Soccer

Manchester City to defeat Arsenal

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By Mark Ssali

Posted  Friday, December 13  2013 at  10:52

In Summary

Chelsea have the quality but not the confidence, Liverpool have the confidence but not overall quality, while Everton and Man United have already been beaten at the Etihad.

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Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Having conceded six goals in their last two league games, Chelsea’s natural reaction has been to shut up shop as indeed they did against Steaua in winning 1-0 in midweek. But Jose Mourinho has also publicly criticized his strikers for not scoring enough, and so they too have to respond as indeed Demba Ba did against the same Steaua. Crystal Palace could contribute too to this ‘Over’.

Manchester City vs Arsenal
Currently, Arsenal are the only team in the Premiership with both the confidence and overall quality to end Man City’s winning streak at home. Chelsea have the quality but not the confidence, Liverpool have the confidence but not overall quality, while Everton and Man United have already been beaten at the Etihad. The Gunners will put up a better show, but are likely to suffer a similar fate. Home win

Aston Villa vs Man United
United had started looking good when Rooney and Van Persie played together, the two exchanging assists in the rout of Fulham and then one crossing for the other as they combined for the winner against Arsenal. Then injury and suspension broke the partnership and United have not won in the league since. Looks like they are back together for this one. Away win

Tottenham vs Liverpool
They couldn’t score from open play until recently, but now the goals have started to trickle in for Spurs. They are not yet flooding in however, and Thursday nights remain a distraction. On Liverpool’s side, you wouldn’t tell seeing him on song against Norwich and West Ham, but against the organisation of Hull Luis Suarez missed Daniel Sturridge. He will again. Draw

SCOTLAND

Celtic vs Hibernian
It is never pretty when you get the kind of hiding Celtic got from Barcelona, but it helps if you can always go home and take it out on someone else. ‘Over’

SERIE A
Juventus vs Sassuolo
The Serie A is traditionally not a league for goals galore, and Juventus don’t usually go on scoring sprees despite the amount of firepower and overall quality they have possessed in their ranks over the years. But their Champions League exit must have hurt, and a backlash is on the cards. ‘Over’

Napoli vs Inter
Here is Champions League ejection even more painful considering the number of points Napoli accumulated in the group of death. They got into the Champions League thanks to the coaching of Walter Mazzari, but now under Rafa Benitez the team from Naples will not be rolling out the red carpet for the man who left them for Inter. Home win

AC Milan vs Roma
As far as football twists go, the least likely of the Serie A teams (on form) is the one that survived the Champions League axe (perhaps thanks to their superior European pedigree). Their inconsistency is such that it is hard to call this one, but there should be goals from either side. ‘Over’

BUNDESLIGA

Bayern vs Hamburg
Because of the scoring form of Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze as well as Frank Ribery, and because Mario Mandzukic will always be a goal threat (starter or substitute), it is hard to see a Bundesliga game involving Bayern not amassing three goals or more, even when the other side don’t score. Yet Hamburg have the ability to. ‘Over’

Hoffenhiem vs Dortmund
The Bundesliga’s most gang-ho team, Hoffenheim score many and let in many. And that is when they are not playing against a team which has as many potent weapons as Dortmund, one which has struggled with injuries and form recently but is beginning to recover on both fronts. ‘Over’

Bayer Leverkusen vs Frankfurt
The third of the four Bundesliga sides to make it through to the Champions League knock out rounds this week, Leverkusen have been in the mood this season. The goals are mainly coming from a big German and an elusive South Korean, but many more within the ranks can find the net. Home win

SPANISH LA LIGA
Osasuna vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s other stars seemed to be unshackled by the absence of their superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, but now he is back and as hungry as always. He finds Bale, Benzema, Di Maria, Isco and co in the mood, and together they will be irresistible. Away win

Barcelona vs Villarreal
Celtic was a welcome change in the tide after a listless Barca had lost to Ajax and Bilbao in the games before, appearing to miss Leo Messi so desperately. Against the Scottish side Neymar finally took centre stage, but for the visit of the much better Villarreal to the Camp Nou they will need more than the Brazilian to get it done. Home win

Malaga vs Getafe
Draw

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