ALAVES – BARCELONA
Chance for redemption. This is Barcelona’s visit to Alaves in La Liga this weekend. If you don’t remember, Alaves shockingly beat Barca at the Camp Nou in the first rounds of the new season. They are one of the just two teams in La Liga who succeed in beating Barcelona this season. The other one is Celta.
Are Alaves able to do it again? They managed to beat Sporting Gijon away from home in their last game, but it was their only win from their last five games in La Liga. The good news for Alaves come from their position in the standings – they are 14 points above the relegation zone, so the pressure is off for them.
Barca on the other hand continue the battle with Real Madrid for the title. Luis Enrique’s team is just one point behind the Los Blancos, but Real Madrid also have not one, but two games in hand. This means that their advantage could increase to seven points, so Barcelona can’t allow themselves to make mistakes anymore.
During the week Barcelona had a tough game against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey, so we could say that the Los Cules will have to deal with a little bit of tiredness before their trip to Alaves. This is a good thing for the home team, so let’s see how this fatigue will affect Barcelona this weekend.
Luis Enrique can’t rely on the Argentine international Javier Mascherano, who is injured and missing the game. Rafinha remains doubtful with a head injury, so let’s see if he’s picked to travel to Alaves.
The home team will have to deal with the absence of Einar Galilea, who is out until the end of the season with a serious knee injury. Everyone else in Alaves’ team is fit and ready to play.
UDINESE – AS ROMA
Is it possible to see a miracle in the Serie A and Roma to win the league? Not many people believe that this could happen, but if you look at the standings, the difference between Juventus and Roma is just 4 points. Yes – Juve have a game in hand, but it’s still just 4 points. Now Roma will travel to meet Udinese and they have just one thing in mind – the win.
Just how many people thought, Roma are looking like the strongest contender for Juventus’ crown. The Capital team is second in the league and they won four of their last five games, but losing the most important one – against Juventus in Turin.
Udinese are currently placed 10th in the Serie A and it’s hard to say that their ambitions lead to something more than that. Of course, they remain a decent team and it’s going to be a difficult test for Roma, especially when they have to win at a hostile ground.
Roma’s manager Luciano Spalletti can’t use two of his players – Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Rüdiger, who are suspended. Alessandro Florenzi, Thomas Vermaelen and Diego Perotti are doubtful because of injuries, while Abdullahi Nura is back in action for the away team.
Udinese’s only doubt for this match is Francesco Lodi, which condition remains unknown to this date.
We could easily say that this game is more important to Roma than it is to Udinese. The away team is still in the fight for the Scudetto, even if Juventus remains the strong favourite for the prize. But you could be sure that Roma will fight for the title until they have the chance, so expect to see them highly motivated in Udine. Of course, it doesn’t mean that Udinese will not try to win. They are still a decent team with some good players in their squad.
SWANSEA – ARSENAL
Times are not good for Arsenal in the past month. The Gunners won just two of their last five games and they lost two of them. Arsene Wenger’s team is already 8 points behind the leader Chelsea, so one thing is for sure – Arsenal need to start winning once again. As soon as possible. And now they will have the chance to do it in their visit to Swansea.
Despite winning their last game against Crystal Palace, Swansea remains one of the weakest teams in the Premier League this season. The Welsh club is currently 19th in the table and so far they are one of the true contenders for relegation to the Championship.
Arsenal on the other hand are once again aiming for the title, but their recent performances are not backing their ambitions. In the last round they themselves to fall behind with three goals against Bornemouth. The Gunners saved a point after all, but their performance cost them two precious points.
There are rumours that star players such like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil could leave the club in the summer, which is certainly damaging the team spirit in the locker room.
Arsene Wenger is an experienced manager who knows that the only way to improve team spirit is winning. And everyone is expecting just that from Arsenal against a team in obvious crisis like Swansea.
“The Swans” will be without the services of Jefferson Montero, who is still injured. Neil Taylor is also healing from a rib injury.
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger still can’t use the injured Santi Cazorla, Matheiu Debuchy and Francis Coquelin, while Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Hector Bellerin are all doubtful. The good news come from the German central defender Per Mertesacker, who is once again fit and ready to play.
