Monday, April 12, 2021

UCL Quarter Finals Return - PSG v Bayern

PSG absolutely stole a win at Bayern last week; the Germans thoroughly outplayed them and would have scored more if they had superstar striker Lewandowski. Their main achilles tendon however remain their uber-slow defence, which Mbappe took full advantage like a kid in a candy store. \

For Tuesday's match, Lewandowski will still not be there, which is a big blow to the Bavarians. PSG will in turn be missing Marquinhos, their rock at the back and whose withdrawal from injury in the first leg thoroughly exposed the French defence. Bayern are clearly the better team and have it in them to win at the Parc des Princes but winning by a 2-goal margin could prove a step too far without their Polish striker.

The way to play this match is to seek out a win for the Germans but a qualification to the semi-finals for the French champions.

Win: Bayern Munich
Qualify: PSG


Friday, April 9, 2021

EPL 20/21 - Week 30 (And the Clasico!)

Man City v Leeds - Home

Liverpool v Aston Villa - Away

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Away

Burnley v Newcastle - Home

West Ham v Leicester - Home

Tottenham v Man Utd - Draw

Sheffield Utd v Arsenal - Away

West Brom v Southampton - Away

Brighton v Everton - Away

Real Madrid v Barcelona - Home


A fantastic week-end of sports coming up with the usual EPL, the Clasico in Spain and the Masters for golf aficionados. Liverpool look vulnerable to Aston Villa and I fancy taking a shot with the Villains here at over 6/1. The Kops have lost all aura of invicibility at home this season and Anfield is no longer the fortress it used to be the last couple of years. But more importantly, Liverpool have an important return UCL match against Real Madrid next week with the hope of overturning a 3-1 deficit. No doubt this will be floating on the team's mind and I wouldn't be surprised to see Klopp rotate his starting eleven a bit. Truth be told, the Kops were horrendous in Madrid and were lucky to come away with just a 2-goal margin. They are definitely lacking confidence at the moment and Villa can certainly pounce as they are very comfortable on their away matches and they have an in-form stopper in Martinez, although star playmaker Grealish will miss the match through injury. Villa can definitely cause an upset here.

The markets have Barcelona as favourites for the Clasico and I am definitely looking the other way. Real Madrid are finding serious form at the moment as witnessed by their demolishing of Liverpool in mid-week. The manner of their win was very convincing. Sure they will also be distracted at the prospsect of the return leg, something that Barcelona do not need to worry as they are out of the UCL, plus they will be missing the central defensive pair of Ramos and Varane. But Barcelona have hardly shown that they are the kind of force they were the past decade and their odds certainly look overly short. I am not convinced with their system of having Dembele in the striker role and look more to Ascensio, Benzema and Vicinius to do damage at the other end for the Whites. Might be worth going for the outright win for the home team.

Win: Aston Villa, Real Madrid 

Friday, April 2, 2021

EPL 20/21 - Week 29

Chelsea v West Brom - Home

Leeds v Sheffield Utd - Home

Leicester v Man City - Away

Arsenal v Liverpool - Home

Southampton v Burnley - Home

Newcastle v Spurs - Away

Aston Villa v Fulham - Away

Man Utd v Brighton - Home

Everton v Crystal Palace - Home

Wolves v West Ham - Draw


The gameweek following the international set of matches is always tricky and there are bound to be surprises this week-end. Man City look set to resume where they left off, i.e in winning ways, although they have a tough encounter at third place Leicester. The big news obviously coming out of the Etihaad this week has been the announcement of Aguero's departure at the end of the season. The guy has been a legend since his arrival at City but it has been plain clear this year that he was not part of Guardiola's future plans, particularly with the spate of injuries that he has had to deal with. It is quite possible that City already have lined up another big name striker to have made the departure overtly public. That bodes really well for the EPL. Back on Sunday's match, the return from injury of De Bryune has given the Citizen's new impetus in their quest for the quadruple. Leicester will put up a good fight but Guardiola has an abundance of quality at his disposal to tilt the match the visitors' way. 

Everton are on a 3-match losing streak and I expect them to show more tooth coming back from the break. The form of Calvert Lewin is pivotal to the success of the Toffees and the return of James Rodriguez to the line-up will certainly boost up their attacking front. I think they'll overwhelm Crystal Palace which is very much a one-dimensional team that relies too much on Zaha. The Eagles are enjoying a relatively good sequence, coming to this match, having lost only one of their last 5 matches but at current odds, it might be value to side outright with the home team.

Win: Everton, Man City