Friday, October 22, 2021

EPL 2021/22 - Week 9

Chelsea v Norwich - Home

Crystal Palace v Newcastle - Home

Everton v Watford - Home

Leeds v Wolves - Home

Southampton v Burnley - Draw

Brighton v Man City - Away

Brentford v Leicester - Home

West Ham v Tottenham - Draw

Man Utd v Liverpool - Home


Man Utd are on an explatoratory phase at the moment and with positive results difficult to come by, the pressure is definitely on Solksjaer to turn things around asap. The press certainly exacerbates things but if history is to go by, I don't see Ole being fired any time soon unless the Red Devils stop winning at all. They have too much quality for their wretched form to continue for long. Arch-rivals Liverpool certainly would be more than happy to further the current turmoil at Old Trafford this Sunday. The Kops are in championship form at the moment, driven by a Mo Salah currently recognized as the current best player on the planet. His recent performances and goals have just been scintillating and he will be relishing exploring the defensive frailties of the hosts. But this is a local derby, a match between the fiercest rivals in English football and current form is not the major ingredient. It will be mostly a battle of wills and Man Utd will not be found wanting in this department. With McGuire back, the defence has gone and will get better. They have the firepower to trouble any defence and Liverpool has shown their defensive vulnerability in mid-week against Atletico Madrid. Liverpool will score but so will Man Utd. At current prices, I see value siding with the hosts as either a draw-no-bet or as an outright win.

Friday, October 15, 2021

EPL 2021/22 - Weel 8

Watford v Liverpool - Away

Aston Villa v Wolves - Home

Leicester v Man Utd - Away

Man City v Burnley - Home

Norwich v Brighton - Away

Southampton v Leeds - Away

Brentford v Chelsea - Draw

Everton v West Ham - Draw

Newcastle v Spurs - Home

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Home


Coach Ranieri starts his spell as Watford manager this week-end and it will be interesting if the legendary Italian can make the Hornets a first-half table team. Players are typically pumped up in a coach's first match, trying to make good first impressions but Watford have their work cut out for them against mighty Liverpool. The Kops are actually in a better position than I thought they would be at this time. I still think they don't have the depth in squad as compared to the rest of the top teams but with the likes of Salah playing out of his skin at the moment, they can keep the momentum going. I suspect the Kops can edge this one.

The pressure is on for Solksjaer at Man Utd as a series of defeats have allowed the skeptics to start crying foul. All the goodwill coming out of the Ronaldo homecoming seems to have evaporated. Worse for the Red Devils, they are missing their defensive central pair of McGuire and Varane to injury. That said, I think they still have the quality to win this match against the Foxes. Ronaldo can always score and it is only a matter of time that the parts start clicking. Leicester are in a spot of bother of their own, lying in the bottom half of the table; I actually thought they would be vying for the top places at this time but they have definitely gone a step backwards from the past couple of years. I don't think Man Utd will lose this match, so might be worth going with a draw-no-bet with them or an outright win might signify more rewards for a riskier punt. 



Saturday, October 2, 2021

Arc de Triomphe 100th edition - Superstar fillies against Godolphin colts

 The 100th edition of the Arc runs on Sunday. The greatest race in the world. And the field this year is one of the best assembled in recent times. Despite the impending heavy ground, it promises to be one for the ages. Here is my lowdown of each runner in this fabulous race.

Torquator Tasso - best middle distance horse from Germany. He will out-run his odds of 320/1 but will probably finish in the middle of the pack.

Deep Bond - Surprise winner of the Prix Niel. Hasn't won a Group 1 yet. His only chance to spring a surprise is that he shoots in front and his stamina allows him to successfully withstand challenges on heavy ground. 

Broome - Does not have the class to win this.

Tarnawa - Should be the deserved favourite to win this. Ticks on all boxes; form, distance, going, course, jockey. Will be at the finish.

Love - withdrawn.

Raabihah - Her outside post has complicated her already difficult task. Her trainer thinks she has no chance with that post. She will have to replicate her finish in last year's edition to have any chance. Hard to see her do it though.

Chrono Genesis - the best middle-distance horse from Japan. Has the class to win this but needs to overcome any Japanese curse prevailing in that race. If she's in her element on the heavy going, she can win this.

Mojo Star - looks destined for placings at best in top races. Can't see him winning this.

Baby Rider - not good enough for this.

Adayar - top-class Derby winner who also destroyed Mishriff and Love in the King George. Outside post might scupper his chances but looks set to be at the finish.