Wolfsburg welcomes Schalke 04 in a game from the 11th round of the German Bundesliga. The game will be played at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday afternoon.
We could say that these are two teams who are currently underperforming in the league. Both teams have expensive and solid squads, but for some reason they are not performing well. Wolfsburg are currently 14th in the standings – just two points away from the relegation play-off spot, while Schalke are currently 12th in the league.
Wolfsburg had a terrible run of eight consecutive games without a win in the Bundesliga, before finally winning against Freiburg in the last round. The 3-0 win allowed The Wolves to take a breath of fresh air, with German international Mario Gomez scoring two goals for his team. Eight games without a win is too much, so this result was incredibly important for Wolfsburg and their confidence.
Schalke on the other hand won three times in their last five games, which allowed them to climb up in the table. The Royal Blues also didn’t lose neither once in their last five matches, which is a sign for an improvement. In the last round they beat Werder Bremen 3-1 at home, but they are still nine points away from the last Champions League spot in the standings.
Wolfsburg can’t rely on the injured international Julian Draxler, while Adelino Vieirinha, Sebastian Jung, Bruno Henrique Pinto, Robin Knoche and Daniel Didavi are all doubtful for the game against Schalke.
The Royal Blues will be without the injured Breel Donald Embolo and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, but Atsuto Uchida, Sidney Sam and Franco Di Santo are back to training and once again fit to play this weekend. Sead Kolasinac, Donis Avdijaj and Eric Choupo-Moting remain doubtful for the game.
Four consecutive draws. This is Tottenham’s performance in the last four rounds of the English Premier League and it’s not good at all. This is the reason why Spurs are already five points behind the current leader Liverpool, currently positioned at 5th place in the standings. Now Tottenham hosts West Ham United at the White Hart Lane with only one goal in mind – to start winning once again.
Since beating Manchester City at home, Tottenham were unable to snatch another three points in the league. They didn’t lose neither one of their last four matches, but they didn’t won neither one of them as well. In the last round of the league Spurs shared the points with their biggest rival Arsenal at the Emirates, after a perfectly executed penalty kick by Harry Kane.
Their next opponents West Ham are far away from the performance they showed last season. The Hammers are just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier League and for some people it’s a miracle that the Croatian manager Slaven Bilic still have a job. West Ham won just three of their eleven games in the league so far, having scored just 11 goals so far as well. In the last round The Hammers shared the points against Stoke City at home.
Both teams have a lot to play for in this match. Everyone at Tottenham knows that they can’t afford to continue not winning games, if they want to keep their title hopes alive. If they continue like that, they could even miss Champions League football next season.
And for West Ham, now it’s a question of survival. The Hammers are too close to the bottom right now and they need to start winning more points, if they want to keep their place in the Premier League.
ATL MADRID – GRANADA
Atletico Madrid are leading the La Liga table after the first seven games of the new season and now Diego Simeone’s team will try to record a third consecutive win against Granada at home. If the Los Colchoneros manage to get the full three points, they will keep their first spot for at least another week.
Atletico didn’t start the new season in La Liga very well, but Barcelona and Real Madrid’s mistakes allowed them to lead the table for first time since the beginning of the new campaign. In the last two round the club from the capital outperformed Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia, which allowed them to enjoy four wins in their last five games.
It’s something completely different for Granada so far. Lucas Alcaraz’ team occupied the last 20th spot in La Liga after the first seven rounds, managing to win just two points so far. Everything says that Granada will once again fight for survival this season and every point for them is going to be precious.
Now they will have a really difficult task against one of the strongest teams in the league. Atletico are finally starting to find their rhythm and they look close to their best now. There is a big contribution from Antoine Griezmann, who is showing some terrific form so far. The French international is leading the topscorers table in La Liga with six goals scored from seven games played – more than everybody else in the league.
Every away game in La Liga is tricky, but right now Atletico are the clear favourite to win at Granada. Most surely they will want to keep their first spot for another week, so expect a motivated and strong performance by them. Granada will try to win every point possible, but it will be difficult for them to do it against Atletico.
FIORENTINA – ROMA
After playing their first Europa League games for this season, Fiorentina and Roma are facing each other in one of the most interesting matches of the fourth round of the Italian Serie A.
