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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (Derby d’Italia edition)

Derby d’Italia is the sternest test yet in the Serie A for Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan in a crunch week that has seen the Beneamata visit the Camp Nou for a Champions League game. Julen Lopetegui and his Sevilla team travel to Catalonia to face the might of the champions Barcelona in a crucial LaLiga game for Ernesto Valverde’s team and in the Premier League, Liverpool’s mental concentration will be tested by an excellent Leicester City team that have impressed in recent weeks.

We begin in France;

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v ANGERS – SAT. 05 OCT 2019, 16.30HRS
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PSG have bounced back from their shock home defeat to Reims with two victories in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. Thomas Tuchel should welcome Edinson Cavani back to complete his attacking trio. Angers will arrive in the capital with belief that they can create an upset like the last visitors – Reims on Saturday evening at Parc des Princes. Les Noirs et Blancs have started this season in excellent form and are just two points behind their host going into this game. Stéphane Moulin’s team is enjoying a rare moment at the upper end of the standings.

VERDICT – Angers should be respected by their host; they are second on merit but their record against PSG is extremely poor.               Stéphane Moulin’s team has lost its last eight meetings against the big spending capital club. Should Neymar and Mbappe click, it will be a long evening for the visitors. Over 2.5 goals

LILLE OSC v NIMES OLYMPIQUE – SUN. 06 OCT 2019, 14.00HRS
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Nîmes Olympique will look to turn the corner when the Crocodiles travel to Stade Pierre-Mauroy to play last season runner-up Lille. Les Dogues have a perfect record at home in Ligue 1 this season, winning their four league matches and will look to continue in similar vein on Sunday afternoon. Bernard Blaquart’s men have struggled in front of goal so far, managing just seven goals in eight league matches and have failed to score in the last two.

VERDICT – Nîmes need to improve on the goalscoring form in order to stand a chance in this game as they are up against the league’s top scorer in Victor Osimhen who has six goals in eight league matches. Lille have been outstanding and superior at home and can be considered heavy favorites for all three points.  

To Germany;

BAYER LEVERKUSEN v RB LEIPZIG – SAT. 05 OCT 2019, 14.30HRS
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Two successive defeats in the Bundesliga and Champions League has seen RB Leipzig invincibility status vanish. Die Roten Bullen travel to face Bayer Leverkusen in what should be an exhibition of attacking football. Die Werkself have won their last two league matches but suffered a midweek defeat in Italy to Juventus in the Champions League. In spite of the game outcome, Peter Bosz team gave a bold performance and dominated their hosts for long periods. In addition to last weekend shock defeat to Schalke at home, Lyon rubbed salt into their wounds by beating them at home midweek. It would be interesting to see how Julian Nagelsmann’s team react with some injuries that will affect his selection.

VERDICT – Both teams had poor results midweek and will look to improve their fortunes at BayArena on Saturday afternoon. Leverkusen enjoy an extra day to recover having played on Tuesday but this game promises to be a mouthwatering prospect with potentially plenty of goals at both ends.

BAYERN MUNICH v TSG HOFFENHEIM – SAT. 05 OCT 2019, 14.30HRS
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After putting seven past Spurs in London on Tuesday, Hoffenheim will need to park a vessel to stop Bayern from crushing them at the Allianz Arena. Nico Kovac’s team is starting to gel; the partnership between Robert Lewandowski and Philippe Coutinho is producing results and when you add Serge Gnarby into the mix, that is a formidable attacking trident. They are producing results with the team scoring 19 goals in just six Bundesliga games. Hoffenheim would have prefer to visit Bayern at a different time considering their recent form of just one victory in six. The Sinsheim outfit have managed only four goals in the league so far.

VERDICT – Hoffenheim have never won in Munich in their Bundesliga history in 18 attempts and do not look like ending that miserable run any time soon. The Munich club have scored 35 goals and conceded just nine in their home meetings against Hoffenheim. A routine home win is expected.

To Italy;

TORINO v NAPOLI – SUN. 06 OCT 2019, 17.00HRS
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Napoli make their second trip to Turin this season already but this time, it is to Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino to play Torino. The Granatas beat Milan in their last home game but then lost to Parma away which killed the momentum gained from the Milan victory. Napoli bounced back quickly from the shocking home loss to Cagliari by beating Brescia last weekend and managed a draw at Genk in the Champions League but the performance in these games has been frustrating. Carlo Ancelotti’s side keep creating opportunities in front of goal but fail to convert.  

