers they have lost just 1 out of the last 7 games.   

The possible start-up lines are:

Portugal (4-3-3): Patricio - Cedric, Fonte, Inacio, Guerreiro - Moutinho, Pereira, Fernandes - B. Silva, Ronaldo, Jota

Turkey (4-4-2): Cakir - Celik, Soyuncu, Demiral, Erkin - Under, Calhanoglu, Antalyali, Akturoglu - Yilmaz, Yazici

Over 2.5 goals were scored in the last clash between the two. At least three goals have been scored in five of Portugal's last six games. Five of Turkey's last six fixtures have also witnessed over 2.5 goals.

Our prediction: Over 2.5 goals scored

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PREDICTION: MIDDLESBROUGH VS CHELSEA

FA CUP: 19 MARCH @ 17:15 GMT


Seeking yet another memorable scalp in the FA Cup, Middlesbrough welcome Chelsea to the Riverside Stadium for Saturday's quarter-final battle. The Championship side made it this far by overcoming Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the fifth round, while the Blues had to do it the hard way to beat Luton Town 3-2.

As if victory at Old Trafford over Manchester United was not remarkable enough for them, Middlesbrough were paired with another Premier League Big Six side in Tottenham for a place in the last eight, and the Riverside giant killers ensured that Spurs' barren run without a trophy would be extended to 14 years. Attempting to get one over the European champions is a slightly different kettle of fish to an inconsistent Man United or Spurs side, but Boro are on an incredible nine-game winning run at the Riverside Stadium in all competitions and have only let in four goals in that stretch.

While off-the-pitch issues continue to bedevil Chelsea - whose inexplicable request to have the quarter-final played behind closed doors led to an amusing response from Middlesbrough - Thomas Tuchel's side are continuing to do their talking on the turf. Tuchel will inevitably be forced to bat away questions regarding the club's ownership, but his side head into the quarter-final on a five-game winning streak away from home and will endeavour to make the final four for the third season running this weekend.

Chelsea and Middlesbrough have not locked horns since the Blues eased to a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge in the 2016-17 Premier League season - their eighth win and eighth clean sheet on the bounce versus the Championship side, whose most recent win in this fixture came all the way back in 2006 under Gareth Southgate.

Prediction: Middlesborough to win or draw on regular time

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PREDICTION: LENS VS CLERMONT

LIGUE 1: 19 MARCH @ 16:00 GMT


Lens and Clermont will both be aiming to bounce back from underwhelming results last weekend in Saturday's Ligue 1 showdown at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. Sang et Or were held to a 0-0 draw by Metz in their most recent outing, while the visitors went down 2-0 to fellow relegation candidates Lorient.

Starting off the month of March with no wins and no goals from two games has done Lens' European aspirations no favours whatsoever, and Sang et Or are now rank outsiders for a top-five finish, currently sitting ninth in the table and six points adrift of Strasbourg in the final continental spot.

Furthermore, with Lyon and Montpellier HSC breathing down their necks, Lens are at a very real risk of losing their grip on a top-half spot should their underwhelming run of form - which has seen them win just two of their last seven in the top flight - continue much longer. Ironically, Lens have also won just two of their last seven Ligue 1 games at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis and have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four in front of their own fans, so Clermont may sense an opportunity to derail Sang et Or's continental bid further here.

As is the case with Lens, Clermont are also winless and goalless since the start of the month and are far from safe when it comes to the relegation dogfight - currently five points above the bottom two in 16th but just two clear of Saint-Etienne in the relegation playoff spot. Only the hapless Bordeaux (41) have conceded more goals on the road than Pascal Gastien's side (29) in the current Ligue 1 season, and not since October 3 have Les Lanciers played out a draw away from home, but they would probably accept such a result at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Clermont and Lens played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Les Lanciers' turf back in December - the fourth stalemate from the last six meetings between the two sides - but not since 2018 have this week's visitors come up trumps against Sang et Or in any competition.

Prediction: Clermont scores in the match

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS UNION BERLIN

BUNDESLIGA: 19 MARCH @ 17:30 GMT


Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome Union Berlin to the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening. The Bavarian giants have won only two of their last five top-flight matches, while the Iron Ones have won only one of their last six league games.

While Bayern Munich remain strong favorites to clinch their 10th successive Bundesliga title, back-to-back 1-1 draws against Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim has provided a glimmer of hope for second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Bayern's exceptionally high standards have recently taken a dip, as they have won only three of their last seven games across all competitions.

Union Berlin's inconsistent run of form has continued after they followed up their 1-0 loss at Wolfsburg with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against relegation-threatened Stuttgart last weekend. Urs Fischer's men have slipped down to eighth in the Bundesliga table, six points behind Hoffenheim in sixth, who currently occupy the final European qualification spot.

Union Berlin have struggled away from home so far this season, accumulating only 13 points from as many league matches. They can, however, take confidence from their last visit to the Allianz Arena where they claimed a 1-1 draw in April last season, with Marcus Ingvartsen scoring an 85th-minute equalizer.

The Iron Ones will be seeking revenge against Bayern on Saturday, after the latter secured a 5-2 victory in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Prediction: Over 3.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: ELCHE VS VALENCIA

LA LIGA: 19 MARCH @ 15:15 GMT


Valencia will be bidding to continue their impressive run of form in Spain's top flight when they travel to Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero on Saturday afternoon to take on Elche. Los Che are currently ninth in the La Liga table, 10 points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad, while Elche occupy 14th position, eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Elche finished 17th on their return to Spain's top flight last season, but they are more comfortable in the La Liga table at this moment in time, currently sitting 14th, eight points clear of the relegation zone. Los Franjiverdes are far from certain of a spot in La Liga for next season but will fancy their chances of avoiding the drop from this position, and they are only actually three points behind 10th-placed Celta Vigo at this stage. Elche have struggled for consistency in the league in recent weeks but will enter this match off the back of a victory, beating Granada 1-0 on March 12 courtesy of a first-half goal from Fidel.

Valencia, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw with Getafe on March 12, which ended a three-game winning run in all competitions for Jose Bordalas's side. Valencia have a relatively kind fixture list between now and the end of the campaign, and they are certainly well-placed to improve on last season's disappointing 13th-place finish in Spain's top flight. A record of 37 points from 28 matches has left Valencia in ninth position in the table, three points behind eighth-placed Athletic Bilbao, but they are 10 points off sixth-placed Real Sociedad, so a European finish this season is extremely unlikely.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

PREMIER LEAGUE: 12 MARCH @ 17:30 GMT


A mouthwatering encounter between two top-four rivals takes place at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, as Manchester United face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. The Red Devils fell to pieces in a 4-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City last time out, while Antonio Conte's side put five unanswered goals past Everton.

If the cracks were not already apparent for Rangnick at Man United, they certainly are now, as amid multiple reports of discontent behind the scenes, the Red Devils were outclassed and outfought at the Etihad last weekend in a humbling 4-1. The Red Devils were clinging onto fourth spot in the table but have now been surpassed by a blistering Arsenal - who also possess three games in hand - but victory for fifth-placed Man United here will see them return to the Champions League spots before the Gunners face Leicester City a day later. There is also the small matter of the second leg of their Champions League knockout tie with Atletico Madrid to come, but having now failed to win any of their last three in all tournaments, optimism cannot be high among the Old Trafford fanbase right now.

Antonio Conte is the name, inconsistency is the game. The Premier League and Serie A-winning coach has overseen a batch of impressive as well as dismal results in North London, but his side needed no second invitation to sweep aside Everton last time out. Conte's side have reignited their pursuit of a top-four place after claiming emphatic back-to-back Premier League wins - also putting four past Leeds - and Spurs could rise back into the top four with a win at Old Trafford, but they would need to do so by a five-goal margin.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: HOFFENHEIM VS BAYERN MUNICH

BUNDESLIGA: 12 MARCH @ 14:30 GMT


Bayern Munich will be looking to extend their advantage at the top of the Bundesliga when they travel to high-flying Hoffenheim on Saturday. The hosts have won four on the bounce as they go in search of a surprise return to the Champions League, whilst the visitors silenced a few doubters with a thumping win in Europe in midweek. Hoffenheim strengthened their chances of returning to Europe's grand stage by recording a hard-fought win at fellow top-four hopefuls FC Koln last weekend.

The Rhein Energie Stadion is one of the toughest venues to visit in Germany, but despite missing a host of glorious opportunities, Sebastian Hoeness' side came away with all three points thanks to Stefan Posch's goal just after the hour mark. As mentioned above, the impressive result stretched Hoffenheim's winning streak to four in the Bundesliga, and was one that lifted Die Kraichgauer into fourth place in the table.

The Bavarians had only lost once in their previous five, which is hardly a disaster, but considering the standards that have been set at the Allianz Arena across the nine consecutive title wins, the drop in performance levels and results has certainly stood out. A shock 4-2 defeat at newly-promoted VfL Bochum was the most remarkable result of the Bundesliga season so far, and after stumbling to a 1-1 draw at Salzburg thanks to Kingsley Coman's late equaliser a few days later, doubts began to creep in regarding Bayern's complacency. Although the back-to-back setbacks were followed up by successive wins over Greuther Furth and Eintracht Frankfurt, both results were far from convincing, and Julian Nagelsmann's league leaders were some distance away from their usual excellence.

However, when doubts begin to surface around this Bayern machine, their true brilliance is unveiled, and that is exactly what was put on show for the doubters to witness when they welcomed Salzburg to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

Prediction: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals scored in the match

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PREDICTION: AS ROMA VS ATALANTA

SERIE A: 5 MARCH @ 17:00 GMT


Separated by just one place and three points in the Serie A standings, Roma and top-six rivals Atalanta BC convene at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday. Following wins for both last time out, victory for the sixth-placed hosts would draw them level with their visitors from Bergamo, but neither side has convinced in recent weeks.

After three successive Serie A draws and four games without a win, Jose Mourinho's main emotion - as he watched remotely during a two-match touchline suspension - would surely have been relief: not only have Roma posted a six-game unbeaten run in Serie A for the first time under his management, victory also keeps them within six points of a Champions League place. While the controversial coach will remain sidelined on Saturday, his side now has the opportunity to reel in a direct opponent for a top-four finish - and one which he masterminded a shock 4-1 win over earlier this season. Having come out on top in December's reverse fixture against Atalanta - with Abraham and Zaniolo both on target that day - Roma ended a run of failure in their previous seven encounters with the Lombardy side. The last time the Giallorossi did the league double over this weekend's visitors was as long ago as the 2012-2013 campaign, though, and a brittleness against fellow European contenders leaves doubts about their ability to do so now: in meetings between top-eight teams, Roma have gained the fewest points - just seven in nine matches, while losing on six occasions.

Curiously, the Nerazzurri's home form has been a major problem this term, but on the road they have generally excelled, and before they head south to the capital, a record of nine wins and one loss away from Bergamo should see them travel in a confident mood. Repeatedly stricken by injury and other absences, Gasperini's men have not scored in three of their last four Serie A away games, though, and are still far from their free-flowing best.

Prediction: Atalanta to win or draw and minimum 3 goals in the match

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS BAYERN LEVERKUSEN

BUNDESLIGA: 5 MARCH @ 14:30 GMT


First meets third in the standout Bundesliga fixture on Saturday, with Bayern Munich hosting Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena. The hosts are well on track to record a 10th consecutive league title after extending their lead at the summit last weekend, whilst the visitors returned to winning ways to strengthen their hold on a top-four spot.

Having held similar considerable advantages on two separate occasions earlier in the season, manager Julian Nagelsmann will be eager for his side to get the title wrapped up at the earliest possible opportunity and avoid any potential slip ups to allow Dortmund back in once more. Despite the step up in calibre of opponent on Saturday, Bayern will be expected to make it three wins in a row when Leverkusen visit the Allianz Arena, especially when recent meetings are taken into account. The 5-1 hammering of their opponents back at the Bay Arena in October was a statement victory for Bayern, and was a wake up call for Leverkusen in their early-season title challenge at the time.

Meanwhile, despite a drop off in form after that humiliation back in October, as well as another concerning dip prior to the winter break, Leverkusen have picked themselves up at the beginning of 2022. Although their unexpected title challenge prior to the heavy defeat to Saturday's opponents is well in the past now, with a 14-point gap between the sides heading into their meeting, Gerardo Seoane's men have still undergone a successful season up to this point. Sixteen points from a possible 21 to begin the new year mean Die Werkself find themselves in third place ahead of their trip to the Allianz Arena, with a four-point advantage over Leipzig, Freiburg and Hoffenheim directly below them in the table in the race for a Champions League place. A difficult trip to the league leaders on matchday 25 this weekend means that gap is likely to be cut, but Leverkusen look set to end a two-year absence from Europe's grand stage if they can maintain their strong form between now and May.

Prediction: Both teams to score and minimum 3 goals in the match

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PREDICTION: LEICESTER CITY VS LEEDS UNITED

SERIE A: 5 MARCH @ 12:30 GMT


Leeds United will begin life under their new head coach Jesse Marsch with a trip to the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on Leicester City. Marsch has taken charge of a Leeds side that currently sit down in 16th position in the Premier League table, while an inconsistent Leicester occupy 12th heading into the next set of fixtures.

Leicester have been some way short of a top-four challenging team this season, with a total of 30 points from 24 matches leaving them down in 12th position in the table, but they will enter Saturday's contest off the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 success at Burnley on Tuesday night. James Maddison and Jamie Vardy were both on the scoresheet in the latter stages of the contest at Turf Moor, and the victory proved to be Leicester's first in the Premier League since the end of December. The Foxes are only actually three points behind 10th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion and have two games in hand on the Seagulls, while they have three in hand on Crystal Palace directly above them. As a result, there is still plenty for Brendan Rodgers's side to play for this season, with a top-half finish certainly achievable, while they will face Rennes in the next round of the Europa Conference League, with the first leg set to take place at the King Power Stadium on March 10.

Leeds have one of the worst away records in the Premier League this term, though, collecting just 10 points from 13 matches, while they have conceded a worrying 35 goals on their travels in 2021-22. Marcelo Bielsa has now left his position at the helm, with former RB Leipzig head coach Marsch confirmed as his replacement on February 28, and the 48-year-old will be aware of the size of the task at Elland Road. The visitors will enter this match off the back of four straight losses in the league, conceding 17 times in the process, with their last success in England's top flight coming away to West Ham United on January 16.

Prediction: Leicester City to win

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PREDICTION: AC MILAN VS INTER MILAN

COPPA ITALIA: 1 MARCH @ 20:00 GMT


Engaged in a close battle for the Serie A title this year, only being separated by 2 points, the city rivals also meet in Coppa Italia. In the first leg of the semi-final AC Milan hosts Inter tonight, at San Siro. In their previous clash, earlier this year in February, in Serie A, AC Milan have won away 1-2. The all times results in the Cup competition is slightly favourable for the Rossoneri with 10 wins, whereas Nerrazurri have won 8 games.

Having made it to the semi-finals, both teams are now eager to add another trophy to their Palmares. AC Milan have won the Cup 5 times until now while their opponents have won it 7 times. Although quite impressive overall, neither of the teams have won the trophy in recent years, Inter last did in 2010 and Milan 2003! In the final, the winning team will meet either Juventus or Fiorentina -both redoubtable competitors.

Team news

AC Milan still cannot count on their star Ibrahimovic, and on two other players Kjaer and Tonali. The good news for Stefano Piolli’s  squad is the return of Ismael Bennaser.

Inter have only two improbable players Correa and Gosens but can rely on the services of recovered Vecino; Martinez and Skriniar both rested in the previous round.

The possible start-up lines are:

AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Maignan - Calabria, Romagnoli, Tomori, Hernandez - Kessie, Bennacer - Saelemaekers, Krunic, Leao - Giroud

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic - Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni - Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Gosens - Martinez, Dzeko

Although both teams have excellent defences, we usually see more over 2.5 goals in Derby Della Maddolina. In 5 of the last 6 clashes this has happened.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: ATALANTA VS SAMPDORIA

SERIE A: 28 FEBRUARY @ 19:50 GMT


After an impressive success in Europa League Play-Off, where they sank Olympiakos 5-1 on aggregates, Atalanta returns to Seria A games, hosting 15th place Sampdoria.

Although the last week qualification for the knock-out phase of Europa League is a boost of morale, Atalanta have been struggling this year in the domestic competition, having taken just 3 points from the last 15, and being without victory in the last 5 rounds. A win tonight would consolidate Gasperini’s team 5th place still having one game less then 6th place AS Roma and keeping them hopes for the 4th place.

Sampdoria on the other side is on a positive turn under the new manager Giampaolo, having won 2 of the last 3 games and only loosing 1-0 at AC Milan. With more than a whole free week to recover and practice their new tactics, Sampdoria is the fresher team. Although being 4 points clear from relegation, this is far from being comfortable and Giampaolo’s team still need to build up on the recent positive results.

Team news

Both teams have a full infirmary for the game with 6 absents on each side. Atalanta are missing: Palomino, Zapata, Muriel, Miranchuk, Djimsiti and Demiral. At Sampdoria are missing Damsgaard, Giovinco, Sensi, Askildsen, Candreva and Bereszinski.

The possible start-up lines are:

Atalanta (3-4-2-1): Musso - Zappacosta, Toloi, Cittadini - Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Maehle - Pasalic, Boga - Malinovskyi

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Falcone - Conti, Ferrari, Colley, Augello - Rincon, Ekdal, Thorsby – Sabiri - Caputo, Quagliarella

Atalanta come into this match on the back of a good performance in Greece and will try to build on that momentum and win.

Prediction: Atalanta to Win

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PREDICTION: BRENTFORD VS NEWCASTLE

PREMIER LEAGUE: 26 FEBRUARY @ 15:00 GMT


Newcastle United will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run of form in the Premier League to seven matches when they travel to Brentford on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies have moved out of the relegation zone into 17th position due to their impressive run of results in recent weeks, while Brentford sit 14th, just four points above the bottom three. Thomas Frank's side have not been victorious in the league since the start of January, picking up just one point from their last seven matches, which came at home to Crystal Palace on February 12. Brentford have not actually beaten Newcastle in the league since January 1948, but the points were shared in a pulsating 3-3 draw at St James' Park earlier this season.

Since losing 4-0 at home to Manchester City on December 19, Newcastle have been excellent in the league, winning three and drawing three of their matches to move out of the relegation zone. Eddie Howe's side are currently 17th in the table, two points clear of 18th-placed Burnley and only five points behind 12th-placed Leicester City, which is an indication of how quickly things can change. Newcastle recorded three straight wins over Leeds United, Everton and Aston Villa between January 22 and February 13 before playing out a 1-1 draw with West Ham United last weekend.

Newcastle simply cannot afford to be relegated to the Championship due to their takeover, and it does appear that the club's January business could help propel them up the table, as the improvement over the last few weeks has been substantial, and confidence will certainly be high in the camp.

Prediction: Newcastle win

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PREDICTION: NAPOLI VS BARCELONA

EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY-OFF: 24 FEBRUARY @ 20:00 GMT


Barcelona travels to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Napoli, for the second leg of the Europa League Play-Off. The first leg ended in a draw (1-1) at Barcelona, with Napoli opening the score and host equalizing at the end of the first half from a penalty.  The abolition of the away goal advantage rule, leaves the two teams perfectly equal and obliged to play for a victory until the end.

Although being unbeaten in the last six games, Napoli have draw the last three game with the same score 1-1. Luciano Spalletti’s side will want to avoid being eliminated again at this stage from Europa League for the fourth time in seven seasons. In Serie A, Napoli is in the run for the title with just 2 points behind the leader Ac Milan. But with quite a few injured players they will have to face some tough challenges in the next two rounds against Lazio and AC Milan.

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 5 games and have a good confidence after Sunday’s clear win 4-1 at Valencia. After being eliminated in the early stages of Champion’s League, Blaugrana’s fans will not accept the shame of being dumped from Europa League at this stage. In La Liga, Barça still holds good chances to get hold of the third place, with just 4 points behind Betis but one game less. A victory today will give them a boost for todays home test against Bilbao.

The possible start-up lines are:

Napoli (4-2-3-1): Meret - Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Jesus - Ruiz, Demme - Elmas, Zielinski, Mertens - Osimhen

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen - Dest, Araujo, Pique, Alba - Pedri, Busquets, Gavi - Traore, Aubameyang, Torres

Undefeated in the last 5 games against Napoli and obliged to avoid the disaster of being knocked-out of all European competitions this season, we back Barcelona to win on regular time.

Prediction: Barcelona to Win

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PREDICTION: VALENCIA VS BARCELONA

LA LIGA: 20 FEBRUARY @ 15:15 GMT


The La Liga match at Estadio de Mestalla on Sunday sees hosts Valencia fighting it out with Barcelona. Our Valencia v Barcelona predictions and statistics can be seen below.

Valencia won’t want a repeat of their last result here following a 2-1 La Liga loss in their previous game against Alaves. It’s been a rare occasion in recent times where Valencia have kept a clean sheet. The facts show that Valencia have failed to prevent opponents from scoring in 5 of their previous 6 games, giving up 8 goals during that time. Such a trend might not follow through into this match, however.

In the game prior to this, Barcelona drew 1-1 in the Europa League tie with SSC Napoli. In their previous 6 outings, Barcelona have bagged a tally of 12 goals. Barcelona have additionally got on the scoresheet in every single one of those games. Over that period, they have seen 11 goals go into their own net. Going into this encounter, Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 8 league matches away from home. What a good run they have put together.

The possible start-up lines are:

Valencia (4-4-2): Mamardashvili - Correia, Comert, Diakhaby, Gaya - Foulquier, Soler, Moriba, Gil - Guedes, Duro

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen - Dest, Mingueza, E Garcia, Alba - F de Jong, Busquets, Pedri - Traore, Torres, Gavi

Although Barcelona have some serious defensive issues, they are unbeaten the last 8 away games. With Valencia in a poor from we back the visitors to win.

