‘Overs’ for Bayern, Manchester City

It would make for a great story were the Bundesliga’s newcomers and bottom side to go to the home of the mighty champions and end an unbeaten run that all others including Dortmund couldn’t stop, after all stranger things have happened.

Premier League
Cardiff City vs. Arsenal
The dramatic draw with Man United last weekend added to their growing reputation as a tough home team, and in front of a positively mad crowd they play with British-type old school passion and commitment, complimented with decent technical football. But if United could keep the ball better they would have kept their lead, which Arsenal can and will. Away win

Chelsea vs. Southampton
Like Cardiff, Southampton have had two very tough matches back-to-back against traditional giants of the Premiership. Unlike Cardiff though, Southampton have had to play both of theirs away in London. And a far as disadvantages go, the south coast outfit faces a team freshly given another wake-up call (by Basel in midweek), and so the timing is not right for the visitors. Home win

Man City vs. Swanse
Playing every Thursday and Sunday has not been kind on Swansea, their squad being the thinnest of all English football’s representatives in Europe (Birmingham doesn’t count). Under those circumstances, the Etihad slaughterhouse is the worst place to go, and it doesn’t help that Swansea’s style suits City’s games perfectly. It won’t be six, but will still make for an ‘Over’.

Hull vs. Liverpool
Hull are making a hard chore of scoring, and yet Liverpool have been making an easy job of it. The return of Felipe Coutinho has added to the creativity of an already very potent team, one which gets plenty of rest these days without the travails of Europe. They defend doggedly, but it is hard to see Hull fending off Liverpool unless they score first. Away win

Spurs vs. Man United
Andre Villas-Boas is under siege, the English media working up a storm with all their customary gusto. The Portuguese manager is not particularly good at handling this kind of thing, and so he has to send his troops out there to do the talking for him with wins. Spurs have a superior midfield to United’s, and after struggling to score, when better to start than with a team against which they have always got goals, if not necessarily wins. Draw

Serie A
Juventus vs. Udinese
Fernando Llorente has finally come good and the ‘big-and-small’ partnership between him and Carlos Tevez is gradually growing. Behind them is the best midfield in Italy with Serie A opponents finding it hard to contend with Pirlo, Vidal and Pogba. Udinese is one the few that can on a good day, but in Turin those don’t come too often. Home win

Atlanta vs. Roma
With three straight draws the wheels seem to be coming off the previously speeding Roma, and they have since surrendered the table leadership to Juventus. All of a sudden a previously free-scoring side can’t find the back of the net. But they remain unbeaten and mean at the back, having conceded only 3 goals all season. They score, they win. I fancy them to stop the slide. Away win

Bundesliga
Bayern vs. Hannover
It would make for a great story were the Bundesliga’s newcomers and bottom side to go to the home of the mighty champions and end an unbeaten run that all others including Dortmund couldn’t stop, after all stranger things have happened. Braunschweig will most likely park the bus in a damage limitation exercise and try to defy the odds, while hoping for complacency or a rare off day. Too much to ask. ‘Over’

Mainz vs. Dortmund
After a poor run, Dortmund must be relieved following their victory over Napoli in midweek. The performances have not been as a bad as the results however, and a slight twist here and there would have seen them beat Arsenal and Bayern for example. Mainz probably know that, but if they don’t they are bound to find out the hard way. Away win

Ligue 1
Monaco vs. Rennes
In the comforts of the principality the little technicians of Monaco are hard to contain. Claudio Ranieri has done a great job of staying in touch with PSG, and will be hoping that Lyon can help that cause this weekend. But first things first. Home win

PSG vs. Lyon
They are having an indifferent season are Lyon. But if - based on the ability and experience of individuals - there is a collection which can match PSG on the day in France it is this Lyon. Executing as a group is another matter of course. ‘Over’

La Liga
Villarreal vs. Madrid
From a Madrid point of view, it is a good thing that the first two games they’ve had to play without Cristiano Ronaldo have been at the Bernabeu, or they might have suffered the pains of adjustment. As it was against Galatasaray in midweek, Bale, Di Maria, Isco and the rest should be men unshackled. Home win

Bilbao vs. Barcelona
Barca had not looked so unsure without Messi until Tuesday night in Amsterdam. The great man’s absence was felt alright, as was that of the first choice full backs whose importance to Barca’s attacking style cannot be underestimated. They are still very potent though, but so too Blibao this term. ‘Over’

Villarreal vs. Malaga:
Home win

Elche vs Atletico Madrid
Away win

Valencia vs Osasuna:
Home win

Scotland
Motherwell vs Celtic:
‘Over’

Netherlands
Roda vs. Twente: ‘Over’

NAC Breda VS. Groningen:
‘Over’

ADO Den Haag vs Ajax:
Away win

Feyenoord vs PSV:
‘Over’

Vitesse vs. Leeuwarden:
‘Over’

Portugal
Braga vs. Olhanense:
Home win

Academica Coimbra vs. Porto:
Away win

Sporting vs Pacos: ‘Over’

Rio Ave vs. Benfica: Away win

Russia
Spartak Moscow vs Volga: Home win

Terek Grozny vs. Zenit: Away win

Turkey
Fenerbahce vs. Besiktas:
‘Over’

Kasimpasa vs. Galatasaray:
Away win

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