Share this story

La Liga Tips: Real Madrid will continue winning streak

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

The top six in La Liga meet each other this weekend and Dan Fitch thinks that Real Madrid will come out on top against Real Sociedad, as he previews three intriguing clashes…

“In Real Sociedad’s last three games against top four teams, they have been defeated by Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, albeit narrowly on each occasion.”

Outsiders have recent win over Barca

Sevilla 3.3 v Barcelona 2.32; The Draw 3.7
Saturday 27 February, 15:15
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Fourth placed Sevilla host a Barcelona team in third on Saturday, with both teams now in with a chance of winning the La Liga title.

Not so long ago, it would have seemed that neither club had realistic ambitions beyond finishing in the top four, but Atletico Madrid’s recent poor form has opened the door for the pair and second placed Real Madrid.

Sevilla could find themselves in a stronger position than Barca. Though two points off third, they have played the same amount of games as the leaders Atletico, who they trail by seven points and hold a game in hand on both Barcelona and Real. Since losing to Atletico back in January, Sevilla have won six consecutive league games, keeping clean sheets in each of the last five.

Barcelona are unbeaten in 14 La Liga games (W12 D2), but surprisingly dropped points in a home match against Cadiz last weekend, before bouncing back with a win against Elche in midweek. Considering that Sevilla beat Barcelona 2-0 in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final recently, the odds for the hosts look big and you can back them to avoid defeat in the Double Chance market at 1.74.


Villarreal 3.3 v Atletico Madrid 2.62; The Draw 3.1
Sunday 28 February, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Atletico Madrid badly need a win, but they shouldn’t expect one against Villarreal.


The Yellow Submarine are sixth in La Liga and chasing a place in next season’s Europa League, which is a competition that are currently flourishing in. On Thursday they beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 to go through to the last-16 with a 4-1 aggregate win.

Atletico fared less well in the Champions League in midweek, when they lost 1-0 in their home tie against Chelsea (which was actually held in Bucharest). Diego Simeone reverted to type with his tactics, playing ultra conservatively, which was perhaps a response to the amount of goals his team have been conceding. Whatever the reason, the decision backfired, as Atletico lost their home leg, leaving them with only one victory from their last five games (D2 L2).


Serie A Tips: Title favourites Inter may struggle to back up short price

Spezia forward Riccardo Saponara

Dave Farrar predicts another goal-packed encounter at the Olimpico, while Inter might find it tougher than expected at home to Genoa…

“Roma have won five of their last seven games in all competitions, and they have the opportunity on Sunday night to land a hammer blow to Milan’s fading title hopes”

Spezia impress

Spezia v Parma
Saturday, 14:00
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw that Parma had gone 2-0 up against Udinese last weekend, and even though that cost us our bet, the fact that Udinese fought back late on to secure a draw proved a point about Parma. They are flaky in the extreme.

Spezia have become the kind of team that seem to always play better than their results suggest, and while that can be an unhealthy habit, those recent wins against Sassuolo and Milan suggest that they are closer to finding consistency than they were.


Parma are without a win now in 14 League games, which is an astonishing figure, and their form needs a D’Aversa reversal if they’re to have any chance of surviving.

For a team that has won two out three at home, and beat Milan here last time, 2.52 looks a massive price for a Spezia win, and so that is the best bet of the week.


Another 3-3 thriller?

Roma v Milan
Sunday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

Roma have won five of their last seven games in all competitions, and they have the opportunity on Sunday night to land a hammer blow to Milan’s fading title hopes. Stefano Pioli’s team are badly wounded, and this is starting to feel like a must not lose game.

Lennox Mall

Milan have now won just two of their last eight in all competitions, and the way that the top of the Serie A table is packed, they could be 6th or 7th in a month’s time if they fail to stop the bleeding.

There was always a sense that 2020 was a year of glorious over-performance, and now reality and a thin squad is starting to take its toll.

