Friday, January 21, 2011

Week-end football preview

What a busy week-end of European football we have coming up.

In the Premier League, Man Utd won't lose at home to Birmingham. The Red Devils were unlucky not to bag 3 points on their visit to the Midlands club a few weeks back due to a controversial last-minute equalizer from the hosts. The difference in class is obvious and Rooney won't get a better chance to start scoring again. Man Utd as draw-no-bet is safely recommended. Arsenal host Wigan, and the Gunners seem to have hit form again, and should be taking 3 points from this encounter. Wigan is a hard team to predict, so a draw-no-bet is the safe option here again. I also like Blackpool's chances as it hosts Sunderland. There is no doubt that both these teams are overachieving from initial expectations this year. But this has been a particularly terrible week for Bruce's team as they lost Darren Bent through the transfer window, and also Danny Wellbeck through injury. Those are massive losses and this also means that Bruce will only have one recognized striker in Gyan to start with. Blackpool is very dangerous at home, and I think they will win this, and if Sunderland can hold the fort well, they can hope for a draw. So a draw-no-bet on Blackpool is recommended. If you wish, you can lay Sunderland as well.

In La Liga, Barcelona host Santander. No surprises expected here, and Barcelona will win. They are recommended without any reservation. Real Madrid host Mallorca who are seeing a dip in form lately. Ronaldo and his teammates won't lose this for sure, and although they most certainly will win, a draw-no-bet is the safest way to go. Mourinho's annoyance with upper management is obvious this week, but that shouldn't affect the team itself. As I write this, it looks that Van Nistelrooy might be back in Madrid. This would be a massive plus for them if that happened, although it remains to be seen what Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy make of their reunion on and off the pitch. Not the best of friends off the pitch and not the best chemistry on it during their Manchester days, if you see what I mean.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern host Kaiserlautern in a game that Van Gaal's men should win on paper. Robben and Klose are making their awaited comebacks from injury, which will make the team go from strength to strength in the upcoming weeks. They won't win the league this year, but they will still need to rack up points to secure a Champions League spot. A draw-no-bet on the hosts is recommended.

Win: Barcelona
Draw-no-bet: Man Utd, Arsenal, Blackpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich

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