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Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets: Preview

Hoffenheim are one of the biggest disappointments of the competition as they enter the final fixture of the campaign without any ambitions whatsoever, sitting at the rock-bottom of the Group C standings.

The visitors will thus have the chance to book their place in the knockout phase with a potential victory against the non-motivated opposition this Thursday at WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

Hoffenheim

Julian Nagelsmann could thus likely give some rest to the likes of Sandro Wagner and Marco Uth here ahead of an important league outing with Hannover at the weekend.

The hosts managed to improve the confidence after losing back-to-back ties to Sporting Braga and Hamburger SV, and they’ve done it in some style.

Hoffenheim notched as many as four past Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig at the weekend. More importantly, the hosts kept their net untouched after conceding three to both Braga and HSV.

Ludogorets

Ludogorets’ advantage at the top of the Bulgarian league fell to just a single point after they lost the away fixture at Vereya last Thursday.

Dimitar Dimitrov’s men did bounce back at the weekend, though, easing past Dunav 2010 2-0 at home.

Ludogorets showed a rock-solid defense in away fixture in Europa League as they conceded no goals in three previous matches on the road in this term of the competition (including qualification tie with Suduva).

Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets: Head to head

The Bulgarians stunned Hoffenheim in their first ever meeting in late-September.

The Germans got off to a flying start back then thanks to Kaderabek’s opener, but Svetoslav Dyakov and Jody Lukoki completed a second-half comeback for Ludogorets.

Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets: Prediction

We can expect goals from both sides.

Goal Predictor Tip : | Both to Score |

Zorya vs Athletic Bilbao: Preview

Zorya still have theoretical chances of making it to the knockout stage, in spite of falling to Ostersunds in the previous round.

The Ukrainians, however, need to see off the Spanish heavyweights Athletic Bilbao in order to overtake the Basques in the second place and progress further in the competition.

Zorya

This will be a very challenging task given that Zorya have huge issues with the efficiency in the final third.

The team led by Yuriy Vernydub scored no more than three goals in five Europa League fixtures.

Additionally, Zorya will head into this with just a single win in last eight matches in all competitions.

Athletic Bilbao

The Lions, on the other side, will come into the match high on confidence after holding Real Madrid to a goalless draw on Sunday.

Jose Angel Ziganda clearly has high ambitions in Europa League as he used the best he has in the previous round’s home clash with Hertha BSC.

Additionally, given that Bilbao are as low as 16th in La Liga and already out of Copa del Rey (a shocking early elimination to lower-division Formentera), we can expect the visitors to be fully motivated to at least make it to the last 32 round in Europa League.

Zorya vs Athletic Bilbao: Head to head

The Spanish outfit will be even more motivated to get the revenge for the shocking defeat they suffered in their first ever H2H encounter with Zorya.

The Ukrainians miraculously managed to keep their net untouched at San Mames Barria as Igor Kharatin’s goal was enough for the massive upset in the second round.

Zorya vs Athletic Bilbao: Prediction

Bilbao will be highly motivated to get a result here and we’ll back them to clinch the spoils from L’viv at the odds of 1.80.

Goal Predictor Tip : | Athletic to Win | 1.80

Feyenoord vs Napoli Preview

Already eliminated from both UEFA competitions, Feyenoord are without motivation in the final group game at their home turf. They are sitting at the foot of the table after losing all the five games so far.

Meantime, Napoli are second in the standings, 3 points behind the second placed Shakhtar Donetsk. They can still make it to the knockouts, but this is only possible with a combination of win at Feyenoord and Shakhtar lose at home to Manchester City.

Form-wise, Feyenoord are a side in tatters with 3 wins coming from their last 11 in all competitions. However, they had improved a tad bit in recent weeks. They lost to Manchester City at the Etihad by a narrow 1-0 margin and picked up back-to-back wins against struggling Eredivisie sides Groningen and Vitesse.

