Weekend Preview – 18/11/16

Highlights

Spanish Primera Division
Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid (Saturday 7.45pm)
The first Madrid Derby of the season sees stuttering Atletico hosting Real, with the hosts having hit a rough patch and losing two of their last three. Our Analyst Fair Score believed that they were worthy of a point at Sevilla, but we had no arguments with the 2-0 loss to Sociedad last time out, which makes the fact that you can back Real at 0.25 on the Asian Handicap look enticing. The visitors are still unbeaten this season and have taken 13 points from the last 15, although Fair Score believes they should have a perfect record during that time.

Atletico have been excellent at home, but Griezmann remains a slight doubt, while the away side are now just without Casemiro and Kroos. Ramos and Benzema are back and expected to start, while Modric has achieved full match fitness to enhance the midfield. It’s tough to take a view on the 2.5 Total Goals line in circumstances such as these, though we are completely ignoring the 4.3 per game average between the two sides in the campaign to date. Both have crucial Champions League games on the horizon, but they should concern much for a game of this magnitude.

German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday 5.30pm)
Another huge clash on the continent sees the German giants meeting in Dortmund, with Bayern currently holding a six point advantage over their big rivals. The home side have no first teamers missing and should edge the motivation, while Ancelotti has Ribery back to full fitness and only Coman on the unavailable list. Team news should not dictate too much here, with primary focus coming down on each teams’ tactical and psychological approach.

Dortmund’s form isn’t great with just six points taken from the last five games, though Bayern haven’t been imperious either with nine in the same time. Both have been hard done by according to Fair Score, however, while both also have winnable UCL clashes on the horizon as well. Overall there is very little to split them aside from form, which makes the home team tempting on a 0.25 handicap in a fixture of this size. 2.5 goals looks low but surprisingly seven of the last ten meetings have ended up Under this mark, which is enough for us to steer clear.

English Premier League
Manchester United vs. Arsenal (Saturday 12.30pm)
One of the most famous clashes of the Premier League era returns, though the gloss has been taken off this fixture recently. For this particular meeting the market has set the handicap at DNB, which almost looks fair until you see the respective form and team news. Mourinho is without Ibrahimovic in addition to Bailly and Smalling, which makes his team look weak. On the other side Wenger is without Bellerin, a big loss on ability and when considering he has completed 47 of the last 49 league matches.

United are undoubtedly under more pressure here and while Arsenal were unconvincing in the 1-1 draw with Spurs they look like a good pick to at least match the handicap. However, Mourinho has had a couple of weeks to prepare, which is always dangerous, while the visitors also have a more pressing upcoming European assignment to be distracted by as well.

Italian Serie A
Milan vs. Internazionale (Sunday 7.45pm)
The fourth highlight of a barnstorming weekend of club football comes from Italy, where a rekindled Milan host the struggling Inter led by a brand new manager in Pioli. At first sight the DNB line is jarring given the recent trajectories of the two clubs, though the fact that Milan look set to be without lynchpin Romagnoli and Inter are at full strength could be playing a part in the price action.

Still, Milan have surprised so far and their form remains very good, while Inter got an expectedly comfortable win over Crotone a week after De Boer’s sacking. They have been consistently very poor on the road, and even though this game is technically in their home stadium we’re still backing the hosts DNB.

Turkish Super Lig
Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray (Sunday 5pm)
Turkey is our final stop on “derby weekend”, with old rivals Fenerbahce and Galatasaray meeting as the visitors seek a first win at this venue in 17 years. Their atrocious record goes a long way to explaining the -0.75 line, which looks very punchy at first sight, because team news would dictate that Gala are value off that mark. The visitors are full strength but have the weaker recent form, with Fener starting to turn a corner after a slow start and deservedly unbeaten in their last five league games. This is probably just one to sit back and enjoy.

Ones to Watch

English Premier League
Southampton vs. Liverpool (Saturday 3pm)
Long is the only key absentee for Southampton, while Liverpool are almost certainly without Lallana and Coutinho has emerged as a doubt. The price is reflecting the news and Liverpool -0.25 looks attractive, but it may be best left alone.

German Bundesliga 1
Bayer Leverkusen vs. RB Leipzig (Friday 7.30pm)
Leipzig continue to confound expectations and remain unbeaten, but this is a rare occasion where they find themselves as underdogs. Leverkusen have a number of starters returning from injury and look strong, though the over 2.5 looks like the trade.

English Championship
Leeds United vs. Newcastle United (Sunday 1.15pm)
This is the first meeting of the two Northern powerhouses since 2004 and Elland Road is sold out for the first time since 2011. The form of both is great, but at just -0.25 Newcastle seem to offer good value.

German Bundesliga 2
Union Berlin vs. Stuttgart (Sunday 12.30pm)
Ahead of the season we predicted that Stuttgart would finish second with Union Berlin in third, which still looks a fair trade. The visitors are in much the better form and look a good back at DNB in the circumstances.

Austrian Bundesliga
Salzburg vs. Rapid Wien (Sunday 3.30pm)
Salzburg have started slowly despite being heavy favourites for the title, with Rapid weakened over the summer due to transfer business. The visitors have a new manager and the hosts have very bad team news, which makes +1 look attractive.

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