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Match date: 13.07.2020 | 21:00| Italy Serie B
Ascoli enters this match with positive thoughts, as they recorded a second win in a row in the last match against Salernitana at home. They opted for a defensive approach, waiting for their chances via counters, tactics that worked quite well for them, as they had a 2:0 lead after the first part, despite huge ball possession disadvantage.
The same scenario was seen in the second part, when the hosts increased their lead to 3:0 only a few minutes after re-start with second goal from Trotta. Guests went all offensive and managed to reduce to 3:2, but that was all from them in this match.
Ascoli is at playout leading sixteenth place, but with a good chance to reach that safe zone, which is just one point away from them.
Empoli isn’t lacking positive thoughts too, as they come from a 2:0 home win against Frosinone. In a quite balanced first part, when a few chances had been seen from both sides, the home team was slightly better and took the lead first in the 29th minute over Ciciretti.
In the continuation, the rhythm of the match didn’t change. The visitors were left with a player less on the pitch in the 75th minute when Haas was excluded, due to the second yellow card. Hosts took advantage of this newly formed situation and scored another one from the penalty kick in the late phase of the match, again via Ciciretti.
With this victory, Empoli is positioned at the seventh place, which leads them to playoffs. Still, caution is needed, as several teams are in a position to threaten them in the games to come.
Three points in this clash would surely mean a lot for both of them, so I expect an open play of both teams in this match. Empoli is a favorite, but Ascoli isn’t used on getting the points when they defend, being much better in the offense.
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Pordenone vs Pisa
Match date: 10.07.2020 | 21:00| Italy Serie B
Pordenone stepped up to the challenge in the last round against Perugia, when they recorded an away victory with 1:2 result. All three goals in this match were seen in the first part, where Perugia controlled the ball and the guests were trying to be dangerous from counters.
Already in the second minute, the visitors scored first, but only four minutes later hosts managed to level up. A period of silence occurred for the next thirty-three minutes, but then visitors scored another one for the victory in this clash using counters well.
Pordenone is at the playoff leading third place, with only three points behind Crotone, and promotion to Serie A. With several teams aiming for that second place, excitement will not be missing in the games to come.
Pisa is performing quite well in the last three matches, as they recorded only positive results. In the last round, they defeated Cittadella back at their stadium. The guests were a bit more aggressive, but the hosts were the ones to took the lead first in the 36th minute from the penalty kick.
In the second part, visitors went all offensive, but the home team was more effective in realizing opportunities. They scored another one in the 84th minute for another victory, which means a lot to them at the moment.
With these three points, Pisa finds themselves at the ninth place with the same number of points as playoff positioned Chievo.
Pordenone will surely start offensively, as that second place is in their reach at the moment. There is no lack of motivation for Pisa also, as they have a chance for a higher placement. Both teams are entering this one with high expectations and I see them both scoring in this encounter. At least the chances do look better than what the odds suggest, in my eyes.
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Famalicao vs Benfica
Match date: 09.07.2020 | 22:30| Portugal Primeira Liga
Famalicao enters this one after a narrow 0:1 win against Tondela away from home. They had a slight initiative in the first part when several chances were created, but the home team’s goalkeeper saved his goal on a couple of occasions.
Ten minutes since the beginning of the second part, guests managed to score via Martins. In the seventieth minute visitors were left with a player less on the field when Martinez received a second yellow, but they withstood the pressure of the hosts.
Famalicao is currently at fifth place, five points behind European placed Braga, still being with the chances for higher placement at the table.
After two consecutive losses in Primeira Liga, the Eagles finally managed to find their game and record a convincing home win against Boavista in the last round.
The home team did their job already in the first part when they scored three times over Almeida, Pizzi, and Gabriel. They had the momentum in the second part too, but the guests were the ones to score the only one in the continuation over Dulanto in the 64th minute.
Benfica is positioned second at the table with six points behind first-placed Porto. With Champions League-group stage being at stake here too, the battle between these two in the games to come will surely be interesting.
Benfica, even though a strong favorite in this one, showed us during this season that they concede easily. I don’t see why this one should be an exception. However, in case they do concede, this team has the capacity and quality to respond quickly. Famalicao should be fired-up for this clash as well.
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West Brom vs Derby County
Match date: 08.07.2020 | 18:00| England Championship
WBA, quite deservedly, recorded a win in the last round of the Championship against Hull, back at their home. They dominated their opponent in the first part and went at the break with 2:1 lead.
In continuation, guests managed to level up for the second time, but playing against offensive WBA was simply too much for them back then.
WBA is in the second position, with only one point less than Leeds, which is at tittle winning first place. An interesting battle surely awaits us between these two in the weeks to come.
Derby came out with a home draw last Saturday afternoon against Nottingham with a 1:1 result.
Hosts had the ball possession in the first part of the game, but the guests proved to be more effective and took the lead with a goal by Lolley in the 12th minute. Everything was pointing that Derby would lose, they were left with a player less at the end, but somehow they scored an equalizer in added time.
Derby occupies the seventh place at the table, being only three points behind playoff placed Cardiff, so there is no defensive approach in this match for them.
With both teams having their concerns about their placement, I see them approach this match very offensively from the start. Needless to say that both of them feel more comfortable in the offense, so goal opportunities should miss. Derby seems just fine at the moment and shouldn’t approach passively.
Watford vs Norwich
Match date: 07.07.2020 | 19:00| England Premier League
Watford, not surprisingly, lost to far more superior Chelsea in the last round playing as a guest. The team from London controlled the match from the very start, and after the first forty-five minutes, they had a 2:0 lead.
In the second part, the guests tried a little harder, they created several opportunities, but with no effect against a far better home team. The hosts scored another one in injury time and set the final 3:0 result in this match.
Watford is at the seventeenth place with only one point ahead relegation worried Aston Villa, so three points would surely help a lot in this match.
Norwich continued to provide poor performances in Premier League, as they lost to Brighton last Saturday at their stadium. The host had a slight initiative in this encounter, mostly in the second part of the game, but the visitors managed to be more effective and scored the only goal in this match over Trrosard in the 25th minute.
As already said, the hosts had the ball in their feet in the continuation, but lack of ideas in the offense cost them in this one.
Norwich is positioned at the bottom in the Premiership with only twenty-one points. Chances of avoiding the relegation are slimmer and slimmer each round.
Both teams are not shining this season in Premier League, there is no question about it, but Watford is certainly showing a bit more than their opponents. Chances like this one can’t be missed, so I think they will put maximum effort to take all three in this one and move away from that red zone. The hosts did disappoint so far, but this one represents a road to their salvation.
Kayserispor vs Besiktas
Match date: 06.07.2020 | 20:00| Turkey Super Lig
Kayserispor surprised everyone in the last round when they as an underdog managed to defeat Sivasspor on the road. Hosts could take the lead first in this match, but they missed the penalty in the twelfth minute, and the punishment for that came late in the first half by Acar.
The second part completely belonged to the home team, as they dominated, but without any luck of scoring an equalizer. The final 2:0 result was set by the guests in the 84th minute from the penalty spot by Mensah.
Kayserispor is at relegation leading sixteenth place, but with good chances to move away from that placement, as the safe zone is only one point ahead, but they will have to continue with good performances shown in the previous matches.
Besiktas recorded a routine 3:0 win in the last round against Konyaspor, at their home stadium. They had control from the very beginning of the encounter, especially from the 15th minute, when the guests were left with a player less on the pitch.
From that point on it was an easy job for the hosts, as they scored two times in the first part and once in the second, providing no hope for the guests that they could have done something in this match.
They are now in fifth place in the SuperLig, still able to get the European exit, but will need to improve the performances especially away from home.
With both teams coming to this match with their morale boosted, I don’t see a passive approach from either of them here, especially if we consider a fact that in the case of all three in this one, both of them can improve their position significantly.
There is a high probability of both teams scoring in this match, and with a victory so important for both, probably more than once. Kayserispor has been doing really fine recently and it’s really not the time to stop now.
Crotone vs Benevento
Match date: 03.07.2020 | 21:00| Italy Serie B
Last Monday evening, Crotone failed to take much needed three points against Ascoli away from home. There were no goals in the first part despite numerous attacks from the guests.
In the continuation of the game, visitors managed to score via Barberis in the 60th minute, but luck wasn’t on their side in this one. Eighteen minutes later, hosts scored an equalizer over Trotta, maybe a little undeserved, and set the final score in this match, which by all means should have belonged to the guests.
With this draw, they put their second-place even more in danger, as they now have the same number of points as third-placed Cittadella. They will have to work hard in the games to come if they want to keep that Serie A leading placement.
Benevento continues to dominate in Serie B, as they recorded yet another home win against Juve Stabia last Monday evening. They did just enough to take all three points in this match with only one goal being added to the scoreboard.
The home team had a player less on the pitch during most of the encounter as Caldirola received a red card in the first part, but that was not a handicap finally for them. Sau managed to score in the second part of the match, as the guests had their chances in the second part but failed to realize them.
Being mathematically qualified for the Serie A next season, Benevento can approach future matches with no pressure, as their job this season is done.
With that second place being under a threat, the hosts will have to start aggressively and try to take all three points. On the other side, they have a team that has already won the title and they surely know how to respond to offensive play. Both teams have the means to threaten each other in this match and both netting at least once should be a decent option.
Atalanta vs Napoli
|Match date: 02.07.2020 | 19:30| Italy Serie A
With six consecutive wins in Serie A, Atalanta proved to be in really good shape. They justified the role of strong favorites in the last match against Udinese when they recorded a 2:3 win playing as visitors.
This match didn’t go by without difficulties for the guests, but they showed a great concentration and attack based football, especially in the second part, and took a well deserved three points.
They are now at the Champions League leading fourth place with fifty-seven points. They are in a good position and most likely they will play it next season, but not being mathematically safe yet, every point would surely be welcomed in the continuation.
As their opponents in this match, Napoli also showed a great form as they have five wins in a row in Serie A. In the last match against Spal, they came with a routine 3:1 win at their home stadium.
Hosts had a 2:1 lead after the first part, which could have been a 3:1, but VAR got involved and disallowed the goal due to offside. In the continuation, the home team continued with their offensive approach and managed to score another one in the 78th minute via Younes.
Napoli is in sixth place with forty-five points, without realistic chances for the Champions League exit, but surely wanting to prove their form here.
Napoli may come out a bit relaxed here, trying to take all three points. That certainly won’t be easy, because they are playing against one of the best teams in Serie A. With the way they both play, there is a high probability of goals in this one.
After all, both teams have the means to threaten the other one. Sparkle will be needed for the game to be very interesting to watch.
Xamax vs St Gallen
|Match date: 01.07.2020 | 20:30| Swiss Super League
Xamax was completely blown off the field in the last match against Young Boys, playing away from home.
They managed to concede as many as six goals and failed to score even a comforting one. There was simply one team on the pitch that day, so the result isn’t that surprising after all since the individual quality difference was simply too obvious.
Xamax is in the relegation zone ninth place with twenty-two points, but with a chance to find their way back to safety, being still only two points behind safely placed Sion.
St Gallen justified their role as a favorite team in the last match when they got a 3:2 win against last-placed Thun. All three goals from the hosts were seen in the first part.
The home team relaxed a little bit in the second part and allowed the guests to score two times, but not put their victory in question at any moment since the second goal came deep in the added time.
Before the start of this round, they keep the battle with Young Boys for the title having the same number of points, so a victory here comes as a must as the race for the title and the Champions League continues.
Both teams need to approach very openly in this match if they want to improve their positions at the table. A lot of goals actually can easily be scored here, since neither of them looks that reliable at the back. On the other hand, they both simply need to risk and chase points in this one.
Torino vs Lazio
|Match date: 30.06.2020 | 19:30| Italy Serie A
Torino suffered a convincing away defeat last Saturday evening against Cagliari with a 4:2 result. They had a two-goal disadvantage after the first part, a result that is often difficult to reach.
Guests showed a bit more aggressive approach in the second part when they managed to score twice, but unfortunately, they conceded two more goals. Torino tried some more towards the end, but without proper success.
They are now at the fourteenth place with thirty-one points, currently safe from the red zone, but not competitive for European exit places.
Lazio managed to take all three points in the last round against Fiorentina with a lot of difficulties, at their home stadium.
They had a negative 0:1 result after the first part but managed to completely reverse it in the second half. Immobile leveled up in the 67th minute from the penalty kick and the final 2:1 score was set by Alberto in the 83rd minute of the match in quite an open play.
Although not yet mathematically certain, the Champions League is most likely secured, as they are currently in second place with only four points behind Juventus. Meanwhile, a race for Scudetto continues.
If they want to stay competitive for the Serie A title, victory in this one is a must for a team from Rome. They are by far more complete team than their opponents in this match, so anything but a win for Lazio in this clash would be a great surprise.
Salernitana vs Cremonese
|Match date: 29.06.2020 | 18:45| Italy Serie B
Salernitana looked better than in the previous game against Pisa, but they suffered a narrow 1:0 loss away to Entella last Friday night. They had the ball possession and some decent chances created, however they looked vulnerable at the back.
The only goal was scored back in the 49th minute via Mazzitelli, as the visitors tried to reply back and the match looked almost like a one-sided one, but real efficiency was missing back then.
They are now close to a must-win situation, as they stand only two points above out of playoff zone placed teams and need to fight back seriously.
Cremonese comes from two back to back defeats at home after the re-start of Serie B. Their defeat against Benevento was probably expected, however a loss last Friday night against Cosenza does come as a worrying thing.
They had much more of the ball possession, but Cosenza was the one that looked sharp in the attack and was constantly threatening them via counters. Riviere brought them into the lead in the 25th minute and it was only easier for the guests to play since then. A lot of meaningless possession was seen, remaining weak when defending transition play conceding another one via Baez early in second.
They looked superior with the possession, even missed a penalty kick in the last fifteen minutes when they played with a man more, but nothing helped them back then.
Cremonese didn’t show much in the previous two matches and now they are facing an individually better side in a significant way. The visitors with their quite clueless possession and play, do stand out as a perfect opponent for Salernitana. It’s about time for the hosts to bounce back to positive results, definitely having the individual quality to make the difference here.
Eibar vs Valencia
|Match date: 25.06.2020 | 19:30 | Spain Primera Liga
With the last match, when they came out with an away draw against Getafe, Eibar has five matches without a recorded win in LaLiga. The entire match between these two was quite balanced with the goalscoring action seen only in the first part of the game.
Hosts scored first in the 30th minute via Etebo, and guests managed to level up over Charles in added time of the first part. There were a few chances on both sides in the second part, but nothing too concrete, except one, when VAR prevented Eibar to take the lead.
Eibar occupies seventeenth place with only three points ahead eighteen placed Mallorca which is in the red zone, so caution is expected from them in the continuation of the season.
The Bats finally broke a three-match winless streak in LaLiga, when they defeated Osasuna last Sunday at their home stadium. They took the double lead in the first part via Guedes and Rodrigo, but the situation could have been different because the guests fight back in the second too.
They had their opportunities, especially in the second part, when they were doing slightly more, but simply lacked efficiency and a little bit of sport’s luck. Despite some chances, no goals were scored in the second half and Valencia succeeded in preserving the lead they gain in the first part.
They are now positioned at the eight place with just one point behind Europa League seventh place, surely wanting a position that leads directly to Europa this Autumn.
With the situation on the table being quite complicated for both of them, walking out of this one with no points is the worst possible outcome. A draw is a realistic possibility in this match, but with the momentum from the previous game and experience on their side, Valencia should be quite close to finally start performing positively in consecutive matches.
Atalanta vs Lazio
|Match date: 24.06.2020 | 21:45 | Italy Serie A
Atalanta didn’t need much time to remind of themselves before the break, as they won comfortably 4:1 at home against Sassuolo last Sunday afternoon.
Thanks to goals from Djimsiti, Zapata and an own goal, it was already a three goals lead for them after the halftime whistle. Zapata added another one in second, during which players of Sassuolo showed more – however, it was only logical since the team from Bergamo already had a decent lead.
They now continue to be fourth at the table and close to a must-win situation in this one, being just six points above fifth-placed Roma.
Lazio is still to play their first official game after the break has started, but overall, looking at the season for now – they have nothing to be ashamed of.
Coppa Italia saw them reaching the quarter-finals, while they put all the efforts into the Serie A this season. At the moment, they are four points behind the leaders from Juventus and continue being in a must-win situation if they are to chase the title.
Using a lot of players, they won over Ternana 7:2 in a friendly match last Saturday evening as their final rehearsal for the Serie A re-start.
Having in mind everything we’ve seen from these two teams so far in the season, goals do look like inevitable here. Especially when knowing that they both have still plenty to play for. They both have been far better with using their chances in the offense than proving their reliability at the back.
Granada vs Villarreal
|Match date: 19.06.2020 | 21:45 | Spain Primera Liga
Granada proved to be in a very solid form coming from a 2:2 draw on the road to Betis last Monday night. They were the ones who took the lead first, back in the 29th minute via Fernandez, staying passive and just waiting for their chances via counters.
There were many, but also Betis improved their creativity in the second half and maybe was a bit helped by the referee too, managing to revert the scoreline within three minutes late in the second, but completely against the flow of the match Soldado brought back to a level result with a goal in the first minute of added time. Still, looking at the match overall, it was a deserved outcome.
They are looking like a side in a pretty good rhythm after the restart of the league, and they are now at the ninth position with just two points less than the Europa League zone.
Villarreal did what was needed to get a 1:0 narrow victory at home over Mallorca, but they didn’t look that convincing. Probably the main reason was the fact that they took the lead early, in the 16th minute via Bacca and didn’t need to push a lot.
Even though they left the ball possession slightly in favor of their opponents, they continued being decently dangerous but didn’t need to push for too much, allowing the visitors to be threatening too. In any way, the victory is the most important here, as they continue to be inside the European positions, and they are now only three points behind the Champions League placed Real Sociedad.
Both of them are having pretty same competitive motives and a three-pointer would change the overall image of themselves a lot – having in mind that neither Champions League exit is that far away from them.
Villarreal enters this one as a slight favorite, however having in mind how both teams play in recent matches, both teams netting at least once seems like the most reasonable choice. The guests will try to impose rhythm, but the hosts are probably looking for it too, knowing that they are more dangerous via counters in such a match-up.
Alcorcon vs Sporting Gijon
|Match date: 18.06.2020 | 21:45 | Spain Segunda|
Alcorcon pulled out a really great surprise away to Real Zaragoza last Saturday night, celebrating a 1:3 victory. They did look slightly passive and waited for their chances, but also looked very dangerous with the ball to their feet and exactly knew how to exploit the chances given.
The first halftime wasn’t that interesting, while the second one had many more interesting moments. The hosts were risking more, but that’s where they paid the price with two goals from Stoichkov within three minutes, in 71st and 74th minute. A few minutes later, the hosts remained to play with a man less while Sandaza netted third in the 84th minute.
Thanks to this victory, Alcorcon now again has decent chances of entering the playoff race, since they are now standing just three points behind the sixth and play-off placed Elche.
Gijon didn’t appear efficient enough in quite an uninteresting match on the road to Deportivo La Coruna last Sunday afternoon. The game has ended as a goalless game and even though the guests were the ones to have better chances, neither them appeared sharp or decisive enough.
Especially in the second halftime when neither of the teams really looked like interested to risk anything. After this point taken, Gijon remains in the middle of the table, but still with a chance to reach the play-off zone, currently they are five points behind sixth-placed Elche.
However, with the way they looked so far on the road, it’s difficult to see them responding here since they continue to be the least effective visiting team in Segunda.
With the way Alcorcon looked last time out, they definitely have a chance of getting all three points here against quite modest and passive Gijon. Draw can’t be excluded, however, if one of the teams is to get all three points that would definitely be the home side.
Manchester City vs Arsenal
|Match date: 17.06.2020 | 21:15 | England Premier League|
The home side for me pretty much know that they won’t be winning the title this year, it 100% has to go to Liverpool in my opinion, they’ve been the best side this season and deserve the title. This will no doubt be in the minds of everyone associated with Man City. The staff, the players, the fans etc.
For this reason alone I don’t think they will be as motivated as a team like Arsenal, the Gunners have a lot to play for, and Arteta will be returning to the Ethiad for the first time to compete vs the guy he learnt so much from, Guardiola. This alone will be motivation for Arteta and his squad.
