Barcelona vs Atleti & the Milan Derby

This weekend we look at some big games across Europe.  In Spain, the top two meet in Barcelona with a place on top of the table up for grabs.  In Italy, it is the Milan Derby or the Derby of the San Siro. In France, the current champions take on the team with the most winners’ medals in the league.  In Germany, two teams from the top half of the table meet in Wolfsburg.  Lastly, one of England’s giants travels to a football Championship side.

  1. Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid ~ Camp Nou, Barcelona

Saturday, January 30th at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

The best two defenses in La Liga meet this weekend when top of the table, Barcelona, face second place Atletico Madrid.  Barcelona has the second best defense in the league, conceding just 16 goals in 20 games.  Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, has conceded just 8.  Their defense has been amazing this season.  Barcelona comes into the game on a 13 game unbeaten run, including winning their last 3.  Atletico Madrid drew their last league game after winning four in a row.  Barcelona will get Gerard Pique back from suspension to partner with Javier Mascherano at the back.  Jordi Alba is a doubt, so Mathieu will most likely start.  Neymar should also come back into the side.  Angel Correa is suspended for Madrid, while Tiago and Fernando Torres will both be out injured.  Luciano Vietto should be preferred up front.  Look for Atletico to try to keep a clean sheet and set up very defensively.  Barcelona should have MSN up front and will look to cement themselves on top of the table.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Barcelona ½, Atletico Madrid 6/1, Draw 16/5

First Goalscorer – Neymar 11/4, Messi, 11/4, Suarez 7/2

Predictions

My Pick – Barcelona 2, Atletico 0: Goals by Messi and Suarez

James’ Pick – Barcelona 2, Atletico 1: Goals by Suarez, Messi, and Griezmann

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

Sunday, January 31st at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

The biggest rivalry in all of Italy takes place this weekend, as the two clubs from the San Siro meet.  Both teams are not exactly where they want to be in the table, as Inter has tumbled down from the top of the table and Milan is on the outside looking in for the European places.  Both teams have been a bit inconsistent lately; however Inter does have the best defense in the league.  This game could feature few chances on target.  AC Milan is without just Diego Lopez and Rodrigo Ely.  Balotelli will be on the bench, as it looks like Bacca and Niang will play up front.  Inter Milan is also very healthy with just Ivan Perisic in doubt.  Look for Perisic and Ljajic to play on the wings and try to create some chances.  Inter recently signed Eder and he may have an impact from the bench.  These two teams both need a win this weekend, but I think it will be hard to come by for them.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Milan 13/10, Inter 11/5, Draw 23/10

First Goalscorer – Icardi 5/1, Bacca 5/1, Adriano 6/1

Predictions

My Pick – Milan 1, Inter 1: Goals by Niang and Icardi

James’ Pick – Milan 1, Inter 2: Goals by Bacca, Icardi, Jovetic

  1. Saint-Etienne vs. Paris Saint-Germain ~ Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne

Sunday, January 31st at 3:00 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

Saint-Etienne is the next team to try and end the unbeaten season for PSG.  They host the champions of France this weekend and will look to become the first team to take all 3 points off of them.  Saint-Etienne sits in 6th place in the table and are just 6 points from 2nd place.  However, their form is a little shaky lately as they have won just 2 of their last 6.  Meanwhile, PSG has now won 6 in a row and is out of sight in the league.  Their lead is currently 21 points.  Saint-Etienne is still without Beric, Assou-Ekotto, Clerc, Hamouma, Perrin, Polomat, Tannane, and Gavriel.  PSG is without Gergory Van der Wiel.  They also have many players who are in doubt.  Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Sirigu, David Luiz, and Javier Pastore are all doubtful.  This could be a close game, but PSG is a league above the rest of the Ligue 1.  Saint-Etienne rarely gets blown out, so it could be close.

Betting Odds

Match Result – St. Etienne 13/2, PSG 8/15, Draw 14/5

First Goalscorer – Ibrahimovic 10/3, Cavani 7/2, Moura 5/1

Predictions

My Pick – St. Etienne 1, PSG 4: Goals by Soderlund, Ibrahimovic, di Maria, Moura, and Aurier

James’ Pick – St. Etienne 1, PSG 3: Goals by Eysseric, Ibrahimovic (2), Cavani

  1. Wolfsburg vs. Koln ~ Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg

Sunday, January 31st at 9:30 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus

These two teams are right in the middle of the table in Germany.  Koln sits in 9th place with 24 points and Wolfsburg is in 8th place with 26 points.  While they might be in the middle of the table, Koln is just 5 points from a Champions League place.  A win for either team could go a long way.  Both teams have struggled to find their form recently, and they have both won only one game in their last six.  Wolfsburg was supposed to challenge for the title and will need to turn their form around quickly.  Koln has not won a game in their last 6 games against Wolfsburg.  Wolfsburg is without Bas Dost, Maximilian Arnold, and Carlos Ascues.  Luiz Gustavo is still a doubt for the game.  Koln has a mostly full strength squad.  Heintz has the flu and might miss the game.  Look for Wolfsburg to try and win for the first time in their last six games.  This game should be a tight match between two teams who will value a point.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Wolfsburg 8/13, Koln 9/2, Draw 3/1

First Goalscorer – Kruse 4/1, Bendtner 11/2, Schurrle 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – Wolfsburg 4, Koln 2: Goals by Schurrle, Draxler (2), Kruse, Bittencourt, and Modeste

James’ Pick – Wolfsburg 2, Koln 2: Goals by Schurrle, Kruse, Modeste, Zoller

  1. Milton Keynes Dons vs. Chelsea ~ Stadium mk, Milton Keynes

Sunday, January 31st at 11:00 am EST on Fox Sports 1

This weekend the EPL takes a break and the FA Cup Fourth Round Proper takes place.  Teams from the top four flights of English football face off and there are some good matchups.  The one that we are focusing on this weekend is MK Dons vs. Chelsea.  These are two teams that are looking to spark a late season run.  MK Dons has struggled this year as they have tumbled down the table.  Chelsea’s poor start looks like a thing of the past as they are on an 8 game unbeaten run.  However, they are still low in the table.  MK Dons is without Carl Baker for this match, so Karl Robinson should send out an unchanged side from the one that lost to Bolton.  Chelsea is also very healthy and we might see some players rotated in.  However, Hiddink might play his strongest side to make a run at trophy this year.  They are both struggling teams but look for the talent on Chelsea to win out in the end.

Betting Odds

Match Result – MK Dons 10/1, Chelsea 1/3, Draw 9/2

First Goalscorer – Costa 10/3, Remy 15/4, Hazard 4/1

Predictions

My Pick – MK Dons 1, Chelsea 2: Goals by Murphy, Willian, and Costa

James’ Pick – MK Dons 0, Chelsea 2: Goals by Costa and Willian

Other Games on TV This Weekend

Spain – La Liga

Getafe vs. Athletic Bilbao – Saturday at 12:15 pm EST on beIN Sports

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

Las Palmas vs. Celta de Vigo – Sunday at 12:15 pm EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

Roma vs. Frosinone – Saturday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

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

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

Germany – Bundesliga

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

Bayern Munchen vs. Hoffenheim – Sunday at 11:30 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus =

England – FA Cup

Colchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Saturday at 7:45 am EST on Fox Sports 1

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

Nottingham Forest vs. Watford – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus

Liverpool vs. West Ham United – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on Fox Sports 2

Carlisle United vs. Everton – Sunday at 8:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

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