Both teams started their Europa League campaigns during the week. Both teams didn’t win. Fiorentina shared the points with PAOK in Greece, while Roma also managed to take just a point from their travel to Pilzen, where they faced the champion of the Czech Republic Viktoria.
Fiorentina is one of the two teams in the Serie A right now who have a game in hand in the league. Paulo Sousa’s boys lost against Juventus in the first round, but they redeemed themselves winning against Chievo at home, recording their first win for the campaign. Their away game against Genoa last week was postponed.
Meanwhile Roma are enjoying a strong start of the new season in the Serie A. The Giallorossi were destroyed by Porto in the Champions League qualifiers, but they started in a solid way the new season in Serie A, winning two times (against Udinese and Sampdoria) and sharing the points against Cagliari away from home. Luciano Spalletti’s team is currently holding the 3th place in the league, proving that they are going to be one of the main rivals of the champion Juventus for the gold medals.
Fiorentina’s ambition should not be underestimated as well. La Viola is a club which is always motivated to perform in the best way possible, so you should expect to see them giving a great fight to Roma at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
This is a clash between two traditionally strong teams in the Italian Serie A. Most surely it could go either way, because Fiorentina are usually strong at home. But Roma’s overall class should be taken under attention as well.
Goteborg – Helsinborg
Two teams in entirely different position are facing each other in a 20th round game of the Swedish Allsvenskan. IFK Göteborg are hosting the struggling Helsinborg at the Nya Gamla Ullevi and they are a heavy favourite to win the game.
Although they are still ten points behind the current leader Malmo FF, Göteborg are still one of the main contenders for the title this season. The two losses and one draw in the last five games have put Jorgen Lennartsson’s team in a worst position for the gold medals, but a strong run until the end of the season could bring them back in the title hunt. They could start against Helsingborg.
Henrik Larsson’s Helsinborg is struggling big time in the Allsvenskan this season. They are currently one of the teams battling against relegation, currenlty holding the relegation play-off spot in the league. Helsinborg won just five of its nineteen games in the league so far, losing ten of them. We could say that it’s a miracle that Henrik Larsson is still managing this team, taking into account his results since the beginning of the campaign.
Clearly this is game between two teams with an entirely different ambition this season. Göteborg is still dreaming about the gold medals or least about finishing along the first three teams in the league, winning an european qualification, while Helsingborg is about to lead a difficult battle against relegation, if they do not imrpove their form as soon as possible.
It’s safe to say that Göteborg is the big favourite to snatch a win in this match. Jorgen Lennartsson’s boys can’t allow themselves to make any wrong steps anymore, especially against teams from the bottom of the table. As for Helsingborg, Henrik Larsson must find a quick fix of the situation, if he wants to keep his team in the elite of the Swedish football.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE STRATEGY
COMBO SOCCER BET INSTRUCTIONS
DRAW NO BET STRATEGY
SINGLE SOCCER BET STRATEGY
OVER/UNDER COMBO BET STRATEGY
COMBO SOCCER BET STRATEGY
MALMO – AIK
The leader in the Swedish Allsvenskan Malmö FF welcomes AIK in a game of the 17th round of the domestic league.
Malmö FF is currently topping the table in Sweden with one point advantage in front of Norrköping, while AIK is currently occupying the third place with 30 points – five less than Malmö. This is a great chance for the away team to shorten its trail from the current leader, while Malmö needs a win to guarantee its stay on the top.
Both teams did not lose neither one of their last five games. Malmö registered three wins (against Östersunds FK and two times versus Örebro) and two draws (against AIK and Kalmar), while AIK registered three draws in a row (against Örebro, Kalmar and Malmö), before enjoying back-to-back wins against Hammarby and Falkenberg.
When we talk about Malmö, we talk about the team with the best defense in the Swedish Allsvenskan so far. Allan Kuhn’s team have conceded just 13 goals in the league so far, which is a huge reason why Malmö is currently ahead of everybody else in the competition. They also scored 33 goals so far, which is making them the second best team in this regard, just behind Norrköping.