You have to think very carefully before trusting Roma with your money. This is a team which does gloriously well against the League’s lesser lights, and then fades into insignificance when playing a fellow member of the elite. That’s been the case this season, anyway, with Roma’s defeats coming in Naples, Bergamo, here against Lazio, and then Turin.


There’s been a little more success at home against the bigger teams, with Roma already having drawn 2-2 here against both Juve and Inter, and I expect something similar from this game. This is the team with the best home record in Serie A up against the team who are most effective away from home, and they look very evenly matched.

I came very close to tipping Roma at 2.4, but they’ve let me down once too often this season, and so I’ll reflect on those previous games here against their fellow big hitter, and the 3-3 draw in the reverse, and tip Over 3.5 Goals in this one at a generous looking 2.6.


Genoa tough for Inter

Inter v Genoa
Sunday, 14:00
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

Inter took control of the title race with last week’s hugely impressive display against Milan, and now they have the opportunity to ram home that advantage against Genoa, in the knowledge that 2nd placed Milan and 4th placed Roma go head to head on Sunday night. Juventus are predictably emerging as Inter’s likeliest challenger.

Inter should of course win, and are priced at 1.22 to do so. Anyone, though, who has followed Genoa’s resurgence in 2021 will know that the Nerazzurri will find it harder than a casual observer of the League might imagine.

Davide Ballardini has lost just one of his 10 games in Serie A in his latest spell as Genoa coach, including a win against Napoli and draws against both Lazio and Atalanta. And they have made themselves extremely hard to beat. They might, for example, have drawn their last two, but the manner of their 95th minute equaliser against Verona last time showed just how far they have come.


And even under the previous regime, Genoa were rarely thrashed and did the defensive basics well. The only time this season that they have been beaten by more than two goals was against Napoli in week 2, a scoreline that even Gennaro Gattuso admitted was extremely flattering to his team.

Inter are dangerous, are the top scorers in Serie A, and look in prime form right now, but for the first time this season they are going to experience the pressure of being the strong title favourites, a “theirs to lose” feeling that can be hard to cope with.

I think that Inter are the likelier winners, if a little on the short side at 1.22, but I think that Genoa with a two goal start on the Asian Handicap are the bet. Ballardini will revel in the chance to show just what a good coach he is, and Antonio Conte and his team will find this tough.

Ligue 1 Tips: High-scoring Monaco to underline title credentials

France and Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder

The title race is hotting up in France and James Eastham is expecting entertainment from contenders Monaco this weekend while a couple of away wins have also caught his eye…

“In total, 21 of Monaco’s 26 league matches and 19 of Brest’s 26 matches to date have featured Over 2.5 Goals. That’s 77% of all matches involving these two sides.”

Entertaining times at Stade Louis II

Monaco vs Brest (4th vs 12th)
Sun, 12:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

Monaco are looking to continue their surprise title challenge as they host Brest this weekend.

The Principality outfit produced a tactical masterclass to win 2-0 at PSG last weekend and extended their unbeaten run to 12 games (W10-D2-L0) in all competitions in the process.

Monaco are just six points behind leaders Lille and playing the best of football of any side in the division right now.

Morale among Niko Kovac’s players is excellent and several of the starting line-up are in tremendous form.

Rather than backing Monaco to win at 1.5. however, supporting a high-scoring encounter is the way to play this fixture.

Monaco and Brest are two of the division’s most naturally attack-minded sides and the scoring stats make this plain.

Twenty-one of Monaco’s 26 league matches and 19 of Brest’s 26 matches have featured Over 2.5 Goals. That’s 77% of all matches overall, equating to odds of 1.3.

Furthermore, 12 of Monaco’s 13 home matches (92%) and eight of Brest’s 13 away matches (62%) have also featured Over 2.5 Goals. That’s 77% of all relevant home and away fixtures, equating to odds of 1.3 as well.

On that basis the odds of 1.55 available on Over 2.5 Goals in this match appear good value.