On the other hand, Napoli are enjoying a fine season. They sit at the second spot in the Serie A and their first defeat in the league came from the hands of Juventus this weekend. Yet, they could struggle against well elite teams in the Europe, but Feyenoord do not fall in that category.

Feyenoord vs Napoli: Head-to-head

Napoli won 3-1 when the teams met at the Stadio San Paolo on matchday 2. This remain to be the only Champions League meeting between the two sides.

Feyenoord’s overall record against Italian clubs in UEFA competitions is 4 wins, 4 draws and 5 losses from 13. At home, they lost only 1 of the 6 games, 2 wins and 3 draws.

Napoli have a poor record against Dutch sides – 1 win, 2 draws and 2 losses from 5 games. They will be looking for their first win in Dutch soil after the previous 2 visits saw a draw and a defeat.

Feyenoord vs Napoli: Prediction

Feyenoord have no incentives to play for and therefore they are expected to find it hard to perform at an optimum level. Napoli do not have a good away record in the competition, but they must have what it takes to pick up three points here.

Goal Predictor Tip : | HT/FT – Napoli/Napoli | 1.80

RB Leipzig vs Besiktas Preview

RB Leipzig host the shocking group winners Besiktas in a deciding fixture for their knockout stage ambitions.

The German debutants are locked on points with Porto in the battle for second place, but the Portuguese outfit has a better head to head record, meaning the Bulls will need Monaco’s favour as well apart from a three-pointer against the Turks.

RB Leipzig

Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping to see Besiktas coming out with a mixed lineup here given they’ve already won the group.

In case of visitors sending the best they have, it will be anything but a one-way street for the hosts who’ll have to recover from a devastating 4-0 loss away at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

The Bulls still sit at the second place in Bundesliga, but Bayern Munich are now on a six-point gap after Leipzig’s mentioned defeat.

Besiktas

The visitors will head into this in a much better mood as they destroyed the leaders and their city rivals Galatasaray 3-0 at home at the weekend.

Cenk Tosun, Dusan Tosic and Alvaro Negredo notched goals for the Turkish champions who are four points clear at the top of the standings at the moment, having taken as many as 11 in the opening five rounds of the competitions.

Senol Gunes will, however, likely give some rest to his key men including the likes of Talisca, Ricardo Quaresma, Cenk Tosun and Ryan Babel.

RB Leipzig vs Besiktas: Head to head

Besiktas clinched a comfortable 2-0 win thanks to first-half goals from Ryan Babel and Talisca when the two likes have met each other in the lone previous H2H encounter back in late-September at Vodafone Stadyumu.

Goal Prediction Tip : | Leipzig to Score 2 or More goals | 1.90

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid Preview

Tuesday’s match is a must-win fixture for Atletico Madrid, who are yet to score away from home in the competition.

With qualification already in the bag, Chelsea could make a few changes. The Blues will be keen to secure first spot in Group C.

The hosts have already qualified for the knockout stage, but they’ll want to ensure they finish top of the group.

A win for the Blues would confirm top spot, but if Roma fail to beat Qarabag in the group’s other game, Chelsea can lose and still come first.

Atletico Madrid need to win at Chelsea
Atletico must win if they are to have any chance of qualifying, and even then, their fate will be determined by Roma’s result.

The Spanish side come into the match in relatively good form. They’ve won four on the spin and had kept five successive clean sheets prior to Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad.

Former Chelsea defender Felipe Luis equalised for Atletico Madrid before Antoine Griezmann scored his fourth goal in his last three matches to win the match.

Chelsea team news vs Atletico Madrid
Antonio Conte has not put a time frame on David Luiz’s return. The defender is sidelined with a knee injury.

Michy Batshuayi and Kenedy have returned to training but Tuesday’s match will come too soon.

Charly Musonda is also out with a knee injury, while Thibaut Courtois is set to face his former club.

Atletico Madrid team news vs Chelsea
Juanfran is set to miss out with a hamstring injury.