AIK on the other hand is a team which do not concede a lot of goals, but it’s also not scoring a lot. Rikard Norling’s boys scored 26 goals and conceded 17 so far, which tells us that AIK is solid in defense, but the team has some problems when it comes to the attacking phase.
Malmö’s icelandic striker Vidhar Orn Kjartansson is currently the leading goalscorer in the Allsvenskan, having scored 12 goals in the league so far. AIK’s most efficient player is Carlos Strandberg, who have scored 7 goals for his team since the beginning of the season.
PSG – LYON
It’s time once again to enjoy some fine french football, because Paris Saint-Germain is facing Olympique Lyonnais in a direct battle for the Super Cup. The game will be played at Wörthersee Stadion in Austria.
This will be an official debut for PSG’s new manager Unai Emery. The spanish coach was signed to replace Laurent Blanc, who was fired despite of his domestic success with the team. After winning Europa League three times in a row with Seville, the big target in front of Emery will be a long desired success in the Champions League. But now he can start with the french Super Cup.
It’s a quiet transfer summer for the usually active PSG so far. The club paid 33.60 million euros to Seville for the polish international Grzegorz Krychowiak, who Emery knows well from his recent work with him. 10 million were paid for the argentine attacking midfielder Giovani Lo Celso from CA Rosario, while 7 more million were splashed for the belgian defender Thomas Meunier. Hatem Ben Arfa was signed on a free transfer as well. And if we should note what’s the biggest news of PSG’s transfer summer so far, it’s the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who left Paris after a few successful seasons in the french capital.
Olympique Lyonnais will be traditionally one of the teams who are about to aim for every single trophy in France. So far Bruno Genesio’s team signed just three players. They paid 7.40 million to River Plate for the argentine defender Emanuel Mammana, while Maciej Rybus (Terek Grozny) and Nicolas N’Koulou (Marseille) were signed on a free transfer. The club was left by the french international Samuel Umtiti, who was sold to Barcelona for the sum of 25 million euro.
This is a good way to start the new season in french football, with two of the best teams in the country facing each other for the first trophy of the new campaign.
LILLESTROM – ROSENBORG
The leader of the Norway’s Eliteserien Rosenborg is facing Lillestrøm away from home. The game is a part of Eliteserien’s 19th round and it gives Rosenborg another chance to increase its lead on the top of the table.
Even with a game in hand, Rosenborg is leading the battle for the gold medals with six points ahead of Odd and seven ahead of Brann and Strømsgodset. Lillestrøm on the other hand is more close to the relegation zone, currently holding the 11th position with just four points ahead of the relegation play-off.
Three wins and two draws – that’s how Rosenborg performed in its last five games in the Eliteserien. The team’s only loss in the league so far came five months ago, when they lost their visit to Odd. Since then, nobody is able to beat Kare Ingebrigtsen’s team, which is deservedly holding the first spot of the table.
Lillestrøm’s performance is much worse than Rosenborg’s lately. They have lost four of their last five games, winning just once – against Strømsgodset at home. Lillestrøm is a team who currently have more losses than wins or draws in the league – 8 losses, compared to 5 wins and 5 draws so far.
In their last game in May, Rosenborg managed to win against Lillestrøm with 2-1 at home. Christian Gytkjær and Anders Konradsen found the net for the current leaders, while Frode Kippe managed to score for the away team.
It’s safe to say that Rosenborg is the huge favorite to win this game, taking into account the current form of the two teams. The away team is feeling comfortable at the top of the table, while Lillestrøm is losing too much games in the last weeks. If they don’t change something very fast, they could find themselves in a serious danger of relegation.
ITALY – SWEDEN
After winning against Belgium in a spectacular fashion, Italy will try to make a decisive second step towards the 1/8-final in the Euro 2016 in France.
The Azzurri won against the strong side of Belgium, scoring two wonderful goals, although their manager Antonio Conte should have some serious complaints about his team’s performance in defense. Italy finished the game with a clean sheet, but they let the belgians too close to their goal. We could easily say that only the lack of luck and concentration didn’t let Belgium to score at least one goal in the game.