A bigger-odds alternative would be to back Over 3.0 on the Goal Lines market at 1.9.

Given how many matches involving these two sides feature at least three goals, the chances of you at least getting your stakes back appear good.

And for even longer odds, consider Over 3.5 Goals. Forty-four per cent of all games and 46% of relevant home and away fixtures involving these two sides have had Over 3.5 Goals.

Based on those stats – which equate to odds of 2.2 – the available odds of 2.4 on Over 3.5 Goals are tempting.

Lens’ fine form set to continue

Angers vs Lens (10th vs 5th)
Sun, 14:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

Not so long ago these two sides appeared well-matched but Lens have emerged as the stronger of the two and are worth supporting this weekend.

Franck Haise’s visitors have excelled this season, emerging from promotion from Ligue 2 last year to challenge for a European places this spring.

Set-up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, they’ve been entertaining to watch, rarely outplayed and drafted players in and out of the starting line-up without affecting the performance level.

Five points and five places ahead of Angers heading into this game, Lens are W2-D3-L0 from their last five league matches and unbeaten in six (W3-D3-L0) in all competition

Angers are W1-D2-L2 from their last five matches. Their sole win in their last eight league outings (W1-D2-L5) came against relegation-threatened Nimes (17th).

Lens’ away form is the fifth best in the division (W5-D3-L4). Significantly, three of their four away defeats came against sides currently in the top six (Lille, Lyon, Metz).

Angers’ home form is W5-D1-L6 (13th best in the division). None of their five home wins came against sides that, like Lens, are currently in the top six, and four of the five came against sides currently in the bottom-half of the table.

Lens to win at 2.8 or Lens on the Draw No Bet market (or Asian Handicap market with a 0 start) at 1.9 are the bets to consider. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.der_zakarian_montpellier.jpg

Reims vs Montpellier (13th vs 9th)
Sun, 14:00 GMT
Live on Betfair Live Video

In-form Montpellier are a good bet to collect at least a point when they travel to Reims this weekend.

Manager Michel Der Zakarian (pictured above) and his players have won their last three matches, and will be confident they can do well again this weekend.

They deservedly won 2-1 at home to Rennes last weekend and caused one of the division’s biggest recent upsets by triumphing 2-1 over title challengers Lyon on their last away trip a fortnight ago.

Their away form is generally excellent: Montpellier have lost just two of their last 12 away games in all competitions (W6-D4-L2).

Reims are four places and eight points behind Montpellier having played the same number (26) of games.

The hosts are without a win in five matches (W0-D3-L2) in all competitions since the start of February.

Reims’ home record is an average W4-D4-L4. The four sides they’ve beaten – Brest, St Etienne, Nantes and Strasbourg – are all currently below Montpellier in the standings, and all currently in the bottom half of the table (average position 14.75).

Montpellier are worth considering at 2.8. Alternatively, back Montpellier on the Draw No Bet market (or Asian Handicap market with a 0 start). This way you have the safety net of getting your stakes back if the game ends in a draw.

Bundesliga Betting: Champions to stay on top

Bayern coach Hansi Flick

After picking up 3/3 winners last weekend, Kevin Hatchard has another trio of Bundesliga selections.

“Koln have a poor record against Bayern, they have failed to score in four of their last six on the road, and they are up against a side that wiped the floor with Lazio in midweek.”

Bayern to make another statement

Bayern Munich v Köln
Saturday 27 February, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Bayern made the rest of Europe sit up and take notice in midweek, as they demolished in-form Lazio in the Champions League. After Robert Lewandowski had been gifted an early opener, the European and world champions moved serenely through the gears in a 4-1 win. Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman both shone, and teenager Jamal Musiala (who turns 18 this week) became the club’s youngest ever goal-scorer in the Champions League.

The issues that plagued Bayern in their defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend are largely still present. Benjamin Pavard is still out with COVID-19, and Serge Gnabry hasn’t long returned to training after injury, although Thomas Muller could make a surprise return to action after completing his self-isolation. However, lowly Köln shouldn’t be able to pose the same kind of problems.

