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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (LaLiga double header edition)

Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City team are in search for three points in the capital when they face struggling Arsenal whose new interim boss is still finding his feet in his new role. The champions are already 14 points behind relentless Liverpool in this season title race. There is a double header in Spain this weekend with the top two sides facing tricky away games; Barcelona travel to San Sebastein to face Real Sociedad while Real Madrid have a difficult task at the Mestalla against Valencia. Andre Villas-Boas Olympique Marseille can make in seven straight wins in Ligue 1 if they can overcome Metz FC at Stade Municipal Saint-Symphorien.

Let us take a preview of some of the most exciting matches in this FESIG edition.

We begin in France;

MTEZ FC v OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE – SAT. 14 DEC 2019, 17.30HRS
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Olympique Marseille continue their fine run in the league with an impressive come-from-behind victory over Bordeaux to confirm their credentials as genuine title contenders for the season. André Villas-Boas side has a six-point lead over third-placed Lille and can reduce the gap at the top to two at Stade Saint-Symphorien. Host, Metz have a different ambition for the season – survival and retaining their status in the top flight. Les Grenats have been around the relegation zone all season and are without a victory in eight Ligue 1 matches ahead of OM’s visit.

VERDICT – This game pits together two teams with different forms; Metz have lost their last two while Marseille have won six in a row. The host have conceded 25 goals in 17 games and have scored just 14 in reply which is rather worrying. Marseille efficient play in recent weeks has yielded results and with two consecutive clean sheets on the road, we think the visitors should be able to extend their winning streak here.

AS SAINT ETIENNE v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – SUN. 15 DEC 2019, 21.00HRS
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Saint Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain European adventures finished in opposing ends. Les Verts couldn’t manage in single win in the six group matches in the Europa League while PSG group stage form could be seen as a statement of intent. Both teams need to switch focus to domestic matters and PSG have Marseille hot on their heels in the title race. The Sainte have been pretty decent since Claude Puel took over, they are a dangerous counter-attacking unit and they will aim to hurt the capital club if they get sloppy.  

VERDICT – With Marseille relentless pursuit, PSG will need to be on top of their game if they want to get maximum points here. They have slumped to some away defeats this season to Dijon and Rennes, and have kept the clean sheet only on three occasions. The home side will surely be pumped and encouraged by the intimidating home crowd; they could well get a result here. Over 2.5 goals

To Germany;

BAYERN MUNICH v WERDER BREMEN – SAT. 14 DEC 2019, 15.30HRS
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Three defeats in five Bundesliga outings isn’t championship form but Bayern Munich fans can be enthusiastic about the next opponent in the league – Werder Bremen. Die Werderaner have been one of Bayern’s favorite victims of recent years and they are the team FC Hollywood would love to face on the back of successive league defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach. Werder Bremen will certainly not be relishing a trip to the Allianz Arena now. Florian Kohfeldt’s side have one win in the last eight against Wolfsburg but then followed it with a home defeat to Paderborn. The visitors have only three wins in the league all season but two have been on the road.

VERDICT – Bayern have won each of their last 17 Bundesliga meetings with Bremen, which is the longest winning run by any club against another in the league’s history. In all competitions it’s 20 victories in a row, since a goalless draw in September 2010. On current form, Bayern will win this game but the question is, how many goals will we see at the Allianz Arena? Over 3.5 goals

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF v RB LEIPZIG – SAT. 14 DEC 2019, 18.30HRS
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RB Leipzig travel to Dusseldorf to face Fortuna in week 15 fixture in the German Bundesliga. Leipzig have won each of their last five Bundesliga games and will be hoping to earn their sixth straight Bundesliga win this Saturday against an out-of-sort Fortuna side. The Flingeraner have lost eight of their last 13 Bundesliga games, winning just two. They have failed to get a win in any of their last four Bundesliga games. Friedhelm Funkel’s team recent form has been poor enough to see them drop to 16th place on the Bundesliga table. Can the spring a surprise against one of the high flyers at home?

VERDICT – Leipzig have been prolific in front of goal scoring 22 goals in the last five Bundesliga matches. Fortuna played Bayern and Dortmund recently, shipping in nine goals in the two matches. These results will not inspire confidence in the host as they entertain the division highest scorers. We believe the gulf in quality between the two teams will provide the difference. Over 2.5 goals at MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA

To Italy;

BOLOGNA v ATALANTA – SUN. 15 DEC 2019, 15.00HRS
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Fresh from their Champions League exploits and historic triumph with €40m projected revenue coming in, Atalanta will travel to Stadio Renato Dall’Ara with confidence to face Bologna but could also be hungover from the victory in Ukraine. Bologna suffered defeat against Milan last time out which left them in joint 12th place with Fiorentina on 16 points. Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men managed only one win in their last six matches, a surprise 2-1 result away to Napoli. The defense is certainly an issue, keeping just two clean sheets all season.

