Genoa vs Milan

I will be the first to admit, I did not except Milan to put out such a strong defensive showing against Juventus on the weekend, but they managed to steal a 1-0 victory against the Old Lady; and now got themselves into 2nd spot in the league; something we never thought we would say for this Milan side this year. Montella has really bought this side together specifically defensively led by 17 year old Donnaroma. The young shot stopper has been outstanding so far this campaign that has seen Milan lose only 2 games. On the attacking front, players like Bacca, Niang and Susso up front; who are quick on the counter attack helps them snatch goals when opponents are not looking; which has now seen them score an average of almost 2 goals per game.
Genoa have been struggling off late with just 1 victory in their last 6 games so far. Their issues have been due to their focus on keeping things tight at the back, that has seen them keep 4 clean sheets in this 6 games; while also picking up numerous amount of bookings during this time. Their paltry return of 9 goals scored in 7 games; clearly showcases their struggles offensively, which will not enable them to get enough points to pick up victories.
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Chelsea vs Man Utd

Chelsea and Manchester United come into this encounter with both teams in great offensive nick. Chelsea just smashed 3 past champions Leicester City last weekend while Manchester United hit 4 past Fenerbahce in the Europa League; so this game has all the makings of an exciting encounter.
Chelsea under Conte have generally been quite good led by Diego Costa and Eden Hazard offensively, who have been on the ball so far this season. Costa is leading the league with 7 goals this campaign and will be aiming to add to his tally in this big encounter against the arch-rivals. Chelsea have seemed to improve defensively after the change to Conte’s preferred 3-5-2 formation; but goalkeeper Courtois, Cahill, Luiz and Matic very prone to making mistakes, it might lead them to be out of position and concede cheap goals as was seen in their game against Arsenal where they lost 3-0. Chelsea seemed to be struggling in the big games this season, aside from that Arsenal loss, they even lost 2-1 to Liverpool in front of their fans, so reputations will be out the window as the squad need to turn up a performance in this game.
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Villareal vs Las Palmas

Villareal come into this game after a great run of form behind them with their attacking force of Bakumbu, Sansone, Soriano and Pato all in scoring form. They came back in mid-week from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 while also smashing Celta Vigo by a score of 5-0 last week. The offensive showing from Villareal after their players have recovered from injuries and the coaching focused on more offense, is plain to see. They have netted 14 goals this campaign while maintaining a tight defensive line conceding just 4 goals, which is only bettered by Atletico Madrid.
Las Palmas are going through a dream spell which saw them jump to the top of the pile, before they tapered down, and are now 4 games without a victory to their name. The only helpful aspect of their recent run is their ability to score goals where they have netted 16 goals in 8 games played so far. They have a team effort contributing to their goals with Tana, Araujo, El Zhar, Livaja and Boateng all contributing at least 2 goals per game so far. Defensively, they have been leaky conceding 13 goals in the season so far with 8 conceded in their last 4 alone.
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AC Milan vs Juventus

Juventus travel back to the San Siro, which was the site of their first loss of the season against Inter Milan. Juventus will be aiming to ensure they don’t lose another game in the capital tonight taking on a mini-resurgent Milan team. Juventus have to rely a lot on the likes of Dybala, Higuain, Cuadrado and Pjanic up front to ensure they score enough goals, considering their recent struggles at the back. Juventus will be missing Cheillini, Rugani, Asamoah who will definitely be out of this game; which might make them change to a 4-4-2 formation for this encounter instead of their typical 3-5-2. Juventus have won 6 games in a row since they lost to Inter in all competitions, and will be looking to make that 7 as they travel to take on Milan.
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Dundalk vs Zenit St. Petersburg

Whilst many expected Zenit to be topping this group with relative ease after two games, part-time Irish side Dundalk are continuing their European fairytale – they currently sit second and are undefeated.
European debutants Dundalk have hatched the perfect game plan in their two previous Europa League fixtures where they have achieved a draw and a victory. The Lilywhites know that they are not going to go and blitz teams like they do in the Irish League so instead they look to sit back and wait for their opportunities to come – making the most of them.
It is no surprise that Stephen Kenny’s men are currently top of their domestic league by a distance of seven points after 30 games. The confidence will only grow if they carry on doing well in Europe. Their form has been so good that even Republic of Ireland national team manager Martin O’Neill is casting his eye over a few of Dundalk’s part-timers.
This is undoubtedly Dundalk’s biggest test in the Europa League so far, and probably in their entire European campaign if we include Champions League qualifiers.
After a bit of a stuttering start to the season, Mircea Lucescu’s Zenit side are now back on track in the Russian Premier League and are level on points with table-toppers Spartak Moscow.
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Leverkusen vs Tottenham