Hurricane Lane - other top-class colt from Godolphin. Will need to overcome the St Leger curse to win this. Should be able to perform on the ground but I fear he will run out of stamina in the heavy mud after his St Leger outing.

Sealiway - Might be good against French colts but not in this company.

Alenquer - One of the few who will relish the heavy going. He is a level short for this type of company though.

Bubble Gift - like other French colts, need a lot of luck to figure properly in this.

Snowfall - dark horse of the race. If the Snowfall of the Oaks turns up, she will win this. If that of the Vermeille shows up, she won't even place. She will love the heavy going.


In the end, it will be the Godolphin colts against the superstar fillies Tarnawa, Chrono Genesis and Snowfall. With the deluge that looks set to hit Longchamp, I have to side with the fillies that will glide on the surface. Tarnawa or Snowfall, make both of them your picks. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

EPL 2021/22 - Week 7

 Man Utd v Everton - Draw

Burnley v Norwich - Home

Chelsea v Southampton - Home

Leeds v Watford - Home

Wolves v Newcastle - Draw

Brighton v Arsenal - Draw

Crystal Palace v Leicester - Draw

Tottenham v Aston Villa - Draw

West Ham v Brentford - Home

Liverpool v Man City - Home


I'm putting faith in 2 teams to finally win their first matches of the season this week-end. Burnley won't have a better chance to get their first by beating lowly Norwich and Leeds have enough in them to overcome visitors Watford.

Burnley almost snatched a first victory at Leicester last week. Sam Dyche's men seem unable to hold a favourable result and have had vicotry taken off their hands in a few occasions. It won't get any easier than against the Canaries. Burnley for the outright win.

Hard to believe that Leeds have yet to win their first match but truth be said that they haven't had an easy path so far having crossed swords with the likes of Liverpool, Man Utd, West Ham among others. Watford do not have a solid away form, having only won points at Norwich. Leeds were rather unlucky to lose to West Ham last week-end as they opened the scoring only to be downed by 2 second-half goals including the winner in stoppage time.  At current odds, it looks worthy to side with Biesla's men to finally get that first win of the campaign.

Friday, September 24, 2021

EPL 2021/22 - Week 6

 Chelsea v Man Ciy - H

Man Utd v Aston Villa - H

Everton v Norwich - H

Leeds v West Ham - A

Leicester v Burnley - H

Watford v Newcastle - D

Brentford v Liverpool - A

Southampton v Wolves - H

Arsenal v Tottenham - D

Crystal Palace v Brighton - A


It's still early dibs but I've mentioned this before that I don't think that Man City will retain their title this year. Winning the Champions League will be their priority but more importantly, they don't have a No 9, having missed on one of the brightest of them all in Harry Kane. Getting Grealish was an excellent piece of business but he won't give you 20 goals in one season. And I believe we can have a good glimpse of how City's season will unfold in the coming weeks as they play Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool in succession. Without a striker, they look very vulnerable indeed.

Chelsea are currently favourites to take the baton from City and they have started the season in tremendous style and in an expected fashion. A Lukaku up-front that the Blues are enjoying is what Guardiola needs for the Citizens. No more reliance on Timo Werner and his misses. Tuchel is unbeaten in 4 matches against Guardiola since arriving at Stamford Bridge and I expect the unbeaten run to continue on Saturday. How the market is equally divided among the 2 just amazes me. At home, the Blues hold no fear and I see it worth going for the outright win in their favour.

Friday, September 17, 2021

EPL 2021/22 - Week 5

Wolves v Brentford - H

Burnley v Arsenal - H

Liverpool v Crystal Palace - H

Man City v Southampton - H

Norwich v Watford - A

Aston Villa v Everton - A

Brighton v Leicester - A

West Ham v Man Utd - D

Tottenham v Chelsea - A


Burnley have only 1 point to show for so far but their odds look prohibitively high against visiting Arsenal. I believe Dyche's men are a little unfortunate to be sitting next to the bottom of the table as they could easily have gathered a few more points from their opening matches. They are a tough team to beat on their best day and they should be hitting good form soon. Visiting Arsenal do not have much better form and I think Arteta's men are an out-of-sorts team at the moment. Forget that they are not the Arsenal team of old, they are much worse than even the worst Wenger teams. This does not look a team that is going anywhere and I wouldn't be surprised if Arteta is given the boot soon. I think it's worth siding with the home team here, either a straight win or a draw-no-bet; I just don't see Burnley losing this one.


