Monday, April 27, 2015

FC Barcelona vs Getafe - Competition: Spanish Primera Division

In the last round of Spanish Primera Division, FC Barcelona took on local rivals from Espanyol in the Catalan derby. Once again, the Spanish leaders showed no hesitation as they won the game 2-0 via goals from Messi and Neymar. Barcelona’s tiki-taka machine looks to be up and running in fine form as the team is undefeated in their 14 matches with 13 wins. The possibility of winning the Treble is still very much alive, but the constant action does not seem to have a negative impact on their performances in the domestic league where they average nearly 3 goals per match and have obtained 19 clean sheets, which is more than any of their competitors. They look especially intimidating home at Camp Nou, where they have won 10 of their last 11 fixtures in La Liga, and they are leading the attacking home statistics. The match against Getafe must be used to maintain their slim edge on Real in the standings, as a defeat on Tuesday could see them giving up the number 1 spot. However, we don’t see that happening when you have an offense with Messi, Neymar and Suarez. That deadly trio has scored 66 of Barcelona’s 91 La Liga goals, and especially Neymar is hot right now with 5 goals in his last 5 matches. He does not come close to Lionel Messi in this season though. Including both goals and assists, the Argentinian magician is responsible for 52 of FC Barcelona La Liga BBVA goals.

Getafe team are currently 13th in the Spanish Primera Division standings. With an 8 point gap to the relegation zone and only 5 rounds remaining, the team looks like a definite La Liga team again next season, and therefore, the club is not pressured to get a good result at Camp Nou. And that is probably for the best, when you look at the team’s most recent results. Getafe have not won in their last 3 La Liga-matches and the 2 most recent matches were both lost. The team’s away form, however, is reasonably good as they have won 2 out of their last 4 away matches. It should be said, though, that both wins came against teams from the lower end of the table, and against Barcelona it will be another story. In the reverse game of this season, Getafe did manage to keep Barcelona from scoring as they achieved a 0-0 draw in December last year. Actually, Barcelona was not able to win a La Liga game against Getafe in the calendar year of 2014. In addition to the 0-0 result, Getafe also managed to get impressive 2-2 at Camp Nou at the end of last season. However, the Catalan side usually performs well against Getafe, as they are undefeated in 9 of the last 10 fixtures against Getafe. Getafe do not have much more to play for in this season, however, as long as there is a theoretical chance for relegation, a point or three is needed.

Match date: 28 April 2015
Kick Off Time: 19:00 BST
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona 

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Monday, April 20, 2015

FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League
Match date: 21 April 2015
Kick Off Time: 19:45 BST
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona, Spain) 

Barcelona team look poised for the semifinals after smashing the Parc des Princes in the 1st leg. Neymar got the party started when he latched onto a Messi assist, but Luis Suarez stole the show in the French capital with a brace in the second half to take 3 away goals into this match (3:1). That means the Parisians must find a way to do something that no other visiting team has done in 38 competitive trips to the Camp Nou–score 3 goals. Defence has been the Catalans’ downfall in recent seasons, but they have found stability this term and have now allowed in just 10 goals from their last 15 competitive fixtures. Furthermore, no team has conceded fewer times this season in the Spanish top-flight, and over the weekend Barcelona earned yet another clean sheet in a 2:0 win over Valencia. Suarez once again worked his magic when he finished off a brilliant movement from the hosts in just the first minute of the game. The Uruguayan and his South American counterparts, Neymar and Messi assemble arguably the most-feared strike force in the world, and it’ll be interesting to see how PSG balance the need to cover these 3 stars with needing to score 3 goals.
FC Barcelona certainly enter Tuesday with a nice cushion to rely on, but it simply isn’t in their nature to sit back and invite pressure on themselves. They want to control the match, they want to dictate possession, and they want to create scoring chances, and those desires and tactics likely won’t change here as they know the Parisians could extend themselves in an effort to get an early goal.