City are still in the Champions League, and I think this will be the main focus for Pep and his team. I know this isn’t likely to start until later on in the year but still needs to be what City aim to win. Their form before COVID was pretty good.
Arsenal will have had time to plan for this game, who knows Man City and their style and tactics better than Arteta?! He will have been working on tactics for some time now, and the players he has available will be ready for this clash.
As the game will be played away from home, it would usually be harder with the advantage of home support, however, with the game being played behind closed doors, it will make a huge difference. Take the Bundesliga games, for example; I was reading something the other day which confirmed that away wins had increased since the games were played with no fans. I think this will be the case with the Premier League.
I’ll be backing Arsenal + 1.80 AH, good luck all.
Union Berlin vs Paderborn
|Match date: 16.06.2020 | 20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Union Berlin put a quite a surprise in the last round when they defeated much favored Koln, playing as a visiting team. Even though the hosts controlled much of the first half, guests were the ones to take the first lead in the thirty-ninth minute via Friedrich.
Koln continued with their attacks in the second part, but open play cost them another conceded goal in sixty-seventh minute over Gentner. In the end, hosts managed to score with Cordoba setting the final 1:2 result in this match, with a goal in an added time.
Union Berlin, with this victory, put themselves a little bit further from the danger zone. They are now in the fourteenth place with thirty-five points, but a victory here would seal their status.
Paderborn continues their winless streak, as they have twelve matches without a recorded win in Bundesliga. They were completely blown away from the field in the last round when they suffered a home defeat to Werder with a convincing 1:5.
Everything was already over after the first part when guests already had 0:3 lead. Two more goals were conceded in the second half by the hosts, only managing to score a comforting one in sixty-sixth minute over Sabiri.
Paderborn occupies the last place at the table with only twenty points and relegation to 2. Bundesliga is inevitable now.
Union Berlin with a victory in previous round improved their status a lot, and this one seems like a perfect match-up for them. I think that they will take advantage of the terrible form of their opponents whose atmosphere can’t be anywhere close to a positive one now.
Maritimo vs Gil Vicente
|Match date: 15.06.2020 | 20:30 | Portugal Primeira Liga|
Nobody will be disappointed with their narrow loss away to Porto 1:0 last Wednesday night since the defeat of Maritimo was widely expected. Not only that, many predicted them few more goals in their net.
The game did start in the worse possible manner, as Porto took the lead already in the sixth minute via Corona and could have scored a couple of more. A bit less intense play was seen in the second halftime, which suited to the hosts who already looked safe with the lead.
Maritimo is now five points above the relegation zone, a situation that makes them surely wanting to chase all three points in this one.
Gil Vicente didn’t manage to present themselves in a better way last time out when they got defeated by Famalicao 1:3 last Tuesday night. It was the guests who simply looked far sharper at the entrance of the game.
They had the two goals lead via Martins and Goncalves in completely controlling the first halftime, while Gil Vicente responded in the second and reduced via Vieira, but conceded another one as an own goal during the added time when they risked a lot and chased the equalizer.
Prior to that, they went down to Portminoense on the road too, now wanting to improve the situation and not to let their bad run got extended. Currently, they are ten points above the relegation zone.
No doubt that Maritimo aims a victory in this one, but what Gil Vicente showed in a previous couple of rounds in the offense isn’t that little either.
TSG Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig
|Match date: 12.06.2020 | 20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Hoffenheim enters this one after away draw against Dusseldorf with the 2:2 final score. Hosts opened the match in the best possible way and scored already in the fifth minute via Hennings. Four minutes later, guests were left with a player less when Hubner was excluded from the match.
A newly formed situation didn’t stop the away team to level up the score a few minutes later over Dabbur. Surprisingly, in the second half, guests were the ones to score first in the sixty-first minute over Zuber. The home team now found themselves in an unpleasant situation, where they were the ones to chase the result, even though they were better. In the seventy-sixth minute, Hennings was accurate from the penalty kick and set the final result in this match.
Hoffenheim is positioned at the seventh place at the table, with only two points behind sixth-place and European exit, so points are much needed in this one.
Leipzig comes to this match after a great surprise in the last round where they failed to take three points from a much inferior Paderborn, at their home stadium. Hosts opened the match greatly and took the first lead over Shick in the twenty-seventh minute, but Upamecano made a mistake and received a second yellow card, leaving the home team with a player less.
The second part of the game belonged to the guest who was constantly in the attack mode. It took them quite a while, but they managed to level up the score in added time over Strohdiek, who set the final score of this encounter 1:1.
Leipzig is in third place in Bundesliga, and as things now stand they will play Champions League. However, there is no room for mistakes, as the other two teams could find themselves on that spot.
As we can see, both teams can benefit a lot in the case of three points in this match. My opinion is that they will go for the win in this one from the very start. Both teams have the quality to threaten the opponent’s goal, while defensive reliability can be questioned at times. My bet is both teams to score and over 2.5 goals.
Belenenses vs Guimaraes
|Match date: 11.06.2020 | 20:00 | Portugal Primeira Liga|
Guimaraes is 6th with 38 points, five behind 4th and 5th place and with some, but small, chances to reach them. They have had a good season, with 10 Wins, 8 Draws, 7 Losses, 42 goals scored, which is on par with the top teams in the division, and only 27 conceded – speaking for powerful attack backed up by the solid defense, especially for a mid-table team.
Guimaraes has 4 Wins, 1 Loss, and 1 Draw in their last 6, with the draw being their 1st match after the renewal of the season – an entertaining 2-2 draw with Sporting. In those six games they have conceded only five goals and kept a clean sheet three times, and also scored in all 6. Guimaraes rarely see their games end in a draw, as they have only two draws in 13 matches.
Away from home they are on three wins streak and have endured only 1 Loss in 10 matches – including a win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Europe league.
Belenenses are also in the same form with 3 Wins, 1 Draw and 1 Loss, and are unbeaten in 5. 2 of those games were 0-0 stalemate draws before winning 0-2 against Aves in last round.
Before this run of form, Belenenses had a period of 9 losses, 1 Draw, and 1 Win in 11 matches.
Their stats for the season are inferior, compared to Guimaraes – at home, they have won only four times. Overall they scored a meager amount of 21 goals, but had a very leaky defense with the high 38 times they conceded a goal. The defense wasn’t that much more solid at home, with half(19) of those being at home.
The home advantage for Belenensesh does make this a somewhat tricky affair, but I liked how Guimaraesh was against Sporting, and their opponents today are much lower level. Stat-wise the guests ae expected to keep tight defense, probably not concede at all – and with their consistently good attack, they should be able to score enough for a win, knowing that they will be looking for the win.
Wolfsberger AC vs Hartberg
|Match date: 10.06.2020 | 18:30 | Austria Bundesliga|
Even though they took a point in a 3:3 draw against slightly favored LASK Linz, the players of AC Wolfsberger will definitely be disappointed to have conceded the last goal during the added time. It was LASK that entered the match more efficiently and had the double lead, however, the home side responded far better in the second part.
In quite an open encounter, Wolfsberger reacted much better after the second goal conceded and managed to completely revert the result thanks to goals from Dieng, Liendl, and Novak from 58th till 89th minute. However, as said, their focus got lost and the guests scored their third too.
After this point taken, they stand second at the table and have a perfect chance now to keep up in the race for the Champions League exit.
After almost a shocking victory away to LASK when the lady-luck really smiled on the players of Hartberg, their reality soon hit them last weekend. It was in a 0:6 loss at home against Salzburg. Already after eleven minutes, it was a three-goal lead for the visitors, while the home squad looked quite lost in space.
The continuation of the game brought us a bit more open performance from both teams, however with only one side finding a way to be efficient. After this loss, they remained fifth at the table with five points less than fourth-placed LASK and if the team is actually to compete for the European spot, this would be one of the chances to get back into the race, although with weak chances.
Wolfsberger AC is having an obviously improved form since the re-start of the league and now with the second position and Champions League exit is really close, they shouldn’t slip-up that easily.
It will be really difficult for Hartberg to get back to positive results after such a demolishing result against Salzburg, especially since they once again meet a really efficient side.
Piast Gliwice vs Gornik Zabrze
|Match date: 09.06.2020 | 18:00 | Poland Ekstraklasa|
Piast enters this match in a good mood as they recorded another victory in the last round against Korona Kielce, playing as guests. The match didn’t start in the best way for them as they conceded a goal in the fourteenth minute over Forsell.
The turning point of the match happened in the twenty-seventh minute when a home team’s player Zubrowski received a second yellow card. From that point on, the game went in a different direction.
Guests knew how to take advantage of the fact that they had one player more, and with goals over Milewski in sixty-fifth and Felix in the seventy-sixth minute, they completely reversed the result.
With this victory, they have a run of four wins in a row in EkstraKlasa. Piast Gliwice is positioned second at the table still fighting for the European exit.
Gornik comes to this one from a draw in the last match against Lechia Gdansk. They started the match very well and took the first lead with a goal scored by Jirka in the nineteenth minute.
Hosts continued to play offensively throughout the first half but failed to score another one. Guest cleared their mind between two halves and came back into the field as a different team. They were now in the control of the match and in a constant offensive mode.
However, the hosts found their way through the open play of the away team and scored another goal over Jirka. Lechia kept their offensive approach and Zwolinski manages to level and set the final score in this match 2:2, with goals in seventy-ninth and eighty-seventh minute.
Gornik is currently in the eleventh place with thirty-seven points, without a realistic chance to reach the play-off zone, since they welcome Legia in the last round.
Considering the form that hosts are currently in and the quality gap that is obvious in this match, it is quite safe to say that the home team should pull this one out without any major problems.
Hamburg vs Holstein Kiel
|Match date: 08.06.2020 | 20:30 | Germany 2. Bundesliga|
3rd place Hamburg is in an important and tough fight for promotion, as they want to quickly return to the Bundesliga. Their season has been good, as they have 49 points – 3 behind 2nd place, giving direct promotion, and a game in hand. At the same time, their advantage over Heidenheim in 4th is only 1 point, and this really comes as a must-win game in order for them to remain in a good position for the end of the season.
Hamburg has scored the most goals in the whole league – 55, the majority of which(30) were scored at home. This speaks for a great attack, as proven in their 13 wins this season. Their defense has also been decent, with 35 conceded goals, although that’s not quite the best in the league.
In the last 11 leagues Round, the record for Hamburg isn’t that great – they have won, 3 Draws, and 3 Losses. Out of last 5, they have 2 Wins, 2 Draws, and a loss – and they need to pick up some form. Their loss was against the derby with Stuttgart, however, and with their opponents today being far worse in terms of league placement, Hamburg comes into this as the favorites.
HolsteinKiel is 12th, with 8 points advantage over the drop zone and not much more to fight for. With their 38 points, they are 11 behind Hamburg. HolsteinKiel has been performing quite well in the attack with 45 goals scored, more than most teams around them, and all teams below them in the table, but their defense hasn’t been solid enough with 46 conceded.
Holstein had some wins in a row back in February, but as they had to face better opposition their form is now gone – 1 Win, 2 Draws, and 4 Losses in last 7. Still, they have seen Over 2.5 goals in 5 out of last 6, including them managing to score in 6 matches in a row. They did so even against Leaders Arminia last round(1-2 loss), and 2nd Stuttgart(1-2 loss).
Hamburg needs the win, has higher goals, and is definitely the better team, therefore I expect them to play their typical style, push for goals, and play forward. They would be favorites for this game, according to H2H record – in which Holstein has 2 Wins and 1 Draw against them. Holstein has scored 7 goals against Hamburg in the last 3 H2H, and with them finding the ent so often even against another top-placed team, the not-so-solid defense of Hamburg should let a goal, at least once. Over 2.5 goals look like a very decent bet.
Maritimo vs Vitoria Setubal
|Match date: 04.06.2020 | 19:00 | Portugal Primeira Liga|
Maritimo(15th, 24 points) welcomes Setubal(28 points) in the bottom table clash. 4 points separate the 2 teams, and Maritimo has a 5 points advantage over the drop zone. They still need to gather points if they want to avoid relegation scare.
The low amount of points for these 2 teams speaks for itself – there is hardly anything going in their favor. Maritimo has been losing even to teams below them, while Setubal shows the same inability to break through for a win, and end up making draw after draw very often.
Maritimo is on 3 matches losing run and has 5 losses out of last 7(5 Losses 1 Win 1 Draw). At home, things are notably better with only 2 losses from last 9, but that does include 5 draws, twice with 0-0 and twice with 1-1 score. Overall they have seen under 2.5 goals in 9 of their last 12 competitive encounters.
In fact, Setubal has scored only 17 goals the whole season(conceded 27), which is the joint lowest amount of goals scored in the whole league. They rely on more solid defense to clutch a positive outcome, which usually is a boring draw.
Setubal is winless in 6(3 draws, 3 losses). In those 6 matches they scored only 4 times, and 3 times they saw score Under 2.5 goals. They did have some higher scoring games, ending in Over 3.5 goals even, but those were again huge favorites and top half Braga, Sporting, and Porto, and as they are teams looking for a win and going forward, its not a surprise Setubal managed to nick a goal.
Still, today’s game should be completely lackluster. Teams have lost their form due to the pause, and with both teams lacking the firepower for goals I expect a battle in the middle of the pitch, a high amount of fouls, even time-wasting. Both teams will want to avoid mistakes and gather a precious point, but at the same time none of them are in dire need of a 100% win, therefore they don’t have to risk and search for the win from the start.
The scary part for this bet will be individual mistakes at the defensive stage, which could lead to an early first-half goal. Still, despite the odds being somewhat all, this is a bet that should work most of the time. Everything points towards a low-scoring affair.
Werder Bremen vs Eintracht Frankfurt
|Match date: 03.06.2020 | 20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Werder enters this one after the win against Schalke, playing as guests. From the very start, the guests started decisively and controlled the game throughout the first half. They dominated in every segment of the game and the result soon came.
In the thirty-second minute, Bittencourt scores a fantastic goal and puts his team in the lead. The next half brought us a slightly more stable game of the hosts, they tried to score an equalizing goal, but they simply did not succeed, they lacked concentration at the very end of the attack.
Werder is currently in the unwanted seventeenth, such a placement currently leads them to a lower rank. However, if they improve their performances, they have a chance to get out of the situation, as the sixteenth-placed Dusseldorf escapes them by only two points and has a game more.
Eintracht enters this match in a good mood, as they defeated the favored Wolfsburg in the last round, playing as a visiting team. The first part of the match, it can be said, belonged to the hosts, although the result did not show it.
The guests punished the missed opportunities of the opponent and in the twenty-seventh minute, Silva scored a goal from a penalty kick. In the second part of the match, the hosts had a slight initiative that paid off in the fifty-eighth minute, Mbabu evened the score.
A good part of the second half of the game passed without goals, until in the eighty-fifth minute Kamada scored a goal, and set the final score in the match.
Werder must attack in this match, period. For them, there is no other option but to win. In the open game of the hosts, I see the chance of Eintracht to score too. There is a high probability that both teams will score here and maybe both more than once.
SV Mattersburg vs SCR Altach
|Match date: 02.06.2020 | 18:30 | Austria Bundesliga|
Mattersurg couldn’t expect more than what they did in the regular part of the season, ending second from the bottom with a point more than St Polten and one point less than Admira and Tirol.
Such rankings don’t impress much but are still allowing them to fight evenly for their Bundesliga status in the next ten rounds. Comparing to the previous season, it’s a downtrend for them, as they had Europa League play-offs last one, having significantly worse results so far. They’ve been especially poor in home matches, getting only one victory in the previous eleven matches.
They had an official friendly game last Tuesday afternoon suffering a 3:0 loss to Wolfsberger AC, with all three goals scored in the first thirty minutes of the game.
Despite some outstanding results earlier this year, players of Altach couldn’t avoid playing in the relegation group once again. Just like the previous season, when they had a poor start but almost ended in Europe, the team will once again try to gain an advantage over last-placed teams as soon as possible.
Especially memorable was their 3:2 victory at home over Salzburg just a few days before the Bundesliga pause, as they ended on the ninth position and start now with four points advantage over last-placed St Polten.
Not a lot separated these two so far, but still, it’s Altach that appeared to have way better cohesion in the team. In attack but also at the back. Under pressure, Mattersburg shouldn’t be able to dominate here exactly, and Altach has their weapons to threaten them just fairly enough via counters.
Cologne vs RB Leipzig
|Match date: 01.06.2020 | 20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Koln had pretty decent matches at home against Mainz and Dusseldorf in previous rounds but was able to take only a point in each game. However, playing away to Hoffenheim last Wednesday night was simply too much for them.
It was the hosts who appeared far more concrete, getting an early lead while Koln stood to play with a man less in the 26th minute and couldn’t cope in the next thirty minutes. However, once Hoffenheim stood playing with ten too – Koln showed offensive face, managed to reduce, and even missed a penalty kick towards the end.
They are still not safe in the relegation battle but can approach this one bit more relaxed – after all, they are seven points above play-out placed Fortuna Dusseldorf with five rounds remaining for their rivals.
RB Leipzig was set as quite a strong favorite in their home match against Hertha Berlin, but they succumbed to a 2:2 draw only. They were slightly better, however, the fact that they played with a man less since the 63rd minute was too much to cope with.
It was the Berliners who took the lead first, via Grujic, while the hosts responded well from then on. Klostermann leveled up soon enough, while Schick brought them into the lead even though they had a man less five minutes earlier. Still, playing with a man down brought them into passive mode and Hertha leveled up from a penalty kick converted by Piatek.
Leipzig is now at the fifth position but with just a point less than third and fourth-placed Gladbach and Leverkusen, so a victory here would bring them back to much needed top four positions that lead to Champions League.
Koln knows how to threaten most Bundesliga teams, so I expect them to be quite dangerous via counters in this one. However, RB Leipzig is on a different level and after recent results, should come up very offensively here trying to seal another three-pointer that would keep them close to the Champions League ticket. Hosts should score in the progress as well.
SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen
|Match date: 29.05.2020 | 20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Freiburg appeared in a really good way on the road to Eintracht Frankfurt, but can’t be completely satisfied with the final 3:3 result. They have taken the lead first via Grifo in the 28th minute but got leveled up till the end of the first halftime.
It was Eintracht that looked offensive and better in both halftimes, but Freiburg worked well via counters and in the transition, reaching two goals lead via Petersen and Holler in the 67th and 69th minute. Still, once they had the lead it was too passive performance and they paid the price for it.
It was Eintracht that deserved more probably, but with two goals being down fifteen minutes before the end, they need to be satisfied also. Freiburg is now four points behind Europa League placed Wolfsburg and only a victory keeps them in a further race.
Leverkusen was completely outplayed in every aspect at home against Wolfsburg last Tuesday evening suffering a 1:4 defeat. They simply lost their creativity and sharpness, while the game didn’t develop in their way either.
They had much more of the ball possession, but without being concrete, while they riskier and more offensive in the second halftime just to concede the second goal in quite an unlucky way. The overall impression is that they shouldn’t change the tactics from their Gladbach’s game, but neither had any chance in such development.
Bayer is now fifth again, together with fourth-placed Gladbach and no doubt that they will be seeking a victory in this one with the target still being the Champions League exit.
Nop matter how Leverkusen play, the goals seem like a granted thing. They did disappoint on Tuesday night but also tried with a bit different tactics. Now away from home, it’s only logical to expect them back to their offensive approach and creating chances easier with less of the ball possession. Freiburg themselves doesn’t look that weak either and is surely capable of making the game more interesting.
RB Leipzig vs Hertha Berlin
|Match date: 27.05.2020 | 18:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
RB Leipzig completely overrun Mainz last Sunday afternoon in a 0:5 victory. It was close to a one-sided game from the first minute, with the visitors having a three-goal lead at the halftime via Werner, Sabitzer, and Poulsen.
Werner scored two more goals in the second halftime, in a match that didn’t even end up that tragically for Mainz as it could have. After a setback and a bit lack of efficiency in the first game after re-start, they showed to be fully efficient now.
Hertha confirmed their victory away to Hoffenheim wasn’t just a simple coincidence, as they managed to completely outplay the local rivals from Union Berlin with a 4:0 victory. They were well better in the first half too, but the goals came in the second.
They had the ball possession and chances in first but managed to be efficient at the start of the second getting fully deserved victory. Ibisevic, Lukebakio, and Cunha scored goals inside the first fifteen minutes to have a much easier game since then, adding another one via Boyata towards the end.
