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FESIG League Preview – (El Clasico & Le Classique Derby)


It is the mother of all games in Spain, rivalry at its best between the two biggest clubs in Spain. For the first time since 2007, neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in El Clasico. The former is injured while the latter has moved to Italy. In France, Le Classique also known as Derby de France will see Olympique Marseille square off against league leaders Paris Saint-Germain at the Orange Velodrome. Napoli welcome inconsistent AS Roma to San Paolo and in the England, Tottenham Hotspur host defending champions Manchester City at Wembley.

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

We begin in Spain;

ATLETICO MADRID v REAL SOCIEDAD – SAT. 27 OCT 2018, 19.45HRS
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Atletico Madrid suffered their heaviest defeat under Diego Simeone during the week in Germany. Los Colchoneros were outplayed and thrashed in the Champions League by a dominant Borussia Dortmund. Atleti’s confidence would be quite low at the moment as they aim to return to winning ways having failed to win at Villarreal last weekend too. La Real will aim to frustrate the home team at Wanda Metropolitano this weekend, their mission will be to retain their top ten spot on the log and in ensuring that, they would have to be at their very best not lose in Madrid. Asier Garitano’s men are not particularly in good form but have lost once in their last five league matches.

VERDICT – After suffering such a heavy defeat, Atletico will likely resort to basics; keep it tight at the back and force their opponent into mistakes in attack. Atleti have a solid home record, losing just once in 25 league matches. In addition to that, they have won their last five home matches against Real Sociedad in all competitions. It is unlikely Atletico will lose two in a row and we believe their manager would demand a reaction from his team. Our prediction is a slim margin home victory.

BARCELONA v REAL MADRID – SUN. 28 OCT 2018, 16.15HRS
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All eyes will be on Camp Nou on Sunday for the biggest derby in Spain – El Clasico. Barcelona are in better form than their rival, they sit atop the table and can be quite confident of securing a result without inspirational captain Leo Messi who is injured. Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui is under immense pressure, his team has not won any of their last four league matches and performances have not been up to scratch. He is a bad result in the Clasico from losing his job as it appears the Bernabeu hierarchy are not convinced anymore he is the man to lead the new project. The former Spain coach will surely be having sleepless nights with preparation for this game in Catalonia.

VERDICT – Leo Messi injury takes something huge out of Barcelona and their game though they proved not to be a one-man team in their victory over Inter Milan midweek but El Clasico is something different and special; the mercurial Argentine is magical and his absence would be felt. Real Madrid have not lost in their last three visits to the Camp Nou in the league which is  perhaps the only positive for Los Blancos. We believe both teams will have a go at each other and we are guaranteed goals from both teams at the Camp Nou. Our prediction is Both Teams to score.

To France;

LILLE v CAEN – SAT. 27 OCT 2018, 19.00HRS
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Second place Lille welcome Caen to Stade Pierre-Mauroy for the week 11 fixture. LOSC are performing well in the league this season, winning all their home matches and scoring 14 goals in the process. Their overall performance and form has been good, losing once in their last six league matches. 12th place Caen have a daunting task when they travel to Lille for this encounter. They are struggling at the moment, with just a single victory in their last six league matches and have managed just one victory on the road all season. Faycal Fajr is back from suspension for the visitors and should take his place in midfield and Jessy Deminguet who impressed coming from the bench against Guingamp could be called upon in attacking midfield.

VERDICT – Lille have won their last seven Ligue 1 home matches while Caen have failed to win 18 of their last 20 Ligue 1 away matches. Lille have won seven of the last eight matches against Caen, however, Caen managed to record victory at LOSC last season. With the home team current form, they are favorites for this game; our prediction is a home win & over 2.5 goals.

Le Classique

OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – SUN. 28 OCT 2018, 21.00HRS
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Paris Saint-Germain visit Orange Velodrome in the final game of week 11 in Ligue 1 to play Marseille. The runaway league leaders still have their 100% record in the league and are 11 points better than their host going into this game. Paris Saint-Germain will equal a long-standing European record (The great Tottenham Hotspur side of the early 1960s registered 11 consecutive wins from the start of the 1960/61 English season, a best in Europe’s top five leagues) if they make it 11 wins from 11 with victory at arch-rivals Olympique Marseille in Sunday’s Classique. Rudi Garcia was quoted after the OGC Nice game last weekend, “We’re going to do everything to claim the points, we’re going to try and make sure that they don’t make it 11-out-of-11.” The home team will be eager to end the Parisiens unbeaten run in the league and if there is a team that can, Marseille is one. Will that happen on Sunday night?

VERDICT – Marseille have not recorded any victory against PSG in their last eight meetings in all competitions. On home patch, Marseille are strong and are backed by their fans. They are unbeaten at home in the league and score tons of goals. In spite of this, Paris Saint-Germain are still favorites but we are guaranteed goals. Our prediction is over 3.5 goals at Orange Velodrome.

To Germany;

BORUSSIA DORTMUND v HERTHA BERLIN – SAT. 27 OCT 2018, 14.30HRS
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In a space of five days, Borussia Dortmund put two opponents to the sword in similar fashion. Stuttgart and Atletico Madrid were dispatched by rampant Dortmund four nil each. The Yellow and Black are in supreme form as they welcome Hertha Berlin to Signal Iduna Park. The capital club have gone off the boil a bit after their famous victory over Bayern Munich and failed to win either of their last two league matches against mid-table Mainz and Freiburg which makes the trip to Dortmund much harder for Pal Dardai’s team who need to find their winning recipe again.