PSG needed to avoid defeat in the 1st leg against the Catalans, but an early slip-up and an injury to Thiago Silva ultimately derailed their hopes as they fell to a catastrophic home defeat (1:3). Now they must travel to the seemingly-impregnable Camp Nou and somehow strike a balance between scoring 3 goals and limiting Barcelona’s star-studded forwards. That task has been made easier with the returns from suspension of Ibrahimovic and Verratti, while Motta could make an early comeback from injury and be forced back into action. Furthermore, the Parisians did find 3 road goals over the weekend and will have returned some confidence before their trip south. That match ended 3:1 and was their 5th win in their last 6 competitive fixtures.
However, barring a miraculous display from Ibrahimovic here, Paris Saint-Germain could overextend themselves going forward in search of their first, second, or even third goal. The Catalans can hit quickly on the counter-attack and will likely still boss the majority of possession as it isn’t their way to sit back and invite pressure. With captain and world-class defender Thiago Silva doubtful to play with a thigh injury, their chances of shutting down the Catalan attack are slim to none. They have conceded 5 away goals in their last 2 Champions League road games and 11 total goals to Barcelona in their last 5 meetings in Europe.

Probable lineups:
FC Barcelona: ter Stegen – Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba – Rakitic, Busquets, Xavi – Messi, Suarez, Neymar.
Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu – van der Wiel, Marquinhos, David Luiz, Maxwell – Verratti, Cabaye, Matuidi – Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Pastore.

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Friday, April 17, 2015

FC Nantes vs Olympique Marseille - Competition: French Ligue 1

FC Nantes team return home after losing on the road to ASSE last time out. The hosts have been woeful on the road of late, and though they did statistically out-shoot and out-possess the Greens on Sunday, they will be eager to get back to the friendly confines of the Stade de la Beaujoire. At home, the Canaries have accumulated 24 of their total 40 points and have gone unbeaten there in 16 of their 20 competitive fixtures this season. Furthermore, they rank 6th in the French top-flight for least goals conceded at home (14 through 16 games), which is due in large part to the anchoring play of Papy Djilobodji and goalkeeper, Remy Riou. The Canaries also saw the returns of Bessat, Gomis, and Deaux last time out as manager Michel Der Zakarian begins to get a healthy squad once again. Zakarian and his band of marauders will take confidence into the weekend despite losing back-to-back games, as not only are they unbeaten in 8 of their last 10 competitive home games, but they have also gone unbeaten in 9 of their last 10 Ligue 1 home meetings against OM. 5 of those meetings ended in victory for Nantes, and while we don’t expect that to happen here, they should have enough to steal a crucial point in their pursuit of the top 10.
Olympique Marseille are seeing their title hopes dwindling away with just 6 French Ligue 1 matches remaining. At 5 points adrift PSG and sitting in 4th place, the Phocians need to get back to winning ways if they hope to get into the UCL places and possibly push for a late title challenge. The defending champions from Paris have seen their talisman Ibrahimovic suspended for the next 4 league games, and that has left the door open for an exciting chase to the French title. 6 teams can still realistically claim the pinnacle at season’s end, but manager Marcelo Bielsa will hope to see his troops at least finish in the top 3, knowing that overtaking PSG, OL, and AS Monaco in the table will be a monumental task. While the visitors’ schedule looks favorable outside a home clash with Monaco, history here says otherwise as they have failed to win 9 of their last 10 Ligue 1 away games against Nantes. They did conquer the Canaries 2:0 in the reverse fixture this season, but the hosts have been able to give them plenty of trouble at the Stade de la Beaujoire. Their last 2 meetings there have ended in 1:1 draws, and the hosts do an excellent job of frustrating opposing attacks with one of the better defensive records at home this season. However, OM should have enough to at least pick up a point here with Andre Ayew returning from suspension and Nicolas N’Koulou expected back from injury (questionable), though it appears they very well could be held in check once again by the feisty Canaries.

