As mid-week fixtures arrive, across Europe, now is the time to try and latch on to some gems that can potentially give us some good profit.
Juventus are rocking their way to the Serie A title and could have the title wrapped up by this weekend itself. Juventus have been in rocking form beating all opponents in their way unbeaten in their last 23 games, with just 1 draw in that period and victories in all the remaining games. They have been romping their way beating all the top teams including Fiorentina, Milan, Napoli, Inter, Roma while also thrashing Napoli by a score of 2-0 in Rome. I was in Turin last year when Juventus thrashed Lazio 3-0; and that is the kind of scoreline I am expecting from Juventus when Lazio travel to town. Juventus have kept 8 clean sheets in a row in Serie A home fixtures, and I expect that to continue tonight.
Lazio travel to Juventus when they have struggled away from home, winning just 1 out of their last 7 games, while winning just 4 games out of 16 played away from home this campaign. That has really built up their struggles for this campaign, which has seen them languishing in 8th spot, going no where this season and not even in a Europa League position. Lazio have been poor defensively, sitting in the bottom half of the table in goals conceded in the top division in Italy. On the offensive end, they have struggled with Candreva being their highest scorer with 7 goals this campaign.
Juventus have been in cracking form, while stats, history and motivation is clearly on their side, and I expect them to put in a strong victory against Lazio while covering the Asian Handicap.
Atletico Madrid have got a superb lease of life with Barcelona losing their last 3 fixtures to get them right back in the title hunt, and this should motivate them to go for the victory even though they travel to Basque land to take on Bilbao. Atletico Madrid showcased some good form over the weekend by maintaining their winning record with a 3-0 win over Granada. Atletico Madrid have improved their performances over the recent months in away games, where they have only lost 2 games in the league to Barcelona and a shock loss to Gijon, which Simeone lambasted them for. Madrid have one of the meanest defences in Europe conceding just 16 goals in 33 games so far this campaign. Goal scoring efforts have been led by Greizmann, Torres and Carrasco.
Bilbao will have their eye behind them on securing another season of the Europa League, and that means watching for Celta Vigo who are one point behind them. Bilbao in recent weeks have improved their performance in the league, which have seen them progress to this stage. Their opportunity has been consistency on goal scorers other than Aduriz, who Bilbao depend a lot on. Due to that work load he has been injured and the team will need to depend on Inaki Williams and Sabin to deputise to try and find the goals.
Bilbao looked really in sorts of bothers, losing to Madrid in 6 out of their last 7 meetings, including 3 straight meetings at home, and I expect Madrid to continue on their merry way in this encounter.
Dortmund will be extremely upset after their loss to Liverpool in the Europa League and will want to bounce back straight away by winning the semi-final of the DFB Pokal and have the opportunity to win a trophy this campaign which is the first under new manager Tuschel. Until that Liverpool loss, they had been undefeated in 23 straight games. He rested a lot of the players over the weekend against Hamburg and still ran out 3-0 victors in that game. They will look to bring back the full team for this encounter after they rested sufficiently for 6 days to take them to the final. Aubamayeng, Reus, Mkhitariyan, Hummels, Sokratis, Schmelzer should all take their place in the final XI when this encounter starts.
Hamburg will be focussed completely on securing a spot in the lucrative Champions League for next season and currently occupy 4th spot in the table with Gladbach just 4 points behind them, hot on their heels. They will look to rotate the squad to keep them fresh to try and rob a point off Bayern who will be distracted with the Champions League fixture in mid-week. Hamburg have scored a miserly 40 goals in 30 games, which showcases the struggles they had offensively when teams below them like Gladbach, Mainz, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Bremen have scored more goals than them. Kale has been their highest scorer with 14 goals, even though he supposed to be a wide player, while hit-man Ibsevic has struggled with just 9 goals.
The teams have played twice this season with Dortmund beating Hertha 3-1 and drawing the other one 0-0; I expect Dortmund to have a lot of motivation to win this game and even cover the handicap and progressing to the finals of this contest while Hertha focus on the Bundesliga.