VERDICT – Both managers are proponents of attacking football in the Serie A, we are expecting an open game with both teams scoring. The unsavory history for Bologna is that they have lost their last seven Serie A meetings with Atalanta, home and away. Since a 3-0 home victory in November 2015, the Rossoblu scored four goals and conceded 15 against Atalanta.

FIORENTINA v INTER MILAN – SUN. 15 DEC 2019, 20.45HRS
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Struggling Fiorentina host current leaders Inter Milan, who are aiming to bounce back following their midweek Champions League elimination. The Nerazzurri must now focus on attention to the domestic title charge as they target a first Scudetto title in in decade. Fiorentina have now lost their last four Serie A matches and Vincenzo Montella is feeling the pressure with President Rocco Commisso running out of patience. The Italian coach problems are mounting with Franck Ribery ankle injury ruling him out for the remainder of the year and robbing the team of the Frenchman’s guile and experience in attack.

VERDICT – Fiorentina are unbeaten in their last five matches at home against Inter Milan, with three victories and two draws. Their last defeat at the Stadio Artemio Franchi was in February 2014. However, this is a different Inter team under Conte. They are the first team to win their first seven matches on the road in Serie A this season, scoring at least twice on each occasion. Can they become only the third team to make it an opening eight after Milan in 1992-93 and Juventus in 2018-19?

To Spain;

REAL SOCIEDAD v BARCELONA – SAT. 14 DEC 2019, 16.00HRS
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A trip to the Reale Arena is no doubt a big test for Barcelona. This is always one of the fixtures that Barcelona fans look to with unease but Barcelona have now won on each of their last three trips to Anoeta having gone a decade without victory in San Sebastian prior to that. This Real Sociedad team is different and much stronger with Real Madrid loanee – Martin Ødegaard is their biggest weapon and he’ll be eager to do both his current and parent teams a favor against this somewhat unconvincing Barça backline.

VERDICT – Barcelona have not put in a truly convincing away performance since their victory at Eibar and that has to be a worry for them heading into a tough game like this. However, the inspiring form of Leo Messi is obviously a huge factor in Barcelona. Real Sociedad have enough quality in attack to cause the Catalans problems and score goals. Both teams to score in this exciting encounter.

VALENCIA v REAL MADRID – SUN. 15 DEC 2019, 21.00HRS
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Resurgent Valencia welcome Real Madrid to the Mestalla for one of the standout fixtures of this round of matches. Los Che have won four of their last five league matches and will be boosted by their Champions League victory in Ajax when Los Blancos come calling. The Madrid club are joint leaders with Barcelona but are second thanks to Los Cules superior goal difference. Real Madrid’s early season wobbly form seem a distant memory now, they have lost one in the last 15 and have won the last seven in all competitions.

VERDICT – Both teams won their respective home league matches last season but the Mestalla hasn’t been a good hunting ground for Real Madrid in recent years. One win in the last five and it has been a ground where Zidane’s two predecessors have lost their job. Valencia are unbeaten at home this season and will be motivated to beat one of the leaders. Over 1.5 goals is our prediction for this tricky game for both sides.

To England;

LIVERPOOL v WATFORD – SAT. 14 DEC 2019, 13.30HRS
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This is top versus bottom fixture in the Premier League. Liverpool have the chance to extend their lead at the top to 11 points as they host bottom club Watford in the first fixture of Matchweek 17. The Hornets ended a three-match losing streak with a draw against Crystal Palace last time out and would leapfrog Norwich City with a win at Anfield. The remote chances of that happening is slim, Liverpool have moulded themselves into a team capable of grinding out victories even when they don’t necessarily deserve them. Watford are underdogs coming into this game, the Hornets have won just one league game this season and are already on their third manager of the campaign.

VERDICT – Liverpool have won their last three Premier League home matches against Watford 6-1, 5-0 and 5-0. No side have won four consecutive home matches by a margin of five or more goals against an opponent in top-flight history. The Reds will be looking to secure their eighth successive Premier League win as Nigel Pearson makes his Watford bow. This has a home win written all over.

ARSENAL v MANCHESTER CITY – SUN. 15 DEC 2019, 17.30HRS
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Manchester City will aim to avoid losing successive matches for the first time this season against the Gunners who ended a seven-match winless run against West Ham. On the other hand, Arsenal will be targeting back-to-back league victories for the first time since August. After an initial shaky start, Arsenal battling spirit in the last two games under Freddie Ljungberg can give the Gunners some belief they can push the champions or win it on Sunday. City were stunned in the derby by United last week but rebounded emphatically midweek. They will aim to draw belief from their last two away performances at Burnley and Dinamo Zagreb ahead of the trip to London.

VERDICT – Manchester City did the Premier League double over Arsenal and have beaten them in five straight games in all competitions. Neither team looks comfortable at the back currently and teams are able to create chances against them. We believe both teams to score is likely outcome in this encounter.

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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