26/01/19 Weekend Football Acca: FA Cup and Domestic European Leagues

26/01/19 Weekend Football Acca: FA Cup and Domestic European Leagues

Arsenal v Man United - Man United to Win

Our European accumulator kicks off with one of English football’s classic fixtures. Arsenal and Man United are the two most successful clubs in the history of the FA Cup but Friday night’s meeting is all about the present.

Unai Emery has a tremendous cup pedigree and will be excited about the prospect of winning more silverware with Arsenal. However, Man United are absolutely flying under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and look very good football betting value at 17/10. United have passed every test they’ve faced since Solskjaer took over and they can book their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a hard fought win at the Emirates.

Marseille v Lille - Over 2.5 Goals

Marseille finally breathed fresh life into their Ligue 1 campaign with a 1-0 win against Caen on Sunday. The Marseille fans had made their feelings of discontent abundantly clear in recent weeks so those who made the long trip to the north of France were delighted with the professional manner of the win.

It’s only going to get tougher for Marseille as they return to the Velodrome on Friday night though. They face Lille who solidified their position in second place with a 2-1 win over Amiens last week. Our odds comparison shows that Marseille are the favourites to win at home by Lille almost always score away from home so the safest betting option may well be over 2.5 goals which is available at 10/11.

Dijon v Monaco - Monaco to Win

After creditable draws against Marseille and Nice things were finally looking up for Monaco. Unfortunately for Thierry Henry his first job in management hit a new low last weekend as Monaco were beaten 5-1 at home by Strasbourg.

Relegation is now a genuine concern for Monaco. To avoid dropping into Ligue 2, they will need to make the most of the games against the teams against them starting with the trip to Dijon on Saturday. Dijon are similarly struggling in the league and although morale is at rock bottom at both clubs Monaco have a higher calibre of player to call from. This is a huge match for Monaco and one which could be the making of their season if they win at 5/4.

Crystal Palace v Tottenham - Both Teams to Score

Mauricio Pochettino has made it clear that he believes Tottenham must change the way they operate if they are to kick on and start winning silverware. The Argentine has certainly been confronted by the small size of his squad lately as he tries to navigate a congested fixture list without a number of first team players.

Our odds comparison shows that Tottenham are still the favourites to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park despite their problems but there is no question it will be tough for the away side. Palace have eased their relegation worries of late so will really give the FA Cup their best shot. That suggests this should be a well contested London derby in which both teams get on the scoresheet at best betting odds of 3/4.

Espanyol v Real Madrid - Real Madrid to Win to Nil

Espanyol are desperate for something, anything to spark their season back into life. The Catalan club have lost an incredible eight of their last nine matches and are in danger of plummeting even further down the Liga table towards the relegation places.

Whilst Espanyol’s direction of travel is downwards, Real Madrid look to be going in the right direction. They’ve fought hard for consecutive wins over Real Betis and Sevilla and although there is still huge room for improvement, Real do at least appear to have stabilised. Espanyol, like every team, will try to raise their game for the visit of the reigning champions of Europe but the home side are struggling for goals so the football odds of 5/2 available on Real Madrid winning to nil look well worth taking.

Lazio v Juventus - Juventus to Win

Lazio showed once again that they are not quite on the same level as the best teams in Serie A last weekend when they lost 2-1 away to Napoli. There is no shame in losing to Carlo Ancelotti’s men but Lazio simply must improve their record against the teams above them over the rest of the season if they are to have any chance of cracking the top four.

The most optimistic Lazio fans will look at Sunday evening’s visit of Juventus as an opportunity to improve on their record of just one point from six matches against Italy’s top five teams. When you examine the two teams it is very difficult to maintain too much optimism on Lazio’s part though. Juventus has dropped points just twice this season and have won every single match against their fellow top six sides. That’s a run we expect to continue at odds of 3/4.

Betting Conclusions

The league campaigns in Spain, Italy and Spain continue this weekend with many more important matches. We are at the stage of the season where teams very much know what is expected of them, whether that’s pushing for a European place towards the top of the table to simply getting out of trouble to avoid relegation.

The title race itself looks to be all but over in both Serie A and Ligue 1, whilst Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund are in very strong positions in La Liga and the Bundesliga respectively. It’s a different story in the Premier League where we could have a classic title race in store but that will have to wait for a week as it’s the FA Cup that takes top billing this weekend with the fourth round.