Hertha has really enjoyed the re-start of the season under new coach Labbadia, but Leipzig is definitely a much tougher opponent now. No doubt that Leipzig wants a victory and nothing but a victory, while Hertha comes surely bit relaxed and wants to impress again. It’s a scenario that promises an open game, but still, it’s the home side that should prevail easy or difficult in a probable goal galore.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg
|Match date: 26.05.2020 | 20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Leverkusen showed that they definitely belong to the top four teams in Bundesliga, with a 1:3 victory away from home against Gladbach. Havertz brought them into the lead already in the seventh minute, as they missed some good chances to double up the lead in the first halftime too.
Gladbach responded back early in the second half via Thuram, while the visitors got the lead again via penalty kick converted by Havertz six minutes later. It was easier for Bayer to threaten a bit via counters, sealing their victory via Bender in the 81st minute.
Bayer is now a point above the fifth-placed Gladbach, finally into the top four teams and no doubt that the victory here is their only target trying to get the Champions League exit.
After a decent performance away to Augsburg and a victory taken there, Wolfsburg couldn’t match Dortmund actually in a 0:2 home loss last weekend. There weren’t many real chances created, but still, it was Dortmund that dominated the game and looked like a controlling side.
Even so, it was Wolfsburg that had a one-goal deficit for a longer amount of time but weren’t unable to respond. After this defeat, Wolfsburg remained in the sixth position but with a huge points gap between them and the first five positions.
Leverkusen is on fire lately and there’s very little what the players of Wolfsburg could do overall looking at them. They’ve got two impressive victories away from home and now it’s time to confirm it. Wolfsburg isn’t looking like a side able to match them offensively.
Arminia Bielefeld vs VfL Osnabruck
|Match date: 13.03.2020 | 18:30 | Germany 2. Bundesliga|
Arminia Bielefeld took a point in a 1:1 against Stuttgart in the twenty-sixth round of Bundesliga 2, playing as guests. The first half was pretty even, we didn’t see a lot of chances and therefore the goals were absent.
The continuation of the match brought us a slightly more offensive play by both teams, so we saw two goals scored. The home team was the first to score with a goal by Gomez in the fifty-third minute of the match. The equalization came at seventy-sixth minute via Soukou, and the final score was set.
Arminia Bielefeld is in excellent form with seven consecutive undefeated matches in the Bundesliga 2. Great games brought them first place in the overall standings with fifty-one points and they are almost certainly awaiting promotion to the Bundesliga 1.
VfL Osnabruck is really in bad shape, having as many as seven consecutive matches without a win in Bundesliga 2. In the last match, they were defeated by Wehen with a score of 2:6 in front of their fans.
Most of the action was seen in the first part of the game when as many as seven goals were scored and where the away players demonstrated a great transition game. It was not logical to think that the second half could continue in such a rhythm, so in that part of the game, only one more goal was seen in injury time. A really tough defeat that is sure to leave consequences for the whole team.
VfL Osnabruck is in the twelfth place of the table with twenty-nine points and if they continue with such bad performances, they can easily bring themselves into the relegation zone.
Great past games, first place on the table, opponent entering the match after a terrible defeat, home-field advantage… all these factors contribute greatly to the host. I give a great advantage to Arminia Bielefeld as they are by all parameters the big favorites in this match and they are likely to emerge from it as a winner.
Istanbul Basaksehir vs FC Copenhagen
|Match date: 12.03.2020 | 18:55 | Europa League|
The chances of Basaksehir were almost overwritten after a 3:1 loss in Lisbon, but the Turkish team completely reverted the situation at home and managed to progress thanks to a penalty kick converted by Visca just before the extra-time ending. Simply, they used the momentum and the atmosphere playing in front of own fans in the best possible way.
The team does well in the domestic Super Lig too, coming from a 0:3 victory away from home against Goztepe. They didn’t need more of the ball possession but proved to be very effective and creative every single time they had the ball to their feet. They continue to share the first position together with Trazbsonspor nine rounds before the end of the Super Lig.
Copenhagen surprised a lot in their knockout clash against Celtic, especially after ending the first home leg with a 1:1 result. The Scottish team has already created much more in the first leg but failed to make it count. A similar story was seen in the second leg too, as the Scottish side looked too vulnerable at the back and the Danes knew how to exploit it properly.
However, they come from two domestic disappointments. Firstly, it was a 2:0 exclusion in the quarter-finals of Danish Cup away to Aalborg, but then a 0:1 home loss against Horsens on Sunday afternoon. During both matches, they looked like a more creative and threatening team but failed to score a single goal in these two. The title now looks quite lost with twelve points less than the leaders from Midtjylland.
It looks like the Turkish team is going in the right direction in recent weeks, while the players of Copenhagen are nowhere close to their perfect form. The guests have impressed so far in the competition, but this one should be too much for them. There’s simply a lot more what the home side can offer regarding the offensive potential and momentum of their players.
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid
|Match date: 11.03.2020 | 21:00| Champions League|
Liverpool was held to a 1:0 narrow loss in Madrid in the first leg, but actually, the Reds are the only ones to be blamed. After a goal conceded in the fourth minute already, they simply failed to respond in a proper and desired way. The English side had more of the ball possession, but real goalscoring opportunities that would level up the result were missing.
As for the domestic competitions, they come from a 2:1 home victory over Bournemouth last Saturday, thanks to goals from Salah and Mane being sure favorite to win the Premiership. Their form wasn’t at the best possible level in recent weeks, but neither they actually had to press for much more – still, losing surprisingly in FA Cup away to Chelsea.
Atletico Madrid can be satisfied with that victory three weeks ago, as they simply did what they did the best – staying passive and looking for perfect opportunities. Luckily for them, they took the lead already in the fourth minute via Saul and were in a situation to wait behind the ball. Still, not much was seen from them from the moment they took the lead being satisfied with the result.
Last weekend they had a 2:2 draw at home against Sevilla on Saturday afternoon, coming now from the second straight draw in LaLiga. Moreover, they have just two victories in the last eight rounds. They currently stand at the fifth position with a point less than Champions League and fourth-placed Getafe but also with just three points more than out of European tickets placed Valencia.
Liverpool is down after the first leg, but not because of their inability to be competitive on the field – simply due to the fact that they weren’t concrete enough with the ball possession they had. Now, in front of their own fans, they should be far more potent.
Their form did decline in recent weeks, but it should be due to the importance of this match, while their title in Premiership looks anyway safe enough. Atletico shouldn’t be able to cope this time on the road with the Reds offensive quality.
Eibar vs Real Sociedad
|Match date: 10.03.2020 | 20:00| Spain Primera Liga|
Eibar surprised their fans in the worst possible way, as the team lost 1:2 at home to Mallorca last Saturday afternoon. They were set as quite a strong favorite and actually justified the role with their ball possession, but weren’t anywhere creative and concrete with the chances created as it should have been.
The guests used their counter-attacks and took the lead via Rodriguez in the 42nd minute, while Kubo doubled up in the 78th minute. Despite superior position on the field from Eibar, the team only managed to reduce the deficit via Bigas in the second minute of added time.
They are now just two points above the relegation placed Mallorca and can only benefit from a result from this game.
Sociedad interrupted their winning streak with a narrow 1:0 defeat away to Barcelona last weekend. Even though they broke the winning run of six matches in all competitions, they can’t be very disappointed with such an outcome as they looked pretty competitive for most of the clash.
Barcelona was dominating the game and looked better, but could only break the opponents via a penalty kick from Messi in the 81st minute. Surely an outcome and performance to be quite satisfied with. They are now just three points behind the Champions League placed Getafe and with only one more than out of Europa League placed Valencia, meaning it remains quite a must-win situation for them.
Eibar disappointed in the previous round and it’s difficult to see very improved performance from them now, knowing the quality of their opponents. Sociedad should be able to get back to positive results, as they have shown so much more in their creativity and ball movement in recent weeks.
Silkeborg IF vs AGF Aarhus
|Match date: 09.03.2020 | 19:00| Denmark Superligaen|
Silkeborg was set as quite an underdog last weekend when the side visited Odense but still managed to surprise walk away with a point in a 1:1 game. They were quite passive at the start and have conceded in the first halftime via a penalty kick, but appeared with better fighting spirit in the repetition.
Not only they looked more combative, but the team also had slightly more of the ball possession and did deserve the equalizer for their efforts. The guests leveled up via Okkels twenty minutes before the end. They still continue to be at the rock bottom position of the table, not showing much of the quality, even though the fighting spirit isn’t missing. They are five points below Esbjerg which is on the thirteenth position.
During the midweek, they were excluded from the quarter-finals of the Danish Cup only after the penalty kicks away to Horsens.
Aarhus made a setback in their home clash against Hobro last time out in Superliga during the previous weekend. They had the ball possession and better chances created for almost an entire game, but the final effort was somewhat missing.
Despite increased tempo in the second, they lacked a bit more of the creativity, while certainly deserving to actually take the lead during the first halftime. Still, they are in the third position in the league and have a chance to establish themselves even stronger at that place.
Aarhus cruised to a 1:4 victory away from home against Esbjerg in their quarter-finals game of the Landspokal Cup competition, proving to be far more effective side in overall quite an equal game. With the rest of the semi-finals lineup known, they’ll be one of the favorites to lift the trophy.
It’s offensive potential, or better to be said, lack of potential that will probably prevent the home side to get something more valuable out of this clash. Aarhus seems to be enjoying the early phase of the second part of the season and shouldn’t have any problems showing that they are far more potent in the attack. The lack of fans could only work in the visitors’ favor if any.
Besiktas vs Ankaragucu
|Match date: 06.03.2020 | 18:00| Turkey Super Lig|
Besiktas didn’t have an easy game but still managed to pull out all three points in a 1:2 victory on the road to Alanyaspor. Even though they were favorites logically, the game got as complicated as possible with the home side taking the lead in the 37th minute via Fernandes.
The guests were better from that moment on, entering the second halftime with much bigger determination. Yilmaz turned the game around with goals in 70th and 87th minute, second one from the penalty kick. However, needs to be said that other than that, not a lot of real chances were created from neither of the teams.
Besiktas is now at the fifth position again, having nine points less than leaders from Basaksehir and a victory here is just a small step towards the target of getting back into the race for the European exit.
Ankaragucu was set as an underdog in the home game against Sivasspor last weekend and even though they looked fine at the start of the game, they quickly run into problems. From the 36th minute, they stood to play with a man less when midfielder Stanojevic got red-carded and simply couldn’t stay competitive in the continuation.
The first halftime wasn’t that interesting with the hosts enduring well, but couldn’t cope in the second. Sivas cruised to a three-goal victory missing some good chances in the process as well. This was the second consecutive loss for Ankaragucu, previous one away to Genclerbirligi, while they keep being inside the relegation zone.
Currently, they are a point above the rock bottom-placed Kayserispor, but on the positive side, just two points behind safely placed Konyaspor as the relegation battle completely heats up.
Besiktas is looking extremely vulnerable at the back almost in every single game they play in recent weeks. Ankaragucu isn’t looking like a team in the form being able to take something from this match, but still – coming as outsiders and with already overwritten chances, they can show quite relaxed and even positive performance.
After all, they haven’t been that bad in away matches in previous weeks, while Besiktas doesn’t have really proper momentum all season long.
St Etienne vs Rennes
|Match date: 05.03.2020 | 20:55| Coupe de France|
St Etienne isn’t enjoying the last weeks of the Ligue 1, having actually five defeats and just one point taken in the previous six rounds. most recently, it was a 2:0 defeat away to Lyon – a game where they simply couldn’t do more, but nobody anyway expected them to show much after getting negative results against fewer quality sides than what Lyon is.
They are in kind of a free fall at the table, being only at the sixteenth position and only two points behind playout placed Dijon. Surely an alarming situation as the relegation battle looks like their reality. A lot of defensive mistakes were seen in previous matches, while effectivity doesn’t seem to be really their thing last month.
Rennes didn’t have that difficult match last Saturday evening when they visited Toulouse and walked away with a three-pointer and a 2:0 result. An early goal from Bourgeaud and a late one from Maouassa were enough for the victory against the completely unimpressive opponent.
This way Rennes continued decent momentum with a victory over Nimes also behind their backs. They are now at the third position at the table with a point more than Lille and surely won’t give up that easily on the battle for the Champions League exit for the next season.
Since it’s a semi-final of the competition, this match doesn’t come as unimportant one for either of the teams. The hosts are looking simply too weak for the standards of Rennes at the moment. It’s guest who seems to be way tighter at the back and with much better creativity and finally, effectivity on their side. Value is still with the guests.
Mirandes vs Real Sociedad
|Match date: 04.03.2020 | 21:00| Spain Copa Del Rey|
Mirandes appeared quite relaxed and more than fine comparing the strength of their opponent, scoring a goal via Aias in the 39th minute which now gives them great hope ahead of the returning leg. Still, it was the home team that looked more effective in overall quite an open game.
As for LaLiga2, the team comes from a 1:1 home draw against Girona, probably focusing more on their great achievement in the Copa del Rey. They are currently on a run of nine consecutive games with no victory in the league, including eight draw matches and one loss. Even so, they are just four points behind the playoff placed Elche.
Sociedad had more of the ball possession in the first leg, but somehow were caught many times with the defensive gaps, still getting a narrow victory deservedly. However, it probably isn’t the ideal result for them, as they have to enter the game now completely focused from the first minute.
They are quite enjoying the season at the moment, coming from a home victory over Valladolid with a narrow 1:0 result. The only goal was scored back in the 60th minute via Januzaj, as they upped the tempo in the second halftime and deserved it strongly, limiting the guests to almost nothing in the attack.
This was their third consecutive win in Primera, being just three points behind third-placed Sevilla and in real contention for the Champions League exit for the moment.
Now it all comes down to this one for Mirandes. Thanks to a goal from the first leg, they are still having a very decent chance to progress to the big finals. Actually, the team looked more than fine and relaxed in the first leg and I expect them to repeat the performance. Still, it’s Sociedad that remains a favorite and should score as well.
West Bromwich Albion vs Newcastle United
|Match date: 03.03.2020 | 21:00| England FA Cup|
After a run of six undefeated matches and five victories during that period, players of West Brom suffered quite surprising 0:1 loss at home against Wigan last Saturday afternoon. They were set as a huge favorite before the game but generally failed to justify that role on the field.
In quite an even game, it was the guests who have created more being especially more threatening in the second part when they scored a goal too, in the 73rd minute via Morsy. Still, they continue to lead the table and probably, more importantly, are six points above third-placed Fulham surely wanting to impress in this competition too.
Newcastle actually looked a bit better in the offense than what was expected, however, the goals were missing in a 0:0 home game against Burnley. They had more of the ball possession, especially in the second halftime, but real chances were missing.
It was they who pushed the opponents and really looked superior on the field, however without making that extra impact. They are now without a victory in the last four Premiership rounds, also not scoring a single goal during these four games. Without a victory in the last five rounds too, but are still five points above the relegation zone.
Little things should separate these two teams, however, it’s difficult to neglect a real lack of creativity within the visiting team. Goalless game is on the cards and any kind of offensive approach or the game actually, is quite unlikely.
Hannover 96 vs Holstein Kiel
|Match date: 02.03.2020 | 20:30| Germany 2. Bundesliga|
In the last round of the 2. Bundesliga, Hannover made a guest appearance to Arminia Bielefeld. In a match that was completely even, and in which we did not see much excitement, the home team still justified the role of the favorites and with the goal in the eighty-third minute of the match via Yabo, the final score 1-0 was set.
Hannover is not in the best shape at the moment, they have only one win in the last five matches and such results place them in the fifteenth place of the table with twenty-six points.
Holstein Kiel hosted the Heidenheim team in the twenty-third round of the 2.Bundesliga. Even though they were favorites on paper, the hosts failed to live up to their expectations and lost the match with minimal results.
They lost the last game, yes. But still, the team is in very good shape with three consecutive victories, before this defeat. Holstein Kiel is positioned safely in eighth place with thirty-three points, with only one point less than seventh-ranked Aue.
I expect both teams to approach this match cautiously. Hannover, in case of loss of points, can easily find themselves in the red zone, while with the same scenario, Holstein Kiel could lose a good chance of progress in the overall standings. Still, it’s the guests who are showing slightly more during the whole season and the value does stand with them.
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Hertha Berlin
|Match date: 28.02.2020 | 20:30| Germany Bundesliga|
Dusseldorf looked really fine and they managed to surprise Freiburg away from home with a 2:0 victory last Saturday afternoon. A goal in each halftime was enough, via Hoffmann and Thommy as they looked far better via counters and much more threatening.
The hosts had more of the ball possession but weren’t as creative and fluid as they should have been. On the other side, the guests did the job properly. Fortuna is now two points below the safe zone and this one remains as a must-win for them now.
Hertha got completely outplayed at home in a 0:5 loss against Koln last weekend. They were completely demolished from the first minute as the guests already had a three-goal lead in the first halftime. The side looked quite miserable.
They had more of the ball possession, but in a completely meaningless way and looked as vulnerable as possible in a chaotic defending they had. Despite a very turbulent season which turns out to be a complete disaster, they are six points above the red zone for now and can’t hope for much more.
Dusseldorf after a morale-boosting victory and Hertha in all kinds of chaos after their five goals loss at home to Koln, the game may seem to be more one-sided one than what the odds suggest.
Still, the visitors from Berlin are far from a naive side, but if any of the teams is to prevail now, it should be the home team even though the draw can’t be excluded as well.
LASK Linz vs AZ Alkmaar
|Match date: 27.02.2020 | 18:55| Europa League|
LASK Linz had the lead for a great amount of time in the first leg, as they opened up the scoreline in the 26th minute via Raguz. They looked better in the first halftime and had even more chances via counters.
However, as the game went on, it was they who opted for a more conservative style and allowed the hosts to develop their own game finally leveling up from a penalty kick. As for the Austrian Bundesliga, they look unbeatable at the moment coming from a 4:1 home win over St Polten.
Combined with their previous victory away to RB Salzburg, they are leading the table now with three points more than a much more favorited team from Salzburg.
It could be said that AZ Alkmaar was lucky to get a draw in the first leg, as the equalizer came only via penalty kick taken by Koopmeiners in the 86th minute. However, has to be said, it was a deserved draw since they really pushed hard for it towards the end.
AZ continued their Eredivisie campaign with a decent 2:0 home victory over Zwolle, upping the tempo in the second halftime and sealing the victory without any problems. If anything, probably deserving even bigger margin win. They are now again three points only behind the leaders from Ajax.
Even though both teams are enjoying the season, it has to be said that the Austrians are having even better results and surely a better atmosphere at home.
LASK have proven many times this season that they are excellent in their home matches in Europa, winning over PSV and Sporting convincingly too. Their victory should be now the only logical consequence of the entire season they have.
Blackburn vs Stoke City
|Match date: 26.02.2020 | 20:45| England Championship|
Even though they were set as a strong underdog, the Rovers managed to take a point away from home against Brentford. A point taken before the game would have been a decent outcome, however, no doubt that they will be slightly disappointed since they had the two goals lead during the first hour of play.
Two goals from Armstrong were enough for the double lead, however, these goals somewhat came against the flow of the match as they looked really fine via counters generally. It was Brentford the one that deserved more than a pure loss and managed to get the point.
Blackburn now continued the fine momentum with two victories and a draw in the last three rounds, being just five points behind the playoff zone and a victory here is a must.
After two consecutive defeats, players of Stoke surprised in a really good manner winning at home over Cardiff with a 2:0 result. An own goal brought them into the lead in the first halftime, while it was easier for them to play since then.
The visitors from Cardiff had more of the ball possession in the second trying to level up, while Stoke looked very dangerous via counter-attacks and reached the winning goal via Allen in the 72nd minute. Stoke is now just three points above the red zone placed Wigan and needs to seek points in this one.
If the Rovers are to challenge for the promotional spot further, this one comes as a must-win for them. Especially since the game is against one of the weakest travelers they’ll meet at home till the end of the season.
Stoke seems too vulnerable at the back for the standards of Blackburn and the hosts should be able to exploit that easier than what the odds suggest.
Cardiff City vs Nottingham Forest
|Match date: 25.02.2020 | 20:45| England Championship|
Cardiff City totally collapsed unexpectedly away to Stoke last Saturday night. A goal in each halftime was enough for the home team to claim a victory, as the guests simply showed too little.
