League One action again for me in a game that will be played at Ewood Park and will kick off at 15:00 UK time. The game will be played between Blackburn Rovers and Scunthorpe United. The hosts are currently in 3rd in the table on 47 points from 23 games.
They didn’t start life in League One too well, however, they have been in great form of late and manager Mowbray seems to have got the squad playing together and as a result they are one of the favourites to gain automatic promotion this season. I’ve just seen that Wigan failed to win tonight at home to Charlton, this will no doubt give Blackburn a huge boost. Knowing a win tomorrow will see them just 3 points from top of the league. With this in mind I expect them to really attack the visitors, leaving them open to attacks in defence.
Blackburn haven’t lost a league game since 14th October vs Oldham, so it seems they are very hard to beat, however, their games at home shows they are liable in defence, recent games at Ewood have seem Blackburn concede vs teams such as Plymouth, Fleetwood, Barnet and Bristol Rovers. They do score plenty of goals (42 from 23 games) however, they also concede just under an average of a goal per game.
The Lions stole a point last round from league leaders Wolves. The team fought until the end and was rewarded with a point. They are currently above the real relegation battle but failure in this London Derby may see them closer to the zone. Millwall’s home form is impressive for a lower table team. They have won half of their home games losing just 3 since the start of the season. The team averages 1.75 goals per game at The Den and have scored 7 in their last 3 games.
QPR are unbeaten in their last 3 games showing a bit better play. Still they are poor away from home. The R’s have just a single victory away from home since the start of the season. They have lost half of their visits averaging just 0.67 points per game and just 0.75 goals scored. The team have kept only 1 clean sheet and it was last game against Ipswich.
After four consecutive matches without a victory in both competitions, exclusion in Italian Cup away to Torino and two draws and a defeat in Serie B, players of Carpi bounced back with much better performance last Thursday evening when they pulled out a victory away to Cittadella with narrow 1:0 result.
Only goal was scored back in 13th minute via Verna, as the guests pretty much looked satisfied with the lead from the moment they got it and were sticking to a defensive role till the end of the first halftime. They didn’t care about attack in the second half either, with the hosts being completely superior in comparison to them and missing many good chances at least to level up – as the overall impression remains that the hosts actually deserved that three pointer.
No doubt that Carpi was lucky this time, as they now stand at tenth position having twenty-eight points earned – six more than relegating worried sides, but also just three points less than play-off placed teams.
Home team will miss suspended defending duo Sabbione (17/1) and Poli (19/0), but also injured midfielders Jelincic (12/2) and Giorico (4/0), as well as forwards Yamga (2/0) and Carletti (7/1).
After four matches without a victory and three consecutive defeats, two in Jupiler League and one in Cup, players of Oostende reacted well last Friday evening and managed to fight out 3:1 victory on the road to Waasland-Beveren, in a match where they weren’t given plenty of chances for all three points.
Having in mind that they faced up against fairly strong side, the team played exactly how they should – seeking for their chance mostly via counter attack and being very effective with the ball to their feet. The opened up the scoreline in 15th minute with a goal from Musona, continuing to strike the opponent with ease in second – via Banda in 52nd minute doubling up the lead.
Even though Thelin reduced via penalty kick in 72nd, visitors once again looked very serious and managed to seal the victory once the hosts starting very open play risking a lot and conceding another one, in first minute of additional time via Gano. Oostende is now six points above rock bottom placed Eupen being at thirteenth position, but also seven points behind play-off placed St Truiden.
Home team will miss right midfielder Capon (16/4) due injury, but also defender Rozenhal (3/0) who is out with personal reasons. Long term absentee remains forward Rajsel who anyway didn’t play so far.
Hibernian suffered quite heavy defeat last time out previous Saturday when the team visited Aberdeen in a game that should have quite a balanced one, but their hosts proved to be simply way more effective side in comparison to the guests who had more of the ball possession, but real creativity was lacking that time.
Their hosts entered the match in a best possible way, scoring three goals in the first halftime, via Shinnie in 11th minute and Mackay-Steven in 36th and 45th minute. Visitors weren’t that defensive, but it wasn’t their best day in attacking manner, as Mackay-Steven scored third goal in 62nd, with Hibs only reducing the deficit in 89th minute with a goal from Stokes in overall deserved defeat.
It was third consecutive game without victory and second consecutive loss, as the side now stands at fourth position with six points less than third placed Rangers and seven more than seventh and out of play-off placed side Motherwell.
Hosts might have fully available squad to choose from since defenders David Gray (7/1) and Steven Whittaker (15/1) remain doubtful but with chances to recover.
