5 Games To Watch This Weekend

La Liga, Ligue 1, and Serie A are back and ready to go!  The English Premier League takes the weekend off for an exciting round of FA Cup matches.  This weekend we will look at a new manager, 5th vs 6th in Italy, an all Premier League top 4 affair in the FA Cup, 3 versus 4 in France, and the Basques versus the Andalusians in Spain.

  1. Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna ~ Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

Saturday, January 9th at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports

The Zinedine Zidane era begins this weekend for Real Madrid after being appointed manager on Monday.  His tenure will start at home against a very tricky team in Deportivo.  Real Madrid starts the weekend in third place and is 4 points off the leaders.  He takes over the highest scoring team in the league but will need to sort out the egos of all the stars, and which stars to play when.  The problem this season for Real Madrid has been the big games in which they have struggled.  The question is, is Zidane the man to change the culture and the dressing room?  Their opponents come into this game having won just 2 of their last 6, sliding to 7th in the table.  Usually Deportivo keeps things fairly tight, but Real Madrid has scored 25 goals in their last four home games against Deportivo.  In team news, Kovacic is going to miss the game due to a straight red card he received against Valencia.  Everyone else is fit and available for Zidane.  Who he will pick should be a point of discussion all weekend.  For Depo, Cani, Cartabia, and Arribas all face late fitness tests.  Fabricio and Borges are out.  Look for Real Madrid to own possession.  Deportivo are good on the break which could make this a great watch.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Real Madrid 1/9, Deportivo 20/1, Draw 8/1

First Goalscorer – Rodriguez 10/3, Benzema 10/3, Jese 7/2

Predictions

My Pick – Real Madrid 4, Deportivo 2: Goals by Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale (2), and Perez (2)

James’ Pick – Real Madrid 3, Deportivo 1: Goals by Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, and Perez

  1. Roma vs. Milan ~ Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Saturday, January 9th at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports CONNECT

This weekend, two teams battling for a spot in Europe take to the pitch in the Italian capital as Roma and AC Milan meet.  While they are only separated by 1 place in the table, the difference is 5 points.  Roma sits just 6 points off the top spot and 5 from a Champions League spot.  AC Milan spent a lot of money this summer and are in 6th place, 10 points from a spot in the Champions League.  This combined with both teams poor form lately has put a lot of pressure on both managers.  Roma has won 1 of their last 9 matches while Milan has only won 2 games of their last 7 matches.  Rudi Garcia and Sinisa Mihajlovic are both rumored to be on the way out.  Roma will be without Edin Dzeko and Seydou Keita due to red card suspensions.  Mohamed Salah and Daniele De Rossi face late fitness tests.  Umar Sadiq will most likely start up front after scoring two goals in two games.  For AC Milan, there could be a reshuffle at the back as Mexes and Alex missed training.  Kevin-Prince Boateng could make his return as well.  Look for this game to be very tight with both teams looking more not to lose than to win.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Roma 1/1, Milan 11/4, Draw 5/2

First Goalscorer – Gervinho 11/2, Dzeko 11/2, Soleri 6/1

Predictions

My Pick – Roma 2, Milan 1: Goals by Gervinho, Sadiq, and Niang

James’ Pick – Roma 1, Milan 1: Goals by Gervinho and Bacca

  1. Angers vs. Caen ~ Stade Jean Bouin, Angers

Saturday, January 9th at 2:00 pm EST on beIN Sports CONNECT

Two teams that have been the surprise stories in France meet in Angers this weekend.  Angers has climbed to third in the Ligue 1 table.  Caen is just one place and 1 point behind them.  Both teams will be looking to rebound following defeats in their last match.  On the line in this game is a Champions League spot and both teams will be fighting for that third spot the rest of the season.  This game might not be the highest scoring of the weekend, as Angers averages .895 goals per game and .579 goals against.  Caen, meanwhile, averages 1.105 goals per game and 1.158 goals against this season.  Both teams will look to rely on their strong defense to carry them this season.  Only PSG has a better defense than Angers.  Angers has a long injury list as they are without Dore, Bouka-Moutou, Mohsni, Sissoko, and Karanovic.  Mangani and Andreu face late fitness tests.  For Caen, Jeff Louis will miss with a suspension and Imorou and Da Silva will be game day decisions.  This game will be defensive and low scoring, look for both teams to try and stifle the other team’s attack.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Angers 6/4, Caen 11/5, Draw 2/1

