Saturday December 9 2017

Red Devils need double decker bus to stop City

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku was man of the match as Jose Mourinho's boys humbled Antonio Conte's Chelsea. AFP photo 

By Allan Ssekamatte

PREMIER LEAGUE

Man United 1-1 Man City
Runaway league leaders have had several close shaves on their way to a record equaling 13 successive wins. Even without Paul Pogba’s creative influence, I think Jose Mourinho will come up with a plan to thwart City. I just can’t see the Portuguese gaffer playing the kind of open game which dispatched Arsenal. A proverbial ‘double decker bus’ should propel the Red Devils to a share of spoils.

Liverpool 3-1 Everton
This was England’s biggest fixture in the eighties. It’s a measure of how far Everton have fallen that Liverpool start the Merseyside derby 4-1 odds on favourites to win this tie. Everton are undergoing a mini recovery but they are not yet ready to stop a Liverpool side averaging three goals per game.

OTHER MATCHES
West Ham 1-2 Chelsea
Burnley. 2-1 Watford
Cry Palace 1-1 Bournemouth
Huddersfield 1-1 Brighton
Swansea 0-0 West Brom
Tottenham 2-0 Stoke City
Newcastle 1-2 Leicester City
Southampton 1-2 Arsenal

PRIMERA LIGA

Real Madrid 3-1 Seville
Six months ago, it was unfathomable thatReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane’s job would be under scrutiny so early in the season. A series of uninspiring displays from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo has seen Real Madrid struggle to stay in contention for the La Liga title. But Real Madrid almost always play their A game against Seville.

Villareal 1-3 Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde was mightily relieved to see title rivals Valencia and Real Madrid flounder after his Catalans were held 2-2 by a razor sharp Celta Vigo side last Saturday. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will consider this another opportunity to extend their five point advantage over Valencia.

OTHER MATCHES
Espanyol 2-1 Girona
Alaves 2-1 Las Palmas
Getafe 2-0 Eibar
Deportivo 1-1 Leganes
Valencia 2-1 Celta Vigo
Real Sociedad 3-1 Malaga
Real Betis 0-2 Atl Madrid
Levante 1-1 Atl. Bilbao

BUNDESLIGA

Frankfurt 1-2 Bayern
Allianza Arena supremo is keenly aware that his side lost 2-1 at Gladbach in their last away game. He could thus deploy Javier Martinez to provide extra protection to Matt Hummels and Niclas Sule. Frankfurt are enjoying a good run of form but the Bavarians are equipped to handle them.

Dortmund 3-1 Bremen
Pressure keeps mounting on Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Boaz after a solo victory in the last eight Bundesliga games. At least the performances have been improving in draws with Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen. Bremen will be on the receiving end of Dortmund’s wrath.

OTHER MATCHES
Stuttgart 1-1 Leverkusen
Hamburg 2-2 Wolfsburg
Leipzig 2-0 Mainz
Gladbach 1-1 Schalke
Cologne 2-1 Freiburg
Augsburg 1-1 Hertha Berlin

FRENCH LIGUE ONE

Paris SG 3-0 Lille
Lille are experiencing a mini recovery after a disastrous start to this season left them in the zone. Two consecutive victories have lifted the gloom over France’s nearly team. However, they face wounded buffaloes in Paris Saint Germain, as the title favourites lost at Strasbourg last time out. PSG will coast to victory.

Amiens 1-2 Lyon
Former champions Lyon are inconsistency personified. I watched them put up a most lethargic display on their way to falling 1-2 to Lille in front of their own fans. Just days earlier they had put a decent Saint Etienne side to the sword 5-0. I expect the later version of Lyon to prevail at Amiens.

OTHER MATCHES
Bordeaux 2-1 Strasbourg, Guingamp 2-1 Dijon, Metz 0-0 Nice, Monaco 2-0 Troyes, Toulouse 1-1 Caen, Nantes 1-1 Nice, Marseilles 2-0 St Etienne, Angers 1-1 Montpelier.

SERIE A

Juventus 2-1 Inter
In stopping Napoli 1-0 last Friday, Maxmilliano Allegri’s six time defending champions Juventus played the kind of A++ game that has allowed them to dominate Serie A this decade. The visit of Luciano Spalleti’s league leaders will once again bring the best out of the Old Lady.

OTHER MATCHES
Napoli 2-0 Fiorentina, SPAL 2-1 Hellas Verona, Chievo 0-1 AS Roma, Napoli 2-0 Fiorentina, Udinese 2-0 Benevento, Cagliari 1-1 Sampdoria, AC Milan 2-0 Bologna, Genoa 1-1 Atlanta, Lazio 2-1 Torino.

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