Kick Off: 13.00 CET , 23/12/2017
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid have 11 points to make up on Barcelona in LaLiga this season but they can start to chip away at that gap by winning El Clasico at the Bernabeu on Saturday. The Whites did the double over their arch rivals when prevailing in both legs of the Spanish Super Cup in August and we reckon they are ready to confirm that superiority.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were on a different level when lifting that trophy 5-1 on aggregate and get a confident vote at 21/20 to oblige again in our Real Madrid vs Barcelona betting predictions.
Real Madrid have had to endure several sticky moments this season, but Zidane never stopped backing his players and they may just emerge even stronger for the experience.
Arsenal and Liverpool are opening long awaited Christmas season on Emirates this friday.
Arsenal is not so efficient, but they are playing really good. Their midfield looks compact, and they are solid at the back. Their only weakness is their unefficient attack, as they have scored only 31 goals so far this season. Best example of this is the game against Manchester United, where they have been dominating United on all sides, but could not score.
Liverpool is like the opposite of Arsenal. They have an amazing attack, with Mane and Salah leading the whole squad, while their midfield is a bit sketchy, as Henderson is not so good and Oxlade has showed as a bad investment. Their defense is also exposed from time to time, but they are playing very offensively as they are trying to maintain control of the game from the start.
This will be an open game. Both teams will try to attack as much as possible, but Arsenal will mostly dominate on the ball, while Liverpool will most probably play on counters – which is one of their main weapons.
This is Holland Cup KNVB Beker. For today I will take this (in my opinion) easy. Roda playing against Tweede Divisie side (division after Ere and Eerste in Netherlands Holland) that are expected to get trashed with a lot of goals from Roda. Hosts are VVSB aka Voetbal Vereniging Sint Bavo from city of Noordwijkerhout in Holland. In last 6 games that Voetbal hosted in front of home fans, they have conceded 2 goals every time from Tweede Divisie teams (six times in a row at home), now they must face Roda that are from Eredivisie and first division team so it’s surely possible that Roda here scores 3 goal by themselves, if those Tweede Divisie teams managed to score 2 goals every time in last 6 games that Voetbal hosted at Noordwijkerhout. Roda also showed no mercy in KNVB Beker Cup so far in 2017, they already met a team from lower division in Capelle (that are from Derde Divisie) in 9th month this year, trashing them 0:5 away from home. After that in KNVB Beker, Roda played one more game against Groningen in 10th month and won 3:1. So Roda scored 8 goals in 2 cup games of this season and showed no mercy against Capelle, I expect Roda to play with same dedication against VVSB today because these are 8th Finals and Roda wants to go through and win comfortably.
It’s the last game of 2017 for these two teams and their respective seasons are in stark contrast. In fact it’s also the last game in charge for interim Las Palmas manager Paquito Ortiz. But we’ll get to that in a minute
Getafe were second bottom of Segunda and in all sorts of trouble when they appointed José Bordalás as manager last September. The transformation has been miraculous as the Azulones burst into La Liga after winning promotion through the play-offs. This isn’t new ground for Bordalás though, he achieved promotion as champions with Alavés in 2015-16, his reward was to be replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino. Harsh.
Unlike Alavés, Getafe have stuck by their man and it’s reaping dividends so far. Getafe sit in relative mid-table comfort, 8 points above the relegation zone and only 4 points distant from a European spot.
Las Palmas on the other hand are having an absolute catastrophe of a season. It’s so bad, convoluted and crazy that it’s quite tricky to surmise. Here goes.
Las Palmas parted ways with Quique Setién in June. They agreed a contract with Roberto de Zerbi to take over but couldn’t officially appoint him as he was stuck in a legal wrangle with Palermo. No problem, just wait until the lawyers sort it out. But then De Zerbi only went and lost his case.
Leicester City vs Manchester City in EFL Carabao Cup.
Both teams have played so many games in recent weeks and both will rest a lot of their main players in order to focus on the league.
However, Leicester City’s defense is going to be in a serious problem against City. With Morgan & Maguire they struggle to keep clean sheet almost in every game under Puel (except against Burnley) and conceded 3 goals against Crystal Palace, Huth (3rd choice) is injured & Dragovic is their 4th choice will replace Morgan. They couldn’t handle the pace & power of Benteke, Townsend & Zaha.
So what how they can keep clean sheet against Manchester City attackers who are likely going to play such as Jesus, Bernardo Silva, & Sane. Even their backup midfield Gundogan & Yaya are still too superior for Leicester City midfield either their 1st team or 2nd team? However, City had Kompany & Stones injured and Pep is likely going to rest Otamendi for PL match. That will leave Adarabioyo & Mangala as two pair of centre back which is a potential goals against City defense as well.