Sweden on the other hand won their first point in the 1-1 draw against Ireland. It’s hard to say that the scandinavians impressed us with their performance, so their fans have all the right to be worried before facing the much more stronger italian team. Sweden didn’t manage to register even one shot on target against Ireland, which is a very bad stat for a team who managed to qualify for the European Championship.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the big source of inspiration in Sweden’s team. The veteran striker was responsible for the own goal which Ireland’s Ciaran Clark scored during the 1-1 draw, so now we should expect to see him responsible for almost everything interesting which happen in front of Italy’s goal. But it’s difficult to think that just his class is going to be enough to take something from the Azzurri.
Italy is relying on their team strenght to drive them to the final of the competition. It’s difficult to say that there are any superstars in Antonio Conte’s squad, but against Belgium he didn’t need them either. Italy looks like a team with a great team chemistry, which could be vital for their ambitions to lift the trophy.
GERMANY – POLAND
After they already played against each other in the qualification phase, world champions Germany and Poland are going head to head in Group C of the Euro 2016.
Both teams were in the same qualification group for the tournament, with both of them recording one win against each other in the process. Now they’re already in a good position to reach the knockout phase of the championship, after winning their first games in the group. Poland took the three points against Northern Ireland, while Germany didn’t give Ukraine any chances for something more in Villeneuve d’Ascq.
Germany is the big favourite in this game and you don’t need much of a reason for this. Die Mannschaft possesses one of the most expensive squads in the tournament and they are the current champion of the world. Germany is one of the biggest favourites to lift the trophy, so you should be used to the feeling of them being a favourite in almost every game they play in.
You should not underestimate Poland, though. We already mentioned that Poland managed to beat Germany during the qualifications for the tournament, although it’s a very different type of game now. One thing is for sure – if Joachim Low’s boys don’t take this game in a serious way, they will most probably have some troubles.
It’s not surprising that Robert Lewandowski is the big star in Poland’s team, while players like Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jakub Błaszczykowski and ŁukaszPiszczek bring the value of experience.
It’s interesting to see how Joachim Low will build his strategy against the polish team. Against Ukraine he used Mario Gotze as a false nine, choosing not to rely on a striker in his formation. If he will choose the same tactics again, it remains to be seen.
ENGLAND – WALES
England and Wales are facing each other in the big british derby of Euro 2016. The two teams were drawn together in Group B of the tournament and now each one of them will try to make an important step towards the knockout phase.
Surprising or not, Wales is leading the group with full active of three points. The Dragons beat Slovakia in their first game in the tournament, thanks to Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu goals. Chris Coleman’s team performed in a solid way against the slovakians and they managed to take home three points which could be crucial in near future.
In England’s camp on the other hand they are still mad because of the late equalizer against Russia. The Three Lions were already preparing to celebrate their win, before Russia’s shocking equalizer in the injury time. But the more important thing is that Roy Hodgson’s team showed some good football against Russia, which is giving them high hopes for a successful performance in the tournament.
Both teams know themselves very well, because most of the player we are going to see on the pitch play in the English Premier League. Wales’ manager Chris Coleman is also experienced in the Premier League, so it will be difficult for him and Roy Hodgson to surprise each other.
Wales will once again rely on their three star players Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen, while England is showing a good promise with their younger than ever squad. The Three Lions must get the three points, if they want to feel more secure about reaching the 1/8-finals, but we don’t expect to see Wales giving up without a fight. We should expect a very solid game between two teams with high ambitions in the tournament.
ROSENBORG – MOLDE
The first two teams in the norwegian Eliteserien Rosenborg and Molde are facing each other in the big derby of the 13th round of the league.
Rosenborg are five points ahead of Molde in the table, so the away team could make an important step in decreasing the advantage of the current leader. A possible win for Rosenborg would mean that Kåre Hedley Ingebrigtsen’s team could have an even more impressive lead in the league after 13 played games.
The current champions Rosenborg made a wrong step in its last game in the Eliteserien, making a 1-1 draw away from home against Haugesund. From twelve played games so far, Rosenborg won 9, drew in 2 and lost just one – against Odd.
Molde on the other hand won two of its last three games, losing one. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s boys are one of the main candidates for the title, after a dissapointing campaign in 2015. If they manage to take a point or three against Rosenborg away from home, it could mean a solid boost for them. In twelve games in the Eliteserien so far, Molde won 7, drew in 3 and lost 2.