Friday, September 10, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 4

Crystal Palace v Spurs - D

Arsenal v Norwich - H

Brentford v Brighton - D

Leicester v Man City - A

Man Utd v Newcastle - H

Southampton v West Ham - H

Watford v Wolves - A

Chelsea v Aston Villa - H

Leeds v Liverpool - A

Everton v Burnley - H


Amazing that Wolves haven't yet scored a league goal so far. They could easily have had at least 2 against Man Utd in their last match, including a miracle double-save from de Gea. The problem with the Wolves attack is that Jimenez has yet to regain his goal scoring touch before his accident, Trincao is full of trickery except scoring goals and Fabio Silva is just not good enough for this league. Adama Traore can bulldoze his way through everything but goal scoring is not yet his forte. That said, I find it hard to believe that they won't score against lowly Watford. All the ingredients are there for Wolves to get their first goal to get their season started. At current odds, I find them value to outright win this match although Watford might hold this match tight.

Ronaldo makes his first re-appearance as a Red Devil after 12 years and as mentioned before, he will improve them immensely. Once the goals start coming and the floodgates are opened, Man Utd will be a hard nut to crack. Their undoing last year was their poor form at Old Trafford but I expect them to rectify this record this season. Newcastle will be the first to feel the brunt of their new powerhouse attack on Saturday. I see this match as the first of many punts on the Red Devils this season.



Friday, August 27, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 3

Man City v Arsenal - H

Aston Villa v Brentford - H

Brighton v Everton - A

Newcastle v Southampton - D

Norwich v Leicester - A

West Ham v Crystal Palace - H

Liverpool v Chelsea - H

Burnley v Leeds - H

Tottenham v Watford - H

Wolves v Man Utd - A

My oh my! Ronaldo back home to Man Utd is just seismic news... This clearly changes the league dynamics as Man Utd have now been mightily boosted with a potential 30-goal scorer. His arrival will also boost everyone around to boost their game, Utd are definitely destined for some silverware this year. I think City have missed out big time not landing the Portuguese superstar. They need a big goal scorer and missing out on Ronaldo and Kane leaves a huge void up front. They almost need to scramble to get Haaland this year, it seems.

Man Utd should complete a fantastic week by going to beat Wolves at Molyneux. They dropped points at Southampton last week but the Saints are a difficult team to overcome for anyone. The Red Devils did well to come back after falling behind on a Fred own goal and should have won the match had Greenwood been more clinical with his header, one of the few areas he has room for considerable improvement. Pogba, Greenwood and Fernandes are firing on all cylinders at the moment and should prove too much for the hosts.

Man City totally outclassed Norwich last Sunday but Arsenal should provide a slightly more robust opposition. Guardiola's men can get away without a real number 9 against weak opponents but that won't do against the leading teams. Arsenal still need to find their feet at the moment and were comprehensively overwhelmed by Chelsea in their last match. Am pretty sure they won't concede 5 like the Canaries but I don't see them going away with a clean sheet as well. It's a good time to play the Gunners at the moment and it's a must 3-pointer for the Citizens.

Liverpool hosting Chelsea is the highlight of the week. Both teams have started well and can take the spoils. Lukaku has adjusted quickly to his new team and is only going to get better. Salah, Mane and Trent Arnold are clicking as they were a couple of years back. I have to give the advantage to the hosts here as Anfield will be jam packed. However, Chelsea are not easy to break down, so I expect this match to be decided by a goal at most. Orelse, a draw could be a likely income as well.


Friday, August 20, 2021

EPL 21/22 - Week 2

Liverpool v Burnley - Home

Aston Villa v Newcastle - Home

Crystal Palace v Brentford - Home

Leeds v Everton - Home

Man City v Norwich - Home

Brighton v Watford - Away

Southampton v Man Utd - Away

Wolves v Spurs - Home

Arsenal v Chelsea - Away

West Ham v Leicester - Draw


Man City missed their entrance last week-end going down at White Hart Lane. The Citizens are clearly missing a No 9 but they should have no problem overcoming minnows Norwich on Saturday. Mahrez and Sterling are expected to shine and get Guardiola's team back on track. They better do because Liverpool and Man Utd have started their season brightly.

