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Cagliari v Napoli

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 12:30:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:19:37)

You know Cagliari. Quite a force in their home games with 5-1-1 this far, but they rarely pose much of a threat in their away fixtures. Down to ten men they were only minutes from winning at Pescara at the weekend, but the home side found a deserved late equaliser. Di Gennaro will miss this match due to a suspension and Tachtsidis will probably cover for him. Padoin could start in their midfield this time.

Fantastic result for Napoli in an all important game in midweek. They won 2-1 away to Benfica and they won their Champions League group. Sign of character is an overused term in football, but Napoli demonstrated just that at Benfica. They have not lost away from home in Europe, but In Serie A they are 3-2-2 away from home. Zielinski, Jorginho and Gabbiadini look set to play from the start in this game.

Away win, I guess, but I will not bet on it.

-Chris


Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion

FBENG Premier League > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 13:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:02:30)

Remarkable efficiency from Chelsea against Man City and they won the match 3-1. Their win looked far fetched at half time, but after the glaring De Bruyne miss Chelsea came alive and scored three unanswered goals. C Fabregas did a good job replacing Matic. Pedro and D Costa suffered injuries and together with Matic they are doubtful starters.What I think? We will probably see two of them on Sunday.

WBA are now sixth in the league table after 3-1-0 in their last four league games. Their fixture list has been kind to WBA, but they have of course also played some decent football. Pulis’ WBA are true dead ball specialists and they are like hungry animals when it is time for corner kicks and free kicks.

They should not be underestimated, but OK, I trust Chelsea to win this match.

-Chris


Atalanta v Udinese

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 15:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:21:29)

So Atalanta had no real chance against Juventus. No big deal and in no way did they shame themselves. Gagliardini will be back in their midfield for this match and in general there is no real need for coach Gasperini to change anything ahead of this match.

With one man more on the pitch for an half hour or so, Udinese came up with a 93rd minute at home to Bologna. Udinese pushed and pushed in the second half and Bologna were 100% happy holding on to the 0-0 situation. Coach Del Neri can pick his side from an unchanged squad. Badu and Matos are waiting for their chance to play from the start, but I expect De Paul, Zapata and Thereau to go on in their front line.

Likely home win.

-Chris


Bologna v Empoli

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 15:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:24:00)

Time for a positive result for Bologna, at least time for a Bologna goal. They are facing the right opponent and maybe that is what Bologna need, facing a team worse than Bologna. Pulgar will be suspended for this match, but the home side will be able to recall their defender Gastaldello for this match. Viviani will come in for Pulgar and one of Di Francesco or Mounier will play in their three man attacking line.

Empoli? They will probably play for the 0-0 draw after their many recently conceded goals. I do not trust Bologna, not at all, but this is the kind of game that they will be totally focused on. A team like Bologna have to single out certain games as must win games and this is one of them.

Laurini and Cosic could return to the Empoli defence and Saponara will back up their front men, probably Marilungo and Maccarone.

Empoli have more or less only played one strong game this season and it was away to Pescara (4-0). Maccarone came alive in that game, but it obviously became too much for him.

Likely home win.

-Chris


Palermo v Chievo

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 15:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:26:14)

Corini’s Palermo were definitely better organised than De Zerbi’s team and they were unfortunate going down to a very late Fiorentina goal at the weekend. Their three previously suspended players will return for this match and Palermo will be stronger this time, at least on paper. Diamanti is sure to start this time.

Birsa missed a penalty, Chievo hit the wood work at home to Genoa (0-0), but I guess it was always going to be a close, tight affair. A game I could have lived without seeing, if you get the picture. Cacciatore will be suspended also this week. Frey will start and probably Hetemaj as well. Coach Maran has all his strikers ready and raring to go.

Palermo are 0-0-7 in their home games, but maybe the Corini nomination will lead to their first home point(s).

-Chris


Torino v Juventus

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 15:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:28:53)

It will not get any better than this, for Torino and their fans at least. The Turin derby, these days is not the biggest event of the season for the Juventus, but for Torino, it is.

Although Torino lost to Sampdoria at the weekend I suggest they will face this derby in a very positive mood. They have won a lot of games this season and they are unbeaten in their home games (5-2-0). Vives will probably not be fit to play, Acquah could be in contention, but Torino will probably be unchanged for the derby.

Missing their defensive players Bonucci, Barzagli and Dani Alves Juventus have defeated Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb this last week. They were also without Lichtsteiner against Dinamo and both Chiellini and Khedira were kept on the bench. Dybala made his come back late in the second half.

Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Khedira and Alex Sandro will all return for this match.

Yes, Juventus will also face this derby in a positive mood.

X2 game.

-Chris


Manchester Utd v Tottenham

FBENG Premier League > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 15:15:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:04:16)

I do not like sad faced managers and the gloomiest of them all in the Premiership these days is Mourinho. He has not all of a sudden become a poor manager, but some of his decisions have been poor lately. Why offer Everton the match on a plate in the second half? United were the better side, Everton lost a couple of key players, but it was Everton that were allowed to dominate the last half hour of the game.

