Who will win the Premier League title? We are down to the final day of the season and have thoroughly enjoyed the battle between perfectionist Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City team and Jurgen Klopp’s never relenting Liverpool side. In Germany, title record holders Bayern Munich can seal their 29th Bundesliga crown with a victory in the East in the blockbuster fixture of week 33 against high-flying RB Leipzig. Atalanta lead the chasing pack in the Serie A for the final Champions League place but have set sight on third place with Inter showing their erratic form. Fifth-place Valencia might be getting help in the race for the final Champions League spot in Spain as Getafe travel to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona – a victory for the Spanish Champions and a home win against Alaves will see Marcelino’s team leap into fourth spot.
We begin in France;
NIMES OLYMPIQUE v AS MONACO – SAT. 11 MAY 2019, 19.00HRS
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17th place Monaco are yet to secure their Ligue 1 status as they make the 302km trip west to face Nimes. They would be nerves for Les Monégasques fans at Stade des Costieres on Saturday evening in what is expected to be a very entertaining game for the home team. Les Crocodiles will aim to build on a 3-0 win over Reims; they are on a three-game winning run at home in the French top division and are undefeated in previous seven home games in the Ligue . For Leonardo Jardim’s team, they are three points off the relegation play-off zone but their current wretched form of no victory in the last six league matches makes this trip extremely important for Monaco in a bid to secure their top flight status.
VERDICT – Monaco have a better away form in Ligue 1 this season (4W, 6D, 7L) and have lost once in their last four league matches away from home. Nimes have been quite inconsistent with results; losing 5-0 to Lille and following up with a 3-0 victory over Reims. It’s difficult predicting which Nimes side will turn up at Costieres. We expect Monaco to give a real fight here so a draw might be the outcome.
OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE v OLYMPIQUE LYON – SUN. 12 MAY 2019, 20.00HRS
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All eyes would be on Orange Velodrome Sunday evening when OM entertain OL. Marseille European ambition for next season is fast fading away. The host has no chance of qualifying for the Champions League but can still secure a Europa League berth but need to win against Lyon at home. The visitors need all three points to maintain their position on the log with rivals Saint Etienne breathing down their neck in the race for the final Champions League spot. Bruno Génésio time as Lyon manager is winding down but the French coach, a former player at the club would want to secure qualification for Europe premier competition as his parting gift to Les Gones fans.
VERDICT – Lyon have the third best away form in Ligue 1 this season (7W, 5D, 5L). They have lost one of their last four away from home but will have to deal with Marseille striker Mario Balotelli. The Italian is Les Phocéens top marksman at home and will be expected to deliver. Lyon have the better head-to-head between these sides and haven’t lost in Marseille on their last four visits. We expect goals from both teams.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND v FORTUNA DUSSELDORF – SAT. 11 MAY 2019, 14.30HRS
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Dortmund are four points behind leaders Bayern with two games to go but Lucien Favre’s team is refusing to give up. The Black-Yellow army surrendered two goals lead against Werder Bremen last week and now need to win both games against Fortuna Düsseldorf and Borussia Moenchengladbach. Their current form suggest improvement will be required if they aim to push the title race till the final day at least – in plain terms, Dortmund have to win against Düsseldorf at home and hope Bayern slip up in Leipzig. Friedhelm Funkel’s team secured their Bundesliga status some weeks back and will make the short trip to Dortmund to play without pressure. It doesn’t mean they would ease off as they have caused some upset this season including inflicting Dortmund their first league defeat of the season.
VERDICT – It’s Dortmund final home game of the season; Lucien Favre will task his team to produce a better performance than what we saw during the derby. The home team will go hard against a team that hurt them earlier in the campaign. With nothing to play for, Düsseldorf might go in easy. We still anticipate an exciting Bundesliga match but Dortmund should win this at home.
RB LEIPZIG v BAYERN MUNICH – SAT. 11 MAY 2019, 14.30HRS
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Leipzig might be the new kid on the block in the Bundesliga with just 3 seasons in the top flight but the Easterners are setting out to be the new menace for Bayern Munich after Borussia Dortmund. The Bulls can knock the Bavarians off their seventh-straight title course with a win at home – a possibility considering the home team hasn’t lost in the league since January. This game should serve as a rehearsal for the DFB Pokal final taking place later this month but Bayern have their destiny in their hands as they travel to the East in search of another crown.
VERDICT – Leipzig are the form team in the Bundesliga winning five of the last six league matches but this game is far more important to Bayern Munich than their host. Leipzig boasts of the best defensive in the league and will look to hurt Nico Kovac’s team on Saturday. However, it has to be pointed that Dortmund beat Leipzig in January when they visited the Red Bull Arena so Bayern will fancy themselves to take all three points. We expect both teams to go on the offense and we can be guaranteed goals from both sides.
ATALANTA v GENOA – SAT. 11 MAY 2019, 14.00HRS
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The two managers on either side will face their former teams at at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Atalanta are on a 10-game unbeaten streak in the Serie A dating back to February as the host struggling Genoa whose top flight status isn’t secured for next season. Gasperini has come a long way with Atalanta and he is on the verge of securing Champions League for La Dea. The Bergamo based club isn’t just fourth on the log, they are also one point behind third place Inter and can occupy that spot for 48 hours before Inter play Chievo on Monday. With an eye on Wednesday Coppa Italia final, Atalanta might be forced to rest key players for this game. Prandelli has managed to steady Genoa’s ship but their long streak without a victory spanning almost two months is a cause for concern.
VERDICT – Atalanta have won three in a row in the league; they sit three points better than closest challenger and can widen the gap before others play. They will be playing their final two home matches away from home due to reconstruction work at Stadio Azzurri d’Italia. This fixture produces goals; we have seen 35 goals in the last 10 Serie A meetings between these teams. Their last draw was 2-2 at Marassi in January 2015, followed by five Atalanta wins and three for Genoa. Atalanta have the second best away form in league so that shouldn’t matter much. They won this fixture last season 3-1 and should do the same now.