Prediction: Barcelona to win

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER CITY VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

PREMIER LEAGUE: 19 FEBRUARY @ 17:30 GMT


Manchester City will be looking to further strengthen their grip on first spot in the Premier League table when they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening. The Citizens are currently nine points clear of second-placed Liverpool at the summit, while Tottenham occupy eighth position, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

Man City all but secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League courtesy of a stunning performance away to Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday evening, running out 5-0 winners in the first leg of their last-16 tie, with Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling on the scoresheet. The Citizens are also chasing FA Cup success this term, preparing to travel to Peterborough United in the fifth round of the competition at the start of March, while they are in a strong position to retain the Premier League title, sitting top of the pile with 63 points from 25 matches.

Tottenham will be the underdogs heading into this weekend's contest, but the capital side have won three of their last four Premier League matches against Man City, with each of the victories coming in London. Spurs have not overcome the Citizens in Manchester since February 2016, and they will enter this match off the back of defeats in their last three Premier League games, losing at Chelsea on January 23 before home reverses to Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The possible star-up line are:

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson - Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo - De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo - Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-3): Lloris - Romero, Dier, Davies - Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Reguilon - Lucas, Kane, Son

Prediction: Both Teams to score

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PREDICTION: JUVENTUS VS TORINO

SERIE A: 18 FEBRUARY @ 19:45 GMT


The latest edition of the Turin derby will take place at Allianz Stadium on Friday evening, as Juventus welcome rivals Torino for a key match in Italy's top flight. Juventus are currently fourth in the Serie A table, nine points behind leaders AC Milan, while Torino occupy 10th position, boasting 32 points from their opening 24 matches of the 2021-22 campaign.

Juventus have an excellent record in the Derby della Mole and have won 92 out of 205 matches played between the two teams. Torino have managed 56 victories against Juventus and will need to cut the deficit on Friday. The previous meeting between the two teams took place in October last year and ended in a 1-0 victory for Juventus. Torino were wasteful on the day and will need to be more clinical this weekend.

Torino have not actually beaten Juventus in any competition since a 2-1 home success in April 2015, while their last away victory over their rivals came during the 1994-95 Serie A season, which is an indication of the size of their task heading into Friday's contest. The Bull have been present in each of the last 10 Serie A seasons, but they have finished 16th and 17th in their last two campaigns, surviving relegation by just four points last term.

The possible star-up line are:

Juventus (4-3-3): Szczesny - Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, De Sciglio - McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot - Dybala, Vlahovic, Morata

Torino: (3-4-3): Savic - Zima, Bremer, Rodriguez - Singo, Linetty, Lukic, Vojvoda - Pjaca, Sanabria, Brekalo

There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 13 of the Juventus last 14 games in Serie A and in the last 9of the last 10 Torino’s away games.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: ATALANTA VS JUVENTUS

SERIE A: 13 FEBRUARY @ 19:45 GMT


Atalanta will be looking to improve on their last outing here following the 2-3 Coppa Italia defeat in their last game at the hands of Fiorentina.

Gian Gasperini's Atalanta have managed to score 11 times in their prior 6 outings. The corresponding number of goals that they have conceded in those fixtures stands at 7.

Their previous form shows that Atalanta:

are unbeaten in the league by Juventus in their previous 4 games.

are without a win at home for the past 2 matches in the league.

Bryan Cabezas (Cruciate Ligament Rupture), Josip Ilicic (Depression), Giuseppe Pezzella (Back trouble), Aleksey Miranchuk (Muscle Injury) and Duván Zapata (Pulled hamstring at the adductors) won’t be available for Atalanta boss Gian Gasperini. Juan Musso is ineligible for this match because of suspension.

Juventus go into this game after a 2-1 Coppa Italia win to defeat Sassuolo in their last match.

A run of dependable performances by the Juventus defensive players has resulted in the number of goals they’ve conceded amounting to 4 from their past 6 outings overall. During the same time, the number of goals that they have scored themselves amounts to 11. We will have to find out whether or not that trend will end up being sustained into this next match.

Going into this encounter, Juventus have not been beaten in their last 6 away league matches.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has a number of players out of action. Federico Bernardeschi (Muscle Fatigue), Giorgio Chiellini (Calf Injury) and Federico Chiesa (Cruciate Ligament Rupture) are those who can’t be considered.

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: PSG VS RENNES

LIGUE 1: 11 FEBRUARY @ 20:00 GMT


PSG, following on from their previous result, will be hoping for more of the same after the 1-5 Ligue 1 victory versus Lille.

Their latest results show that much respect should be given to the Paris Saint-Germain rearguard. Paris Saint-Germain have been mean at the back, with the number of goals that have gone past their goalkeeper during their past six games standing at 2.

Their past results show that Paris Saint-Germain: 

Edouard Michut (Corona virus), Alexandre Letellier (Corona virus) and Nathan Bitumazala (Corona virus) aren’t available for PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino.

It seems likely that Les Rouge-et-Bleu look set to line up in a 4-3-3 formation in the match and select Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes, Ander Herrera, Danilo Pereira, Marco Verratti, Julian Draxler, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Rennes come into this encounter following a 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Brest in their last game.

In the course of their six latest matches, Bruno Génésio's Rennes have found the back of the net a total of 11 times therefore giving them a goals scored per game average of 1.83.

Leading up to this clash, Rennes:

Rennes boss Bruno Génésio has not got a full squad to pick from. Romain Salin (Calf Injury), Jérémy Gélin (Cruciate Ligament Rupture), Jérémy Doku (Hamstring Injury) and Lesley Ugochukwu (Injury to the ankle) miss out here.

We are inclined to think that Rennes might make use of a 4-3-2-1 lineup, starting Dogan Alemdar, Hamari Traore, Naif Aguerd, Loic Bade, Birger Meling, Lovro Majer, Jonas Martin, Baptiste Santamaria, Benjamin Bourigeaud, Martin Terrier and Gaetan Laborde.

Prediction: Over 3.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER

PREMIER LEAGUE: 10 FEBRUARY @ 19.45 GMT


Leicester travels to Anfield Road for a Premier League game against Liverpool. In their previous encounter, The Foxes managed to sink The Reds 1-0 at the King Power Stadium back in December in a league match. But we expect today’s game to have quite an opposite outcome as Liverpool is in match better shape their opponents.

At the weekend, Jurgen Klopp’s team made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup by beating Cardiff City with a comfortable 3-1. In Premier League Liverpool are well-positioned to fight Manchester City in the title race, currently sitting 12 points behind but with two games in hand.

The Reds won the last four matches across all competitions and their morale is high. Moreover the success over Cardiff also marked a 10th win from 11 at Anfield Road in all competitions.

Leicester were humiliated by Nottingham Forest 4-1 on Sunday in FA Cup. In Premier League the occupy the 12th place with 10 points down of sixth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand. It is quite unlikely they will mange to secure a Europe competition place this season. Furthermore, The Foxes have lost five games in a row in the away games in all competitions.

Team news

For Liverpool Sadio Mane and runner-up Mohamed Salah returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty. Allison and Fabianho also returned for international duty with Brazil. The only doubtful are Divock Origi and Jordan Henderson.

Leicester have 5 absents: Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana, Ryan Bertrand, Jamie Vardy and Johny Evans. Naphalys Mendy is doubtful.

The possible start-up lines are:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson - Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago - Jota, Firmino, Diaz

Leicester City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel - Pereira, Vestergaard, Soyuncu, Thomas - Ndidi, Tielemans - Albrighton, Maddison, Daka - Iheanacho

Three of the last five encounters between the pair have produced over 3.5 goals, while three of Liverpool's and four of Leicester's last six fixtures have also witnessed at least 4-goals scored.

Prediction: Over 3.5 goals

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PREDICTION: ATHLETIC BILBAO VS ESPANYOL

LA LIGA: 7 FEBRUARY @ 20:00 GMT


Athletic Bilbao will host Espanyol tonight at San Manes Stadium and will be hoping to continue their good run after the 3 wins in the last 3 games.

The host are currently 8th in the league table. They have a good morale after the last week surprizing  victory at Real Madrid which got them the revenge after the Super Copa defeat. A victory today will get them at just one point behind 6th place the last one for European participation next season.

Espanyol is currently 13th in La Liga. Their performance hasn’t been great this year with just one victory in Copa del Ray with the Segunda Division Ponferradia, after penalties. In La Liga, Los Periquitos have won their last game on the 31st of December at Valencia. Thus their hopes will be to get to the winning ways but there are facing a tough disciplined opponent in this round which have boosted 31 points from 22 games in La liga.

Team news

For Athletic there are no missing players but Unai Vencedor and Nico Williams are both doubts, but they remain in contention. Espanyol is missing De Tomas (suspended) a key player who has scored 12 goals this season. Yangel Hererra is doubtful.

The possible start-up lines are:

Athletic Bilbao (4-4-2): Simon - Lekue, Vivian, Martinez, Balenziaga - Berenguer, Zarraga, D Garcia, Muniain - R Garcia, I Williams

Espanyol (4-3-1-2): Diego Lopez - Gil, Gomez, Cabrera, Pedrosa - Embarba, Darder, Morlane – Puado - Moron, Wu Lei

Espanyol have failed to win 19 of their last 20 away matches in La Liga and without their top scorer Raul de Tomas will have hard times at San Manes.

Prediction: Athletic Bilbao to Win

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PREDICTION: BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS BAYERN LEVERKUSEN

BUNDESLIGA: 6 FEBRUARY @ 14:30 GMT


Borussia Dortmund fans will want a repeat of their previous result, being the 2-3 Bundesliga 1 success against Hoffenheim.

Three or more goals per match have been seen in 6 of the past 6 meetings where Borussia Dortmund have been involved. Opposing sides scored 10 of them in these games while Borussia Dortmund totted up 17. Nevertheless, time will tell whether that pattern shall be maintained in this next game.

Their previous form shows that Borussia Dortmund:

have not lost a league tie with Bayer Leverkusen in their previous 2 games.

are undefeated in their previous 2 league matches at home.

Emre Can (Muscle Injury), Mats Hummels (Infection), Erling Haaland (Muscular problems), Manuel Akanji (Calf Problems), Thomas Meunier (Muscular problems), Marcel Schmelzer (Knee Surgery) and Mateu Morey Bauzà (Cruciate Ligament Injury) are unavailable for Borussia Dortmund manager Marco Rose.

Bayer Leverkusen come into this encounter after a 5-1 Bundesliga 1 win as they beat Augsburg in their most recent match.

Bayer Leverkusen have attacked well in their most recent fixtures, scoring 14 times in their last 6 matches. While their manager Gerardo Seoane will no doubt take that as a positive sign, Bayer Leverkusen can also improve defensively after being scored against in 6 of those same clashes.

Going into this one, Bayer Leverkusen have not emerged victorious against Borussia Dortmund when having played them away from home in the previous 6 league matches. Not good.

With a fully injury-free group to choose from, the Bayer Leverkusen manager Gerardo Seoane has zero fitness concerns to speak of coming into this match.

Prediction: Over 3.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS LEIPZIG

BUNDESLIGA: 5 FEBRUARY @ 17:30 GMT


Bayern Munich will want to continue from where they left off last time out with a 1-4 Bundesliga 1 victory vs Hertha Berlin.

At least three goals per match have been seen in 6 of the last 6 meetings where Bayern Munich have played. Opposition teams scored 4 of them in this period while Bayern Munich amassed a tally of 20.

Alphonso Davies (Heart Condition) and Leon Goretzka (Hip problems) will not be able to play for Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann. The players ineligible for this match because of suspension are Bouna Sarr and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

We think that Bayern should line up in a 3-4-2-1 formation this time, beginning the first half with Manuel Neuer, Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernandez, Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski.

RB Leipzig come into this game following on from a 2-0 Bundesliga 1 win over VfL Wolfsburg in their last fixture.

In 5 of the previous 6 games involving RB Leipzig, a notably low volume of goals have been scored between them and their opponents. The overall average goals scored per game during that spell comes out as just 2.5, with the average goals for Leipzig standing at 1.83. We shall soon find out if that trend can be sustained here.

Pre-game facts show that RB Leipzig:

remain undefeated by Bayern Munich in away games against them for the last 2 league games.

haven't been defeated in their previous 2 away league matches.

Due to a mostly full-strength group, there’s just the lone fitness issue for the RB Leipzig gaffer Domenico Tedesco to be concerned with. Marcel Halstenberg (Tear in a joint capsule) misses out for this game. Amadou Haidara cannot play in this game through suspension.

We are inclined to think that Leipzig could decide to begin the game with a 3-5-2 formation with a starting lineup of Peter Gulacsi, Mohamed Simakan, Willi Orban, Josko Gvardiol, Lukas Klostermann, Konrad Laimer, Christopher Nkunku, Kevin Kampl, Angeliño, Yussuf Poulsen and Andre Silva.

Prediction:  Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: MARSEILLE VS ANGERS

LIGUE 1: 4 FEBRUARY @ 20:00 GMT


Marseille will be hoping to bounce back here after a 2-1 Ligue 1 loss in their previous game against Lyon.

Their latest results show that much solidity has been shown by the Marseille backline. Marseille have given the opposition little, seeing the total number of goals that have gone past their goalkeeper during their past six matches standing at 4. Despite that, we’ll just have to find out if that pattern will persist here in this match or not.

Looking at their past form shows that Marseille:

are unbeaten in the league by Angers SCO in their previous 2 matches.

haven’t won at home in the past 3 matches in the league.

There is just the lone fitness concern for the Marseille gaffer Jorge Sampaoli to contend with thanks to an almost full-strength set of players. Konrad de la Fuente (Knock) misses out.

In all likelihood, Les Olympiens may well opt for a 4-3-2-1 formation this time and select Pau Lopez, Pol Lirola, William Saliba, Duje Caleta-Car, Luan Peres, Valentin Rongier, Boubacar Kamara, Matteo Guendouzi, Cengiz Under, Dimitri Payet and Cedric Bakambu.

Since being beaten in their last game against St Etienne in Ligue 1 action, Angers SCO will be hoping to turn things around here.

Looking at their form, and Angers SCO have been scored against in 5 of their last 6 matches, conceding 9 goals overall. Defensively, Angers SCO certainly have room for improvement.

Analysis of their past results shows that Angers SCO:

have left without a victory over Marseille when having played them away from home in the previous 5 league games. They'll be keen to stop this run.

are without a win away from home in their last 2 league games.

With a fully healthy squad to pick from, the Angers SCO boss Gérald Baticle doesn’t have any fitness worries to report before this match.

We believe Les Scoïstes seem most likely to make use of a 3-5-2 lineup, starting Danijel Petkovic, Batista Mendy, Vincent Manceau, Ismael Traore, Jimmy Cabot, Nabil Bentaleb, Thomas Mangani, Angelo Fulgini, Souleyman Doumbia, Mohamed-Ali Cho and R. Casimir Ninga.

Prediction:  Under 3.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: BURKINA FASO VS SENEGAL 

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: 2 FEBRUARY @ 19:00 GMT


After an impressive road in the Africa Cup of Nations, Burkina Faso and Senegal fight today for a place in the final at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Cameroon. Both teams dream about obtaining their first continental title in history. This is only the third game between the two nations.  The previous two ended up in draws.

Against the odds, The Stallions of Burkina Faso have made it to the semi-finals. They first passed the group stage from the second place with 4 points. In the round of 16 round Burkina Faso won against the resilient team of Gabon at penalties. The biggest surprize produced was the victory over the favourite Tunisia in the quarter finals. The West-African team are heading into tonight’s game being unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 games.

Senegal have won Group B with 1 victory and 2 draws. The Teraga Lions secured a place in the quarter finals after passing over Cape Verde 2-0. In the next round they won against Equatorial Guinea, in their most convincing win at AFCON. Senegal is in a clear increase in shape and are heading into the semi-finals with a much confidence.

Burkina Faso will be missing two key players Dango Quattara (suspended) who scored the winning goals against Tunisia, and Djibril Quattara with a good evolution in the tournament. On the other side, Senegal luckily has no staff issues.

The possible start-up lines are:

Burkina Faso (4-3-3): Koffi - Kabore, Tapsoba, Ouattara, Yago - Nikiema, Guira, Sangare - Bande, Ouattara, Traore

Senegal (4-3-3): E Mendy - Sarr, Koulibaly, A Diallo, Ciss - Kayoute, N Mendy, I Gueye - Diedhiou, Dia, Mane

While Burkina Faso seam to be playing at their limits, Senegal are getting stronger every game and now have the best team to line-up. We consider Senegal to be favourites in this game.

Prediction: Senegal to win

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PREDICTION: LYON VS MARSEILLE 

LIGUE 1: 1 FEBRUARY @ 20:00 GMT


Olympique Lyon host Marseille at Groupama Stadium in a Ligue 1 classic derby. The game was initially schedule for Round 14, back in November, but had to be postponed due to a fan incident. Tonight’s match will take place behind close door for public.

The host returned to winning ways with 2 victories in the last two rounds and have been unbeaten in their last 7 games in all competitions. Although the 11th place in the Ligue 1 table is far from what the fans have been used to in the previous season, Lyon seams to be regaining some strength. With a victory today, they would equal 5th place Rennes and re-enter the fight for a European Cup position.

Marseille have extended their unbeaten run to 9 games in all competitions after beating Montpellier at penalties in Coupe de France on Saturday. The Olympians are 5 points clear the 4 places and if they continue their good progresses chances are high to finish in top 3 this season.

For Olympique Lyon there will be some notable absences which will give Peter Bosz some serious troubles in setting the line-up. Houssem Aouar, Jason Denayer, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Lenny Pintor are injured. Damien Da Silva and Tino Kadewere are suspended. Lucas Paqueta and Karl Toko-Ekambi were selected for their national teams’ games.

Olympique Marseille is missing 3 players. Konrad de la Fuente is injured while Gerson, Pape Gueye and Bamba Dieng are busy with the national teams.

The possible start-up lines are:

Lyon (3-4-2-1): Anthony Lopes - Castello Lukeba, Jerome Boateng, Castello Lukeba - Leo Dubois, Habib Keïta, Maxence Caqueret, Henrique - Xherdan Shaqiri, Bradley Barcola - Rayan Cherki

Marseille (4-2-3-1): Pau Lopez - Valentin Rongier, William Saliba, Duje Caleta-Car, Luan Peres - Boubacar Kamara, Matteo Guendouzi - Cengiz Under, Dimitri Payet, Luis Henrique - Cedric Bakambu

There have been under 2.5 goals in Lyon’s last 5 games and in Marseille’s last 9 away matches. Moreover, in the last 3 heads-to-heads had been scored under 2.5 goals.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: EGYPT VS MOROCCO 

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: 30 JANUARY @ 15:00 GMT


Egypt go into this match after a 0-0 Africa Cup of Nations drawn match against Ivory Coast. In that game, Egypt had 45% possession and 13 attempts on goal with 3 on target. Ivory Coast got 11 attempts at goal with 7 on target. After a tense 5-4 penalty shootout, Egypt were victorious.

Their most recent results really do illustrate the point that it has been a great time for the Egypt backline. Egypt have been stingy, seeing the number of goals that have gone past their goalkeeper during their last six games standing at 4.

Morocco come into this match after a 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations win against Malawi in their most recent fixture. In that match, Morocco managed 75% possession and 24 shots at goal with 10 of them on target. For Morocco, goals were scored by Youssef En-Nesyri (45') and Achraf Hakimi (70'). For their opponents, Malawi got 4 shots on goal with 2 on target. Mhango (7') scored for Malawi.

In their last six outings, Morocco have helped themselves to a total of 13 goals. Morocco have also scored on each one of those occasions. During that period, their defenders have had 3 goals go against them. We will just have to find out if that trend will end up being continued on into this next match.

Mohamed El-Shennawy will undergo further tests on a hamstring strain after the goalkeeper was forced out of the last-16 game against Ivory Coast. Hamdi Fathi also had to come off and is a doubt for this game.

Morocco are once again waiting on Ilias Chair, the midfielder having sat out the win over Malawi due to a problem picked up against Gabon in the group stage.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: BURKINA FASO VS TUNISIA 

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: 29 JANUARY @ 19:00 GMT


In what looks like arguably the most evenly contested of the quarter-finals, Tunisia’s shock win over Nigeria in the round of 16 could well spark their AFCON challenge. In that game, Tunisia managed 47% possession and 7 attempts on goal with 3 on target. The only player to score for Tunisia was Youssef Msakni (47'). On the other side, Nigeria had 13 attempts at goal with 1 on target.

In many ways, it’s the perfect example of tournament football. Teams simply don’t have to run riot, it’s about grinding out results at the right time.

A tendency of at least one team not scoring a goal in games featuring Tunisia has been evident in recent matches. Examining their last 6 meetings shows that it has happened 5 times. In those clashes, their opponents have managed a goal total of 4 and Tunisia have scored 8. We will see whether or not that trend can be continued on here.

Burkina Faso, meanwhile, should have beaten Gabon within 90 minutes in their round of 16 tie and will hope to convert more of the chances they’re able to create. If they don’t, you feel Tunisia have the kind of quality to punish them before it gets to penalties. In that match, Burkina Faso managed 47% possession and 15 attempts on goal with 6 on target. For Burkina Faso, the goals were scored by Bertrand Traoré (28') and Guira (90' Own goal). For their opponents, Gabon got 17 shots on goal with 3 on target.

Over their prior six games, Kamou Malo's Burkina Faso have hit the back of the net a total of 6 times, with that being an average number of goals scored per match equal to 1.

No major changes are expected on either side although Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri could come back into the starting lineup, having started the Nigeria game on the bench.

Burkina Faso, meanwhile, did have a lengthy battle in the last round, but will seemingly not look to change too much.

It looks to us that this Tunisia will probably create a decent amount of chances and shots on target.
 At the same time, Burkina Faso may well struggle to find the back of the net but we do fancy them hitting back at some stage here.

Prediction: Under 1.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: COLOMBIA VS PERU

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 28 JANUARY @ 21:00 GMT


Colombia will be looking for a repeat result of the 2-1 International Friendlies victory vs Honduras. Colombia have won three, drawn eight and lost three of their 14 qualification matches to collect 17 points, which has left them fourth in the section, six points behind third-placed Ecuador and level on points with fifth-placed Peru ahead of Friday's clash between the two sides.

La Tricolor have actually drawn four of their last five qualification fixtures 0-0, in addition to suffering a 1-0 defeat to Brazil back in November, so they have not been victorious since recording a 3-1 victory over Chile in September.

