Saturday December 30 2017

Race for top four places on

Man on a mission. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester

Man on a mission. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will aim to win a 19th straight victory against Crystal Palace. PHOTO BY AFP 

By Allan Ssekamatte

PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool3-1 Leicester City.
Few teams across Europe reach Liverpool’s heights when they are in their element. Leicester were mighty lucky to pick à point at home to a wasteful Manchester United. Liverpool’s Fabulous Four will propel them home.

Cry Palace 1-1 Man City.
Neutral Premier League lovers have been waiting for a team to challenge Manchester City’s winning run. Ï think that team is Roy Hodgson’s rejuvenated Crystal Palace. Thé Eagles are a fluid, counter attacking outfit - exactly what is needed to stop the City juggernaut.

Man United 2-1 Southampton.
Any remaining pretensions Manchester United had of catching leaders City evaporated with consecutive 2-2 draws against Leicester City and Burnley. But Southampton were abject in losing 2-5 at Wembley.

Newcastle 1-0 Brighton.
Newcastle United lie at the foot of à mini league of newly promoted sides. But Rafa Benitez’s Magpies come into this fixture aware of Brighton’s wretched away form that has seen them lose four matches on thé bounce without scoring. Newcastle United should nick à close contest.

OTHER MATCHES
Bournemouth 1-1 Everton,

Huddersfield 1-1 Burnley,

Watford 2-1 Swansea
West Brom 1-2 Arsenal,

Leicester 2-0 Huddersfield,

Brighton 1-0 Bournemouth
Stoke City 2-1 Newcastle Utd

SERIE A

Fiorentina 2-1 Milan.
So much is intrinsically wrong with AC Milan. The anticipated upturn in fortunes following Gennaro Gattuso’s ascendancy to the helm is yet to come to fruition. Gattuso is a San Siro legend, but he must learn the coaching trade quickly if he’s to avoid facing the fate of Vincenzo Montella.

Inter Milan 2-2 Lazio.
Coach Luciano Spaletti has Inter Milan playing extravagant attacking football but they’ve lost two games in the bounce to hand the title initiative to Napoli and Juventus. I think Lazio are good for a share of spoils in a goals filled thriller.

Crotone 1-3 Napoli.
Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli showed title winning character in coming from a goal down, with a red card, to beat Sampdoria 3-2 last weekend. Crotone stand no chance now that the lethal front four of Marek Hamsik, Dries Martens, Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne is back in groove.

Hellas Verona 0-3 Juventus.
Maxmilliano Allegri’s Juventus surged back into contention for their seventh straight Scudetto by brushing aside a decent Bologna side last time out. Hellas Verona play an open game, which bodes well for Paulo Dybala who is struggling to replicate his early season form.

OTHER MATCHES
Atlanta 2-0 Cagliari
Benevento 1-1 Chievo
Bologna 1-1 Udinese
Roma 2-0 Sassuolo
Sampdoria 2-1 SPAL
Torino 2-1 Genoa

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