Weekend Preview

This weekend the Bundesliga returns to action after their winter break.  This weekend we are looking at a London derby, two giants meeting in Turin, a top half clash in Spain, and the surprise team in France traveling to the capital to face the Giants.

  1. Arsenal vs. Chelsea ~ Emirates Stadium, London

Sunday, January 24th at 11:00 am EST on NBCSN

Chelsea travel across London this weekend to face Arsenal in a London derby.  Many pundits thought this game would be a title race clash but instead is a must win for Chelsea as the get closer to the relegation zone.  Arsenal meanwhile sits on top of the table and will need to win to stay on top of the table.  Both teams enter on unbeaten streaks as Arsenal is unbeaten in their last 4 league games and Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 6.  Chelsea has looked better under Hiddink but are still a long way away from the team that sat atop the Premier League last year.  Arsenal should be bolstered by the returns of Ozil and Sanchez.  Francis Coquelin is back in training but will not be in the squad.  New signing Mohamed Elneny could be in line for his debut.  For Chelsea, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa should be in the lineup.  Matic may lose his place in the squad following a bad showing last time out.  This is a big game and look for both sides to play conservatively and look for a late winner.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Arsenal Evs, Chelsea 3/1, Draw 13/5

First Goalscorer – Giroud 15/4, Sanchez 5/1, Walcott 11/2


My Pick – Arsenal 2, Chelsea 1: Goals by Giroud, Walcott, and Hazard

James’ Pick – Arsenal 2, Chelsea 1: Goals by Giroud (2) and Costa

  1. Juventus vs. Roma ~ Juventus Stadium, Torino

Sunday, January 24th at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

This is the story of two teams traveling in different directions on the table.  Juventus have won 10 straight games.  They have climbed up the table and are now in second place.  Roma meanwhile have been sliding down the table as they are winless in the last 3 games.  They have sacked Rudi Garcia and replaced him with Luciano Spalletti.  Juventus are fairly fit right now with just Pereyra and Lemina out for this match.  Barzagli is doubtful but will probably start.  Evra and Alex Sandro will complete for the spot on the left side of midfield and Lichtsteiner should feature on the right.  Mandzukic and Dybala are both set to return to the lineup despite Morata featuring during the week.  For Roma, Spalletti is still learning the squad.  Leandro Castan is set to be dropped as he is on his way out of the club.  Radja Nainggolan will play in the number 10 role.  Roma need to stop the bleeding and try to get a vital 3 points.  Can Roma turn the tide around and get back into the Scudetto picture?

Betting Odds

Match Result – Juventus 4/6, Roma 9/2, Draw 14/5

First Goalscorer – Mandzukic 15/4, Dybala 9/2, Zaza 5/1


My Pick – Juventus 2, Roma 1: Goals by Dybala, Mandzukic, and Nainggolan

James’ Pick – Juventus 1, Roma 1: Goals by Mandzukic and Dzeko

  1. Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla ~ Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid

Sunday, January 24th at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

The top team in Spain right now hosts Sevilla.  Both teams come in on winning streaks as Atletico have won 4 straight in the league despite drawing in the Copa del Rey against Celta de Vigo.  Sevilla has won 5 straight in all competitions but only 2 straight in the league.  Sevilla have been woeful on the road this season as they have failed to win a game or score a goal on the road all season.  They will find it hard against Atletico who have the best defense in the league.  Atletico have no new injury concerns but will be without Torres and Tiago.  Sevilla will be without Iborra who is suspended and Pareja and Andreolli.  This game will feature one team that doesn’t score and one team that doesn’t concede goals.  This will be a tight affair but I only see one winner.  Atletico Madrid look set to stay atop the table.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Madrid 4/6, Sevilla 5/1, Draw 5/2