Colombia's starting XI will again include a number of familiar faces, with Juan Cuadrado, Davinson Sanchez, James Rodriguez, Luis Diaz and Radamel Falcao all in line to start.

Diaz is enjoying an impressive season for Porto, which has led to suggestions of Premier League interest, and the 25-year-old is expected to line up in a left-sided midfield area, with Falcao potentially being joined by Miguel Borja in the final third of the field.

Peru, meanwhile, have won their last two World Cup qualification fixtures, beating Bolivia 3-0 before recording a 2-1 victory over Venezuela in their two matches back in November.

The White and Reds are firmly in the picture for a top-four finish at this stage, boasting 17 points from 14 matches, which has left them in fifth position in the table heading into Friday's contest.

Ricardo Gareca's side would go above Colombia with a win in this match, and the fact that they have picked up nine points from the last 15 available should mean that confidence is high in the camp.

As for Peru, the starting XI is expected to be similar to the one that took to the field for the first whistle against Venezuela in their last qualifier back in November.

A 4-5-1 formation should see Gianluca Lapadula lead the line, with the 31-year-old looking to add to his five international goals, while an experienced midfield is likely to include Yoshimar Yotun and Christian Cueva.

Pedro Gallese will again captain the team from the goalkeeping position, while Luis Advincula and Miguel Trauco are likely to line up in the full-back positions for the visitors.

Prediction: Colombia to win

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PREDICTION: IVORY COAST VS EGYPT 

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: 26 JANUARY @ 16:00 GMT


In the penultimate game of the 16 round of AFCON Ivory Coast and Egypt play tonight for a place in the quarte-finals at Douala Stadium in Cameron. The two countries had met before 11 times and the final results are very balanced: Ivory Coast 4 wins, Egypt 3 wins and 4 draws.

Ivory Coast won Group E without loosing any game (2 wins and 1 draw), scoring 6 goals and conceding 3. After this good run The Elephants will go into tonight’s confrontation with a high morale and confidence that they can win a new African Cup after the one in 2015.

Egypt finished second in Group D with 6 points (2 victories), only 2 goals scored and 1 conceded. The Pharaohs expectations are high being the team with the most African Cup titles won (7), the last one happening in 2010 against Ghana.

The missing players for Egypt are Ahmed Abou El Fotouh and Akram Tawfik both injured. Ivory Coast has no absents.

The possible start-up lines are:

Ivory Coast (4-3-3): Sangare - Aurier, Kossounou, Deli, Konan - Kessie, Seri, Sangare - Zaha, Haller, Pepe

Egypt (4-3-3): El-Shennawy - Kamal, Hegazi, Hamdi, Ashraf - Fathi, El-Sulya, Elneny - Mohamed, Marmoush, Salah

Although Egypt has an excellent defence, Ivory Coast is in an excellent form and we expect them to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Prediction: Ivory Coast to win

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PREDICTION: SENEGAL VS CAPE VERDE 

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: 25 JANUARY @ 16:00 GMT


Senegal and Cape Verde are playing today for a place in the quarter finals at Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam, Cameroon. The experimented team of Senegal is the clear favourite but Cape Verde, the competition surprise, might prove to be a hard nut to crack.

Senegal came to AFCON 2022 as one of the tournament favorites to win the title after making it to the final in the previous competition. However their game so far is not impressive, having scored just one goal in 3 matches in the previous round. Still this was enough to make it to Round 16 and winning group B with one victory and two draws having collected 5 points.

The team of the tiny island Cape Verde qualified form the 3rd position of group A with 4 points after beating Ethiopia and drawing with Cameroon. They scored 2 goals and conceded 2.

For Senegal, the only missing player is Cheikhou Kouyate, suspended after his booking form the previous game. Cape Verde have no injured or suspended players.

The possible start-up lines are:

Senegal (4-3-3): Mendy - Ciss, Diallo, Koulibaly, Mbaye - Gueye, Mendy, Sarr - Balde, Mane, Dia

Cape Verde (3-4-3): Vozinha - Fortes, Pico, Stopira – Fortes, Andrade, Santos, Tavares – Rodriguez, Tavares, Monteiro

In the previous head-to-head games, Senegal obtained 3 victories with the same score 2-0.

Although having a modest start, Senegal boast a star-studded squad capable of finally winning the continental trophy.

Prediction: Senegal to win

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

PREMIER LEAGUE: 23 JANUARY @ 16:30 GMT


Chelsea prepare for this game after a 1-1 Premier League draw against Brighton & Hove Albion. In that game, Chelsea had 57% possession and 15 shots on goal with 3 on target. The only player to score for Chelsea was Hakim Ziyech (28'). Brighton & Hove Albion got 9 attempts at goal with 2 of them on target. Adam Webster (60') was the scorer for Brighton & Hove Albion.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea have celebrated scoring a sum total of 11 times over their prior 6 outings. At the other end, the tally of goals that they have conceded in those same games is 5.

Trevoh Chalobah (Hamstring Injury), Andreas Christensen (Corona virus), Reece James (Hamstring Injury) and Ben Chilwell (Ruptured cruciate ligament) will not be able to play for Chelsea’s boss Thomas Tuchel.

Tottenham Hotspur will go into this meeting following a 2-3 Premier League win over Leicester City in their most recent outing. In that game, Tottenham Hotspur managed 51% possession and 27 shots on goal with 10 of them on target. For Tottenham Hotspur, goals were scored by Harry Kane (38') and Steven Bergwijn (95', 97'). Leicester City had 13 attempts at goal with 4 on target. Patson Daka (24') and James Maddison (76') scored for Leicester City.

The stats don’t lie, and Tottenham Hotspur have been scored against in 5 of their last 6 games, seeing opposing sides hit 7 goals overall. In defence, Tottenham Hotspur have been far from perfect. That sort of pattern might not be sustained into this game, however.

Going into this one, Tottenham Hotspur are winless against Chelsea when having played them away from home in the previous 3 matches in the league.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte has a number of players out of action. Cristian Romero (Hamstring Injury), Eric Dier (Ill) and Heung-min Son (Muscle Injury) are not ready for selection.

Prediction: Both teams to score? Yes

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS WEST HAM

PREMIER LEAGUE: 22 JANUARY @ 15:00 GMT


Manchester United will be looking for another win after the 1-3 Premier League victory against Brentford.

In that match, Manchester United had 57% possession and 13 shots at goal with 5 of them on target. For Manchester United, the goalscorers were Anthony Elanga (55'), Mason Greenwood (62') and Marcus Rashford (77'). At the other end, Brentford had 18 shots at goal with 8 on target. Ivan Toney (85') was the scorer for Brentford.

It’s not been often in recent games where Manchester United have shown defensive steel. The reality is that Manchester United have failed to prevent opponents from scoring in 5 of their previous 6 clashes, leaking 6 goals during that time. Ahead of this clash, Manchester United have not been beaten in the league by West Ham United in their last 4 matches.

Scott McTominay was withdrawn in the dying embers against Brentford with a back issue but is expected to be available for Saturday, which is more than can be said for Paul Pogba and Africa Cup of Nations representative Eric Bailly. Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani are also likely to miss out once more after suffering issues in training, while Jadon Sancho is still doubtful with personal issues and Aaron Wan-Bissaka's illness is set to keep him sidelined again. Cristiano Ronaldo was less than pleased with his 71st-minute substitution at Brentford, but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner ought to keep Rashford out of the XI as Rangnick refuses to fix what is not broken.

Since tasting defeat last time out to Leeds United in Premier League competition, West Ham United and their travelling supporters will be hoping that they can get a better result in this one.

In that match, West Ham United had 48% possession and 15 shots at goal with 5 on target. For West Ham United, the scorers were Jarrod Bowen (33') and Pablo Fornals (52'). Leeds United got 18 attempts on goal with 5 of them on target. Jack Harrison (10', 37', 60') was the scorer for Leeds United.

Proving their penchant for productive encounters, goals have been seen as many as 24 times in the prior 6 matches in which West Ham United have taken to the pitch, yielding an average of 4 goals each clash. Opposition teams have managed 9 of these goals. Such a trend might not follow through into this match, of course.

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: ESPANYOL VS REAL BETIS

LA LIGA: 21 JANUARY @ 20:00 GMT


Espanyol have not won a game in normal time in 2022, with their defence a serious area for concern as they continue to concede too many goals. They are without a win in the last three games. In the previous match, Espanyol played 2-2 on the road against Cadiz. That game was fairly even, so it is no wonder that the teams split the points.

Vicente Moreno’s side have not kept a clean sheet in their last ten games, shipping 18 goals in the process, while that back line has been breached 26 times in 21 La Liga games. They still manage to win games though. Despite the current sticky run, they have won six of their last 13 in normal time, showing that they are capable of scoring plenty of goals.

Espanyol have no fresh injury concerns from their 2-2 draw with Cadiz on Tuesday, while they will be boosted by the returns of Adria Pedrosa and Keidi Bare from suspension. Fit-again David Lopez could feature in the middle of the defence, but head coach Moreno is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack following the relatively quick turnaround. Indeed, Raul de Tomas will again lead the line for the hosts, while Adri Embarba and Javi Puado should feature in the final third, with Loren Moron starting on the bench on Friday night.

Real Betis have moved into third place in La Liga. Surprisingly, they could finish in the top four and receive a valuable ticket for the Champions League. They manage to win three of their last four games and losing just three times in 14 outings in all competitions.

Their free-scoring attack is certainly one to be feared. They have scored in 13 of their last 14 outings, with ten of those fixtures including three or more goals.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been reasonably tight in defence, keeping seven clean sheets over that period, but Espanyol are a side who tend to find a way to score.

As for Betis, Martin Montoya, Marc Bartra and Joaquin remain on the sidelines through injury, but Alex Moreno is available after serving a suspension against Alaves. Head coach Pellegrini is expected to make a couple of changes from the side that started last time out, with Moreno in line to return at left-back, while William Carvalho could feature in central midfield. Willian Jose has also returned to offer another option in the final third, but Iglesias scored twice against Alaves on Tuesday and should again lead the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Prediction: Both teams to score? Yes

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PREDICTION: ALANYASPOR VS HATAYSPOR

TURKISH SUPER LIG: 20 JANUARY @ 14:00 GMT


The 8th place Alanyaspor host Hatayspor, currently 5th at Alanya Oba Stadium in the 22nd round of the Turkish Super Lig. The two team are only separated by 3 points in the table league and in case of a victory for Alanyaspor they would be level at points.

Hatayspor won the previous game at home against a struggling Galatasaray (4-2). But their away matches have been inconsistent this season having 6 wins 4 losses and 1 draw in the Super Lig. They have scored 8 fewer goals on their travels then on home soil.

Alanyaspor results at home are also inconsistent with many points given away this season: 5 victories, 3 losses and 2 draws. In the previous round the won away at 18th place Altay 0-2 so their morale it’s on an uptrend being unbeaten the last 4 games.

The missing players for Alanyaspor are Awaziem, Dedhiou and Tetah all of them playing at African Nations Cup. At Hatayspor are missing Camoglu, El Kaabi, Munir and Traore- the last three also playing for their national teams.  

The possible start-up lines are:

Alanyaspor (4-1-4-1): Marafona - Borja, Aksoy, Bayir, Juanfran – Novais - Davidson, Bekiroglu, Akbaba, Karaca - Eduardo

Hatayspor (4-4-2): Yigiter - Adekugbe, Oksuz, Kurucuk, Corekci - Kamara, Ribeiro, Ergun, Lobzhanidze - Diouf, Saint-Louis

Although the two teams are quite equal in strength we say Alanyaspor will take advantage of the poor evolution of their opponents on their travels.

Prediction: Alanyaspor to Win at full time

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PREDICTION: BOLOGNA VS NAPOLI

SERIE A: 17 JANUARY @ 17:30 GMT


Bologna and Napoli will meet today in the 22nd round of Serie A, at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. Both teams have lost their previous match and will be looking to get back on track.

Bologna lost 2-1 to Cagliari. They had 47 percent possession and 9 shots on goal, three of which were on target, in the encounter. Riccardo Orsolini (54') scored the goal for Bologna. Cagliari had a total of 13 shots on goal, four of which were on target. Cagliari's goals came from Leonardo Pavoletti (71') and Gastón Pereiro (93').

Napoli and its fans will be hoping for a better result this time after losing to Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia competition. SSC Napoli had 48 percent possession and 14 shots on goal, five of which were on target, in the encounter. Dries Mertens (44') and Andrea Petagna (90') scored the goals for SSC Napoli. Fiorentina had 17 shots on goal, eight of which were on target. Fiorentina scored through Duan Vlahovi (41'), Cristiano Biraghi (57'), Lorenzo Venuti (105'), Krzysztof Pitek (108'), and Youssef Maleh (119'). Fiorentina finally prevailed in extra time to win the match.

A review of their most recent head-to-head meetings, which date back to May 25, 2019, reveals that Bologna has won two and Napoli has won three, with one tie. During those matches, they scored a total of 18 goals, with Rossoblu scoring seven and Partenopei scoring eleven. That equates to an average of three goals per game.

The possible start-up lines are:

Bologna (3-5-2): Skorupski - Bonifazi, Binks, Theate - Silvestri, Soriano, Dominguez, Svanberg, Hickey - Orsolini, Arnautovic

Napoli (4-2-3-1): Meret - Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Jesus, Rui - Demme, Lobotka - Politano, Mertens, Elmas - Petagna

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: BESIKTAS VS GAZIANTEP

TURKISH SUPER LIG: 14 JANUARY @ 17:00 GMT


Besiktas and Gaziantep will meet today at Vodafone Park in Istanbul for the second round of this year. The two teams are only separated by 2 points in the league table and could swap places in case the hosts obtain the victory.

Gaziantep will be hoping to get their 4th consecutive victory after wining in the previous round 3-1 to Karagumruk on home soil. The visitors are unbeaten in their last 6 games in all competitions and will be looking at extending their performance. Still, Gaziantep are facing a real challenge when playing away. With only one victory in 10 games, they only score in 5 of the on the road games this season.

On the other side Besiktas come after a disappointing draw (2-2) away at the penultimate Rizespor. However we are expecting a different evolution tonight as The Black Eagles have had impressive evolution at home this season. They secured 22 of the 29 available points and only failed to score in one game. The hosts will be looking at closing the 4 points gap to the first European competition place.

The possible start-up lines are:

Besiktas (4-5-1): Destanoglu - Rosier, Welinton, Saatci, Yilmaz - Ghezzal, Josef, Pjanic, Ozyakup, Larin - Batshuayi

Gaziantep (3-5-2): Guvenc - Ersoy, Tosca, Pehlivan - Kitsiou, Soyalp, Merkel, Maxim, Mendyl - Figueiredo, Demir

There have been over 2.5 goals in the Besiktas’s last 8 home games as well as in their last 5 home games against Gaziantep.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: SOUTHAMPTON VS BRENTFORD

PREMIER LEAGUE: 11 JANUARY @ 19:45 GMT


After the third FA Cup round last weekend where both teams managed to qualify, Southampton and Brentford return to Premier League games, tonight at Saint Mary’s Stadium.

Southampton were unbeaten in the last 3 Premier League matches, and in the last 6 home ground games. Thus, Brentford would be happy to get away with a draw at Saint Mary’s.

In their first 2022 test, Brentford managed to win over their league table neighbours Aston Villa 2-1 and climb a few spots. Still, tonight’s game will be a tough challenge as their route in the away games has been anything but enchanting. Thomas Frank’s squad conceded 2 goals in the last 5 away matches and did not win any of them.

The missing players for Southampton are Livramento, Smallbone, Valery, Walker-Peters, Small and Djenepo. Brendford are missing 7 players: Raya, Goode, Dasilva, Henry, Zanka, Jeanvier and Onyeka.

The possible start-up lines are:

Southampton (4-4-2): Forster - Salisu, Bednarek, Stephens, Perraud - Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Elyounoussi - A. Armstrong, Broja

Brentford (3-5-2): Fernandez - Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock - Canos, Norgaard, Baptiste, Jensen, Roerslev - Mbeumo, Toney

In 8 of the last home games at Southampton in Premier League, there have been under 2.5 goals. Moreover, in the last three direct matches on The Saint’s ground there have been less than 3 goals.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS ASTON VILLA

FA CUP: 10 JANUARY @ 19:55 GMT


Monday’s football game between Manchester United and Aston Villa will bring down the curtain on round 3 of the FA Cup campaign. The competition is currently third on the team's list of priorities this season, but it represents their best chance to win the trophy. United have won the trophy 12 times in history, whereas Aston Villa have lifted the trophy 7 times.

The Red Devils aim to make amends for a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton, and they are likely to fight tooth and nail against the Villans. Eric Bailly is on international duty with Ivory Coast, while Paul Pogba remains in the recovery room. All Elanga, Fred, Bruno, and Rashford are pushing for a start.

The Villans, on the other hand, suffered a 2-1 loss to Brentford in their first game of the year. Steven Gerrard’s troops are not regarded as good travellers, and seeing that Man Utd aim to save the season by going all the way in the FA Cup, home win should be considered. Leon Bailey is sidelined through injury, while Ollie Watkins should recover in time to face the Red Devils.

The possible start-up lines are:

Manchester United (4-2-2-2): Henderson - Dalot, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw - Fred, McTominay - Fernandes, Sancho - Ronaldo, Rashford

Aston Villa (4-3-3): Martinez - Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett - Ramsey, Luiz, McGinn - Buendia, Watkins, Ings

In Aston Villa’s 3 of the last 5 games have been scored over 2.5 goals. United have scored in 5 of their 6 home games in all competitions.

Prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: LYON VS PSG

LIGUE 1: 9 JANUARY @ 19:45 GMT


There will be fireworks when Olympique Lyon and PSG face each other in the Ligue 1 derby at Parc Olympique Lyonnais. PSG currently sit 10 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table, while their opponents are down in 13th following a disastrous start of the 2021-2022 season.

Les Gones have drawn each of their last three league fixtures, and, no doubt, they would be happy with one point from Sunday’s clash as well. Anyhow, we do not recommend you to bet on the hosts as all Toko Ekambi, Slimani, and Kadewere are on international duty. Key midfielder Lucas Paqueta is a major doubt following his positive test for coronavirus.

Les Parisiens, on the other hand, faced no difficulties in the Coupe de France win over Vannes (4-0). Kylian Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick, will be the man to watch in the away team, and given the number of absentees in the home side, we are tempted to put our money on the league leaders. Keep in mind, though, that Leo Messi has been tested positive for COVID-19, while Hakimi, Diallo, and Gueye are on Africa Cup of Nations.

The possible start-up lines are:

Lyon (3-4-2-1): Lopes - Lukeba, Boateng, Da Silva - Gusto, Guimaraes, Caqueret, Emerson - Shaqiri, Aouar - Dembele

Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3): Navas - Dagba, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat - Wijnaldum, Paredes, Verratti - Simons, Icardi, Mbappe

Lyon have seen over 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches against PSG in all competitions.

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: REAL MADRID VS VALENCIA

LA LIGA: 8 JANUARY @ 20:00 GMT


All eyes will be on Estadio Santiago Bernabeu when Real Madrid and Valencia face each other in the La Liga round 20. Real Madrid are currently top of the table with 46 points, 5 points clear of second place Valencia, while Valencia is only the 9th with 28 points.

Los Blancos aim to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Getafe, and seeing that Sevilla are breathing down their neck, Saturday’s football match is of big importance for the league leaders. Both Luka Jovic and Sergio Arribas remain quarantined, but important winger Vinicius Junior is back, as well as Eduardo Camavinga, who missed the local derby through suspension.

Los Che, on the other hand, suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to Espanyol in their last league match. Considering that Valencia often struggle on the travels, we do not believe that Real Madrid will have a better chance than this to return to winning ways. Valencia forward Hugo Duro is banned for the match, while both Dimitri Foulquier and Antonio Latorre miss out through injuries.

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois - Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy - Kroos, Casemiro, Modric - Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

Valencia (4-2-2): Cillessen - Correia, Diakhaby, Alderete, Gaya - Soler, Guillamon, Wass, Cheryshev - Guedes, Gomez

The previous match was won by Real Madrid away at Mestalla 1-2 in September. Four of the previous five head-to-head duels between Real Madrid and Valencia have gone over 2.5 total goals.

Prediction: Correct score 2-1

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS TOTTENHAM 

EFL CUP: 5 JANUARY @ 19:45 GMT

Chelsea and Tottenham meat on Wednesday night at Stanford Bridge in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals. This Antonio Conte’s first return at Stanford Bridge as an opponent.

In the quarter-finals Chelsea passed Brantford 2-0 while Spurs eliminated West Ham 2-1.  Tottenham are looking at playing the second League Cup final in two years.

Chelsea are running through a poor run of form lately, having won just 4 of their past 10 games, although they had lost just one. Still in their last match against Liverpool the Blues showed a much better face. In the two previous heads-to-heads Chelsea obtain clear victories.

On the other side Tottenham are in an increasing shape since Antonio Conte took over, having won 3 of their last 4 games in all competitions. In Premier League, Spurs won with a late goal 0-1 at Watford.

The missing players for Chelsea are: Christensen, James, Chilwell, Loftus-Cheek and Mendy. For Tottenham are missing Romero, Bergwijn and Sessegnon.

The probable start-up lines are:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Kepa - Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Sarr - Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso - Ziyech, Pulisic - Havertz

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3): Lloris - Tanganga, Sanchez, Davies - Emerson, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon - Son, Kane, Gil

In 9 of their past 10 games both teams have scored at least once. Our prediction is both teams to score.

Prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS WOLVERHAMPTON  WANDERERS 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 3 JANUARY @ 17:30 GMT


Wolves will be visiting Old Trafford on Monday for the Premier League meeting with hosts Manchester United. Just one place separates the two, but United have 6 points lead over the Wolves. A win tonight would take them Red Devils into the top 6 teams and narrow the gap to the top 4 to just 1 point, having also a remaining game.

Manchester United have been on a persistent run of goalscoring form, finding the back of the net every time they’ve gone out to play in their last 6 matches. They’ve totted up the amount of 10 during that time while seeing the number of goals scored against them stand at 5. Coming into this contest, Manchester United are unbeaten in the league by Wolverhampton Wanderers in their previous 5 matches.