United won 2-0 away to Zorya last night. They did their job on a difficult pitch. Their excellent defender E Bailly made his come back.

Tottenham overcame a poor Swansea side with ease and they won the match 5-0. On course again? I think so. T Aldeireweld was back in midweek when Tottenham at last won a Wembley fixture, 3-1 vs CSKA Moscow.

This will turn out to be a true battle, at least I think so. Tottenham will be the fresher side and I am leaning towards the away win.

-Chris


Southampton v Middlesbrough

FBENG Premier League > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 15:15:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:06:49)

You always have to pay if you are playing too many games and after their cup win against Arsenal, Southampton were beaten 0-3 by Crystal Palace at the Selhurst Park. It is true that they fielded a much changed side against Arsenal, but as club it is difficult to succeed twice a week on a regular basis.

Last night Southampton played a must win game in Europe against Hapoel. D Tadic was back, starting on the bench and Southampton fielded a very strong side but went out of the Europa League after drawing 1-1.

Middlesbrough are not scoring many goals Middlesbrough and I suggest that their 1-0 win at home to Hull was a typical Middlesbrough result. They were clearly the better side, but they needed an individual effort from their best player, G Ramirez to win the match. A Traore was kept on the bench for the whole of the game. Why, I do not know.

It will be tough for Southampton to break down this stubborn Boro side and I will stay away from this poor odds on the home win.

-Chris


Liverpool v West Ham

FBENG Premier League > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 17:30:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:08:22)

3-1 up against Bournemouth, Liverpool ended up losing the match 3-4. Coach Klopp kept a brave face, but it was a shocking result for a dominant Liverpool side. They also lost S Mane to an injury, but they say he could return for this game. A Lallana was back to play and J Matip should be back for this match.

Andy Carroll made his long awaited come back for the Hammers against Arsenal and it was the only positive piece of news for West Ham in that match. Although Andy Carroll scored West Ham lost the game 1-5 and coach Bilic is living on borrowed time.

It looks like Antonio, R Cresswell and Sakho will be missing again, but J Collins and Kouyate will be fit to play.

Home winner.

-Chris


Inter Milan v Genoa

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 20:45:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:30:49)

You almost get sick of watching Inter. I had expected them to play a safe game to start with away to Napoli, but the Inter defence obviously had other plans and not before long Napoli were 2-0 up and eventually Inter lost the match 0-3. What can I say. They just cannot be trusted and it has been like that for ages. E Banega, G Medel and Ansaldi will miss this game. J Mario, Murillo and Nagatomo are likely starting players.

Genoa did not have a lot to offer offensively against Chievo and I felt sorry for their front man Simeone. There was not a lot he could do as he was starved of any kind of service. Mission accomplished for Genoa, they had their 0-0 draw.

Ocampos is an alternative to Pandev upfront and Fiamozzi and Gentiletti will start again should not Munoz and Laxalt recover for this match. Orban is suspended again.

Likely home win.

-Chris


Betis v Athletic Bilbao

FBSPA Primera División > Regular Season-16

2016-12-11 20:45:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:39:35)

I have to be involved in this match. Big price on the home win and the Betis home fixtures can be quite entertaining. After a couple of straight home wins they drew 3-3 against Celta Vigo in their last home game. That is what I call a typical Betis home game They will be able to call on Piccini again, but they lose their midfielder Petros to a suspension.

A Bilbao visited Vienna last night for a game in Europe (1-1)and coach Valverde expectedly picked a mixed side. Certain to return for this match are Raul Garcia, Benat, Balenziaga, Laporte, San Jose, Boveda, Iturraspe and hopefully also Aduriz, who has some kind of problem today, Thursday. De Marcos is their injury casualty.

Over game, both to score and Betis the winner.

-Chris


Fiorentina v Sassuolo

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-12 19:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:33:07)

Still unbeaten in their home games, Fiorentina with 3-4-0 this far. Their goals at home says it all (6-3). They rarely impress and I lack the true enthusiasm when Fiorentina are playing these days. They will have their chief in defence Gonzalo Rodriguez back for this match, but they lose his colleague Tomovic to a suspension.

Sassuolo will use a 4-3-3 formation again and one of Matri or Ragusa will be one of their front runners. Gazzola and Antei could play from the start in their defence.

Both teams played in Europe on Thursday night, Fiorentina won 2-1 away to Qarabag and the Sassuolo game was eventually postponed and it will take place on Friday.

Advantage Fiorentina.

-Chris


AS Roma v AC Milan

FBITA Serie A > Regular Season-16

2016-12-12 21:00:00 (This report was created at 2016-12-09 11:34:24)

K Strootman will miss this match due to a suspension, but Roma will be able to play with fit again El Shaarawy in this game. On their injury list remain Salah, Paredes and Florenzi.

No Kucka for Milan with Pasalic playing from the start instead and Bonaventura has a reasonably decent of being fit in time for this big game. If not Sosa will cover for him. Lapadula from the start upfront with fit again C Bacca on the bench.

Roma are 7-0-0 at the Olympic Stadium. Here comes home win number eight.

-Chris