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

The first Derby della Madonina of 2020 is upon on this weekend; Serie A title contenders Inter Milan face resurgent city rivals AC Milan at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, San Siro with an estimated attendance of over 75000 spectators expected. Any result outside a victory might see Inter drop further in the race and perhaps Lazio overtake them in the standings. Over in Germany, it is first versus second with RB Leipzig making a trip to Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich in the home of the defending champions.

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

We begin in France;

OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE v TOULOUSE – SAT. 08 FEB 2020, 17.30HRS
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Marseille bounced back from their 0-0 draw with Bordeaux to record an impressive two nil victory on the road at Saint Etienne. Talisman Dimitri Payet opened scoring for André Villas-Boas’ team to take his tally to seven in the league. They have now won 12 of their last 15 matches in all competitions with three draws interrupting this succession of victories. The visitors have had a turbulent campaign so far, three managers have all struggled to improve their chances with Denis Zanko the latest to be in the hot seat. Les Violets have lost 13 of their last 14 matches in all competitions with last week’s 0-0 draw with second bottom Amiens the only silver lining in this run of misery. Can an unlikely upset happen when basement club come to town?

VERDICT – David faces Goliath at Orange Velodrome; Marseille have been consistently scoring and we’re backing them to do so again here as Toulouse have been simply awful this season. However, les Violets’ last two games suggest an incremental improvement at the back so we doubt it will be a stroll in the park. Nevertheless, AVB’s team are strong at home and the Velodrome should play its part.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN v OLYMPIQUE LYON – SUN. 09 FEB 2020, 21.00HRS
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All eyes will be on Parc des Princes when PSG take on Olympique Lyon on Sunday evening. Les Parisiens lead the way in the French top flight with a comfortable 12 points and are on a four game winning run in the league. Les Gones will arrive the capital 25 points behind their host and were poor in the goalless draw at home to Amiens last time out. Rudi Garcia’s troops are struggling and the number of players out injured has contributed to their poor run. Lyon have lost four times on the road this season as they prepare to visit a team that has won nine of its 11 home games.

VERDICT – PSG won the reverse fixture last September and have won four of the last six meetings, with over 2.5 goals being scored in four of those encounters. Thomas Tuchel’s team has won their last seven matches in all competitions. There is no denying that this is a difficult game for Les Gones but they have their fair share of goals on the road and we expect them to get on the score sheet in Paris. That said, PSG will be too strong and should win this at home. Over 2.5 goals

To Germany;

BAYER LEVERKUSEN v BORUSSIA DORTMUND – SAT. 08 FEB 2020, 18.30HRS
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Bayer Leverkusen winning run of three consecutive games came to an end at Hoffenheim. Who do they have next on the calendar? Borussia Dortmund! Bayer 04 don’t have the happiest of memories of meetings with Dortmund. Die Werkself have lost their last four in a row against the Black-Yellows, conceding at least three goals in every game. They succumbed to a 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture, leaving Peter Bosz winless in two against his former club. Visitors, Dortmund have been in fantastic form since the turn of the year in the Bundesliga. Three straight wins has seen Lucien Favre’s team shoot themselves back in the title race, coupled with the explosive start made by free scoring winter acquisition Erling Haaland who has a record seven goals in three Bundesliga matches. There seem to be exciting times on the horizon for Dortmund again.

VERDICT – Dortmund have been dominate against Leverkusen in recent times; they are unbeaten in the last six duels. A win would take Lucien Favre’s side level on points with leaders Bayern Munich, ahead of the defending champions’ clash with second-placed RB Leipzig on Sunday. The amazing fact is that Dortmund have scored at least four goals in each of their last four wins against Leverkusen. We can expect another high scoring affair at the BayArena. Over 3.5 goals

BAYERN MUNICH v RB LEIPZIG – SUN. 09 FEB 2020, 18.00HRS
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First-placed Bayern Munich entertain second-placed RB Leipzig in a crucial German Bundesliga top-of-the-table showdown at the Allianz Arnea. Bayern currently lead Leipzig by a point going into Sunday’s game; they will hope to stretch that lead this weekend. Bayern will be encouraged by their goal scoring form going into Sunday’s clash but Leipzig have also been one of the Bundesliga’s most impressive sides in front of goal this season. They have scored 53 goals in their 20 Bundesliga games; only Bayern and Dortmund have outscored them this season so far. The visitors have shown their vulnerable side in recent weeks, winless in three games, dropping points and falling off the perk. The last ground to visit at this moment is the home of the defending champions.

VERDICT – Bayern are enjoying an impressive run of form compared to Leipzig dip in form. Based on form, the home team look like certain winners but Leipzig are a tricky side. Games like this are often unpredictable, but both teams are strong in attack therefore we are guaranteed goals in this duel. Over 2.5 goals at the Allianz Arena is our top tip.

To Italy;

VERONA v JUVENTUS – SAT. 08 FEB 2020, 20.45HRS
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Verona continue to impress in their first season back in Italy’s top flight, and the Gialloblu are enjoying their longest unbeaten run of the campaign ahead of their meeting with Serie A leaders Juventus on Saturday. Ivan Juric’s team held Lazio to a goalless draw midweek and the Old Lady would have been grateful for the result, because a win would have put Lazio into second place and just two points off them. They will face the same test at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Saturday with Juric’s side unbeaten in the last seven.

