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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.
Manchester United host champions Leicester City with the aim of turning around their form which has bene appalling where they lost 3 games in a row before struggling to get a late 3-1 win against Northampton in mid-week in the EFL Cup. Manchester United team will be a bit exhausted after having all of their big guns playing this game also as well as playing on Wednesday night, with just 2+ days for recovery and that might not be enough. Manchester United will be considering a lot of changes in this game, including dropping of captain Wayne Rooney, which generally tends to bring confidence and the fighting spirit from the team down, whenever he is missing. A lot of pressure will be on Rashford and Ibrahimovic to get back in scoring form; but it remains to be seen defensively if they will be able to keep up some pressure as they have conceded now in 6 out of their last 8 games in all competitions.
Leicester City had started out their EFL Cup game with a strong 2-0 lead against Chelsea and then struggled and got pegged back to 2-2 before losing 4-2 in extra time. The 120 minutes of football will be exhausting for players like Simpson, Morgan, Drinkwater, Okazaki who are part of their engine room for their team. Leicester will take confidence that players like Vardy, Mahrez and Slimani come into this game with some good form behind them and that should motivate them to find the back of the net in this encounter where they have scored in 7 out of 8 games played this season. They have struggled defensively and have conceded now in 5 out of their last 8 games in all competitions and with Ziegler expected to be at the back with Schmeichel ruled out; it looks difficult to see Leicester keeping a clean sheet.
5 straight games between this side has seen both teams scoring and with a lot on the line for 2 struggling teams, I expect both teams to find the back of the net again.
Manchester City travel once again to the Liberty Stadium in search of a 2nd victory in a span of 4 days against Swansea after beating them in the EFL Cup by a score of 2-1; after a quiet first half in that game. Come into this game and the challenge gets even tougher when players like Aguero, Sterling, de Bruyne, Gundogan, Kolarov, Otamendi to come back into the starting XI which will make them even more threatening against Swansea in this encounter. Man City will take confidence on their scoring ability knowing that they their games have seen them score: 2, 5, 4, 1, 3, 2, 4, 4, 2. Manchester City’s achilles heel is keeping a clean sheet, which they have managed only once in their 5 Premier league encounters as well as conceding against Swansea in mid-week despite having a reasonably strong defensive lineup.
Swansea City are looking to turn around their fortunes, with a victory being needed in order for them to survive as they have only won 1 game this season with the manager looking to possibly be sacked. They face an extremely tough test with their next 3 games coming against Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal before it eases out. With the loss against a rotated Manchester City squad in mid-week shooting the confidence down in the team, it will be difficult to see how they will be back up 3 days later to take on the same opposition. The positive side for Swansea is that they have found the back of the net in 5 out of the 7 games played so far this campaign; and they will feel that they will be able to put a ball past the City defence after breaching it mid-week.
Manchester City’s games have seen over 2.5 goals landed in over 8 out of their 9 games this season, while 4 out of Swansea’s 7 games have seen over 2.5 goals landed; so I am backing a Manchester City win and over 2.5 goals this game. Matches between these 2 sides have landed with a Man City win and over 2.5 goals in 5 out of the last 6 matches between the side.
Tottenham come into this game with a rich vein of form sitting in 3rd place in the league with 3 wins and 2 draws in that span of time, remaining undefeated. The problem for Tottenham on their eyes will be the absence of Harry Kane in this encounter. With him missing, Janssen will look to start up front and he already showed his worth with a goal and an assist in mid-week. Tottenham look solid while they attack up front with talented lot of Son, Lamela, Eriksen, Sissoko among the supporting cast behind Janssen to give plenty of support. Defensively Tottenham have looked quite good so far this campaign especially when Lloris has been in the ranks. Since he came back from his injury, they have kept 2 straight clean sheets in the Premier League, and I quite expect them to keep one more in this encounter as well.
Middlesbrough have struggled to put a stamp on their authority in recent weeks. They started out well with 4 points from their first 2 games, and then have struggled with with just 1 draw from their next 3 games. Middlesbrough have managed to find the back of the net in all bar one of their games, but their performance last week against Everton showcased us the struggles that they will have against the better sides, and got an undeserved goal last week. Defensively they are really struggling conceding a goal in all but the 1 draw against a struggling West Brom side.
