At this point in the Bungesliga last season, Bayern had ten wins, one draw, no loss, thirty-three goals for, four against and were top of the table, five points ahead of second placed Dortmund. It was Pep Guardiola’s last season in Germany and they had hopes of winning the treble. One year later, Carlo Ancelotti has replaced the Catalan in Bavaria and a whole lot has changed. Bayern have seven wins, three draws, one loss, twenty-four goals for, seven against and are second on the table three points behind RB Leipzig.
As if the contrast in fortune isn’t bad enough, they lost to unheralded Russian side, Rostov, in the Champions League on Wednesday to make it the first time they have suffered consecutive losses since the start of 2015. It also means that Atletico Madrid will finish top spot in Group D with one game to spare, ensuring the Germans go through to the last 16 as the 2nd-placed side (which hasn’t happened in 12 years).
For the first time since September 2015, Bayern have spent a week off the top of the Bundesliga. After drawing with Hoffenheim and losing to Borussia Dortmund, they have slipped three points behind Leipzig. Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping that Robert Lewandowski adds to his seven-goal tally, and that Thomas Müller, who surprisingly hasn’t scored this season, can finally get off the mark when they take on Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.
Roger Schmidt will be displeased with how his Leverkusen team threw away the lead twice in their loss to Leipzig last weekend. However, they sealed a place in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in midweek, and will be looking to build on that as they try to inflict a second straight Bundesliga defeat on Bayern. Schmidt will be counting on Javier Hernandez, who has five goals in the league, to spear head his attack.
Bayern’s form in the league has been dire by their own lofty standards with just two victories from the last five games, while Leverkusen have had problems of their own this season and will need a solid performance at the back to keep out Bayern’s attackers. Bayern would be without the likes of Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben, while Leverkusen don’t have any injury concerns ahead of the game, with just Karim Bellarabi still out with an injury until end of December.
Bayern Munich have the edge in head to head encounters with 45 wins as against Bayer Leverkusen’s 17 in 78 matches. The last match at Allianz Arena saw Bayern Munich win 3-0, while the teams played goalless in the last game played back in February this year at BayArena. This should be a very interesting game to watch and place a bet on www.nairabet.com and my advice would be a bet on both teams to score.
In France, there will be two heavyweight clashes this weekend when PSG visit the Parc Olympique Lyonnais to take on Lyon and AS Monaco welcome Olympique de Marseille to the Stade Louis II.
Monaco were temporarily top of the table last Friday, with a 3-0 win over FC Lorient, before Nice defeated Saint-Etienne on Sunday to return to the summit. They built on that success in midweek, beating Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League to extend their winning run to four games in all competitions and book their passage into the knockout stages of the competition. Today’s opponents, Marseille, will go into the game nine places and 12 points worse off than their second-placed hosts, but after a difficult start to the season, their fortunes are beginning to change. U.S. billionaire Franck McCourt, Ligue 1-winning coach Rudi Garcia and Spain legend Andoni Zubizaretti have arrived at the club as owner, coach and director of football respectively in recent weeks, and they enjoyed their first home win together in beating SM Caen 1-0 last Sunday. 18- year old, Maxime Lopez is expected to be given his fourth start within a month for Marseille, with Rémy Cabella relegated to the bench against Caen and former Arsenal FC man Abou Diaby waging his perennial war with injury.
Centre-back Karim Rekik is likely to continue at left-back, with Henri Bedimo undergoing knee surgery. Monaco, meanwhile, have a full-strength squad to call upon, with Joao Moutinho returning after his thigh complaint to make a 10-minute cameo against Spurs.
Since the acquisition of PSG by QSI in 2011, Lyon lost its status as the best French club, a reputation acquired through the club’s seven league titles between 2002 and 2008. Lyon haven’t won the league since 2008 and the closest they have gotten since then have been three runners up finishes in 2010, 2015 and 2016. PSG have picked up 16 points from 18 in their last six games and have a fantastic recent record against Lyon, who themselves are on a three game winning streak, with five wins from their last five meetings against Lyon. Alexandre Lacazette, who scored Lyon’s winner against Dinamo Zagreb in the UCL, will be hoping to add to his ten league goals this season, while the league’s top marksman, Edison Cavani and his cohorts would love to pile more misery on Lyon.
The three games we have previewed this week are just a tiny percentage of the number of games that will be played across Europe this weekend. All the major and minor leagues on the continent will have full complement of fixtures this weekend. In Spain, Barcelona will hope to erase the memory of last weekend’s draw against Malaga with a win over Real Soceidad to keep pace with leaders, Real Madrid, who will want to maintain their lead at the top, following last weekend’s drubbing of city rivals Atletico, with a win over Sporting Gijon at home.
Chelsea will host Tottenham in England, with the intention of continuing their winning streak which is currently on six, while Manchester City will go top of the table temporarily with a win over Burnley in today’s early kickoff and Manchester United will hope to get their first home win since September when they host West Ham tomorrow.
AC Milan and Inter shared the spoils in the derby last weekend, while Roma lost to Atalanta to allow Juventus extend its lead at the top of the table to seven points with a 3-nil hammering of Pescara. This weekend, Juventus are away to 12th placed Genoa, while Roma will host Pescara and AC Milan will be guests of Empoli.
I will be leaving you as usual with twenty-five betting tips for matches that will be played across Europe this weekend and all you need do is log on to www.nairabet.com to place your bets and enjoy the football with money in your pocket.
Burnley v Manchester City (Double chance Man city)
Liverpool v Sunderland (Liverpool win)
Chelsea v Tottenham (Double chance for Chelsea)
LA LIGA (Spain)
Real Madrid v Sporting Gijon (Real win)
Real Soceidad v Barcelona (Barca win)
Osasuna v Atletico Madrid (Double chance for Atletico)
Cologne v Augsburg (Double chance for Cologne)
Schalke v Darmstadt (Schalke win)
Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen (Bayern win)
SERIE A (Italy)
Torino v Chievo (Double chance for Torino)
Genoa v Juventus (Juventus win)
Roma v Pescara (Roma win)
LIGUE 1 (France)
Monaco v Marseille (Double chance for Monaco)
Nice v Bastia (Double chance for Bastia)
Bordeaux v Dijon (Double chance for Bordeaux)
Vitesse v Excelsior (Double chance for Vitesse)
PSV v Den Haag (PSV win)
AZ Alkmaar v Heracles (Double chance for AZ)
PRIMEIRA LIGA (Portugal)
Boavista v Sporting (Sporting win)
Benfica v Moreirense (Benfica win)
Belenenses v Porto (Porto win)
JUPILER LEAGUE (Belgium)
Eupen v Westerlo (Double chance for Eupen)
Anderlecht v Peruwelz (Anderlecht win)
Gent v Kortrijk (Gent win)
Hearts v Motherwell (Double chance for Hearts)