They had slightly more of the ball possession but failed to present themselves in a more threatening way. They are now six points behind the playoff zone and can remain in a competitive race only in case of a victory here.
Nottingham Forest, on the other side, comes from a goalless home match against QPR last weekend. The game itself wasn’t very interesting, as the home team had more of the ball possession but the chances weren’t that concrete.
Even though they have created more, they simply lacked sharper solutions in the last phase. They are now without a victory in the last three rounds and need to respond in this one currently at the fifth position with just three points more than out of playoff zone placed Bristol City.
Cardiff now needs to respond with far better performance after their unexpected defeat, while Nottingham remains quite stable and more than impressive away from home. Both teams scoring at least once seems like a very reasonable pick.
Derby County vs Fulham
|Match date: 21.02.2020 | 20:45| England Championship|
Championship action for me on a Friday night, the game will be played at Pride Park, Derby and will kick off at 19:45 UK time. The hosts for the game are Derby County, they’ll welcome London club Fulham.
The home side has certainly started to pull their season around and now find themselves in 13th in the table on 44 points from 33 league games. Derby is just 9 points away from a playoff place and needs to start and put a good run together to stand a chance of getting in and around the playoff places.
Manager Phillip Cocu has his Derby side well organized, especially at home. At Pride Park Derby actually has the joint best home record this season along with Preston. Derby has won 9 games, drawn 6 and lost just 2 at home from their 17 league games. they’ve only conceded 12 goals at home from 17 games and scored 24. derby head into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw vs Huddersfield. Also, Derby’s last 4 games have seen BTTS on every occasion.
The away side lie in 3rd in the table and are really pushing Leeds to the 2nd automatic promotion place. They’re now just 3 points behind the Yorkshire club so know they need to maintain their results to stand any chance of automatic promotion.
Fulham has been a very entertaining side to watch, especially from a neutral perspective. They’ve scored 47 goals and conceded 36 in 33 league games. Scott Parker seems to have his team motivated after a tough start to the season for Fulham. They are under pressure as they’re one of the favorites for an automatic promotion spot.
Mitrovic has been in form in front of goal and I’m confident he’ll be pushing for another one here tonight. Fulham head into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat at home, to Barnsley…Yes, you read that right! it was a very freak result and I am very confident this will have done the entire Fulham squad a favor! They’ll have realized they can’t take this league for granted and will know they need to improve to stand any chance of getting back into the Premier League.
With both teams still having something to play for and having a different keeper in from the game before, I’m expecting a very open game with plenty of goals from both sides.
Wolfsburg vs Malmo FF
|Match date: 20.02.2020 | 21:00| Europa League|
Wolfsburg will host Malmo in the first fixture of this Europa League knockout stage phase. The more known Bundesliga side will count as obvious favorites against the Swedish team.
Wolfsburg is on a three-game unbeaten run in Bundesliga after a long period of losses. There are still questions around their defensive part, as they very often concede goals with just one clean sheet in the last ten at home. However, with Wout Weghorst coming off a Hat-trick in a victory against Hoffenheim, it is a confident group of players at this point.
Malmo is traveling with over 4000 supporters which promise to make noise. There have however been drastic changes in Malmo since progressing from the group change. Immediately after the famous victory against rivals Copenhagen – Malmo decided to part ways with coach Uwe Roesler. While his results were impressive, the performances were not going in the right direction.
Instead – Danish legend Jon Dahl Tomasson is the new Head Coach of Malmo and his mission is to implement a more brave team that dares to dominate possession and generally play more attractive football – although perhaps not on road games like this. The Swedes had a training camp in Spain to prepare for this Europa League fixture since the Swedish season is still two months away. In other words, it is a Malmo side in the pre-season phase, which should really not serve as a benefit in a match like this.
Squad wise – The players who have been added to the team are striker Isaac Kiese Thelin, on loan from Anderlecht, who is a tall strong target player. Also, central defender Anel Ahmedhodzic, a young center back who did well in the Danish league.
It is an incredibly unpredictable Malmo team who are going to Wolfsburg. However, the Germans have several upsides compared to Malmo. They should be more match fit, they have better size and physique, they play at home and are coming from confidence strengthening victory in Bundesliga. Too many factors point at a home victory here.
Tottenham vs RB Leipzig
|Match date: 19.02.2020 | 21:00| Champions League|
Tottenham Hotspur was set as a firm favorite last Saturday afternoon against Aston Villa, but the team had to dig deep in order to claim their victory.
They stood behind in the scoreline already in the ninth minute but managed to revert with a dedicated performance thanks to goals from Alderweird and Heung-Min towards the end of the first halftime.
Even so, the Villans leveled up early in the second while the Spurs looked much better in the second halftime and missed some really good chances before they found the winning goal via Heung-Min in the fourth minute of added time. Even though late, it was more than deserved victory for the Spurs.
They are now in generally fine momentum, having three consecutive victories in Premiership and are just a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea, surely keeping the focus on the Premiership as well.
After a run of three matches without victory in the Bundesliga, players of RB Leipzig replied with a far better and more positive performance at home against Werder Bremen last Saturday afternoon in a 3:0 victory.
They entered the game really well, opened the scoreline thanks to a goal from Klostermann and doubled up via Schick towards the end of the first halftime. Mukiele scored their third just after the start of the second halftime, with the home team lowering down the tempo as they were perfectly satisfied with the result.
They now broke the ugly mini-run and are just a point behind first-placed Bayern Munich, being also just three points above closest followers from Dortmund and Gladbach.
RB Leipzig doesn’t know for any different style but to attack one. Even though they face up against Mourinho’s side, it will be difficult for the English team to remain conservative when playing against the Germans. Everything except an open game will be a surprise here since the Germans won’t stay much defending.
Spurs need to score and most likely will try, but their defensive lineup also remains more than vulnerable recently. It seems like close to a goal festival this time.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
|Match date: 18.02.2020 | 21:00| Champions League|
Atletico Madrid comes from a pretty difficult game away from home against Valencia last weekend, but the team managed to take a point in a 2:2 draw. The guests were more effective in the first halftime, having the lead twice, but were unable to hold onto the lead in the repetition.
Overall, it was their opponents who had more of the ball possession during the clash, while the goalscoring opportunities were somewhat actually shared in regard to the amount of it.
Atletico now stands at the fourth position together with Sevilla, as the team surely has its ambitions to enter the Champions League once again for the next season.
Liverpool looks too dominant and superior this season in Premiership and very little can stop them in a try to get another title. Most recently, they won over Norwich City 1:0 last Saturday evening, thanks to a goal from Mane in the 78th minute.
Even prior to that goal, it was the guests who have created far more, probably deserving to score way before the last phase of the match. They are now leading the table having twenty-five points more than the second-placed Citizens and actually can focus solely on the Champions League duty now with the title being Premiership reality for them.
Players of Liverpool might not win in this one, however, it will be very difficult for the Spaniards to stop them this time. They will surely try with a bit harsher defensive approach that should result in quite a big number of fouls.
Faster ball transition is what the Reds are counting at, and it’s something that the hosts can’t actually cope with, probably resulting in more yellow cards than what the current line stands – trying to remain competitive in this affair overall.
AC Milan vs Torino
|Match date: 17.02.2020 | 20:45| Italy Serie A|
Milan looked really well in the first part of the local derby game away to Inter and even had the double lead thanks to goals from Rebic and Ibrahimovic late in the first halftime.
However, as soon as they conceded the first goal early in the second halftime, it’s like their entire game plan collapsed. Within three minutes they were leveled up, while the team didn’t exist much in an offensive way till the end of the clash suffering quite deserving 4:3 loss in the end.
This defeat broke their run of five consecutive undefeated matches back then, as the team now remains three points behind Europa League placed Verona.
Last Thursday night, they gave out a really good fight at home against Juventus in the first leg of the Italian Coppa semi-finals match, ending the game with a 1:1 result. They had more of the ball possession, but looked really well in the transition and got the lead via Rebic in the 61st minute, but stood to play with a man less ten minuted later.
Finally, Ronaldo leveled up from the penalty kick in the added time, a bit maybe undeservedly since Milan probably deserved two goals in this match out of the chances they created.
Torino suffered yet another defeat last time out, back then it was a 1:3 home loss to Sampdoria last Saturday evening.
However, it was they who took the lead in the 55th minute via Verdi, but were unable to hold onto it, as their guests completely changed the momentum with three goals inside nine minutes (twice via Ramirez and a penalty kick by Quagliarella) from 70th to 79th minute.
With this loss Torino continued the very ugly streak, as they have no four consecutive defeats in Serie A. Such a run kept them completely away from the battle for European positions, while the biggest worry is seventeen goals conceded during these four rounds.
Torino seems as vulnerable as possible at the moment and with Milan definitely gaining more stable momentum against mediocre teams, everything except a home victory with more than a couple of goals scored in Torino’s net will be a surprise.
Individual quality difference in the offense should prevail here, probably easier than what the odds suggest.
Monaco vs Montpellier
|Match date: 14.02.2020 | 20:45| France Ligue 1|
After a narrow home victory over Angers, players of Monaco managed to get an important three-pointer away to Amiens last time out in a 1:2 victory. They conceded a goal early but fought till the end trying to get back into the match.
Their opponents were limited to a very defensive role from the moment they have scored, with the guests managing to score two in the last ten minutes of the game, via Ben Yedder and Slimani.
Monaco is still suffering from a very ugly start of the season they had, but have improved in previous months and are now only five points behind the Europa League placed Lille, with every chance to maybe seal the Champions League exit – in case of stable, good performances that they need.
Montpellier was set as a favorite against St Etienne and even have taken the lead via Delort in the middle of the first halftime, however, stood with a man less since 41st minute when Sambia got red-carded. The visitors were the only ones to be blamed for the negative result, being unable to create more meaningful chances.
This time the side escaped with a three-pointer, standing at the fifth position with three points less than fourth-placed Lille. Away from home, they have just one victory out of eleven rounds and this match remains as difficult as possible.
Very little separate these two teams for now in the season, but Montpellier is really too passive away from home for the standards of Monaco’s home appearances.
It’s only logical for Monaco to continue in a positive way, while Montpellier would stay behind the ball and try to defend against weaker teams than what Monaco seems to be at the moment. Go for Monaco win.
Heerenveen SC vs Feyenoord
|Match date: 13.02.2020 | 20:45| Netherlands Cup|
Even if their defeats away to Feyenoord and against AZ Alkmaar were expected at the re-start of Eredivisie, players of Heerenveen didn’t show much in their next two matches either. It was a loss away to Sittard and a 1:1 game against Venlo last time out.
This time they completely deserved the victory, however, efficiency was nowhere close to the standards of Eredivisie. They simply missed too much, even if the result alone, could have been a big margin victory on some other day. They now remain five points behind the playoff zone and it’s difficult to imagine them missing again that much soon.
Feyenoord is looking really fine during the season, especially since the rest of the season as they have three consecutive victories in Eredivisie, scoring three goals in each match. Their victory over Emmen was especially effective and authoritative last weekend when the team looking too dangerous with the ball in their possession.
They are now on a run of five victories in a row in Eredivisie and are looking like a real third force of Dutch football this season – still, seven points behind Champions League placed AZ Alkmaar. Despite good momentum in Eredivisie, no doubt that Cup game remains of huge importance to them as well.
This is one of the rare chances for Heerenveen to improve their atmosphere and bring some joy to their fans – also to fight for the European exit. Even so, it’s the guests who remain a firm favorite to get the progress here, being even more effective and reliable in the attack.
On the other side, neither of them looks that impressive at the back and knowing it’s a Cup game, the defensive approach is very unlikely from the first minute.
Livingston vs St Mirren
|Match date: 12.02.2020 | 20:45| Scotland Premiership|
After a run of three consecutive victories in Premiership, players of Livingston suffered a 2:0 loss away to Ross County last time out in the domestic league. The side simply entered the match in the worst possible way, conceding a goal already in the second minute via McKay and it was far more difficult for them from that moment on.
They tried via ball possession and had some decent phases, but overall didn’t do much on the field. Neither their opponents did, but still managed to seal the victory with another goal from McKay in the 59th minute, with the guests standing without a proper response. even though their hosts didn’t do much more, the side simply wasn’t up to the task in an offensive way this time.
Livingston remains to be at the fifth position now but surely could benefit from a victory here as they have five points more than out of playoff zone placed Kilmarnock.
Last weekend, they got excluded from the Scottish Cup in the 1/8 finals phase, away to Inverness with a narrow 1:0 loss simply failing to present themselves in a more threatening way even though the ball possession was shared equally.
St Mirren was set as quite a favorite in their 1:1 home clash against Hamilton last time out in Premiership. However, it was their guests who took the lead via Templeton in the 25th minute and made the game as difficult as possible for the home side.
They needed a lot of time to get back into the match and it was mostly via clueless ball possession, but even so, found a way to respond in the 73rd minute thanks to a goal from Durmus. The guests were closer to score the second goal, however, missed a penalty kick a few minutes later.
This was the third consecutive draw in Premiership for St Mirren, but can’t be regarded as a positive outcome since they stand with no victory in the last four Premiership clashes. They are just four points above the rock-bottom placed Hearts and are the worst travelers in the league, making this match as difficult as possible for them.
St Mirren had a 1:1 game against Motherwell last Saturday afternoon in the Scottish Cup game at home and will need to play the reply game next week.
Livingston should respond in this one and I have no doubts that everyone around the club is fired up to do so.
After all, St Mirren really does look pretty harmless away from home and doesn’t have that quality in attack to really jeopardize the sides of Livingston’s quality. Hosts should prevail probably with a clean sheet.
Sparta Rotterdam vs ADO Den Haag
|Match date: 11.02.2020 | 20:45| Netherlands Eredivisie|
Sparta Rotterdam looked pretty fine in the previous Eredivisie match ten days ago, when the team still suffered 2:0 defeat away to Twente. They even threatened better in the first halftime, but couldn’t keep up the same level till the end.
It was the hosts who had more of the ball possession towards the end, feeling like they can put pressure on the opponents and get the winning goal. Finally, it was in the last fifteen minutes when the visitors collapsed, firstly conceding a goal via Bijen in the 80th minute, while Lang sealed their victory in the last minutes.
In between, the guests stood to play with a man less and didn’t have a real way of replying. This was the third consecutive game with no victory for them, as they remain in the middle of the table with three points more than playout placed Venlo and a victory here is their priority for sure.
Den Haag was set as an underdog in front of their own fans against Vitesse last time out also ten days ago, but they managed to walk away with a goalless game and one point in their hands.
At first, the game wasn’t that interesting with the guests having more of the ball possession, but without concrete chances. However, the home team looked way more fluid with the ball to their feet from the second halftime on, missing some really good chances, including a penalty kick missed by Necid.
It was Vitesse that remained with more ball possession, but in a completely uncreative way on contrary to their hosts.
Den Haag didn’t improve that much under Pardew for now, but some signs of better performances are there. Sparta remains a favorite, however, with Den Haag still being in a difficult situation, I expect the guests to try to attack as well.
Both teams scoring here doesn’t seem to be much of a task with the way they play and with the overall quality of their defensive lineups.
Salernitana vs Trapani
|Match date: 10.02.2020 | 21:00| Italy Serie B|
Salernitana continued their positive streak with a point taken away to Benevento last weekend. The even had the lead thanks to a goal from Djuric in the 53rd minute but weren’t able to keep up with the opponent till the end.
They have conceded a goal sixteen minutes later, in an overall not that interesting match with very little real offensive phases. Overall, it was a decently fair outcome for the teams, as neither of them really looked fired up to attack – still, it should be said that the hosts were a bit more agile side.
It makes this result a positive one without any doubt for Salernitana against the first and most serious candidate for the Serie B title. After two victories in a row, Salernitana is undefeated in the last three and surely aims to continue in a positive way here.
Trapani got completely outplayed in a 0:3 loss at home against Cittadella last Saturday afternoon. They conceded the first goal in the 25th minute via Proia, maybe even against the flow of the game but they looked way better in the second halftime.
For all that time, the hosts didn’t manage to make many concrete things on the field, while Trapani looked far more concrete and decisive in the transition. Diaw scored in the 54th minute, with the guests remaining more dangerous and sealing the victory thanks to a goal from Pavan in the 87th minute.
After this defeat, they remain second from the bottom having five points more than rock-bottom placed Livorno and continue to be four points behind play-out placed Cremonese. Away from home, they have earned just nine points out of eleven matches making this game as difficult and challenging as possible.
After victories over Pescara and Cosenza, Salernitana took an important point away to Benevento and remains quite a strong favorite in this one. The hosts are looking more creative in the attack and more responsible at the back than Trapani.
With the help of their own fans, they should record a victory here easier than what the odds suggest.
Roma vs Bologna
|Match date: 07.02.2020 | 20:45| Italy Serie A|
Roma comes from quite a disastrous game on the road to Sassuolo last Saturday evening, as they completely collapsed in a 4:2 defeat showing great defensive vulnerabilities.
The hosts appeared in a great combative mode, scoring three goals inside the first thirty minutes (two via Caputo and one from Djuricic), even though the guests had more of the ball possession.
They tried in the second halftime also and had more of the ball possession and chances created too – but only managed to reduce the deficit a little and make the game more interesting for a while.
It happened thanks to goals from Dzeko and a penalty kick converted by Veretout. In the next minute, they conceded another goal for the complete let down of their hopes.
Roma is now having three defeats in the last five Serie A rounds, and are now tied up with fourth-placed Atalanta. With a very unreliable form, they didn’t deserve much more for now and will need to improve if they are to challenge for Champions League tickets.
Bologna was set as a favorite in their home clash against Brescia last Saturday afternoon and they managed to get the much needed three points in a difficult 2:1 way in the end.
They were set as a favorite but needed to go the difficult way to get it. The guests took the lead via a penalty kick in the 36th, but Orsolini leveled up just before the halftime whistle.
It was mostly all about Bologna, as the hosts had much more of the ball possession and initiative finally managing to break the opponents in the 89th minute of the clash – thanks to a goal from Bani.
This time it was fully deserved Bologna’s victory as the guests showed actually very little in the attack overall.
They are now at the eleventh position and have every reason to feel satisfied for now being just two points behind Europa League placed Cagliari.
Roma is a favorite in this one, no question about it – however, Bologna remains as dangerous as possible when playing away from home.
Their already known fastball transition and counter-attacks are the biggest weapons here and it’s not something Roma is immune in recent weeks.
Antalyaspor vs Sivasspor
|Match date: 06.02.2020 | 18:30 | Turkey Cup|
Antalyaspor made a slight setback in their home goalless game against Konyaspor last Saturday afternoon. It was an important three-pointer game against relegation strugglers also, but the team failed to get a more positive outcome.
The game itself wasn’t a very interesting one, with the guests actually being the ones to create more and had more of the initiative. Overall, despite being a bit better, neither they risked a lot in order to get more positive results towards the end of the game.
After this match, Antalya remains with two matches with no loss (a previous win against Denizlispor), as they stand two points above the red zone placed Kasimpasa for the moment.
Sivasspor suffered really huge defeat in a 5:1 loss away to Gaziantep last Sunday afternoon. They were logical favorites before the start of the game, but it wasn’t how the game developed at all.
A lot of defensive mistakes and gaps were seen from them, as Gaziantep took the lead already in the fourth minute, with the guests only temporarily leveling up via Arslan in the 31st minute, but have conceded twice more till the end of the first halftime.
They got completely outplayed in the first halftime, but they did react better in the second. A lot more of the ball possession went in their favor, while the team actually missed chance after chance – not making the difference on the scoreline. Instead of it, it was they who conceded twice more in the last fifteen minutes.
After this defeat, they are still at the first position at the table with two points more than second-placed Basakshier. No doubt that the attention remains with the Super Lig, but the target is to go as further as possible in the Cup as well.
No doubt that the players of Antalyaspor know that their biggest weapon remains with the home ground and that they can’t afford to make a setback here. Sivasspor is in a run of three games with no win combined with Cup and doesn’t inspire with the best possible morale.
It’s the hosts who should approach the game a bit more attacking and the guests with their worries in a league as well, would probably feel more than content with a draw game as well.
Mirandes vs Villarreal
|Match date: 05.02.2020 | 21:00 | Spain Copa Del Rey|
Mirandes defeated all the odds to celebrate progress in the previous Copa del Rey round, just a few days ago when they managed to exclude Sevilla in a 3:1 victory at home.
