Domestic football on the continent is back and how. The game of the weekend will take place on Sunday evening as Napoli host Juventus in what will be Gonzalo Higuain’s first appearance at the San Paolo since swapping the sky blue of Naples for the black and white stripes of Turin. It’s fair to say that the Neapolitans haven’t forgiven him.
This game will have ramifications beyond that of Higuain’s betrayal. Lazio and Inter Milan are chasing Roma and Napoli for the lucrative spots in the Champions League and if Napoli lose, which is very possible, Lazio can move to within three points of Napoli ahead of their game against each other next weekend in the capital. For that reason Lazio will be ready on Friday night to defeat Sassuolo and the 3/4 odds on them winning look a dead cert.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy Chievo face lowly Crotone earlier on Sunday and although Pescara have run away with the wooden spoon award, Crotone are going down with a whimper. 4/5 odds on Cheivo winning should result in a windfall.
Back in 2012 life seemed simpler. Obama had been re-elected, we were still in the European Union and Blackburn Rovers owners, the Venkys, just signed Anthony Modeste on loan for six months to bolster their attacking options. Unsurprisingly it didn’t end well for Modeste who scored zero whilst at Ewood Park but did manage a red card.
Fast forward to 2017 and Modeste is scoring at rate that goes against his name. His hat-trick for Cologne before the break moved him above Robert Lewandowski in the German scoring charts with 22 for the season. This weekend Cologne take on Hamburg in a mach that pits two of the most historic Bundesliga clubs against each other. At odds 9/4 for an away win you’d be as short sighted as the Venkys not to take it.
After a disappointing defeat to PSG Lyon will be looking to get back on track away to Rennes. The home team are Ligue 1’s draw specialists with 12 for the season and 8 coming in the last 10 games. However, the arsenal of Lacazette, Fekir, Valbuena and the reborn Memphis Depay should be too much for Rennes to handle on Sunday lunchtime. 20/23 odds are available.
From France we journey south to the country that defeated them on Tuesday, largely thanks to video technology. This innovative use of modern technology can bring the most lucrative sport in the world up to date with tennis, cricket, rugby, American football and so on. This game showed it can do so without continuous disruptions to the ebb and flow of the game.
Leicester’s future opponents Atletico have hit form at exactly the right time and the teams morale has been boosted by the news that ‘El Cholo’, Diego Simeone, will stay on as manager next season. This weekend they travel to Malaga who have hit a run of defeats and poor form that has seen them slide down the table faster than Donald Trump’s approval rating.
13/10 for an Atletico win with Griezmann to score. The Frenchman has 5 in 4 so expect him to add to that tally this weekend.
Also this weekend, worst top flight team in Europe Osasuna welcome Athletic who have managed 9 away goals all season. It’s 3/1 for under 1.5 goals so you know…..your welcome.
TJ’s Euro Acca.
I hope you’re ready. This week I have packed my acca with as many extras it could be an American meal deal ready to give you diabetes so fast you could lose a foot before bedtime.
The first four games all occur on Saturday and two of them in Germany. RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich both have easy and more than winnable games against bottom of the table and without an away point all season Darmstadt and relegation contenders Augsburg respectively.
After these mid-afternoon kickoffs Marseille will look to close the gap on Lyon at the top whilst simultaneously pushing Dijon closer to the drop.
Our final Saturday game sees Roma against Empoli. I have mentioned the provincial team from Florence before and they should stand little chance against Roma who have lost once at home all season.
Onto Sunday and we end the Acca in sunny Spain. Real Madrid play Alaves with Ronaldo returning from a win and a loss whilst on international duty but with the Portuguese scoring for the European champions I predict this will continue along with a win for Los Meringues. Later in the day soon to be relegated Granada host Barcelona. Having conceded 58 goals already this season my final bet on this acca for Barcelona to score in both halves looks as done as the sorry future of American healthcare.