A series of dependable showings by the Wolverhampton Wanderers defence has resulted in the number of goals they’ve conceded standing at 2 from their last 6 fixtures combined. During the same period, their own forwards have managed to score 1. Previous results aside, we must now wait to see whether such a trend might persist in this game or not.

The Reds are missing their top scorer Paul Pogba, Eric Baily and Victor Lindelof. The absent players for the Wolves are Yerson Mosquera, Pedro Neto, Jonny, Hwang Hee-Chan. Therefore the probable start-up line are:

Manchester United (4-4-2): De Gea - Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw - Greenwood, McTominay, Matic, Fernandes - Ronaldo, Cavani

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3): Sa - Kilman, Coady, Saiss - Hoever, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal - Traore, Jimenez, Podence

Prediction: Both teams to Score

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS LIVERPOOL 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 2 JANUARY @ 16:30 GMT


Chelsea failed to make full use of their home advantage in their last game against Brighton. Lukaku put Tuchel's men in front just before the half-hour mark after good work from Mount, but Chelsea failed to make the most of their chances and ended up getting punished by a stoppage-time equalizer from Welbeck.

Chelsea have now taken just nine points from the last 18 available after drawing 1-1 with Brighton on Wednesday. Thomas Tuchel continues to lament Chelsea's injury and COVID problems and things just aren't clicking on the pitch as they were earlier in the season. They have only managed one clean sheet from their last eight league games and Edouard Mendy leaves for AFCON after this game.

Liverpool were also dealt a hammer blow in the title race in midweek after losing 1-0 to Leicester on Tuesday. They are now 12 points behind the leader after Manchester City’s win over Arsenal on Saturday (1-2), albeit with a game in hand, but that gap may be too big to overcome even at the halfway mark in the season.

The missing players for Chelsea are: Chilwell, James, Werner, and 3 player are doubtful Havertz, Silva, Loftus-Cheek. Liverpool are missing 7 players: Origi, Minamino, Thiago, Adrian, Eliott, Philips, Robertson.

The probable start-up lines are:

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy - Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Rudiger - Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso - Mount, Havertz; Lukaku

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas - Henderson, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain - Salah, Jota, Mane

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER CITY 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 1 JANUARY @ 12:30 GMT


Manchester City will be looking to record their 11th Premier League victory in a row when they head to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on Arsenal. The Citizens are currently eight points clear of second-placed Chelsea at the top of the table, while Arsenal occupy fourth position, four points clear of fifth-placed West Ham United.

Arsenal have had a full week to prepare for this game but Mikel Arteta testing positive in midweek has certainly been far from ideal for the Gunners. Arsenal have won five in a row heading into Saturday's game and are certainly better placed compared to the reverse meeting back in August when they lost 5-0.

Manchester City made the most of Liverpool's defeat to Leicester and Chelsea's draw with Brighton to pull further clear at the top of the table ahead of what could already be a defining weekend in the title race. City are already eight points clear and could be as many as 11 by the time Chelsea face Liverpool later in the weekend.

The probable start-up lines are:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale - White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney - Xhaka, Partey - Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe - Lacazette

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson - Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake - B Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne - Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

Prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS BRIGHTON 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 29 DECEMBER @ 19:30 GMT


Chelsea will host Brighton, tonight at the Stamford Bridge London, for the last game of the year 2021. They have the opportunity to overhaul Liverpool which lost yesterday at Leicester (0-1) and become the main chaser of Manchester City in the race for the title this season.

Chelsea managed to get a vital 3 points at Villa Park on Boxing Day with a 3-1. After two previous rounds which ended in a draw, this could give them the much-needed boost of morale. Anything but a win might surge the 6 points gap between them and Manchester City, which are expected to win today at Brantford.

Brighton will be looking at building-up on the Sunday win over Brantford (2-0), after a series of 11 games in Premier League without a win! But they will be facing a tough challenge since Chelsea are undefeated in their last 9 matches against Brighton, in 6 of which The Pensioners kept a clean sheet.

The missing players for Chelsea are Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell and Timo Werner. Brighton are missing three players: Jeremy Sarmiento, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy.

The probable start-up lines are:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy - Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger - James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso - Ziyech, Mount - Lukaku

Brighton (4-3-1-2): Sanchez - Lamptey, Webster, Burn, Cucurella - Bissouma, Lallana, Mwepu - Mac Allister - Welbeck, Maupay

While Chelsea is undoubtedly the clear favourites, we don’t expect to see many goals. There have been under 2.5 goals in Brighton’s last seven Premier League games.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: LEICESTER VS LIVERPOOL 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 28 DECEMBER @ 20:00


Less than a week after the EFL Cup clash won by Liverpool after penalties the two teams meet again tonight, this time at King Power Stadium in Leicester.

So far in Premier League the two have had quite different evolutions. Liverpool is in the run for the championship, with a win tonight will come just 3 points close to the leader Manchester City. Whereas Leicester is far from being the team of the last two seasons, struggling in the mediocrity of mid table.

Liverpool drew in the previous round 2-2 at Liverpool after 6 wins in a raw in Premier League. Klopp’s team has the advantage of being the more rested team after their weekend match with Leeds United was postponed.

Leicester lost on Boxing Day at Etihad Stadium 6-3 harder than the final score shows after having an incredible comeback from 4-0 to 4-3. The Foxes though have only 48 hours to recover until tonight’s home game.

The probable start-up lines are:

Leicester (4-3-3): Schmeichel - Daley-Campbell, Amartey, Vestergaard, Castagne - Ndidi, Tielemans, Soumare - Perez, Vardy, Maswanhise

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas - Henderson, Fabinho, Keita - Salah, Jota, Mane

Leicester lost 4 of the last five games against The Reds. Liverpool has scored at least one goal in the first half, in 9 of their last 11 league games.

Prediction: Liverpool to win first half

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PREDICTION: NEWCASTLE VS MANCHESTER UNITED

PREMIER LEAGUE: 27 DECEMBER @ 20:00


Monday’s clash between Newcastle United and Manchester United will bring down the curtain on day 19 of the Premier League campaign.

The Magpies are having a nightmare season, with the team sitting in the relegation zone with only ten points in their pocket. Newcastle is on a three-game losing run ahead of the visit of Man Utd, and given their shaky defence, home win should not be considered. Isaac Hayden is banned for the match, while all Dummett, Lewis, and Fernandez continue to miss out with injuries.

The Red Devils, on the other hand, aim to extend their winning run to four games. Manchester United are eager to climb to the Champions League berth, and given their attacking potential, we believe that punters from all four corners of the world can find value in betting on Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. Both Cavani and Martial are rated doubtful for the match, while Pogba and Varane are sidelined with injuries.

Team News:

Isaac Hayden is suspended for Monday's welcome of Manchester United due to an accumulation of bookings.

Allan Saint-Maximin wasn't risked from the start in defeat to Manchester City but will likely return to the fold here.

Ralf Rangnick has revealed he expects to have a full squad to pick from against Newcastle aside from an injured Paul Pogba.

Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial were injury concerns prior to the club's COVID outbreak but will be better placed to return here.

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER CITY VS LEICESTER

PREMIER LEAGUE: 26 DECEMBER @ 15:00


Manchester City will be aiming to extend their winning run to nine games in the Premier League when they host Leicester City to their Etihad Stadium on Matchday 19. The Citizens have been scoring goals for fun of late, and, no doubt, they have improved offensively ever since Kevin De Bruyne returned from injury. Ferran Torres remains on the sidelines with injury, but the Spaniard should be the only absentee in the home team.

The Foxes, on the other hand, were not in action at the weekend, meaning that tired legs should not prove to be a big problem for the visiting side. Anyhow, home win should be considered as the title holders look unstoppable in the English top fight at the moment. All Iheanacho, Perez, Lookman, Choudhury, and Vestergaard are rated doubtful following their positive tests for coronavirus, but Jonny Evans is back from injury.

Team News:

Jack Grealish and Phil Foden were dropped by Pep Guardiola last time out for a lack of discipline and it wouldn't be a surprise if both were kept on the naughty step here.

Bernardo Silva may be used as a false nine against Leicester to accommodate Ilkay Gundogan in midfield.

Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez would therefore be in competition for a start on the right wing, with the latter keen to face his former club.

Jamie Vardy, Ricardo Pereira and Caglar Soyuncu all picked up muscle injuries in Wednesday's penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers will desperately hope to have former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans available, though he has struggled with injuries all season now.

Harvey Barnes and Timothy Castagne didn't even make the matchday squad in midweek raising doubts over their availability to face Manchester City.

Prediction: Half Time/Full Time Manchester City

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PREDICTION: TRABZONSPOR VS ISTAMBUL BAŞAKŞEHIR

SUPER LIG: 25 DECEMBER @ 16:00


Trabzonspor haven’t been able to stop scoring goals, finding the back of the net every time they’ve gone out to play in their last 6 games. They have totted up the amount of 12 during that period and have conceded a total of 3.

Heading into this fixture, Trabzonspor are undefeated in their last 14 home league matches. What a fantastic run!

A run of very capable performances from the İstanbul Başakşehir’s defence has resulted in the number of goals they’ve conceded standing at 4 from their last 6 outings overall. In that period of time, their forwards have scored 11. That sort of pattern might not follow through into this game, however.

Looking at the pre-match facts, İstanbul Başakşehir, haven't been defeated by Trabzonspor in the games played away for the previous 6 matches in the league - solid away record against them. They are undefeated in their previous 4 league matches away from home.

A look at their prior head to head clashes dating back to August 2018 shows that Trabzonspor have won one of these games and İstanbul Başakşehir three, two games ending in a draw.

An aggregate of 17 goals were produced between them in these games, with 6 of them for Karadeniz Fırtınası and 11 being from Belediye. That’s an average goals per game of 2.83. The last league encounter between these sides was in a Super Lig match on 19th of February, 2021 when the final score was İstanbul Başakşehir -Trabzonspor 0-1.

Looking at these two teams, we feel that İstanbul Başakşehir will likely create enough chances to break down Trabzonspor’s lineup, but that realistically there won’t be too many goals they could concede. Both sides scoring looks probable here. We are anticipating a very close game.

Prediction: Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: SEVILLA VS BARCELONA

LA LIGA: 21 DECEMBER @ 20:30


In round 18 of La Liga, Sevilla meets Barcelona tonight at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

In an unusual season Barcelona stands on the 8th place with 16 points behind the leader Real Madrid and 10 behind their today’s opponent. Still they come after a much needed last minute win (3-2) over Elche in the weekend. Having a completely new team than next season Barcelona’s youngsters will face a real test tonight against a much more mature team.

Sevilla seats on the second place with 6 points behind the leader, currently being the only team able to fight with Los Blancos. The Andalusians come after three wins in a row in La Liga and they posses the strongest defence this season. Julien Lopetegui’s team will definitely be looking to get the three points against a suffering Barcelona.

For Sevilla the absent players are Lavela, Navas, Suso, Torres whereas Montiel and Acuna are doubtful. Barcelona is missing Braithwaite, Depay, Fati, Pedri, Riberto and Alves.

The probable start-up lines are:

Sevilla(4-3-3): Bounou - Augustinsson, Kounde, Carlos, Rekik - Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic - Ocampos, Mir, Gomez

Barcelona (3-4-3): Ter Stegen - Araujo, Garcia, Lenglet - Busquets, De Jong, Alba, Gavi - Coutinho, Gonzalez, Ezzalzouli

Sevilla have won 9 of the last 10 games on the home ground in La Liga. Therefore we expect Sevilla to win.

Prediction: Sevilla to win

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PREDICTION: LEVANTE VS VALENCIA

LA LIGA: 20 DECEMBER @ 20:00


Levante take on city rivals Valencia in the at Stadion Ciudad de Valencia this Monday.

If ever Levante could do with a win in this fixture it is right now. After 17 rounds they are bottom of La Liga and 8 points off safety zone.  Their dreadful season continued last weekend when they blew two leads to lose 4-3 to Espanyol. They need to really start taking advantage of their home games if they are going to get out of trouble.

Valencia will be looking at making it three, after wining the last two games in La Liga. They are currently 7th, picking -up 25 points in the first 17 rounds. The Bats will enter the match full of confidence, as they have won last for games in all competitions and haven’t lost in the last eight.

Levante have drawn 8 of their last 10 home and they have failed to score in 5 of their last 6 home matches (La Liga) which leads us to believe the match will be heavily one sided towards Valencia.

The absent players from Levante are Mustafi, Malsa, Son, Radoja. Valecia is missing Paulista, Wass and Gomez.

The probable start-up lines are:

Levante (4-2-3-1): Cardenas - Miramon, Vezo, Pier, Clerc - Campana, Pepelu - De Frutos, Bardhi, Morales - Marti

Valencia (4-4-2): Cillessen - Foulquier, Diakhaby, Guillamon, Gaya - Soler, Musah, Racic, Duro - Guedes, Costa

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: TOTTENHAM VS LIVERPOOL

PREMIER LEAGUE: 19 DECEMBER @ 16:30

 

Tottenham vs Liverpool kicks off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday, 19th December 2021 at 04:30 PM GMT.

Liverpool stands on the second place with 40 points, just 1 behind the leader Manchester City and will be hoping to regain the first place with a victory over Spurs. On the other side, Tottenham is on the 7th place but having three games less.

With the reopening of Tottenham’s training ground and players returning to training, optimism that the clash with Liverpool will go as planned is high. Tottenham seemed to have a bad run under Nuno Espírito Santo’s regime, but just as things were looking up since Conte took charge, disaster struck again, this time in the form of a virus.

With Liverpool Having won their last 7 matches against Tottenham and 11 of their poast away games, hopes arent high for a win on Tottenham’s side. Liverpool have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 4 away matches against Tottenham in all competitions but Tottenham has scored in 4 of their 6 home matches against Liverpool.

The probable start-up lines are:

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-1-2): Lloris - Sanchez, Dier, Davies - Tanganga, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Reguilon - Lo Celso - Kane, Bergwijn

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson - Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Thiago - Salah, Jota, Mane

Prediction: Both team to score

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS WOLSBURG

BUNDESLIGA: 17 DECEMBER @ 19:30 GMT


Bayern Munich will be hoping to make it seven victories in a row in all competitions when they host Wolfsburg on Friday night in the Bundesliga.

The German champions lead the Bundesliga by nine points over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, with Wolfsburg in 11th place with 20 points from their first 16 games.

Bayern completed a perfect Champions League group-stage campaign earlier this month with a 3-0 win over Barcelona, and they have since added two more Bundesliga victories, defeating Mainz 2-1 on December 11 and Stuttgart 5-0 on Tuesday night.

Bayern will again be without the services of Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka, Josip Stanisic, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Joshua Kimmich for Friday's affair.

Wolfsburg finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, losing only seven of their 34 games, but they have already lost eight league games this season and appear to be out of contention for a top-four spot at this point.

As for Wolfsburg, Lukas Nmecha, Luca Waldschmidt, Paulo Otavio, Admir Mehmedi, Xaver Schlager and William will be absent for this match.

The prospect of facing Bayern after six straight defeats is not ideal for Wolfsburg, and we are finding it impossible to forecast anything other than a comfortable victory for the reigning champions, who, despite their injuries, should have an easy game.

The probable start-up lines are:

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, Sule, Hernandez, Davies - Roca, Musiala - Gnabry, Muller, Sane - Lewandowski

Wolfsburg (4-2-3-1):
Casteels - Baku, Lacroix, Bornauw, Brooks - Vranckx, Arnold - F Nmecha, Steffen, Lukebakio - Weghorst

Prediction: Bayern Munich Win

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PREDICTION:ARSENAL VS WEST HAM

PREMIER LEAGUE: 15 DECEMBER @ 20:00 GMT


Arsenal and West Ham United play tonight at the Emirates Stadium in a crucial London Derby with fourth place back in sight. The two teams are only separated by 2 points. In case of a win Arsenal could take West Ham’s current fourth place. The Gunners cannot afford to lose this one as the gap with the top table teams would widen to 5 points.

In the weekend Arsenal finally managed to get the free points against Southampton (3-0) after 2 consecutive losses putting the end to their misery. The result slightly eased the pressure on Arteta’s shoulders with the team returning to top six.

In the previous round The Hammers draw disappointingly at Burnley (0-0) with one of the relegation candidates. Still, this is a big game for West Ham, starting the match week fourth in the table. A win against The Gunners will get them closer to the big three in premier League.

At Arsenal, the missing players are Kolasinac and the star Aubameyang. West Ham are missing Zouma, Ogbonna, Johnson, Fredericks.

The probable start-up lines are:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale - Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney - Xhaka, Partey - Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe - Lacazette

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski - Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku - Rice, Soucek - Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma – Antonio

Arsenal and West Ham have seen three over 2.5 goal games out of the last four they played together.  In this Premier League season, more than half of West Ham’s matches ended with over 2.5 goals scored. Arsenal has had a lot of those recently as well.

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION:STUTTGART VS BAYERN MUNICH

BUNDESLIGA: 14 DECEMBER @ 17:30 GMT

 

On Tuesday, local team Stuttgart will face Bayern Munich at Mercedes-Benz Arena in the Bundesliga 1 match. Before round 16, the two team are in opposite states in the league table, Bayern occupying the first place while Stuttgart is only on the 15th.

This season, the defending champions have been dominant once again, and they appear to be on their way to another championship via a record-breaking season. This season, the Bavarian giants have collected 47 points out of a possible 51 and have won their past nine league matches in a row.

Stuttgart, on the other hand, has won just one of their previous five league games and has started the second half of the season with a disappointing 2-1 home setback to Mainz. They are now in 15th place in the table, three points clear of the relegation playoff berth and five points ahead of the bottom two. However, if the hosts win their game in hand, they will move up two places to tenth, leapfrogging Werder Bremen and Hannover.

The probable start-up lines are:

Stuttgart (3-4-2-1):
Muller - Mavropanos, Anton, Ito - Stenzel, Endo, Karazor, Coulibaly - Forster, Mangala - Marmoush

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, Upamecano, Sule, Davies - Musiala, Tolisso - Coman, Muller, Gnabry - Lewandowski

Prediction: Bayern to Win

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PREDICTION:AS ROMA VS SPEZIA

SERIE A: 13 DECEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


The final match of Serie A, day 17 takes place at Stadio Olimpico between Roma and Spezia. Despite a 3-0 setback to Inter, the Giallorossi are still considered strong favorites to defeat the Bianconeri, in front of their home fans.

Mancini and Zaniolo have been suspended for the encounter, while Spinazzola, Pellegrini, and El Shaarawy have been relegated to the treatment room. Spezia, on the other hand, is on a five-game losing streak on the road. The Romans defeated the Bianconeri 4-3 in their last meeting in the "Eternal City." The lone omission from the away side should be Leo' Sena.

AS Roma's manager, should provide encouragement to his team, which has won three of their eight top-flight matches at the Stadio Olimpico. Spezia appear to be ideal opponents, having only picked up two points on the road this season out of a potential 44.

In 15 of Spezia's last 19 away Serie A matches, under 3.5 goals have been scored. Not only that, but no more than three successful strikes have been scored in 13 of AS Roma's last 15 home games at this level, so it's hard to see this trend altering.

The probable start-up lines are:

AS Roma (3-5-2): Patricio - Kumbulla, Smalling, Ibanez - Karsdorp, Veretout, Cristante, Mkhitaryan, Vina - Shomurodov, Abraham

Spezia (4-3-3): Provedel - Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Bastoni - Kovalenko, Sala, Maggiore - Verde, Nzola, Gyasi

Prediction: Under 2.5

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PREDICTION: PSG VS MONACO

LIGUE 1: 12 DECEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


When PSG and Monaco meet in Ligue 1 round 18 at Parc des Princes, Sunday, there will be fireworks.

Paris Saint-Germain have made the Ligue 1 title their own lately, guaranteeing trophies in seven of the beyond eight seasons, however they must battle to hold their crown this time around.

Monaco stunned PSG in a five-goal thriller at the Stade Louis II in November and their attacking quality gives them every chance of inflicting more misery on the Parisians this weekend. Attacking trio Wissam Ben Yedder, Kevin Volland and Aleksandr Golovin are performing at the peak of their powers and they should cause plenty of problems for the Ligue 1 heavyweights again. Monaco has a bright future ahead of them, but they have a history of defensive flaws in their games, and those flaws will undoubtedly be exposed.

In the absence of injured teammate Neymar, PSG are brimming with confidence following their 4-1 Champions League victory over Barcelona in midweek, and they have a man playing at the top of his game in French youngster Kylian Mbappe, who leads the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 16 goals in 21 appearances.

The probable start-up lines are:

Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3): Donnarumma - Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat - Verratti, Gueye, Wijnaldum - Di Maria, Messi, Mbappe

Monaco (4-2-3-1): Nubel - Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Henrique - Fofana, Tchouameni - Martins, Diop, Golovin - Ben Yedder

Prediction: PSG +0.5,+1


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PREDICTION: ATALANTA VS VILLARREAL

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 9 DECEMBER @ 18:00 GMT


Atalanta and Villarreal are battling for the second place of Group F, tonight at Gewiss stadium in the last match of the group stage.

In group F, Manchester United is already qualified for the knockout stage from the first place while Young Boys Berna are eliminated. Thus the only question is which of the two opponents will continue their road in Champions League and which will shift to Europa League. Currently the are only being separated by 1 point.

Atalanta have 6 points from 5 games with one win, three draws and one defeat, which has left them in third position in the section, but they would advance to the last-16 stage of the Champions League with a victory over the Yellow Submarine.

Villareal have 7 points after winning two games, drawing one and loosing two. This allows them to secure the second position by only avoiding a defeat.

The missing players for Atalanta are Robin Gosens and Matteo Lovato. Villareal are also missing 2 player Yeremi Pino and Serge Aurier, Arnaut Danjuma being doubtful.

The probable line-ups are:

Atalanta (3-4-3): Musso - Toloi, Demiral, Palomino - Zappacosta, De Roon, Freuler, Maehle - Pasalic, Zapata, Malinovskyi

Villarreal (4-3-3): Rulli - Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan - Parejo, Capoue, Coquelin - Trigueros, G Moreno, Danjuma

Atalanta’s recent form has been substantially better and the club have picked up four wins in the last five games. Villareal have lost their last game in La Liga and their last one in Champions League. Although is a very difficult game to call, Atalanta’s recent form has been very impressive.

