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FESIG League Preview – (The Gunners take on the Reds)


Unai Emery’s Arsenal welcome title challengers Liverpool to the North London in the fourth v second Premier League clash on Saturday evening. Arsenal will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run in the league to eight while Liverpool would aim to preserve their unbeaten start to the Premier League. In France, we have the top of the table clash at Parc des Princes between defending champions PSG and second place Lille in addition Montpellier entertain Olympique Marseille at Stade de la Mosson.

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

We begin in England;

ARSENAL v LIVERPOOL – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 18.30HRS
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Arsenal are aiming to extend an eight-match unbeaten run in the Premier League while Liverpool are still undefeated in the league this season as two of the top four sides go head to head at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners winning run came to end at Selhurst Park last weekend but Arsenal should not be discouraged by the draw. The North Londoners are looking for their first league victory over Liverpool in seven attempts. It is well pointing out that Jurgen Klopp has not lost a Premier League match against Arsenal since he joined the Reds in 2015 and would be aiming to keep that record intact. The Reds are second on the log, same point with Manchester City who have a better goal difference.

VERDICT – Liverpool took four points from Arsenal in the Premier League last season including a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates. The Reds are unbeaten in their last three trips to the Emirates and will be looking for another good result in London against a big six side following their victory at Tottenham and draw at Chelsea. Goal have been a part of this fixture, the last five games has produced 27 goals and we believe that trend will continue in this game. Both Teams to Score.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 20.45HRS
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Wolves are aiming to recover from back-to-back defeats, while visiting Tottenham Hotspur are also seeking a return to winning ways after their loss to Manchester City on Monday. Wolves have not won against a top-half team in 24 attempts and will hope to change that right now. Their last success in this respect came when they beat Manchester United 1-0 in February 2011. Wolves have also failed to score in their last two top-flight fixtures but have never failed to score in three consecutive league matches under Nuno Espirito Santo. Spurs have a good record against newly promoted sides but Wolves beat them twice in 2009/10 season. Mauricio Pochettino team will be determined to stay in the title race, they are five point of the top presently.

VERDICT – Tottenham have won five of their last six away Premier League matches and on their last visit to the Molineux, they left with all three points. Back-to-back defeats would have hit Wolves confidence but the home team gave a good display in their loss at Brighton last weekend. A similar performance in front of their fans would be required at the very least one of the bigger teams in the league. This is a balanced game considering all factors though the away team have the edge and experience. We are not likely to see a lot of goals here; over 1.5 goals is the safe prediction.

To France;

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v LILLE – FRI. 02 NOV 2018, 20.45HRS
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Unbeaten league leaders PSG welcome second place Lille to Parc des Princes in the top of the table clash in Ligue 1. Thomas Tuchel team are by far the best and strongest team in the league, they are scoring with ease and are averaging three goals per league match. It would be interesting to see how LOSC can stop Les Parisiens. Lille are enjoying a good start to the season, they are playing well and have won five of their last six league matches. However, a trip to Paris is a different kettle of fish though PSG may be tempted to rest some of their big guns considering the crucial Champions League trip to Naples to face Napoli.

VERDICT – PSG have won 11 consecutive Ligue 1 matches and won their last six matches in all competitions against Lille. Ligue 1 leading goal-scorer Kylian Mbappe should return to the starting XI alongside Adrien Rabiot who were both dropped for disciplinary issues for Le Classique. Christopher Gatlier has his full squad available for selection with Rui Fonte returning from injury. The champions have enough quality across the park and should be good enough for a victory. Our prediction is a home win & over 2.5 goals.

MONTPELLIER v OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE – SUN. 04 NOV 2018, 21.00HRS
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Montpellier host Marseille in this round 12 fixture with a target to earn all three points at home and hopefully displace Lille from second spot on the log if results goes their way in Paris. Montpellier sit third on the table while their visitor Marseille are currently fifth. OM are just a win away of levelling Montpellier on the table but the home team is in better form, they are unbeaten in the last six league matches, winning four of them. Marseille have lost their last two matches (Ligue 1 – PSG and Europa League – Lazio) though they are unbeaten in their last two away league matches.

VERDICT – Marseille have the better head-to-head record in this duel, winning 16 of the last 27 meetings. Rudi Garcia’s team have not been consistent enough in the league; winning three and losing three in their last six Ligue 1 matches. Michel Der Zakarian are in rich vein of form which has propelled them to third spot though they are struggling in front of goals; scoring 17 in 11 league matches. History favors Marseille but on current form, Montpellier have the edge. Our prediction is under 3.5 goals at Stade de la Mosson.

To Germany;

BAYERN MUNICH v FREIBURG – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 15.30HRS
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Bayern Munich will play at the Allianz Arena after four consecutive away games as they welcome Freiburg to the Bavaria capital. Nico Kovac’s team have won back-to-back Bundesliga games and are just two points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund. Bayern have been hit with injuries lately, Kovac will be happy to have some of his important players back with Die Klassiker around the corner. Freiburg are enjoying one of their better season in the German top division, they have lost once in their last six league matches though their trips to Bavaria has not produced positive outcomes in recent times.

VERDICT – Bayern have won their last 14 home games against Freiburg. However, current Bayern coach Nico Kovac has never beaten Freiburg as a coach while his counterpart Christian Streich hasn’t lost to Kovac in their previous meetings. Kovac is probably on a personal mission on Saturday afternoon to end this poor run against his rival. Freiburg are in decent form, unbeaten in their last three league matches but Bayern are dominate at home. The home team should be good enough to win at home.