I expect Liverpool to overcome Burnley as they look very settled with Van Dyke at the back and Salah is already hitting on all cylinders. Man Utd have a more arduous road trip at Southampton and it's a match they almost lost last year until they mounted a memorable second-half comeback thanks to the likes of Cavani and Fernandes. Any poor showing like their first half of last season might doom them this time, but with the quality they have shown last week, and with a Pogba that seems very interested, they might have too much firepower again for the hosts.

Chelsea sees the return of Lukaku and the Belgian might make the difference against the Gunners. A defeat here will certainly heap the pressure on Arteta who will be missing a few key players due to Covid. Chelsea are already rocking and Lukaku definitely improves them mightily in the striker department. The Blues should get even better with matches but they have the capacity to shell-shock the Gunners in this early-season London clash.

Friday, August 13, 2021

EPL 21/22 Predictions

Man Utd v Leeds - Home

Burnley v Brighton - Away

Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Home

Everton v Southampton - Away

Leicester v Wolves - Home

Watford v Aston Villa - Draw

Norwich v Liverpool - Away

Newcastle v West Ham - Draw

Tottenham v Man City - Draw


Welcome back to a new season of EPL that promises to be even better than the last one. The big teams have loaded up, it won't be a shoe-in for Man City as last season. Here are my thoughts on the main protagonists.

Man City are favourites to retain their title and have added Grealish to their arsenal. They are still gunning for Harry Kane and whether they succeed in that endeavour will determine their chances of trophies this year. There is no doubt that the Champions League will be the main objective together with the league, having come agonizingly close to capturing Europe's biggest club prize in May. They will play a leading role in the league again but I have a feeling they will not come out on top.

Man Utd have beefed up with the arrivals of Sancho and Varane during the off-season. Sancho is an amazing addition and the England winger adds potency and verve to an already talented attack. I am not so sure about Varane; sure, the French stalwart has won a lot of silverware but the jury will be out whether he can master the physical challenges of the Premier League. If he can form a formidable partnership with McGuire at the back, Man Utd will play a major role this season. Solksjaer needs some silverware to keep his job and the Red Devils better start strong orelse he could be gone prematurely.

Chelsea have done a fantastic business grabbing Lukaku this week. He assures them at least 20 goals this season and after the debacle with Werner, makes them a complete team. If Kante stays healthy, the Blues will be feared. In fact, I can only see them doing better than last year and at the present, make them my favourites to win the title. Tuchel has proven he can handle the EPL and will get this team in even better prosition this year. Watch for the Blues.

Liverpool are contenders again this year with a fully-fit backline. Their season tapered away last year after injuries decimated Van Dyke and his fellow defenders. My concern for them is that they haven't reinforced adequately during the off-season and are bound to lose some stalwarts. Wijnaldum is already gone. The Kops should finish in the top 4 but I think they will miss out winning the title.

Leicester will start strong and fade as usual.. Arsenal and Tottenham won't make the Champions League.

Win Title: Chelsea


Friday, July 2, 2021

Coral Eclipse 2021 - UK Group 1 in sight for Mishriff

With only 4 participants, quality, rather than quantity, is the name in this year's edition of the Coral Eclipse. Let's discard El Drama right away as there is no way that he is going to cause any drama playing a major role in this race.

Mishriff is the deserved favourite and holds a great chance to land a Group 1 in UK to add to his stellar resume. This horse has gone through a path that no other has trodden before; winner of a Group 1 in France in the French Derby, winner of the world's richest race and on dirt in Saudi Arabia and winner of the Scheema Classic in Dubai. Winning a Group 1 on dirt and on turf is really unheard of and Mishriff is really peer-less in this category. He did convincingly beat some of the best the USA had to offer on the dirt surface of Riyad and in Dubai he beat one of Japan's best in Chrono Genesis. So, his form is solid. Provided the group is not worse than soft on Saturday, he will be tough to beat.

Addeybb is a top-class horse and will relish the softish conditions. If it gets near heavy, he cannot be opposed. He won the Champion Stakes last year on heavy ground (beating Mishriff in the process) but he really made a name for himself by winning some Group 1's Down Under. Let's be clear here; Australia's midde-distance locals are an average lot compared to the Europeans and winning a Group 1 over here does not have the significance it has in Europe. Addeybb might be rated 3 pounds higher than Mishriff on the official scales but to me, Gosden's horse is on a different, higher level as long as the ground is not bottomless.

