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FESIG League Preview – (Wembley Test for Liverpool)


Unbeaten Liverpool travel to Wembley stadium for their first real test of the season against a Spurs side defeated by Watford before the international break. Will Klopp’s team scale their first real hurdle this season? Elsewhere in London, surprise package Watford welcome another giant Manchester United to Vicarage this weekend. In Spain, joint league leaders Both Barcelona and Real Madrid travel to the Basque country to face Real Soceidad and Athletic Bilbao at Anoeta and San Mames respectively. Cristiano Ronaldo will aim to open his Juve account against Sassuolo in the Serie A.

Here is our preview of matches across the top five European Leagues this weekend.

We begin in France;

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v SAINT ETIENNE – FRI. 14 SEPT 2018, 19.45HRS
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The last two unbeaten teams in Ligue 1 lock horns in this week five encounter at Parc des Princes. Thomas Tuchel side are overwhelming favorites for the league title and have started the season in excellent form winning their four matches till date and scoring at least three goals in each of the four league matches. Saint Etienne share the unbeaten record with PSG but they have drawn three of their four league matches with a single victory under their belt this campaign. Les Verts have conceded twice this season but they have equally struggled upfront netting just thrice.

VERDICT – In 36 matches between these two teams, PSG have 18W compared to Saint Etienne 6W with ann average of 2.5 goals scored per match. Kylian Mbappe is out of this game which means Les Parisiens will miss one of their firepower in attack. The host are favorites for this game at home but their defensive vulnerability means Les Verts have a chance to score. It is the first game after the international break and teams could slowly get into the groove. Our prediction is conservative; over 1.5 goals at least.

TOULOUSE v AS MONACO – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 19.00HRS
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Toulouse barely survived relegation last season thanks to a two-legged relegation play-off result over AC Ajaccio sit third on the log with nine points out of a possible 12. This flying start to the new season can be attributed to Alain Cassanova’s return for his second spell as club manager. On the other side, Monaco start to the season has been the direct opposite of their host. Since winning on opening day of the season,
Les Monégasques have struggled badly taking a single point from a possible nine including a painful defeat to Marseille in week four. Radamel Falcao has scored twice and assisted one but his influence hasn’t done enough to earn his team enough point. It’s true the Monaco project is new and exciting but points are required to achieve set objectives.

VERDICT – In 30 meetings, Toulouse have 5W compared to Monaco 14W with 11D in between them and the average goal per match is 2.5. Toulouse are in high spirit and would aim to keep morale this way while Monaco need to turn the corner with UEFA Champions League on the horizon. Leonardo Jardim will expect a proactive approach at Stadium Municipal de Toulouse. A close encounter is anticipated with both teams getting on the scoresheet.

To Germany;

BAYERN MUNICH v BAYER LEVERKUSEN – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 14.30HRS
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Bayern Munich have kicked off the season in expected form winning the first two games of the season with Thomas Muller on song. Nico Kovac has almost his entire squad available for selection after the international break so he can alter his team for this game with the Benfica game in view next week. Bayer Leverkusen have not started the season as they hoped losing both games to Borussia Moenchengladbach and Wolfsburg with so many defensive mistakes. The Allianz Arena isn’t particularly the venue Bayer 04 would like to visit at this time of the season.

VERDICT – Bayern have a better head-to-head record in this fixture. FCB have 24W in 39 matches played and the average goal per match is 3.0 goals. Bayern Munich should not have problem beating an out-of-sort Leverkusen at home. We expect goals at the Allianz Arena; home win is our prediction.

WOLFSBURG v HERTHA BERLIN – SAT. 14 SEPT 2018, 14.30HRS
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Die Wolfe have surprised everyone with their performance offensively and defensively against Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen. They’ve scored at least two goals in their last three competitive matches which says a lot about their confidence at the moment. Hertha Berlin have won their opening two league games of the season too and are the only team yet to concede in the Bundesliga. With center-half Karim Rekik injured, that record could end at the Volkswagen Arena this weekend.

VERDICT – Both sides have shown great performances in their victories this seaon. In 33 previous matches, Wolfsburg have 11 victories compared to Hertha’s 13 with an average of 2.9 goals per match. Hertha have a solid squad and good recent history against Wolfsburg but we expect this to be a close competitive game between two sides in form. We predict both teams to score.

To Italy;

NAPOLI v FIORENTINA – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 17.00HRS
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Napoli couldn’t mount a comeback Stadio Luigi Ferraris as they fell three nil to a rampaging Sampdoria team. Carlo Ancelotti’s team will aim to bounce back at home in front of their home fans but they have it all to do against a Fiorentina side who have made an excellent start to the new season winning two in two games played because their opening round match was cancelled due to the tragic event that occurred in Genoa last month. Stefan Pioli side have been impressive in their games so far, their attack is filled with talent and they are dangerous. This is another tough test for Ancelotti and his team to assess where they are in terms of buying into his methods.

VERDICT – In 28 matches played between these two, Napoli have 14W while Fiorentina have 6W with average goal scored per match at 2.4 goals. Fiorentina haven’t won at Stadio San Paolo since 2014 but they managed a draw last season. With everything considered, our conservative prediction is over 2.5 goals.