Prediction: Atalanta to Win

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS BARCELONA

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 8 DECEMBER @ 20:00 GMT


In the last round of the group stage Barcelona plays away at the Allianz Arena for their last chance to get in the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League.

Although Bayern is already qualified from the first place of group E, La Blaugrana faces a massive challenge. Their direct competitor for the second place, Benfica, has a much easier mission at home against Dynamo Kyiv, which accumulated only 1 point in 5 games so far. In case of the very likely victory for Benfica, Barcelona will be forced to win in order to secure the second place, as the direct result between the two are advantaging The Eagles.

Though having a new couch in the person of the legendary Xavi, Barcelona travels to Munich not very high on confidence after the weekend defeat at home against Betis 0-1.

On the other side Bayern has won the classic derby away against Dortmund (2-3) and consolidated their first place in Bundesliga after 14 rounds.

The probable line-ups are:

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, Sule, Nianzou, Richards - Roca, Tolisso - Sane, Muller, Musiala - Lewandowski

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen - Dest, Araujo, Pique, Alba - Gonzalez, Busquets, De Jong - Dembele, Depay, Coutinho

No team in the 2021-22 Champions League has scored more goals than Bayern's 19 in the group stages, with the German champions scoring at least two per game. Therefore we expect to see over 2.5 goals in tonight’s clash.

Prediction:  Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: REAL MADRID VS INTER MILAN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 7 DECEMBER @ 20:00 GMT


Tonight we are looking forward to an intense match between top teams Real Madrid and Inter Milan at Santiago Bernabeu, in the last round of the groups stage. Both teams are already qualified to the KO phase of the competition and are now competing for the first place of Group D.

The teams met in last season’s Champions League group stages, but 12 months on and the dugouts are completely different for both clubs. Italian champions Inter now have Simone Inzaghi at the helm instead of Antonio Conte, while Carlo Ancelotti has returned for his second Real stint after leaving Everton.

Both teams have won their past 3 games but there have been over 2.5 goals scored in Real Madrid's last 4 games of which they have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches, making them clear favorites.

Real Madrid are missing top players for the match: Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos. On the other side Inter are missing 6 players: Matteo Darmian, Stefan de Vrij, Joaquin Correa, Alexander Kolarov, Andrea Rannochia and Cristian Eriksen.

The probable line-ups are:

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois - Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy - Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos - Vinicius, Jovic, Asensio

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic - D'Ambrosio, Skriniar, Bastoni - Dumfries, Barella, Sensi, Vidal, Perisic - Dzeko, Martinez

Prediction:  Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: EVERTON VS ARSENAL

PREMIER LEAGUE: 6 DECEMBER @ 20:00 GMT


Monday's Premier league match has Everton competing with number 7 Arsenal at Goodison Park. The two team are separated by 10 points in the league table.

The Gunners are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 matches, and are coming in with a 2-0 win against Leeds, having gathered 17 goals this season of the Premier League. They will aim to bounce back into the top 5 with a victory tonight.

The home team has been on a losing streak recently, having faced strong opposition in their past 3 matches, loosing the past 3 home games and failing to score in 3 out of the past 6 games in all leagues. Everton lost 6 out the last 7 games in Premier League. We believe the game will be a loss for Everton but there have been less than 3 goals in 4 of their past 6 head to head matches.

Everton are missing 5 players: Gomes, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Rondon, Sigurdsson and Mina (doubtful). Arsenal are only missing 2 players: Kolasinac and Xshaka whereas Leno is doubtful.

The probable line-ups are:

Everton (4-4-1-1): Pickford - Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne - Townsend, Doucoure, Allan, Gordon – Gray - Richarlison

Arsenal (4-5-1): Ramsdale - Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares - Partey, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe - Aubameyang

Prediction:  Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS CRYSTAL PALACE

PREMIER LEAGUE: 5 DECEMBER @ 14:00 GMT


Sunday's Premier league fixture sees giants Manchester United coming head to head with Crystal Palace. The two teams are separated by 5 points and 5 places in the league table.

Man Utd are heading into the match undefeated in 19 of their last 21 matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions, they won 3-2 against Arsenal in Michael Carrick's final game in caretaker charge on Thursday. Ralf Rangnick now takes over as interim manager with United three points adrift of the top four and with a decent run of Premier League fixtures ahead of them.

Crystal Palace were left to rue Christian Benteke's missed chance against Leeds in midweek as they ended up conceding from a late penalty to lose the game 1-0. That is now back-to-back defeats for the Eagles for the first time this season.

Of the past 4 meeting 3 have seen both teams scoring at least once and we believe this result is likely in their coming meeting at Old Trafford.

The probable line-ups are:

Manchester United (4-3-1-2): Gea – Telles, Maguire, Lindelorf, Dalot – Beek, Fred, Mc Tominay – Fernandez – Martial, Ronaldo

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita – Tomkins, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell – Gallacher, Milivojevic, Kouyate – Ayew, Benteke, Zaha

Prediction:  Both teams to score

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PREDICTION: BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS BAYERN MUNICH

BUNDESLIGA: 4 DECEMBER @ 17:30 GMT


 Saturday in the Bundesliga derby the giants Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will battle for the first place. After 13 rounds the two rival clubs are only being separated by 1 point in the league table.

Germany's great competitive rivals go head to head at the top of the table as well, with the hosts looking to overtake the champions at the summit, in their quest to end the Bavarians' nine-year domestic dominance.

Despite their recent H2H record and the historical bias, Dortmund will be confident of upsetting their great rivals and stealing top spot in the standings with victory, after making their third-best start to any Bundesliga campaign in history. That start has been underpinned by their perfect home record this season, and another three points here at Signal Iduna Park would equal their longest ever run of 12 consecutive Bundesliga home wins that was set back in 1994.

Dortmund head into Der Klassiker just a single point behind Bayern, with a win taking them to top spot for the first time this campaign, which would see them in a strong position to finally put together a consistent challenge for their opponents' crown and prevent a 10th-consecutive Bundesliga title.

The probable line-ups are:

Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Kobel - Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro - Can, Witsel, Brandt - Reus, Malen - Haaland

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies - Tolisso, Goretzka - Coman, Muller, Sane - Lewandowski

Prediction:  Dortmund +0.5,+1

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PREDICTION: UNION BERLIN VS RB LEIPZIG

BUNDESLIGA: 3 DECEMBER @ 19:30 GMT


The weekend's Bundesliga action begins on Friday evening at the An der Alten Forsterei, with an intriguing clash that sees Union Berlin hosting a troubled RB Leipzig.

Union will be looking to bounce back from a last-minute defeat last weekend, they are heading into this clash with just one point less after 13 rounds than in their 2020 Bundesliga season. However the 2-1 loss at Frankfurt was their first defeat of this Bundesliga season against opposition sitting below them. An outcome the top-four chasers will hope to avoid a repeat of here as the division’s two youngest clubs meet with RB Leipzig sitting two points below the capital club.

While their visitors have numerous concerns on and off the pitch following another defeat themselves last Sunday, eighth placed RB Leipzig have started slowly domestically under new coach Jess Marsch winning and losing five games.

Four of the last five H2Hs have featured a total of over 2.5 goals and the same we would be looking for in this match. Despite two defeats in the last five outings, Leipzig have been able to produce a total of ten goals in that course. Union Berlin has accumulated seven goals in the last five meetings and has scored five times in the last three home games.

The probable line-ups are:

Union Berlin (3-5-2): Luthe - Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl - Trimmel, Haraguchi, Khedira, Promel, Giesselmann - Awoniyi, Kruse

RB Leipzig (3-4-3): Martinez - Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol - Mukiele, Adams, Kampl, Angelino - Nkunku, Forsberg; Silva

Prediction:  Over 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTIONS: CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED, REAL MADRID VS BETIS SEVILLA, NAPOLI VS LAZIO

28 NOVEMBER

 

Chelsea vs Man Utd

KO: 28/11/2021 16:30 GMT

Chelsea got back to winning ways in the Premier League in emphatic fashion last weekend, beating Leicester 0-3 away from home before returning to Stamford Bridge in midweek and thrashing Italian giants Juventus 4-0 in the Champions League group stage.

Unfortunately, Chelsea’s win over Juventus was overshadowed by injuries to midfielder N’Golo Kante and left-back Ben Chilwell, the latter having suffered ACL damage and may miss the rest of the season.

Michael Carrick tasted victory in his first match in temporary charge of Man Utd midweek in the Champions League, this following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after United’s humiliating 4-1 beating away at Watford in the Premier League.

The Red Devils head to Stamford Bridge short in central defence, with Raphael Varane injured and captain Harry Maguire suspended after being sent off at Vicarage Road, whilst Man Utd will also be without Paul Pogba (injury), Mason Greenwood (Isolating after contracting Covid-19) with both Luke Shaw (injury) and Edinson Cavani (injury) likely to miss out as well.

Our prediction: FT Chelsea

 

Real Madrid - Sevilla

KO: 28/11/2021 20:00 GMT

This match is more than just massive for the title race, it is also the return of Julen Lopetegui to the Bernabeu. Real Madrid hammered Sheriff Tiraspol by three goals to nil in midweek in the UEFA Champions League and they now come into this at the top-of-the-table in La Liga but just two points above Sevilla. Lopetegui has performed impressively as Sevilla manager but the Andalusians can often drift into an overly conservative mindset which has hampered them in one off individual matches such as this one. This is expected to be a tense encounter and it should be a low-scoring affair.

Our prediction: Under 2.5

 

28.11.2021: Napoli - Lazio

KO: 28/11/2021 19:45 GMT

This is a huge game, not just for the league itself but also the context that surrounds the match. Maurizio Sarri returns to Naples after departing Napoli in 2018. Sarri has been the man closest to leading Napoli to a post-Maradona Scudetto until maybe this season whereby Luciano Spalletti’s side sit at the top-of-the-table. They did, however, lose 3-2 away to Inter Milan last weekend. Lazio also lost last week at home to Sarri’s other former club Juventus with Leonardo Bonucci scoring two penalties. It has been difficult for Sarri with a lack of cohesion in his side’s play and a failure to adapt to his complex style. However, there have been signs of improvement and a 3-0 hammering of Lokomotiv Moscow was another example of that. This should be an entertaining and intriguing affair which should be full of goals.

Our prediction: FT Napoli

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PREDICTION: CHELSEA VS JUVENTUS

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 23 NOVEMBER @ 20:00 GMT


Tuesday’s Champions League action will see Chelsea coming up against Juventus.

Juventus has a bad outlook in their next fixture, with a recent return of just one point from a possible 34 serving as opposed to Chelsea which excluding the playoffs have enjoyed nine wins in 15 home games at this level of late, so they will fancy their chances of chalking up another victory here.

Chelsea enter this match coming off the back of a 1-1 Premier League drawn match vs Burnley, their most recent results illustrating the point that Chelsea’s defence stands extremely solid. The team having given the opposition very little, resulting in the number of goals that have gone past their goalkeeper during their last 6 clashes to be a measly 2.

Juventus goes into this meeting following a 1-0 Serie A win in the defeat of Fiorentina in their most recent outing. Juventus’ offence has helped them to tally up 9 goals. And they have also managed to score in every single one of those games. In that time, their defenders have seen 7 goals scored by their opponents showing a clear high risk high reward play-style.

With more than 3 goals scored in 3 of their last 5 meetings we have high hopes for a tense match this Tuesday and believe a similar result is imminent.

The probable line-ups are:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy - Rudiger, Christensen, Silva - James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso - Hudson-Odoi, Mount - Havertz

Juventus (4-4-2): Szczesny - Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro - Cuadrado, McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot - Morata, Chiesa

Prediction:  Goals Over 2.5

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PREDICTION: INTER MILAN VS NAPOLI

SERIE A: 21 NOVEMBER @ 17:00 GMT


Inter and Napoli, the two title-chasing teams, face each other at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in a highly-anticipated Serie A clash. Inter are eager to melt Napoli’s advantage in the Serie A standings, and they are likely to fight tooth and nail against Napoli.

Inter Milan are the latest side trying to bring Napoli’s unbeaten Serie A (SA) run to an end and they will attempt to do so on a four-match unbeaten league run of their own (W2, D2). They come into this fixture having drawn 1-1 against bitter rivals AC Milan prior to the international break, a game heavy on first-half action with an own goal, a converted penalty and a missed penalty before half-time!

Inter Milan went up against their rivals AC Milan before the international break. Everyone expected this game to be tight and our expectations were met with how the 90-minutes played out. Napoli would have been expecting to beat Verona, especially in their own backyard, but instead, they had to settle for a share of the spoils despite the best efforts of the home side.

With Napoli having won against Inter considering the aggregate score of their past 6 meetings we believe the odds are on their side but Inter has only lost twice with a gap of more than one goal.

The probable line-ups are:

Inter Milan (5-3-2): Handanovic - Skriniar, Ranocchia, Bastoni - Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic - Dzeko, Martinez

Napoli (4-2-3-1) :Ospina - Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui - Anguissa, Ruiz - Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne - Osimhen

Prediction:  Asian Handicap Napoli +1

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS ARSENAL

PREMIER LEAGUE: 20 NOVEMBER @ 17:30 GMT

 

One of the standout fixtures of the Premier League season will take place on Saturday evening when Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield. Just one place and two points separate the two teams in the standings, with Liverpool sitting fourth and Arsenal fifth after 11 games of the campaign.

Liverpool had their 20-game unbeaten streak, cut short prior to the international break, losing to West Ham. That makes welcoming opponents Arsenal to Anfield all the more enticing, with the small gap, and as Liverpool's last three league defeats having come against London clubs!

At the end of August Arsenal sat relatively low having lost all three of their games, losing 0 to 9 in aggregated scores, while Liverpool had taken seven points from a possible nine and had been scored against only once. Today the Premier League picture has changed significantly. Mostly caused by a two-game winless streak on Liverpool’s side before the international break.

With an even split of wins, losses and draws in their last 6 head to head meetings Saturday’s fixture could lean either way but we feel positive that the odds lean in the favor of the home team.

The probable line-ups are:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson - Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Thiago - Salah, Jota, Mane

Arsenal (4-4-1-1): Ramsdale - Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney - Saka, Thomas, Lokonga, Smith Rowe – Lacazette - Aubameyang

Prediction:  Half time – Liverpool

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PREDICTION: AUGSBURG VS BAYERN MUNICH

BUNDESLIGA: 19 NOVEMBER @ 19:30 GMT

 

Bayern Munich will be looking to take home their fifth Bundesliga victory in a row when they resume their 2021-22 campaign with an away match against Augsburg on Friday night.

Augsburg stood in the Bundesliga relegation playoff place after a total of just two wins from 11 games and a difficult season. It doesn't get any easier this meeting as German giants Bayern Munich come to town, a team that is undefeated by Augsburg in 12 straight Bundesliga head-to-head competitions albeit they did breach the Bayern defence in eight of those meetings.

Bayern, meanwhile, scored a 2-1 victory over Freiburg before the international break, the German champions having won each of their four league matches since a surprising 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of October, including a 5-2 win in their last away match.

Coming in with a record of nine wins, one draw and one defeat from 11 matches has seen Bayern collect 28 points, which has left them at the summit, four points clear of second-placed Dortmund, having scored in 58 straight league matches and accumulated 100 goals in total in the Bundesliga in 2021. On the other hand Augsburg have managed only five goals in their other 10 games this season. This overwhelming goal disparity leads us to believe we will see a heavily one-sided fixture.

The probable line-ups are:

Augsburg (4-5-1):
Gikiewicz - Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Oxford, Pedersen - Hahn, Vargas, Maier, Gruezo, Caligiuri - Niederlechner

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer- Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka - Coman, Muller, Sane - Lewandowski

Prediction:  Total goals scored will be over 3.5

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PREDICTION: WALES VS BELGIUM

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 16 NOVEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


In the penultimate round of games before the November international break, the Dragons of Wales face the Red Devils of Belgium.

Wales

With a playoff place on the line, this game means everything to the Welsh. By all accounts, this would be a life-or-death situation for them. Belgium defeated them 3-1 in their first WCQ group E match in March of this year. With such a large home crowd and so much on the line, things may be different at the Cardiff Stadium.

Belgium

With each passing year, Roberto Martinez's mission becomes more difficult. With Belgium's golden generation on the risk of fading away owing to the passage of time, World Cup appears to be the final opportunity for elite players like Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard to win the Jules Rimet trophy. Belgium made the qualifications look easy. They have confirmed qualifying with plenty of time to spare in a group that includes good teams like the Czech Republic, Wales, Estonia, and Belarus.

The probable line-ups are:

Wales (4-4-2): Ward - Mepham, Rodon, Davies, Williams - C Roberts, Ramsey, Allen, Wilson - James, Bale

Belgium (3-4-3): Courtois - Castagne, Denayer, Vertonghen - Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, T Hazard - Mertens, Benteke, Carrasco

Belgium has scored at least 2 goals in 19 of their last 24 matches of the World Cup. Wales will have to score at least as many goals as their opponents to qualify. Therefore, we expect over 2.5 goals.

Prediction:  Total goals scored will be over 2.5

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PREDICTION: NORTHERN IRELAND VS ITALY

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 15 NOVEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


When the Azzurri travel to the British Isles to face Northern Ireland, they will have an opportunity to show why they are European Champions once more. The UEFA Euro 2020 champions are leading Group C, but Switzerland is a close second.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is in mixed form in Europe WC Qualification Europe and they won no home games at Windsor Park. In their previous four matches, Northern Ireland has never beaten Italy.

As he prepares to return to Northern Ireland duty, Jonny Evans hopes his injury problems are behind him. Evans has not represented his country since March, and he has only made nine appearances for Leicester this season due to plantar fasciitis, which causes discomfort in the sole, heel, and arch of the foot, and has troubled him since he walked out of the FA Cup Final in May.

Italy

Italy defeated Northern Ireland 2-0 in March of this year and will be hoping for a repeat performance in Belfast this weekend. The Italians have a perfect record against their opponents, having only fallen to them once in 1958. In WC Qualification Europe, Italy is in good form, having won two away games.

The probable line-ups are:

Northern Ireland (3-5-2): Peacock-Farrell - Cathcart, J. Evans, McNair - Dallas, McCann, Davis, Saville, Lewis - Washington, Magennis

Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma - Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Emerson - Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli - Chiesa, Belotti, Insigne

Prediction:  Total goals scored will be under 2.5

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PREDICTION: PORTUGAL VS SERBIA

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 14 NOVEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


When Portugal and Serbia were paired together in Group A of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, they were always going to be the favourites. Luxembourg, Ireland, and Azerbaijan never had a chance. The two countries hold a commanding lead over the other teams in their group.

Portugal

Finishing second and earning a spot in the playoffs is something no one wants to do over winning their group. The uncertainty would be uncomfortable, and the Serbians would be well aware of this heading into their away encounter in Portugal. In this group game in March 2021, the two teams played to a 2-2 tie, but a similar outcome may not be optimal for one team or the other. Furthermore, in their previous seven head-to-head games, Serbia has never beaten Portugal.

Serbia

Serbia has traditionally been regarded as a dark horse. In the last decade or two, the underdogs have had a very capable team filled with elite players from all over the world. However, they consistently fall short. They now have an opportunity to put years and decades of agony behind them by defeating Portugal for the first time in their history in what would be their eighth head-to-head meeting. Assuming they achieve this, they will be automatically qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next summer so the stakes are high.

The probable line-ups are:

Portugal (4-3-3): Patricio - Cancelo, Danilo, Dias, Mendes - Fernandes, Palhinha, Moutinho - B Silva, Ronaldo, Jota

Serbia (3-4-1-2): Rajkovic - Milenkovic, S Mitrovic, Pavlovic - Radonjic, Milinkovic-Savic, Gudelj, Kostic – Tadic - A Mitrovic, Vlahovic

Prediction:  Total goals scored will be under 2.5

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PREDICTION: GREECE VS SPAIN

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 11 NOVEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


Spain will endeavour to keep the pressure high when they travel to face Greece in the World Cup 2022 Qualifying Group B on Thursday night.

We’re expecting an exciting finish in the last two rounds of Group B. Greece are sitting in third place with nine points with no way to take the top spot, but their hopes of conquering second place all come down to pulling off an win over opponents Spain here, with failure to do so resulting in missing their second World Cup finals in a row.

Spain face Sweden in their final qualifier of Group B in what will probably decide the top spot. Spain still need to deal with Greece to at least guarantee second place. They have previously defeated Greece 2-1 in the reverse fixture, but another win is needed here.

Greece are coming into the match with Anastasios Bakasetas suspended due to an accumulation of bookings. He is a big miss as he has played a direct hand in four goals in six qualifiers, paired with Spain’s streak of 20 matches in the world cup. However, in the past 5 matchups Greece has not lost with more than 1 goal difference making for a small gap they’d have to cover.

The probable line-ups are:

Greece (5-2-1-2): Vlachodimos - Androutsos, Goutas, Tzavellas, Tsimikas, Giannoulis - Bouchalakis, Siopis – Mantalos - Pavlidis, Masouras

Spain (4-3-3): Simon - Carvajal, P. Torres, Laporte, Alba - Koke, Busquets, Gavi - Sarabia, Morata, Olmo

Prediction:  Greece +1.0 & +1.5 (Asian Handicap)

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PREDICTION: IRELAND VS PORTUGAL

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 11 NOVEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


Portugal will be hoping to return to the top of Group A with a win on Thursday night, as they currently sit 1 point behind Serbia. Ireland only have 5 points to their name from six qualifiers, but could pass Luxembourg with a win.

Weak performances ended Ireland’s hopes of reaching their first World Cup since 2002 a few matches ago, but recently they’ve experienced significant improvement. While a four-match unbeaten streak may not sound so spectacular it represents their best run under manager Stephen Kenny, directly after a spell of one win in 15 games.

Portugal struggled against Ireland earlier in the campaign, needing two very late Cristiano Ronaldo headers to secure a 2-1 victory. Nevertheless, they are still on track to win having won their last 4 matches in the World Cup. That being said in their past 5 matchups Ireland has only lost once with more than 1 goal difference.