Probable lineups:
FC Nantes:  Riou – Cissokho, Vizcarrondo, Djilobodji, Veigneau – Hansen, Veretout – Gakpe, Bedoya, N’Koudou – Bammou.
Olympique Marseille:  Mandanda – Dja Djedje, Fanni, N’Koulou, Morel – Romao, Imbula – Ocampos, Thauvin, Ayew – Gigna.

Match date: 17-04-2015
Kick Off Time: 18:30 GMT
Venue: La Beaujoire (Nantes, France) 

 You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Juventus vs AS Monaco
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Match date: 14 April 2015
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Torino 

Juventus 1-0 Monaco:
Arturo Vidal (pen) 57'

Arturo Vidal’s penalty goal vs AS Monaco gave Juventus a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League clash on 14-04-2015, although some felt referee Pavel Kralovec had erred in giving the penalty as AS Monaco’s Ricardo Carvalho had made contact with Juve’s Morata outside the area as both challenged for Pirlo’s high ball. Kralovec also gave Carvalho a yellow for his foul. Juventus vs Monaco match ended with 1-0 scoreline in UCL 2015.
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Manchester United vs Manchester City
Competition: English Premier League
Match date: 12 April 2015
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester 

Manchester United – Ashley Young 14' // Marouane Fellaini 27' // Juan Mata 67' // Chris Smalling 73' Manchester City – Sergio Aguero 8' // Sergio Aguero 89'

Manchester City’s chances of defending their league crown take a blow as they are beaten in a high scoring game by rivals Man United at Old Trafford. Man Utd vs Man City match ended with 4-2 scoreline in Premier League 2015.

Man Utd starting lineup vs Man City 2015:- De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Blind, Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, Young, Rooney.

Man City starting XI vs Manchester United 2015:- Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, Milner, Aguero.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa
Competition: English Premier League
Match date: 11 April 2015
Kick Off Time: 15:00 BST
Venue: White Hart Lane, London 

Aston Villa team were made of resolute stuff over the midweek when they met QPR at home, twice making comebacks to ensure they didn’t fall to a catastrophic defeat (3:3). Belgian hitman Christian Benteke bagged all 3 goals for the Villains and is beginning to show some of the class and talent he flashed back in the 2012-2013 season.
However, manager Tim Sherwood will be ruing the defensive performance from his troops, as the attacking impetus and determination they showed on one end was completely lost on the other. He has admitted that it will be difficult for them to travel anywhere and take points, especially with away games against Tottenham, Southampton, and Man City remaining on the fixture list. While it’s important to note that Sherwood should get a strong response from his players as he makes his first return to White Hart Lane since they sacked him last season, the Villains have lost 7 of their last 8 EPL matches on the road. Furthermore, they have been held to a shutout on 6 of those occasions, and their 1 goal in their last 6 meetings with the Hotspurs hardly incites any level of confidence. While desperation can be a great motivator, they are now the league’s lowest-scoring side and should ultimately fail to keep up at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham Hotspur were held in check last weekend by a desperate Burnley team, and Saturday will bring them up against yet another relegation-battling side. This time of year is always prime for big upsets in England, and Spurs will need to be wary of the form that Christian Benteke is in.
However, the Spurs have completely dominated the Villains in recent memory, with their unbeaten streak against them currently sitting at 13 matches in all competitions. The Spurs claimed victory on 10 of those occasions including a late comeback victory in the reverse fixture this season. Furthermore, they have outscored Aston Villa 17 to 1 in their last 6 competitive meetings (all wins), and given Villa’s woes in front of goal this season (lowest-scoring team in the league), the Tottenham Hotspur look like a sure thing this weekend. It’s certainly important to point out that Tim Sherwood will be making his return to White Hart Lane for the first time since managing them last season, and the visiting players will likely come out with focus and determination as a result. But with the news that Hugo Lloris very well could come back into action here, goals shouldn’t be shipped too cheaply by the Spurs, if at all. Coupled with the fact that they arguably have the Premier League’s hottest centre forward at the moment in Harry Kane, and Saturday should see the Spurs bag another vital 3 points to their cause.