Leverkusen entertain Tottenham knowing that their Champions League hopes are dependent on them securing a result against Tottenham. The positive side for Leverkusen is the they have been in great form scoring up front, netting goals in 9 out of their 10 games played this season so far. They have picked up positive victories against teams like Mainz, Dortmund and Hamburg; but have generally struggled to convert victories which sees them in 10th spot only in the table. Chicharito and Pohjanpalo have netted 9 out of their 11 goals in the domestic front, so a lot will rely on them. They also have the free-kick specialist Calhangolu who can find the back of the net from anywhere of 30 yards out for Leverkusen. Where they have struggled is on the defensive end, conceding goals in 8 out of the 10 games played so far this campaign; and that will need to improve if they have to get out of this group.
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CSKA Moscow vs Monaco

CSKA Moscow come into this game against Monaco in front of their home fans after losing to Tottenham 3 weeks ago in the Champions league by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. Prior to that they drew 2-2 with Bayer Leverkusen away from home. Victory is definitely needed in this game in this very tight group in order for them to even have a chance of retaining a spot in the Europa League in a keenly contested group. The big problem for CSKA has been their struggles even in the league this season, where they are sitting in 3rd with just 6 wins from 10 games, and only netting 11 goals during this time. The new rules in Russia of the number of foreign players have diminished their holding as they had to get rid of a few players with Lancina Traore and Ermenko leading their attacking line failing to create a major impact this season. CSKA on the other hand have bene leaking goals and have done so in 6 out of their last 7 games; which opposition Monaco will be looking into scoring.
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Liverpool vs Manchester Utd

Englands biggest battle commences tonight as Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield and with both teams struggling defensively, you know that game could be a riot for either side or a complete entertainer.
Liverpool are in great form coming into this game on the back of a 5 game winning streak and aiming to continue that run against their bitter rivals. Liverpool have strengthened well this season with great supporting cast to help forward Daniel Sturridge. Coutinho, Firmino and Sadio Mane have all been in great form sitting in the roles right behind Sturridge giving him great service as well as another option to draw defenders out to give him more room to play. Liverpool have counter attacked with great speed which has surprised a lot of teams and is typical of a Jurgen Klopp team. What actually turns out to be their difficulty are the struggles they are facing not he defensive end. Liverpool have chopped and changed around their defensive unit continuously while also placing keeper Lorius Karius between the sticks instead of Mignolet. Liverpool have conceded goals in 7 out of 7 games in the Premier League so far this campaign, which will be their major cause of weakness.
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Napoli vs Roma

Napoli take on Roma in this encounter in the Serie A in what is most definitely the game of the weekend in Italy with the 2nd and 3rd sides in the Italian table taking on each other looking to keep up the pressure against Juventus who play later on in the day. Napoli come into this game after a disappointing loss to Atalanta 1-0 away from home, and will be looking to turn around this form in this encounter. The only disappointing thing in this encounter is that Milik is out injured, but Napoli have plenty of additional firepower with the likes of Gabbiadini looking set to replace him and also they have Mertens, Insigne, Callejon who will be providing support as well. The Napoli defense has been a bit shaky in recent weeks, conceding goals in 3 out of 4 games played at home this season and in such a tight encounter, you can expect goals flowing.
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Las Palmas vs Espanyol

Las Palmas have been in a good run of form that saw them push on towards the top of the table for the opening weeks, before coming crashing back down to earth with a 4-1 loss to Real Sociedad. In their last 2 games, they have shown us that they are difficult side to break down and can definitely hold it on their own against tough opposition. They went and drew 2-2 with Real Madrid after coming back from losing twice; while coming back again from a 2-0 deficit at HT to draw 2-2 with Osasuna. These last 2 games have surely built their resolve coming into this game.
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