FA Cup and Champions League Spots on The Line

  1. Everton vs. Chelsea (FA Cup) ~ Goodison Park, Liverpool

Saturday, March 12th at 12:30 pm EST on Fox Sports 2

The FA Cup returns this weekend as the quarterfinals of the competition take place.  One of the headline matchups is Everton vs. Chelsea.  Chelsea is the seven-time winner of the cup and this is now their only hope for winning a trophy this season.  Chelsea will look to continue their great road form in this competition as they have only lost one game on the road since March 2008.  Their only defeat came at Manchester City in this competition.  Chelsea is now out of the Champions League following back to back 2-1 defeats against PSG.  Everton, meanwhile, has struggled as they sit in 12th place in the table, two points behind Chelsea.  However, this is the FA Cup and Everton has not look that bad in this competition.  Browning and Hibbert are both out injured for Everton.  Mirallas is suspended so Oumar Niasse looks set to start.  Barry, Cleverly, and Lennon are all doubtful for the game.  Costa, Hazard, and Terry are all doubtful for Chelsea and might miss this game.  Look for Traore to start in Costa’s place.  Everton has been poor at home and Chelsea is playing better.  This could be a close and tough game.  Everton will look to counter, but Chelsea might not let them.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Everton 8/5, Chelsea 8/5, Draw 12/5

First Goalscorer – Lukaku 15/4, Costa 5/1, Remy 6/1

Predictions

My Pick – Everton 1, Chelsea 1: Goals by Lukaku and Traore

James’ Pick – Everton 1, Chelsea 2: Goals by

  1. Manchester United vs. West Ham United (FA Cup) ~ Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday, March 13th at 12:00 pm EST on Fox Sports 1

This is the second FA Cup quarterfinal we are taking a look at.  Manchester United hosts West Ham.  United had won 4 straight before losing their last two games against West Brom and Liverpool.  This is going to be a huge week for Louis Van Gaal.  On Sunday they face West Ham in the FA Cup and then Thursday is the second leg against Liverpool in the Europa League.  They could be out of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Europe all by the end of this week.  It is going to be an interesting week for him.  West Ham United meanwhile has won 4 straight in all competitions and are on the brink of possibly being in a Champions League place.  They have not played for a while and are going to be the more rested side going into this game.  Wayne Rooney is still out injured and Mata is suspended.  Herrera could be pushed forward.  Schweinsteiger and Carrick should be in contention for a start.  Lingard should return to the lineup.  For West Ham, Collins and Tomkins are out injured.  Sam Byram is ineligible to play having played for Leeds earlier in the competition.  Victor Moses, Enner Valencia, and Joey O’Brien should all return to the lineup.  This is going to be a big game and could be a big factor in Louis Van Gaal’s future.

Betting Odds

Match Result – United 19/20, West Ham 31/10, Draw 27/10

First Goalscorer – Martial 9/2, Rashford 5/1, Sakho 7/1

Predictions

My Pick – United 1, West Ham 2: Goals by Rashford, Emenike, and Payet

James’ Pick – United 2, West Ham 1: Goals by

  1. Sevilla vs. Villarreal ~ Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla

Sunday, March 13th at 11 am EST on beIN Sports Connect

In Spain, the fourth and fifth place teams meet.  Right now the gap is 8 points between them, but a win for Sevilla could make this one a little bit more interesting.  Neither team is in great form lately, as Sevilla continues to struggle on the road.  At home they have won 12 straight games so that should give them some hope this weekend.  Villarreal, meanwhile, has drawn their last 4 road games and kept 3 straight clean sheets.  This should be a hotly contested game with a lot on the line.  Pareja, Andreolli and Vitolo are all out for Sevilla.  Krychowiak is getting closer to fitness but will probably only be on the bench.  For Villarreal, Soldado will miss due to suspension.  Leo Baptistao should start.  Samuel, Jonathan dos Santos, Costa and Muscachio are out injured.  Sevilla are struggling to score and Villarreal has one of the best defenses.  This could be a tough match up for the Rojiblancos.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Sevilla 4/6, Villarreal 4/1, Draw 11/4

First Goalscorer – Gameiro 12/5, Munoz 3/1, Llorente 5/1

Predictions

My Pick – Sevilla 2, Villarreal 2: Goals by Gameiro, Banega, Baptistao and Bakambu

James’ Pick – Sevilla 2, Villarreal 1: Goals by

  1. Borussia Dortmund vs. Mainz ~ Sigunal Iduna Park, Dortmund

Sunday, March 13th at 12:30 pm EST on Fox Sports 2

The two hottest teams in Germany meet this weekend when Dortmund host Mainz.  The two teams have each won 4 of their last 6 games.  Dortmund is in the middle of an 8 game unbeaten run following their 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich last weekend.  They will also be boosted by their 3-0 win over Tottenham in the Europa League.   Mainz, meanwhile, has gone 3 games unbeaten and is right in the middle of the race for 4th place.  They are 2 points behind Hertha in third and 1 point behind Schalke in fourth.  This is a big game for both teams as they look to either stay in the title race or the race for Champions League.  Dortmund is very healthy, but we might see some rotation after the Europa League game on Thursday.  Sokratis is the only injury doubt this week.   Mainz on the other hand has Soto, Berggreen, Muto, Pengtsson, and Bungert out injured.  Giulio Donati is suspended.  Stefan Bell should return this weekend.  This should be a competitive and passionate game.  Both teams could really use the win this weekend.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Dortmund 3/10, Mainz 15/2, Draw 9/2

First Goalscorer – Leitner 14/1

Predictions

My Pick – Dortmund 2, Mainz 1: Goals by Reus, Aubameyang, and Cordoba

James’ Pick – Dortmund 3, Mainz 1: Goals by Aubameyang (2) and Reus

  1. Udinese vs. Roma ~ Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine

Sunday March 13th at 10 am EST on beIN Sports

This week, we take a look at the new hottest team in Italy.  While Juventus is still in the midst of an 18 game unbeaten run and have kept 9 straight clean sheets, Roma has soared up the table and is now in third place having won 7 straight games.  They are still a ways away from Napoli and Juventus, but they are now in a Champions League place.  Their opponents are not having the best time lately, having won just once in their last 6 games.  A win for Roma could put them within touching distance of Napoli, but more importantly will keep some distance between them and Fiorentina.  Udinese will be missing three starting defenders as Felipe is doubtful, Wague is out injured, and Ivan Piris is suspended.  Merkel is also out injured.   Look for Thomas Heurteaux to start at center back.  For Roma, Nainggolan, Pjanicm and De Rossi are all struggling with injuries and could be rested this weekend.  However, Kevin Strootman might be fit enough to start. otherwise look for Seydou Keita and William Vainquer to start behind the attacking trio of Salah, Perotti, and Shaarawy.  These three have been huge lately.  They will most likely be the difference in the game.

Betting Odds

Match Result – Udinese 10/3, Roma 5/6, Draw 5/2

First Goalscorer – Dzeko 5/1, Totti 11/2, Pjanic 11/2

Predictions

My Pick – Udinese 0, Roma 2: Goals by Shaaraway and Salah

James’ Pick – Udinese 1, Roma 2: Goals by

Champions League Recap

The first four tickets to the quarterfinals have been punched this week. Wolfsburg advanced thanks to their 1-0 win over Gent.  Real Madrid got 2 goals in 4 minutes from Ronaldo and James to advance to the quarterfinals for the 6th straight year.  PSG will advance to the quarters for the fourth straight year thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.  Lastly, Benfica advanced thanks to a late comeback, which saw them score twice after the 85th minute.  The last four teams will be decided next week.

Other Games on TV This Weekend

England – Premier League

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

Stoke City vs. Southampton – Saturday at 10:00 am EST on NBCSN

Leicester City vs. Newcastle United – Monday at 4:00 pm EST on NBCSN

Spain – La Liga

Barcelona vs. Getafe – Saturday at 10:00 am EST in beIN Sports

Las Palmas vs. Real Madrid – Sunday at 3:30 pm EST on beIN Sports

Italy – Serie A

Empoli vs. Sampdoria – Saturday at 12:00 pm EST on beIN Sports

Internazionale vs. Bologna – Saturday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

Germany – Bundesliga

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

Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus

Bayern Munchen vs. Werder Bremen – Saturday at 12:30 pm EST on Fox Soccer Plus

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hamburger SV – Sunday at 10:30 am EST on Fox Sports 2

England – FA Cup

Arsenal vs. Watford – Sunday at 9:30 am EST on Fox Sports 1

 

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