First Goalscorer – Griezmann 10/3, Martinez 5/1, Vietto 11/2


My Pick – Atletico 2, Sevilla 0: Goals by Martinez and Griezmann

James’ Pick – Atletico 1, Sevilla 1: Goals by Griezmann and Gameiro

  1. PSG vs. Angers ~ Parc des Princes, Paris

Saturday, January 23nd at 11:00 am EST on beIN Sports

These two teams are separated by 2 spots in the table but 23 points.  PSG is far and away the top side in France despite not looking all that great.  They are unbeaten so far this season and could mathematically have the title wrapped up by the end of February.  Their focus now may be starting to shift towards other competitions.  They face the surprise team this season as Angers one of the three promoted sides has risen up the table to be in the top 3. Their form has started to slip a little but their defense has been strong this season.   PSG will return to Kevin Trapp in goal after he was rested in the French Cup.  Silva, Pastore, Marquinhos, and Verratti are all doubts but look for the last two to start the match.  Angers have a bigger injury list with Mangani, Auriac, Eudeline, and Dore all out.  Romain Saiss could also miss the match.  This will have an impact on the match.  There are two questions to watch for me.  Can Angers end the unbeaten season?  Can Angers hold PSG under 2 goals?

Betting Odds

Match Result – PSG 1/6, Angers 18/1, Draw 6/1

First Goalscorer – Ibrahimovic 5/2, Cavani 11/4, Moura 4/1


My Pick – PSG 4, Angers 1: Goals by Ibrahimovic (2), Moura, Di Maria, and Ndoye

James’ Pick – PSG 3, Angers 0: Goals by Ibrahimovic (2), Cavani

  1. Schalke vs. Werder Bremen ~ Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen

Sunday, January 24th at 11:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

As the Germany Bundesliga returns, we take a look this weekend at two teams are hoping they can turn their fortunes around.  Schalke will hope they can climb up into the race for a Champions League spot and Werder Bremen will hope to climb out of the relegation battle.  Schalke enter the second half of the season in 6th place just 2 points off the Champions League places.  Werder Bremen meanwhile are in 16th place which in Germany is the playoff game spot.  The playoff game features the 16th place team in the Bundesliga and the third place team in the second division.  The winner plays in the Bundesliga next season.  They are level on points with Stutgartt, who is in 15th place, but only 2 points above the bottom of the table.  Bremen has failed to win in their last 5 Bundesliga games and has not beaten Schalke in their last 11 matches in all competitions.  Schalke has a long injury list as Uchinda, Mastasic, Giefer, Hoger, and Howedes are all out injured.  Roman Neustadter is most likely to replace Howedes at center-back.  Bremen might hand a debut to loan signing Papy Djilobodji a debut start.  Anthony Ujah should start up front alone for them with Claudio Pizarro on the bench.  This should be an exciting first game back for the Bundesliga.  Which team can get off to a fast start to the New Year?

Betting Odds

Match Result – Schalke 4/6, Bremen 4/1, Draw 3/1

First Goalscorer – Huntelaar 10/3, Di Santo 9/2, Choupo-Moting 9/2


My Pick – Schalke 2, Bremen 1: Goals by Sane, Huntelaar, and Ujah

James’ Pick – Schalke 2, Bremen 1: Goals by Sane, Choupo, and Ujah

Other Games on TV This Weekend

England – Premier League

Norwich City vs. Liverpool – Saturday at 7:45 am EST on NBCSN

Manchester United vs. Southampton – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on NBCSN

Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on USA

West Ham United vs. Manchester City – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on NBC

Everton vs. Swansea City – Sunday at 8:30 am EST on NBCSN

Spain – La Liga

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

Deportivo La Coruna vs. Valencia – Sunday at 12:15 pm EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

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

Fiorentina vs. Torino – Sunday at 6:30 am EST on beIN Sports

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

Germany – Bundesliga

Koln vs. Stuttgart – Saturday at 10:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

Hertha BSC vs. Augsburg – Saturday at 10:30 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus

Hoffenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen – Saturday at 10:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund – Saturday at 12:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg – Sunday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1


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