Der Klassiker and the North London Derby

Der Klassiker and the North London Derby are the headline matches this weekend.  We also take a look at a team hoping for their first road win in Spain, two teams hoping to get into Europe in Italy and if PSG can pull within 2 wins of the title.

  1. Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich ~ Signal-Iguna Park, Dortmund

Saturday, March 5th at 12:30 pm EST on Fox Soccer Plus

Der Klassiker is this weekend as Munich travels to Dortmund.  The title race was blown wide open as Munich lost only their second game of the season this week.  Mainz 05 defeated Munich 2-1.  This, coupled with Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Darmstadt, means that the difference is just 5 points.  The title race will either be over or be on after this weekend.  Both teams come in on great form.  Dortmund is unbeaten in their last 7 and has only conceded just 2 goals during this run.   Bayern, on the other hand, has won 3 straight before they suffered defeat during the week.  The last time these two team met went 5-1 to Bayern Munich with Müller and Lewandowski each scoring a brace.  Both teams are relatively healthy, but Dortmund is without Sokratis.  It will either be Sven Bender or Neven Subotic in his spot.  Marcel Schmlzer and Erik Drum will compete for the spot at left back.  Reus and Mkhitaryan were both rested mid week and should return.  For Bayern, they are completely healthy except for the center back position.  Boateng, Martinez, and Badstuber are all out.  Kimmich and Alaba will continue there.  This should be a hard fought contest but do not be surprised if we see some goals in this game.  The German title is essentially on the line.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Dortmund 21/10, Munich 13/10, Draw 12/5

First Goalscorer – Lewandowski 15/4, Muller 9/2, Aubameyang 5/1

Predictions

My Pick – Dortmund 2, Munich 1: Goals by Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, and Lewandowski

James’ Pick – Dortmund 2, Munich 2: Goals by Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Lewnadowski, and Mueller

  1. Tottenham vs. Arsenal ~ White Hart Lane, London

Saturday, March 5th at 7:45 am EST on NBCSN

This could be the biggest North London Derby in the Premier League Era.  Tottenham has finished above Arsenal in the table only twice since the start of the Premier League and that last time was in 1994/95.  This year, Tottenham is 3 points clear of Arsenal heading into this weekend.  A win for Tottenham would all but guarantee they finish above Arsenal.  Spurs, however, probably have their eyes on a bigger prize than just finishing above Arsenal.  They are 3 points behind Leicester and their first title since 1960/61.  Arsenal, meanwhile, have not been in the best of form as they have lost two straight including a 2-1 loss at home to Swansea this week.  Tottenham also lost on their last time out to fellow Londoners, West Ham.  This is going to be a massive game.  Tottenham are without Clinton N’Jie and Jan Vertonghen for the derby.  Arsenal, meanwhile, is without Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Koscielny, Cech, and Arteta.  This means that we will see Ospina in goal with Mertesacker and Paulista trying to defend Kane.  This game will go a long way in deciding who will challenge Leicester for the title.  It should be a cagey affair and Arsenal is in need of a huge victory.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Tottenham 7/5, Arsenal 11/5, Draw 12/5

First Goalscorer – Kane 4/1, Giroud 11/2, Chadli 6/1

Predictions

My Pick – Tottenham 2, Arsenal 1: Goals by Kane, Son, and Welbeck

James’ Pick – Tottenham 2, Arsenal 1: Goals by Kane, Erikson, and Sanchez

  1. Getafe vs. Sevilla ~ Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe

Saturday, March 5th at 2:30 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

Is this going to be the first road win of the season for Sevilla? They have currently played 13 road games and drawn 8 and lost 5.  This could be their best chance for a win as they face relegation struggles, Getafe.  Getafe is located just outside of Madrid and is trying to stay in the top flight.  Currently they are in 18th place but are level on points with Granada and Rayo Vallecano.  They have lost their last 7 games and failed to score in their last 6.  Despite Sevilla’s poor road form, they are currently in 5th place in the table, in the final of the Copa del Rey, and in the quarterfinals of the Europa League.  The race for 5th is very tight so Sevilla will need to figure out how to win on the road if they want to hold on to that spot.  Getafe gets Emiliano Valezquez back from suspension to partner Juan Cala at the center of the defense.  Lago and Vigaray are out injured; Alvaro Pereira is out with a suspension.  Pareja, Andreolli, and Krychowiak are all out injured for Sevilla.  Otherwise, Sevilla should make few changes beside the return of Timothee Kolodziejczak from suspension.  This is a great opportunity for Sevilla to get themselves closer to Villarreal and a place in the Champions League.  For Getafe, a win or even possibly a draw could take them out of the relegation places.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Getafe 14/5, Sevilla Evens, Draw 5/2