VERDICT – Both teams have defensive issues which makes this a game where anything can happen. Torion lack identity at the back while Napoli are without suspended Koulibaly. In their last three matches at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Napoli have scored a total of 11 goals. The largest tally came in the 2016-17, when the Partenopei won 5-0. Both teams should score.

INTER MILAN v JUVENTUS – SUN. 06 OCT 2019, 19.45HRS
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Derby d’Italia is the match of the week in Italy; it is also the ultimate test for Antonio Conte’s team in their quest to break Juventus hegemony in the Serie A. After six rounds of Serie A football, Inter Milan have a perfect record and deservedly sit at the top of the table with 18 points. They have scored 13 goals and conceded only two. Juventus are two points behind the leaders and warmed up nicely for this game with a victory over Bayer Leverkusen midweek. This is the type of game Cristiano Ronaldo lives for and thrives in.

VERDICT – In the last eight meetings, we have seen only one goalless game between these two. It is a perfect game for either team to lay down a marker in the Serie A title race when they collide at the San Siro. Both teams should get on the score sheet.

To Spain;

Julen Lopetegui looks on during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 28, 2018. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

REAL MADRID v GRANADA – SAT. 05 OCT 2019, 15.00HRS
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Real Madrid host high flying LaLiga new boys Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu. El Graná have been the surprise package of the season so far, having collected 13 points in the last five games – a run that includes the impressive 2-0 victory over Barcelona. Zinedine Zidane’s team sit at the top of the table, one point better than Granada and remain the only beaten team in the Spanish top flight. Los Blancos are yet to hit expected heights and have shown signs of inconsistency with the draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League.

VERDICT – Real Madrid have won the last eight matches between these two teams. The last league meetings were in the 2016-17 season, Zidane’s troops crushed their opponent 9-0 over the two league matches. Granada are playing with confidence and should produce better performance this time. Over 2.5 goals

BARCELONA v SEVILLA – SUN. 06 OCT 2019, 20.00HRS
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Barcelona will be looking to extend their winning run in LaLiga to three games when they host Sevilla at their Camp Nou on Sunday evening. The Catalan giants have been solid at home winning all three league matches against Real Betis, Valencia and Villarreal. On the other hand, Sevilla stopped the mini poor run with two victories over Real Sociedad and Apoel Nicosia. Sevilla coach, Julen Lopetegui will be motivated as he seeks a better performance and result compared to his last visit to the Camp Nou with Real Madrid last season.

VERDICT – Sevilla do not have a good record at the Camp Nou; they have lost on their last six visits. Should Leo Messi and Luis Suarez produce similar performance like the midweek game against Inter, Ernesto Valverde’s team can be considered favorites for all three points.

To England;

LIVERPOOL v LEICESTER CITY – SAT. 05 OCT 2019, 15.00HRS
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Brendan Rodgers returns to Merseyside to face his former team who are unbeaten in 43 home league matches – the longest current run in the top five European leagues and the club’s second-longest in top-flight history. The Reds suffered a scare during the Champions League game against Salzburg and will need to keep their concentration throughout as this is a potential banana-peel game. Leicester City rolled over Newcastle United in their last league match but understand that the Liverpool clash is another different challenge.

VERDICT – Jurgen Klopp will demand a much-improved defensive showing following midweek lapse in concentration. The Foxes have been rampant at home but not so on their travels. They fell at Manchester United last time they played away from home and Liverpool are much stronger and better. However, Leicester took points off the Reds in the same game last season therefore we are guaranteed a good game at Anfield. Over 2.5 goals

ARSENAL v BOURNEMOUTH – SUN. 06 OCT 2019, 14.00HRS
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One league victory in the last five isn’t top-four aspiration form but Arsenal still find themselves in there as they welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. The Cheeries can overtake their host with a victory in Matchweek 8 but they have lost all five matches away from home against Arsenal. Eddie Howe’s team have been strong in attack, scoring in all seven league matches to date but have conceded in all league games as well. They can become the fourth team to both score and concede in their opening eight Premier League matches, after Derby County in 2000-01, Middlesbrough in 2000-01 and Leicester City in 2015-16. The only positive in this record is Leicester winning the Premier League after going through this run. Can Bournemouth upset the odds?

VERDICT – Arsenal have lost only one of their last 21 Premier League home matches but have conceded two goals in both of their last two. Callum Wilson is looking to score in a fifth consecutive league match for the first time since March 2014 and he has three goals in his four league appearances against Arsenal. The Gunners should win this at home but both teams will get on the scoresheet at the Emirates.

This wraps up our FESIG preview for the week. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers in all matches available in the French, German, Italian, Spanish and English leagues and more for the weekend.

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