?After a month-long – at least – hiatus from predicting the fortunes of the weekend’s football, 90min‘s editorial team is back by popular demand – or, more honestly, because we’ve remembered that this is a thing we do.
And what a weekend for us to remember, with a barnstorming Clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona in prospect, as well as the biggest match of, potentially, the season…pitting West Ham against Southampton at the London Stadium.
Oh, and there’s also a heavyweight clash between Juventus and Inter at the top of Serie A, and the contesting of the first piece of domestic silverware in England – as Aston Villa take on the daunting task of defeating Manchester City in the Caribouuu (yes, that’s how it should be said) Cup final.
But enough with the fluffing about, we all know that you want to get straight into the nitty gritty.
So let’s do it, starting with a trip over to the Bundesliga…
Hoffenheim vs Bayern Munich
Saturday 29/2 – 14.30
By ?Chris Deeley
Here’s the equation: ?Bayern are pretty good away from home, and Hoffenheim’s home form is pretty poor (six defeats in 12 this season).
David Hasselhoffenheim have also lost three of their last four games in all competitions, and drawn the other. Bayern have won 11 of their last 12, and drawn the other. The only thing that could save the home side here is the fact that Robert Lewandowski’s injured.
That will not be enough.
General Consensus: Unanimous Bayern Win
?Bournemouth vs Chelsea
Saturday 29/02 – 15.00
By ?Tom Gott
If there’s one thing Chelsea love, it’s making out-of-form teams look like 1970 Brazil. Fortunately, the Blues are blessed with the added bonus of not having the curse of Stamford Bridge weighing them down.
Nobody likes playing at home anyway.
Buoyed from the win over Spurs and burdened by the loss against Bayern, you’d think ?Chelsea
General Consensus: Split Between Away Win and Draw
West Ham vs Southampton
Saturday 29/02 – 15.00
By ?Toby Cudworth
It’s officially desperation stations at West Ham, as the threat of ?Premier League relegation looms large over east London.
The Hammers can’t stop losing games and even though they put in an admirable performance against the runaway freight train that is Liverpool, they still ended up on the losing side at Anfield this past Monday.
This weekend it’s Southampton, who have firmly pushed any threat of relegation West Ham’s way, largely thanks to the brilliance of Danny Ings. He’s got 15 goals this season for the Saints, while West Ham’s top scorer in the league, Sebastien Haller, has six. Says it all really, doesn’t it?
Still, let’s not use those statistics to stop a West Ham fan from predicting a senseless home win.
General Consensus: Away Win
Watford vs Liverpool
Saturday 29/02 – 15.00?
By ?Andrew Headspeath
With the exception of the defeat in Madrid, Liverpool have found a way to keep eking out the wins, even when not at their very best.
Don’t expect to see many swashes buckled at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with Watford – the Premier League’s joint-lowest scorers and without a win five – likely to set up for a long afternoon of muck and bullets defending, while stifling the Reds’ creativity out wide will be the priority.
If Liverpool find a way through it will set a new Premier League record for consecutive wins (19).
General Consensus: Unanimous Liverpool Win
Everton vs Man Utd
Sunday 01/03 – 14.00
By ?Scott Saunders
It’s Manchester United in 2019/20.
They lose to the bad teams, and more often than not, beat the good teams. Everton are not quite bad enough to be a bad team, but not quite good enough to be a good team, so perhaps it’s best to just sit on the fence.
General Consensus: Draw
Aston Villa vs Man City
Sunday 01/03 – 16.30
By ?Sean Walsh
General Consensus: Unanimous Man City Win
Juventus vs Inter
Sunday 01/03 – 19.45
By ?Jack Gallagher
Reasons why Inter will win:
1. Antonio Conte.
2. Inter have a competent midfield.
3. Inter have a regular starting XI.
4. Inter have runners throughout their team.
5. Romelu Lukaku will quite literally eat Juve’s back four.
Reasons why Juventus will lose:
1. Maurizio Sarri.
2. Juventus’ midfield is the worst it’s been since the Christian Poulsen days.
3. Juventus do not have a nailed-on starting XI.
4. A lot of Juve’s players can’t run.
5. Juve’s back four will quite literally be eaten by Romelu Lukaku.
General Consensus: Draw
Real Madrid vs Barcelona
Sunday 01/03 – 20.00
?By Andrew Headspeath
It might not be the highest quality Clásico in recent memory but that won’t diminish its importance.
With Barça two points clear of Madrid, a win at the Bernabéu would be crucial in the title race. Los Blancos – who have not beaten their Clásico rivals at home in La Liga since 2014 with a GD of -8 since – need a reaction after a traumatic night against Man City, but still have huge problems in attack without Eden Hazard.
While Zinedine Zidane’s side still has La Liga’s tightest defence, disappointing results against Celta and Levante have re-awoken issues of Madrid’s vulnerability.
Lionel Messi, meanwhile, scored four last weekend…
General Consensus: Barcelona Win
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