5 Games for the Weekend

This weekend we are taking a look at some top of the table clashes, a southern derby, a couple midtable clashes, and a look at the top team in Italy.  This will be a big weekend for those teams in the middle as they look to make their moves away from the bottom of the table.

  1. Arsenal vs. Manchester City ~ Emirates Stadium, London

Monday, December 21st at 3:00 pm EST on NBCSN

Two of the title contenders face off this weekend in London when Arsenal hosts Manchester City.  The two teams sit in 2nd and 3rd respectively.  Arsenal is 2 points back of Leicester and City is 1 point behind Arsenal.  In terms of form, Arsenal has won 2 in a row coming into this game, having gone 3 games unbeaten.  Manchester City on the other had won last weekend but were torn apart two weeks ago by Stoke.  For some team news, Sanchez looks to be doubtful, so I expect it to be Campbell and Walcott out wide with Giroud up top.  Flamini and Ramsey should continue in the midfield for Arsenal.  For City, Aguero and Silva should be reunited but more importantly, Kompany is nearing full fitness.  I do not think he will play this weekend.  All eyes will be on what midfielders Pellegrini chooses.  This game could be very open, as both teams look to score goals.  I think this game will go a long way in how the off-field pressure impacts the season.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Arsenal 11/8, Manchester City 19/10, Draw 12/5

First Goalscorer – Aguero 4/1, Giroud 4/1, Bony 5/1


My Pick – Arsenal 2, City 2: Goals by Ramsey, Giroud, Aguero (2)

James’ Pick –

  1. Real Betis vs. Sevilla ~ Estadio Benito Villamarin

Saturday, December 19th at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

The Sevilla Derby returns to La Liga this weekend after a year off.  These two clubs from the capital of Andalusia will face off, with both hoping for some bragging rights in the city.  The outlook is much better for Sevilla since they have gone unbeaten in 5 of the last 6 derbies.  Sevilla is currently in 7th place, meanwhile, Betis is in 11th.  However they are only separated by 3 points.  So if Betis wins they will be ahead of Sevilla in the table.  Sevilla come into the game unbeaten in their last 3 with a win over Sporting Gijon and Valencia.  Betis on the other had have only won 2 of their last 6 games and lost last weekend to Las Palmas.  Bruno Gonzalez and Dani Ceballos return from suspension for Betis.  Ceballos is one of the most talked about young prospects in all of Spain.  Look for Gameiro to get the nod ahead of Llorente.  In the last seven league meetings there has been at least one red card between these two teams.  Look for a feisty match that from personal experience I can say is a blast to witness.  Best bet is probably a lot of cards and a couple fans losing some clothes.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Real Betis 3/1, Sevilla 10/11, Draw 13/5

First Goalscorer – Gameiro 15/4, Llorente 11/2, Castro 6/1


My Pick – Betis 1, Sevilla 2: Goals by Ceballos, Vitolo, Konoplyanka

James’ Pick –

  1. Bordeaux vs. Olympique Marseille ~ Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux

Sunday, December 20th at 3:00 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

This weekend, we are looking at two historic teams from France as Bordeaux and Marseille meet in Bordeaux.  The two clubs have combined for 15 league titles.  However, this season has not gone as planned with Marseille in 9th place and Bordeaux in 14th place.  However, the middle of the French table is very close as the distance from a spot in Europe to the relegation zone is just 11 points.  These two teams are separated by just 2 points.  Marseille enter the game on a 5 game unbeaten run but have only won twice during this streak.  Bordeaux has won just once in their last five games.  This should be a very tight affair.  The difference will be who is more clinical in front of net between Michy Batshuayi and Henri Savet.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Bordeaux 9/5, Marseille 8/5, Draw 11/5

First Goalscorer – Batshuayi 7/2, Diabate 5/1, Thelin 6/1


My Pick – Bordeaux 1, Marseille 1: Goals by Khazri and Alessandrini

James’ Pick –

  1. Internazionale Milan vs. Lazio ~ Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano

Sunday, December 20th at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

Roberto Mancini has done a great job this season leading Inter Milan to the top of the Serie A table.  This weekend, his side faces the other side from Rome, but don’t say that to the Lazio fans.  This Roman side is looking to rekindle some form from last year as they have really struggled in the league this season.  Despite having success in the Europa League, Lazio sit in 12th place and has lost 4 of their last 6 and are on a run of 7 games without a win.  This weekend, they face the best defense in the country as Inter has conceded just 9 goals all year.  Lazio will look to their young stars in Anderson and Kishna to start performing.  The Roman side has gotten great performances from Lucas Biglia and Alessandro Matri this season.  Inter has been lead by Mauro Icardi and Stevan Jovetic at the front.  This game could be really tight and condensed.  Look for Inter to dominate the game and probably score a late winner.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Inter 8/11, Lazio 4/1, Draw 11/4

First Goalscorer – Icardi 7/2, Jovetic 9/2, Manaj 9/2


My Pick – Inter 2, Lazio 1: Goals by Icardi, Ljajic and Anderson

James’ Pick –

  1. Hamburger SV vs. FC Augsburg ~ Imtech Arena, Hamburg

Saturday, December 19th at 9:30 am EST on Fox Soccer 2GO

This week in the Bundesliga, we look at one of the better in form teams and see how they can take on one of the German old guard in Hamburger.  Hamburger has won 6 Bundesliga titles and a European Cup in the past but the last couple seasons have been rough as they finished in the relegation play-off spot two years in a row.  Augsburg had their best ever finish in the Bundesliga.  However, this year has not gone as well as hoped.  Augsburg is in 13th place, but they are in the Round of 32 of the Europa League.  Hamburger is in 9th place and is looking good to finish above the relegation zone.  Lewis Holtby has been a revelation this season for Hamburger.  Defender and Captain Paul Verhaegh is the leading scorer for Augsburg.  Look for this to be a back and forth match with both teams looking to score.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Hamburg 11/8, Augsburg 11/5, Draw 11/5

First Goalscorer – Altintas 11/2, Schipplock 6/1, Olic 6/1


My Pick – Hamburg 2, Augsburg 1: Goals by Lasogga, Muller, and Bobadilla

James’ Pick –

Other Games on TV This Weekend

England – Premier League

Manchester United vs. Norwich City – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on USA

Chelsea vs. Sunderland – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on NBCSN

Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on NBC

Watford vs. Liverpool – Sunday at 8:30 am EST on NBCSN

Swansea City vs. West Ham United – Sunday at 11:00 am EST on NBCSN

Spain – La Liga

Real Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

Bologna vs. Empoli – Saturday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

Carpi vs. Juventus – Sunday at 6:30 am EST on beIN Sports

Roma vs. Genoa – Sunday at 9:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Frosinone vs. Milan – Sunday at 12:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Germany – Bundesliga

Koln vs. Borussia Dortmund – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

Hannover 96 vs. Bayern Munchen – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Hertha Berlin vs. Mainz 05 – Sunday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Darmstadt 98 – Sunday at 11:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

France – Ligue 1

Caen vs. PSG – Saturday at 11:00 am EST on beIN Sports



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