Matchweek 29 and Derby Weekend ft. El Clasico Part II

Woah what a weekend we have as we have six (SIX) huge derbies in the world taking place. I’m going to do short previews for the not-so-important matches and have a Derby Guide covering El Clasico, the North London Derby, the West London Derby, Merseyside Derby, Derby della Capitale, and Juventus/Napoli (I’ll count it).

This Season’s Record: 146-131-35 (-5.4 Units) 
Matchweek 28 Record: 5-6 (-2.0 Units)

Let’s get started…

Saturday, March 2nd
English Premier League
10:00 am EST

Manchester City @ Bournemouth (CNBC) – Bournemouth have been good enough at home especially as of late going undefeated in last three against West Ham, Chelsea and Wolves. City will surely win here but just like this week against West Ham in their 1-0 win, injuries and heavy legs will limit them. Bournemouth (+2, -115).

Crystal Palace @ Burnley – Palace only have one loss in their last six, are top ten in the away table with big results this season at Leicester, at Liverpool even though they lost 4-3 and they were able to beat Wolves all in 2019. If Vegas was giving Burnley the favorites tag, I’d consider taking them but I like Palace on the pickem here. Crystal Palace (Pick, -110).

Southampton @ Manchester United (NBCSN) – Southampton haven’t lost by more than a goal for a lot of the year, and only once in almost a decade has this matchup been decided by more than a goal. Manchester United will still be missing almost 10 first team players and they’re legs might run out in this match due to their fixture load. This is a play for a push, not as much betting on Southampton to get a result but I still like the Saints as one goal underdogs. Southampton (+1, +110).

Cardiff City @ Wolves – I can’t believe I’m doing it again but I’m betting on Wolves against a relegation side. They can beat the best teams in the league but have lost to HUD twice, Palace at home and to Cardiff last time these two played. But I’m Trusting The Process on Wolves here to right the ship against relegation clubs at home after a tough loss. Wolves (-1, -115).

Huddersfield @ Brighton – Yeah Huddersfield just beat Wolves but the law of averages applies exists for a reason and I think they’ll come back down to earth against a Brighton team who have had some decent results as of late, especially at home. Oh, and Huddersfield have earned only 6 points away from home. Brighton (-0.5, -120).

12:30 pm EST

Newcastle @ West Ham (NBCSN) – Newcastle have now gone four straight undefeated and five of the last six. They’ve covered in all six of those matches as well and I think they know a few good results will likely keep them safe. I thought this could have been a pickem so I’ll take Newcastle as underdogs. Newcastle (+0.5, -130).

Sunday, March 3rd
7:00 am EST

Leicester @ Watford – Ahhh the rematch of that brilliant playoff  in 2013 where Troy Deeney and Watford won in arguably the most amazing scenes in sports history. If you haven’t seen it then please click the link which puts the goal to Titanic music (LINK). I like Watford to ruin Brendan Rodgers’ return to the Premier League at home here and I like them on the pickem even more. Watford (Pick, -120).

Derby Guide

Saturday, March 2nd
English Premier League
7:30 am EST

North London Derby 198th Meeting, Arsenal @ Tottenham (NBCSN) – Usually I like to take the points in the NLD but Spurs have won their last four at home and Arsenal have struggled away from home recently. Yes Spurs have lost back to back matches, both away, but the last time they did that (end of Jan) they came back and won those four straight home matches. I think they know they need to rebound and this is the perfect opportunity to do it. They’re back to full strength and are looking for revenge as they lost a thriller in the league to the Gunners earlier in the year. Last time Arsenal won a league match at Spurs was five years ago and I don’t see them doing it here either. I may be going out on a limb not taking the points, but it might be worth the price of +105. Tottenham (-0.5, +105).