JUVENTUS v SASSUOLO – SUN. 16 SEPT 2018, 14.00HRS
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This is a top of the table clash in the Serie A between first place Juventus and second place Sassuolo in Turin. The Bianconeris have made a perfect start to the season winning all three league matches but their star man Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to score. Max Allegri is still working on the best system that will work for his record signing. The visitors have equally made a bright start as well including a home win against Inter Milan; they have collected seven points from a possible nine. Kevin Prince Boateng is the biggest name in Sassuolo and he is proving to be an excellent acquisition with his contributions and goals.

VERDICT – Juventus are favorites for the title and would be expected to win home games like this one. The Turin based club have the better head-to-head record in the last 10 meetings between these two sides with eight wins. They have also won all five home games against Sassuolo including a seven nil victory last season. A home victory is on the cards.

To Spain;

REAL SOCIEDAD v BARCELONA – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 15.15HRS
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Real Sociedad will aim to bounce back after losing the local Basque derby to Eibar with a victory in this home game against champions Barcelona at the Anoeta in the late afternoon kickoff. Asier Garitano’s men have lost five points from winning position this season and will need to improve on their concentration level against a Barcelona team who are gradually getting into their stride following their demolition of Huesca last time out. San Sebastein hasn’t been a good hunting ground for the Catalans but Ernesto Valverde men secured a win last season. The Catalan giants have had a perfect start to the season and will hope to continue in the same path.

VERDICT – Barcelona will hope they’ve overcome their Anoeta spell having secured a victory there last season and they would expect to continue on this track. In 34 matches played, La Real have 6W compared to Barca 23. We expect a good game with both sides aiming for all three points. Our prediction is that both teams will get on the score sheet

ATHLETIC BILBAO v REAL MADRID – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 19.45HRS
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It is one of the most anticipated fixture in the calendar for Los Leones fans when Real Madrid pop up as the next visitor. There is a deep sense of rivalry and feeling of fulfillment if their team delivers on the day. Athletic Bilbao provide their best performance at home and have improved significantly since Eduardo Berrizo took over in the summer. Real Madrid have made a strong start to the season winning their first three league matches of the season scoring ten goals in the process. It appears Los Blancos stars are buying into Julen Lopetegui methods at the Valdebebas training ground.

VERDICT – Real Madrid have only managed to secure seven points at the new San Mames since its opening in 2013. The new Cathedral hasn’t been a very good hunting ground Los Merengues and Lopetegui and team will face a stern test against a vibrant Athletic team at home. Real Madrid will love to keep their 100% record intact as they intend to keep up tabs with league leaders Barcelona. Real Madrid always score but can be sloppy at the back. Our prediction for this is over 2.5 goals

To England;

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v LIVERPOOL – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 12.30HRS
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The last time Liverpool played Spurs in Wembley, they got beaten with Jurgen Klopp having to take out Dejan Lovren of the firing line. Form and Circumstance have changed since then with Liverpool improving on their defensive displays since their last trip to Wembley. Tottenham Hotspur have shown two different sides of themselves in their commanding victory at Old Trafford three weeks ago before falling flat at Vicarage Road in a game they lost after going ahead. The surprise defeat at Watford showed their soft underbelly and their inability to win when they don’t play well. Liverpool seem to have improve in learning on how to grind out wins without being at their supreme best. This lunch time kickoff is a real test for both teams in the overall outlook of their Premier League season as these two are expected to challenge for the title and a place in the top-four spot.

VERDICT – Tottenham’s excellent start came to an end last time out and would love nothing more than a win against a fellow contender. Captain and first choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is out and there are fitness concerns around Dele Alli and Harry Kane. For Liverpool, this could be a good moment to earn a revenge on last season’s painful defeat as they are in better form and shape than their host. Games between these two teams is quite difficult to call but we are guaranteed goals from both teams.

WATFORD v MANCHESTER UNITED – SAT. 15 SEPT 2018, 17.30HRS
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Javi Gracia’s team are one of the three Premier League clubs with 100% record in the league and one of those victories was a come-from-behind win over Tottenham Hotspur last time out. In recognition of his team’s excellent start, the Watford boss won the manager of the month award. Confidence in the locker room must be sky high as they welcome another big team to Vicarage Road. Manchester United have not had the ideal start to the season as expected with two losses in four games so far but they were value for three points at Turf Moor in the last round. Jose Mourinho men were the last team to defeat Watford in the Premier League last season; will they become the first to do this season?

VERDICT – Having conquered Spurs, Watford will believe they can take care of business against another member of the top-six. United defeated Watford home and away last season and have some many important first team players available except for Marcus Rashford who is suspended, Phil Jone and Marcos Rojo who are ruled out. Luke Shaw is a doubt as well but United will need to approach the game by respecting their opponent who have earned their current spot on the log on merit. With both teams current form, a draw looks like a safe outcome but we predict both teams to score.

This wraps us our focus for the week. FESIG previews continues next week. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers.

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