Soccer Saturday is where most of us get a football fix for the week, the most football games in the world are played on this day, so plenty of chances to make some money.
England Premier League
West Ham to beat Sunderland @ 1.85 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
West Ham v Sunderland- Over 2.5 goals @ 2.00(Betfair) – 2 points
West Ham are traveling to Sunderland know that they need to build up victories now especially when they play in front of their home fans, where they have not lost for 12 straight games, in other words just 2 in the entire season. They have been a fantastic joy to watch under Slaven Bilic, with entertaining football and have taken the attack to all the best teams in the league, including Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea among the teams they have already beaten this campaign. The return of Payet back to the lineup and in form will definitely help the team in their progress towards snatching 5th spot should they win this game. Emenike along Valencia and Lanzini should be sitting up front with Payet pull the strings in midfield right behind them. West Ham’s defence have been a bit shaky where they heave leaked goals in 5 straight games and in 8 out of their last 9 games.
Sunderland have struggled away from home winning just 2 games out of 15 in their games on the road. They have only won 1 game in their last 5 games which was against a poor Manchester United side, and that should buoy the Sunderland team. They will feel confident with the addition of Khazri along with Defoe up front they have shown that they can find the back of the net. They have now scored goals in 7 out of their last 8 games to show the offensive spark. Defensively though Sunderland have been atrocious where they have leaked goals in 13 straight games going back to December; showcasing the struggle of the team to have a back 4 that can contain opposition.
Goals always look a certainty when Sunderland take to the field as over 2.5 goals landed in 6 out of their last 8 games, while they landed in 5 out of their last 7 games of West Ham. West Ham also have a slightly better squad, and I expect them to progress a little and sneak a victory out of this tight encounter.
Roma are looking to have turned around their form since they have hired new manager Luciano Spalletti after they got rid of Rudi Garcia and have now built on 5 match winning streak. During this time they have smashed in 15 goals in 5 games, which has helped them build up their goal difference and closing in on Fiorentina in 3rd spot in the league. Dzeko and Salah in particular have been in great form and showed us last week by netting 2 goals each. The midfield creativity is extremely good with the likes of Florenz, Pjanic and Nainggolan who have been running the strings in the midfield. They have also improved defensively leaking only 3 goals in the 5 games, keeping things tighter which could help them in building goal difference towards the end of the season.
Empoli comes into this game on the back of some horrible form losing 3 out of their last 7 games, with the other 4 being draws. They have struggled against teams who have been pretty average teams likes Frosinone, Atalanta, Chievo, Udinese among the others. Empoli have relied a lot on the veteran Maccarone to chip in with the goals, 11 of them he has knocked down this season out of the 32 they have managed to get in this season. Their form is sitting towards the end of the table with 13 goals leaked in the 6 games they have played; showing their struggles they facing.
Roma have been in scintillating form over the last few weeks, even in their 2-0 loss to Real Madrid, they really showcased some good attacking instincts, and were unlucky not to even score. I am backing Roma to continue winning their winning ways and beat Empoli in this fixture.
Milan heads into this game against Torino in one good form after a strong 1-1 draw against Napoli keeping them in the hunt for European place in the next season as they are within 6 points of Roma sitting in 4th spot. Milan have gone on a good run where they have lost 1 game in their last 11 which shows the turn around that they have made. Scoring has been flowing through the their attacking players such as Bacca, Bonaventura and Niang have been playing well. Defensively, Milan have still been a bit shaky leaking goals in 8 out of their last 12 games. Milan’s home games have seen them scoring in 80% of their games, while conceding in 70% of them.
Torino have a decent attacking lineup in my view with the likes of Immobile, Bellotti, Baselli, Maxi Lopez all being in the mood for the goals and creativity for the side. Torino have pushed themselves to 11th spot, but form has not been on their side to push for a victory, which will be on the back of their mind. Torino have been in better form away from home surprisingly, having found the back of the net in 80% of their games this season, while conceding goals in 90% of them.
Milan and Torino have been playing tight games between the sides and we have seen both teams scoring in 7 out of 9 games played between the 2 sides including a 1-1 draw earlier on in the season, and I am expecting a similar type of performances in this game, and thats why I am backing both teams to score in this encounter.
Bayern Munich have been putting in a string of results over the past few weeks and they have continued to pile on the pressure on Wolfsburg despite only a 8 point gap at the top as it stands. Bayern are coming off a tough encounter against Juventus where they managed to get 2 away goals which puts the advantage in their hands, but their defence has been a bit shoddy in the past few weeks leaking 5 goals in their last 3 games. Injuries to key players like Badstduber, Martinez and Boating means that Bayern will continue to field a makeshift centre back pair of Alaba and Kimmich. Bayern have also shown they are vulnerable to conceding goals away from home conceding in 4 out of the 6 games. On the other hand the offensive firepower of Bayern is finally back in rhythm with Muller, Lewandowski, Robben and Ribery are back to their firing best scoring 11 goals in their past 4 games.
Wolfsburg are extremely low on confidence coming into this game with just 1 victory in their last 9 games. They have lost in recent weeks to Schalke, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dortmund over the past few outings. They showcased their talents in the Champions League around 10 days ago against Gent which they won 3-2 to build confidence with Draxler and Kruse specifically getting into form followed by them coming crashing back down with a 1-1 draw in Schaefer managing to find the net. Wolfsburg have been hit by a flu bug as well as injuries which are going to rule out Diego Benaglio, Sebastian Jung, Daniel Caligiuri, Joshua Guilavogui, Bas Dost, Bruno Henrique, Nicklas Bendtner and Koen Casteels all expected to be missing this encounter.
Bayern Munich will look to put the sword to Wolfsburg in this encounter, much like they did in the 5-1 win in the League and the 3-1 win in the DFB Pokal this season, so I expect Bayern will win this game with a lot of goals coming through.