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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (Derby della Capitale edition)

The eternal city of Rome will come to a standstill this weekend as cross-town rivals clash in the famous Derby della Capitale. Can AS Roma stop their city rivals in their tracks? Lazio is arguably one of the form sides in Europe and are currently on a run of eleven straight victories in Serie A. The English FA Cup – the oldest cup competition reaches its fourth round this weekend with some interesting all Premier League ties; high-flying Saints host Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham just three weeks after the last meeting at Saint Mary’s stadium. Can the South Coast club produce a repeat of New Year’s performance? Bayern Munich need to keep the pressure on leaders Leipzig in the Bundesliga title race by overcoming Schalke at the Allianz Arena.

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

We begin in France;

OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE v ANGERS SCO – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 17.30HRS
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VS

Olympique Marseille will look to build on their French Cup win over Granville when they host Angers at the Orange Velodrome on Saturday. Les Phocéens are eyeing a third consecutive win in the Ligue 1, and a triumph over les Scoistes would cut that to five ahead of PSG trip to Lille on Sunday so three points here are crucial for OM. Tenth-place Angers won’t roll over easily; they are unbeaten in their last five matches with three wins but the quality of opponents has been slightly questionable so these victories do need to be looked at in context. They have won just one of their last six games in the league.

VERDICT – Marseille will require a better performance than their last outing in the Coupe de France. The home team are undefeated in their last eight matches against Angers in all competitions but Stéphane Moulin’s team have drawn the last two Ligue 1 meetings at the Orange Velodrome. André Villas-Boas team have enough quality to overcome the visitors on home turf though we also expect the away side to get on the score sheet as both teams have scored in four of the last five clashes between these sides and in seven of OM’s last eight home matches.

LILLE OSC v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – SUN. 26 JAN 2020, 21.00HRS
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Eight points clear at the top of the league, romping into another Coupe de la Ligue final against Lyon, PSG are in typical Les Parisien form as they travel to Lille chasing another away win. Lille have been a bit inconsistent in recent weeks with five wins and four defeats in their last nine matches seeing them sit 5th in Ligue 1 but Christophe Galter is doing a remarkable job of building another team for Los Dogues after last season success. LOSC face PSG in front of their own fans where they are on a run of four consecutive wins and three clean sheets. They have actually only lost one home game since the start of October and have the best home record in Ligue 1.

VERDICT – All is well in French capital for the champions and leaders but they still have memories of the heavy defeat suffered at Stade Pierre-Mauroy last season. Lille will be hoping for home advantage to help them through this difficult game but PSG strong run at moment means they should be consider favorites. Before last season league defeat at Lille, PSG had posted good results there and they might begin another run now. Over 2.5 goals at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

To Germany;

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT v RB LEIPZIG – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 15.30HRS
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VS

Eintracht Frankfurt face the unenviable task of trying to stop Bundesliga top scorer Timo Werner and league leaders RB Leipzig on Saturday. Adi Hütter’s team will hope to build some momentum following last weekend’s win over Hoffenheim – their first in seven. Leipzig have been the team to beat in the Bundesliga in recent months and kicked off the second half of the season with a come-from-behind-win against Union Berlin. Timo Werner scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season with Julian Nagelsmann’s team winning eight and drawing one. They haven’t lost since Matchday 9 and they begin the weekend with a four-point advantage over second-placed Bayern.

VERDICT – Leipzig are the Bundesliga’s highest-scoring team, scoring 51 goals in their 18 Bundesliga games. Frankfurt are very hard to beat on home soil but RBL presents a different challenge. Despite struggling to get results lately, Eintracht have scored in five of their last six Bundesliga games. However, there is a reason Leipzig are 19 points better off than Frankfurt. The visitors are favorites but we may see goals scored at both ends in this game.

BAYERN MUNICH v SCHALKE 04 – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 18.30HRS
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Bayern Munich will face a tough test at the Allianz Arena when fifth-placed Schalke coming calling. The defending champions will hope to take three points from Saturday’s game to keep the pressure on league leaders RB Leipzig. On the other hand, Schalke have already equaled their points total from last season after just 18 games under David Wagner. The Miners head to Munich full of confidence after a commanding 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the opening game of 2020. Bayern are not goal shy either, the Bavarians hit Hertha with four on their travel to the capital last weekend.

VERDICT – This is the 100th league meeting between these sides with Bayern enjoying more success than the Royal Blues. Bayern Munich do not need further motivation than leaders Leipzig setting the pace in the league. Furthermore, Schalke have an appalling record in Bavarian, but this is their best chance of a decent result in recent years. This fixture may produce a tight score line. Over 1.5 goals

To Italy;

TORINO v ATALANTA – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 20.45HRS
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VS

Torino and Atalanta square off at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on the back of disappointing and surprise defeats to Sassuolo and Spal respectively. The defeat at the Mapei stadium leaves Torino ninth, but they need some consistency in performances and result in order to return to Europe next term. For the visitors, the home defeat was a massive setback in their push for a top-four place. Gian Piero Gasperini’s team is without a victory in its last three outings and are visiting a ground where they are winless in their last seven visits.

