In tribute to Leicester City I’ll start today’s blog with some Shakespeare, Two football teams both alike in dignity in fair Verona where we lay our scene. On Sunday afternoon Torino will be the visitors against the Flying Donkeys, Chievo of Verona. After four straight losses Torino will be feeling confident of a second successive away victory.
For this one I predict goals. Chievo don’t have the worst defence but against the top ten they have kept two clean sheets all season and one was on the first day against Frank De Boer’s Inter. Torino have Andrea Belotti, Italy’s new attacking wunderkid, with three in three and twenty five for the season. Throw in Joe Hart who has played well in the majority but is still vulnerable from crosses, as he demonstrated last Sunday, and 11/4 odds on a Torino win with both teams to score looks bang on.
As teams at the top and the very bottom of the Bundesliga look to cement their positions, glances toward the low end of European places and relegation zone offer excitement and intrigue. Werder Bremen are the most in form team in Germany with seven wins from nine in the league and spirits will be high after defeating rivals Hamburg.
This Saturday they face Ingolstadt who looked to have given the Bundesliga an unexpected relegation battle until last weekend as Augsberg and Mainz picked up valuable victories and Ingolstadt were defeated by resurgent Wolfsburg. This should be a step too far, as a look at Ingolstadt’s previous victories all came against teams fighting to get out of the relegation zone. Werder are organised, confident and fast. 11/5 for an away win should be comfortable.
After a week that saw three explosions aimed at the bus of Borussia Dortmund and the Lyon Besiktas game delayed due to crowd trouble it would’ve been nice to see some unity and good behaviour from the fans across the board of Europe’s elite leagues. Obviously that memo was torn up and spat at by a large group of Bastia fans. The Corsican’s game against Lyon was abandoned and if you haven’t seen the footage click here.
This weekend Bastia are away at Bordeaux who have been outstanding this year since balancing youth with experience and managed to grind out a hard fought away victory at Sergio Conceicao’s silky yet strong Nantes team. Bastia’s confidence is weak and an early goal could open the floodgates. 3/4 odds for over 2.5 goals look pretty concrete.
Whenever El Classico is on the rest of Spain, and the world come to think of it, basically forgets about La Liga. This year will be no different given the consequences of the result but in Pamplona one would hope that football fans are putting the second greatest derby in the world (behind the Steel City obvs) to the back of their minds as Osasuna play Sporting Gijon in a game which could decide which league Gijon will play in next season.
On the 9th of April 2017 Osasuna became the last team in Europe to win their first home game of the season. That means Rotherham United were relegated before Osasuna won a home match, I’ll let that sink in. Last weekend Gijon were very unlucky to lose to Real Madrid after taking the lead in the second half. Isco was superb and won the game for them in the dying moments.
Gijon will be hoping to continue into this game with similar spirit of the last and at 17/10 to win it, you’d be as blind as the ref from the Madrid Bayern game not to.
TJ’s Euro Acca.
For this week I’ve gone for 7 games but with slight caution as reflected by the £41.05 return from a single £10 note.
Sevilla face Tony Adams’ Granada who were the first team in La Liga to play with eleven different nationalities not including a Spaniard. They lost badly to Celta Vigo’s B-team thus why I am backing Sevilla.
PSG have been superb since they were spineless in their defeat at the Camp Nou and will look to continue that against Montpellier who are done for the season, safe in mid-table.
Bayern will look to bounce back from being knocked out by
the referee Real Madrid midweek. Home against Mainz usually means victory for the Bavarians. Hamburg face Darmstadt who could be relegated after this game. Hamburg have scored more goals in their last four home games than Darmstadt have scored away from home all season!
Finally in Italy, the two teams of the capital face two teams theoretically if not mathematically relegated, Pescara and Palermo while Juventus are at home and that usually ends in a home win.
Click here for the acca and have a smasher of a weekend. Adios.