VERDICT – Dortmund have won all four of their home games this season, scoring 18 goals and conceding five. Historically, Bayern are the only team to have scored more goals after eight matches than the current Dortmund team (27). Hertha have allowed a league-high 127 shots on their goal this season with Dortmund averaging a goal every four shots on target. The home team are overwhelming favorites and on current form, it would take something special to bet against Dortmund. Home win and over 3.5 goals is our prediction.

MAINZ 05 v BAYERN MUNICH – SAT. 27 OCT 2018, 14.30HRS
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Bayern Munich put a stop to their bad run at the Volkswagen Arena last weekend with a victory over Wolfsburg. Die Roten aren’t the opponent Mainz would want to entertain at the Opel Arena after last weekend thrashing at Borussia Moenchengladbach. Sandro Schwarz’s men conceded as many goals in one match as they had shipped in their first seven which means changes should be expected this weekend. Bayern have a four-point deficit to make up on league leaders Dortmund so we can expect Nico Kovac’s troops to go all out in search of three points from the blast of the whistle.

VERDICT – Mainz are winless in their last five, collecting just two points in that time. This game pits this season’s youngest team (Mainz, 24 years, one month) against the oldest (Bayern, 27 years, nine months). The home team have the league’s worst attack and are in terrible form. Against Bayern who are on the rise again, it would be interesting to see how long the 05ers can hold out for before Bayern break them down. Our prediction is an away win & over 2.5 goals.

To Italy;

NAPOLI v AS ROMA – SUN. 28 OCT 2018, 20.30HRS
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Consistency has been AS Roma’s Achilles heel this campaign, from winning the Rome derby to losing to SPAL, Eusebio Di Francesco is still struggling to find the right balance and system for his team. That’s not the case for experienced tactician Carlo Ancelotti and his high-flying Napoli as they prepare to face the capital club. Roma beat CSKA Moscow in the Champions League while Napoli produced a top drawer performance in Paris against PSG who snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat. Napoli are on a good run in the league losing once in their last six while Roma have three wins in their last six Serie A games. This is a game which will delight fans at San Paolo particularly the Romans who have fond memories from last season when they won 4-2.

VERDICT – Lorenzo Insigne remains a doubt for this game and he has been electric for Partenopei. Arkadiusz Milik is likely to take his place in attack which changes Napoli’s dynamism. However, Roma have been poor defensively, only Sassuolo have conceded more than Giallorossi in the top 10 which means the home team can deploy any attacking system and still find a way through. Edin Dzeko will lead the attack for the visitors and is likely to score but Ancelotti’s men have been steady in their approach which makes them favorites for this game. Our prediction is a home win.

LAZIO v INTER MILAN – MON. 29 OCT 2018, 20.30HRS
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Fourth place Lazio welcome third place Inter Milan to Stadio Olimpico for this feisty clash. It is the first meeting between these teams since last season final day drama where both teams locked horns for a place in this season’s Champions League. It was a winner take all game and Inter won on the night in Rome. Both teams come into this game in good form in the league; Inter have recovered from their poor start in Serie A and are on a five match winning run while Lazio have won five of their last six league matches which makes this a delectable encounter. Le Aquile will be out for revenge considering Inter snatched away their Champions League dreams in dramatic fashion.

VERDICT – Just one point separate these two going into Monday’s clash; Inter have 19 points while Lazio have one point less. A win for Lazio will see them leapfrog Inter to third place whereas a victory for the Nerazurris will see them put reasonable distance between them and their host. Mauro Icardi will be expected to be the difference maker just like he did last weekend in the derby. Our 2.5 goals is our safe prediction for this game.

To England;

MANCHESTER UNITED v EVERTON – SUN. 28 OCT 2018, 17.00HRS
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Everton are looking for their fourth straight victory in the Premier League as they travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Mourinho’s team were seconds away from winning at Stamford Bridge last week and the single point won felt like a defeat. Manchester United have scored more goals (95) and won more matches (35) against Everton in the Premier League than against any other opponent. However, the Toffees are on a good run and will be targeting their first victory in eight matches against Manchester United in all competitions. United need to start picking up points, they are sit tenth and are seven behind third place Chelsea and are the only member of the BIG Six who aren’t up there in the table.

VERDICT – Manchester United are a force to reckon with at home in the Premier League; they are undefeated in 35 of 38 matches. Everton’s substitutes made the difference last weekend and that’s something the top six clubs do so it was refreshing to see Marco Silva side emulate such. This is a must win game for United and we believe their quality will see them through. Our prediction is a home win.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v MANCHESTER CITY – MON. 29 OCT 2018, 21.00HRS
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Our attention will be on Wembley come Monday night when Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham welcome defending champions and league leaders Manchester City. Tottenham Hotspur are targeting a fifth successive Premier League victory as they host unbeaten leaders Manchester City. Tottenham Hotspur have lost only two of their last 21 Premier League matches at Wembley (W15 D4 L2), but one of those defeats came against Man City in April. The defending champions beat Spurs home and away last season on their way to winning the title. Can they secure another Wembley victory at the expense of Spurs?

VERDICT – It’s all coming together for Pep Guardiola’s men who produced an excellent display in Ukraine midweek. Kevin De Bruyne is back in the team which just makes City much stronger. Christian Eriksen has equally returned for Tottenham, the Danish playmaker is the creative spark for Mauricio Pochettino’s team and he should pull the strings together. However, Spurs are not at the imperial best though they have been grinding out wins. Both managers will be well prepared for this game so we should be prepared for a spectacle with goals. Our prediction for this game is over 2.5 goals.

This wraps us our weekend focus. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers.

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