European football weekend preview8th Mar 2018 |
Manchester United vs Liverpool (Premier League)
Rivals Manchester United and Liverpool will lock horns in Saturday’s early kick-off with both teams gunning for second spot. Jose Mourinho’s men came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace on Monday, with Nemanja Matic’s stunning strike in second-half stoppage time settling a thrilling encounter in United’s favour. Liverpool, meanwhile, eased to a routine 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at Anfield, and another low-scoring contest could be on the cards at Old Trafford. The return fixture was a goalless draw and fewer than 2.5 goals to be scored in total is offered at 9/10.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (Premier League)
Chelsea lost further ground in the race for the top four last Sunday, as the defending Premier League champions went down 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium. The tight scoreline may make it sound like a close game, but in truth it was anything but; Manchester City eased to victory over opponents who were flat, timid and meek for 90 minutes. The Blues must get back to winning ways here, and they will probably grind out a narrow triumph over relegation strugglers Crystal Palace. A home win to nil at a price of 1/1 could be the way to go here.
Eibar vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
Real Madrid have had a season to forget in La Liga, with the defending champions adrift of the top two as the business end of the campaign approaches. It has been a completely different story over at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium, where Eibar are enjoying a wonderful 2017/18 as they attempt to secure European qualification for the first time in the club’s history. Madrid are clearly focusing on the Champions League and have little to play for in the Spanish top flight, but they will probably still get the job done here. An away win with both teams to score looks like good value at 17/10.
Rangers vs Celtic (Scottish Premiership)
The final Old Firm derby of the Scottish Premiership season takes place at Ibrox this weekend, with Celtic looking to move a step closer to a 49th league title. They have not quite wrapped up the championship crown just yet, though, and victory for Rangers here would move them to within three points of their arch-rivals at the summit of the standings (albeit having played a game more). This will therefore be a test for Brendan Rodgers’ side, but I expect them to do enough to avoid defeat. Backing a draw at odds of 53/20 could be worthwhile.
Inter vs Napoli (Serie A)
Napoli handed Juventus a major boost in the Serie A title race last weekend, with a 4-2 defeat by Roma allowing the defending champions – who have a game in hand on Maurizio Sarri’s men – to move within one point of top spot. It will be fascinating to see how the Partenopei react to that setback when they travel to San Siro this weekend, with an inconsistent Inter outfit set to provide the opposition. The fact that Luciano Spalletti’s side have been pretty poor for the last few months makes me favour a Napoli win at odds of 21/20.
Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League)
Tottenham Hotspur are in excellent form at present as they attempt to finish in the top four for a third season in a row. A 2-0 triumph over Huddersfield Town last time out made it 11 games without defeat for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who now look in an excellent position to qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League. Bournemouth have also experienced an upturn in recent weeks and could be a tough nut to crack at the Vitality Stadium, but an away win in a match featuring more than 2.5 goals is worth backing at 11/10.