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Wins for Liverpool, PSG and AC Milan

PREMIERSHIP

Hull vs Man CityThe quadruple dream was good while it lasted, but now the distractions are gone and Man City can concentrate on a single, more realistic and reachable target. In the pursuit of the Premier League title their destiny is – thankfully for them – still in their own hands. Hull however represent the first of the numerous tough mental tests in their way. There should be goals on either side. ‘Over’

Aston Villa vs ChelseaIn the past I have watched in surprise and shock some pretty average Aston Villa teams give Chelsea a bloody nose at Villa Park. Some of it didn’t make sense from a tactical standpoint, sometimes it doesn’t have to. One’s bogey side is what it always will be, it is part the beauty of sport. I am not convinced however that the trend will continue this once, considering what is at stake for Chelsea. Away win

Tottenham Vs Arsenal For a short Gareth Bale-inspired period, Tottenham seemed to have finally overcome the inferiority complex they have in this North London derby, one they will of course fiercely deny possessing. It is plain to see for the rest of us however (at least for me), and manifests itself in tactical naivety, individual errors, failure to exploit weaknesses, seize moments, take chances, kill off games etc. Away win

Man United vs Liverpool West Brom was a great improvement, not in performance (for United have played better and come away with nothing) but in result (for they were more comfortable winners than they are used to being in recent times). I feel though that they needed a few more of those before facing Liverpool, whose speed of attack they are not quite ready for. Take your pick between ‘Away Win’ and ‘Over’

SERIE A Genoa vs JuventusCan it be that Juventus will just go on winning until kingdom come? They last tasted defeat age as ago and have not even been drawing, but picking them up on the trot, with Trabzonspor, AC Milan and Fiorentina as the last three victims. Genoa is not a match for their might on paper, home or away, but there is such a thing as the law of averages. Well, I believe so anyway … Draw

Roma vs UdinesePlucky opponents Udinese are coming off a morale boosting victory over AC Milan, and are a match for anyone in the Serie A except, well, Juventus. Roma on the other hand did not look convincing in losing to Napoli, but can get back into stride back at home. And even if Kevin Strootman has checked out for the season, they still have enough to sort Udinese out. Home win

AC Milan vs ParmaAfter the loss to Udinese, Milan travelled to Madrid in midweek and suffered an embarrassing reverse to Atletico in the Champions League. Clarence Seerdof was not impressed with the mental fragility of his charges, but he now has the task of lifting the gloom from the dressing room and urging them to a strong Serie A finish they are well capable of. It starts here. Home win

BUNDESLIGABayern vs Bayer LeverkusenThere was plenty of wastefulness for long spells when Bayern took on Arsenal, and then that was replaced with respect, caution and some jitters as the European champions played to a low-scoring stalemate. Back home against Leverkusen this will not be the case, even if they still have to be careful about not losing their much-cherished unbeaten run. It is goals I see. ‘Over’

Dortmund vs MonchengladbachA free-scoring Dortmund is a thing of the past, these days that side has been replaced with an inconsistent and unpredictable one which plays great today and then labours tomorrow. They still have 85,000 fanatics urging them on though, and against a solid side like Gladbach which will give as good as it gets, it is likely the goals will return. ‘Over’

LIGUE ONEPSG vs St EtienneThere is a thriller on the cards here, as the runaway league leaders face the pretty decent fourth placed side with designs on sneaking into the Champions League after a very long absence. There will be some tired legs in PSG’s ranks, and so Laurent Blanc has to juggle his resources cleverly as St Etienne have the ability to cause an upset. Home win

Lyon vs MonacoPotentially another thriller here as Lyon have improved so much so that Champions League football is an outside possibility for them too. They have clawed to within seven points of third placed Lille with 10 games to go, and must be chomping at the bit at the moment. Monaco themselves have proved their strength, and between the two goals should inevitably come. ‘Over’

LA LIGABarcelona vs OsasunaAfter that dreadful showing at Valladollid, Barcelona picked it up for the visit of Man City and in several flashes looked like the beautiful menace of old, at least in the attacking sense. There has not been any consistency for them in La Liga for months now, and if they are to retain their title they need to find it now. At the Camp Nou, I would fancy them to start. Home win

Malaga vs Real MadridThe relentlessness of Real Madrid’s forward line has been impressive, they have consistently produced the goods in recent months. At Malaga it will not be straightforward, but the burning ambition of some of the individuals in that Real attack will drive Carlo Ancelotti’s side on. Yet I would fancy Malaga to breach them at the back too. ‘Over’ Atletico vs EspanyolIn sport the perfect antidote for fatigue is momentum, and that is what Atletico Madrid seem to be riding on. Every time the tank seems to have run empty they somehow find fuel in reserve, and motor on again. It is just incredible to witness. I didn’t think they would win at Celta last weekend and they defied me. I have my reservations about this one too, but I have given up on these guys. Home win

Sevilla vs ValladollidHome win

Vallecano vs Almeria‘Over’

Sociedad vs ValenciaDraw

Villarreal vs Bilbao‘Over’

SCOTLAND

Kilmarnock vs Celtic‘Over’

NETHERLANDS

Vitesse vs PSV‘Over’

Cambuur Leeuwarden vs Waalwijk‘Over’

Feyenoord vs Heerenveen‘Over’

NAC Breda vs AjaxAway win

NEC Nijmegen vs UtrechtAway win

ORTUGAL

Nacional de Madeira vs BenficaAway win

Sporting Lisbon vs Porto‘Over’

Academia Coimbra vs BragaDraw

RUSSIA

Rubin Karzan vs Volga NovgorodHome win

CSKA vs Zenit‘Over’

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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