Liverpool welcome champions Manchester City to Anfield in the battle for Premier League supremacy this weekend. For the Reds, it appears the wheels starting to fall off with no victory in their last three matches in all competitions. Bayern Munich have their hands full when Borusssia Moenchengladbach come to town as they bid to keep tabs with league leaders Borussia Dortmund and in Ligue 1, rampant PSG have an opportunity to blow away another rival – Lyon at Parc des Princes.
Here is our preview of matches across top five European Leagues.
We begin in France;
LILLE v SAINT ETIENNE – SAT. 06 OCT 2018, 16.00HRS
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Second place Lille square off against fourth place Saint Etienne at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in a battle for Champions League spot between two clubs separated by a single point. Lille head coach Christophe Gatlier is the longest serving Ligue 1 manager spending his eight years in charge of Saint Etienne is looking forward to hosting his former club on Saturday afternoon. The French manager deserves all the compliments coming his way after LOSC strong start to the season which has seen the northerners amass 16 points from eight games while sitting second on the log behind leaders PSG. Former Saint Etienne forward Jonathan Bamba will line up to face his former club as well. Saint Etienne travel to Lille one point behind their host and are on a three game winning run in the league including their 2-0 victory over AS Monaco last weekend.
VERDICT – Christophe Gatlier’s team success has been built on four home wins including last weekend’s exceptional performance against Olympique Marseille. Saint Etienne are on a decent run in the league winning their last three games. However, Les Verts have injuries crises which would weakened their team. On the strength of Lille formidable home form, it is difficult looking beyond LOSC victory. Our prediction is a home win.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v OLYMPIQUE LYON – SUN. 07 OCT 2018, 20.00HRS
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It is always a festival of football when PSG and Lyon clash in Ligue 1. Thomas Tuchel team have been impressive in the league winning their first eight league matches and equaling an 82-year old record in Ligue 1 after their win over OGC Nice last weekend. PSG will aim to keep their 100% record intact with a victory over OL. Bruno Genesio troops are unbeaten in their last four league matches but were unable to secure maximum points against Nantes at home last weekend. Les Gones can be giant killers on their day considering their Champions League victory over English champions Manchester City in England some weeks back.
VERDICT – Sunday’s game should be exciting between two attacking sides. This is a real test for PSG in the league and good opportunity for Thomas Tuchel to evaluate his team progress since he took over. On the other hand, OL can be a handful on their day but they have been inconsistent this season. If they show up on a big match day like Sunday, it wouldn’t be a stroll in park for PSG but Lyon have not tasted victory in their last five visits to Parc des Princes. With the attacking firepower both teams possess, we expect goals. Our prediction is over 2.5 goals
BORUSSIA DORTMUND v AUGSBURG – SAT. 06 OCT 2018, 14.30HRS
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There is a good feeling around Borussia Dortmund right now with Lucien Favre’s team beginning to show signs of being title contenders this early. Last weekend come from behind victory at Leverkusen was impressive with Jando Sancho providing a stellar performance. BVB are in a rich vein of form at the moment and their midweek Champions League win over Monaco lay credence to the fact that they are headed in the right direction. Augsburg won for the first time in five Bundesliga matches in their 4-1 victory over Freiburg last weekend but their most impressive result in recent time was the 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich 10 days ago.
VERDICT – Borussia Dortmund are full of confidence at the moment and have won all three home league games this season. Fuggerstädter travel to Dortmund with belief considering three of the last four meetings against BVB in the league ended in a draw. Furthermore, they got a draw against Bayern recently and were impressive in their win over Freiburg. Lucien Favre’s team are favorites for this fixture and we believe their quality will see them through. Home team to win.
BAYERN MUNICH v BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH – SAT. 06 OCT 2018, 17.30HRS
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Bayern Munich need to rediscover their best form ahead of Gladbach visit. Die Fohlen have made a good start to the season, they sit fourth on the table and are two points behind their host. Nico Kovac men know they must return to winning ways after their unusual three-game winless run. Die Roten struggled to produce their best performance against Ajax in the Champions League, they know improvement will be required against Gladbach if they want to win. Dieter Hecking team have had a week to prepare for this all important game but are yet to win away from home in Bundesliga this season.
VERDICT – Borussia Moenchengladbach got results at Bayern in 2015 and 2016 but on their last two trips to Allianz Arena, they have returned home empty handed. Die Borussen love to attack and have scored in every Bundesliga game this season but defensively, they are not solid which should be the weak spot Bayern need to focus on.We expect Bayern to try and dominate the game but it is difficult calling a winner here. Both teams would score; our prediction is over 2.5 goals.
LAZIO v FIORENTINA – SUN. 07 OCT 2018, 14.00HRS
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Lazio will hope to put an end to a bad run in the last eight days when they host Fiorentina at Stadio Olimpico this weekend. Le Aquile lost Derby della Capitale and were humiliated in another defeat in Germany to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. Simone Inzaghi will be eager to turn around his club’s fortune before the international break with their target on climbing higher on the league table. Meanwhile their visitor Fiorentina are looking good at the moment, they sit third on the log and on same point with Internazionale and Sassuolo. Stefan Pioli’s troops travel to the capital in confident mood regardless of their controversial win over Atalanta last weekend.
VERDICT – Lazio may be low on confidence but their decent record at home against Fiorentina means they can get something out of this game. La Viola have managed one victory in their last six visits to the Olimpico with Lazio winning both league matches last season. Fiorentina have the second best defensive record in the Serie A conceding just four times so far, something for Inzaghi to worry about. On current form, we may have to settle for a draw because Fiorentina’s defensive structure means Lazio attackers could have a frustrating day at work.
