Weekend Preview 17/03/17

Highlights

English Premier League
Manchester City vs. Liverpool (Sunday 4.30pm)
Sky Sports 1
The Premier League is back on song with a huge contest on Sunday afternoon, which has major implications for the top four places. Man City are currently in third and have found some form domestically, while Liverpool have seemingly recovered after a bit of a wobble and are just one point behind them in fourth. Both have significant pressure from below with Arsenal and Manchester United having one game in hand on Guardiola’s men and two on Klopp’s. The major advantage for the visitors comes from their full week to prepare, while City were losing to Monaco in painful circumstances in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Team news favours the hosts, however, with only Gundogan and Jesus missing out again. Liverpool should have Lovren and Firmino back in contention for starts, but captain Henderson remains a huge absence in the middle of the park. Given that it looks so close the biggest surprise is that City are at -0.5 instead of -0.25, while a goal line of 3 also looks a little bit on the punchy side at the moment. Liverpool’s form against the rest of the top six is another factor to consider, so we’ll back them here.

Suggestion: Liverpool +0.5 @ 1.95 

Spanish Primera Division
Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla (Sunday 3.15pm)
Sky Sports 2
Atletico and Sevilla endured very different emotions in their midweek Champions League outings; with Atletico holding Leverkusen 0-0 to ensure safe progression to the quarters while Sevilla succumbed to Leicester in a tetchy contest in England. Indeed, the visitors playing a day earlier than their hosts would have been an advantage were it not for the fact that they had to travel and have emerged from that game with some psychological scars.

Other than that it’s incredibly even on team news, though Atletico have the edge because they have players returning for a boost, rather than just being unchanged. Filipe Luis, Gabi and Gameiro should all start after missing the Leverkusen draw, which improves Simeone’s side in all areas. This could be a very tight and tactical game, but it seems like there is more in favour of the home side, hence them being priced as relatively heavy favourites. We’ll back them to take advantage of Sevilla’s low mood with a narrow win, but we’ll also brave the final score being 1-0 or 2-0 too.

Suggestion: Atletico -0.75 @ 1.88 and Under 2.75 @ 1.83 

French Ligue 1
PSG vs. Olympique Lyonnais (Sunday 8pm)
BT Sport 3
Both of these teams have been firmly put into Monaco’s shadow this season, especially with Jardim’s side having made it into the quarter-final of the Champions League after a thrilling aggregate win over Manchester City. However, this remains one of the biggest fixtures in the Ligue 1 schedule and both teams still have plenty to play for. PSG are three points behind Monaco with nine games left, while Lyon are looking to overturn Nice’s advantage of 13 points to grab third.

Thankfully for a game of this magnitude it seems that both teams are at absolute full strength, though Meunier is a 50/50 doubt for the hosts. As usual it looks to us that the market is overrating PSG in the simple fact that a win of two goals requires them to turn up absolutely motivated and firing, which has not been the case in most league games this season.

Suggestion: Olympique Lyonnais +1.25 @ 1.88

English Championship
Sheffield Wednesday vs. Reading (Friday 7.45pm)
Sky Sports 1
This weekend sees four of the top six in the Championship facing off, with the first contest of Round 38 coming between sixth-placed Wednesday and fifth-placed Reading. Neither are in any sort of form and they both have Fulham breathing down their necks from seventh, while team news is fairly even as well, making this difficult to split on the Asian Handicap. The most significant factor in the contest could actually be Reading’s off-field issues, with Stam threatening to leave in the summer unless prolonged takeover talks finally make some progress. That has proven an unwelcome distraction in terms of their preparation and makes us see some value in backing Wednesday for the win, but there’s more in the game having at least three goals.

Suggestion: Over 2.25 @ 1.90

English Championship
Leeds United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday 5.30pm)
Sky Sports 1
Another pearl from England’s second flight sees fourth host joint-top, with Brighton back on track and Leeds always a dangerous proposition at Elland Road. Like in the previous game there is huge motivation for both sides, but there is more going on here in terms of team news. Leeds are only without the suspended Ayling and have Taylor ready to step in, while Brighton are still without Duffy and Bong to weaken the defence. Bruno has thankfully passed fit for Hughton, ensuring a crisis is averted, which means we see less value on Leeds and can see a tighter game.

Suggestion: Under 2.25 @ 1.86

Ones to Watch

English Premier League
AFC Bournemouth vs. Swansea City (Saturday 5.30pm)
BT Sport 1
This game gives both teams a great chance of putting significant daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, so there’s a lot riding on it. As you might expect, things seem very evenly matched, with team news relatively flat and psychology good for both. It should be an exciting watch.

Suggestion: Over 2.75 @ 1.95

Italian Serie A
Torino vs. Internazionale (Saturday 5pm)
Bet365
Inter are on their best run of the season and Torino have been excellent at home throughout 2016/17, making this an easy pick for a one to watch. The only significant drawback is that it’s not being televised! Still, we’re backing Pioli’s Inter to stay in the hunt for third.

Suggestion: Internazionale -0.25 @ 1.80

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen vs. Hearts (Saturday 12.15pm)
BT Sport 1
These two are sandwiched either side of Rangers, with Aberdeen looking to cement themselves in second and Hearts keen to find a way into the top three. Form and team news favour the hosts side, while they also arguably have a greater motivation than Cathro’s Hearts, who are up and down.

Suggestion: Aberdeen -0.5 @ 1.80

Greek Super League
Panathinaikos vs. Olympiakos (Sunday 5.30pm)
Bet365
We finish off in Greece, with two massive games in the Super League beginning with a vicious derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. Despite being fourth the home side are favourites, largely due to their perfect team news and the insane schedule their big rivals have had in 2017 so far.

Suggestion: Panathinaikos -0.25 @ 1.96 

Greek Super League
PAOK vs. Panionios (Sunday 1pm)
N/A
This is a meeting of the two teams in between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos in the table, meaning it also carries significance. Both are missing a couple of starters but this looks like it should be priced much closer than it currently is, so we see value in backing the underdogs.

Suggestion: Panionios +1 @ 1.90

*Odds accurate at time of writing

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