St Mark's Basilica is a dual French classic winner having bagged the French Guineas and Derby. He is clearly among the creme de la creme from Ballydoyle and will sport some advantage at the weights against the elderly competitors. He won both Classics on soft ground so the going at Sandown will not be a problem. I still think he's not seasoned enough to take on the above two, particularly Mishriff, but I expect him to give a good account of himself.

I cannot go against Mishriff here. 98 days since his last race might be a concern but he runs well fresh and his class should see him through.

Win: Mishriff

Friday, June 25, 2021

Sport bonanza week-: Euros, Irish Derby, Styrian Grand Prix

Here are my selections on this fantastic week-end of sports coming up.

In Euro 2021, my main punt is Denmark against Wales. I cannot see the Welsh overcoming the Danes who are playing out of their minds at the moment. The way they dominated the powerful Belgians in the first half and their rampant victory over Russia tells me that the Danes can go very far in this tournament. They are playing with the Eriksen factor.

I can see possible upsets this week-end and while Italy should run over Austria, it would not surprise me if Portugal overcome Belgium or the Czechs beat Holland. Belgium are vulnerable at the back and no-one would bet against Ronaldo netting at least one against them. Holland might have appeared strong in the group stage but they were playing against minnows. I think it might be worth laying them; they won't go far.

The Irish Derby is the main racing story and I believe the winner will come from either High Definition, Hurricane Lane or Mac Swiney. The first-named has impressed in each of  his 3 outings and even when he was beaten in the Dante Stakes, he hit the line really well suggesting that the distance would not be a problem and he would come on enormously for the run. He skipped Epsom unlike the other 2, so should be fresh to go. Hurricane Lane ran a good third at Epsom, and like all Charlie Appleby's, needs to be respected. The Curragh track should suit him better and he looks certain to be among the finishers. Finally, Mac Swiney has that funny record where he wins every alternating race and if that pattern holds, he should win on Saturday. He won the Irish Guineas beating mighty stablemate Poetic Flare and is definitely top-class. If there is any softness in the ground, he should be bang in there.

Finally, Formula 1 is interesting these days as Verstappen is giving Hamilton all he can handle. The momentum is clearly with the Dutch and in the short term, I can see him dominating the Brit. Mercedes need to fight back and come up with a more competitive car if Hamilton is to retain his title this year. For the meantime though, Verstappen is the one to be backed.

Win: Italy, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, High Definition/Mac Swiney, Verstappen

Place: Hurricane Lane

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Prince of Wales' Stakes - Lord North looking for Love

Royal Ascot is under-way and the first day saw the 2 best European milers (excuses to St Mark Basilica!) come to the fore as Palace Pier and Poetic Flare dominated their races. The anticipation now is for those 2 to meet at some point later and if SMB can join in too, that would be a hell of a race.

The second day at Ascot sees the much-anticipated return of Love who had an utterly exciting and dominating Classic season last year. Softish ground has limited her appearances but the good to firm ground at Ascot will be to her liking. She will cut it out with colts for the first time and the outcome of the race will give us a good indication whether all the hype behind her was justified or not. 

Love is not proven on firm ground but she will definitely relish it to soft ground. Her return to the course after a 300-day absence means that she will not be at the peak of her powers. The Ballydoyle team are certainly bringing her up to bigger challenges during the course of the season. Her fans will hope that she is not under-cooked for the occasion.

The main opponent to Love will be Lord North, the winner of last year's edition. The John Gosden gelding is top-class and seems to be in top form at the age of 5. He won the Dubai Turf convincingly on his last start and the vibes are certainly positive from connections. He can be a handful in the stalls and provided he is well-behaved in that area, his chances of winning are legitimate. I think the Gosden stable have him primed for this race and deserves to be shorter odds than the current 9/4.

Armory and the other runners will be aiming for third place, nothing higher. It might be worth taking a winning punt on Lord North at current odds. I can't see him out of the first 2.  If Love can make a convincing winning return, she might be the next super filly racing is looking for and the upcoming big middle-distance races will be at her mercy.

Win/Place: Lord North

Friday, May 28, 2021

Champions League Final - History beckons for Man City

It's an all-English final in the Champions League underlying the quality of the Premier League amongst its Europrean peers. It is a final between 2 loaded (with money) teams in Man City, guided by the riches of Abu Dhabi and Chelsea, the club of Russian billionaire Ambramovich. It will be a first European Cup final for the Citizens while the Blues will be at their third final. 