VERDICT – Atalanta have not won a league match at Torino since April 2007, managing only three draws and six defeats. The visitors have drawn four of their 10 away games this season, while three of the last five clashes between them in Turin have seen the pair share the points. These are two wildly unpredictable teams at the moment, but both teams do not lack a scoring touch so we believe there would be goals at both ends.

AS ROMA v LAZIO – SUN. 26 JAN 2020, 18.00HRS
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A fascinating edition of the Derby della Capitale is on the horizon, as Lazio are on a run of 11 consecutive Serie A victories and Roma can close the gap from third place. AS Roma will be looking to chase down cross-town rivals Lazio; Paulo Fonseca’s side has only lost twice in eleven games in all competitions but will be concerned at back to back league defeats at home to Torino and Juventus. On the other hand, Lazio is arguably one of the form sides in Europe. Simone Inzaghi has transformed the fortunes of the blue side of Rome and now are six points off top spot and are considered dark horses for the Serie A title. Interestingly, both teams crashed out of the Coppa Italia midweek and that should serve as enough motivation for the derby.

VERDICT – The first derby of the season ended in a draw last September and Lazio have not gone unbeaten in both Serie A season derbies since 2012-13. It promises to be an enthralling encounter as Roma and Lazio battle it out in the Rome derby. Top tip is cards! This clash has seen 24 red cards since 2000, at least two more than any other European top five league fixture.

To Spain;

VALENCIA v BARCELONA – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 16.00HRS
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New Barca boss, Quique Setien has won his first two games in charge of the Catalan outfit but left it late in both games to find a winner. Under the new coach, keeping ball might be a thing, Los Cules had over 80% of ball possession and created a lot of chances. Confidence will be quite low in Valencia camp, losing to Real Madrid in the SuperCopa Espana and the after effect was evident in their poor performance at Mallorca last weekend. Valencia have lost five of their ten away LaLiga matches this season, Los Che are four points adrift of 4th placed Sevilla heading into this game. Albert Celades team will need to prevent another defeat to prevent falling further behind.

VERDICT – Valencia are unbeaten at Mestalla in the league this term (5W, 5D), and Los Che will certainly test the visitors. Barcelona have won 11 of their last 15 league matches, the league leaders head into this fixture 12 points clear of seventh placed Valencia. Valencia are not in the best moment but can sure use a morale-boosting victory in front of their fans. Both teams have scored in each of the last five meetings between the teams. We believe both teams will score at the Mestalla.

REAL VALLADOLID v REAL MADRID – SUN. 26 JAN 2020, 21.00HRS
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VS

Real Madrid have started 2020 on a good note winning their two league games, progressing to the last 16 in the Copa and winning the Spanish Super Cup recently. Zinedine Zidane’s team will arrive Estadio José Zorrilla with confidence against a one of LaLiga’s tricky and difficult sides to beat. Real Valladolid are in their second season back in the top flight and have proven to be a formidable rival at home. With no victories in the last six league outings, La Pucela have lost only one with five draws. Sergio’s team got knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Tenerife midweek therefore he will be demanding a better showing when one of the big boys come to town.

VERDICT – This is a potential banana peel game for Los Blancos in the title race. The home team do not seem to be on top of their game but they did manage to get a draw at the Santiago Bernabeu when both teams met earlier in the season. However, the last meeting at Jose Zorrilla ended in a convincing victory for Real Madrid last season and with Karim Benzema back to lead the line, an away victory should be considered.

To England (FA Cup);

BURNLEY v NORWICH CITY – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 16.00HRS
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VS

Two Premier League sides take on each other at Turf Moor for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Burnley have been producing excellent displays at home of late, with the team outplaying Peterborough United in the FA Cup, while defeating Leicester City in the Premier League. Premier League survival has got to be Daniel Farke’s top priority for Norwich therefore the Canaries boss might decide to rest some of his key players for this trip. Even with his best, Norwich have been unable to string any positive results away from Carrow Road with only two wins on the road so far this season.

VERDICT – Burnley’s victory at Old Trafford against Manchester United will increase confidence in Sean Dyche’s team ahead of the FA Cup game. The Clarets have the momentum to continue moving in the positive direction. Norwich poor defending has seen them concede two or more goals in nine of their 14 away fixtures. It might not be a classic game but the home team should win.

SOUTHAMPTON v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – SAT. 25 JAN 2020, 16.00HRS
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VS

Southampton welcome Tottenham Hotspur to St. Marys stadium for the second time in January – this time, for an FA Cup game. Jose Mourinho’s troops will be aiming for revenge on Southampton for their New Year day loss in the Premier League. The North London club arrive on the south coast having squeezed past Norwich City 2-1 on Wednesday but their display was unconvincing. The home team has enjoyed an incredible revival and rapid movement up the Premier League table. Can the Saints transfer their new found league form into a nice cup run?

VERDICT – Jose Mourinho’s team has struggled in attack in the absence of Harry Kane but Spurs will look to exploit Southampton defense that has managed just two clean sheets in 14. Interestingly, one of those clean sheet was against the North London club. The Saints are riding high at the moment, they can be touted as favorites but Spurs still have enough quality to win. This game could go either way.

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 and Spanish leagues including the English FA Cup and more for the weekend.

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