Weekend Preview – 25/11/16

Highlights

English Premier League
Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday 5.30pm)
Chelsea have a fully fit squad for the visit of bitter rivals Tottenham this Saturday, with the home side looking to extend their incredible streak of six successive wins and six successive clean sheets in the league off a handicap of -0.75. The visitors were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday night with a 2-1 loss in Monaco, while they are still without Alderweireld and Lamela, plus Rose is suspended. The fact that Conte’s men did not have a midweek game also plays into the home side’s favour, and goes some way to explaining the high looking line.

Tottenham remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League but performances have taken a notable dip recently, with the 3-2 comeback win over West Ham last weekend not at all convincing. Indeed, our Analyst Fair Score believes Pochettino’s men should have drawn all five of their last games, which does at least show how hard to beat they are. We would be more tempted by Tottenham +1, while we think the 2.75 Total Goals line is pitched about right due to both teams’ intent to win and the firepower on the pitch. Ultimately this one looks to be efficiently priced.

Recommendation: N/A

French Ligue 1
Olympique Lyonnais vs. PSG (Sunday 7.45pm)
Lyon have been far from convincing this season but have begun to turn a corner, being unbeaten in five across all competitions and having relatively good team news. They are only without Jallet and Cornet, the latter being missed more than the former, while visitors PSG have similar availability with just Kurzawa and Rabiot still sidelined through injury. Di Maria and Aurier return in a boost, though Lyon have nobody coming back that can make a big difference.

The hosts have had an extra day to recover since their win over Zagreb in the UCL, but PSG were only in London on Wednesday and had an easy trip home. Taking everything into account, especially pure ability, then PSG at -0.5 looks fair enough, but Over 2.75 total goals looks nice due to the attacking power and general offensive intent of both sides. Lyon will believe they can beat their rivals to reduce the gap to them in the table, while PSG always play to win and do not stop attacking in a +1 game state.

Recommendation: Over 2.75

German Bundesliga 1
Bayern Munchen vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday 5.30pm)
These two are not operating anywhere near the top of their respective powers, which means we have a relatively flat and basic market structure ahead of the contest. Bayern being -1.5 is a standard home line for them against middling-to-good opponents like Leverkusen, while a goal mark of 3 is a natural fit for a handicap of that size.

Ultimately there is not much to knock this out of line, with team news for both the hosts and the visitors relatively uninteresting. For Bayern Neuer should return in a boost alongside Alaba, who was rested for the shock midweek defeat to Rostov, while Leverkusen have Wendell returning to play left-back and otherwise have their usual team ready. The away side have had an extra day since their 1-1 draw with CSKA in Moscow and are almost tempting at such a wide mark, but we find more comfort in the goals.

Recommendation: Over 3

Italian Serie A
Internazionale vs. Fiorentina (Monday 8pm)
Inter have become interesting again since the appointment of new coach Pioli, grabbing a 2-2 draw at Milan last time and being unlucky not to win. They may be without holding midfielder Medel here, which weakens them a bit defensively, but they should provide solid opposition to a Fiorentina side who have not lost since an opening day defeat away to Juventus. Both teams had Europa League commitments on Thursday, with Inter losing in Israel and being eliminated from the competition, while Fiorentina lost at home to PAOK from a commanding position at the top of their group. A goal line of 2.5 looks a little low but quite well judged, though we find it hard to accept Fiorentina being +0.5 underdogs in the circumstances.

Recommendation: Fiorentina +0.5 

Dutch Eredivisie
Heerenveen vs. Ajax (Sunday 1.30pm)
The big team news ahead of this one revolves around home captain Schaars, who remains doubtful and would be a big loss to his side if absent again. Ajax look set to be at full strength following midweek rotation in Europe, with this one shaping up to be an exciting contest between two teams who like to attack. Heerenveen tend to be involved in high scoring games (54% of their total this season have been over the natural line), while Ajax always have the offensive power to find the net multiple times and key striker Dolberg is in superb form.

Recommendation: Over 2.5

Ones to Watch

Turkish Super Lig
Besiktas vs. Istanbul Basaksehir (Saturday 4pm)
Basaksehir still lead the league and have deservedly won their last four matches in a row, including a great 1-2 victory away at Galatasaray. This makes a line of -0.75 to second-placed Besiktas look jarring, especially as the hosts are missing two (possibly three) automatic starters and played in midweek.

Recommendation: Istanbul Basaksehir +1

Spanish Primera Division
Real Sociedad vs. Barcelona (Sunday 7.45pm)
Barcelona made light work of Celtic in midweek and are now only without Iniesta, but this looks like a nightmare away fixture for them. Sociedad have deservedly won four in succession, including a 2-0 home victory over Atletico, and have had the hex over Barca for a number of years.

Recommendation: Real Sociedad +1.5

French Ligue 1
Monaco vs. Olympique Marseille (Saturday 4.10pm)
Monaco have really hit their stride of late and this would have been earmarked as a comfortable home victory just last month, but Marseille have new owners and a new coach and team news is improving every week. They will seek to replicate their performance from the 0-0 in PSG.

Recommendation: Under 3

Swiss Super League
Sion vs. Basel (Sunday 3pm)
Sion have been involved in some hugely entertaining games recently, with 26 goals in their last five in the league. Basel have been their usual selves and have already amassed a commanding lead at the top of the table. Both will play to win, so 2.75 looks a touch short.

Recommendation: Over 2.75

English Premier League
Southampton vs. Everton (Sunday 4.30pm)
Koeman returns to St. Mary’s for the first time in a very interesting clash between two even teams who are in strange form. Both should be fighting for top eight places this season, with Southampton better at the back and Everton exciting up front. It looks impossible to split them.

Recommendation: Everton +0.5

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