First Goalscorer – Gameiro 11/4, Munoz 10/3, Llorent 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – Getafe 1, Sevilla 1: Goals by Sarabia and Vitolo

James’ Pick – Getafe 0, Sevilla 2: Goals by Gamiero (2)

  1. Sassuolo vs. Milan ~ Stadio Citta del Tricolore

Sunday, March 6th at 9:00 am on beIN Sports Connect

In Italy this week, the surprise team of the season hosts one of the Italian Giants in a midtable clash.  Sassuolo was promoted to the Serie A three years ago and they have slowly climbed up the table.  This year they have been in and around the top 7 all season.  They have played some great football and been a constant threat.  AC Milan, meanwhile, is trying to get back into Europe this season as they did not participate this year in any European competitions.  These two teams enter the weekend in 6th (Milan) and 7th (Sassuolo) place in the table.  Sassuolo is 6 points behind Milan and will need a win to get back in the race for a spot in the Europa League.  Milan, meanwhile, is one spot and one point behind their neighbors Inter Milan for the last Europa League spot.  Both teams will come into the game looking to win so they can move closer to a European spot.  Milan has gone on a 9 game unbeaten run to close the gap with Inter.  Sassuolo is on a 4 game run of their own right now.  Both teams come into the game on fairly good form.  Sassuolo is only without Karim Karibi, but Domenico Beardi is doubtful with an ankle injury.  Simone Missiroli is back available for manager Eusebio Di Francesco.  Milan is still without Diego Lopez and Rodrigo Ely.  M’Baye Niang got in a car accident and is set to miss the next two months due to his injuries from the accident.  This means that either Balotelli or Menez will partner Bacca up front.  Ignazio Abate is out with a suspension.  Sassuolo is looking confident and strong again.  Look for a good showing from them in this match against the Milan giants.  Should be a good watch.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Sassuolo 2/1, Milan 29/20, Draw 9/4

First Goalscorer – Degrel 9/2, Berardi 11/2, Bacca 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – Sassuolo 2, Milan 1: Goals by Berardi, Defrel, and Menez

James’ Pick – Sassuolo 0, Milan 1: Goal by Bacca

  1. Paris Saint–Germain vs. Montpellier ~ Parc des Princes, Paris

Saturday, March 5th at 11:00 am EST on beIN Sports Connect

Paris Saint–Germain lost for the first time all season last weekend as they came away from Lyon with a 2-1 defeat.  Now they must circle the wagons and get back on form as they have a big match against Chelsea coming up next week.  Before that they face Montpellier.  Montpellier has won 3 games in a row, which has helped them move away from the relegation zone.  They are now 7 points clear and look to be trending in the right direction to remain in the top flight.  PSG, meanwhile, still has a massive 23-point lead on Monaco.  With just 10 games remaining for each team, Monaco can only earn 30 more points.  That means the magic number is 80 points.  PSG needs to win just 3 of their final 10 games.  PSG are without Verratti and Matuidi this weekend.  Van der Wiel and Di Maria are both doubtful.  Jourdren and Lasne continue to be sidelined for Montpellier.  Souleymane Camara is also out injured with Sanson and Marveaux doubtful.  PSG should bounce back, but they face a very confident team who is looking to put more distance between them and the relegation zone.

Betting Odds

Match Result – PSG 4/9, Montpellier 8/1, Draw 3/1

First Goalscorer – Ibrahimovic 11/4, Cavani 9/2, Moura 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – PSG 3, Montpellier 1: Goals by Cavani, Moura, Pastore, and Boudebouz

James’ Pick – PSG 3, Montpellier 1: Goals by Ibrahimovic (2), Di Maria, Camara

Other Games on TV This Weekend

England – Premier League

Manchester City vs. Aston Villa – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on NBCSN

Everton vs. West Ham United – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on USA

Watford vs. Leicester City – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on NBCSN

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

West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United – Sunday at 11:00 am EST on NBCSN

Spain – La Liga

Real Madrid vs. Celta de Vigo – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Eibar vs. Barcelona – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

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

Internazionale vs. Palermo – Sunday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

Germany – Bundesliga

Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

Augsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Eintract Frankfurt vs. Ingolstadt – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus

Mainz 05 vs. Darmstadt 98 – Sunday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

Hamburger SV vs. Hertha Berlin – Sunday at 11:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

 

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