Neil’s Tips

Bayern Munich vs. Hannover (04/10/2014)
Kick Off: 14:30
Competition: Bundesliga
Venue: Allianz Arena

This is the most predictable game of the weekend in Europe’s main 5 leagues, and that prediction is most certainly that of Bayern running out as eventual winners of the match. They host Hannover, a team who have lost their last 2 away games domestically to a team struggling in the form of Stuttgart and a newly promoted Paderborn. Bayern have also been exerting their usual home dominance in the Bundesliga, and are yet to drop a league point at the Allianz this season. Bayern have also beaten their opponents of the last 5 occasions they have hosted them, destroying them with an aggregate score of 16-2 over the 5 games. A player to watch in this game is most certainly Bayern’s Mario Gotze; who is showing the kind of form that got him his big-money move from bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund 2 seasons ago. After his winning goal for Germany in the World Cup final he has gone on to score 4 goals in 6 league games for the Bavarians all from a starting midfield berth. Bayern to win this one for sure.

Mario Gotze of Bayern Munich

Mario Gotze of Bayern Munich

Prediction: Bayern Munich Win (3-0)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Hamburger (04/10/2014)
Kick Off: 14:30
Competition: Bundesliga
Venue: Signal Iduna Park

This weekend sees the out-of-sorts domestically Borussia Dortmund host the Bundesliga’s basement-dwellers Hamburg. Dortmund absolutely destroyed Premier League outfit Arsenal with both pace, tactics as well as skill in the Champions League just over 2 weeks ago; however since then they haven’t won in the Bundesliga in the 3 games they have played in it (2 away defeats and a home draw) and are closer to the bottom of the league than to the top of it; although they did win 3-0 away to Anderlecht in midweek to go top of their Champions League group. A team showing this kind of form wouldn’t be a team usually backed with the greatest confidence but when it comes to their opponent’s form it doesn’t get much worse. Hamburg are the only team in Germany to never have been relegated from the top flight, but after the start to the season they’ve had it looks as if that proud record may soon be coming to an end. This assumption isn’t without good reason, in the 6 games so far in the league they have only scored 1 goal and only have 2 points thus far and are a team woefully lacking in self confidence. A player tipped to light it up this weekend is Dortmund’s frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has 7 goals in 9 games this season and should have pace to burn against Hamburg’s leaky defensive line.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Win (2-1)

Derby vs Millwall (04/10/2014)
Kick Off: 15:00
Competition: The Championship
Venue: iPro Stadium

Derby have kicked off this season in the kind of form that took them to the play-off final last season, where they lost out to QPR. They are in very good form and have 5 wins and 2 draws after 7 home matches in all competitions this season. This kind of form is partly due to the form of their striker Chris Martin who is joint-second highest in the Championship in terms of goalscoring and should get some more to add to that tally this upcoming match day. While Millwall, Derby’s opponents, have lost two straight matches lately and lost three straight matches on the road. Derby should win this and pile pressure on those above them in the table.

Chris Martin of Derby

Chris Martin of Derby

Prediction: Derby Win (2-0)

Aston Villa vs. Manchester City (04/10/2014)
Kick Off: 17:30
Competition: The Premier League
Venue: Villa Park

This fixture last season produced one of the shock results of the Premier League campaign, where in a game that Manchester City entirely dominated they succumbed to an eventual 3-2 defeat. However this was a time when Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was new to the league and didn’t yet understand how ruthless you have to be in every game, even against those near the bottom. This time round it should be different, he has learnt from the mistakes of the start of last season where they woefully under performed away from home and now look well equipped to win every domestic fixture they play in. They have been in decent form recently, fighting back from 1-0 down and a man disadvantage to salvage a 1-1 draw against Chelsea, and then matching Roma in the Champions League by virtue of claiming a 1-1 home draw in their last 2 games. Their opponents Aston Villa have had a good start to the season with the high point being a 1-0 win away at Anfield, but recent fixtures have brought them back down to Earth their two most recent league matches have been resounding 3-0 defeats. A similar scoreline this time round will come as no surprise. A player to keep an eye on will most certainly be on loan Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard, who has scored 4 goals in his last 3 games and looks in good enough form to add to that tally in this fixture.

Frank Lampard of Manchester City

Prediction: Manchester City Win (1-3)

Sevilla vs. Deportivo La Coruna (05/10/2014)
Kick Off: 11:00
Competition: La Liga
Venue: Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium

Sevilla will look to keep up their push to gain a Champions League spot for next season with a home game against a team currently in the Spanish relegation zone in the form of Deportivo. Sevilla lost star man from last season Ivan Rakatic to Barcelona and many felt that would harm their form at least in the short term, but this has not been the case. A stuttering start to their Europa league campaign and a 4-0 defeat away to champions Athletico Madrid aside, their start to the season has been near perfect, they currently sit fourth 1 point ahead of the nightly Real Madrid and have won all of their last 3 home games in all competitions. They also have a striker in good form in Carlos Bacca who has 4 goals in La Liga already and only the starting trio of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar can boast higher tallies. They face a Deportivo side struggling to adapt to life back in the top tier; and it is shown in their results, where they have lost all but one of their games away from home so far this season and need to pick up results quickly if they are to avoid relegation at the first hurdle.

Carlos Bacca of Sevilla

Carlos Bacca of Sevilla

Prediction: Sevilla Win (2-0)

Benfica vs. Arouca (05/10/2014)
Kick Off: 18:00
Competition: Primeira Liga
Venue: Estádio da Luz

This season has been a mixed bag so far for Benfica, they have started very well domestically and are already 2 points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga after 6 games. However in Europe they have lost both their games so far at home to Zenit St. Petersburg and away to Bayer Leverkusen. The game this weekend however is in domestic competition which means a Benfica win is the likely outcome. Their opponents also give credence to a Benfica victory as they face a team firmly in mid-table and struggling for consistency and haven’t won either of their last 2 fixtures in all competitions. Benfica attacking midfielder Talisca has had an excellent start to the season in goalscoring terms and is joint highest with 5 goals so far this season in the league, he should add to that total this match day.

Talisca of Benfica

Talisca of Benfica

Prediction: Benfica Win (2-0)

Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao (05/10/2014)
Kick Off: 20:00
Competition: La Liga
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Real Madrid are in deadly form right now and this game seems all but certain to be a win for Ronaldo and co. They will be hoping to register their sixth successive win this weekend and despite their most recent unconvincing 2-1 win away at Ludogorets all of the five previous wins have all been convincing. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti struggled to find the best formation after the reshuffling of the squad that delivered La Decima last season but now he seems to have found it, which spells bad news for Bilbao. After starting on the bench in midweek the Madrid duo of Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos should be restored to the starting 11 to partner up with starting duo of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo. World player of the year Ronaldo in particular is showing unbelievable form and has notched up 10 goals in his last 5 games! He in particular will be relishing coming up against Athletic Bilbao who despite a fantastic last season  sit 16th in the league and are without a win in their last 6. A comfortable Real Madrid win to round off the weekend in Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid

Prediction: Real Madrid Win (4-0)

Acca in full

Bayern Munich vs. Hannover (Home Win)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Hamburger (Home Win)

Derby vs Millwall (Home Win)

Aston Villa vs. Manchester City (Away Win)

Sevilla vs. Deportivo La Coruna (Home Win)

Benfica vs. Arouca (Home Win)

Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao (Home Win)