Last Thursday marked the 68th anniversary of the tragic plane crash in which the entire Grande Torino side died. This team was perhaps better than the Busby Babes only losing 17 games between the 1942/43 season and the 1948/49 season and the deaths of these players had ramifications on the Italian national team for decades. Two days after Torino fans gathered to show their respects was the Turin derby against the old lady of Italian football, Juventus. Once again it was a late goal from Juventus which denied Torino a famous victory and one showered in controversy. Afriyie Acquah was given a second yellow for a challenge in which he seemed to take the ball and not the man. Cue rage from Torino manager Sinisa Mihajlovic.
This Sunday Torino host the first team in Italy this season to smash the 100 goals barrier in all competitions, Napoli. It will be hard for the home side to dust themselves down and focus for this one especially as Torino have nothing left to play for whilst Napoli can overtake Roma into second who face Juventus later that day thus giving the Neapolitan extra motivation to win.
Their should be goals in this one so 31/20 for a Napoli win with both teams to score is my tip for Serie A this weekend.
With RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Freiburg all gatecrashing the European party in the Bundesliga this has meant that some of the teams who spent big in the summer and were tipped for a higher position find themselves at the opposite end of the table, tentatively looking over their shoulder at the relegation playoff place.
Hamburg currently occupy said position and travel to Schalke on a bumper Saturday that features all ten games kicking off simultaneously. The only team with a worse away record and worse defensive away record than Hamburg are already relegated Darmstadt. For this reason I am going for Schalke’s Guido Burgstaller to score anytime at 6/4 and add to his tally of 8 in 15.
In a country in which players not deemed good enough for the Premier League, or vice versa in the case of Payet, a battle for Europa League football is heating up. Marseille are starting to hit form at the right time with Thauvin, Gomis and Payet dazzling up front, Bordeaux’s youthful team continue to defy the critics and Lyon, still in the Europa League, have snapped themselves out of a mini slump to win two on the bounce either side of their collapse in Amsterdam.
Bordeaux face Marseille this weekend in a potentially huge match for both teams however the result may be meaningless if Lyon can make it three in a row away at Montpellier. The home side from the south of France have gone three games without a win nor a goal. With Lacazette back and Fekir and Depay in good form 23/20 odds on Lyon to seize fourth place in Ligue 1 with a win this Sunday looks as solid as cement.
Not long a go Middlesbrough won the derby of the doomed to give themselves a slither of hope to stay in the top flight of English football. That hope was obliterated on Monday night at Stamford Bridge. Saturday night in Pamplona, Spain will see a similar game. “El Derbi de los Condenados” will feature Osasuna against Tony Adams very own Granada and the loser will more than likely finish the season bottom of La Liga.
From day one Osasuna have looked out of their depth in La Primera Division but have at least gained some pride with back to back victories in April. Granada however don’t own their stadium, training ground nor more than half of their squad and for them the end of the season can’t come soon enough.
This will be Osasuna’s last home game in La Liga for who knows how long. They’ve only managed one win so far at home this season so now is the perfect time to add to that. With both team’s defences leaking more than Julian Assange, 9/4 for an Osasuna win and both teams to score is my Spanish tip for this weekend.
TJ’s Euro Acca.
This week’s acca is four fold but with big rewards, almost £75 smackers for a solitary ten pound note!
I will start this weeks acca with a question, who is the most in form team in Italy right now, tied with Napoli? Juventus! No, Lazio! No, Roma! No, relegation threatened Crotone, Yes! Four wins and two draws for the team in the final relegation spot and they face an Udinese team with nothing to play for this weekend. Crotone win.
To see why I think Schalke will beat Hamburg then look up at the Bundesliga section, much obliged.
Kylian Mbappe became the third player this season to score a goal against Juventus in the Champions League. This weekend’s game at home to Lille should be no bother for the 18 year old. Mbappe to score at anytime.
Messi, Suarez and Neymar reached the 100 goal mark together this weekend and will travel to the Canary Islands to face a Las Palmas team who have nose dived spectacularly since their manager announced he would leave at the end of the season. The Canaries have conceded 22 in 8. The MSN will therefore be rubbing their hands at this one. Over 3.5 goals in this one.
To see this tip click here and with that, au revoir!