Liverpool vs. Manchester United This Weekend!

This weekend, we have the two most successful teams in England face off, the Rhone-Alpes Derby in France, a look at the hottest team in Spain, the battle of the blues in London, and La Viola vs. the Old.

  1. Liverpool vs. Manchester United ~ Anfield, Liverpool

Sunday, January 17th at 9:05 am EST on NBCSN

This weekend sees the battle of the two most successful clubs in all of England. Manchester United has won the title 20 times, while Liverpool has won it 18 times. To put that in context, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have combined to win it just 22 times between the 3 clubs. United has dominated the Premier League era and it has been 16 years since Liverpool last lifted the trophy in 1990. The rivalry is one of the best in the game and always must watch TV. Both teams have been up and down this season and both are coming off 3-3 draws against Arsenal and Newcastle. In terms of team news, this is Liverpool’s 12th match since the start of December. That means Jürgen Klopp will continue to make some squad rotations. New loanee Steven Caulker could be in line for his first start as Liverpool is without Sktrel and Lovren for the match. Firmino could lead the line after his great performance against Arsenal. James Milner is back and Daniel Sturridge might make the bench. For United, Carrick and Schweinsteiger are both likely out. Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, and Lingard are all fighting for two places with Fellaini or Herrara likely to partner Schneiderlin in front of the back four. Adnan Januzaj could make the bench. United has won 7 of the last 9 games between the two sides, but Klopp is unbeaten against last year’s top four.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Liverpool 13/10, Man Utd 5/2, Draw 9/4

First Goalscorer – Sturridge 9/2, Benteke 11/2, Martial 13/2

Predictions

My Pick – Liverpool 1, United 1: Goals by Firmino and Rooney

James’ Pick – Liverpool 1, United 1: Goals by Firmino and Rooney

  1. Saint-Etienne vs. Lyon ~ Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne

Sunday, January 17th at 3:00 pm EST

This weekend is the Rhone-Alpes Derby as St. Etienne and Lyon square off in southern France. St.-Etienne has been up and down lately. However, Les Verts won the last home meeting 3-0 against Lyon and has won six of their last nine at home and kept a clean sheet in 5 of them.   In fact, Les Verts are undefeated in 34 of their last 38 at home in Ligue 1. This is a match between two teams whose form has alluded them recently, and they find themselves on the outside of the European spots in 6th, Lyon, and 7th, Saint-Etienne. They are closer to the relegation zone than to the leaders and a loss could put them right in the middle of an 18-team relegation battle. Saint-Etienne has a long list on injured players as they are without Perrin, Beric, Karamoko, Assou-Ekotto, and Clerc. Hamouma, Bahebeck, and Sall are all doubtful. Tannane is suspended. Sall looks likely to play, but Hamouma is likely to miss the derby. Lyon is without Fekir, Rafael, Ganalons, and Fofana. Mathieu Valbuena faces a late fitness test to join Lacazette and Ghezzal in the attacking trio this weekend. Lyon was dominated in the reverse fixture. This should be a great watch. Too bad it is not on TV L

Betting Odds

Match Result – St-Etienne 15/8, Lyon 13/8, Draw 21/10

First Goalscorer – Beric 4/1, Lacazette 9/2, Soderland 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – St.-Etienne 2, Lyon 3: Goals by Roux, Clement, Lacazette (2), Grenier

James’ Pick – St.-Etienne 2, Lyon 2: Goals by Eysseric, Roux, Lacazette, Tolisso

  1. Villarreal vs. Real Betis ~ Camp EL Madrigal, Villarreal

Saturday, January 16th at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

These are two teams that are trending in different directions, as Villarreal sit on top of the form table having won their last 6 games. This has sent them up the table and within touching distance of the big 3. Betis, meanwhile, is winless in their last 6 matches having failed to score in each of them. If Villarreal is able to win on Saturday, they will, for the night, be level on points with Barcelona and just 2 points off the leaders Atletico. Betis, meanwhile, find themselves just five points from the relegation zone and 6 from the bottom spot on the table. They will need to turn their form around if they want to stay in the top flight. Villarreal has only two injury concerns ahead of this game as Jaume Costa has a bad ankle and Samuel is likely to miss. Bruno should be fit to start despite picking up a knock in the week. The same can be said for Betis as Heiko Westerman is the only one missing out. Vadillo and Gimenez are doubtful. This might be one sided, but it could lead to a four team race for the top spot if Villarreal can continue their impressive run.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Villarreal 9/20, Real Betis 7/1, Draw 10/3