Stefan Savic is available again after serving a one-match suspension against Roma.

Filipe Luis and Fernando Torres are set to come up against their former employers again.

Our Prediction : | Under 2.5 | 1.80

Bayern Munchen – PSG Preview and Prediction

Both Bayern Munich and PSG have qualified for the knockout stages, but this is a battle for the top position in the table and the Ligue 1 outfit and the team with a better chance to achieve this.

ayern Munich fought hard at Anderlecht to snatch a narrow 2-1 to keep the three point gap against PSG. The Bundesliga side lost 0-3 at Paris on opening day and they need to overturn that deficit to steal the number 1 position in the table. This is next to impossible if one is well aware of PSG’s form in all competitions this season.

The Parisiens thrashed Celtic 7-1 on matchday 5, which is arguable one of their biggest win in European nights. With 5 wins in 5 and a win against Bayern put them in an excellent position to qualify as group winners.

It will be worth to note that PSG have scored a whooping 24 goals in the Champions League this season, the most by any team at this stage.

Bayern Munich vs PSG: Head-to-head

Overall 7 meetings between the clubs- PSG won 5 and Bayern in 2.

Since the inaugural meeting between the two clubs in 1994 where both games were won by PSG, the next 5 games ended in favour of the team playing at home. In short, only 1 of the 7 matches between the sides ended in an way win.

Bayern’s record against French clubs – overall 17 wins from 32, 5 draws and 10 losses. At home – 9 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses from 14.

PSG versus German clubs – overall 9 wins from 14, drew 2 and lost 3. Away in German soil – 3 wins from 7, 1 draw and 3 losses.

Bayern Munich vs PSG: Prediction

PSG are in terrific form this season, but this will be the first time that they are playing away to a quality side.

Bayern have an impeccable home record in the Champions League and not many have returned with points in their bag.

Also, Jupp Heynckes knows well that beating PSG by 4 goal margin is almost impossible. Therefore they are not likely to go out there with an all out attacking strategy. Instead a solid performance against a strong team will be the Bavarian manager want. Therefore, don’t expect the Bundesliga side to leave too many holes at the back to let the Parisiens to score a handful here.

Bayern Munich vs PSG predicton :   | Both teams to Score |     1.44 odd 

Kyrie Irving Continues Boston Win Streak

TheBoston Celtics’ early season win streak has been extended to 13 games after Kyrie Irving’s 25 points led the No. 1 seed past the Brooklyn Nets.

Returning from a face injury, Irving donned a mask to lead the way, with every Boston starter notching double digits in points.

The win sets up a blockbuster clash with the Golden State Warriors this Friday; who are on their own streak of seven straight wins.

Speaking on the Celtics before Friday’s game, Warriors coach Stever Kerr told reporters, “It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is amazing.”

Kerr added: “That looks like a team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time to come. Whether their time is now or the future, that’s to be determined, but they sure look like they want it to be right now.”

With D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin already sidelined for the season, also with a knee injury, the Nets were game, but woefully shorthanded. And all it took was one five-minute span of dysfunction against the scalding-hot Celtics to cost them in a tightly contested 109-102 affair.

Hearing Boston fans take over among the sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center was just salt in the Nets’ various wounds, and listening to them serenade New Jersey-bred Celtics star Kyrie Irving with chants of “MVP!” was an added insult. But to be fair, Irving looked the part, dominating while wearing a clear mask in his return from a facial fracture and then giving his shoes to some troops seated courtside.

“The guys competed. We just have to do it for longer stretches. The third quarter really got us,” said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, whose team briefly got up in isolation ball before promptly giving up a game-turning 19-2 run. “Really it was our offense. We turned the ball over four times, [went] 8-for-23 from the field, so credit them. They turned up their defense, and we couldn’t handle it. We didn’t handle it.”

After opening the season with two losses, Boston won its 13th straight win and kept the streak alive.

Denmark : World Cup Here We Come

Christian Eriksen stars as Denmark rout Ireland 5-1, book World Cup spot.

