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2019-20 FESIG League Preview – (El Derbi Madrileño edition)

(Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

The city of Madrid will come to a standstill this weekend when league leaders Real Madrid host city rivals Atletico Madrid in El Derbi Madrileño – the biggest game of week 22 in the Spanish top flight. Can Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid can revive their fading title hopes with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon? In Germany, RB Leipzig cannot afford any disappointing performance like last weekend at the Red Bull Arena against third-placed Gladbach if they still intend to keep top spot with Bayern Munich just a point behind them. In the England, Champion League hopeful – Chelsea travel to the King Power stadium looking to add more misery to a bad week for Leicester City in the race for third place while Jose Mourinho entertains an old foe in Pep Guardiola as Tottenham Hotspur face Manchester City at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday.

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

We begin in France;

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v MONTPELLIER – SAT. 01 FEB 2020, 17.30HRS
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PSG will be aiming to record their third consecutive win in the Ligue 1 when they host Montpellier at their Parc des Princes on Saturday afternoon. In the last five meetings between these sides, Montpellier have come away with a win and a draw which is a decent record not many teams can boast of against the powerful capital club. La Paillade go into this game in good form, winning the last three league matches but those victories have been against Brest, Amiens and Dijon. However, the prospect of facing PSG at the Parc des Princes where they have won 12 of the last 14 is daunting and it will require an outstanding performance from Michel Der Zakarian’s team.

VERDICT – PSG have scored 42 goals in 14 matches at home this season, conceding only five. Montpellier have scored 14 goals in their last six games but have won just two games on the road this season. La Paillade might be flying but have not be cruising on the road. Both teams have scored in the last three clashes between these sides but PSG remain favorites for all three points at home.

BORDEAUX v OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE – SUN. 02 FEB 2020, 21.00HRS
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Tenth-placed Girondins Bordeaux host Olympique Marseille in a big Ligue 1 derby on Sunday evening. Paulo Sousa’s team have been having ups and downs in the league this season but managed to put a halt to a three-game losing run in the league with a victory at Nantes. On the other hand, Marseille enter this game in completely different momentum, they have been in good form recently with four wins in the last six Ligue 1 outings. They have been victorious in 11of their last 13 matches in all competitions with 26 goals scored in this time and just eight conceded. Head coach André Villas-Boas should be commended for the job done considering the minimal investment and the quick turnaround to the team from last season.   

VERDICT – Marseille have won three of the last five duels between this team but lost at Bordeaux last season. Les Girondins have been poor at home this season, they are the team with the fifth least points at home this season and they face Marseille that have won five and drawn one of their last six away games in all competitions with four clean sheets coming in this time. Can Marseille keep up the momentum as they aim to keep the Ligue 1 title slightly competitive? The top tip is for Marseille to pick win on the road.

To Germany;

HOFFENHEIM v BAYER LEVERKUSEN – SAT. 01 FEB 2020, 15.30HRS
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Hoffenheim are climbing up the table steadily after a rather slow start winning three of the last four league matches.  Alfred Schreuder’s side have now taken 17 points from a possible 24 on their travels, compared to 13 from 30 at home. They begin the weekend three points outside the European qualification places and four adrift of their visitors Leverkusen in fifth. Fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen will be encouraged by their impressive Bundesliga away record going into Saturday’s fixture. Peter Bosz team has earned an impressive 18 points away from home this season – this gives them the Bundesliga’s second-best away record. Can visitors continue their excellent start to the second half of the season?

VERDICT – These two teams have a history of playing high-scoring games. However, the first meeting this campaign ended goalless. These two sides are hard to predict, both picking up some great results coupled with some massive shockers on the way. Both of these two teams have seen plenty of high scoring games in recent weeks, we are confident that goals will be a part of this fixture. Over 2.5 goals

RB LEIPZIG v BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH – SAT. 01 FEB 2020, 18.30HRS
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RB Leipzig title credentials will be given a serious test by Borussia Mönchengladbach when first host third at the Red Bull Arena. Leipzig nine games unbeaten run came to an end at Frankfurt; the chasing pack capitalized on the slip up to close the gap on them in the title race. Julian Nagelsmann will demand an immediate reaction from his charges against a fellow rival in the Bundesliga chase. Borussia Monchengladbach got over their post-winter break stumble at Schalke by beating Mainz last time out, setting up this intriguing top-of-the-table battle. Marco Rose’s team boast of the best defense in the division and they have the opportunity to rise above their hosts if they triumph on this Saturday.

VERDICT – Gladbach are the only club yet to beat Leipzig in the Bundesliga in seven previous attempts (five RBL wins, two draws). Leipzig have won their past four fixtures with the Foals – their longest winning streak against a current Bundesliga club. Leipzig have been one of the Bundesliga’s most impressive sides going forward this season scoring a total of 51 goals in their 19 Bundesliga games thus far. We are guaranteed goals in what could be an open game; over 2.5 goals.

To Italy;

JUVENTUS v FIORENTINA – SUN. 02 FEB 2020, 12.30HRS
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Juventus suffered a surprise defeat on Maurizio Sarri’s return to his old stomping ground in Naples last weekend. The defeat didn’t do much damage to the Bianconeri title aspiration with the leaders still three points better off than Inter Milan. Sarri side will be expected to bounce back at home with the former Chelsea boss not likely to experiment with starting his three forwards (Ronaldo, Higuain and Dybala) in this game. It has been a mixed season for Fiorentina; from beating Napoli and Atalanta to struggling against bottom side Genoa, La Viola has frustrated its supporters more than impress – a reason why they are poorly rooted to the second half of the table. Without the suspended duo of Caceres and Milenkovic, Giuseppe Iachini will hope his attackers can carry the team.