AS ROMA v JUVENTUS – SUN. 12 MAY 2019, 19.30HRS
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Roma were inches away from suffering an unexpected defeat at Marassi last week but pulled off a draw at the end. The Giallorossi will aim to keep their Champions League hopes alive by taking advantage of stuttering Juventus on Sunday. Max Allegri’s time might be up in Turin with the club shopping for a new coach – could this be the reason for their recent poor results? La Vecchia Signora have one win in their last four league matches and were very close to losing the Derby to Torino last weekend. On the other hand, Roma look like a club in turmoil with fans demanding President James Pallotta sells the club to new investors having failed to match the ambition of their prime candidate Antonio Conte for the coaching role. What can we expect at the Olimpico on Sunday evening?
VERDICT – Juventus form has fallen away badly with one win in their last six competitive matches. The Old Lady hasn’t experienced a negative streak of one victory in seven games since Alberto Zaccheroni’s era in February 2010. Roma have failed to score in five of their last six league games against Juventus, including three on the bounce. The only time they fired blanks in four consecutive Serie A meetings with Juve was from 1948-49. Both teams should score, as Roma have found the net in each of the last nine league matches while Juve haven’t kept a clean sheet in five.
BARCELONA v GETAFE – SUN. 12 MAY 2019, 17.30HRS
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Spanish champions Barcelona will need to pick themselves following their astonishing Champions League exit to Liverpool midweek. Despite winning retaining LaLiga title and a possible successive double under Ernesto Valverde, the former Athletic Bilbao coach is under pressure with his team’s failure in landing the holy grail. Overachieving Getafe travel to the Camp Nou in decent form; winning three of their last six league matches with a three point advantage over fifth place Valencia. However, Los Che have the better head-to-head between these two teams which means Getafe need at least a point in Catalonia to keep their direct rival at bay.
VERDICT – Jose Bordalas have been quite strong on the road this campaign, losing just three away games in 18 league matches on the road. However, they face a huge challenge considering how strong Barcelona have been at home winning 14 in 18 LaLiga matches this season in front of their fans. The Champions League exit is likely to dampen the mood at the Camp Nou however Valverde and his team need to give their fans something to cheer in this sullen moment. Since Getafe returned to the top flight last season, this fixture has always been a close affair. We expect another tight game with the home team edging it.
VALENCIA v ALAVES – SUN. 12 MAY 2019, 17.30HRS
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Valencia needs to find inspiration within following their Europa League exit in the hands of former coach Unai Emery. Los Che can leapfrog Getafe into fourth position and control their Champions League destiny by securing a victory against Alaves at the Mestalla on Sunday. Abelardo Fernández’s team has fallen in unbelievable fashion with no victory in the last six league matches. Such form isn’t encouraging; however, their host are not particularly in confident mood as well. It is the final home game of the season and Marcelino will demand that his players give their best one more time for the home fans.
VERDICT – Valencia have lost four of their last five games, as well as being knocked out of the Europa League semi-finals. Even with their usual good showings at home, Marcelino’s side have suffered consecutive defeats at Mestalla, conceding five goals in the process. Alaves are winless in their last eight La Liga matches, taking just three points in the league from their last possible 24. Valencia need to seize this final opportunity to overtake Getafe if it presents itself on Sunday, they would be expected to beat a wretched Alaves.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION v MANCHESTER CITY – SUN. 12 MAY 2019, 15.00HRS
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Manchester City are targeting a 14th straight Premier League victory, which would ensure that they finish above Liverpool and retain the title. Their hosts Brighton & Hove Albion have already achieved safety and are aiming to sign off with a first win in nine top-flight matches. Manchester City would have learnt this season that the Premier League title wouldn’t be handed easily like it happened last season. Pep Guardiola needs one more perfect performance from his team at the Amex stadium against Brighton to retain the league title they won last season. The Seagulls performance at Arsenal last week shows they will not roll over easily on the last day in front of their fans. Manchester City have their destiny in their hands but can they deliver?
VERDICT – Brighton have played more top-flight matches against reigning champions without winning than any other team, after 11 of such fixtures (2D, 9L). Man City have won their last four meetings with Brighton in all competitions and have already beaten the Seagulls twice this season, in the Premier League and FA Cup. Can Brighton spoil Pep Guardiola’s party on the south coast? It is hard to see anything but a City win here simply because of what we have seen from them in the past few weeks.
LIVERPOOL v WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS – SUN. 12 MAY 2019, 15.00HRS
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What else can we say about the Reds? They have been impressive all season and Tuesday night epic comeback in the Champions League is an epitome of what Jurgen Klopp is all about and how he has transformed Liverpool. Lying just one point behind leaders Manchester City, Liverpool are targeting a ninth straight top-flight victory and their first ever Premier League title. Overachieving Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have won their last three matches, will finish seventh regardless of their result. Will 97 points be enough for Liverpool to secure their first league title in 29 years? It would be difficult to see them finish the season with such huge numbers but not with a title to celebrate.
VERDICT – Jurgen Klopp’s side have had an absolutely brilliant season and all they can do to on Sunday is win. This will be the sixth time Liverpool and Wolves have met in their final match of a top-flight season. Liverpool have won the last five by an aggregate score of 12-4. The Reds could remain unbeaten at home in a top-flight campaign for the eighth time, and for the first time in consecutive seasons since 1978/79 and 1979/80. Wolves will give a good game but, Liverpool have always found a way to win and will do so on Sunday.
This wraps up our preview for the week. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers in league matches across top five European leagues this weekend.