Friday, March 23, 2012

Quest for points

Real Madrid drew at Villareal in a game that ended infamously with 2 Madrid players sent off and Mourinho and one of his assistants kicked out from the touch-line. The Real brass is still complaining about the referee-ing this morning, without doubt in an attempt to get favours from the men in black in the remaining encounters.

Let's get at the week-end's La Liga matches right away then. No doubt that the 2 points lost at Villareal (4 points dropped in a space of a few days) by the Los Blancos has opened up the championship a little more. But they still have a 6-point cushion which is by no means a small margin. In other words, Real Madrid is still firmly in the driving seat. The visit of lowly Real Sociedad this week-end gives them a perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways and squash any talk of lack of form or confidence. They should win this game and I have little doubt they will. They are an easy recommendation for a win.

The recent stuttering of Mourinho's team can be a blessing for punters since it has brought Barcelona back in the frame to challenge. There was the danger, a few weeks back, that Guardiola would only be fielding his best team for the Champions League given that the La Liga title looked to be a lost cause. Their interest will have been rekindled that the hope that Real might falter in the title run-in. That means that if Barcelona can keep on their current irresistible form, they will be tough to beat on their travel to Mallorca on Saturday. Their defence is cause for concern as they got knocked for three against Granada in mid-week. But they have a player in Messi that is just un-stoppable nowadays. Barcelona should draw or win this game. It is for sure safer to have them as draw-no-bet but I think they will want to win this and I recommend them as an outright win.

In the EPL, Man City face another big hurdle in their quest for the title as they visit Stoke. Tony Pulis' men are always a threat at home to any team. This game can go either way, so I won't venture. Rivals Man Utd host Fulham and the return of Valencia and Young in the last few weeks have made a huge difference to the attacking potential of the team. Man Utd are experienced enough to tackle those games in the title run-in and should overcome Martin Jol's men. They are a Win selection as well.

I see Liverpool, Swansea and Norwich as draw-no-bets. Blackburn looks good value with an Asian Handicap of +1 goal against Bolton.

In Serie A, AC Milan make appeal as it hosts Roma and are recommended as a draw-no-bet.

In Germany, Bayern Munich should beat Hannover in order to cling on to their slim title hopes. They are a straight Win selection.

Win: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd, Bayern Munich
Draw-no-bet: Liverpool, Swansea, Norwich, AC Milan
Asian Handicap: Bolton +1.0

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