COURTESYFOOTBALL FORM LABS
Juventus v Torino - Saturday 19:45, BT Sport
Juventus have one foot in the final of the Champions League and one hand on a record sixth consecutive Scudetto. With a Coppa Italia final also to contend with Juve will surely rest a host of stars for this derby. As a result their incredible 33 game winning streak at home could come under severe threat.
Torino are unbeaten in six matches and have won their last two on the road so they come into this match in decent form. It’s over 22 years since they last won away against Juve (when they shared a stadium) but this is undoubtedly one of their most exciting teams in recent times. They are the fourth highest scorers this season, with Andrea Belotti the league’s leading marksman. However, both teams have scored in their last 13 matches as their defence has been less impressive. All seven of their trips this season to the current top eight have seen both teams score and at least three goals, with five having at least four strikes. However, scoring is one thing but it hasn’t counted for much as they’ve picked up just one point from those seven trips.
Juventus have scored at least twice in 19 of their last 21 home matches but they have conceded in seven of their 11 matches directly before a Champions League tie this season. Given the four clean sheets came against Palermo, Chievo and Pescara twice – three of the league’s worst attacks – Torino will fancy their chances of finding the net here. Both to score is worth backing at about 1.6 as is Over 3.5 Goals at 2.2.
Belotti has already scored at Milan, Inter, Napoli and Fiorentina this season and he found the net in the home derby back in November as he did in his other previous start in the Turin derby last season. Given how prolific he’s been 3.3 to score looks worth backing regardless of the opposition.
Best Bet: Over 3.5 Goals at 2.2
Arsenal v Man Utd - Sunday 16:00
Arsenal versus Man Utd in early May might have looked like a title decider when the fixtures came out last summer but instead it matters only in terms of keeping their respective top-four chances alive. With City and Liverpool having very straightforward run-ins what these two do could even be irrelevant. Arsenal, in particular, have surely dug themselves a hole they can’t get out of. For United they need to take a minimum of four points from this match and their trip to White Hart Lane next week. With the second leg of their Europa Cup semi-final on Thursday they will probably rest a host of players, though that decision could be affected by any slip-ups from Liverpool and City earlier in the weekend.
Even if United do make changes from midweek, the names on their bench in Spain – Martial, Rooney, Mata, Carrick, Smalling and De Gea – are all high quality internationals. Mourinho’s side are also unbeaten in 25 games, though 12 draws in that time rather takes away from the scale of that achievement. In that run no side has scored more than once against them and they’ve conceded just 13 times in total, while Daley Blind has looked more than capable stepping into the centre-back position of late just as he did last season.
United’s results have been better on the road than at home as they’ve won eight of 11 matches during this unbeaten sequence and a game against Arsenal usually brings the best out of these players – as it does with Mourinho. Giroud rescued a point for the Gunners in the 89th minute when these sides met in November but if we go back 10 seasons to the start of 2007/08 United have gone W16-D6-L4 across all competitions against their London rivals. Meanwhile, Mourinho’s record against Wenger is a commanding W8-D7-L1 and that win for Arsenal came in the largely irrelevant Community Shield in 2015.
Of greater concern for Arsenal fans than their head-to-head record with the Red Devils should be their current form however. They sat second in the table when they hosted Watford at the end of January having just trashed Southampton 5-0 in the FA Cup. However, six defeats in 11 matches, plus the two thrashings from Bayern, have left them down in sixth. They’ve faced five top-half teams in that time and conceded at least twice each time (13 in total) while picking up only one point. Their home form actually remains respectable despite that – they’ve won eight of their last 10 at the Emirates – but that has owed more to easier opponents than anything else.
Every time Arsenal have been tested of late they’ve come up short and to see them at odds-on is highly surprising. Regardless of United’s priorities they will have every confidence of getting something from this match. However, given the draw does little for either side we just prefer the away win at 4.33 to the double chance. It’s also worth noting that 37 of Mourinho’s 51 Premier League matches against Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool have had fewer than three goals. That includes 19 of 25 on the road as well as 10 of his last 11 against Arsenal, and at odds-against Under 2.5 Goals has to be worth considering.
Best Bet: Man Utd Win at 4.33
Weekend Team News Analysis
Swansea v Everton
Morgan Schneiderlin (CM), Ramiro Funes Mori (CB) and Seamus Coleman (RB), Everton
Funes Mori and Coleman have missed Everton’s last six games and they’ve conceded 10 goals in that time while they’ve won none of their last eight away games when at least one of that pair has been absent (W0-D4-L4). Swansea have won four of their last six home matches with their only defeat coming against Spurs and they are also unbeaten in their last five meetings with Everton. So take the 2.87 on a home win.
Lazio v Sampdoria
Patrik Schick (FW) and Luis Muriel (FW), Sampdoria
Sampdoria’s top two scorers are both out. They’ve only had seven different scorers this season and Edgar Barreto, who’s scored twice, is also out. Schick’s only made 10 starts this term but four goals and an assist in the last five games meant he’d definitely earned his place. He’d originally come in for Muriel and Sampdoria’s win rate since the start of last season falls from 41% with the Colombian to just 16% without. Lazio might be an entertaining team but Under 2.5 Goals is a 3.9 shot and that's a crazy price. Half their last 10 home matches have had fewer than three goals as have seven of Sampdoria's last 11 on the road (none had more than three) and with the away side's best attackers missing this could be a low scoring clash.
Freiburg v Schalke
Alessandro Schopf (RM), Sead Kolasinac (LB), Matija Nastasic (CB), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (LW), Schalke
Kolasinac has made the left-back position his own this season and Schalke have picked up just two points from the last 13 matches he’s missed. Along with Choupo-Moting he has the most assists for Schalke this season. Schopf joined midway through last season and in the 22 matches he’s missed since then they’ve been beaten 11 times – they’ve lost just seven of 26 with him. Freiburg have won nine of 11 home matches this season excluding the top four and 3.5 is a crazy price for them to add another success.
These three big looking prices make a testy 36/1 treble this weekend. Good luck!
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