Preview of the Weekend: Madrid play CWC final; Utd manager Solskjaer makes debut

Welcome to Preview of the Weekend. You should miss not even one game! Below are the best matches the world of football would bring to you. Real M

Huddersfield relegated from Premier League
Brazil coach Tite sends ‘big hug’ to injured Dani Alves
Klopp surprised by Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Welcome to Preview of the Weekend. You should miss not even one game! Below are the best matches the world of football would bring to you.

Real Madrid vs Al-Ain

Kick off: 17:30 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Casemiro; Bale, Benzema, Lucas.

Al-Ain XI: It; Shiotani, Fayez, Ismail, Ahmad; Abdulrahman, Barman, Doumbia; El Shahat, Berg, Caio.

Team News

Asensio and Isco both came off the bench in the semi-final, but it seems likely that Bale and Vazquez will continue in the final third alongside Benzema.

Solari is unlikely to disturb the back four, meanwhile, with Carvajal and Marcelo seemingly over recent injury problems.

Sweden international Berg was on the score sheet in Al Ain’s semi-final with River Plate, and the striker will start again in the final third with Brazilian Caio and Egyptian El Shahat.

Two-time Japan international Tsukasa Shiotani, meanwhile, should keep his position at the back alongside the club’s 35-year-old captain Ismail Ahmed.

Focus

Real Madrid beat UAE in the shape of Al Jazeera in last year’s semi-finals, with Ronaldo and Bale scoring in a 2-1 win.

Al Ain were impressive in their semi-final with River Plate, but Real Madrid should have too much for the UAE outfit this weekend.

Prediction

Real Madrid 3-1 Al-Ain

Cardiff vs Man Utd

Kick off: 18:30 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho on Tuesday and replaced him with club hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Wednesday.

With hardly any time to prepare, it remains to be seen how Solskjaer will set up in his first game in charge of the club he spent 11 years at as a player.

Paul Pogba was benched for Mourinho’s last three matches at the helm and will almost certainly be restored to the starting XI on Saturday.

Anthony Martial was only fit enough to start on the bench against Liverpool but should be fine to start against Cardiff.

Focus

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man Utd’s last 7 away games (Premier League).

Man Utd have conceded at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 away matches (Premier League).

Prediction

Cardiff 1-2 Man Utd

Barcelona vs Celta

Kick off: 18:30 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Thomas Vermaelen will miss a month of action after picking up an injury last time out.

Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto are both doubts, but the latter should feature at right-back.

Arturo Vidal is expected to start ahead of Arthur in the centre of midfield.

Focus

Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in 34 of their last 38 home matches (La Liga).

Barcelona are undefeated in 37 of their last 38 home matches (La Liga).

Barcelona have seen over 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 8 home matches against Celta Vigo in all competitions.

Prediction

Barcelona 3-1 Celta

Wolves vs Liverpool

Kick off: 21:00 (CET)

Date: Fri, 21-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Jurgen Klopp remains without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, with Dejan Lovren expected to continue alongside Virgil van Dijk.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is making a quicker recovery than expected and could be available for Boxing Day.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored twice from the bench against United and will reportedly be rewarded with a start against Wolves, while Jordan Henderson is expected back in midfield.

Focus

Liverpool are undefeated in their last 18 matches (Premier League).

Wolves have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 5 matches against Liverpool in all competitions.

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Liverpool’s last 3 away games (Premier League).

Prediction

Wolves 1-2 Liverpool

Juventus vs Roma

Kick off: 20:30 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Rodrigo Bentancur is available again after serving a suspension and will surely start against Roma.

Joao Cancelo has a knee problem that will keep him out until after the winter break. Mattia De Sciglio will play instead.

Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa are all in competition for one starting spot in the attacking trio.

Focus

Juventus have won their last 8 home matches against Roma in all competitions.

Juventus have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 matches (Serie A).

Juventus have seen under 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches against Roma in all competitions.

Prediction

Juventus 1-0 Roma

Arsenal vs Burnley

Kick off: 13:30 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Sokratis missed last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Southampton through suspension and will return here. Shkodran Mustafi has also served his suspension but is recovering from a hamstring injury.

Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin failed to recover from injury in time to feature in the midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham and remain doubts here. Granit Xhaka may be required as a third centre-back.

Mesut Ozil could leave Arsenal next month after Unai Emery’s latest snub and may have to settle for a place on the bench on Saturday.

Focus

Arsenal have won their last 8 matches against Burnley in all competitions.

Arsenal have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 6 home matches against Burnley in all competitions.

Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 matches against Burnley in all competitions.

Prediction

Arsenal 3-0 Burnley

Chelsea vs Leicester

Kick off: 16:00 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Victor Moses, Gary Cahill and Alvaro Morata are all doubts for Chelsea, though none were expected to start.

David Luiz, Marcos Alonso Pedro, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard did not start Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Bournemouth and will return to the XI here.

Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all started in midweek but only one will retain their place in the team here.

Focus

There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Leicester’s last 8 games (Premier League).

