Weekend Football Preview 11/01

The upcoming weekend offers an array of top encounters all across the continent. In the English Premier League, the highlight is Liverpool’s trip south to London as Klopp’s Reds face off against an injury-hit Tottenham. Over in Italy, both Inter – Atalanta and Roma – Juventus should offer ample entertainment while the weekend is capped off by the final of the Spanish Super Cup between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

11.01.20 Tottenham vs Liverpool

Liverpool travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the very first time as they continue their march towards the title. Tottenham have been handed a severe blow this week as the extent of Harry Kane’s injury came to light. The talisman has been ruled out of action with a ruptured tendon in his hamstring. However, should they want to keep their hopes alive of making a top four finish they must naturally strive for a result even against the top team in the division. Currently one can take at odds of 5.00 to make the Top 4.

Market: Liverpool to Win (1.74)

True, given that Liverpool have been unrelenting in the league so far winning 19 out of a possible 20. It seems dead easy to back them for yet another win. However, the odds of 1.74 are too alluring to pass by. In addition, last week Klopp had the luxury to rest most of his first XI as the second string still pulled off a win against Everton in the FA Cup. Spurs on the other hand could only manage a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough with a strong team and the fact that they have won just one of their last 14 Premier League meetings with Liverpool surely doesn’t bode well.

Market: Over 2.5 goals (1.65)

Klopp did mention that it might be an unpredictable line-up that takes on Spurs as Shaqiri is touted for a return to the fold while there’s also a possibility of Matip being involved. Takumi Minamino is also available and would be intent to follow up his first appearance last week with another in the league. Given the unpredictability and Tottenham’s need to attack this might well turn out to be a goal-fest as the 1.65 for the Over 2.5 goals suggests.

Market: Player to Score: Sadio Mane (2.45)

Sadio Mane capped off an incredible 2019 with the African Player of the Year award which he picked up in Egypt, having wrestled the crown from his team-mate Salah. It was always difficult for Salah to keep at the explosive levels he played at in his first full season with the Reds but still, he is instrumental for the Reds. Salah’s exploits meant that Mane’s contribution might have been downplayed but the Senegalese has truly come to the fore this year and that is bound to continue.

12.01.20 Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

VAR was once again a prominent player in the 2nd semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup when Atletico Madrid faced Barcelona. The Blaugrana could indeed have opened up a 4 goal lead against Atletico but contentious offside and handball decisions revoked two of their goals. Atletico rallied late in the match, winning 2-3 to go through to the final and will now face Real Madrid. The latter eased past Valencia winning 1-3. They last met in September in La Liga and the game ended goalless.

Market: Draw (3.35) & Under 2.5 (1.85)

Zinedine Zidane will be without his first-choice attacking trio as all of Benzema, Bale and Hazard did not travel to Saudi Arabia while Atletico are missing both Lemar and Diego Costa. Both sides haven’t exactly been free-scoring goals this season but both semi-finals proved contrary to that as both scored three goals each. We should expect a return to a conservative approach however that has seen four of the last six meetings end up with fewer than three goals. Should one be expecting a low-scoring affair, a bet on the Under 2.5 goals at 1.85 can offer good value for money while a repeat of a goalless draw is priced at 9.45.