They made a strong start with a great atmosphere, taking the lead in the seventh minute via Aias already, while the same player doubled up their lead in the 30th minute.
It was the guests who had much more of the ball possession, but Mirandes threatened better, especially in the first halftime. They remained very concrete with the ball to their feet and with fastball transition, missing a penalty early in the second, while both nets scored a goal each in the last ten minutes of the game.
As for LaLiga 2, the team took a home point against Vallecano last Sunday night in a goalless game, probably not being able to answer properly in such a demanding and busy schedule. They are however now undefeated in ten official matches, counting six LaLiga 2 matches.
Villarreal is also in a very good form recently, counting four straight victories in the last twelve days.
They easily progressed over Girona and Vallecano in the Copa del Rey matches away from home, but also celebrated three-pointers away to Alaves and most recently, at home against Osasuna 3:1.
This time they simply appeared far more concrete than the opponents, creating enough to get those goals, while Osasuna themselves created too – however without the same effect. They now have five victories in the last six LaLiga rounds and are currently just two points behind the Europa League placed Atletico Madrid.
Mirandes is now in a really good form regarding both competitions they are playing. Their matches against Celta and Sevilla are almost historic ones and the team is surely coming into this one with morale boosted.
Villarreal is logically a strong favorite now, but I definitely see the hosts appearing in a very positive performance once again. Over 2.5 goals seem like a very likely outcome considering what we’ve seen from both teams so far in the competition.
Werder Bremen vs Borussia Dortmund
|Match date: 04.02.2020 | 20:45| Germany DFB Pokal|
After their victory away to Dusseldorf, players of Werder didn’t show much in their next two games after the re-start of the Bundesliga. Firstly, it was a 0:3 home loss to Hoffenheim where they got simply outplayed, but then it was a 2:1 loss on the road to Augsburg last Saturday afternoon.
Even that game didn’t start so bad since it was Bremen who took the lead via an own goal from Jedvaj in the 23rd minute and they looked quite fine in the first halftime. Little by little, they were opting for a bit more cautious approach and finally paid the price for it.
The guests reverted the scoreline in the last twenty-five minutes but didn’t look like a side who completely outplayed the opponents. Simply, the visitors were the ones to blame, for not taking a more active approach throughout the game.
Werder needs to find a way to respond soon in Bundesliga, as they have only one victory in the last seven rounds and are again at the play-out position with seventeen points earned. Luckily for them, it’s just a pointless than safely placed Mainz but also just two more than rock bottom-placed Paderborn.
Dortmund responded with another impressive home performance last time out in Bundesliga, on Saturday afternoon when they outplayed Union Berlin with a 5:0 result.
It was their third consecutive victory since the re-start of Bundesliga and at the same time, the third consecutive game where they scored five goals. Now it’s obvious that they got the right momentum, simply looking like a side that can outscore most of their opponents simply by the great attacking potential that they have.
They are now on a run of three Bundesliga victories, climbing up at the third position for the moment and with three points less than the leaders from Bayern Munich.
Knowing how both teams play, it’s difficult to see anything but goals in this one – especially since it’s a Cup game. Dortmund is all about effectivity and attacking in recent weeks and this game should be no different.
It’s something that will make the players from Bremen take more open style and risk more due to the nature of the competition. Still, away victory shouldn’t be questionable either since Werder definitely doesn’t stand out as a defensively reliable team this season.
AZ Alkmaar vs Waalwijk
|Match date: 31.01.2020 | 20:00| Netherlands Eredivisie|
After a surprising and completely unexpected loss at home against Willem II, players of AZ Alkmaar responded with far better performances in the next two competitive matches. Firstly it was a victory in the Cup competition away to Oss during the midweek, but also a 1:2 victory on the road to Heerenveen last Saturday evening.
This time the visitors from Alkmaar appeared in a completely authoritative mood on the field, taking the lead via a goal from de Wit in the 35th minute completely deservedly. Even though the hosts reacted and leveled up the result in the middle of the second, they responded within three minutes re-gaining the lead via a goal from Boadu.
Overall, they looked very concrete with the chances created and actually should have scored more. It was the home side that exploited one of their rare chances created.
This was a great response for AZ since they reacted with a victory after two back to back defeats in Eredivisie.
Combined with a setback from Ajax, this is now a must-win situation for the hosts as they stand just three points behind the leaders from Ajax.
Waalwijk suffered yet another defeat last Saturday evening at home going down to Venlo in a 1:2 loss. They were actually the first who scored a goal, back in the 15th minute thanks to Hansson and had the lead all the way till the last fifteen minutes of the match.
They are completely the only ones to be blamed for such a result since the team looked less and less interested to attack as the time passed by.
Even so, they were the ones who had more of the ball possession but allowed themselves something that can not happen in professional football – that the opponents show bigger desire towards the end.
Once they got reverted in the scoreline within six minutes, RKC completely lost the momentum and weren’t able to respond back properly.
This was their fourth defeat in the last five Eredivisie rounds, and are still stuck at the last bottom position at the table. That’s seven points behind playout placed Zwolle and without a proper plan on how to get out of the red zone.
After getting back to positive ways in Heerenveen, this match now should be all about AZ considering all the facts. They even have a chance to get involved in the title race, while RKC doesn’t remind of an opponent being able to really fought into this one.
Anything but a commanding role of the home team and their convincing victory will be a surprise, even though the line offered may look too big to many of bettors.
Mirandes vs Sevilla
|Match date: 30.01.2020 | 21:00| Spain Copa Del Rey|
Mirandes is really enjoying last month and a half of the competitive football, as they have no defeat in the last eight official matches – five in LaLiga2 and three matches progressed in the Copa del Rey competition. Last time out in LaLiga, Los Rojillos took a point in a 2:2 match against Malaga away from home.
They were twice back in the scoreline but managed to fight back via goals from Marcos Andre and Merquelanz (from the penalty kick) leaving no time for the hosts to respond back.
The game was fairly open and balanced too, ending with a fair outcome after all. The Reds are now at the tenth position with two points less than the playoff placed teams and surely remain very interested in the LaLiga competition as well.
Since it’s already the last sixteen phase of the Cup, the hosts should also be very motivated trying to pull out a surprise. They have generally very little to lose here and despite a lot of difference between the two clubs, they can only gain here – even if it’s just experience.
Goals from de Jong and Nolito in the first halftime were enough to see Sevilla winning at home against Granada FC last Saturday evening. They were simply a better opponent, upping the tempo right from the start of the game and limiting the opponents to actually nothing in the first halftime. As time progressed, they lowered down the tempo.
Granada had some decent phases in the second, but far from being actually able to get back into the match. It was the best possible way for Sevilla to get back to positive ways after their defeat away to Real Madrid. They are now in the third position but with just four points more than the teams which stand outside of the European zone.
No doubt that the Cup competition remains a great challenge for Sevilla, as the competition itself represents one of the ways for their players to bring some joy to their fans this season, as they already stand with eight points less than leaders from Real in LaLiga and it’s difficult to see them more competitive in the battle for the first two positions.
Even if Sevilla rotates their squad a bit for this one, the guests still remain more than a strong favorite to claim a victory in this one. They are actually playing very well on the road, probably benefiting a bit from the lack of pressure too.
Creativity isn’t their problem away from home, while Mirandes really shouldn’t be able to test them at the back so much. Even though being decent hosts themselves in the second tier of Spanish football, there’s still too big individual quality difference.
Inter vs Fiorentina
|Match date: 29.01.2020 | 20:45| Coppa Italia|
We may speak about some downtrend in their form since Inter comes from their third straight draw match in Serie A. Firstly it was at home against Atalanta, but also on the road to Lecce.
Last time out, when everyone expected their proper response, they only took a point in a home clash against Cagliari. However, it wasn’t how the game started, as they took the lead in the 29th minute via Martinez and generally, despite lack of the ball possession looked more concrete in the attack.
Still, it wasn’t what was expected from Inter after all. They looked way too uninterested into the game in the second halftime and it was Cagliari that had more of the possession, also risking more which paid off to them in the 78th minute when Nainggolan scored the equalizer.
There was quite a little time left for Inter to react, having more of a nervous play that didn’t lead to the desired results on the field. After three consecutive draw matches, they are a bit lucky to still have just three points less than the leaders from Juventus.
For sure that their concentration remains within Serie A, but the club also aims to bring some joy to their fans in the Coppa Italia competition and are fully motivated now so late in the competition.
Fiorentina can’t get stable and positive results in a consecutive way and that’s what makes their season even worse for now, apart from a very poor first period of it.
After two consecutive victories in Serie A, against Spal and Napoli, players of Viola were set as a big favorite against Genoa last Saturday evening but didn’t manage to get the real commanding role in a goalless game.
It was more open game than what the final result says, with Genoa being really active on the field and not an underdog at all. The guests looked better in the first halftime, developing far more concrete chances, including a penalty missed early into the game.
Viola responded in the second halftime in an overall even more open clash, but only the goals were missing even though it was the guests who had more of the ball possession.
After this setback, they do remain in a run of four matches with no defeat, but only at the thirteenth position with six points less than the Europa League zone.
Inter did make a couple of setback results in recent Serie A rounds, however, they also responded well in the Cup competition against Cagliari. I expect them again to be fully motivated in this match as well, while Viola doesn’t seem that consistent in order to remain too competitive this time.
Once the game gets going, it should be the guests who will be pressed to risk more and remain with defensive gaps more often.
Arminia Bielefeld vs Bochum
|Match date: 28.01.2020 | 18:30| Germany 2 Bundesliga|
Arminia looked really fine during the first part of the season, especially surprising on the road where they looked like a side above real 2. Bundesliga quality. The team ended up the first part of the season in the first position, with four points more than fourth-placed Heidenheim and couldn’t expect much more.
For sure that their ambitions are higher now, however, they still have plenty of work to do and are nowhere safe in the promotional race. It seems that the break came in the right momentum, as the team was winless in the last three matches, coming from a 3:0 loss on the road to St Pauli which was only their second loss.
Even so, they weren’t outplayed in that match, actually having more of the ball possession and chances created, however things sometimes simply don’t work in a proper way. A similar thing can be said for the previous two draw matches, as they looked just fine on the field and control the ball much more than their opponents, but the results weren’t correct ones for them at that time.
They had a goalless game against Ferencvarosi during the preparation period, as well as 4:3 victory over St Pauli.
Bochum struggled during the whole first part of the season, barely managing to avoid the last three positions before the international break. The team has just a point more than playout placed Nurnberg and for sure that the second part of the season won’t become any easier for them.
They looked like a pretty effective team overall but also conceded quite a lot for the standards of 2. Bundesliga. Away from home, they showed almost nothing impressive, counting just one victory in eight rounds.
Moreover, they have suffered five defeats and this game remains as challenging as possible for them. During the preparation phase, they won over MOL Fehervar and Uerdingen, having a draw against Dinamo Bucuresti as well.
Bielefeld looked really great in their away games so far in the season and with the right approach, it’s only a matter of time when they start getting the right results in consecutive ways at home too.
They looked pretty effective in the last test game against St Pauli and in case the team reminds of the one in the first part of the season, they should get the victory easier than what the odds suggest.
Perugia vs Livorno
|Match date: 27.01.2020 | 20:00| Italy Serie B|
Perugia couldn’t hold Chievo till the end of the match last time out, suffering a 2:0 defeat in the end. However, it needs to be said that they looked pretty fine for most of the clash, not allowing the home team to develop their own game style.
Still, towards the end, it was Chievo who risked more and it paid off to them with two goals inside the last seven minutes of the game.
The team now has two consecutive defeats in a row in Serie B, surely wanting to improve the momentum now. They are just two points behind playoff placed Pescara and surely can’t afford to drop points here against the worse travelers.
Livorno comes from one of most interesting matches so far in the season, as the team took a point in a 4:4 home match against Entella last weekend. However, it’s far from a positive result for them, as the home side had the three-goal lead after forty-two minutes of play, plus they were leading till the very last moment.
Overall, it was a very open game and the result itself could have been very different on some other day, in a match where both teams actually wanted the victory till the very end but also showed huge defensive gaps.
Livorno remained with their winless run, continuing to be the very last at the table with already ten points less than playout placed Cremonese and generally with quite uncertain future.
Perugia is not in the best possible momentum, but Livorno is definitely even worse. The guests have no real passion nor influence when playing away from home, so this match remains a huge test for them.
Perugia did show far more during the season and shouldn’t be able to outplay the opponent’s easy or difficult way. Both teams miss some important players, but even that way, it’s the guests who miss more.
FC Utrecht vs ADO Den Haag
|Match date: 24.01.2020 | 20:00| Netherlands Eredivisie|
Utrecht comes from one of their most interesting matches this season, as the team took a point in a 3:3 game away to Zwolle last Friday night.
In a fairly open game, it was almost unpredictable to understand which of the teams will end up with point(s), so a draw does stand out as a fair outcome with everything we’ve seen.
However, it was the home team that reached the equalizer in the 89th minute, so no doubt that everyone around Utrecht will be wondering if they could hold up the lead till the end.
Anyhow, a victory now remains the only target for them against struggling but improved Den Haag since they currently sit at the seventh position.
That would be just two points above out of play-off zone placed Heerenveen, but also just six points below the third-placed Willem II.
Den Haag reacted properly and just the way that was expected in their 2:0 home victory over Waalwijk. With the new coach Pardew, some better ball movement and atmosphere were already have seen during the two friendly matches they played, while the side continued in the same way last weekend too.
They didn’t have, neither need a lot of ball possession to show their creativity and efficiency, taking the lead in the 32nd minute via Pinas.
The team stood satisfied with the result and had even less ball possession in the continuation, but exploited the fact that they were playing with a man more in the last fifteen minutes to seal the victory with a goal from Meijers.
The side is now at the playout position with just a point less than safely placed Zwolle and we should expect their further rise on the table as the season progresses.
Utrecht is a huge favorite in this match and should get the victory, however with Den Haag coming in a good atmosphere here and with the morale-boosting result, the guests can easily turn out to be as threatening as possible.
They already did it last weekend with a little amount of ball possession. Utrecht to prevail in the end most likely, but with goals in each net definitely does stand out as a likely and valuable choice in my eyes.
Mirandes vs Celta
|Match date: 23.01.2020 | 19:00| Spain Copa Del Rey|
Mirandes comes from a very interesting match in a 3:3 game away to Cadiz last Wednesday night. They were set as quite an underdog, but the team appeared with a great fighting spirit and never gave up overall.
They were back in the scoreline towards the end of the first halftime but managed to reply within minutes out of a rare chance they had.
The team went down in the scoreline at the very start of the second, trying to get back into the match but conceding another in the 90th minute. However, the didn’t give up and managed to miraculously take a point with two very late goals – via Guridi in the fifth minute of added time and Onaindia two minutes later.
Overall, it was a point luckily taken, however, the team more than deserved it this time. The team is now undefeated in the last four rounds, being just three points behind the playoff positions.
Celta managed to make a pretty fine surprise in a 1:1 game on the road to Bilbao last Sunday afternoon. They took the lead first, in the 56th minute via Rafinha, despite the flow of the match.
It was actually Bilbao who was showing more, trying to attack but failing since they lost the momentum and the circumstances didn’t go into their favor. Still, the hosts leveled up from a penalty kick in the 76th minute converted by Garcia, trying for more but without succeeding.
No doubt that everyone in Celta will be happy with a point since the game could have ended way differently on some other day for them. Celta remains inside the relegation zone now, having just two points less than the safe zone placed Mallorca.
Mirandes looks very effective and the defense is where their problems remain. Offensive potential is almost always seen in home matches and I expect more of the same from them again.
Celta is a favorite, but their reliability at the back and on the road is highly questionable. An open affair is quite likely considering it’s a Cup match where the guests do remain far stronger, but highly unreliable at the back.
Girona vs Villarreal
|Match date: 22.01.2020 | 21:00| Spain Copa Del Rey|
No doubt that the ambitions of Girona were to bounce back to LaLiga straight away, but the season isn’t going in the best possible direction for them til now.
There is plenty of individual quality, but they fail to get positive results in consecutive matches. After a good performance at home and a win against Extramadura UD, they failed to present themselves better in a 1:0 loss away to Tenerife last Sunday.
Even though they stood early back in the scoreline and had much more of the ball possession, they failed to respond properly later on.
Some good chances were created, a lot of passes exchanged, but nothing changed unfortunately for the visitors, despite actually being better on the field.
The team is now two points behind the playoff positions and with the individual quality they have, their further involvement in the playoff race is expected.
Villarreal suffered a 1:2 home loss to Espanyol last weekend, even though the team was set as a huge favorite after a run of positive results.
However, their guests have surprised them with a goal in the fifth minute already via Lopez, completely reverting the circumstances into their own favor.
It was much easier for Espanyol to play since then, jeopardizing the opponents via counters, while Villarreal struggled to create something more concrete despite the ball possession.
They, however, couldn’t have entered the second halftime in a worse manner, conceding a goal again. Even though the guests played with a man less in the last thirty, all the players of Villarreal could do was to reduce the deficit via penalty kick converted by Cazorla, even though few great chances were created till the end.
The side is now three points behind the European zone and surely won’t give up on that race that easily.
Villarreal is a slight favorite here, however with the way Girona plays in front of its own fans, I expect highly competitive and an open game – since it’s a Cup competition.
Both teams scoring seems like more than likely outcome between the sides that don’t seem that reliable at the back, unlike their offensive potential is.
Aston Villa vs Watford
|Match date: 21.01.2020 | 20:30| England Premier League|
Aston Villa took a point in a 1:1 match away to Brighton last Saturday afternoon, a result that can be considered as a positive outcome.
It’s not a point that they needed since the team is in a relegation fight, but considering the quality and form of both teams, nobody will be disappointed with such an outcome.
They stood behind in the scoreline towards the end of the first halftime, while it was the hosts who also controlled the second. At least via ball possession, while the Villans were getting more and more active on the field.
They reached the equalizer in the 75th via Grealish, as the home team lost the momentum and didn’t manage to threaten much till the end, despite trying.
The Villans are now on the eighteenth position, with a point less than safe placed Watford and that’s what makes this match so interesting.
After three consecutive victories in the Premier League and a huge improvement in the form, players of Watford were really tested last Saturday afternoon in their home clash against Tottenham.
Still, the team managed to defend themselves and even having some fine moments including even a penalty missed in a goalless game.
It was the Spurs who had more of the ball possession but weren’t as threatening as usually especially not into the second halftime.
The home side responded in a great combative way in the second, surely feeling disappointed that Deeney missed the penalty kick twenty minutes before the end. The side now has a run of seven undefeated matches combined with FA Cup, counting four victories in the last six Premiership rounds.
This game comes as a real relegation six-pointer game, however, I can’t neglect the fact that it’s Watford who is showing far more in their recent matches. The team seems simply far better and improved under Pearson and if anything, shouldn’t lose here.
Frosinone vs Pordenone
|Match date: 17.01.2020 | 21:00| Italy Serie B|
After two back to back defeats, players of Frosinone managed to take a point in a goalless game away to Pisa.
It’s far away from a satisfying result since they were set as a strong favorite but simply couldn’t find a way to break the opponents’ defense.
They were also more agile, have created more but further effectivity was needed back then. We can’t speak actually about a real decline in form since the team played decently well in previous two matches too and it’s just a matter of time when things start working again.
The team is now at the seventh position and really can’t afford to drop points in this one, already being just a point above the out of playoff zone placed teams.
Pordenone once again did really well in home clashes, coming from a 1:0 narrow victory over Cremonese last time out.
They simply did what was needed, entered the match in a really good tempo and got the lead already in the tenth minute thanks to a goal from Ciurria. Other than that, they didn’t create much and actually have left the ball possession to their opponents.
It was Cremonese who created more till the end of the clash, but somewhat Pordenone wasn’t tested that greatly at the back.
Thanks to this victory, the team kept the second position now having three points more than third-placed Crotone and are with four victories in the last five rounds.
Frosinone surely aims to get the victory in this one, but Pordenone is threatening a lot in their away matches too. Both teams to concede is my call here, since even though Pordenone isn’t always getting the right scores on the road, it’s almost always not due to their offensive approach.
Pau vs Bordeaux
|Match date: 16.01.2020 | 20:55| French League Cup|
Pau comes from a 1:1 home match in the National League, even though the side was set as a slight favorite.
They even had the lead via Name in the 45th minute, but the visitors leveled up in the middle of the second without either of the teams risking a lot towards the end.