VERDICT – Juventus are yet to lose at home this season (9W, 1D) while Fiorentina have not succeeded much on the road (3W, 3D, 4L), scoring 14 goals and conceding 15 in the process. The reverse fixture at Artemio Franchi ended in a goalless draw last September but it would take a brave person to beat against Juve winning at home. The Old Lady is always motivated when La Viola comes to town.

UDINESE v INTER MILAN – SUN. 02 FEB 2020, 20.45HRS
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Second place Inter go in search of a first Serie A win in four matches when they visit Udinese on Sunday night. The Nerazzurri have stuttered in recent weeks, and will be thankful they are still very much in the title race though they have Lazio breathing down their neck and could dislodge from second spot. It was a mixed January for the Udinese, they won their opening games against Lecce and Sassuolo before losing to Milan and Parma. Nevertheless, the Zebrette have a nice cushion, and are nine clear of the bottom three. With no immediate pressure of being sucked in the relegation scrap, Luca Gotti’s men would give Inter a good game at Stadio Friuli.

VERDICT – Antonio Conte will have to reshuffle his pack to accommodate Christian Eriksen in a 3-4-2-1 system but the absence of suspended Lautaro Martinez will hurt. Udinese have the services of Okaka and Lasagna available up front with Rodrigo De Paul central to it all. Inter cannot afford another disappointing result here, they are favorites to take all three points and should do so.

To Spain;

REAL MADRID v ATLETICO MADRID – SAT. 01 FEB 2020, 16.00HRS
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It has been a brilliant start to the New Year for Real Madrid, winning all seven games across all competitions. As Zinedine Zidane’s team prepare for the third Madrid derby of the season takes place this weekend, it is expected to be tight if the first two derbies are anything to go by. While Los Blancos start to the year has been brilliant, Los Colchoneros have suffered disappointments, in the SuperCopa final, an early exit in the Copa at the hands of Cultural Leonesa, and perhaps most importantly, they have fallen ten points behind in the La Liga title race. It is unthinkable but Diego Simeone is under a bit of pressure at Atleti going into this derby.

VERDICT – The last three meetings between these sides has produced no goal. Beating Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu isn’t something Real Madrid have found easy in recent years though. Diego Simeone’s Atleti have set a club record for unbeaten league games on this ground having not lost here in LaLiga since the 2012/13 season. This current Real Madrid side have started to find a way to grind out wins and they look capable of edging this in what would be a low-scoring affair. Under 2.5 goals

ATHLETIC BILBAO v GETAFE – SUN. 02 FEB 2020, 16.00HRS
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Athletic Bilbao and Getafe take on each other at San Mames in what is expected to be a feisty game in the Basque region of the country. Athletic club have played five consecutive draws in LaLiga to see their Champions League hopes evaporate while Getafe continue to impress in the league after a somewhat slow start. José Bordalás troops have won four of the last six and their good form has propelled them above Valencia, Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid into a top-four place. Getafe are proving once again this season that they have the ability to challenge the bigger sides and will travel to Bilbao with no fear.

VERDICT – The last five meetings between these teams has seen Getafe emerge with no defeat (1W, 4D) to South Madrid club. Getafe look solid at the back, they don’t give much away and considering Athletic’s struggle, we do not believe fans are going to see goals galore at San Mames. Under 2.5 goals is the prediction for this game.

To England;

LEICESTER CITY v CHELSEA – SAT. 01 FEB 2020, 13.30HRS
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Third-placed Leicester City take on fourth placed Chelsea at the King Power stadium with the host aiming to move 11 points clear of the Blues in the race for a third position and Champions League place. The Foxes ended a two-match losing streak with victory at West Ham United last time out, while Chelsea’s late draw with Arsenal leaves the Blues seeking a first win in three. Leicester suffered heartbreak in midweek, losing in the Carabao Cup semi-final but their fans should still optimistic about their team performance in the league. Frank Lampard’s team isn’t particularly in the best of form as well, with just two victories in the last six, the Blues are having to watch their backs though they have six point cushion above the chasing pack going into this game.

VERDICT – Nine of Chelsea’s 12 league away games has seen at least three goals scored, and this game could see another goal fest added to the list. There has been over 2.5 goals in the eight of the 12 league matches at the King Power stadium this season. Fans could be in for an entertaining encounter at the King Power Stadium and this game could swing either way as both teams are capable of taking all three points.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v MANCHESTER CITY – SUN. 02 FEB 2020, 17.30HRS
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All eyes will be on Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when Tottenham and Manchester City face each other. Spurs have been playing below expectations under Jose Mourinho, but did manage to beat Norwich City in their last league match. The North London club held City to a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture and the Lily Whites will aim for a much positive result as they target consecutive league wins against the champions who are unbeaten in five matches and have scored a league-high 34 goals away from home this season. City have only won 16 of their 24 league games, and away from home they have lost three times and kept just four clean sheets. Is that something for Tottenham Hotspur to exploit?

VERDICT – With both teams not commanding at the back, this is a game for attackers to flourish. Spurs have conceded in 10 of their 12 Premier League home games this season while City has conceded 15 goals on the road. Both side is in top form or will be able to play with their strongest lineup, but the visitors look to be in better shape than the home team and they could be good value for three points.

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, English, Spanish, Italian and German leagues and more for the weekend.

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