The probable line-ups are:

Republic of Ireland (3-5-2): Bazunu - Omobamidele, Duffy, Egan - Doherty, Hendrick, Cullen, Browne, McClean - Robinson, Idah

Portugal (4-3-3): Patricio - Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Cancelo - Moutinho, Palhinha, Fernandes - B. Silva, Ronaldo, Jota

Prediction:  Ireland +1.5 (Asian Handicap)

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PREDICTION: GERMANY VS LIECHTENSTEIN

WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFIERS: 11 NOVEMBER @ 19:45 GMT


Four-time world champions, Germany, welcome Liechtenstein to the Volkswagen Arena for their penultimate game in World Cup qualifications on Thursday.

It’s been smooth sailing have for Germany who became the first team to qualify for Qatar 2022 by beating North Macedonia in the last round of WCQ fixtures. This encounter with Liechtenstein promises to be an easy match on paper and the historical data would back that up too, with the five previous head to head meetings all resulting in a German victory and an aggregate scoreline of 29-3.

Liechtenstein is coming into the match with a player down as Martin Marxer is suspended after his red card in their 4-0 defeat to Iceland last time out in qualification, and taking in account their past 21 losses in the FIFA World Cup, the upcoming fixture is bound to be far from a balanced match. With Liechtenstein having failed to score in 13 of their last 15 matches (FIFA World Cup) and Germany having been winning at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches against Liechtenstein in all competitions we don’t feel any possibility for an upset.

The probable line-ups are:

Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Hofmann, Rudiger, Kehrer, Raum - Gundogan, Goretzka - Draxler, Muller, Sane - Nmecha

Liechtenstein (5-3-2):
B. Buchel - Wolfinger, Grunenfelder, Malin, Hofer, Goppel - M. Buchel, Sele, Hasler - Meier; Salanovic

Germany have already qualified for the 2022 World Cup so pressure is greatly relieved off their coach and players, still there have been over 2.5 goals scored in Germany's last 4 games (FIFA World Cup) which leaves the final score in a relatively clear bracket.

Prediction:  Total Goals Over 2.5

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PREDICTION: ARSENAL VS WATFORD 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 7 NOVEMBER @ 14:00


Arsenal hosts today Watford, after a series of positive results in the last round. A victory will lead The Gunners back to top 5 in Premier League.

Arsenal is undefeated in nine games and has won seven of them. Mikel Arteta's side has finally gotten rolling after their injury difficulties. In each of their past five games at the Emirates, they have scored two or more goals. The North Londoners must maintain their momentum with the matchups coming thick and fast. After the international break, they will face Liverpool, and Mikel Arteta must guarantee that things do not deteriorate under his guidance.

Claudio Ranieri has lost 5-0 to Liverpool, 5-2 to Everton, and 1-0 against Southampton in his first three games. Going ahead, expect a lot more volatility from this Watford squad. As a manager, Ranieri has only won one of his 18 matches against Arsenal.

The probable line-ups are:

Arsenal  (4-4-2):Ramsdale - Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares - Saka, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe - Aubameyang, Lacazette

Watford (4-2-31):Foste - Ngakia, Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Masina - Sissoko, Kucka - Sarr, Cleverley, Denni - King

Arsenal scored over 2.5 goals in 13 of their last 15 matches against Watford in all competitions.

Prediction:  Total Goals Over 2.5

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS MANCHESTER CITY 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 6 NOVEMBER @ 12:30


Manchester United hosts their local rivals, City, for the derby of the round 11 in Premier League. The two team are separated by 3 points and 2 positions in the league table.

After a 5-0 loss to Liverpool, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was supposedly given three matches to save his job at Manchester United, and he has since beaten Tottenham and drew with Atalanta. The back three performed admirably against a mediocre Tottenham team, but fell short against Atalanta. That defense looks much more shaky on Saturday with Raphael Varane ruled out.

Manchester City defeated Club Bruges 4-1 on Wednesday night, but Pep Guardiola picked a surprisingly powerful lineup. Given the short break between matches, it will be intriguing to watch how they perform here, despite the fact that both games are in Manchester.

At Manchester United are missing the top scorer Pogba and Varane. City is missing 4 players Delap, Laporte, Mendy and the Torres.

The probable line-ups are:

Manchester United (3-4-1-2): De Gea - Bailly, Lindelof, Maguire - Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred, Shaw – Fernandes - Ronaldo, Cavani

Manchester City (4-3-3):Ederson - Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancel - Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne - Jesus, Foden, Grealish

In the last 5 games between the two team were scored two goals or less. With the perspective of a tight and tense game we expect to see less than three goals

Prediction:  Total Goals Under 2.5

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PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL VS ATLETICO MADRID 

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 3 NOVEMBER @ 20:00


Liverpool meets Atletico on Wednesday at Enfield Road in the forth round of the groups stage of the UEFA Champions League. In their previous clash, the Reds won 3-2 at Madrid with a 78’ goal from Salah. In the group table, Liverpool has a much more comfortable position with the maximum points (9) whereas Atletico has only 4 points, same as Porto.

Madrid will come into the match the fresher side as the Spanish league allowed their most recent game to be postponed on the grounds of missing players from international duty. However, Liverpool comes into the game undefeated in the past 15 matches whereas Atlético has tasted defeat much more recently as well as the defensive record of Atlético in the competition as they have only conceded one goal. This coincides with the tactics that Simeone loves to use as he often deploys a low block to stifle any attacks from the opposition.

Liverpool has three injured players: Keita, Eliott, Millner. Atletico is missing two players: Lemar, Lorrente.

The probable line-ups are:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson – Robertson, Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold – Jones, Henderson, Chamberlain – Mane, Jota, Salah

Atletico Madrid (3-4-2-1): Oblak – Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso – Trippier, Koke, Knondogbia, Carrasco – Correa, Felix -Suarrez

This game will be a big test for whatever combination of midfielders start as they will need to be the creative force to break down the deep defence of Diego Simeone. The last game between Liverpool and Atlético de Madrid ended with a 2-3 win for Liverpool. Moreover, Liverpool scored at least 3 goals in their last 3 matches in Champions League. This gives us confidence that at least 3 goals will be scored.

Prediction:  Total Goals Over 2.5

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PREDICTION: BAYERN MUNICH VS BENFICA 

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 2 NOVEMBER @ 20:00


The first two teams of Group E meet on Tuesday in the fourth round of Champions League. If Bayern is pretty sure to qualify to the next round having maximum of points from their firsts three games, Benfica only has one point more than the third place Barcelona.

Bayern Munich has been so strong in their attack of late, lashing 19 goals past the opposition during the course of their last six outings. In those meetings, Bayern Munich has also seen the aggregate sum of goals scored against them total 8. Nonetheless, time will tell if such a trend might continue on in this upcoming match.

Benfica comes into this match following on from a 0-1 Primeira Liga win with the downing of Vizela in their last game. During their 6 latest matches, Jorge Jesus's Benfica has turned their attacks into goals 10 times, therefore, yielding them the goals per game average of 1.67.

Missing players are Sven Ulreich for Bayern and Valentino Lazaro, Haris Seferovic, Gil Dias, Andre Almeida, Rodrigo Pinho for Benfica.

The probable line-ups are:

Bayern Munich (4-5-1): Neuer - Pavard, Sule, Upamecano, Davies - Kimmich, Sabitzer; Sane, Muller, Coman - Lewandowski

Benfica (3-4-3): Vlachodimos - Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen - Goncalves, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo - Silva, Yaremchuk, Nunez

Although in the previews round Bayern smashed Benfica 4-0 in Portugal - we expect the Eagles to be cautious in their progress. On the other side, Bayern have kept a clean sheet in their last 4 UEFA Champions League matches.

Prediction:  Total Goals Under 3.5

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PREDICTION: WOLVES VS EVERTON 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 1 NOVEMBER @ 20:00


Wolves will host Everton in the Premier League on Monday. The two teams are separated by 1 point and two places in the league table.

Following several losses manager, Wolves’ coach Bruno Lage has managed to steady the ship with four wins, but they are still way behind their goals. The departure of Nuno Espirito Santo delayed things at the club, and it will take time to stabilize things it seems. Still, a victory would allow them to move ahead of the Toffees.

Everton is currently winless in the last three matches, and they have slipped to eighth place with 14 points from nine matches. They were thrashed 5-2 by Watford and Rafa Benitez needs to plug the leak in his side. His team has not seen a victory since a 2-0 home success over Norwich City at the end of September.

The Wolves are missing 4 players: Johny, Pedro Neto, Hugo Bueno, Yerson Mosquera. Everton has 2 injured players: Abdoulaye Doucouré and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The probable line-ups are:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3): Sa - Kilman, Coady, Saiss - Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Ait Nouri - Traore, Jimenez, Hwang

Everton (4-4-1-1): Pickford - Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne - Townsend, Davies, Allan, Iwobi – Gray - Richarlison

In five of the last six games between the two, there had been scored over 2.5 goals. In three of the last five matches have been scored at least three goals, in both teams’ cases.

Prediction:  Total Goals will be over 2.5

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PREDICTION: INTER MILAN VS UDINESE 

ITALIAN SERIE A: 31 OCTOBER @ 11:30


Inter Milan are set to play Udinese at the San Siro on Sunday for their next Serie A fixture. The two teams are separated by 10 points and 11places in the league table.

Inter Milan got back to winning ways in Serie A (SA) in midweek by getting the better of Empoli 2-0 and in doing so, opened the scoring for the seventh time across their ten league fixtures this season. Coach Simone Inzaghi would’ve been biting his nails until the second goal went in, having seen his side drop nine points from winning positions this campaign, already more than double the amount from their title-winning season last term.

Udinese played out a fourth consecutive SA draw and a third in a row against Verona (1-1) in the last round, making their five stalemates this season a league-high. The visitors clearly paid close attention in algebra class as their results have followed a distinct sequence, as their drawn SA opener was followed by two wins, three losses, and now four draws.

The probable line-ups are:

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic - Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Baston - Matteo Darmian, Nicolo Barella, Stefano Sensi, Hakan Calhanoglu, Federico Dimarco - Joaquin Correa, Edin Dzeko

Udinese (3-4-2-1): Marco Silvestri - Rodrigo Becao, Bram Nuytinck, Samir - Jens Stryger Larsen, Jean-Victor Makengo, Mato Jajalo, Marvin Zeegelaar - Roberto Pereyra, Isaac Success - Fernando Forestieri

Over 2.5 goals have been scored in three of Inter Milan's last five games in all competitions. Last year Inter won 5-1 against Udinese. Therefore we’re expecting plenty of goals.

Prediction:  Total Goals will be over 2.5

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PREDICTION: TOTTENHAM VS MANCHESTER UNITED 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 30 OCTOBER @ 17:30


Tottenham Hotspur hosts Manchester United on Saturday night for what we expect to be the most interesting match of round 10 in the Premier League.

Neither are in the best of form and both teams will be desperate to make a return to winning ways. We're confident that at least three goals will be scored as that’s been the case in four of the pair's last five encounters in all competitions.

Tottenham’s defeat slipped under the radar somewhat amid Manchester United’s woes as fans streamed out of Old Trafford well before their 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool last Sunday. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears safe for now, but the pressure is building after they suffered a shocking home defeat by 5+ goals ‘to nil’ for the first time since 1955.

We expect to see a very balanced game. The two teams are only separated by 1 point in the league table and eager to keep up with the top teams. A defeat would widen the gap to 5th place for any of them.

The Red Devils are missing their top striker Paul Pogba and the Spurs’ Sessegnon will not be playing.

The probable line-ups are:

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris – Reguilón, Dier, Romero, Royal – Højbjerg, Skipp – Heung-Min, Ndombele, Moura - Kane

Manchester (4-2-3-1): Gea – Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw – Matic, Fred – Cavani, Fernandez, Rashford – Ronaldo

Both teams will need to open up and score. The two managers are under pressure and need a win to ease calls for their sacking.

Prediction: Total Goals will be over 2.5

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL 

PREMIER LEAGUE: 24 OCTOBER @ 16:30


In the headliner of the 9th round of the Premier League, Manchester United hosts Liverpool at Old Trafford. The two teams are separated in the league table by 4 points and 4 places before Sunday’s clash.

The objective for both of teams is simply, victory. Liverpool has to stay close to Chelsea. The Reds are just one point behind the leader, but the Blues have an easy mission at home with last place, Norwich. Liverpool comes after an easy victory in the previous round away with Watford. In the Champions League they won against  Atletico Madrid 2-3, after a challenging game.

United cannot afford anything but a victory if they are to keep up with the top 5 teams. After a good start, they have only earned 1 point in the last three rounds in the league. Another negative result means the beginning of a crisis. Still the Red Devils have good morale after Wednesday’s comeback from 0-2 to 3-2 in the Champions League against Atalanta.

The absent players for United are Raphael Varane and Armand Diallo. Liverpool is missing Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones.

The probable line-ups are:

Manchester (4-2-3-1): De Gea - Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw - McTominay, Pogba - Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford - Ronaldo

Liverpool (4-3-3):
Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson - Henderson, Fabinho, Milner - Salah, Firmino, Mane

Although Manchester United’s confidence will be high after their Champions League performance, Liverpool is a tough opponent. They are undefeated in their last 18 games in the Premier League. Facing the fragile defence of United, which conceded 9 goals in the last 5 games, Liverpool is expected to score more than once. The Reds have scored at least three goals in all seven of their away matches this season.

Prediction:  Liverpool win.

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PREDICTION: BOLOGNA VS AC MILAN 

ITALIAN SERIE A: 23 OCTOBER @ 19:45


AC Milan travels to Bologna’s Renato Dall'Ara Stadium for the 9th round of Serie A. This match is a tricky one for the Rossoneri as they enter the match after a disappointing defeat at Porto (1-0) earlier this week in the Champions League. Meanwhile, their opponents beat Lazio (3-0) in their last home game.

In an excellent start with 7 victories and 1 draw in 8 rounds, Milan stands just two points behind the leader Napoli and dreams about their first title in 10 years. Last week in Serie A, Milan managed to comeback from 2 goals down against Hellas Verona, which is offering them a spark of optimism after their poor go in the Champions League.

Bologna are in 8th place in the table this season with an inconsistent campaign so far. After their encouraging victory with Lazio, they only managed to draw 1-1 at Udinese. However, being unbeaten in their last four games at home, Bologna might prove a hard nut to crack for Milan.

Bologna is missing just 2 players for the match (Bonifazi K. and Michael K.) whereas Milan has a worrying number of 8 players (Diaz B., Florenzi A., Hernandez T., Maignan M., Messias J., Plizzari A., Rebic A.).

The probable line-ups are:

Bologna (3-4-3): Skorupski - Soumaoro, Medel, Theate - Silvestri, Dominguez, Svanberg, Hickey - Soriano, Barrow; Arnautovic

AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu - Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli, Ballo-Toure - Bennacer, Kessie - Saelemaekers, Krunic, Leao - Giroud

In four of their last five meetings between Milan and Bologna they’ve scored over 2.5 goals. Moreover, in four of Bologna's last five games, we have seen at least three goals. In Milan’s four over the last 5 matches there were over 2.5 goals scored.

Prediction:  Over 2.5 goals

Image credit: sportskeeda.com


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PREDICTION: BENFICA VS BAYERN MUNICH 

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 20 OCTOBER @ 20:00


In the third round of the Champions League, Benfica hosts Bayern Munich at Estádio da Luz. The two teams hold the first two spots in the group and are separated by two points.

In the last round, Benfica won against Barcelona 3-0 at home after an impressive match. Benfica hold the #1 spot in the Primeira League, the top flight of Portuguese football. They have an almost perfect record with 7 victories in 8 games. Their only defeat was in the previous round at home with Portimonense (0-1). In the Portuguese Cup (Taça de Portugal) Benfica won on Saturday against Trofense after extra-time.

In the Champions League Bayern won the first two rounds scoring an impressive 8 goals against Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev. In the Bundesliga, Bayern are in first position, having won 6 out of the 8 rounds, and only losing and drawing once.

Benfica are missing 2 players (Seferovic and Lazaro) whereas Bayern are missing 3 men (Ulreich, Davies and Goretzka).

The probable line-ups are:

Benfica (3-4-3): Vlachodimos - Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen - Gilberto, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo - Silva, Yaremchuk, Nunez

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer - Pavard, Sule, Upamecano, Hernandez - Kimmich, Sabitzer - Sane, Muller, Gnabry - Lewandowski

Although Benfica have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 6 matches in the Champions League, Bayern have won 21 of their last 23 matches in the competition. Our prediction is Bayern to win.

Prediction:  Bayern Win

Image credit: 90min.com


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PREDICTION: FC PORTO VS AC MILAN 

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 19 OCTOBER @ 20:00


AC Milan faces Porto today at Estadio do Dragao in a desperate search for their first win. Both teams lost in the last round so for both teams it’ll be one of their chances to reach the knockout phase of the competition.  

In the domestic league, Porto won 6 out of the last 8 games and stands just 1 point behind the leader Benfica. The humiliating 1-5 loss against Liverpool in the Champions League is their only defeat at home this season.

Milan have won the last 4 games in Serie A and are also very close to the leader Napoli, 2 points behind. In the last round, Rossoneri battled back from 2-0 down to beat Verona 3-2. However, their impressive campaign from the domestic league is shadowed by the mediocre one in Champions League where they’ve lost their last 4 matches.

Player news is not great for Milan which are missing 8 players: Bakayoko, Rebic, Florenzi, Maignan, Kessié, Mirante, Hernández, Díaz. On the other side of the pitch, Porto has only one absence - Esteves.

The probable line-ups are:

Porto (4-4-2): Marchesin - Corona, Pepe, Marcano, Sanusi - Otavio, Oliveira, Uribe, Diaz - Martinez, Taremi

AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu - Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Ballo-Toure - Bennacer, Tonali - Saelemaekers, Krunic, Leao - Giroud

In the last 3 of Milan’s games in the Champions League, they’ve scored over 2.5 goals. Porto scored 7 goals in their last 2 games. Therefore we expect to see plenty of goals tonight.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: BARCELONA VS VALENCIA 

SPAIN LA LIGA: 17 OCTOBER @ 20:00


In the Spanish La Liga’s derby, Barcelona hosts Valencia at Camp now on Sunday. The match is expected to be very balanced with the two teams sharing the same number of points 12, only being separated in the league’s table by the total scored goals.

Barcelona lost the last two games, 2-0 at Atletico Madrid in the domestic competition and 3-0 at Benfica Lisbon in Champions League, continuing their disastrous route with just one victory in the last six games. Moreover, the Catalans won just once at home in the past three appearances.

Valencia doesn’t stand any better either, having won just one of the last 5 games, over one month ago at Osasuna. On the bright side, Valencia remained unbeaten in 13 of their previous 17 fixtures after the last round draw 0-0 at Cadiz.

Barcelona is missing 5 players: Martin Braithwaite, Ronald Araujo, Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé, Sergio Agüero. On the other side Valencia only misses Omar Alderete and Cristiano Piccini.

The probable line-ups are:

Barcelona (4-3-3): Stegen – Alba, Garcia, Pique, Dest – Gavi, Busquets, Jong – Depay, Jong, Fati

Valencia (4-4-2): Cillessen – Correia, Paulista, Diakhaby, Lato – Soler, Wass, Guillamon, Duro – Guedez, Gomez

The last class between the two teams ended with a 2-3 victory for the Catalans. Five of the former six clashes had three or more goals. Therefore we expect to see plenty of goals in Sundays’ derby.

Image credit: barcauniversal.com

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals


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PREDICTION: LAZIO VS INTER MILAN 

ITALY SERIE A: 16 OCTOBER @ 17:00


Champions of Italian football, Inter Milan, travel to Rome for the 8th round derby in Serie A. Nerazzurri hope to extend their record of seven unbeaten games at Stadio Olimpico against their old rival Lazio.

In Serie A, Inter earned 17 points in 7 rounds and scored 22 goals so far- the most since 1950! Although having scored just once in 2 games and gaining only 1 point in the Champions League, Inter’s morale is high. In the last game they managed to turn around the result and win at Sassuolo after a 78’ goal.

Inter’s coach Simone Inzaghi returns at Olimpico, his former home for many years, after winning the Scudetto with the Nerazzurri. Rest assured he will receive a hostile welcome from Lazio’s tifosi.

Lazio stand 6 points and three places below their rivals in the league table. The home team line-up is missing a couple of key players: Acerbi, Zaccagni, Adekanye and Immobile. Although winning their last two home games against AS Rome (3-2) and Lokomotiv Moskow (2-0), Biancocelesti suffered a humiliation in the last round losing 3-0 at Bolognia.

Probable line-ups:

Lazio (4-3-3): Reina - Marusic, Felipe, Patric, Hysaj - Alberto, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva - Pedro, Immobile, Anderson

Inter (3-5-2): Handanovic - Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni - Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic - Martinez, Dzeko

Lazio are unbeaten in their last 16 home matches in the Italian top flight (winning 14). Although Inter looks like the better team at the moment, it won’t be easy to break Lazio. The Aquile have won only two of their last 10 Serie A matches against Inter. We expect a tight and tense match.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals

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PREDICTION: SPAIN VS FRANCE 

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE: 10 OCTOBER @ 19:45


Spain and France meet on Sunday evening at San Siro in Milan for the final stage of the UEFA Nations League competition in front of 80,000 fans.

Although both France and Spain are two of the most successful and titled European teams, they both come after unsatisfactory results in the last major tournament Euro 2020, which took place this summer. Acceding to the final stage of Nations League gives them a good chance to make up for it in front of the fans. Certainly, the continental trophy is much desired by both sides.

In the semi-finals the two teams had an opposite evolution but they both managed to secure a victory with emotions. Spain controlled much of the game against Italy after the early 17’ goal. After Bonucci’s 42’ red card and Ferran Torres 45+1’ goal things became clear. However the 83’ goal scored by Pellegrini raised the tension for the last 10’.

On the opposite, France was led by 2 goals at half time by Belgium and few people had believed in a comeback. But the 2 goals scored in 6 minutes by Benzema and Mbappe brought them back in the game. After Lukaku’s cancelled goal (87’) with a VAR decision, Hernandez brought the victory in the last minute of the regular time.