Christian Gytkjaer, Anders Konradsen and Mike Jensen are Rosenborg’s leading goalscorers so far, with each of them scoring 4 times in the league. The same ammount of goals for Molde so far have been scored by Mohamed Elyounoussi and Fredrik Gulbrandsen. Clearly the both teams have enough players who are able to find the opponent’s net, so we could expect to see some goals in this clash.
We should also point out that this is a game between the league’s best attack and league’s best defense. Molde is the highest scoring team in the norwegian team so far with 24 goals, but Rosenborg’s defense is being the most solid with just 6 conceded goals in the first 12 rounds. It’s just another statistics, which makes this clash even more interesting.
Norrkoping – GIF Sundsvall
The leaders Norrkoping welcome GIF Sundsvall in a game from the 9th round of the swedish Allsvenskan.
Norrkoping managed to win its last three games in the league, which helped Janne Anderson’s team to keep its first place in the table. In the last round Norrkoping beat Jönköpings Södra with 2-1 away from the home, with Christoffer Nyman and Emir Kujovic scoring the winning goals.
GIF Sundsvall on the other hand is just three points away from the leaders, currently being third in the table. Sundsvall won its last game with 2-1 against Falkenberg at home with Runar Mar Sigurjohnsson and Stefan Silva being clinical in front of the goal.
Two of Norrkoping’s strikers are responsible in a big way for the team’s leadership position in the league so far. Christoffer Nyman already scored five goals in the Allsvenskan so far, while Emir Kujovic managed to find the opposite team’s net four times so far. It’s really a great and very dangerous attacking duo, so Sundsvall will have to pay big attention to them, if they want to take something from the game.
Sundsvall’s most dangerous player is the icelandic midfielder Runar Mar Sigurjohnsson, who scored four goals in eight games in the league so far. He’s clearly forming himself as the leader of the team, so don’t be surprised if he plays a great game at the Östgötaporten on Sunday.
This is the most interesting and hard to preddict game in the Allsvenskan this weekend. Two of the strongest teams in the league are facing each other and the game could have any possible outcome. These two teams are very balanced and equal as potential, so the minor mistakes could decide what’s going to happen. The draw here looks as a very probable final outcome, but both teams could grab the three points as well.
Milan – Roma
Milan welcomes Roma in the most interesting derby of the last 38th round of the italian Serie A. While the hosts don’t have anything to play for in this game, Roma still have a theoretical chance to finish second in the table and avoid playing the Champions League qualifications. But if they want to to do it, they must win at the San Siro and hope that in same time Napoli will shockingly lose against the relegated Frosinone at home. It’s really a difficult scenario to follow.
Milan also have some chance to finish 6th in the round and move in front of Sassuolo, which means that they will qualify for the Europa League even if they lose the Coppa Italia final against Juventus on May 21. If they remain at the same position, they will need to beat Juve and win the trophy to play in the european competitions next season. In the same time Sassuolo welcomes Milan’s city rivals Inter at home.
Roma are the team with the best attack in Serie A, having scored 80 goals in 37 games in the league so far. They conceded two times more than the champions Juventus though – 40 goals conceded compared to Juventus’ 20. Milan conceded 40 goals in Serie A too, but they managed to score much less than the Gialorossi – just 48.
The last game between the two teams at the Stadio Olimpico finished with a draw – 1-1, while Milan’s last victory against Roma was a 2-1 win in May 2015. Meanwhile, Roma is looking for its first win against Milan since the 2-0 win in April 2014.
Milan can’t rely on the injured Luca Antonelli, while Roma’s former player Jeremy Menez is doubtful for the game. Roma can’t use the services of the veteran Seydou Keita, who is also injured.
Granada – Barcelona
The La Liga champions Barcelona are just one win away from defending their title, so now the catalans are preparing for their last final in the championship – the visit of Granada.
If Luis Enrique’s team manages to win at the Estadio Nuevo los Carmenes, La Liga will have its new champions. But if they shockingly fail away from home, then most probably the title will go to the arch-rival Real Madrid, who is just one point behind in the table.
