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Stalemate in London derby

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Stalemate in London derby

Arsenal’s Mesut Özil will have to up his game against Chelsea on Monday. AFP Photo. 

By Mark Ssali

Posted  Friday, December 20  2013 at  00:00
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Liverpool vs Cardiff
As if they needed any extra incentive or motivation, Liverpool have every reason to want to win a game which will put them top of the table before the big fixture of this round. Cardiff are not half as dangerous on the road as they can be in Wales, and are set to discover that the goals and limelight might be his, but Luis Suarez has a supporting cast in form and in the mood. Home win

Fulham vs Man City
Poor Fulham. You have got to feel for them. After beating Aston Villa at Craven Cottage a fortnight ago, they would have hoped for a run of results to get them out their relegation quagmire, but the fixture list has not been kind. Everton was a no-go last weekend, and Man City even more so this one. ‘Over’

Man United vs West Ham
Sam Allardyce is under immense pressure and, in Martin Jol style, he is speaking openly about an axe hovering over his head. That makes his team dangerous, and after their midweek Cup heroics, his veterans as well as youngsters like United ‘reject’ Ravel Morirson will be up for it. United wont find it as easy as Aston Villa, but they will scrape through. Home win

Southampton vs Tottenham
The mood in the Spurs camp has been further dampened by the Capital One exit, but the players who are given a chance will be grateful and eager, as was Adebayor against West Ham. As has been the case with Fulham and Sunderland, the performances under a new manager are bound to improve. But results have not gone Southampton’s way and they too are desperate. Draw

Arsenal vs Chelsea
In Jose Mourinho’s first tenure, this one would have been an easy call. If Chelsea needed to beat Arsenal (or any other for that matter, but most especially the Gunners) to go top and take charge of the title race, they would. Mourinho’s second term doesn’t quite inspire that the same confidence. They both look like scoring and conceding. Draw

French Ligue 1
Monaco vs Valenciennes
Sandwiched between the two on the table, Monaco have the advantage of playing before title rivals PSG and Lille face-off this weekend. If Monaco win tonight, they go top and then sit back and watch the other two go at each other’s necks on Sunday, and there can be no better enticement for victory than that. Home win

PSG vs Lille
Lille have only conceded six goals all season, but unfortunately for them most of those goals have come in the most recent matches after they went for a long stretch without letting any in. But even if they had still been on that run, it would have been worth betting on the PSG attack to be the one to breach them. Brace for the onslaught Vincent Enyeama. Home win

Spanish La Liga
Getafe vs Barcelona
They are coming into good form after an indifferent spell are Barcelona, and thankfully for them Neymar has stepped up to the plate because they are not getting too many goals from elsewhere at the moment. It is more important for them to play well however, because then the goals can come from anywhere. And they are playing well … Away win

Valencia vs Real Madrid
The red card Sergio Ramos received at Osasuna has been rescinded, so that puts into perspective the result Real Madrid got over there. With eleven on the pitch Valencia will find them hard to stop, but at the Mestella they too are no pushovers. ‘Over’

Atletico Madrid vs Levante
Home win

Villarreal vs Sevilla
‘Over’

Bilbao vs Vallecano
Home win

Espanyol vs Valladolid
Home win

Serie A
Atalanta vs Juventus
Old brooms know all the corners, and the Old Lady knows her way around the Serie A. With disappointing Europe taking a back seat, Juventus return to the comforts of a competition they usually find better fortunes in, and Atalanta is just one of many victims on their way to yet another Scudetto. Away win

Cagliari vs Napoli
Napoli will not let Juve ride easy to the title however, and have dreams of their own reliving the glory days of Diego Maradona. In Rafa Benitez they have a manager who is no stranger to title challenges with the underdog (remember Valencia and Liverpool), and he will push to the very end. Away win

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