The probable line-ups are:

Spain (4-4-2): Simon - Azpilicueta, Laporte, P. Torres, Alonso - Koke, Busquets, Gavi - Sarabia, Torres, Oyarzabal

France (3-4-1-2): Lloris - Kounde, Varane, L. Hernandez - Pavard, Pogba, Tchouameni, T. Hernandez – Griezmann- Mbappe, Benzema

The Nations League Final is expected to be a very balanced game where both sides are eager to win. Although is to close too call, we expect both team to score.

Prediction: Both Teams to Score

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PREDICTION: BELGIUM VS FRANCE 

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE: 7 OCTOBER @ 19:45


In the second semi-final of UEFA Nations Cup, Belgium meets France at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy. Both teams are eager to win the competition after a disappointing campaign at the Euro 2020 this summer. Belgium lost the quarter-final match against the trophy winner Italy (2-1). France did not even manage to pass the Round 16 after losing at penalties against Switzerland.

Earlier in the competition, the Red Devils won Group A2 with 5 victories and just 1 defeat, having Romeo Lukaku as a top scorer with 5 goals. The ‘Les Bleus’ won Group A3 with an even better performance: 5 victories and 1 draw. Their best scorer in the competition so far is Olivier Giroud with 3 goals.

In the World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers Belgium claimed three victories from three with Estonia (5-2), the Czech Republic (3-0) and Belarus (1-0). France had a not so convincing campaign with two 1-1 draws against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine, and just one victory with Finland at home (2-0). Antoine Griezmann scored both and is one player to be watched. The Atletico Madrid’s star is now ahead of Zinedine Zidane, as all-time scorers for the French squad.

The all-time head-to-head records between the two teams, including friendly games, show that France won 25, Belgium won 30 and 19 ended in a draw.

The probable line-ups are:

Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois - Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen - Castagne, Witsel, Tielemans, Carrasco - E. Hazard, De Bruyne - Lukaku

France (4-3-1-2): Lloris - Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez - Rabiot, Pogba, Tchouameni – Griezmann - Mbappe, Benzema

France has just ended a worrying run of five matches without a victory across all competitions whereas Belgium has eight wins from their last nine in all tournaments. With the missing of Chelsea’s defender N'Golo Kanté and the great shape of Lukaku it will be hard for the French defence to get away without one or more goals. Therefore we expect Belgium to win and enter the final of Nations League.

Prediction: Belgium to Win

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PREDICTION: ITALY VS SPAIN 

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE: 6 OCTOBER @ 19:45


Nations League returns this week with the last two phases of the competition which take place in Italy. Tonight, hosts Italy meet Spain in the first semi-final at Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) in Milano.

Luis Enrique’s squad is seeking a revenge over Italy after their European Championship 2020 semi-final defeat 4-2 at penalties (1-1 after 90’) earlier in July. This is the 39th episode of the Spanish-Italian encounter, including friendly matches. Both teams have won 11 games and drew 16 times - the balance between the two is perfectly equal. Still, Italy scored 44 goals, 3 more than Spain in their direct games.

Previously in the competition Spain won 3 games, had a draw in 2 and lost 1, finishing 1st in League A Group 4. Italy went 6 games unbeaten with 3 wins and 3 draws n League A Group 1. Spain’s top scorer so far is Ferran Torres with 4 goals while Domenico Berardi scored twice for Italy.

But the last matches in the Nations League took place in November 2020. Since then, the Euro 2020 took place this summer and the first rounds of the Qatar 2020 World Cup Qualifiers. In the last three matches, Spain lost in Sweden (1-2) and won without doubt against Georgia (4-0) and Kosovo (2-0).

Mancini’s players drew against Bulgaria and Switzerland, before winning 5-0 against Lithuania. The Azzurri continue their unbelievable streak across all tournaments with 37 games in a row without defeat. Their last downfall was over three years ago, 1-0 against Portugal.

The probable line-ups are:

Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma - Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson - Barella, Jorginho, Verratti - Chiesa, Kean, Insigne

Spain (4-3-3): Simon - Azpilicueta, Torres, Laporte, Reguilon - Koke, Busquets, Merino - Sarabia, Torres, Oyarzabal

In six of the last seven meetings between the two teams scored under 2.5 goals. Moreover, their last clash in the Euro 2020 semi-final ended 1-1 after 90-minutes.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals

Image credit: football-italia.net


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PREDICTION: ATLETICO MADRID VS BARCELONA 

SPAIN LA LIGA: 2 OCTOBER @ 20:00


In an expected fierce derby, the match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona sees the two teams are separated by only two points in the La Liga table.

Barcelona will arrive after a harsh 3-0 defeat at Benfica in Champions League on Wednesday. The morale is down and Ronald Koeman’s coach position is seriously at risk. In these circumstances, anything but a victory might be fatal for him.

On the other side of the pitch, although they lost in their previous round at Alaves, Atletico’s players are in good shape and with much higher morale after their Champions League game midweek. They managed to get all three points after a dramatic 2-1 victory against Milan at San Siro with a 97th minute goal.

Do note, Barcelona’s former strikers Suarez and Griezmann will be keen on getting a small revenge and scoring against their old club.

The probable line-ups are:

Atletico Madrid (3-4-2-1): Oblak- Giménez, Hermoso, Savic- Carrasco, Lorrente, Koke, Tripier- Lemar, Griezmann- Suárez

Barcelona (4-3-3): Stegen- Mingueza, García, Piqué, Dest- Pedri, Jong, Busquets- Coutinho, Fati, Depay

Barcelona are undefeated in their last 7 games in La Liga whereas Atletico are undefeated in their last 10 games at home. Barcelona just cannot afford another loss as this will most likely result in the dismissal of Koeman. Therefore our prediction is Barcelona to win or draw.

Prediction: Barcelona Win or Draw.

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PREDICTION: MANCHESTER UNITED VS EVERTON 

ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE: 2 OCTOBER @ 12:30


After a fantastic 95th minute win against Villareal in the Champions League, the Red Devils will be seeking another victory at Old Trafford. This time they will host their Premier League rivals Everton.

In the previous round, Manchester United suffered a late defeat at Aston Villa, after a goal received in the 88th minute. Still they hold on to 4th position in the table, one point behind leaders, Liverpool. The match is expected to be balanced as their current opponent earned the same number of points so far and is just one position behind in the table.

Everton have impressed with their evolution in the Premier League this season with four wins and a draw out of six games. Their only defeat was away at Aston Villa 3-0 after a good first half and an unexpected collapse in the second one.

United is missing three players for the game, the most significant being England’s Euro 2021 star Rashford. On the other side, Everton has five absent players. The probable line-ups are:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Gea- Shaw, Varanes, Lindelöf, Wan-Bisaaka - Fred, Matic- Pogba, Lingard, Greenwood- Ronaldo

Everton (4-4-1-1): Pickford- Godfrey, Mina, Kean, Digne – Townsend, Doucouré, Allan, Iwobi- Grey- Rondón

In their previous encounter at Old Trafford in February 2021 the two teams draw (3-3) after a dramatic late goal scored by the Blues. However Everton have not won at United in any competition since 2013. The Red Devils have scored at least 2 goals in their last 4 matches against Everton in all competitions, whereas Everton have scored at least two goals in 5 out of their six Premier League games. Therefore our prediction is: Over 2.5 goals.

Image credit: 90min.com


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PREDICTION: AC MILAN VS ATLETICO MADRID 

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 28 SEPTEMBER @ 20:00

 

In the second round of UEFA Champions League, AC Milan plays against Atletico Madrid at San Siro. Both teams are in search of their first win of the competition.

In the first round, Milan lost 3-2 at Liverpool, whereas Atletico drew at home 0-0 with Porto. Another misstep will diminish their chances of succeeding to the knockout phase, especially for Milan which has a difficult next round at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão.

AC Milan, have won the last three games from the season opening at San Siro, scoring eight goals and conceding just one. On the down side, Rossoneri triumphed in only one of the last 17 encounters with Spanish teams.

Atletico Madrid has won just one of their last seven games in the Champions League. Do note - they managed to score and win three of their last four away games in La Liga. Moreover, Atletico secured the three points in the last two clashes against Milan in 2013-2014 tournament, 2-1 at San Siro and 4-1 at Madrid.

Milan is missing no less than 4 players: Bakayoko, Krunic, Florenzi, Ibrahimovici. Atletico misses Lemar and Savici. Therefore the probable line-ups are:

AC Milan(4-2-3-1): Maignan- Hernández, Tomori, Kjaer, Calabria- Kessié, Bennacer- Rebic, Díaz, Saelemaekers- Giroud.

Atletico Madrid (3-5-2): Oblak- Giménez, Felipe, Hermoso- Tripier, Lorrente, Koke, Paul, Carrasco- Suárez, Félix.

With Atletico scoring under 2.5 goals in their last 7 games in this competition and Milan with an average of 2.5 goals in Serie A, we don’t foresee a flurry of goals tonight.

Prediction: Under 2.5 goals

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PREDICTION: ARSENAL VS TOTTENHAM 

ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE: 26 SEPTEMBER @ 16:30


Arsenal host city rivals Tottenham at Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a classic Premier League derby. Fans are eager to watch as this is the first north London derby to be played in front of a full house in two years.

After a disastrous start with three defeats in the first three rounds, Arsenal managed to make a comeback, winning their last two. On the other side of the pitch, after a flying start with three wins, Tottenham lost in the last two rounds 3-0. Therefore this match brings face-to-face two teams with mixed starts to the season, both eager to get the three points.

In the case of a win by two or more goals, Arsenal will climb above Spurs in the league. For Tottenham, a win over the Gunners will allow them to get up to the top 5, depending on the other games’ results. Neither manager can afford a defeat. The pressure would build up on either of them.

Probable line-ups:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale- Thierney, Magalhães, White, Tomiyashu- Kshaka, Partey- Rowe, Ødegaard, Saka- Aubameyang

Tottenham (4-3-3): Lloris- Royal, Romero, Dier, Reguilón- HøjbjergSkip, Alli- Heung- Min, Kane, Celso

Arsenal conceded 9 goals and The Spurs 6 goals, in the first 5 rounds of Premier League. The last three league meetings at The Gunners’ Emirates, have produced over 2.5 goals. We’re expecting at least the same number of goals on Sunday.

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals

Image credit: soccer.nbcsports.com

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PREDICTION:SEVILLA-VALENCIA
SPAIN LA LIGA: 22 September @ 19:00


This Wednesday, Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium will host the sixth round of La Liga with Sevilla vs Valencia. Both teams headline the round and are currently top six in the table.

With one round less, Sevilla stands behind Valencia at two points and could swap places in the case of a victory. However, both teams are eager to win following mediocre results in their last match. Sevilla comes after two draws away, whereas Valencia lost at home against Real Madrid (1-2).

With some absent players, Suso at Sevilla and five other at Valencia- Gayà, Cheryshev,  Piccini, Correia, Soler, the probable line ups are:

Sevilla (4-3-3): Bounou-Acuña, Carlos, Koundé, Navas- Fernando, Jordán, Navas, Rakitic- Ocampos, Mir, Rodríguez

Valencia (4-4-2): Mamardashvili- Folquier, Paulista, Alderete, Lato- Musah, Guillamón, Wass, Duro- Guedes, Gómez

Sevilla are undefeated in 19 of their last 21 matches against Valencia at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. They’ll be looking to maintain their record and reach third place in the league table with a win. With a much easier match next round, again at home against Espanyol(which haven’t won any of the first five games) Sevilla could stand up next to Real Madrid in the case of a double victory. Valencia has scored in each of their last four league games, in both winning and losing games. Sevilla has scored in four out of five of their previous five rounds. our prediction is that both teams will score at least once.

Prediction: Both teams score 

Image Credit: sportingpedia.com

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PREDICTION: EURO 2020 FINAL
KO: 11 July @ 19:00 GMT +1


After weeks of football action on the world stage - it all comes down to this spectacular moment when Italy or England take home the title of EURO 2020 Champions.

Despite squandering a one-goal lead and being put under immense pressure throughout their semi-final match against Spain, Italy survived a penalty shootout to advance to the final at Wembley.
Attacking wideman Federico Chiesa scored the Azzurri's goal for the second time in the knockout stage, while left-back Emerson filled in admirably for the injured Leonardo Spinazzola and is expected to do so again in the final, despite striker Ciro Immobile failing to score for the first time since Italy's second group game of the tournament.

Despite conceding first in their semi-final match against Denmark, England came back to win after extra time, with captain Harry Kane missing a penalty won by the tireless Raheem Sterling before slotting home the rebound in front of a raucous Wembley crowd to send the Three Lions to their first major final in 55 years. Sterling was fantastic against Denmark, and his direct running ability will make him a huge attacking threat in the final, while forward Kane is now just one goal away from tying Cristiano Ronaldo for the tournament's top goalscorer, despite facing a tough night against veteran Italian centre-backs Chiellini and Bonucci.


So far in the competition, Italy has not trailed at any point, combining veteran defensive steel with a flamboyant attack. After losing their first goal of the tournament in the semi-final before rallying to win in extra time, England once again demonstrated to the doubters why they deserve a top spot in the competition.

Match Notes: Roberto Mancini may be tempted to start Domenico Berardi as part of the front three with the intention of bringing Chiesa off the bench as an impact substitute.
Gareth Southgate must decide whether to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation he has used for the majority of EURO 2020, or switch to the 3-4-2-1 formation he used against Germany in the round of 16. This would see Walker revert to central defense and Kieron Trippier start at right-wing-back. However, this would mean Mason Mount or Bukayo Saka would be dropped to the bench.

Prediction: Total goals scored will be Under 3.5


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PREDICTION: England vs Denmark
KO: 7 July @ 19:00 GMT +1


Will it be history in the making? Tonight England has the chance to reach the EURO 2020 Final - for the first time ever. It was 25 years ago since England reached the EUROS Semi-Finals - but this time they're playing with unrivalled confidence following their 4-0 triumph against Ukraine. That was their first win by 3+ goals in a major tournament knockout match since 2002, when England beat Denmark 3-0 in their last competitive H2H win.

England have made defensive solidity the bedrock of their EURO 2020 run. They remain the only side yet to concede (W4, D1) and have gone seven matches overall without conceding a goal for the first time ever. That said, England have conceded an average of one first-half goal per match across their last four games vs sides ranked inside FIFA’s top ten (W1, D1, L2).

Denmark’s team spirit has shone through following Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest, as they continue to improve after battling through a tough quarter-final vs the Czech Republic. Captain Simon Kjær has said they are playing “with Christian Eriksen in our hearts”, and that’s propelled them into their first semi-final appearance since winning this competition in 1992. Having beaten England at Wembley as recently as October 2020, Denmark may feel mildly confident of an upset too, especially after scoring ten goals across their previous three matches (W3), and leading ‘to nil’ at HT in each of the last four.

Denmark have also netted six goals after the 75th minute across their last nine internationals, making them a constant threat. If any late goals see this clash reach a shootout - like both of these sides’ last respective Euro semis - then that may favour Denmark as they have a 50% success rate (W1, L1) in 12-yard duels at the Euros, compared to England’s 25% (W1, L3).

Players to watch: Harry Kane has registered three goals across England’s knockout matches, moving him one behind Gary Lineker’s national record of ten major international tournament goals. As for Denmark, Kasper Dolberg also has three Euro 2020 goals, all were scored during the knockout stage between the 25th and 50th minutes of play.

Prediction:Total Goals Scored Over 1.5


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PREDICTION: England vs Germany
KO: 29 June @ 17:00 GMT +1


England host old rivals Germany at Wembley in this Euro 2020 Round of 16 game having started a major international tournament with three clean sheets for the first time since 1966 (W2, D1). Coincidentally, that was the last time they beat Germany/West Germany in a knockout match (Euros or World Cup), with two of the three subsequent defeats coming via the dreaded penalty shootout, including one in London at Euro ‘96.
Encouragingly, the ‘Three Lions’ have won eight of their last nine matches (D1), with the last four victories coming via a 1-0 scoreline - by which they also beat Germany in a Euro 2000 group game. They didn’t concede before HT during that sequence whilst interestingly six of their last eight fixtures have featured exactly one goal between the 50th and 70th minute.
Curiously, that same period produced five (50%) of the last ten goals witnessed in Germany’s matches! Inconsistent en route to the second round, the three-time champions struggled against France, dominated against

Portugal, yet needed an 84th-minute goal to stay in the tournament via a draw with Hungary (W1, D1, L1).
While this stage of the competition five years ago saw an average of 2.38 goals per fixture (including ET), this could prove to be a tighter affair as three of the last four H2Hs witnessed under 1.5 goals (W2, D1, L1). Although ‘Das Mannschaft’ netted the opener in three of those, they went behind inside 25 minutes of all three group games so the first goal could prove pivotal, particularly as ten of their last 11 fixtures saw the same HT/FT outcome.
Players to watch: Although Harry Kane is yet to score in this tournament, he netted a 61st-minute goal the last time England beat Germany in March 2016. Another second-half threat, Kai Havertz has scored two Euro 2020 goals, both coming between the 50th and 70th minute.
Hot stat: England have lost their last four Euros knockout matches despite netting an opener inside five minutes in three of them. Three defeats therein came via a penalty shootout!

Prediction:Total Goals Scored Over 1.5


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PREDICTION: France vs Switzerland
KO: 28June @ 20:00 GMT +1


The Arena Națională in Bucharest hosts its very first European Championship knockout tie, as France and Switzerland meet for a fifth time in nine major tournaments going back to 2004, with the latter still seeking a first H2H win since the start of this century (D4, L3).
A 2-2 draw against Euro 2016 winners Portugal on matchday three saw France progress to the knockout stages, and do so for a sixth time in their last seven Euro appearances. Confident after finishing first in Euro 2020’s ‘group of death’ (W1, D2), the world champions are richly expected to be quarter-finalists in a fifth successive major tournament.
France are also enjoying a run of 19 consecutive competitive matches without a loss (W14, D5), with ten of those wins being accompanied by a HT lead. Speaking of the HT break, France have also shut out their quiet neighbours in the opening 45 minutes during each of the previous five H2Hs.
Switzerland could only finish third behind Italy and Wales during the group stage (W1, D1, L1), despite being the second-highest FIFA-ranked team in Group A. In a trend that further justifies their underdog status, the Swiss have been eliminated at the round of 16 in each of their last three major tournaments.
If the match goes as widely expected, the first ‘nail’ in Switzerland’s coffin may be quick to arrive, with eight of Switzerland’s previous 11 competitive matches (excluding walkovers) witnessing the opening goal scored within 15 minutes.
Players to watch: With his two strikes against Portugal last time out, France’s Karim Benzema has scored four braces across his last six goalscoring international appearances. Meanwhile, Switzerland have won 12 (an 85.71% majority) of the 14 competitive matches to see talismanic Xherdan Shaqiri get on the scoresheet.
Hot stat: Switzerland have drawn 45% (nine) of their previous 20 matches against any reigning world champions (W3, D9, L8).4


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PREDICTION:Croatia vs Spain
KO: 28June @ 17:00 GMT +1


Now into the business end of Euro 2020, Croatia shouldn’t need any extra motivation, although revenge may be an added incentive given Spain handed them their heaviest ever defeat in international football back in September 2018 (6-0). They’ve beaten the Iberian side once since then (3-2, November 2018) and will be hoping for more of the same as they bid to improve on a record that’s seen them lose at this stage on each of the previous three occasions they’ve reached a Euro knockout phase.
Zlatko Dalić’s men secured qualification out of Group D with a professional 3-1 victory over Scotland, as their results gradually improved with each match. Given that they’ve now failed to score in just one of their last ten games at major tournaments (Euros and World Cup), ‘Vatreni’ should fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet. They have, however, failed to beat any team currently ranked in FIFA’s top ten since that 3-2 win over Spain in 2018 (P7, L7 since).
Spain have ambitions to win a third European Championship in four attempts, however a more pressing matter is ensuring that they avoid elimination at the last 16 stage for a third successive major tournament (Euro 2016 vs Italy, World Cup 2018 vs Russia). Interestingly, both those games saw them concede a goal in the period between the 30th minute and HT and fail to score thereafter.
Despite that, Luis Enrique’s men are now unbeaten in 11 internationals (W5, D6) and haven’t conceded before HT in any of their previous six matches (W3, D3) whilst at the other end of the pitch, each of the three victories in that six-game sequence also saw them score 3+ goals.
Players to watch: Ivan Perišić has been directly involved in six goals in his last five appearances at major tournaments for Croatia (four goals, two assists). Whilst Spain’s Ferran Torres scored last time out, taking his tally to six goals across his last eight international appearances.
Hot stat: Only Switzerland won more corners than Spain (20) in the group stages.


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PREDICTION: Czech Republic vs England
KO: 22 June @ 20:00 GMT +1


With four Euro 2020 points to date, the Czech Republic only need a draw here at Wembley to progress as group winners. A draw in Group D’s other finale (CRO v SCO) would see these sides lock out the top two regardless, but the group winner has the advantage of staying in London for the last 16.

The counter-attacking style they’ve adopted so far in this tournament might mean a cagey affair here against a goal-shy England, but
you’d have to go back to 2014 to find the last time they drew two straight matches. England have qualified for Euro 2020 knockout stages after Ukraine and Finland both finish third in their groups with three points, meaning that even if Gareth Southgate's side lose to Czechs they will reach the last 16.

The prospect of home advantage should inspire England. Their last two ‘matchday three’ Euro games (W1, D1) yielded a 0-0 HT scoreline, as have their last four international matches this year. Players to watch: After being the first goalscorer against Scotland and Croatia, Patrik Schick could become the first Czech to net in every group game at a Euro finals since Milan Baroš in 2004.
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick for England in the last H2H here, including a 61st-75th minute brace.

Hot stat: Going back to 1992, England are unbeaten in first halves across their last six ‘matchday three’ Euro fixtures (HT: W4, D2).

Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 1.5

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PREDICTION: Finland vs Belgium
KO: 21 June @ 20:00 GMT +1


Finland heads into their last group game at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg knowing that only a win would secure them a place in the Round of 16. However, a draw will suffice if Russia loses to Denmark in their final match. Belgium are unbeaten in their last 11 games, winning 9 of them. We expect Kevin de Bruyne to start against their foes, setting the pace.