The Billy Goats have only scored 20 goals in 22 games, and they have drawn a blank in four of their last six on the road.

They have lost their last six matches against Bayern, and three of those defeats were by a margin of at least three goals.

Bayern were able to conserve energy on Tuesday, and they should have enough left in the tank to win this with room to spare. I’ll keep it simple and back the hosts -2.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.8 – if Bayern win by three or more, we win, but if they only win by two goals, our stake is returned.

Stuttgart v Schalke
Saturday 27 February, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Schalke arguably reached the nadir of their season last weekend, as they were shredded 4-0 at home by their bitter foes Borussia Dortmund. It wasn’t really a four-goal game, but the realisation has dawned that the Royal Blues are going down, and plans are already being put in place for life in the second tier.

That said, there has been more of a sense of defiance under new Christian Gross, and the Royal Blues have ground out draws at Union Berlin and Werder Bremen in their last two Bundesliga away games. I think they can avoid defeat again against a Stuttgart side that doesn’t enjoy having to break down teams that won’t offer them space on the counter. VfB have only won one home game all season, and they have only won three of their last 11 overall.

Despite Schalke’s plight, the hosts look a bit too short at 1.52, so I’ll lay them.

Eagles to keep on soaring

Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt
Friday 26 February, 19:30
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video

Eintracht Frankfurt have had an extraordinary purple patch in recent seasons. Niko Kovac turned them from relegation candidates (they had to contest the dreaded play-off in 2016) into DFB Cup winners against mighty Bayern Munich in 2018, before the Croatian coach actually then joined the record champions. His replacement Adi Hütter led the Eagles to the semi-finals of the Europa League in his first campaign, with Sebastian Haller, Ante Rebic and Luka Jovic forming a terrific trio in attack.

Hütter then had to deal with the loss of all three of those forwards, but he has rebuilt his attack around Portuguese centre-forward Andre Silva. His haul of 18 Bundesliga goals has turbocharged Frankfurt’s progress, but it is significant that even without Silva, Hütter’s side was able to beat Bayern last week. Filip Kostic and Amin Younes were a constant threat, and Daichi Kamada provided the ammunition with clever passing and movement.

Frankfurt have now gone on a run of nine wins and two draws in the Bundesliga, and they have equalled a club record by scoring at least twice in 11 straight top-flight matches. That form has catapulted them into the Champions League places, and they have found a consistency that has escaped the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.

Silva is expected to return from injury, but with or without him, Frankfurt should have enough quality to beat Werder Bremen here. The hosts were awful in Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at Hoffenheim, and they have now failed to score in three of their last five matches. While coach Florian Kohfeldt has found a way to toughen up his defence, he hasn’t managed to discover creative solutions for a side that scored just 24 goals in 21 games.

Premier League Tactical Preview: West Ham can end Man City’s winning streak

West Ham manager David Moyes

Alex Keble assesses the tactical battles in the weekend’s Premier League games, predicting that West Ham have the perfect tactical system to stop City’s incredible winning streak…

“David Moyes’ low block, conservative tactics, and direct counter-attacks through Michail Antonio are exactly the right approach to finally put a stop to Man City’s winning streak.”

Soucek & Antonio can stop City’s winning streak

Man City v West Ham
Saturday, 12:30
Live on BT Sport 1

David Moyes’ low block, conservative tactics, and direct counter-attacks through Michail Antonio are exactly the right approach to finally put a stop to Man City’s winning streak. Most likely returning to the 5-4-1 that saw West Ham draw 1-1 with City back in October, the compressed shape should mean Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice receive plenty of help shepherding Man City’s litany of playmakers in this zone.

With no recognised striker, that is likely to be enough for West Ham to shuffle across and hold out against Man City, while the threat on the break through Antonio could unsettle Pep Guardiola’s back three. Antonio will look to run the channels, occupying space either behind Joao Cancelo or in between the three City defenders, who leave big gaps as they spread across the pitch. As he holds up the ball and wins set-pieces, West Ham can capitalise and put Ederson under pressure.

