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

The self-acclaimed special, happy and humble one – Jose Mourinho has the opportunity to put a major dent in Liverpool’s unbeaten run in the Premier League on Saturday evening in London. Can the Portuguese tactician wave his old magic against Jurgen Klopp’s boisterous Red Army? Over in the Italian peninsula, there are massive games in the eternal city of Rome and the fashion city of Milan. New AS Monaco boss, Roberto Moreno faces an acid test in his first league match, the Principality club will take a trip to the French capital to face PSG.

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

We begin in France;

STADE RENNES v OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE – FRI. 10 JAN 2020, 20.45HRS
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Two clubs in good form collide on Friday evening at Roahzon Park when Rennes host Marseille in the first Ligue 1 match of 2020. Rennes have taken 21 points from a possible 24 to move up the table to third position while the visitors sit in second position with eight wins and one draw in the last nine Ligue 1 matches. Five points is all that separates both teams in the standings and with Rennes having a game in hand, a victory at home will see them move within two points. It is a real opportunity but OM boss, Andre Villas-Boas wants his team to keep their advantage and avoid getting into the group behind them.

VERDICT – Both teams showed a bit of rustiness in their Coupe de France games, needing penalties to win. Julien Stéphan’s men have won each of their last seven home matches with 13 goals scored but their atrocious home record against Marseille means this is a tricky game for Les Rennais. On the other hand, Marseille have not been convincing on the road this season as well. Over 1.5 goals is our prediction.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v AS MONACO – SUN. 12 JAN 2020, 21.00HRS
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AS Monaco will be hoping for the new manager magic when Roberto Moreno leads Les Monégasques for his first league game in charge at Parc des Princes. A fixture against the league leaders isn’t an ideal starting game for any manager but the former interim Spain boss will aim to build on his team Coupe de France victory over Reims. PSG have started the new year in brilliant form with two wins and 12 goals. They breezed past Linas-Montlhéry 6-0 in Coupe de France before putting another six past Saint-Étienne in Coupe de la Ligue. Thomas Tuchel team have turned Parc des Princes into a fortress winning 12 of their 13 home games this season.

VERDICT – Will it be business as usual for the champions? Les Parisiens have won each of their last five fixtures against Monaco, keeping three clean sheets in the process – that is the challenge for Moreno and Monaco. The host are favorites on home patch but with the quality Monaco possess in attack including Ligue 1 top scorer – Wissam Ben Yedder in the ranks, they should get on the scoresheet in Paris. Over 2.5 goals

To Italy;

LAZIO v NAPOLI – SAT. 11 JAN 2020, 18.00HRS
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Lazio are seeking an all-time club record 10th consecutive Serie A victory to further their dreams of winning the title this term. A victory for Le Aquile could plunge Napoli into the bottom half of the table. The Partenopei fortunes has not improved despite the change in coach with Gennaro Gattuso recording one victory and two defeats in his first three games in charge. Right now, there is a huge difference between these sides with the visitors on their worst domestic run since 2010. What can Rino do to stop this slide?

VERDICT – Napoli have won their last five Serie A meetings with Lazio, home and away, and secured six consecutive victories at the Olimpico. The Biancocelesti’s most recent victory was 4-2 at the San Paolo in May 2015. Lazio should break the curse against the Neapolitan club this time around but this game should produce goals. Over 2.5 Goals.

INTER MILAN v ATALANTA – SAT. 11 JAN 2020, 20.45HRS
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Joint leaders Inter Milan face another big test as they host a revitalised Atalanta at the Giuseppe Meazza. The Beneamata have two key players suspended – Milan Skriniar and Nicolò Barella will sit this one out. The visitors demolished AC Milan and Parma 5-0 each in their last two league outings and will be confident ahead of this trip but Inter are a different kettle of fish. Antonio Conte’s troops are genuine title contenders this season and in Romelu Lukaku and Lautauro Martinez, they boast of 30 goals already between the duo. Gian Piero Gasperini’s team is the highest scoring outfit in the division going into this duel.

VERDICT – Inter are forced to reshuffle the defence entirely in the absence of Skriniar. Atalanta are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Inter, two draws and a 4-1 triumph in Bergamo. However, their last away victory was 2-1 in March 2014, followed by four straight defeats. With the attacking talents on display for both teams, we are guaranteed goals. Over 2.5 goals

To England;

CRYSTAL PALACE v ARSENAL – SAT. 11 JAN 2020, 13.30HRS
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Ninth-placed Crystal Palace are one place and one point ahead of Arsenal in 10th ahead of the clubs’ clash. A win for either team this weekend could launch them to within touching distance of fifth position. The Eagles form has been patchy in recent weeks, with just one victory from their last seven matches, though, Palace have also lost just two of their last nine in all competitions and just once in eight Premier League. With two wins, two draws and a defeat from the Spaniard’s first five games at the helm, the Gunners’ form has been ok at best under Arteta but there seem to be feeling they might be heading in the right direction.

VERDICT – Crystal Palace have not been a high scoring club this season, there have been under 2.5 goals scored in seven of Crystal Palace’s last eight Premier League games. Interestingly, the last six games between these two has seen over 2.5 goals in each match. Both managers will fancy their chance against each other therefore we expect goals at both ends. Both teams to score

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v LIVERPOOL – SAT. 11 JAN 2020, 18.30HRS
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Liverpool travel to Spurs seeking a 12th consecutive win in the Premier League – a run that began with a 2-1 win over the north Londoners at Anfield. Son Heung-min is expected to lead the line in the absence of Harry Kane which leaves Mourinho short in attack. Jose Mourinho’s honeymoon period at Tottenham seems well and truly over now, with one win in five in all competitions, but the problems extend beyond mere results. On the other hand, the Reds are buzzing with confidence and swagger of champions-in-waiting. 19 wins from the opening 20 Premier League matches has seen Jurgen Klopp’s men move 13 points clear of the closest challenger. At the moment, it’s more a case of when Liverpool will lift their first Premier League title rather than if they will.

VERDICT – All the stats favor the Reds, Mourinho has won only two of 10 meetings against Klopp and Liverpool have lost only one of their last 14 Premier League matches against Spurs. Tottenham have been poor of late, but have only lost two home league matches this season. Without Kane, the task is much harder for Tottenham but then, Jose Mourinho is a master in games like this. All the same, Liverpool should keep their unbeaten run going at Spurs.

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, Italian and English leagues and more for the weekend.

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