It was their third game without a victory in National, as the team dropped down from the first position to the fourth at the moment.
They are still just two points behind the league leaders from Dunkerque and will surely revert their attention to this competition since they remain very competitive.
Bordeaux was set as an underdog at their own home against Lyon and the side failed to resist in a better way suffering a 1:2 defeat.
They took the lead first back in the 15th minute via Briand but somewhat remained with a passive role being satisfied with the result.
It was Lyon who controlled the ball better and created more, getting the victory deservedly, in the end, thanks to quick goals at the start of the second halftime via Cornet and Dembele.
The team is now on an ugly run of four defeats but it has to be said that they didn’t have a naive schedule at all and need to react in this one, mostly in order to improve the atmosphere at least a little bit.
Pau, logically had a pretty easy draw in the Coupe de France, but this is where the path should stop for them. The side has decent momentum, but individual quality difference and experience of Bordeaux should prevail here.
Even if the rotate the squad a bit which is logical, I still expect the visitors to prevail in style being in a pretty decent offensive momentum.
Manchester United vs Wolves
|Match date: 15.01.2020 | 20:45| England FA Cup|
Manchester United had no real problems winning over Norwich at home last Saturday afternoon with a 4:0 result.
Overall, it was almost all about them, as the side once again showed great confidence when playing in front of their own fans.
Only once they had the three goals lead after the first fifty-five minutes, they lowered down the tempo and allowed some offensive phases from the guests too, however once again scored in the last phase to seal their victory.
They now have three victories in the last four Premiership rounds, still not looking completely reliable but also still at the fifth position with five points less than Chelsea. Their full motivation is expected here, in order to keep trying to bring some joy to their fans at the end of the season.
Wolves made a setback last time out since the team took just a point in a 1:1 game at home against Newcastle.
They stood behind in the scoreline in the seventh minute with a goal from Almiron, however, Dendoncker scored the equalizer seven minutes later.
Almost the whole rest of the match ended as close to a one-sided game, but the players of Wolves simply failed to find a way and broke the visitors’ defense again.
The team is now with no victory in the last three Premiership matches, a bit more difficult schedule too, but they keep being quite high at the table – currently at the seventh position with just three points less than fifth-placed Manchester United.
Manchester United now comes into this match with far bigger chances, however, the guests are looking in recent away matches as effective as possible especially being threatening via counters. United should come up a bit stronger than in the previous game and it should open up the game entirely.
Burton Albion vs Milton Keynes Dons
|Match date: 14.01.2020 | 20:45| England League One|
Burton comes from a narrow home victory against Fleetwood last Saturday evening, thanks to a goal from Edwards in the 89th minute.
The game itself was quite a balanced one, however, it was the home team that was willing to risk slightly more in the last phase of the game and were awarded for it.
The team is now in the first half of the table, but actually just two points behind the playoff zone and have a perfect chance to reach the sixth position in case of a victory here.
MK Dones took a point in their away match against Coventry in a 1:1 game. They stood behind in the scoreline already in the first minute and everything was pointing out that the home team will clinch the victory.
However, a little bit less reliable approach and lack of concentration cost them too much towards the end. It was Morris who leveled up the result in the 75th minute leaving no time for the home team to react back again.
The team now stands three points above the relegation zone, being in a decent four matches undefeated run.
Burton is looking really improved in their recent home matches and if the team repeats anything close to similar of their recent clashes, they are strong favorites to get the three-pointer here too. MK Dons are simply not even close to a really reliable and stable team on the road.
Rennes vs Marseille
|Match date: 10.01.2020 | 20:45| France Ligue 1|
Rennes had a difficult match last time out in Ligue 1, as they welcomed Bordeaux but managed to pull out a narrow 1:0 victory in the end.
The only goal was scored back in the 82nd minute via Niang, in a game where they simply showed more.
The ball possession was somewhat shared, however it was players of Rennes who have created far better chances overall.
This was their fifth consecutive victory in Ligue 1, as the side stands at a high third position and surely aims a positive result out of this one as well.
As for the Cup competition last weekend, they didn’t have an easy task considering the phase at home against Amiens, but still progressed after penalty kicks and a goalless game for 120 minutes.
Marseille overpowered Nimes in a 3:1 victory last time out in Ligue 1 at home.
They missed many good chances in the first halftime, but the goals came in second – at the very start of it via an own goal. Soon enough Bendetto doubled up, while Payet sealed their victory with the third goal in the 81st minute.
Since they were losing for the entire half, it was actually players of Nimes who had more of the ball possession and even chances created, however only could reduce the deficit in the first minute of added time.
The team stands out as the second at the table, having no realistic chance to compete with PSG for the title, and are currently five points above Rennes with a game more played too.
Marseille had quite a difficult experience away to amateur side Trelissac in the Cup competition, only managing to progress further after penalties and a 1:1 game – playing with a man less during the entire extra-time as well.
Marseille has a very good individual quality and can not be overwritten in this one, however, they often pulled out positive outcomes in the last moment of matches and generally did maybe overperformed recently.
On the other side, Rennes, with the support of their own fans, but also maybe slightly more creative and better ball movement, does stand out as a favorite in my eyes in this one.
Leicester vs Aston Villa
|Match date: 08.01.2020 | 21:00| England EFL Cup|
Leicester didn’t have a difficult task winning over Wigan Athletic at home with a 2:0 result in the FA Cup last Saturday afternoon.
They made a concrete and solid start into the match, taking the lead via an own goal in the 19th minute and have doubled up the lead in the 40th via Barnes.
The Foxes remained to be better despite lowering down the tempo a bit, however without further scoreline change.
The side also comes from two back to back victories in Premiership away to Newcastle and West Ham. They continue to fly high in the second position and enjoy the season completely for now.
Aston Villa couldn’t progress further in the FA Cup, even though the team visited Championship side Fulham and could have done more.
In the end, they have suffered a 2:1 defeat, pretty deservedly as the Villans played very passive in the first halftime. The match became more interesting in the second, but the tempo was brought by Fulham who took the lead first.
Even though the guests leveled up in the 63rd minute via El-Ghazi, they weren’t able to cope with the hosts who simply created more and also deserved more overall.
As for the Premier League, the come from a 1:2 victory away to Burnley, in a bit surprising but deserved manner since their hosts looked terribly passive all the match.
So deep into the competition, the full competitive motive is expected from both teams. Having that in mind, anything but an easy victory for the Foxes will be a surprise.
Not only they are much better individually, but the team is playing with much bigger fluidity all season long and should control the result all the way. Since it’s a knockout phase, it’s difficult to see the Villans remaining stable at the back once they start risking more.
Bologna vs Fiorentina
|Match date: 06.01.2020 | 12:30 | Italy Serie A|
Bologna reacted in a great manner away to Lecce before the break clinching a three-pointer in a 2:3 victory.
They were in a commanding lead for almost the entire clash, surely deserving to score more than once in the first halftime.
However, they anyway had three goals lead (thanks to two goals from Orsolini and one from Soriano) all the way till the last ten minutes of the match almost paying the price dearly this time.
Lecce tried to fight back and almost managed to do it completely, in the end only reducing their loss to a one-goal deficit.
Bologna is enjoying recent weeks, counting three victories in the last four rounds, as the side currently stands at high ninth position – eight points above the relegation zone.
Fiorentina welcomed Roma last time out and got completely outplayed in a 1:4 home loss.
They weren’t that outplayed with the team being competitive in some phases as well, however, the team from Rome simply looked far more effective scoring goals earlier.
Dzeko and Kolarov brought them into the two goals lead in the 19th and 21st minutes, while Badelj reduced in the 34th minute.
Viola tried to get back into the match completely, but the visitors remained bossy on the field in the second part too, scoring twice more – via Pellegrini and Zaniolo in the last twenty minutes of the match.
With this defeat Viola remained in quite an unimpressive run now, having seven matches without a victory run and surely being as concerned as possible.
Before the start of this round, they have just three points more than relegating worried Brescia.
No doubt that Viola possesses a decent individual quality, however with the way Bologna plays, it’s difficult to see out of form visiting team walking away with something.
Great fastball transition and counter-attacks have been a trademark of Bologna this season and I expect them to continue in the same way, being a slight favorite in this one.
Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao
|Match date: 03.01.2020 | 21:00 | Spain Primera Liga|
Sevilla is pretty high at the table, at the third position just behind Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the overall impression is that the team could have played better till now.
That especially goes for their offensive part of the team within LaLiga matches. Most recently, they managed to bounce back from a home victory against Villarreal, celebrating a three-pointer on the road to Mallorca with a 2:0 result.
Diego Carlos brought the guests into the lead in the 20th minute, as Sevilla looked like a better side in both halftimes, especially in the second when the players of Mallorca looked like lacking energy to really stay competitive.
Athletic Bilbao didn’t get the victory in the most recent LaLiga match, however, nobody will be unhappy with a goalless game away to Real Madrid last time out.
Of course, the visitors from Bilbao were set to quite a passive role as Real bossed around the field but it simply wasn’t their day. Truth to be told, the home side would have probably scored on some other day and lock the narrow victory later on.
As for Bilbao the team has two consecutive draw matches, but are also without a victory in the last three rounds – being just below the European tickets at the seventh position – having four points less than Champions League placed Atletico Madrid and only two less than Europa League placed Getafe.
Sevilla is a favorite to get the three-pointer here, however with their creativity problems and actually unreliability and with defensive tightness from Bilbao, it’s very difficult to expect goals in this one.
The guests are surely gonna be satisfied with a goalless result and only an early goal can spoil quite an unattractive approach from both teams in this one.
Derby County vs Barnsley
|Match date: 02.01.2020 |20:45| England Championship|
After a run of seven matches without a victory, players of Derby managed to surprise a lot in a 2:1 home win over Charlton.
They were actually favorites before the game and have taken the lead in the tenth minute via Knight, however, once they stood playing with a man less when Bielik got red-carded in the 17th minute – nobody expected them to hold onto the lead.
They, however, remained quite threatening in the transition, with Knight scoring his second in the 77th minute. The guests had more of the ball possession, but it wasn’t as concrete as it should and only managed to reduce the deficit from the penalty kick converted later on.
The side is now nine points above the relegation zone and surely wants to build upon a positive momentum now.
At some point, chances of Barnsley to stay in the Championship were almost overwritten, however, the side improved their form and finally started playing better and getting positive results in December.
They are now on a run of five undefeated matches having a 2-3-0 record and are very close to walking away from the relegation zone. Most recently, they took a point in a goalless game away to Swansea last Sunday evening.
The game itself wasn’t very interesting, with Barnsley not showing a lot of concrete moves on the field and with the Swans definitely creating better opportunities.
In any way, the visitors were quite content with the result and didn’t struggle a lot at the back to hold onto it.
Thanks to their home ground Derby does stand out as a slight favorite in this one, however, with lack of players with defensive tasks and with Barnsley coming with an improved form, it should be a really difficult game for them.
On the other side, Barnsley certainly improved a lot and remains as competitive as possible here, but still with a quite unreliable defensive as well.
Millwall vs Luton
|Match date: 01.01.2020 |13:45| England Premier League|
Millwall was set as a slight underdog at home against Brentford last Monday afternoon and not many expected them to pull out something, but the team showed great fighting character.
They took the lead already in the eight-minute thanks to a goal from O’Brien, switching later on to a more passive role that paid off to them this time.
The game itself was quite passive and actually not interesting one, especially in the second halftime when the players of Brentford had more of the ball possession, but nothing more than that.
Under such circumstances, it was only natural for Millwall to approach the match a bit more passive and not to risk a lot.
They now stand just two points behind the playoff zone and surely aim to enter that race with a new three-pointer now against one of the worst travelers.
Luton got completely outplayed away from home against Bristol City on Monday, suffering a convincing 3:0 loss.
They stood behind in the scoreline already in the fourth minute, while the home side doubled up the lead just before the halftime whistle via a penalty kick.
The ball possession was actually somewhat shared, but there is no doubt that it was the home team that has created far more dangerous situations and actually probably deserved to score a couple of goals more.
Luton now has no victory in the last five rounds, getting only one point in these five. The side is inside the red zone, having just a point more than rock bottom placed Wigan but also a point less than safely placed Stoke.
The individual quality difference exists here and is sure of the home team. The players from Millwall are playing really good now and are looking much more confident on the field.
It’s something that Luton surely misses, especially when playing away from home. This really shouldn’t be the game to seek points for the visiting team with everything that they have shown so far on the road.
Wolverhampton vs Manchester City
|Match date: 27.12.2019 |20:45| England Premier League|
Wolves continued with their good form away to Norwich last Saturday evening when the team walked away with a three-pointer following a 1:2 victory.
The Canaries took the lead via Cantwell in the 17th minute, in a very passive first halftime for the visiting team. However, they showed more concrete moves in the second, gaining the lead via Saiss and Jimenez.
It must be said, that the game could have ended differently if the hosts exploited their chances better in the first halftime.
Even though the Wolves suffered defeat last time out in front of their own fans against Tottenham, we can’t speak about the drop in their form as the side broke a run of eleven matches with no loss.
The side is now just below the European positions and needs to get something out of this one to remain competitive for the European exit.
Manchester City didn’t have that easy task last time out at home against Leicester, but still, the team delivered what was expected in a 3:1 victory in the end.
They, however, stood back in the scoreline as Vardy brought the Foxes into the lead in the 22nd minute, but quickly the guests found out that they actually can’t cope with the Citizens’ attack.
Mahrez leveled up in the 30th, while Gundogan reverted with a goal from the penalty kick in the 43rd minute. Gabriel Jesus sealed the win in the 69th minute, in a second part where the Citizens limited the guests to almost nothing in the attack.
Title race seems somewhat lost for them, however, the second position remains a target so a victory is needed in this one.
As already said, Wolves are in a really good form now and we should expect as competitive as possible match out of these two sides now.
The Citizens are favorites to get the victory, no question about that, but the home side inspires with confidence as well. The guests aren’t as firm and reliable as in some previous seasons. This option seems like more than a solid option this time.
Brentford vs Swansea
|Match date: 26.12.2019 |16:00| England Championship|
After two consecutive victories at home, against solid teams like Cardiff and Fulham, players of Brentford managed to get quite a surprising point in a 1:1 game away to West Brom.
They took the lead in the 43rd minute thanks to a goal from Dalasgaard but didn’t manage to keep up the momentum and got leveled up just a couple of minutes later via Furlong.
The guests had a bigger number of concrete goalscoring opportunities in the first halftime, however, it was WBA that looked way sharper in the second part and looked like they will be able to score the goal till the end.
Anyhow, there is no doubt that the result itself represents a positive outcome, as the side stands at the sixth position and has the same number of points as Swansea, making this match as important as possible.
Swansea was set as a slight favorite away to Luton last time out, managing to pull out a three-pointer thanks to a goal from Ayew in the 82nd minute.
The game itself didn’t have many concrete chances overall, but without any doubt, it was the players of Swansea who have created much more – especially in the second halftime really trying to get the victory with a bit more riskier approach towards the end.
This was their second consecutive victory for them, as the Swans share the sixth position and simply can’t afford to lose here.
No doubt that they will be hoping to maintain a decent record on the road, having just one defeat out of eleven rounds away from home till now.
Brentford comes from a morale-boosting performance away to WBA and should try to continue with good momentum.
They definitely are slight favorites in this one, however I see the Swans as threatening as possible. Lack of pressure seems to be benefiting to the guests and it should be really surprising not to see them scoring as well.
Blackburn vs Wigan
|Match date: 23.12.2019 |20:45| England Championship|
Blackburn surprised quite a lot with their performance away from home against Bristol City last Sunday afternoon taking a 2:0 victory despite being an underdog.
However, needs to be said that the circumstances went in their favor. The guests took the lead already at the start, in the second minute via Johnson.
They remained more passive on the field since then but continued to threaten very well with the fastball transition.
The second halftime looked as much more peaceful on the field, as they managed to double up the lead thanks to a goal from Armstrong in the 77th minute in the halftime where the home side did almost nothing concrete in the attack.
With this victory, the Rovers have continued a really good run of six undefeated matches, counting five victories and a draw. The side is now only three points behind the playoff zone and surely aiming to get into the top six positions as soon as possible trying to continue their good momentum.
Wigan had a chance to break the winless record last time out when the team welcomed Huffersfield last Saturday, however, the game has ended as a 1:1 game.
Once again, the players of Wigan simply didn’t create enough in the offense, while it was Huddersfield who looked better at times and even more concrete overall.
The home side took the lead via Winass towards the end of the first halftime, however, the guests showed far more energy in the second and were even close to full revert the result.
This was tenth consecutive game without a victory for Wigan, as the side does have two consecutive draw matches, but it’s very little for a side that stands at the rock bottom position. Luckily for them, they are the last position but with just two points less than safely placed Luton.
The guests should continue missing goalkeeper Marshall (19/0), central back Fox (6/0) and defensive midfielder Williams (14/0) due to injury problems.
Blackburn is in great momentum now and this match comes as a perfect chance for them to get into the playoff zone finally.
Looking at the complete season so far, but also the last few weeks, there’s no doubt that they should be able to get a three-pointer tonight. Wigan is nowhere close to a side being able responding to them properly in the attack on the road.
Karlsruher SC vs Wehen SV
|Match date: 20.12.2019 |20:30| Germany Bundesliga|
Karlsruher SC suffered a very unexpected and heavy loss in a 1:5 home defeat against Greuther Furth last Saturday afternoon.
At first, it didn’t look like that even though it was Furth who had the lead twice in the first halftime, but it was the second halftime when the guests actually paid the price for all of their defensive errors back then.
The side is now sharing the eleventh position with a couple of more teams, being four points above the playout placed Nurnberg and surely awaiting this one fully motivated as it still does represent kind of a six-pointer game for them.
Wehen didn’t look that impressive away from home against St Pauli ina 3:1 loss. They stood behind in the scoreline in the first halftime, trying to get back into the match and managing to do so via Schaffler in the 70th minute, a bit against the flow of the match.
However, as soon as they equalized, the hosts upped the tempo and appeared far more concrete, getting the victory thanks to goals in the last few minutes of the match.
With this loss, the side remained inside the relegation zone, currently having just a point more than rock bottom-placed Dynamo Dresden and four points less than safely placed St Pauli, surely not being in a situation to afford a loss here against one of potential relegation battle strugglers.
Since they both are newly promoted teams, Karlsruher SC is showing more so far. Especially when we speak about their effectivity.
In front of their own fans, they shouldn’t have a lot of problems breaking the opponent and getting a three-pointer – most likely easier than what the odds suggest.
We should see quite a convincing respond from them after teh catastrophy they suffered the last time out unexpectedly.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Cologne
|Match date: 18.12.2019 |20:30| Germany Bundesliga|
Eintracht Frankfurt was set as an underdog away from home against Schalke last weekend, but there’s no doubt that the visitors aren’t satisfied with a narrow 1:0 loss in the end.
Their hosts have controlled the ball and looked like a superior side at the start of the match and even till they got the lead in the 53rd minute, but the things have changed from then on.
The guests appeared much more decisive and even had a player more from the 66th minute, having much more of the ball possession but were unable to exploit that till the end.
They simply weren’t concrete enough with the chances created. Combined with a bit unlucky draw at home against Hertha, the side is now without a victory in the last five Bundesliga matches being seven points behind the Europa League zone.
After six negative results and matches with no victory, Koln surprised their fans with a 2:0 three-pointer in a home clash against Leverkusen.
However, it needs to be said that the circumstances went in their favor a lot, since the players of Bayer looked better on the field and had the ball possession and superiority, but missed to create real goalscoring chances.
Everything changed upside down on the field in the 62nd minute when the guests stood to play with a man less and the hosts exploited it via Cordoba in the 73rd minute.
A bit more risking from the guests and a further man less, saw the home team doubling up the lead via Bornauw in the 84th minute.
Koln is now second from the bottom, having three points less than the safe zone placed Werder but with the defensive lineup remaining biggest worry with thirty goals conceded in fifteen matches.
Eintracht is underperforming this season and is nowhere close at the table in the same period of the previous season, but the side isn’t’ actually disappointing their fans in home clashes.
This match comes as a perfect chance for them to get back on the positive track and I’m quite convinced that they won’t blow it up this time. Koln doesn’t seem like a side capable of remaining competitive next to their offensive quality Frankfurt surely posses.
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Augsburg vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
|Match date: 17.12.2019 |20:30| Germany Bundesliga|
Augsburg surprised everyone with a 2:4 victory away from home against Hoffenheim last Friday night being quite a strong underdog before the start of the game.
However, the team appeared very concrete with the ball to their feet, despite having very little of overall ball possession.
The hosts tried to dictate the tempo and controlled the ball more, however, were too vulnerable at the back with the guests punishing them for every little mistake.
The team is now on five matches undefeated streak, having four victories during these matches, being just five points behind the European zone.
It was simply too much for Duesseldorf to cope with the individual strength of RB Leipzig in a 0:3 home loss last Saturday afternoon.
The already conceded a goal in the second minute, being generally a passive side during the game and doing very little in attack.
The guests were simply as commanding as possible during the entire game. The side now has two consecutive losses, being winless in the last five rounds and with just one goal scored in the last four rounds.
Augsburg is looking better in recent matches and with a morale-boosting victory away to Hoffenheim, they are red hot favorites for another three-pointer in this one.
Especially since their offensive potential comes in the first place recently and there is very little what Fortuna can do, away from home.
Trabzonspor vs Denizlispor
|Match date: 16.12.2019 |18:00 | Turkey Super Lig|
Trabzonspor did well to get a victory over Antalyaspor away from home last weekend, taking it with a deserved 1:3 result.
All four goals were scored in the first halftime, with the guests looking really effective with the ball to their feet and always very threatening.
However, they logically opted for a more passive approach in the second halftime, with the hosts creating some dangerous moments, but without scoreline change.
The team is now just a point behind second-placed Besiktas and can get that position in case of a victory in this one.
Without competitive chances, players of Trabzonspor played in a rotated lineup away to Basel suffering a 2:0 defeat last Thursday night in the Europa League clash.
Denizlispor was set as quite an underdog last time out in the Super Lig, however, the side managed to get a point in a 1:1 game against much more favorited Basaksehir.
The guests definitely deserved to score at least one goal in the first halftime when they looked completely superior, but got it in the 54th minute via Visca.
Luckily for the home team, they managed to reply within minutes thanks to Barrow, opting for a defensive approach further on, without the guests creating real chances.
The side now has two victories and a draw, three undefeated games in a row and awaits this one with a boosted morale, but also knowing that their previous victories came a bit luckily in the last minutes of the game at both occassions.
Trabzonspor is doing better recently and further improvement, especially in home matches, is expected. Denizlispor isn’t a naive opponent, however they definitely had more luck in the previous round than what the final results are saying.
Chievo vs Juve Stabia
|Match date: 13.12.2019 |21:00 | Italy Serie B|
Chievo did what was needed last Saturday evening to get a three-pointer in a 1:0 victory at home over Cremonese.
The only goal came in the 48th minute via Di Noia in actually quite an open game from both teams. This time, it’s simply that the individual quality prevailed, as Chievo didn’t actually meet up the expectations on the field properly.
Still, the side does pretty well for now disregarding their recent under performances away from home, being just a point behind the second and direct promotion placed Pordenone.
Juve Stabia didn’t show much last time out, suffering a 0:2 defeat in front of their own fans against Frosinone last weekend.
The guests simply appeared far more concrete and as a side that seems to be much more experienced, simply knowing what they want with the ball to their feet in every moment.
They probably even missed a couple of more good chances to enlarge the lead earlier, but the game got sealed only in the third minute of additional time via a penalty kick.
This is now second consecutive defeat for Juve Stabia, as the team probably won’t have an easy staying into the Serie B – currently being four points behind the safe zone.
Away from home, they have scored only four goals so far and that’s why this game remains a huge challenge for them as it remains to be seen whether they can keep the opponent away from their net for too long.
As already said, Chievo isn’t playing perfect football but they do get by when needed in home matches. Against Juve Stabia, I expect them to be more concrete finally and easy or difficult, to get the three-pointer again. There is simply too big individual quality difference in their favor this time.
Standard Liege vs Arsenal
|Match date: 12.12.2019 |18:55 | Europa League|
Standard was set as an underdog in the previous Europa League round away to Guimaraes, but the side managed to walk away with a 1:1 game which was surely a positive outcome for them.
The Portuguese side created more and probably would have got the victory on some other day, as Standard now remained with a mathematical chance, but will need to get the victory over Arsenal to get the progress further.
As for the Jupiler League, they come from a 2:2 draw away to Mouscron, which is surely a positive outcome since they played with a man less in the second halftime and two men less in the last five minutes but still got the point thanks to a goal scored in the fourth minute of added time.
They remain at the high third position, with just a point less than second-placed Gent.
Arsenal had more of the ball possession and even the lead against Eintracht via Aubameyang in the previous Europa League round at home, but once again proved to be very unreliable at the back and suffered 1:2 defeat in the end.
They are now in a bit worse situation since the team can’t afford to lose in this one.
As for the Premier League, they finally got the victory last Monday night win over West Ham on the road 1:3, with a pretty improved performance into the second halftime after being a goal down from the first part of the game-sealing a victory within nine minutes into the second halftime (from 60th to 69th minute).
Standard needs to attack in this one and it’s something that promises quite an open game. Arsenal is already known for shaky defensive moves and very good attacking potential. The hosts already proved that they can be more than dangerous for the Gunners’ defense.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Man City
|Match date: 11.12.2019 |18:55 | Champions League|
In probably one of worse performances of Dinamo Zagreb in this season’s Champions League, they suffered 2:0 defeat away to Atalanta in the previous round.
Unlike the first game against the same opponent, this time the Croats were simply too defensive and were unable to make more than a couple of really concrete chances in front of opponents’ goal.
There’s no other option for them now, but to try to a victory in this one, not only for the sake of trying to reach the knockout phase, but also to remain with a chance of reaching the third position no matter of the outcome of the other game in this group.
As for the domestic league, they got the important 1:0 home victory over Varazdin last Friday night, in quite an unimpressive manner only in the last phase of the game reaching that winning goal.
The side continues however to be the red hot favorite for another domestic league having currently nine points more than second-placed Hajduk.
Manchester City made a slight setback in the previous Champions League game, as the side took just a point in a 1:1 home clash against Shakhtar Donetsk.
No doubt that the Citizens were the ones who controlled everything and simply created far more, but this time the result didn’t go into their favor.
However, they won’t be too disappointed with the result, simply since it already grants them the first position in this group having five points more than the second-placed Ukrainians before the last round.
This is a reason why they can approach this clash far more relaxed than their opponents. They come from a disappointing defeat in a local derby game at home against Manchester United last Saturday 1:2, so a victory here would definitely be used to lift some spirits at Etihad Stadium.
English side won’t rotate as much as possible here, according to the news, and if the players take the game anywhere close to seriously, they should come up victories easier than expected.
Dinamo seems to be in obvious downtrend of their form and will be very difficult for them to break the opponent without leaving huge defnesive gaps. individual quality can easily be exploited this time. The hosts do concede way too easy for this standard and they’ll have to be risking extra during the game.
Lyon vs RB Leipzig
|Match date: 10.12.2019 |21:00 | Champions League|
Lyon was set as an underdog away from home against Zenit int he previous round, but the things didn’t look exactly like that on the field.
Still, the Russians were the ones who were far more effective after all and simply used their chances better. A goal in each halftime towards the end of the halves was enough, with the French side surely feeling disappointed regarding the chances they had.
Lyon now needs to get the victory in order to progress further and any other result will exclude them and lead to the Europa League knockout phase.
As for the Ligue 1, they convincingly won on the road to Nimes 4:0 but also were played with a man more since the fifth minute already and with two men more since the end of the first halftime having relatively an easy game overall.
RB Leipzig had almost all the initiative in their game against Portuguese side Benfica, but int he nd had to be satisfied with a 2:2 draw last time out in the Champions League.
They stood behind int he scoreline with two goals conceded a bit against the flow of the game, working really hard till the end to reach the equalizer that came in the sixth minute of added time from a penalty spot.
On some other day, it would have probably been their victory, just if the game took the right course for them from the start.
As for the Bundesliga competition, they come from a 3:1 home victory over Hoffenheim last Saturday afternoon and is now just a point behind the leaders from Gladhacb.
Things are perfectly clear in this one, since Lyon needs to attack and seek a three-pointer in order to keep the chances of progressing into the knockout phase.
There’s no doubt that the German side wants a point at least, surely aiming that first position in the group. Knowing the reliability of the French side’s defense, it’s so easy to see the Germans making this match as interesting as possible.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Hertha Berlin
|Match date: 06.12.2019 |20:30 | Germany Bundesliga|
Eintracht took the lead away to Mainz last Monday night, via Hinteregger in the 33rd minute, but stood to play with a man less right before the halftime’s whistle and it changed everything.
Even during the first halftime they had more of the ball possession but were dangerous with the fast transition, however, the team failed to cope with the offensive phases of the opponents in the second halftime.
They weren’t able to threaten further in the last twenty minutes of the game when they got already reverted. The side is now five points behind the European zone already, also having six more than the red zone placed Hertha and surely approach this match very seriously.
Hertha is going from bad to worse all season long, most recenly coming from a 1:2 loss at home against Dortmund.
Sancho and Hazard opened up the home side with goals already in the first twenty minutes, while the hosts replied via Darida in the 34th minute.
It would have been a usually fine result, however, Hertha had a man more for the entire second halftime as Hummels got excluded just before the halftime whistle. Even so, with exception of a bit more of the ball possession, team from Berlin really failed to do proper and concrete things in the attack.
Eintracht is doing decently in the new season, but their real reason for underperforming a bit was a lack of consecutively good results. Hertha is not even close to that this season and doesn’t look that reliable on the road.
The hosts have better potential in attack and if they remind of themselves in typical home matches, it should be their victory this time.
Arsenal vs Brighton
|Match date: 05.12.2019 | 21:15| England Premier League|
Arsenal continued their negative trend with a 2:2 draw on the road to Norwich, as the Gunners simply weren’t able to revert the situation into their own favor.
The Canaries were taking the lead twice, with Aubameyang responding twice, the second time in the 57th minute, but without proper and real pressure further on.
They are now winless in the last six Premiership rounds, being still just two points behind the Europa League zone although they stand ninth at the table. On the other side, the Champions League positions are seven points above them.
Brighton had a fairly fine game away to Liverpool but was simply with two goals behind in the scoreline thanks to two goals from van Dijk in the first thirty minutes.
The Reds lowered down the tempo but also got into trouble when their goalkeeper Alisson got red-carded in the 76th minute.
The guests reduced a couple of minutes later thanks to a goal from Dunk but weren’t able to revert the situation completely despite some good phases and chances.
The home side has no victory in the last eight competitive matches, but still of course, they remain a favorite thanks to their offensive quality the side surely has.
Brighton is an underdog, but far away from a naive side with the fastball transition and surely aiming to threaten via counters. It’s exactly where the Gunners are vulnerable.
Finally, a home victory is likely this time, but it should be once again with difficulties at the back.
Kilmarnock FC vs St Johnstone
|Match date: 04.12.2019 | 20:45| Scotland Premiership|
After the good performance and morale-boosting victory at home over Hearts, players of Kilmarnock managed to snatch a draw away from home against Hibernians in a 2:2 game as well.
They didn’t enter the game properly, were behind 2:0 with an early goal in the second halftime, showing close to nothing till that moment.
However, it was the guests who started playing in the last thirty minutes and looked better, reaching that point thanks to goals from Bruce in the 66th and Del Fabro in the third minute of added time.
Kilmarnock is now six points behind the third-placed Aberdeen and surely seeking a victory in this one.
Most recently, it was a 4:0 loss away to Motherwell last Saturday, as the guests actually had some decent phases in the first halftime, however after they have conceded the second goal at the start of the second halftime, it was all about the home side that knew how to punish the mistakes of the visitors costly this time.
With this defeat, the players of St Johnstone remain at the rock bottom place with two more teams, but their performances on the road surely making this game as challenging as possible as they have scored just five goals in six matches away, conceded eighteen in the process.
The hosts need to get the victory in this one to keep up their European positions race and with overall we’ve seen so far in the season, their three-pointer seems very likely.
St Johnstone is neither impressive away, neither in the defensive lineup overall. Kilmarnock should be having quite a perfect chance this time.
Bordeaux vs Nimes
|Match date: 03.12.2019 | 19:00| France Ligue 1|
Bordeaux was in a really great form all over November, finally getting some momentum especially in their home matches.
They were even really close to getting a victory away to Reims last weekend as well, but in the end, just took a point in a 1:1 game.
They took the lead via Maja in the 27th minute but played completely passively since then. It was simply too much and an unneeded defensive approach from them, not even changing something when they stood to play with a man more in the last twenty minutes of the match.
Of course, the price had to be paid – finally with an equalizer in the second minute of added time with a goal from Dia.
The side now sharing the fourth position with really good chances to start being more competitive in the Euro tickets race.
After two consecutive defeats, away to Strasbourg and Angers, players of Nimes managed to get only a point in a 1:1 game at home against Metz.
They were actually set as a favorite and were set to win, however that’s not how the game went.
In quite an even first halftime, the guests were the ones who got the lead, but a bit better approach from the hosts was seen in the repetition and the equalizer came pretty much deservedly via Ripart, with neither of the teams willing to risk much towards the end.
With this point, they now share the last position together with Toulouse but are also just three points behind the safe zone. On the road, they have a 0-4-4 record trying to preserve their sheet firstly with quite passive approach.
Nimes is showing some terrible form away from home and very little can be changed in this one either. Bordeaux had to react better against Reims having the lead, but playing now in front of their own fans, they should be eager to get another victory.
The guests simply don’t seem that active in attack when playing away, in order to match up against Bordeaux this time.
Mainz vs Eintracht Frankfurt
|Match date: 02.12.2019 | 20:30| Germany Bundesliga|
After two defeats and eleven goals conceded out of these two matches, the club has changed the coach and the players of Mainz reacted incredibly well in a 1:5 victory on the road to Hoffenheim.
It was simply a day where everything went in their favor, even though they were playing with a man less since the end of the first halftime.
This time they proved to be so deadly serious via counters and with the fastball transition, while it was the hosts who had much more of the ball possession and even chances created.
Mainz is now a point above the relegation zone and still being in need to improve further.
Eintracht Frankfurt was set as quite a favorite against Wolfsburg last weekend, but it was the visitors who took the 2:0 victory in the end.
It was despite the fact that the guests were playing with a man less since the end of the first halftime. Eintracht had more of the ball possession and chances created but failed to score a single goal out of numerous chances.
They, however, reacted really well and surprised away to Arsenal in Europa League on Thursday night, having an exactly reverted role from their game against Wolsfburg and succeding this time.
The new coach appointment did some magic at the start for Mainz and surely that the team will try to continue the momentum in this one.
Eintracht wasn’t showing much so far away from home having just one victory out of five matches, but they do remain very quality side in attack.
Cosenza vs Spezia
|Match date: 29.11.2019 | 21:00| Italy Serie B
Cosenza was set as an underdog away to Ascoli last Sunday afternoon, however, the team actually had all the chances to walk away with something.
After only twenty minutes of play, they had the double lead thanks to a goal from Riviere and Bruccini. However, little by little the home side managed to get back into the game and in the end, deservedly revert the scoreline.
Cosenza failed to compete with their individual quality during the latter stages of the game. The team is now four points below the safe zone and a victory here would mean a lot to them.
Spezia, on the other side, managed to get a three-pointer at home against Frosinone last Sunday night thanks to a 2:0 result.
A goal from Gudjohnsen in the 26th minute made all the difference, since the guests tried with the possession, but showed all of the lack of creativity.
The second goal from Bidaoui came in the last moments of the game and was just a perfect ending of the match for the hosts.
Cosenza is showing signs of life in their recent matches in front of their own fans, while Spezia doesn’t inspire with such reliability in back to back matches.
A draw may occur, but if any of the teams is to celebrate a victory, that would most likely be the hosts who had some really decent home appearances even when not winning.
Sporting vs PSV
|Match date: 28.11.2019 | 21:00| Europa League|
Sporting didn’t have many problems winning over Rosenborg on the road last time out in Europa League, getting that three-pointer quite easy thanks to goals from Coates and Fernandes in the first halftime.
They looked simply as a much sharper side and didn’t need a lot of the ball possession to create dangerous moments.
Two three-pointers over Norwegians give them the leading position now, however, nothing is finished for them and the side needs to get the victory here too, in order to clinch the ticket for the knockout phase.
PSV opened the Europa League bid with two victories, however soon the problems came and lack of good form is very obvious in the Eredivisie as well.
Most recently, they got crushed away to LASK conceding four goals in the second halftime as their game plan completely fall apart.
After a run of six matches without victory in all competitions, they finally got back to positive ways with a 2:1 victory at home over Heerenveen last weekend.
The team is now already eleven points behind the leaders from Ajax and it’s difficult to say whether Europa League comes as a priority at such a difficult situation.
Sporting seems to be in a much better moment now and it’s hardly anyone can argue about it. With the help of their own fans, they should be able to overpower the Dutches.
The visitors are simply not impressive in any aspect of the game and should have really difficult time staying competitive, while the odds look as juicy as possible.
Slavia Prague vs Inter Milan
|Match date: 27.11.2019 | 21:00| Champions League|
Slavia showed all of their competitive force in the previous two matches against Barcelona and has left more than fine impression.
The first game in Prague has ended as a 1:2 loss, however, it was Slavia that deserved far more. Back in Barcelona three weeks ago, the Spaniards did create more, however, the were missing the final touch and the game remained goalless.
As for the domestic 1. Liga, the side comes from a goalless game away to Sigma Olomouc, but were having a man less for the entire second half and still did more on the field.
Not a big shame, they continue to lead the table with eleven points more than second-placed Plzen.
Inter had all the chances to be a top favorite to progress further now, having the double lead away to Dortmund in the previous round, however, the Italians blow it up in the second part of the game.
They did try with the typical Italian style and got a bit lucky with two goals, but it was too much to cope with in the second part of the game.
With four points so far, the team can’t afford to drop points here. As for Serie A, they come from quite convincing and 3:0 victory away to Torino, continuing great domestic momentum as they have just a point less than leaders from Juventus.
Slavia surely showed much more than what their current record says and this is the last chance for them to show it once again in front of their own crowd.
Not only that they need to get the victory to stay competitive for the third position, but the overall feeling is that they don’t have much to lose either.
Attacking hosts are more than expected, while Inter still remains a favorite and is definitely set to score, at least once.
Real Madrid vs PSG
|Match date: 26.11.2019 | 21:00| Champions League|
Real Madrid will host PSG in a game from Group A at Santiago Bernabeu.
PSG are still undefeated in this group having 12 points(max) so far. Real Madrid is with 7 points(almost qualified), while Brugge and Galatasaray are looking like the teams which will decide in their direct game which will play in EL during the spring. It was fully expected PSG and Real to progress, the main question was in which way. After PSG outplayed Real in the 1st round with 3:0, it was pretty obvious they will be in the better position for the 1st place, but after Real drew at home against Brugge, everything is clear – even if Real wins the derby against PSG, they will need another PSG loss at home against Galata, which is a miracle to happen. But believe me, Thomas Tuchel will not go on a visit to Madrid with his team just for fun, they will be fully motivated to get another win against Zidane’s team.
Real Madrid is steadily finding the scoring form- 19 goals in the last 6 games is what their fans want to see. Equal points with Barcelona in La Liga sitting at the top of the table, but now they have to be ready for a huge test against PSG because all of the stars in the French club are available.
On the other side is PSG. The French team doesn’t have problems in Ligue 1 being 1st with a comfortable advantage in front of the 2nd in the table. I told about their performance in CL, but what’s more surprising is that their goal difference is 10:0- still without a conceded goal in this tournament. Well, Diagne is one of the guilty people that not to happen, because he missed a penalty in Paris for his Club Brugge. I strongly doubt PSG will stay without a conceded goal after the game in Madrid, but they have enough quality in attack to deal with a goal or even two in their net. PSG allowed four goals in their last three visits in Ligue 1, so their defensive performance is not brilliant at all, so Real has to use that.
So, this is a clash between two teams in better and better form and they can rely on everything best they have. Real Madrid will want to have a revenge for the tough loss in Paris, they also won their two previous matches against PSG in Madrid with 1:0 and 3:1, so they can enter the game positively. Yeah, Ronaldo is not part of the team, but even without him, they have players in form to score against PSG. I will not look for the possible winner in this game, but for the goals which are almost guaranteed in both nets. BTTS is extremely likely to happen, but I doubt this one will finish as a 1:1 draw, so my pick will be over 2.5 goals+ BTTS. I would be amazed if this not happen when the teams look like to be in a great scoring form and with squads without any big injury problems.