If this match were played a couple of weeks ago, I would have given both teams a 50-50 chance of winning it. Chelsea were almost unbeaten under Tuchel and even went to win at the Etihaad. However, since then, the Blues have lost 3 of their last 4 matches and Tuchel's Midas touch seems to have evaporated. They needed crucial wins in the FA Cup final and in the last EPL match and lost both. So, the Blues are lacking form at the moment.

For their part, Man City have been playing on 3rd gear towards winning the league. They were not in the same mode of urgency as Chelsea. Even though they lost 2 matches against Tuchel's Blues, I don't think they necessarily go in this match with a psychological disadvantage. They might have lost the match at the Etihad but they were resting their first team for the occasion and more importantly, had Aguro converted his failed Panenka penalty, they would have won that match easily. So, I don't think there will be any mental barrier in their minds that they cannot beat Chelsea. I think Guardiola will get his tactics right and the Citizens are worthy favourites.

I mentioned the lack of form of Chelsea above and the other downside with them is the quality of their marksmen. The ability of Werner to convert his chances will certainly be a factor to consider; the German has proven to be a serial expert in missing open goals and continuing on this streak will be fatal for the Blues. There is little doubt that Tuchel will p refer to stay with his fellow German up front and not opt to start with Giroud but either way, I see the defensive pairing of Dias and Stones effectively containing either Chelsea forward.

The Man City squad is so deep that dangers for Chelsea will lurk from anywhere. However, it's a match of 90 minutes and anything can happen; the Blues could score the first or odd goal and park the bus; or the City stars could be on an off-day; or lady luck might decide to give a trophy to the Londoners. But the odds are that Guardiola will have his tactics right and have his players primed for the occasion. Foden, De Bryune, Mahrez, Dias and Gungodan have dominated all year long and shown up on big occasions. If they fail to fire, there are the likes of Aguero and Sterling on the bench who can turn a match on its head in an instant. The Citizens should not only be up for this but they have the quality to make the difference over 90 minutes, extra time or penalties. An out-of-form Chelsea do not look a formidable proposition against them.

Win: Man City

Saturday, May 22, 2021

European leagues - Curtain Call

 It's the curtain call for European leagues this week-end and today the verdict fell on La Liga where Atletico Madrid hang on to its slim lead to win the title over arch-rivals Real Madrid. There's still much at stake in the other leagues and here are some predictions.

Premier League. What is mainly of interest here is which of Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester are going to miss out on a UCL spot; only two of them will be happy fellas by the end of the day. The Kops were saved by the most improbable goal from keeper Allison in stoppage time last week to have their destiny in their own hands. They host Crystal Palace, a team that is capable of the best and worst depending on their mood. It will be Roy Hodgson's last match at the helm for the Eagles but I don't think the esx-Liverpool manager will be throwing a wrench to his old club's UCL aspirations. Liverpool should win this one although it will not surprise me if the Kops are made to sweat till the end.

I believe Leicester will overcome Spurs although this is bound to go to the wire as well. The Foxes will have to wait for Chelsea's result at Aston Villa, a rather difficult match on the cards for the Blues. Again here, old connections can play a role as Villa assistant coach John Terry might play villain against old club Chelsea. The Villains are a tough nut to crack although I feel they are more apt to get a result on the road than at home. Chelsea have enough quality to edge this match and I think they will. So, for me, Liverpool and Chelsea will bear the 2 remaining UCL spots at Leicester's expense.

In France, coronation will either go to Lille or PSG. Monaco has an outside chance but will need those 2 to falter and scoring bucketloads against Lens to win the title. It won't happen. As it stands, Lille has a slightly harder task on paper than PSG as they visit 12th place Angers while PSG go to 16th place Brest. However, the latter are fighting their lives in a relegation scrap, so PSG's might actually be having a harder match-up. Lille have a strong record on the road, so they have quality to go get a result at Angers and hence sccure the title.

In Italy, in a similar fashion to the Premier League, 3 teams namely Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli are vying for 2 UCL spots. Juventus should be able to rely on Ronaldo to get the must-win at Bologna. Napoli are also favoured at home against Verona. Milan have a very tough match as they visit Atalanta. The latter have nothing to play for, so that might ease things a bit for the Milanese; however the hosts are still a formidable team at their best and I think they will kill off Milan's UCL hopes. I see Juventus and Napoli making it to next year's UCL.

EPL UCL spots: Liverpool, Chelsea

French champions: Lille

Serie A UCL spots: Juventus, Napoli