European Football Preview (Clasico Special)

It is the biggest game in the Spanish league or perhaps the biggest fixture on calendar in European football. This weekend, newly crowned world club champions – Real Madrid host eternal rivals Barcelona in a must win game for Zinedine Zidane’s team if they still harbor any hope of retaining their La Liga crown. Elsewhere in Spain, there is a derby in Valencia, two English heavy weights will be battling for a top four spot and it is second versus fourth in the Serie A.

This is our preview of some key fixtures in the top leagues in Europe.

We kick off in Italy;

Juve v Roma

Bianconeri v Giallorossi

JUVENTUS v AS ROMA 

Italian champions Juve entertain Roma in the final league game of 2017. This fixture is one of the most keenly contested games in the Serie A, so expect fireworks from both sides at the Juventus stadium. Unfortunately, AS Roma haven’t enjoyed their trips to Turin lately, they haven’t won there since 2010. VERDICT: Juventus will shade 2-1

SS NAPOLI v SAMPDORIA 

napoli v samp

Napoli ready to defend their top position

League leaders Napoli should consolidate on their victory away victory at Torino last week and ensure they retain top spot heading into the winter break. Sampdoria find no joy when visiting San Paolo, their last victory there was in 1998. VERDICT: Expect goals from both sides, Napoli to win 3-1 

We cross over to England,

ARSENAL v LIVERPOOL. The Gunners square off against the high scoring Liverpool. Arsenal managed to turn the corner with their narrow victory over Newcastle but Liverpool is a different proposition. The Reds current away form has been nothing short of spectacular.  VERDICT: Expect goals here. 2-2 draw 

ars v liv

Christmas party!!

MANCHESTER CITY v BOURNEMOUTH  

city v bourn

Surely, no one will bet against Man City extending their impressive run in the Premier League. It’s difficult to seeing Bournemouth offer much resistance here. VERDICT: Man City to win at home comfortably. 3-0

BURNLEY v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 

burnley v tot

The Clarets are placed sixth on the log after 18 games. For a team whose initial target for the season would have been survival (40 points), they have 32 already. Spurs on the other hand have a good record against Burnely at Turf Moor winning their last three there. VERDICT: I fancy Burnley giving a better fight so I will go for a draw 1-1 

LEICESTER CITY v MANCHESTER UNITED

leicester v man u

Leicester host Manchester United at the King Power stadium. Both teams crashed out of the Carabao cup midweek so we should expect a reaction. Leicester have lost their last two games, their confidence could be fragile at the moment. VERDICT: Mourinho will demand an instant result after their Bristol collapse. 2-1 Manchester United 

EVERTON v CHELSEA

everton v chel

Wayne Rooney…. Can he make this difference?

The Toffees form has improved drastically since Sam Allardyce took over the Goodison Park club. Club hero – Wayne Rooney has found his goal-scoring touch again and will be looking to add to his tally. VERDICT: This is a tough game for Chelsea so I will go for a draw 1-1

Moving over to Spain,

VALENCIA v VILLARREAL

val v villarr

Mestalla is the venue for the Valencia derby..

We have a derby in Valencia. In spite of their recent poor away form, Valencia are stil unbeaten at home and would look to end 2017 on high. On the other hand, Villarreal too ended a three game losing streak last weekend with a victory over Celta Vigo. VERDICT: I am going for a close game here, 2-1 Valencia

To the biggest game of the weekend,

REAL MADRID v BARCELONA

rma v bar

el clasico!!

Back-to-back Club World Champions and UEFA Champions League winners face their eternal rivals in the Spanish capital. The rivalry between these sides cannot be overemphasized but it is Barcelona who hold a healthy lead over their illustrious opponent going into this game. Real Madrid know it is all or nothing if they are to challenge for the league title season. Samuel Umtiti’s absence could prove pivotal for Barcelona. VERDICT: I’m backing Real Madrid to dig deep and secure a much needed win against a very strong rival. 2-1 Real Madrid

 

 

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