With three goals from three chances, Christian Eriksen rocketed Denmark to Russia. Ireland had simply no answer to Tottenham’s playmaker as his display of Danish dynamite destroyed their dream of reaching a first finals since 2002.

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality.

That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.

Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class.

Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview.

“We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished.

“But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them.

“We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.”

Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent.

In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year.

And that’s it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home.

Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics Preview

Boston brings 12-game win streak to Brooklyn. Can Brooklyn stop them ? Here is the preview for tonight clash between the  improved and best defense.

After the lose from the Utah Jazz, The Brooklyn Nets tonight face the Celtics. If not for those dudes in Oakland, we’d be talking about the C’s as being the best team in the NBA. They were able to push their winning streak to 12 with an impressive victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon.

Injuries

D’Angelo Russell got hurt late in Saturday’s game and was officially diagnosed with a left knee contusion (He hurt his right knee earlier this year) It’s likely that he will be out of action for a while. The Nets list him day-to-day. Jarrett Allen has been hampered by a foot injury for the past week, but has been upgraded to “questionable” so he might be returning tonight. Spencer Dinwiddie missed Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury but will probably play and start tonight. Tyler Zeller missed Saturday’s game due to an illness and his status for tonight is unknown.

Gordon Hayward is recovering after suffering a knee injury on Opening Night and is expected to be out for the full season. Of course, if the Celtics keep going at this pace, the season could extend into the spring. Kyrie Irving caught an inadvertent elbow to the face on Friday night and was diagnosed with a minor (relatively speaking of course) facial fracture. He’s listed as questionable.

Predictions :

The Nets have point guard injury problems of their own and will be without D’Angelo Russell.
Russell will sit out Tuesday due to a left knee contusion and Monday coach Kenny Atkinson said Russell is “day to day.”
The Nets did not announce exactly how many games Russell will miss, but he was sidelined for 11 games last season with the Los Angeles Lakers due to soreness in the same knee.

Irving is traveling with the team so there’s a decent chance he will play. Whether it’s Irving or Marcus Smart starting at point guard, the Celtics will attempt to continue winning and produce their 11th streak of at least 13 games in team history.

Our pick for the WIN go for the Celtics . Their winning streak will continue.

Phoenix vs Lakers Post Game – Clarkson saves the day

Lonzo Ball could only watch from the bench as the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away late to beat the Phoenix Suns. Jordan Clarkson was just playing too well to come off the court.

Clarkson scored a season-high 25 points in 26 minutes, and the Lakers beat the Suns 100-93 on Monday night.

“I just came in there aggressive like I try to do every night,” Clarkson said, “score the ball for the same group and just win the game. It was a good win for us, to finish the road trip like this.”

Devin Booker had 36 points, his second consecutive game of at least 35, for the Suns.

Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 apiece for the Lakers, who salvaged the finale of a four-game road trip and won in Phoenix for the second time this season.

Ball, the Lakers rookie coming off his first career triple-double on Saturday night, did not play in the fourth quarter. He had seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, five rebounds, five assists and four turnovers in 28 minutes.

Coach Luke Walton said he came close to putting Ball back in the game but couldn’t pull reserves Clarkson and Corey Brewer.

“There were a couple of times where I was one play from putting him back in,” Walton said, “and one of those guys would make a play.”

The Lakers had just two turnovers in the fourth quarter after committing 14 in the first three.

“I thought we did a great job taking care of the ball,” Lopez said. “And I thought we did a great number defensively as well.”

“I thought the 3-pointers were the difference in the game,” Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano said. “They made seven more 3s than us, and that’s a big part of the game, that’s a big number. I thought our defense was decent enough to keep us in the game, but when they make 14 3s and you make seven, it’s going to be a tough hill.”

Los Angeles shot 14 of 33 on 3s to the Suns’ 7-for-26 effort.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Open a four-game home stand against Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

Suns: Host Houston on Thursday night.