Probable lineups:
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm – Chiriches, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose – Mason, Bentaleb – Townsend, Eriksen, Chadli – Kane .
Aston Villa: Guzan – Lowton, Okore, Clark, Richardson – Cleverley, Sanchez, Delph – N’Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor.

Tottenham last 5 matches:
04/03/15 Tottenham 3 – 2 Swansea
07/03/15 QPR 1 – 2 Tottenham
15/03/15 Man United 3 – 0 Tottenham
21/03/15 Tottenham 4 – 3 Leicester City
05/04/15 Burnley 0 – 0 Tottenham

Aston Villa last 5 matches:
07/03/15 Aston Villa 2 – 0 West Brom
14/03/15 Sunderland 0 – 4 Aston Villa
21/03/15 Aston Villa 0 – 1 Swansea City
04/04/15 Man United 3 – 1 Aston Villa
07/04/15 Aston Villa 3 – 3 QPR

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Stade Velodrome, Marseille - 5 April 2015 (French Ligue 1)

Andre Pierre Gignac’s brace goes in vain as Paris Saint Germain come from behind twice to beat title rivals Olympique Marseille in a crunch French Ligue 1 clash at Stade Velodrome. OM vs PSG match ended with 2-3 scoreline in Ligue 1 2015.

Marseille 2-3 Paris Saint Germain:
30' 1-0 Gignac // 35' 1-1 Matuidi // 43' 2-1 Gignac //49' 2-2 Marquinhos// 51' 2-3 Morel (o.g)

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Friday, April 3, 2015

AS Roma vs Napoli Italian Serie A - 04-04-2015

AS Roma vs SSC Napoli - Competition: Italian Serie A
Match date: 4 April 2015 - Kick Off Time: 11:30 BST
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Roma

AS Roma team ended last match-day their poor streak of 5 games without a victory in Serie A. After great start and being one of the best home teams, now they are without a home victory in last 7 games. Before the international break they won 0:1 in away game against Cesena. From last 5 home games they gained just 4 points. In March they were hosting Juventus (1:1) and Sampdoria (0:2) in Serie A as well as Fiorentina (0:2) in Europa League. They lost contact to Juventus and now they must fight for the 2nd place with Lazio Roma, Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Napoli who are really close to each other. Roma won last three home games against SSC Napoli in all competitions, but earlier this season they lost 2:0 to them. There are few injured players like M. Pjanić, K. Strootman, Saido Keita, Gervinho and F. Totti, who couldn’t help the team in recent games. A. Ljajić who is the best scorer in the team made return to National Team and played 85 minutes in France 2016 qualifications against Portugal. R. Nainggolan had an assist in National Team during this break.
SSC Napoli team after great start of the new year (6 wins in first 7 games) are without a win in last 4 league games. They also lost last three away games in Serie A. From last 5 games played they gained just 5 points and that’s even worse than Roma’s six points. They won last 3 games against Roma, but all this games were played in front of their home fans. In away table SSC Napoli are placed on the 5th place with: 6 wins, 3 draws, 5 loses and 21 points gained. They are also on the 5th place in Italian Serie A table, 6 points behind the 2nd Roma. They must at least draw in this game if they want to keep close contact to UCL places. G. Higuain who scored 13 goals in Italian Serie A this season is best scorer in the team. He played just one National game during the international break, so he shouldn’t be tired. SSC Napoli lost last three away games (3:1 against Palermo, 1:0 against Torino and 2:0 against Verona). There are no new injures in the team after Nation Teams games.

Probable lineups:
AS Roma: de Sanctis – Torosidis, Manolas, Yanga-Mbiwa, Holebas – Pjanic, de Rossi, Nainggolan – Iturbe, Doumbia, Ljajic.
SSC Napoli: Andujar – Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam – Lopez, Gargano – Callejon, Hamsik, Mertens – Higuain.

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]


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