NAPOLI v SASSUOLO – SUN. 07 OCT 2018, 17.00HRS
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Napoli lost to Juventus in the top of the table clash last week but they still maintain second spot on the log while High-flying Sassuolo surprisingly lost to Milan at home last week in the game where their forwards were wasteful. The Partenopei are full of life once again after their impressive performance and victory over Liverpool in the Champions League. With four wins in seven games, Sassuolo sit fifth on the log but are on the same points with Fiorentina and Internazionale. Napoli are very strong when they play at home and will not want to lose further grounds on Juventus in the Scudetto race. and when they play at home, Carlo Ancelotti men are a force to reckon with at the home. When these two met last season, Napoli outplayed their guest and I believe the home team will win this.
VERDICT – Kevin-Prince Boateng is the star of the Neroverdi and their success in Naples will be dependent on his performance. Carlo Ancelotti’s team has lost twice in the league against Sampdoria and Juventus but on home patch, they have been incredibly strong for the visitors. Napoli outplayed The Black and Greens last season in the fixture winning 3-1 and we believe a similar outcome is likely this time.
ATLETICO MADRID v REAL BETIS – SUN. 07 OCT 2018, 15.15HRS
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Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid welcome Quique Setien Real Betis to Estadio Wanda Metropolitano for a tricky LaLiga fixture for both teams. Atletico forced their illustrious neighbors Real Madrid to a draw in el derbi Madrileno last week and have only lost once in their last six league games. Los Colchoneros are back in the title race with Barcelona and Real Madrid stuttering but will need a victory at home to keep tabs with the joint league leaders. Real Betis are unbeaten in their last six league games after the false start on the opening day of the season defeat to Levante. Quique Setien is doing an excellent job with Los Beticos who are becoming a force to reckon with in Spain’s top division.
VERDICT – Atleti won their last home league match against Huesca and were convincing in the Champions League win over Club Brugge. Betis won on the road last time out against Girona but have not managed to defeat Atletico Madrid in the last eight meetings. Both teams are in good moment so we expect them to cancel each other out. Don’t expect a high scoring affair at the Metropolitano. Our prediction is over 1.5 goals.
VALENCIA v BARCELONA – SUN. 07 OCT 2018, 19.45HRS
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Valencia got a respectable draw at Manchester United midweek in the Champions League while Barcelona turned on the style in London in their 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Valencia are not anywhere close to the team we saw last season but having picked up their first victory in LaLiga last week at Real Sociedad and a draw in midweek, their confidence should be better as they welcome champions Barcelona to Mestalla. It has been a rough week or so for Barcelona in LaLiga with the champions dropping seven points in three winnable games including a loss at Leganes. However, Leo Messi inspired performance in Wembley reminds us of the genius he is and on his day, he can destroy any team.
VERDICT – These two sides met four times last since twice in the league and in Copa del Rey. Barcelona won three of the four fixtures but had to salvage a draw at Mestalla last November in LaLiga. Both teams are not at their very best but Barca are in better form and shape than Valencia. Goals have always been a part of this fixture and this game will certainly not be an exception. Our prediction is that both teams will get on the score sheet.
MANCHESTER UNITED v NEWCASTLE UNITED – SAT. 06 OCT 2018, 17.30HRS
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Manchester United are in a bad moment but their visitors are in a rot. Manchester United are winless in their last four matches in all competitions and they have several off the pitch issues. It looks like Jose Mourinho does not have the backing of the dressing room anymore and the club will hope the upcoming international break can help calm nerves. On the other hand, Newcastle United do not have a broken locker room but the club is in turmoil as well. Owner Mike Ashley has tried to improve relationship with the team by having dinner with the players and coaches during the week. It remains to be seen what that would to do a team lacking quality and self-belief at the moment. The Magpies are one of the remaining three clubs in the Premier League yet to record a win this season which makes Rafa Benitez job overwhelming en route Old Trafford.
VERDICT – Man United supporters booed the team off the pitch in their goalless draw against Valencia midweek but Newcastle United players suffered same fate in their 2-0 defeat to Leicester City at St. James Park last weekend. Neither team is in a good moment but the pressure will mount more if Manchester United fail to beat Newcastle at the weekend. The Magpies last victory at Old Trafford was in 2013 and last season, they lost 4-1. With everything considered, Man United still have the quality to win this game regardless of their issues. Our prediction is a home win by a slim margin.
LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER CITY – SUN. 07 OCT 2018, 17.30HRS
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There would be fireworks at Anfield when these two giants clash on Sunday evening in the Premier League top of the table clash. Liverpool ended Manchester City unbeaten run in the league last season and City would be out for revenge this time considering the Reds are on a poor run of no wins in their last three matches in all competitions. Nevertheless, Jurgen Klopp will prepare his troops for this titanic battle and we are certain they would be fired up for this. Liverpool lost in the Champions League midweek while City got their Champions League campaign back on track. Both teams have 19 points with City edging it on goals difference. The other intriguing aspect to this game is the battle between two talented managers who have been at each other since their time in Germany.
VERDICT – Jurgen Klopp has got the better of Pep Guardiola more than any other in the business. The German tactician has won 50% of their meetings which means the Spaniard will be plotting his move carefully for this game. Furthermore, City have not won at Anfield since 2003 and Guardiola will be hoping to avoid his third consecutive defeat at this ground. An explosive game is anticipated in Liverpool where we are guaranteed goals. With the attacking talents that would be on parade, we fancy both teams to get on the score sheet.
This wraps us our weekend focus. FESIG previews returns after the international break. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers.