The Final Weekend

The final weekend of the season has come, so here is our last look at 5 league games.  Next weekend is Cup final weekend and then it is the Champions League Final before we shift our focus to the European Championships, the Copa America, and eventually the Olympics.  There is only one title that is still up for grabs so we will focus on that game and others that have impact on Champions League, Europa League, or relegation places.

  1. Granada vs. Barcelona ~ Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes, Granada

Saturday, May 14th at 11:00 am EST on beIN Sports Connect

Barcelona has it all in their hands if they are going to win their second Spanish league title in a row.  As the table stands right now, Barcelona has a 1 point lead on Real Madrid plus the tiebreaker over their rivals.  They have won 4 straight to maintain their top spot in the table.  This weekend, Barcelona faces Granada.  Granada has earned just enough points to stay in the league thanks to results against Getafe and Sporting Gijon.  They hold the tiebreaker on both of them.  Barcelona will be without Samper, Sandro, and more importantly Claudio Bravo.  Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start in goal.  MSN should start up front.  Granada is not expected to make any changes to their lineup.  Former Barcelona youth player Isaac Cuenca said that he would like to spoil the Barcelona party, but it will be tough work. 3 points wins the title for Barcelona and that will be their aim.

Predictions

My Pick – Granada 1, Barcelona 4: Goals by Rochina, Messi, Suarez (2), and Rakitic

James’ Pick – Granada 1, Barcelona 3: Goals by El Arabi, Suarez, Messi, and Neymar

  1. Deportivo La Coruna vs. Real Madrid ~ Estadio Municipal de Riazor, La Coruna

Saturday, May 14th at 11:00 am EST on beIN Sports

The other game in the title race will take place in the northwest of Spain as Deportivo La Coruna hosts Real Madrid.  Like Granada, Deportivo La Coruna is safe from relegation and their position in the table is not going to change much.  Real Madrid needs to win the match and have Barcelona drop points to win the title.  If they fail to win, the title is Barcelona’s.  Fabricio, Lux, and Dominguez are out injured for Deportivo.  Borges and Navarro will return from their suspensions. Juanfran is a doubt but should start.  For Real Madrid, Gareth Bale is a doubt with his knee injury, but with the title on the line he should play.  Lucas Vazquez is out injured.  Benzema, Modric, and Navas are all expected to be in the lineup.  Real Madrid should dominate this game and get the win they need.  The question will be is will it be enough to take the title from Barcelona?

Predictions

My Pick – Deportivo 1, Madrid 3: Goals by Alberto, Ronaldo, and Benzema (2)

James’ Pick – Deportivo 0, Madrid 3: Goals by Ronaldo (2) and Benzema

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

Saturday, May 14th at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

This game has some Champions League and potential Europa League spot implications as seventh place AC Milan hosts 3rd place Roma.  If Sassuolo and Napoli drop points this weekend, then this game gets even more interesting.  Milan is 1 point behind Sassuolo and if they are able to jump them before the end of the table then they will be in the Europa League next season regardless of the Coppa Italia final.  Roma is 2 points behind Napoli for the Champions League group stage spot.  If Napoli loses and Roma is able to win, that will help Roma this summer as they will not have to play in the qualifiers.  This is two of the old guard in Italy and they are both hoping to better their situation before the final table of the season.  Luca Antonelli is out injured for Milan.  Giacomo Bonaventura should return to the lineup after returning to training this week.  Luiz Adriano appears to be ahead of Mario Balotelli to start up front with Carlos Bacca.  For Roma, this might be Francesco Totti’s final game with the club as his future still hangs up in the air.  He will start if Diego Perotti is unable to play.  Both of these teams need help, but they need 3 points first.

Predictions

My Pick – Milan 1, Roma 2: Goals by Bacca, Salah, and Totti

James’ Pick – Milan 1, Roma 2: Goals by Bacca, Salah, and Perotti

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

Saturday, May 14th at 3:00 pm EST on beIN Sports Connect

While I have selected the game between 5th and 6th in the French table, all eyes in France will be on the bottom of the table as Toulouse, Ajaccio, and Reims battle for the final two relegation spots.  Toulouse travels to Angers, Ajaccio travels to Lorient, and Reims hosts Lyon.  The game that we are predicting is the battle for the final Europa League spot.  If Paris Saint Germain defeats Marseille in the final of the Coupe de France, then both teams will get a spot in the Europa League.  However, if Marseille wins then the winner of this game will get the spot in the Europa League.  Right now Saint-Etienne is in 5th place with 58 points.  Their opponents are in 6th place with 57 points.  Lille had the chance to qualify for the Europa League, but they lost the Coupe de la Ligue final to PSG.  Malcuit and Tabanou are suspended for Les Verts.  Brison, Clerc and Bahebeck are all out injured.  Lille is without Bautheac and Boufal due to injury and Obbadi is suspended.  Rio Mavuba should play if he passes a late fitness test. Neither team will want to leave their spot in the Europa League in the hands of PSG.  A win for either will guarantee it.

Predictions

My Pick – Etienne 1, Lille 1: Goals by Roux and Amalfitano

James’ Pick – Etienne 1, Lille 1: Goals by Roux and Eder

  1. Werder Bremen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt ~ Weserstadion, Bremen

Saturday, May 14th at 9:30 am EST on Fox Soccer Plus

With the top 3 locked in place, Mainz, Hertha, and Schalke need a massive win this weekend and Gladbach to lose heavily if they want to get into the Champions League.  Mainz and Hertha meet this weekend with both hoping to qualify for the group stage of the Europa League.  Instead, I have decided to look into the bottom of the table.  15th place and 16th place meet this weekend as Werder Bremen hosts Eintracht Frankfurt.  Stuttgart is in 17th place.  All of these three teams are within 3 points of each other.  If any of them fail to win this weekend, they could be in trouble.  Stuttgart travels to Wolfsburg.  The winner of Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt will be safe from relegation and the relegation playoff.  The loser will either be relegated or in the relegation playoff.  Bremen is without Fin Bartels due to suspension.  American Aron Johannsson is injured along with Wolf, Yatabare, and Bargfrede.  Santiago Garcia is a doubt.  Frankfurt is without suspended Szabolcs Huszti.  Who will stay in the Bundesliga?

Predictions

My Pick – Bremen 2, Frankfurt 1: Goals by Pizarro, Oztunali, and Seferovic

James’ Pick – Bremen 2, Frankfurt 1: Goals by Pizarro (2) and Seferovic

Other Games on TV This Weekend

England – Premier League

Arsenal vs. Aston Villa – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on Syfy

Manchester United vs. AFC Bournemouth – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on NBCSN

Southampton vs. Crystal Palace – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on E!

Chelsea vs. Leicester City – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on CNBC

West Bromwich albion vs. Liverpool – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on MSNBC

Swansea City vs. Manchester City – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on NBC

Everton vs. Norwich City – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on Esquire

Watford vs. Sunderland – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on Oxygen

Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on USA

Stoke City vs. West Ham United – Sunday at 10:00 am EST on Bravo

Italy – Serie A

Udinese vs. Carpi  – Sunday at 2:45 pm EST on beIN Sports

Germany – Bundesliga

Bayern Munchen vs. Hannover 96 – Saturday at 9:30 am EST on FOX

All of the other games will be on Fox Sports 2 on Saturday at 9:30 am EST

France – Ligue 1

PSG vs. Nantes – Saturday at 3:00 pm EST on beIN Sports

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