Despite only winning one of their previous eight games (D2, L5), Finland might take encouragement from Euro 2016, when four of the five debutants qualified from the groups.

Belgium's comeback win over Denmark qualified them for the knockout stages of Euro 2020, with only a draw necessary to finish first in Group B. No team has won all three group games at Euro 2016, giving Finland optimism. However, Belgium did so in the World Cup group stages in 2014 and 2018.

They've also won their previous four major championships' final group game, and haven't lost a game to a team presently outside FIFA's top 20, since losing to Japan in 2013.

Interestingly, the ‘Eagle-owls' haven't lost to Belgium since 1968 (W4, D3), could they have a chance against a flawless Belgium?

None of the last five encounters between Finland and Belgium have produced more than two goals. We predict that there will be some goal action in this face-off tonight.

Prediction: Total goals scored will be Under 2.5

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PREDICTION: Italy vs Wales
KO: 20 June @ 17:00 GMT +1


Italy has already qualified for the round of 16 and is one of the favorites for Euro 2020, in terms of winning the trophy. Mancini's national team does not want to let its guard down in the last round of the groups.Two victories out of two possible, 6 goals scored and 0 conceded. This is what Mancini's national team looks like, without a doubt the strongest from Euro 2020 at the moment. In the opening match of the European Championship, the Italians had fun with the Turkish defense. They prevailed without much trouble - score 3: 0.

A few days later, Italy repeated the feat - on the same stadium - this time with Switzerland. Locatelli started in the 26th minute, with the goal scored on the Sassuolo line - from Berardi's pass. The same Locatelli scored for 2-0 immediately after the break, with a superb shot from outside the box and Immobile also put his name on the scoreboard, in the 89th minute. Wales has an excellent new final tournament and is very close to a qualification in the eighth. In the first round, the Welsh faced Switzerland - drawing 1: 1. Moore then managed to score in the 74th minute, and Gavranovic had a goal canceled out in the end with the VAR. Last stage, Bale & co. they achieved an extremely important victory against Turkey.

The Real Madrid player (he will return this summer on loan) passed decisively to both goals of Ramsey and Roberts. However, he missed the chance to score, after wasting a penalty kick in the 61st minute. Although Wales is not among the favorites of Euro 2020, the team can attack the upper stages of the competition. Wales can also qualify with 4 points, from the 3rd place. A draw in front of Italy, it ensures their second position and implicitly the qualification in the eighth.


Prediction: Total goals scored will be under 1.5.

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PREDICTION: Portugal vs Germany
KO: 19th of June @ 17:00 GMT +1


A hydro-powered Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal to a 3-0 victory over Hungary on match day one, in what was their best ever-win in an opening game of a European Championship. Their previous two opening day wins in 2000 and 2008 were followed by victory in their next match, and Portugal will hope for a continuation of that despite taking on opponents Germany with a negative Euro H2H record (W1, D1, L2). The reigning champions have now extended their unbeaten run in this competition to 12 fixtures (W5, D7 - 90 minutes) and are yet to trail at the break in 13 (HT: W2, D11). There’s been talk in the Portuguese camp that this side is in even better shape than during their 2016 triumph, and with an average of one goal scored during regulation time in that campaign - compared to their three scored vs Hungary - there could be truth to that.

Three-time European champions Germany fell to a 1-0 loss on match day one as they scored an own goal, and subsequently suffered an opening day group stage defeat for the first time in this competition. Incredibly, that own goal - Germany’s first in a major finals since 1978 - was the third of the tournament, equaling the number registered after all 51 matches of Euro 2016! The Euro 1996 winners (at Wembley) have also won just one of their previous five match-day two group stage fixtures (W1, D2, L2), and were eliminated on the last two occasions in which they didn’t secure at least one win after two games. However they have won four H2Hs in a row.



Prediction: Total goals scored will be under 2.5.

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PREDICTION: England vs Scotland
KO: 18 June @ 20:00 GMT +1

It’s a huge game and perhaps the pick of fixtures in Group D as England take on traditional rivals Scotland at Wembley. Coincidentally, their only other previous meeting at a major tournament was in the group stages of Euro 1996, also at Wembley. England won that game 2-0, and have scored 2+ goals in five of the six meetings since (W4, D1, L1). That’s a far cry from the 0-0 in the first H2H back in 1872 - football’s first-ever international.Beyond wanting to get one over their rivals, a victory for Gareth Southgate’s men will likely be enough to see them into the knockouts. They’ll make history if they do secure that win as the ‘Three Lions’ have never won their first seven matches in a calendar year, as they attempt to move closer to the national record of ten consecutive wins that has stood since 1909.

Scotland suffered defeat on match day one (2-0, Czech Republic), ending their scoring run of five consecutive matches (W2, D3). That result means Scotland have never netted after going behind in a Euro finals match, and they’ve now failed to score in five of their seven all-time European Championship matches. Unfortunately for the Scots, both games in which they did score were match day three encounters (3-0 vs CIS in 1992, 1-0 vs Switzerland in 1996). Anything but a positive result would make qualification unlikely for Scotland, therefore their recent record of just one win in their last 11 matches vs England will be a worry (D2, L8). No matter the result, fans from both sides should anticipate excitement given the four H2Hs this century have averaged a high four goals per match.



Prediction: England to win.

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PREDICTION: Netherlands vs Austria
KO: 17 June @ 20:00 GMT +1


Netherlands is today looking to build on their winning start to Euro 2020 as they take on Austria. After failing to qualify for the last European Championships and the 2018 World Cup, the Dutch are back at a major tournament for the first time since 2014. They got off to a winning start, beating Ukraine 3-2 in perhaps the game of the tournament so far, and can now book their place in the last-16 with a game to spare by beating Austria.
The Austrians also have three points on the board already after beating newcomers North Macedonia in their opener, though this is likely to prove a much tougher test. For the Netherlands, much will depend on the fitness of defender Matthijs De Ligt, who missed the opener against Ukraine. For Austria, Michael Gregoritsch is pushing for a start after scoring off the bench against North Macedonia but Marko Arnautovic is suspended.

The Netherlands are an entertaining outfit to watch at both ends of the field - largely because their deficiencies at the back mean they tend to afford plenty of chances to their opponents. Virgil Van Dijk's presence in the heart of the defence is certainly a big miss, with De Boer's men having kept just three clean sheets in the nine matches since the Liverpool man's season-ending injury in October. Indeed, those three shut-outs came against Gibraltar, Georgia and Latvia, and the Oranje have conceded four goals to Turkey, and two against both Scotland and Ukraine during that time as well. Although Austria are not the most prolific side in the tournament, they have scored in 18 of their last 23 matches and backing goals at both ends makes plenty of sense.


Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 1.5

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PREDICTION: Italy vs Switzerland
KO: 16 June @ 20:00 GMT +1


Italy entertain Switzerland at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in Euro 2020 on Wednesday night. Italy easily saw off Turkey in the opening game of the tournament, with an own goal, Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne doing the damage. The 3-0 win for Roberto Mancini’s side underlined a dominant performance, and the Azzurri can essentially secure progression to the last 16 with a win over Switzerland. The Swiss drew 1-1 with Wales in their opening game, with Kieffer Moore’s header snatching a point for the Dragons after Breel Embolo had opened the scoring.

The game will likely come too soon for Marco Verratti, who has overcome a knee injury but may not be match fit. Manuel Locatelli, linked with a move to the Premier League, will join Jorginho and Nicolo Barella in midfield. Giovanni Di Lorenzo will start in place of Alessandro Florenzi, who has a calf issue. Vladimir Petkovic may bring in Denis Zakaria to counter Italy’s strength in midfield. The Swiss also called up goalkeeper Gregor Kobel to replace the injured Jonas Omlin as cover for Yann Sommer.

Mancini will surely want to keep changes to a minimum after such an impressive opening display against Turkey. However, Paris Saint-Germain full-back Alessandro Florenzi was replaced at half-time by Napoli's Giovanni Di Lorenzo on Friday and subsequently diagnosed with an inflammatory muscle injury to the right calf. Key midfielder Marco Verratti returned to training on Sunday five weeks after suffering a knee injury at PSG, though it remains to be seen if he will be fit enough to play any part against Switzerland.


Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 1.5

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PREDICTION: France vs Germany
KO: 15 June @ 20:00 BST


After a bitter runners-up finish at Euro 2016, reigning world champions France come into this competition as serious candidates to win Euro 2020 as they attempt to become the first side to be world and European champions at the same time on two occasions. ‘Les Bleus’ are known to be strong starters in European Championships, losing just one of their nine opening games of the tournament (W5, D3), with that single loss dating back to 1960!
Although this game will be held in Munich, France’s confidence should be high as they’re unbeaten in five H2Hs on German soil (W3, D2). The world’s number two ranked nation are also enjoying a run of four consecutive wins ‘to nil’, and notably, a fifth successive shutout would mark their longest run without conceding since June 2008.

Reaching at least the semi-final stage in all international competitions between 2006 and 2016, Germany (#12) were humbled at the 2018 World Cup, finishing last in their group. Three-time Euro winners, the Germans may have never lost an opening game in this competition (W7, D5), but they’re now winless in 11 international matches against nations currently ranked better than them by FIFA (D7, L4).
This will be Joachim Löw's last tournament in charge of the German national team who were humiliated 6-0 by Spain in November, and in March lost 2-1 at home to North Macedonia (#62). The H2H history makes for worrying reading too, as the ‘Mannschaft’ are winless in five meetings with France (D2, L3) - including a semi-final defeat in Euro 2016 - with four of those featuring a 1-0 HT scoreline either way.


Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 1.5

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PREDICTION: Spain vs Sweeden
KO: 14 June @ 20:00 BST


The Estadio de La Cartuja will become the first Spanish venue to host a major international tournament since the 1982 World Cup, as three-time European champions Spain make a seventh successive Euro finals appearance. They are favoured to extend a perfect competitive return here (W2), which includes a 6-0 thrashing of another side currently in FIFA’s top 20 (Germany) only last November.

After netting 12 goals across their final two Euro 2020 qualifiers, ‘La Roja’ certainly have the momentum to claim a third Euro title in four editions. Speaking of dozens, both of Spain’s previous two Euro triumphs this century saw them finish with exactly 12 goals and with the overall top scorer (joint or outright).

Sweden are flying under Janne Andersson, with the Halmstad-born head coach boasting a win rate of 50.91% after a five-game winning run. They finished top in their 2018 World Cup group under him, but wider history is against the ‘Blågult’, who’ve bowed out at the group stage in four of five Euro appearances since their semi-final appearances at Euro ‘92 and the 1994 World Cup.

The Swedes lost 2-1 to Spain in the only prior Euro finals H2H (2008), and coincidentally, it’s that same scoreline by which Sweden have lost both prior Euro battles vs ‘host’ nations. Both losses were also campaign openers, contributing to a combined progression rate of 0% from four World Cup and Euro tournaments to see Sweden lose their opener (1970-2012).


Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 2.5

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PREDICTION: Austria vs North Macedonia
KO: 13 June @ 17:00 GMT+1


Austria make only their third appearance at the European Championship finals. By beginning their campaign against a lower-ranked side, they will be hopeful of winning a game at a major tournament for the first time since the 1990 World Cup. So too will they aspire for a first goal at a Euro finals before the 60th minute, after logging a previous group stage record of: D2, L4. 

Though favorites in this clash at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest, Franco Foda’s side are without a win or a goal in three matches (D1, L2). However, you would have to go back to November 2019 to find the
last time the Austrians failed to beat an opponent currently ranked outside FIFA’s top 50.

Amid a last minute kit change due to fan outrage, North Macedonia enter the Euro finals for the very first time as an independent nation, reaching this historic moment via the UEFA Nations League playoffs.
‘Euro 84’ was the last occasion at which any Macedonian (playing for the now-defunct Yugoslavia) was eligible to participate, but Yugoslavia lost all three group games on that occasion.

Coach Igor Angelovski has set the goal of a place in the last 16, and confidence should be sky-high, as his charges come into this game unbeaten in four - including a famous win against Germany. The
outsiders in Group C, coming from ‘Pot 4’, North Macedonia did suffer two H2H defeats in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, although they scored in each, with both fixtures witnessing a match goal in the first 20 minutes.

Prediction: Total goals scored will be UNDER 2.5.

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PREDICTION: Wales vs Switzerland
KO: 12 June @ 14:00 BST


Wales will begin their Euro 2021 campaign against Switzerland on Saturday, hoping to repeat their great European Championship run. At Euro 2016, the Dragons advanced all the way to the semi-finals before falling to eventual champions Portugal. While the Welsh may not be at the top of their game, players like Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, and Dan James still have enough talent to pose issues for most teams - but they must get points this weekend.

The Swiss are in a similar situation to Wales in that a poor performance here might spell the end of their Group A chances, with Turkey and Italy rounding out a well-balanced group. This might be a close game settled by a single goal, though both teams would probably settle for a point to start.

Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 0.5

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PREDICTION: Turkey vs Italy
KO: 11 June @ 20:00 BST


After a year of anticipation, the European Championship begins on Friday night with Turkey against Italy. Due to the outbreak, Euro 2020 has been pushed back a year, but Europe is finally ready for a summer of football.

Burak Yilmaz had a fantastic season with Lille, leading them to the Ligue 1 Championship and defeating PSG. With 16 goals in Ligue 1, he was Lille's leading scorer, with only three players in the league scoring more, and he finished the season with seven goals in his last seven games.


In major tournament football, however, Italy is undefeated in the Stadio Olimpico, having won six and drawn two. Turkey, on the other hand, is infamous for being a sluggish starter at European Championships, having lost all four of its first games, including a 2-1 loss to Italy to open Euro 2000.

It's also worth noting that Mancini was dealt another setback in the build-up to the game as Lorenzo Pellegrini was forced out with a muscular injury and will be replaced by Gaetano Castrovilli. Given Italy's four World Cup victories, they are regarded as the dark horses for any tournament but they are flying under the radar this summer and could get off to a great start.

Prediction: Total goals scored will be Over 1.5

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EURO 2020: Overall Predictions
KO: 11 June in Rome


The football tournament will kick off on Friday, June 11th, in Rome, with what could be one of the best matches of the round: a Group A clash between Italy and Turkey. Here's everything you need to know about every group at the tournament.



Group A: Italy, Turkey, Switzerland and Wales.
Arguably the competition's most balanced group, Italy headlines a quartet featuring four teams that will each have sights on the knockout stages. They could benefit from playing all of their group games in Rome, have been fluid and exciting under Roberto Mancini, and they come into the event unbeaten in 27 matches.
Turkey, which has been slapped with the dark-horse label, can spoil Italy's party in the tournament's opening contest, while Switzerland and Wales both boast high-end talent capable of winning matches.

Players to watch:
Federico Chiesa (Italy): After taking his game to the next level during a stellar debut season with Juventus, the blistering winger will be crucial in driving an attack-minded, exuberant Italy forward this summer.

Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland): Granit Xhaka will be vital, too, but for Switzerland to really thrive, Shaqiri needs to shine in a likely No. 10 role. It's a lot to ask of someone who started only five league matches this past season, though.

Burak Yilmaz (Turkey): Fresh off leading Lille to a stunning Ligue 1 title, veteran striker Yilmaz will now look to carry that momentum over to his national team. The 35-year-old scored 16 league goals this past season.

Gareth Bale (Wales): Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order? The Welsh better hope so. There's some excitement for the next generation of talent, but the 31-year-old is still the guy. If Bale doesn't dominate, Robert Page's team will struggle.



Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium and Russia.
Belgium's golden generation is facing its moment of truth. With star players Romelu Lukaku , Kevin De Bruyne , Eden Hazard , and Dries Mertens well into the prime of their careers, anything less than a run to the final would be considered a disappointment.

But the Red Devils shouldn't take the opposition lightly. Denmark has one of its best rosters since winning Euro 1992, and Russia remains a threat with home-field advantage throughout the group stage. Who knows, even tournament rookie Finland could cause an upset along the way.

Players to watch:
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium): The 28-year-old is coming off the best season of his career, having made 35 goal contributions on the way to winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan. Belgium needs the same production from its target man.

Christian Eriksen (Denmark): The playmaker is the brains of Denmark's operation. A threat on set pieces and in open play, the midfielder can single handedly decide matches. Denmark's lackluster front line depends on Eriksen's wizardry for chances.

Teemu Pukki (Finland): The 31-year-old scored 10 goals in Euro qualifying - only behind Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Eran Zahavi - and he did it with an average squad around him.

Aleksandr Golovin (Russia): The Russian dynamo inspired his country at the 2018 World Cup, kicking things off with a goal and two assists in an opening-day thrashing of Saudi Arabia.

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Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia.
The Netherlands should consider itself the favorite to win Group C. Memphis Depay has recovered from a serious knee injury, he's in the form of his life, and he has a strong supporting cast in Georginio Wijnaldum, Frenkie De Jong, and young gun Donyell Malen. The Dutch have more than enough swagger to recapture the public's imagination after missing out on the last two tournaments.

But defensively stout Ukraine and sneaky-talented Austria also have the potential to take points off them. Andriy Shevchenko's men secured a respectable draw against France in Euro qualifying, and the Austrians can always bank on the shapeshifting David Alaba, as well as powerhouse midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, for moments of genius. Even North Macedonia is capable of an upset, having toppled Germany in March.


Players to watch:
David Alaba (Austria): The 28-year-old is one of Europe's most versatile players. Though he usually plays somewhere along the backline, Alaba moonlights as an attacking midfielder for his country.

Memphis Depay (Netherlands): A player with street skills and a knack for the spectacular, Depay is the Netherlands' primary scoring threat. The 27-year-old bounced back from a serious knee injury to score 20 goals for Lyon in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season.

Goran Pandev (North Macedonia): At 37 years of age, Pandev is one of football's elder statesmen, a veteran of Italy's Serie A, and a celebrated icon in his native North Macedonia. He's spent 20 years with the national team, and his participation in Euro 2020 is the peak of his enduring career.

Ruslan Malinovskyi (Ukraine): The Ukrainian midfielder has arguably the hardest shot in the tournament. He can strike the ball with either foot, making him as unpredictable as he is lethal in possession. Malinovskyi is also excellent in dead-ball situations.

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Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic and Scotland.
This quartet's opening match - England versus Croatia at Wembley Stadium - should be a good indicator of how Group D will shape up. Croatia triumphed when the two teams met in the 2018 World Cup semifinals, but it's still reliant on an old guard headlined by Luka Modric. England, meanwhile, is a bold pick to win the whole tournament.

Scotland's first match against the Czech Republic could be similarly decisive, as the teams will likely battle it out to become one of the best third-placed finishers. The Scots are poised for their first major tournament appearance since 1998, while the Czechs hope their strong Slavia Prague presence will lead them into the knockout rounds.

Players to watch
Luka Modric (Croatia): The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner turns 36 in September, so this could be his final competition for his country. Expect the usual blend of artistry and industry from the most successful player in Croatia's history.

Tomas Soucek (Czech Republic): The popular, lanky midfielder was a crucial cog in West Ham United's impressive 2020-21 campaign. The Czechs will look to take advantage of Soucek's aerial presence in their bid to emerge from the group.

Harry Kane (England): There are plenty of game-changers in the England squad, but none are more important than its captain. Kane enters the Euros after logging both the most goals and assists in the Premier League this past season.

Andy Robertson (Scotland): Scotland is overstocked at left-back, but Robertson is arguably one of the world's best in his position. He never looks out of breath as he hares up and down the flank, and his delivery from out wide can unlock the most stubborn defenses.


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Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden and Slovakia.
Luis Enrique caused controversy by failing to name a single Real Madrid player in his squad - including defender Sergio Ramos, Spain's record appearance holder with 180 caps. Instead, there's a youthful look to the Iberian nation, with the likes of Dani Olmo, Pedri, and Ferran Torres all possessing the quality to propel themselves to superstardom.

Slovakia is the rank outsider to advance to the knockout rounds, so Sweden and Poland (positioned 18th and 21st in FIFA's rankings, respectively) are expected to squabble over a runner-up spot. Poland boasts the best striker on the planet in Robert Lewandowski, while Sweden's attackers will need to step up in the absence of injured showman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


Players to watch:
Robert Lewandowski (Poland): Who else? The Bayern Munich star recently collected the European Golden Boot after breaking the all-time record for most goals in a single Bundesliga season with 41 strikes.

Martin Dubravka (Slovakia): With many writing off Slovakia's chances of getting out of Group E, there will be a lot of pressure on Dubravka to be in peak form between the sticks.

Gerard Moreno (Spain): The Villarreal frontman scored or assisted a combined 40 goals across La Liga and Europa League play last season, and he's undoubtedly the most intelligent attacker in Enrique's squad.

Emil Forsberg (Sweden): The excitement around the RB Leipzig star has died away in recent years, but Forsberg enters Sweden's campaign after a much-improved Bundesliga season.


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Group F: France, Portugal, Germany and Hungary.
The proverbial Group of Death. There's always one, and this time around it's perhaps the most vaunted in recent tournament history. The defending World Cup champion, the reigning Euro titleholder, and a decorated perennial contender. Spare a thought for Hungary, which did extremely well to reach Euro 2020, but will need a minor miracle to see the knockout stages.

France, the tournament favourite, will battle with Portugal and Germany for Group F supremacy. Don't take your eyes off this quartet.

Players to watch:
Kylian Mbappe (France): You could pick anyone from France's starting XI - and several players from its bench - to highlight here. However, you can't go wrong with Mbappe, who, at 22, is already in the conversation as the world's best player.

Timo Werner (Germany): Germany, unsurprisingly, is well-balanced across the pitch, but it lacks a prototypical No. 9 to lead the attack. Werner, after a horribly unlucky debut season at Chelsea, needs to revert to his RB Leipzig scoring form.

Willi Orban (Hungary): In a group so loaded with attacking superstars, Orban is going to have a lot of work to do. The RB Leipzig center-back, along with defensive peer Attila Szalai, will be busy over the next couple of weeks.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): Now 36, there's a very real argument to be made that Portugal shouldn't still be built around Ronaldo. That said, he is coming off a prolific season with Juventus, and he'll be flanked by some serious talent with the Selecao as he chases down Ali Daei's scoring record.


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