WOLFSBURG v BORUSSIA DORTMUND – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 15.30HRS
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Dortmund’s four game winning run in the league was halted by Hertha Berlin last weekend in a 2-2 draw. Ahead of next week Die Klassiker, BVB will want to maintain their two point advantage over rivals Bayern Munich when they travel to the Volkswagen Arena to play Wolfsburg who have won back-to-back matches for the first time this season beating Fortuna Dusselfdorf in the league and Hannover in DFB Pokal. The game against Dortmund is a different challenge for Wolfsburg, the Yellow and Black are in free-scoring form, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho are expected to return to the starting XI for this one while the home team will be hoping to end their three game goalless run against Dortmund.

VERDICT – Favre has never won on his seven Bundesliga visits to Wolfsburg (D2, L5), which is the most matches he’s contested at a club without victory. However, Dortmund are undefeated in their 14 competitive games under their Swiss manager. BVB are unbeaten away from home in the last three months, while Wolfsburg haven’t won at home since the end of August. The team from Dortmund are clear favorites, an away win is very possible at the Volkswagen Arena.

To Italy;

FIORENTINA v AS ROMA – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 18.00HRS
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Roma held Napoli to a surprise draw at San Paolo last week and will draw inspiration from the game as they travel to Tuscany to face Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Giallorossi current league form is not spectacular but equally not fantastic; they have won three of their last five with the only loss the shocking home defeat to SPAL. Fiorentina’s early season form seem to have fade away, they are failed to win any of their last three league matches. However, their home form is still respectable having dropped just two points at home all season. Eusebio Di Francesco’s team have taken four points from their last two away games and are in better form than their host.

VERDICT – In the last 40 meetings between these two, Roma have the better head-to-head record with 22 wins and nine draws. The last eight meetings between these two has always produced goals and a winner except a draw in March 2015. This fixture produced six gals last season, are we in for the same this time? We except goals at Artemio Franchi, over 2.5 goals might be a good outcome.

JUVENTUS v CAGLIARI – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 20.30HRS
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Unbeaten Serie A champions Juventus entertain Cagliari at the Allianz stadium on Saturday evening before their Champions League match against Manchester United. The Old Lady are the league leaders and highest scoring team in the league after 10 rounds of matches. Cristiano Ronaldo is proving his worth in La Vecchia Signoria shirt with seven goals and four assist already. Cagliari have had a decent season so far and their recent performances has brought some attention to the Sardinia club. Rolando Maran’s team have lost once in their last five Serie A games, it was Inter who defeated them. Cagliari have their own in-form forward in Leonardo Pavoletti who has five goals and one assist to his name.

VERDICT – Cagliari have held Milan and Fiorentina to draws this season already so it would be interesting to see how Max Allegri approaches this game. The visitors have a growing injury list which leaves them stretch but the Bianconeris will have one eyes on the upcoming visit of Manchester United. Juventus won this fixture comfortably like season 3-0 and it is very possible for us to witness a repeat on Saturday.

To Spain;

REAL MADRID v REAL VALLADOLID – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 16.15HRS
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Real Madrid will be looking to end their losing streak in the league when Real Valladolid come calling at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu Saturday afternoon. The club wielded the big stick on outgone coach Julen Lopetegui following the clasico embarrassing defeat in the hands of eternal rivals Barcelona. The defeat leaves Real Madrid ninth on the log and seven points away from the top. Valladolid are on a solid run, undefeated in six and winning four league matches in that run. Sergio and his boys are on a row at the moment and will hope to catch a weak Real Madrid on the day. Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, majority shareholder at Valladolid will be a guest at the Bernabeu, a ground he called home for at least four and half years.

VERDICT – La Puecla have been performing above expectation considering they just returned to LaLiga after four years in Segunda Division. Santiago Solari has been drafted in as interim manager for Real Madrid following Lopetegui’s dismissal and the Argentine won his first match in the Copa del Rey away at Melilla. Can he open his LaLiga account on a winning note as well and put himself in the frame for the job permanently? Real Madrid needs this win more than their guest as they aim to start climbing up the table. Valladolid’s last four trips to the Bernabeu have all ended in defeat; will they put a stop to it this time?

RAYO VALLECANO v BARCELONA – SAT. 03 NOV 2018, 20.45HRS
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League leaders Barcelona travel to Madrid to face minnows Rayo as they aim to consolidate their position at the top of the table with another victory at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas. Rayo’s form doesn’t inspire confidence; three draws and three defeats in their last 6 league matches against a Luis Suarez led attack for the Catalan giants. Los Vallecanos are struggling with life in the Primera Division and will need to improve if they want to remain in the division. Leo Messi is still out injured for Ernesto Valverde team but it didn’t stop Barcelona from annihilating eternal rivals Real Madrid in the clasico last weekend.

VERDICT – Barcelona are proving they can deal with Messi’s absence; Inter Milan and Real Madrid have been swept away at the Camp Nou recently. Can they perform in similar manner away from home? Michel’s team have scored in eight of their nine league matches, an indication that offensively, they are good enough but same cannot be said of the defense. Barca are on a four game winning run in all competition and on their last visit to Rayo, Los Cules won convincingly at the Vallecas. We should expect goals; over 3.5 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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