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FESIG League midweek games Preview – (Real Madrid visit Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan)

Sevilla 3-2 Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos scores own goal on return to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Photo courtesy – Daily Mirror

Unbeaten Real Madrid travel to a ground Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, a ground where they haven’t managed a victory in recent time with Julen Lopetegui team having made a strong start to the LaLiga season sharing top spot with Barcelona after five league games. The Carabao Cup biggest game of the Third Round sees Maurizio Sarri travel to face the might of Liverpool at Anfield in a game that should serve as appetizer for this weekend’s Premier League game between the members of the top-six in England.

Here is our preview of matches across top four European Leagues and the League Cup in England.

We begin in France;

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v REIMS – WED. 26 SEPT 2018, 20.00HRS
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Paris Saint-Germain can make their best start to a Ligue 1 campaign if they beat Reims at Parc des Princes in Paris on Wednesday. The French champions came from behind to record a 3-1 victory over Rennes to maintain a five point lead over second place Lille LOSC. Thomas Tuchel team have not hit expected levels yet but they are grinding out results. Reims travel to the country capital on the back on a goalless draw at home against Dijon. The newly promoted team have failed to find the back on the net in their last three league matches and their opening two league victories over Nice and Lyon look a distant memory right now.

VERDICT – In 8 meetings, PSG have 5W compared to Reims solitary win and the average goals scored per match is 3.0 goals. Les Parisiens have already scored 20 league goals in six matches already this season. New boys, Reims are still finding their feet in Ligue 1 and as they travel to the ‘City of Lights’ for this week seven fixture, the visitors will require a miracle to take anything out of this game. Our prediction is a comfortable home win.

To Germany;

WERDER BREMEN v HERTHA BERLIN – TUE. 25 SEPT 2018, 17.30HRS
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Werder Bremen have made an unbeaten start to the season winning two and earning draws in the other two. Die Werderaner defeated Augsburg away from home at the weekend and they would aim to build on the result when Hertha Berlin visit Weserstadion. Just like Werder, Hertha are yet to suffer a defeat this season, they were impressive in their 4-2 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach. Surprisingly Werder Bremen are yet to win at home this season but they have a good record against their opponent at home. The capital club have been scoring goals for fun in their matches lately which means fans at the Weserstadion should get value for their ticket money.

VERDICT – Both sides have made a strong start to the season and are yet to lose. In 32 previous matches, Werder Bremen have 18 victories compared to Hertha’s 8 with an average of 3.3 goals per match. Both teams are in great form and are scoring freely; we are guaranteed goals in this game. Bremen have a solid record against Hertha but our conservation prediction is that both teams will score at Weserstadion.

BAYERN MUNICH v AUGSBURG – TUE. 25 SEPT 2018, 19.30HRS
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Bayern Munich will be aiming to keep their perfect start to the season intact when Augsburg visit Allianz Arena for this week five Bundesliga game. Nico Kovac has started life in the Bavarian giants’ dugout in excellent fashion and he is winning over more support in the stands. Augsburg got their season to a good start with an away victory at Fortuna Dusseldorf but have not recorded another victory since then including losing their last two league matches against Werder Bremen and Mainz 05. Bayern have turned Allianz Arena into a real fortress and apart from winning their games, they have been able to keep their opponents at bay off Manuel Neuer’s goal.


VERDICT – Bayern have dropped points twice in their last 16 league matches at home. Augsburg earned a surprise victory in Munich three years ago but in their last six visits to Allianz Arena, they have lost five, managed to score two goals and shipped in 17 goals. The odds for a home victory is low; we believe Bayern should be winning at half-time and full-time.

To Italy;

JUVENTUS v BOLOGNA – WED. 26 SEPT 2018, 20.00HRS
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Defending champions Juventus have a perfect five wins in five league matches so far this season as they entertain Filippo Inzaghi’s Bologna who stunned AS Roma in the last round. Bologna’s victory over Roma was a shocker for a team who had not scored this season and this victory should serve as a spring board for the Rossoblu who travel to Turin to face mighty Old Lady. Juventus may have defeated Frosinone but it wasn’t a stroll in the park for Max Allegri and his men who toiled all evening till Cristiano Ronaldo found a way towards the last minutes of regulation. Juventus have been hit with injuries but Allegri will be wise enough to make some rotations with games coming thick and fast. Can Bologna create a bigger shock at the Allianz stadium?

VERDICT – In 31 matches played between these two, Juventus have 21W while Bologna have a single win with the average goal scored per match at 2.4 goals. Since Bologna 2011 victory in Turin, the Rossoblu have managed three draws and 10 defeats in the last 13. With everything considered, a home victory is on the cards and Cristiano Ronaldo will be expected to continue his new found form in front of goal in Serie A.