What’s more, in a 5-4-1 formation West Ham’s wing-backs ought to be able to get tight to City’s touchline-hugging wingers, which in turn leaves three centre-backs to contend with those three attacking midfielders, all of whom will drop for the ball and, most likely, be stunted by the ruthless partnership of Rice and Soucek.

Ceballos-led verticality to create entertaining game

Leicester City v Arsenal
Sunday, 12:00
Live on BT Sport 1

The return of the Granit Xhaka/Mohamed Elneny axis last weekend was to blame for Arsenal’s lifeless performance, and Mikel Arteta is unlikely to play as defensively this weekend. Instead, we can anticipate a return to the kind of direct, piercing, dribbling football on display in the 4-2 win against Leeds the previous Sunday.

Dani Ceballos will lead in this regard, playing on the half-turn and looking to break the lines by beating his man rather than playing a pass, but he will be assisted in this by Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, and Kieran Tierney.

Leicester City’s own desire to play incisive vertical football, cutting straight through the lines in a similar way to Leeds United, means Arsenal’s approach can once again create some chaos.

It points to an open and entertaining game at the King Power. Wilfried Ndidi will be overworked against Ceballos, Saka, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Xhaka will also find too many spaces to cover as Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes combine on the spin.

There are too many erratic defenders, dribbling midfielders, and goalscoring strikers on the pitch for this game to be dull.

Rodgers Clapping 1280.jpg

Chelsea v Man Utd
Sunday, 16:30
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Thomas Tuchel has successfully implemented a solid positional structure at Chelsea, using his tactical nous and hard-line discipline to get the team in a regimented 3-4-2-1 that shuttles neatly across – pressing hard, holding a bold line, and keeping a 3-2 behind the ball in order to defend against the counter-attack. But frankly their fixture list has been very straightforward, and Manchester United present the first real test of just how far they have come.

It might only take a few aggressive runs from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, or a few clever passes from Bruno Fernandes through Chelsea’s two-man midfield, for panic to set in and those old Lampard-era habits (poor defensive transitions, wild lunges out of position) to come back. There is no doubt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will set his team up to sit deep, absorb pressure like Wolves and Southampton did successfully, then spring forward on the break.

Tuchel is struggling to unlock creativity in the 3-4-2-1, and so Man Utd ought to be able to keep a clean sheet. However, with so much on the line – United could drop to within three points of fifth with a defeat – Solskjaer and Tuchel will probably end up being similarly cautious in their attacking numbers, pointing to a disappointing draw.

Saints midfield shape to win anti-possession game

Everton v Southampton
Monday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Southampton and Everton are both better on the counter-attack, regularly falling to defeat when expanding out from their more organised defensive unit. Unfortunately for the hosts, who prefer to play a possession game while their opponents enjoy being on the back foot, Everton will no doubt hold the lion’s share of the ball. Ralph Hasenhuttl knows exactly how to reduce them to stale, low-tempo football.

In the 1-1 draw with Chelsea last weekend, the entire front six of Southampton’s 4-4-2 formed a tight ring around Matteo Kovacic and Jorginho, only to suddenly fan out again if the ball advanced into the wide areas in the final third. By doing so they cut off Chelsea’s ability to progress through the lines, showing all of the excellent tactical coaching of their manager.

Doing something similar to Everton’s midfield will have the same effect. Unless Richarlison and James Rodriguez are able to play quickly on the counter, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are insipid, as they were in a recent 2-0 defeat to Fulham. Look out for Danny Ings and those blistering inverted wingers countering successfully through the Everton back line.

Do you have an important success story, news, or opinion article to share with with us? Get in touch with us at or Whatsapp +1 317 665 2180

Join our WhatsApp Group to receive news and other valuable information alerts on WhatsApp.

Share this story

Leave a Reply