European football weekend preview4th Apr 2018 |
Manchester City vs Manchester United (Premier League)
Manchester City’s 3-1 triumph over Everton last time out means they will wrap up the Premier League title with victory over local rivals Manchester United this weekend. It is a dream scenario for City supporters, but manager Pep Guardiola has already stressed the Champions League is his priority ahead of Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg against Liverpool. It would therefore not be a surprise to see City rest some of their key players for this one, although I still fancy them to get the job done. Adding a home win – available at 3/5 – to your accumulator would be a wise choice.
Everton vs Liverpool (Premier League)
Liverpool came from behind to beat Crystal Palace last time out, a result which moved them 10 points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea in the race for the Champions League qualification spots. Jurgen Klopp’s charges have now all but guaranteed their place in next season’s edition of the tournament, meaning they will be able to fully focus on Tuesday’s meeting with Manchester City. The fact that Everton are their opponents in a Merseyside derby means the German will not be able to make wholesale changes, however, but 63/20 looks like reasonable value on a draw if the Reds’ attention is elsewhere.
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (La Liga)
England is not the only European country which will host a major derby this weekend: over in Spain, Real Madrid welcome Atletico Madrid to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday. These two have little to play for in La Liga and are instead prioritising European competition, but it goes without saying that neither will want to come unstuck against a rival. Diego Simeone has a decent record against los Blancos in the league – Atleti are unbeaten in their last four top-flight encounters against their neighbours – so a low-scoring draw would not be a surprise in this one. Fewer than 2.5 goals is my favoured tip at 19/20, though.
Arsenal vs Southampton (Premier League)
Southampton were dismal in a crunch clash with West Ham United last time out, going down 3-0 at the London Stadium thanks largely to an insipid first-half performance in which they were shaky in defence and did not register a single shot on goal at the other end. Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners against Stoke, meanwhile, but their performance was similarly poor for a large chunk of that game at the Emirates. The Gunners ultimately came through unscathed, though, and it could be worth backing another home win to nil at 7/4.
Roma vs Fiorentina (Serie A)
The focus in Serie A may understandably be on the race for the title between Juventus and Napoli, but the battle for the Champions League spots is also intriguing. Third-placed Roma and fourth-placed Lazio currently have the edge on Inter in fifth and Milan in sixth, but all four teams possess realistic ambitions of qualifying for Europe’s premier competition. Fiorentina are on a four-match winning streak in their bid to seal a Europa League spot, and that good form could continue in the capital. Both teams to score looks like a tempting proposition at 7/10.
RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen (Bundesliga)
RB Leipzig climbed above upcoming opponents Bayer Leverkusen last weekend, moving into the top four following their 3-2 defeat of Hannover. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men will be desperate to keep a firm grip on their current position in the standings, but Bayer could profit from the fact Leipzig were in Europa League action a few days before this match. Taking everything into account, over 3.5 goals could be the best bet at 29/20.