First Goalscorer – Soldado 15/4, Bakambu 4/1, Baptistao 5/1

Predictions

My Pick – Villarreal 3, Betis 1: Goals by Bakambu, Suarez, Soldado, and Castro.

James’ Pick – Villarreal 2, Betis 0: Goals by Bakambu and Bruno

  1. Chelsea vs. Everton ~ Stamford Bridge, London

Saturday, January 16th at 10:00 am EST on USA Network

The battle of the Blues takes place this weekend as Everton travels down to London to face Chelsea. Both teams are in the bottom half of the table and this is not where they thought they would be. Chelsea has recovered some form since the arrival of Guus Hiddink, as they are unbeaten in 5 games. However, they have not really climbed up the table. Everton is winless in their last 3 games and is looking to turn around their form. In terms of team news, the big news is Eden Hazard is out still. Matic is healthy but may remain sidelined due to Obi Mikel’s great form. Roberto Martinez is without Hibbert, Coleman, and Browning in defense so Stones looks set to play right back again. Tom Cleverley is also in doubt for the game, which means Leon Osman should start or Arouna Kone depending on how Martinez wants to play. The game will be won and lost in the midfield. Everton loves to counter attack and if they can get some superiority in the midfield, then they will have the advantage.  Everton has lost by more than one goal in just one of the last nine meetings.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Chelsea 5/6, Everton 15/4, Draw 11/4

First Goalscorer – Costa 4/1, Remy 9/2, Lukaku 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – Chelsea 1, Everton 1: Goals by Oscar and Deulofeu

James’ Pick – Chelsea 2, Everton 2: Goals by Costa, Willian, Lukaku, and Barkley

  1. AC Milan vs. Fiorentina ~ Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano

Sunday, January 17th at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

The title race in Italy has been the best so far. Fiorentina has been in and around the top spot all year, including 5 weeks atop the table. They have since slid to 4th and will look to climb back up the table. They are 3 points behind the leaders, Napoli, right now. Milan, meanwhile, has been in and around the middle of the table all season and will be hoping to close in on a European place this season. Currently they are 5 points off the Europa League spots. Mario Balotelli is back for Milan and will likely start on the bench. Kevin-Prince Boateng is showing good form as well for Milan, but Honda is likely to retain his spot in the lineup. Paulo Sousa will have to deal without Badelj and Radriguez due to injury and suspension, respectively. Bernardeschi is back from suspension as well. Look for Milan to show some improvement but probably fall just short of what they need to win the match.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Milan 7/5, Fiorentina 21/10, Draw 11/5

First Goalscorer – Kalinic 11/2, Bacca 11/2, Balotelli 6/1

Predictions

My Pick – Milan 1, Fiorentina 2: Goals by Niang, Kalinic, and Ilicic

James’ Pick – Milan 1, Fiorentina 2: Goals by Bacca, Kalinic, and Ilicic

Other Games on TV This Weekend

England – Premier League

Tottenham vs. Sunderland – Saturday at 7:45 am EST on NBCSN

Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on NBCSN

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on NBC

Stoke City vs. Arsenal – Sunday at 11:15 am on NBCSN

Swansea City vs. Watford – Monday at 3:00 pm on NBCSN

Spain – La Liga

Real Madrid vs. Sporting Gijon – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Barcelona vs. Athletic Club – Sunday at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports

Eibar vs. Granada – Monday at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

Atalanta vs. internazionale – Saturday at 9:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Napoli vs. Sassuolo – Saturday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

Udinese vs. Juventus – Sunday at 9:00 am EST on beIN Sports

France – Ligue 1

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

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