Italian Serie A
2:30 pm EST

Derby Della Capitale 172nd Meeting, Roma @ Lazio (ESPN+) – It’s no secret that we expected more from both of these teams at the start of the season as Lazio sit in 6th and Roma sit in 5th. But Roma have begun to right the ship a bit with four straight wins in all competitions and a draw to Milan just before that stretch. Lazio meanwhile have not won in their last four with three of those being losses. Adding to the bad run of form, Lazio had to play a midweek cup match against Milan on Tuesday giving them three less days to rest compared to their Derby foes. Luckily for both of these teams, the home/away form doesn’t matter since they share the same stadium. But Roma’s recent form, rest and the fact that Lazio have only won one of their last five derbies; makes me love Roma on the pickem here. Roma (Pick, +105).

Spanish La Liga,
2:45 pm EST

El Clasico 241st Meeting, Barcelona @ Real Madrid (BeIN Sports) – The second of two El Clasico’s in the same week graces us with a big one in the league. Barca has been brilliant this season in comparison to Madrid who have had to battle just to get to third place. It’s not as much Ronaldo’s production needing to be replaced as much as it is his presence and his leadership that’s hurting Madrid and it may take til next season to fully replace it. It was obvious on Wednesday in Barca’s 3-0 rout that they lacked that and it’s giving Barca all the momentum in this rivalry. Barca’s recent record in Madrid is also cause for concern for the Madridistas as in the last 10 years, the Catalan visitors have gone 10-3-4 (W-L-D) at the Bernebeau. I like Barca to come into Madrid and get points again and I feel very safe taking them here on the pickem line. They finally have Saurez producing in big matches and all they need is one or two magical moments from Messi to take all three points or at the very least a draw. FC Barcelona (Pick, -115).

Sunday, March 3rd
English Premier League
9:05 am EST

West London Derby 78th Meeting, Chelsea @ Fulham (NBCSN) – Chelsea are just way too good to be put as just a goal favorites here. Yes they’re in disarray but they’re facing one of the worst defenses in the league and under a brand new caretaker manager after Fulham sacked Ranieri, it might be too much for them to handle. This is a fixture Fulham haven’t won in over a decade and the last four were won by Chelsea by at least two goals. I like those trends and the matchup on paper even if the spread of 1 may push. Chelsea (-1, -110).

11:15 am EST

Merseyside Derby 233rd Meeting, Liverpool @ Everton (NBCSN) – Much like the North London Derby, the Merseyside Derby is one of the fiercest derbies in Europe. Hell, their stadiums are seperated only by a small park in Liverpool. But this is one of the most important Merseyside Derbies in recent history. Liverpool look to not drop points in the title race while Everton want nothing more than to ruin Liverpool’s season at home in the biggest match of many of their lives. With a goal being given to them and the fact that Everton are home, I love them covering here and even have good faith in them getting points. Liverpool haven’t won by MORE than a goal at Goodison Park since 2011 and they have only won by one goal once in those seven matches. It’s always tight and physical and I think Everton will be out for revenge from their shock loss earlier in the season. Give me the home underdogs of almost a goal in this fierece Derby. Everton (+1, -115).

Italian Serie A
2:30 pm EST

170th Meeting, Juventus @ Napoli (ESPN+) – This is always a really tough one to pick as they’re usually first and second in the league every year (Juve now first with Napoli now second) and as of late, they’ve somewhat split the last few meetings. But when I looked at the odds, I couldn’t help but notice how Juve were priced. A +115 tag on a pickem line for one of the best teams in the world is hard to pass up but I needed more rationale. So I looked at how both of these teams have done against other big clubs, in the league and in European competition. Napoli in that criteria are 1-1-3 (W-D-L) in their last five while Juve are 4-0-1 with about the same level of opponents, if not more difficult for Juve. Ronaldo should be healthy and starting and I can’t stray away from Juve on that price. Juventus (Pick, +115).

That’s all for one of the more legendary weekend in recent club soccer history. I would have gotten some MLS picks in there but I will for the next slate of games.

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Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo
Facebook: Can I Kick It

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Nico

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