VERDICT – Verona have beaten Juventus only once since April 2000, at the Bentegodi in May 2016, along with three draws and 11 defeats. All eyes will be on 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo who is yet in the form of his life; he has scored 40 times in his first 50 Serie A appearances. If any team can frustrate the opposition and squeeze a point or three from a game, it is Hellas Verona, however, their midweek exploit in Rome means Juve will arrive fresh and should scrape a win.

INTER MILAN v AC MILAN – SUN. 09 FEB 2020, 20.45HRS
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Derby della Madonnina arrives with both teams in relatively good form and a tantalizing clash between two former teammates in Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This fixture is notoriously known for being unpredictable in the Serie A calendar and it would be have been a foregone conclusion if it was played some weeks back but the fortunes of both have changed lately so this might be an open game. The city of Milan is vibrating with excitement ahead of the latest derby between the city’s bitter rivals Inter and AC on Sunday evening. The Rossoneri come into Sunday’s derby having won five of their last six games in all competitions while title hopefuls, the Nerazzurri have tasted defeat just once in their last 15 domestic outings.

VERDICT – Ibra’s return to the Serie A has added more gloss to this fixture, the 38-year-old played for both Milanese clubs, but only really felt at home with the Rossoneri. It’s interesting to note that AC Milan have taken more points on the road than they have done at home this term, winning 18 points away from their base compared to just 14 there. However, Milan play as the away team on the home ground they share with Inter this weekend, putting paid to their impressive productivity on the road. The top tip is for both teams to score.

To Spain;

GETAFE v VALENCIA – SAT. 08 FEB 2020, 16.00HRS
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Getafe are showing this season that they are a force to reckon with in the Spanish top-flight. Jose Bordalas team posted their third consecutive LaLiga win and clean sheet last weekend, when beating Athletic Bilbao 0-2 at San Mames. A result that saw the move to third on the table and are in the thick of the Champions League race. The away team, Valencia have high hopes of securing a top-four finish, Los Che travel to the suburbs of Madrid with two wins on bounce and are just two points behind their host. However, Albert Celades’ troops have lost five of their ten away matches in La Liga this season, including a dismal 4-1 beating against Mallorca at Son Moix three weeks ago. Getafe are much brutal that Mallorca.

VERDICT – Getafe face another stern test against a side that cannot be easily written off. Valencia have been fairly inconsistent on the road and Coliseum Alfonso Perez isn’t a ground you want to be struggling. The home team has won five from their last seven here and have lost just two of their last 16 home league matches. Our top tip is that Getafe will not lose on home turf.

OSASUNA v REAL MADRID – SUN. 09 FEB 2020, 16.00HRS
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Real Madrid face a tough trip to Pamplona this weekend against a side that has lost just two of their 11 league matches at home this season. Zinedine Zidane’s team had their unbeaten run in all competition stopped by Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey quarter final on Thursday. Osasuna are currently 11th on the log with 28 points. 17 of those point have come in front of their fans at El Sadar which makes them a difficult side to beat at home. Real Madrid are three points clear at the top of the table and will hope to maintain their position by avoiding a defeat at Osasuna.

VERDICT – Real Madrid won the reverse fixture at home thanks to two goals from Brazilian teenagers Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes. With Chimy Avila out for the rest of the season, he leaves a big void in Los Rojillos attack. We anticipate a tough duel but Real Madrid have lost only once in a league this campaign and the Copa exit might serve as spark to refuel their ambition for the league title. An away victory should be considered.

To England;

SHEFFIELD UNITED v BOURNEMOUTH – SUN. 09 FEB 2020, 15.00HRS
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A second consecutive victory would take Sheffield United above Tottenham Hotspur into fifth, two points outside the top four while Bournemouth are targeting a third win in a row as they attempt to increase their two-point gap above the relegation zone. Both teams met on the opening weekend of the season in an encounter that ended 1-1. Since then, their paths in the league has been in opposite direction with the new boys thriving at the upper hand of the table. Chris Wilder’s excellent tactical knowledge and the hard work and commitment of the players speak for themselves. On the other hand, the Cherries are flirting with the drop zone; they have lost 10 of their last 14 Premier League matches including six of the last seven on the road.

VERDICT – Sheffield United have won five of their 12 home Premier League games without conceding. Bournemouth have lost six of their last seven away games in the Premier League. Despite the Cherries recent success, they are still in trouble and their poor goal scoring form will play into Sheffield United’s hands. Sheffield defensive stability means they should be considered favorites for all three points and will be expected to deliver.

MANCHESTER CITY v WEST HAM UNITED – SUN. 09 FEB 2020, 17.30HRS
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Second-placed Manchester City are looking to bounce back from their defeat at Tottenham Hotspur while West Ham United are seeking a first win in six matches after dropping into the bottom three. Last weekend saw Manchester City take yet another blow leaving them a massive 22 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool. The defending champions have a very real battle with Leicester for the runners up spot in the Premier League therefore they cannot take things easy against the Hammers. West Ham are closer to disaster in the league than imagined, they are in dreadful shape right now. Allowing a two-goal lead slip at Brighton saw them extend their winless run to five in the league and they sit 18th on the log.

VERDICT – City have won their last seven Premier League matches against West Ham, scoring 23 goals and conceding just three. Pep Guardiola has won all eight of his meetings with West Ham in all competitions. The Hammers have also lost 11 of their 13 league games at the Etihad, so a Manchester City win is looking very likely indeed. All signs point towards a comfortable home win but we have seen stranger things happen in the game, haven’t we? There should be no surprise this Sunday.

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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