Chelsea are undefeated in their last 12 home matches (Premier League).

Chelsea are undefeated in their last 8 home matches against Leicester in all competitions.

Prediction

Chelsea 2-1 Leicester

Man City vs Crystal Palace

Kick off: 16:00 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Pep Guardiola rested a number of his first-team players in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup fixture and will recall on the likes of Fernandinho, Fabian Delph, Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane.

Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero will likely start one game each between now and Boxing Day, with Jesus getting the nod here.

Focus

Man City have scored at least 4 goals in their last 4 home matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions.

Man City have won their last 10 home matches (Premier League).

Man City have won their last 9 home matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions.

Man City have been winning at both half time and full time in 7 of their last 9 matches (Premier League).

Prediction

Man City 4-0 Crystal Palace

PSG vs Nantes

Kick off: 20:00 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Neymar missed out on the midweek win over Orleans and remains a doubt for this encounter.

Kylian Mbappe only featured from the bench on Tuesday an should start here.

Focus

PSG have won their last 15 matches against Nantes in all competitions.

PSG have won their last 8 home matches (Ligue 1).

PSG have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 5 matches against Nantes in all competitions.

Prediction

PSG 3-1 Nantes

Everton vs Tottenham

Kick off: 17:00 (CET)

Date: Sun, 23-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Mauricio Pochettino faces a mounting injury crisis in central midfield with Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier all ruled out of the visit to Goodison Park. Harry Winks is expected to start alongside Moussa Sissoko once more, though Oliver Skipp is an option after he made his Premier League debut last week.

Davinson Sanchez is closing in on a return to first team action, which comes at the ideal time with Jan Vertonghen out until January with a thigh issue, however even with Juan Foyth available, Pochettino could continue with Ben Davies at centre-back.

Vincent Janssen and Serge Aurier are also sidelined for Tottenham.

Focus

Tottenham have won 6 of their last 7 away matches (Premier League).

Tottenham are undefeated in their last 11 matches against Everton in all competitions.

Prediction

Everton 1-1 Tottenham

AC Milan vs Fiorentina

Kick off: 15:00 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Milan were already in trouble picking their XI before Franck Ksssie and Tiemoue Bakayoko picked up suspensions in the last round.

José Mauri and Andrea Bertolacci will probably start in midfield, where Riccardo Montolivo will be the only reserve.

Focus

Fiorentina have drawn their last 4 away matches (Serie A).

There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 5 of AC Milan’s last 6 games (Serie A).

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Fiorentina’s last 3 games (Serie A).

Prediction

AC Milan 1-1 Fiorentina

Chievo vs Inter

Kick off: 18:00 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Miranda has a muscular problem and will most likely not be risked in Verona, as Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar are in good form.

Kwadwo Asamoah is suspended this weekend and will be replaced in the starting XI by Danilo D’Ambrosio.

Focus

Inter are undefeated in 25 of their last 28 matches against Chievo in all competitions.

Chievo have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 matches against Inter in all competitions.

Inter have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches against Chievo in all competitions.

Prediction

Chievo 0-2 Inter

Dortmund vs Gladbach

Kick off: 20:30 (CET)

Date: Fri, 21-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Manager Lucien Favre is without his best three centre-backs and has to shift around his back-four, with Ömer Toprak the only natural replacement left in his senior squad.

Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro could rotate back in on the flanks.

Paco Alcacer challenges Mario Gotze for the spot up front.

Focus

Borussia Dortmund have scored at least 4 goals in their last 3 home matches against Borussia M.Gladbach in all competitions.

Borussia Dortmund have won 11 of their last 12 home matches against Borussia M.Gladbach in all competitions.

Borussia Dortmund have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 home matches (Bundesliga).

Prediction

Dortmund 3-1 Gladbach

Frankfurt vs Bayern

Kick off: 17:30 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Niklas Sule, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels compete for two spots at centre-back.

Kingsley Coman should switch to the right flank after Serge Gnabry suffered a muscle injury in midweek, with Franck Ribéry expected to return on the left wing.

Focus

Bayern have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 away matches against Eintracht Frankfurt in all competitions.

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of Eintracht Frankfurt’s last 9 home games (Bundesliga).

Bayern have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 matches (Bundesliga).

Prediction

Frankfurt 2-2 Bayern

Atletico vs Espanyol

Kick off: 16:15 (CET)

Date: Sat, 22-Dec-18

Probable Lineups

Team News

Filipe Luis will be sidelined until January due to injury, adding to Diego Simeone’s injury worries.

Saul Niguez will be asked to feature out of position at left-back once more.

Thomas Lemar is expected to get a start despite suffering with a bruised ankle.

Focus

Atletico have seen under 2.5 goals in 11 of their last 12 matches against Espanyol in all competitions.

Espanyol have conceded at least 3 goals in their last 4 matches (La Liga).

Espanyol have lost their last 5 matches (La Liga).

Prediction

Atletico 1-0 Espanyol

 

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