To Spain;

LEGANES v BARCELONA – WED. 26 SEPT 2018, 19.00HRS
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Barcelona could not maintain their perfect start to the new season with Girona holding their Catalan rivals to a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou on Sunday night. Barca would be eager to return to winning ways at Estadio Municipal de Butarque to ensure they stay top of the pile ahead of closest and hated rivals Real Madrid. Leganes are finding life difficult under new coach Mauricio Pellegrino who took over from Asier Garitano at the end of last season. Los Pepineros have not able to get the required results as pressure starts to mount on their Argentine manager.

VERDICT – Barcelona have a perfect record against Leganes winning their four meetings. The Blaugranas hit three goals at the Butarque and will hope for similar result when they return for this season’s fixture. Leganes lost narrowly to Villarreal and played a draw with Real Sociedad at home this season but they will need a better performance in front of their home fans to get something out of this game. Our prediction is an away victory for Barcelona with over 2.5 goals in this game.

SEVILLA v REAL MADRID – WED. 26 SEPT 2018, 21.00HRS
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All eyes will be on Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for this LaLiga game between Sevilla and Real Madrid. Los Nervionenses are in goal scoring mood having scored 11 goals in their last two matches against Standard Liege and Levante. The host will be brimming with confidence ahead of the visit of Julen Lopetegui team who are unbeaten in the league and share top spot with Barcelona. The new Real Madrid is work in progress with former Spain coach putting his ideas into his star-studded team who have struggled lately to get desired result in Sevilla. Their only draw in the league so far came on the road at San Mames and the victory over Espanyol in the last game was labored. In spite of all this, Sevilla will be aware they need to raise their game to the next level if they aim to keep their good record at home against the current European champions.

VERDICT – Real Madrid have the better head to head record against Sevilla but haven’t managed a victory there in their last three visits. Wissam Ben Yedder and Antonio Sarabia are in excellent form at the moment for the home team who will surely give their visitors a run for their money in this highly anticipated clash. Real Madrid have scored in every single game they’ve played this season but they can be sloppy at the back too so we are going for a safe bet; both teams to score.

EFL Cup in England;

LIVERPOOL v CHELSEA – WED. 26 SEPT 2018, 19.45HRS
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Liverpool host Chelsea in the first of the two series meeting between these two teams in a space of four days in two different competitions. This third round draw in the Carabao cup is cruel to either team as they would be considered favorites for the latter stages of the competition but we are here now. Outstanding Liverpool host unbeaten Chelsea at Anfield with both teams starting the season in excellent form. While Chelsea failed to breakdown West Ham in their last league game, Liverpool were in control when they dispatched Southampton last weekend. We expect both managers to make changes for this game with an eye on the Saturday evening Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.

VERDICT – This is a mouthwatering game for the neutrals to watch and expect attacking football which is the philosophy of both coaches. Liverpool have a deeper squad than last season which should see them compete effectively all fronts this season as Jurgen Klopp aims to deliver trophies in his third full season as Reds manager. Chelsea have started off well under Sarri but are yet to face real test this season. This is an excellent game for the Italian to evaluate his team and how far they’ve come since he took over. Liverpool look the real deal and in front of their fans, they would go all out. I expect goals from both teams but the home side will edge this and progress.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v WATFORD – WED. 26 SEPT 2018, 20.00HRS
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Spurs put an end to a three-match losing streak in the South coast when they defeated Brighton last weekend in the Premier League with Harry Kane getting on the score sheet as well. Watford have not won since they defeated Tottenham at the end of August and will want to hit their London rivals again in a game where the host will be looking for some sort of revenge. Javi Gracia’s team are performing very well in the league this season but it remains to be seen if they fancy a good cup run as well. Mauricio Pochettino team will need more wins under their belt to regain confidence after a bad run. With their new stadium nearing completion stage, Spurs will have to travel to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire to host Watford.

VERDICT – Spurs suffered their first defeat to Watford in 10 meetings last time out and we believe they would be looking for a revenge in this game. Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for a better cup run and possible success this season and they look to make the final of this competition again after their 2015 final. The venue of this match is closer to Watford base than Tottenham so it could feel more like home to the ‘supposed’ visitors who may fancy a cup run and a domestic final which they have not done since 1984. We expect rotation from Spurs and this game could go all the way to penalties. We fancy the home team digging deep to earn a slim victory.

This wraps us our midweek focus. FESIG previews continues at the weekend with the Madrid and Rome derby; stay tuned. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers.

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