Barcelona’s confidence is up after the huge win with 5-0 against the city rivals Espanyol, so now Los Cules will try to repeat this brilliant performance. Luis Enrique will once again rely on his deadly attacking trio MSN, which consists Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic will have to rule the midfield and make sure that the forward line will have enough chances of doing its magic.
Barcelona won four games in a row after their sudden dip of form, so now they will try to make it five in a row and clinch the title.
Granada is just three points away from the relegation zone, but they’re already safe because of their better stats against Sporting Gijon. Jose Gonzalez’ team will be more relaxed about its fate, which could mean an easier road to the title for Barcelona.Granada sensationally won with 4-1 against Sevilla in the last round of La Liga, which proves that this team could be very dangerous on its day. If Barcelona really want to win the title, then Enrique’s boys should be very careful and they must avoid any serious mistakes. In same time Real Madrid will play against Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor, so the Los Blancos will follow closely how their arch-rivals are performing, waiting for every possible chance to clinch the title.
BARCELONA – ESPANYOL
Barcelona is just two wins away from defending its La Liga title and now the first step for Luis Enrique’s team is beating Espanyol in the catalan derby at the Camp Nou. If Los Cules beat Espanyol and Granada in the next two weeks, than they will be crowned again as champions of Spain.
Luis Enrique’s team is the current leader in La Liga, but Barca can’t afford any mistakes until the end of the season, with Atletico and Real Madrid waiting for every wrong step they could use. Espanyol on the other hand is still not officialy safe from relegation. The Los Pericos are just 5 points in front of Sporting Gijon and Getafe, so they need a point or two to be completely safe in the end of the season.
This game is just like a replay of the 2006/07 game between both teams, when Espanyol scored a late goal at the Camp Nou and stopped the Blaugranas for the title. Will it happen again? Everybody is favouring Barcelona to win, but in a derby everything is possible.
Luis Enrique can’t use two of his defenders – Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu, but they are not key players in his squad anyway. The youngster Sergi Samper is also out of the game with an injury.
Espanyol’s manager Constantin Galca can’t rely on Anaitz Arbilla and Abraham, who’re also injured.
Our football prediction for the game is simple – do not expect any surprises. After being eliminated from the Champions League, Barcelona is using full force to defend its La Liga title. Luis Enrique’s biggest weapon is his majestic attacking trio MSN – Messi, Suarez and Neymar, who are tearing apart almost every defense they’re facing. Espanyol on the other hand will try to hurt the hosts with counter-attacks, but their task to win even a single point is very difficult.
HELSINBORG – MALMO FF
Helsingborg is hosting Malmo FF in one of the most interesting games of the 8th round of the swedish Allsvenskan.
Helsingborg is currently holding the 8th spot in the league with 10 points, while Malmo is third with 12 points so far. A possible win could send the hosts among the first three teams in the table, while Malmo could possibly even with the current leaders Norrkoping.
Both teams are enjoying a bit of different form lately. Helsingborg lost its last game in the Allsvenskan against the leader Norrkoping, while Malmo is feeling inspired by its fine run of three wins in a row. Now they’re aiming to make it four in a row.
Helsingborg is once again relying on Darijan Bojanic and Jordan Larsson, who are the team’s leading goalscorers with 3 goals on their accounts so far. Another dangerous player of Helsingborg is Linus Hallenius, who scored 2 goals in the Allsvenskan since the beginning of the season.
Malmo’s most dangerous weapon so far is the icelandic striker Vidhar Kjartansson, who scored 3 goals in the league this season. Pay attention to the norwegian Jo Inge Berget, who scored 2 times so far in the Allsvenskan.
Helsingborg’s biggest weakness so far is its defense. Henrik Larsson’s team conceded 16 goals in 7 games so far, which is too much for the big ambitions of the team. If Larsson can’t find a way to strengthen its defense, we should expect to see some serious problems for the hosts again. Malmo’s defense is performing much better since the beginning of the season, conceding just 6 times in 7 games. The offensive power of both teams is perfectly even – 11 scored goals so far.
Helsingborg’s weak defense could be crucial in that game. If Malmo manage to put the hosts’ defense under some heavy pressure, then we could see the away team winning the game. But if Henrik Larsson successfully find a way to improve the defense, then we could see a really competitive game.