I cannot see how Middlesbrough can find the back of the net in this game, but because of Harry Kane’s absence, I am backing Tottenham on the Asian Handicap as an insurance incase it lands up being a draw.
Everton come into this game against Everton sitting 2nd in the table, and are looking to put in more past Bournemouth as they try and secure a top 4 spot in the table with no distractions of the EFL Cup or European competitions. Everton new manager Koeman have got the team playing really well, focussed more on attacking incisive football and have now won 4 and drawn 1 of their Premier League fixtures so far this season. Under Koeman, Lukaku has been re-engerised coming into this encounter and has started delivering with a strong performances netting 4 goals in their last 2 Premier League games alone. He has had great support from his attacking midfield set up including Mirallas, Deulofeu, Bolasie and Barkley been doing the business in creating chances for him and even finding the net on occasions.
Bournemouth defence has been shaky to start of this season, and they have now leaked 9 goals in their 5 games so far this campaign, with strong sides like Manchester City and Manchester United alone hitting 7 goals past them. Defensive ability has not been great for Bournemouth with Cook, Francis, Smith and Daniels now going to intimidate better sides in the league. Everton would be one of those sides where Bournemouth has not won a game in their 3 meetings last season, and that will be something in the back of the minds coming into this game. Its also difficult to see where Bournemouth will find the goals, as they have struggled to put goals in the back of the net, with them only scoring 3 goals in 5 games so far.
Everton have been in great form, scoring 2 goals in 3 out of the 5 games they have played this season in the Premier League and they have scored 2 goals in each of their 3 meetings against Bournemouth that they played last season. Taking that into account, I am backing Everton to score over 1.5 goals in this game.
Bayern Munich travel away to Hamburg in smashing form with 4 victories out of 4 in the league as well as victories in the DFB Pokal and Champions League. They have been in spectacular scoring form, finding the back of the net minimum twice in every single game. Lewandowski has started this season in rampant fashion racing to 5 goals already to kick off the campaign. He has Frank Ribery and Thomas Muller to thank as they have been in good form creating 7 assists for Lewandowski and their team mates which has made them unstoppable in front of opposition defences. Their defence has been rock solid under Ancelotti’s reign so far, where last week was the 1st goal that they have let past them all season. They marched to a solid 3-1 victory in that game as well as a 3-0 win over Hertha in mid-week.
Hamburg are struggling this season with just 1 point this season and have shipped 9 goals past them in 4 games against mediocre opposition in Leverkusen, Leipzig, Freiburg and Inglostadt. When I say mediocre, its mediocre compared to the big boys in Bayern and Dortmund; and this test will be something that will be a different kettle of fish for Hamburg. It will be difficult to see Hamburg can trouble the champions, given they have only scored 2 goals all campaign.
Bayern Munich will look at this game as good preparation for the game against Atletico Madrid in mid-week and I expect them to continue their success of never losing to Hamburg since 2009. They have won by an mergin of 2 goals in 9 out of their last 11 games, and I expect Bayern to do the same tonight, and I am backing them on the Asian Handicap in this one.
Juventus have been in rampant form since they have started out the new season, which is in fact a far better start that they had last season when they won the league. Manager Max Allegri has been chopping and changing the squad a lot in recent weeks until all his players get into proper fitness. I think at this stage everyone looks in great form one can expect him to put out a full strength squad in this game. With Gonzalo Higuain in the mix, the new Juventus hit-man has already scored 4 goals this campaign and will be aiming to add more to his collection as he should get plenty of service from the Juventus midfield including Pjanic, Khedira, Hernanes along with wing-backs Dani Alves and Alex Sandro.
Palermo have struggled so far this campaign netting only 3 goals in their 5 games played so far, and with a tie against the champions coming up, I don’t see how they breach their defence. They won their first game in mid-week by a score of 1-0 against an equally struggling Atalanta side. They have lost to Napoli and Sassuolo in both of their home games so far this campaign, and that showcasing the struggles they have against good offensive units.
I cannot see how Palermo find the back of the net against Juventus, but the way Juventus are playing, I won’t be surprised if Juventus romps a few goals past them, so I am backing Juventus to win and over 2.5 match goals.
England Premier League
Arsenal v Chelsea – Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.90 (Bet365) – 2.5 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
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