First Goalscorer – No Goalscorer 11/2, Karanovic 13/2, Ketkeophomphone 7/1

Predictions

My Pick – Angers 0, Caen 0

James’ Pick – Angers 1, Caen 1: Goals by Ndoye and Delort

  1. Tottenham vs. Leicester City ~ White Hart Lane, London

Sunday, January 10th at 11:00 am EST on Fox Sports 1

The third round of the FA Cup takes place this weekend and while there are many Giant Killing matchups, there is one all EPL matchup that catches the eye.  Second place Leicester City travels to fourth place Tottenham.  Both teams will look to continue on their impressive starts to the season.  Tottenham has looked great recently and Leicester City is challenging for the title and a spot in Europe.  Tottenham has conceded just one goal in their last seven league games, while Leicester has been great away from home despite their loss at Liverpool.  They have also drawn their last two games.  Leicester will be without Jamie Vardy and both teams are likely to rest players with a round of EPL games Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  This game could turn in to who wants to lose first, as dropping out will help them both in the chase for the title.  This should be a great game with lots of back and forth action.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Tottenham 13/20, Leicester 9/2, Draw 16/5

First Goalscorer – Harry Kane 10/3, Son Heung-Min 6/1, Eriksen 7/1

Predictions

My Pick – Tottenham 2, Leicester 1: Goals by Kane, Lamela, and Ulloa

James’ Pick – Tottenham 2, Leicester 1: Goals by Kane, Eriksen, Mahrez

  1. Sevilla vs. Athletic Bilbao ~ Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla

Saturday, January 9th at 12:15 pm EST on beIN Sports CONNECT

Two clubs that we thought would be battling for fourth place look to end the first half of the season on a high note.  This will mark the halfway point in the Spanish season and a win for either club will put them just on the outside of the Champions League spots and give them something to aim for this season.  A loss and it looks like they will be firmly in the middle of the table.  Both teams have been okay with 11 points each from their last 6 matches.  Sevilla are still without Pareja, Andreolli, and Beto.  Adil Rami will miss the game due to suspension.  Ibai Gomez is out and Boveda is doubtful for Athletic Club.  Laporte and Benat return from their suspensions.  Both teams need a win, so that usually means they both get a point.  Sevilla have lost just one of their last 10 competitive games.  Look for them to share a point each.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Sevilla 11/10, Bilbao 5/2, Draw 5/2

First Goalscorer – Gameiro 15/4, Aduriz 5/1, Llorente 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – Sevilla 2, Bilbao 2: Goals by Konoplyanka, Banega, Aduriz, and Williams

James’ Pick – Sevilla 2, Bilbao 1: Goals by Gameiro, Banega, and Aduriz

Other Games on TV This Weekend

Spain – La liga

Barcelona vs. Granada – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

Fiorentina vs. Lazio – Saturday at 12:00 pm EST on beIN Sports

Internazionale vs. Sassuolo – Sunday at 6:30 am EST on beIN Sports

Frosinone vs. Napoli – Sunday at 9:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Sampdoria vs. Juventus – Sunday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

France – Ligue 1

Lille vs. Nice – Sunday at 11:00 am EST on beIN Sports

England – FA Cup

Wycombe Wanderers vs. Aston Villa – Saturday at 7:45 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Arsenal vs. Sunderland – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Doncaster Rovers vs. Stoke City – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on Fox Sports 2

Manchester United vs. Sheffield United – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on Fox Sports 2

Oxford United vs. Swansea City – Sunday at 7:00 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Chelsea vs. Scunthorpe United – Sunday at 9:00 am EST on Fox Sports 1

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