European football weekend preview – Footie Expert22nd Feb 2018 |
Manchester City vs Arsenal (League Cup)
The final of the League Cup is the standout game in England this weekend, with Arsenal and Manchester City set to lock horns for the first piece of silverware of the season. The Gunners overcame Chelsea in the last four to book their place at Wembley, while Pep Guardiola’s charges – who will almost certainly win the Premier League this season – getting the better of Championship outfit Bristol City. Arsenal have tended to raise their game on the big occasion at the national stadium in recent years, but I nevertheless recommend putting some money on a City win with both teams to score at odds of 33/20.
Manchester United vs Chelsea (Premier League)
Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been at loggerheads in recent months, and the pair will go head-to-head on the Old Trafford touchline on Sunday. Both Manchester United and Chelsea are in need of the points as the two teams attempt to finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League, but it is likely that the sides will adopt cautious approaches against a direct rival. For that reason, backing under 2.5 goals to be scored in total could be good value at a price of 7/10.
Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid (La Liga)
It is Atletico Madrid, rather than their crosstown rivals Real Madrid, who are providing the closest challenge to Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table this season. Diego Simeone’s side ran out 2-0 winners against Athletic Club last weekend, keeping them within seven points of the Catalan league leaders, who were victorious by the same scoreline in their meeting with Eibar. Sevilla, meanwhile, are fighting for a top-four finish, and I think they will be good enough to pick up a point here. A draw is available in the sportsbook at 43/20.
Roma vs Milan (Serie A)
Milan have been resurgent since Serie A resumed after a brief winter break, taking 13 points from a possible 15 to keep their slim hopes of Champions League qualification alive. Gennaro Gattuso was written off by many following his appointment as the Rossoneri’s interim boss, but the club’s former midfielder has done tremendously well to turn the seven-time European champions’ fortunes around in the last month or so. Roma will provide stiff opposition this weekend, but the 63/20 available on a Milan win certainly looks tempting.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Marseille (Ligue 1)
The second Le Classique of the 2017/18 campaign takes place at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night, when Marseille take on table-toppers and champions-elect Paris Saint-Germain. Rudi Garcia’s men are challenging for second place in Ligue 1 but have already conceded they will not be able to catch their rivals at the summit of the standings, while the capital club will have at least half an eye on their upcoming Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Both teams to score and a PSG win is my tip at 11/10.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham (Premier League)
Tottenham have recorded some terrific results in the Premier League in the last few weeks, drawing 2-2 at Liverpool and beating both Arsenal and Manchester United in front of their own fans at Wembley. They remain outside the top four heading into this weekend, however, and therefore cannot afford to slip up in a London derby with Crystal Palace, who are without a number of key players due to injury. Spurs should get the job done at Selhurst Park, but I prefer the look of Son Heung-min to score anytime at odds of 23/20.