Ajax Reserves vs Helmond Sport
|Match date: 25.11.2019 | 20:00| Netherlands Eerste Divisie|
CL or not ( for the first team ), this Jong Ajax has a great squad. Super talent Brobbey, who played great with the Under 17 team, made his debut as a Pro and scored right away against NAC.
Herlmond sport on the other is 17th on the table. They are poor travellers as they won just game away from home and they come from a loss against NEC.
However, they lost more than just 3 points in that game since they lost a few players due to injuries as well. Indeed, Bodi Brusselers left the game because of a concussion and will miss this game. Also defenders Poelemans ( 15 games ) and de Louw ( 10 games ) got injured against NEC.
Hence backing Jong Ajax with this asian.
Levante vs Mallorca
|Match date: 22.11.2019 | 21:00| Spain LaLiga|
After two good performances and victories away to Sociedad and at home against Barcelona, players of Levante succumbed to a 2:1 defeat on the road to Athletic Bilbao.
They took the lead at the end of the first halftime via Postigo but weren’t able to keep up with the pressure later on.
Even that lead was completely against the flow of the first halftime, while the home team proved to be more concrete in the second and reached the deserved victory in the end.
They remain in the middle of the table far away from relegating problems for now earning more points at home, therefore surely aim a victory in this one.
Mallorca responded with a much better performance last time out before the international break, winning at home against Villarreal with a 3:1 result.
However, the home side had two penalty kicks in the first halftime which reverted the game completely into their favor, as they had the option to play more relaxed and via counters.
Besides that, the visitors were the ones who were trying more and had much more of the ball possession – however, they weren’t able to revert the difficult situation.
They are now five points above the red zone but remain the only team with no point earned on the road and this match surely remains a huge challenge for them.
Levante looked just fine in the previous home clashes and knowing that Mallorca doesn’t inspire with any kind of confidence on the road – it’s very difficult to see anything but a home victory.
Mallorca simply doesn’t seem creative enough actually for the levels of LaLiga, even when they do get fine results in front of their own crowd.
Antwerp vs Genk
|Match date: 21.11.2019 | 20:30| Belgium First Division A|
After a loss away to Mouscron, Antwerp put up a really nice display last time out winning at home against Club Brugge 2:1 before the international break.
They stood behind in the scoreline in the 25th minute via Schrijvers, but responded with far more concrete performances in the second halftime and managed to revert the result despite having less of the ball possession.
The team is now in the sixth position with just two points more than out of play zone placed Waregem and needs to get something in this one as well.
Gent entered really good form before the international break, winning three matches in a row – two in the domestic Jupiler League and on the road surprising Wolfsburg in big style.
Most recently, they won on the road to Genk 2:0, thanks to goals from Depoitre at the start of the match and a goal from David at the start of the second halftime.
Other than that, they could play a bit more reserved, but even so, they had a similar number of other chances than to their opponents and did deserve the victory completely this time.
The side is now just five points behind the leaders from Club Brugge and needs to get something here to keep up the race with them.
Antwerp is doing really fine in their home matches so far and surely has chances to obtain something here. However, Gent seems to be in a really decent moment now, not needing many chances to show their quality in attack.
It’s something that promises very open game, especially since the home side relies on outscoring the opponent generally and not by defending in their home clashes.
Wycombe vs Tranmere
|Match date: 20.11.2019 | 20:45| England FA Cup|
Wycombe didn’t have a really difficult task winning on the road to Tranmere 2:0 last weekend.
The match itself didn’t get too complicated for them, as they got the lead once they upped the tempo properly.
They have broken the opponent thanks to two goals from Akinfenwa and Jacobson, second one from the penalty kick towards the end of the first halftime.
The team now has three victories in a row in League One and remain at the top of the table with already seven points more than third-placed Coventry and are red hot favorites for the direct promotion.
As said, the players of Tranmere suffered defeat last weekend, without actually being able to participate more into the match and remind of a more competitive side.
It was their second consecutive defeat, as they previously got defeated at home to League Two side Salford 0:2, but still progressed further in EFL Trophy competition.
As for League One, the side remains three points above the red zone placed teams.
With two matches already played against each other this month, the teams now know their tasks and options very well for this night. Under such circumstances, it’s very difficult to see anything but a home win here.
Even with the rotated squad, Wycombe has more quality at the bench, plus the momentum is anyway completely with them now.
Wales vs Hungary
|Match date: 19.11.2019 | 20:45| Euro 2020 Qualifiers|
It’s really simple for Wales, if they win, they’re off to the Euros next year once again. That’s really cool if you’re Welsh.
They’re in good form too and come into this match on the back of a 2-0 away win in Baku against Azerbaijan. Goals from Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson secured the win.
Hungary also have something to play for and will be looking for a win to send them to the Euros next year. However, going to Cardiff and facing tens of thousands of passionate Welsh fans is going to make this a tough gig.
Ireland vs Denmark
|Match date: 18.11.2019 | 20:45| Euro 2020 Qualifiers|
Ireland had a perfect chance and do something more in October, maybe even seal the qualifying process but the team completely disappointed their fans not being able to score a single goal in two matches.
First, it was a goalless game away to Georgia, where they simply didn’t create enough and were unable to up the tempo.
The second match was away to Switzerland and they were deservedly defeated 2:0 against simply far more fluid side overall.
Denmark kept the chances high of qualifying further with a victory at home against Switzerland back in October narrowly 1:0.
They had quite an easy game against Gibraltar on Friday night at home, winning the match with six goals scored.
It was actually just a test for them before far more important match away to Ireland. No matter what, having in mind that Switzerland will win away to Gibraltar, the Danes can’t afford to lose this one.
It all comes down to this match for the Irish team. They didn’t have a brilliant run in this qualifying process, however in case they get a victory here, they’ll manage to seal the progress further.
The team didn’t look that well in attack all qualifiers long but will need to attack here and see what’s happening. They aren’t favorites, neither looking good in recent matches, but should be able to score one way or another in this one.
The guests, on the other side, can’t afford to only defend – neither should since they have better variety in attack anyway. Goals are likely and very tempting since the match simply needs to become very open one sooner or later.
Switzerland vs Georgia
|Match date: 15.11.2019 | 20:45| Euro 2020 Qualifiers|
Even though they are not at the top of the group sitting just third at the moment, the Swiss team goes into the last qualifying phase completely convinced that they will get the European ticket in the end and it can easily turn out to be from the leading position in Group D.
The reason is simple, they are awaiting Georgia at home firstly and then visiting Gibraltar and the mathematics is simple as well – they will need to win both matches in order to safely pass further.
The team had very difficult October firstly visiting Denmark and suffering a 1:0 loss but reacted in a good way to keep the chances high – with a 2:0 home victory over Ireland in the most recent match.
Georgia didn’t have real chances of doing something more in this group but simply gaining more knowledge and experience for the moment.
Still, two victories, two draw matches, and three defeats aren’t that little in a group with three really obviously stronger opponents.
Back in October, they did fine in a goalless game at home against Ireland, stopping the opponents from creating too many real chances.
The second match away to Gibraltar showed that they have many things to correct and improve, but still the team got the 2:3 wanted victory.
Even though Georgia managed to stop Ireland and Denmark at home in these qualifications, it’s difficult to speak about their quality matching up the opponents away from home.
The Swiss team already won against them back in March, breaking their defense with faster transition and this time, it should be only even easier in front of their own fans.
England vs Montenegro
|Match date: 14.11.2019 | 20:45| Euro 2020 Qualifiers|
English team made a setback back in October as they suffered defeat away in the Czech Republic, but the side now has a chance to erase it in case of a victory and to make it be without any consequence.
It was a bit unneeded loss after taking the lead, but the side seemed too not concrete in the attack back then. However, just three days later they have shown a much better face packing up six goals away to Bulgaria in their fifth victory out of six rounds.
They now have a perfect chance to seal the qualification further in case of a victory in this one.
Montenegro disappointed during the whole course of the qualifications and there aren’t any positive things to be said about either their tactics or performances on the field.
Three draws and three defeats are simply too little for the nations’ ambitions and some of the player’s quality they certainly have.
Three goals scored and fifteen conceded describe the best the quality of their performances as the side suffered 2:0 loss in Kosovo in the most recent match, showing no real desire against the fully motivated home side.
This game should be all about England and since the victory will qualify them to Euro, I expect impressive performance as well.
It’s a dead race between Bulgaria and Montenegro who disappointed more this time, so the task for the English side shouldn’t be more difficult than the one they had in Sofia in October.
Bristol Rovers vs Swindon
|Match date: 13.11.2019 | 20:45| England EFL Trophy|
Bristol Rovers finally got back on the right track with a 1:2 win on the road to Rochdale in the seventeenth round of League One.
They made a strong entrance into the match scoring two goals within the first eleven minutes, to secure the first three-pointer after just one point earned in the previous three rounds.
The side now stands just behind the playoff zone having a point less than sixth-placed Coventry.
They had a 1:1 game against Bromley in the FA Cup competition on Sunday night, using a rotated squad but didn’t manage to meet the expectations being a favorite before the start of the game.
They took a late lead via Leahy in the 76th minute but got leveled up just five minutes later.
Firstly it was victories over Stevenage at home and Crawley away, without a goal conceded, but the most recent game in a home game against Walsall 2:1.
The team is now just one point below the leaders from Forest Green and surely reverts all of their attention to the League One clashes.
Swindon didn’t have much luck at the draw for the FA Cup but got a positive outcome away to Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon in a 1:1 game.
The match wasn’t very interesting as the home side looking like having an initiative, however, the visitors took the lead via Yates in the first minute of added time.
Even though late, equalizer from the home team was more than deserved this time.
There is certain quality difference that speaks in favor of the home side, plus all of the competitive motives as Swindon has actually nothing to play for here.
Both teams will surely rotate their squads a bit, but I see the home team in a completely commanding role from the first till the last minute. Can’t see the weaker visiting team pulling out a surprise now when the League Two race heats up for them.
Larissa vs Lamia
|Match date: 11.11.2019 | 18:30| Greece Super League|
In one of the most interesting matches of the previous round, players of AEL Larissa managed to get a 3:2 home victory against OFI Crete.
It was an important and morale-boosting victory for them, even though they stood two goals back in the scoreline already from the fourth minute.
The team has also shown great fighting spirit and morale coming back from such a situation, as the reversal of the result started already in the fourteenth minute thanks to a goal from Moras.
Milosavljevic and Dauda scored in the last twenty-five minutes of the game for a comeback, as the guests were the only ones to be blamed for such a result.
AEL is now just inside the playoff zone before the start of this round and needs a victory to remain there and improve the chances of ending up within the top six clubs.
Lamia took an important three-pointer last weekend when they welcomed Volos in a 1:0 game.
The only goal came in the 80th minute via Thuram, but it needs to be said that the hosts completely deserved a victory in a match where the guests appeared too passive and did almost nothing in attack.
Lamia is now inside the second part of the table, but with seven points (all seven gathered in home matches), which is four more than second from the bottom Panteolikos.
Away from home, they’ve lost all matches scoring just once so far and surely that this game represents a great challenge for them now.
Lamia knows that they need to focus on their home matches and that’s where they are seeking a chance to get points and avoid relegation. On the road, the team seems unimpressive without any kind of confidence.
AEL Larissa simply seems to the fluid side for the level of Lamia. Especially in front of their own fans. There’s certain individual quality difference that can not be ignored, as well as the fact that the home side simply seems far more confident and effective.
Sassuolo vs Bologna
|Match date: 08.11.2019 | 20:45| Italy Serie A|
Sassuolo was set as a slight favorite away to Lecce and generally played like that, however, they couldn’t do more but to get a point in a 2:2 game.
The reason was simple, they remained vulnerable at the back and failed to break the opponent into their own favor, always being in a situation to chase the scoreline.
Finally, they got the point only thanks to a goal from Berardi in the 85th minute, after being a goal down from the 42nd minute in the first halftime.
The team now has just one victory in the last six matches in Serie A, being only two points away from the red zone placed Sampdoria.
Bologna, on the other side, appeared fine at home against Inter and looked competitive for the entire clash, but still stood defeated with a 1:2 result in the end.
Soriano brought the hosts into the lead in the 59th minute, a bit against the flow of the match. However, the guests had control over the game and the ball itself from that moment on, putting a lot of pressure on the home side.
Finally, thanks to goals from Lukaku in the last twenty minutes of the match, with the second one being scored from the penalty kick in the second minute of added time, they managed to snatch a three-pointer.
The team now has two defeats in a row, being at the thirteenth position at the table with four points more than relegating placed Sampdoria.
Both teams are in a situation where they need to respond with even better performances and positive outcomes in this one.
Additionally, they both do way better in attack than what their defensive reliability seems to be. Sassuolo is a highly attacking side in front of its own fans and now when they have three straight home defeats, we can expect them trying to score the goal from the first minute, while Bologna’s problems are definitely not within the attacking line either.
Braga vs Besiktas
|Match date: 07.11.2019 | 21:00| Europa League|
Braga simply looked more efficient, especially in the first halftime away to Besiktas in the third round. The Turkish team had more of the ball possession, but in a typical uncreative way without being able to concretely threaten.
The Portuguese knew how to exploit by taking the lead in the 38th minute via Horta, but were under pressure in the second halftime.
The home team got the equalizer and even missed a penalty, trying to open up too much and paid the price for it when Eduardo re-installed the lead for the Portuguese in the 80th minute.
Braga is now in a good situation with seven points earned, especially of another victory this night.
As for the domestic league, they made a slight setback coming from a 2:2 draw against Famalicao over the weekend, simply since the guests played with a man less since the 34th minute. The team is five points behind the Europa League placed Sporting.
Besiktas, as already described, probably had the chance to revert the previous match into their favor but it would be a bit underserved in some way.
They did exploit a good phase of themselves and a panic mode from the Portuguese side but Ljajic wasn’t able to convert that penalty kick into the goal.
They have improved the form within the domestic league on the road other side coming from two back to back victories. Firstly in a derby game over Galatasaray at home and most recently, away to Antalyaspor.
The side now has three victories in the last four matches and are on that undefeated streak, being just four points behind the leaders from Alanyaspor.
It doesn’t make much sense for Besiktas to get fully involved and motivated now into this match when their start into the Super Lig isn’t great – neither they have good chances of progressing further.
A bit rotated squad is what I expect, surely with the players wanting to impress – but the Portuguese side already proved to be very efficient and better in the transition. Now it might be only easier for them.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid
|Match date: 06.11.2019 | 21:00| Champions League|
Leverkusen was allowed to develop their game and had some space in the previous round away to Atletico Madrid, but that wasn’t enough for a positive outcome in a 1:0 loss.
Without a single point earned so far, Leverkusen simply needs to get a victory here to remain with any kind of chances even for the third spot, but after everything we seen from them this season, it doesn’t seem extremely likely.
Leverkusen quickly got back to bad habits in a 1:2 loss at home against Gladbach last weekend at home, not being able to make consecutive good performances and victories in Bundesliga.
They are now only at the tenth position with fifteen points earned -just three less than the Champions League positions but already seven less than the leaders from Gladbach.
Atletico left the ball possession to Leverkusen in the previous round, but even so, appeared more effective when needed and got an important three-pointer in a 1:0 game.
The only goal was scored back in the 76th minute via Morata, in a game that wasn’t a very interesting one, but the Spanish team simply took what they wanted in kind of an Atletico’s style.
With seven points on their record, the team is close to secure one of the top two positions and in some scenarios, can afford a draw here as well.
As for the LaLiga, they come from a 1:1 game away to Sevilla last Saturday afternoon, continuing to be just below the leading sides, currently having a point less than the leading Barca-Real-Sociedad trio.
Bayer is in a very ugly period now having just one victory out of seven recent matches and isn’t looking really to be a side capable of matching their biggest opponents.
With the Spanish team having much better transition and also defensive tightness, it’s really difficult to see the Germans being any kind of a favorite this time.
Valencia vs Lille
|Match date: 05.11.2019 | 21:00| Champions League|
Valencia had the lead thanks to a goal from Cheryshev in the 63rd minute away to Lille, but from that moment on, they switched to a bit more defensive role that didn’t pay off to them.
They stood playing with a man less in the last phase with defender Diakhaby being red-carded, while the hosts pushed and found a way to equalize in the fifth minute of added time.
Valencia is now third with four points and will only have realistic chances of fighting for the top two positions in case of a victory in this one.
Lille, on the other side, did create more in the third’s round game but happened to be more decisive and concrete only once they stood back in the scoreline.
As for the domestic league, they come from a 2:1 defeat away to Marseille having below-average start into the season with just a mediocre 5-3-4 record for now – but still just two points behind the second-placed Angers.
With just a point in the first three rounds, Lille is already in all sorts of problems. Most likely, the side actually needs a victory here and needs to risk, not only to remain competitive for the first two positions – but also to remain competitive for the third place and Europa League exit.
Valencia reverted the atmosphere inside the locker room in the best possible moment with that victory on the road to Espanyol and I expect a positive trend from them now.
They were already really close to getting the victory in the first match against Lille and this now seems to be a perfect chance for them. The French side doesn’t seem anywhere close to confident one when playing on the road, even for the standards of Ligue 1.
Stoke City vs West Brom
|Match date: 04.11.2019 | 21:00| England Championship|
Stoke City had the ball possession away to Millwall last weekend, but except that they didn’t create many chances in order to be more competitive against way more concrete opponent.
Not only that, players of Millwall appeared as much more experienced side and always knew what they wanted with the ball to their feet.
A goal from Thompson in the first half and a penalty kick converted by Wallace were enough for an easy three-pointer against harmless visitors.
This was a second consecutive defeat for Stoke, as the side now remains at the rock bottom position with just eight points earned out of fourteen rounds – six points less than the safe zone placed Luton.
West Brom had a pretty difficult home match last Saturday afternoon as they welcomed Charlton in a 2:2 draw game in the end.
They took the lead first and appeared like controlling the match int he first halftime, however, an equalizer came at the start of the second part and everything got changed in the 67th minute when they remained with a man less when Ferguson got red-carded.
Even so, the team showed great fighting spirit and had the 2:1 lead all the way till the third minute of added time when they conceded via a penalty kick.
Still, it was fourth consecutive game with no loss for WBA, as the side stands just a point below the leading trio at the table with one match less played too.
West Brom has simply shown so much more in the new season than their opponents. It’s simply something that can’t be neglected this time.
Neither they look improved on the field recently, neither their victories came as a strategic positive sign. There’s no doubt in my eyes that West Brom will be closer to the victory one way or another.
TSG Hoffenheim vs Paderborn
|Match date: 01.11.2019 | 20:30| Germany Bundesliga|
No doubt that Hoffenheim has improved their form drastically in the recent period, as the team boosted their morale a lot after surprising victory over Bayern Munich.
After that, they had convincing victory at home over Schalke, but also a 2:3 win on the road Hertha Berlin last weekend.
Even though they have created far more and had the double lead after the first halftime, the team needed a goal inside the last phase to seal the victory showing some unneeded poor reactions at the back.
With three victories in a row, Hoffenheim is now just below the European zone, actually having only five points less than the leaders from Gladbach.
Hoffenheim confirmed their good momentum with a 0:2 DFB Pokal victory away to Duisburg last Tuesday evening using a rotated squad.
After eight rounds and only one point earned, players of Paderborn finally managed to get the victory last time out when the team welcomed Dusseldorf winning the clash with a 2:0 result.
However, it needs to be said that the game was a bit more equal than what the final result says, with the visitors having their own chances too.
The hosts were the ones who reached the goal, int he 43rd minute via Sabiri and it was easier for them to play from that moment on, passive in the second half and leaving the possession to the guests, threatening with fast transitions.
Paderborn didn’t manage to make a surprise in the DFB Pokal’s game away to Leverkusen last Tuesday night, suffering a 1:0 defeat in a game that probably didn’t interest them much knowing their Bundesliga situation.
Even though Paderborn comes from a victory in front of their own fans, it’s difficult to speak about some planned and structural improvement.
Unlike Hoffenheim that is now looking far more convincing. Individual quality is also with the home team that should be able to exploit their advantages and continue their climb at the table – in a convincing way here.