4 matches to watch this weekend | Pep needs win against Spurs as Pillars dare Shooting

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Man. City v Tottenham @Etihad Stadium @6:30pm on Jan.21

The most defeats that Pep Guardiola has suffered in a single season is five – the same total he is already on after 21 matches. But the visit of Spurs gives Guardiola and his team the perfect platform to respond to the naysayers.

It was Mauricio Pochettino’s team that sent City to their first defeat of the season and the Spurs are on a six-match winning run with Harry Kane and Dele Alli in imperious form.

Can Guardiola stop the rot? You would have to watch this to get your answer

Current Form: Man City [L-W-W-L-W]; Tottenham [W-W-W-W-W]

Head to head

02/10/16 PRL Tottenham 2 – 0 Man City
14/02/16 PRL Man City 1 – 2 Tottenham
26/09/15 PRL Tottenham 4 – 1 Man City
03/05/15 PRL Tottenham 0 – 1 Man City
18/10/14 PRL Man City 4 – 1 Tottenham

Prediction: Man. City 2-1 Tottenham

Kano Pillars v Shooting Stars @Sani Abacha Stadium @4pm on Jan.22

Pillars started the season with an unconcluded match against Ifeanyi Ubah FC and then got beaten on the road by Lobi Stars – this weekend’s home match against Shooting Stars feels like the season newly kick started.

Stars lost in Akure in midweek and will be relying on the experience of their new manager, Fatai Amoo to get them a result at the vociferous Sani Abacha Stadium.

Traditionally Kano has not been a good venue for the Stars – and they were hammered for six the last time they went there though this time they will be hoping to put up more of a fight.

Meanwhile, Pillars largely want to have a season that totally forgets the 2016 dismal performance, when they ended the season in seventh place.

Current Form: Pillars [W-L]; 3SC [W-L]

Head to head

28/08/16 NPF Shooting Stars 4 – 0 Kano Pillars
24/04/16 NPF Kano Pillars 6 – 0 Shooting Stars
16/08/15 NPF Kano Pillars 4 – 1 Shooting Stars
06/05/15 NPF Shooting Stars 1 – 0 Kano Pillars
11/08/13 NPF Shooting Stars 3 – 1 Kano Pillars

Prediction: Pillars 2-0 3SC

AC Milan v Napoli @San Siro @8:45pm on Jan. 21

Milan will start Saturday’s match with Napoli with a slight advantage as the Partenopei have sent defensive stalwarts – Kalidou Koulibaly and Faouzi Ghoulam to the Africa Cup of Nations Cup.

With four points separating the two sides, they are the form teams in the league with no losses in their last five matches. Milan even went as far as beating Juventus on penalties in the Italian Super Cup.

Vincenzo Montella’s powers of motivation were also apparent last weekend as his team cam from been two goals down to force a 2-2 result away to Torino. They wll also be mindful of the thrashing handed out by Napoli to Milan last season at their famous Giuseppe Meazza Stadium.

Current Form: AC Milan [D-W-W-W-D]; Napoli [W-W-W-D-W]

Head to head

27/08/16 SEA Napoli 4 – 2 Milan
22/02/16 SEA Napoli 1 – 1 Milan
04/10/15 SEA Milan 0 – 4 Napoli
03/05/15 SEA Napoli 3 – 0 Milan
14/12/14 SEA Milan 2 – 0 Napoli

Prediction: AC Milan 1-3 Napoli

Lyon v Marseille @Parc Olympique Lyonnais @9pm on Jan.21

Two fallen giants trying to rise again in France makes it a compelling match to tune in to. The two also have identical form going into this encounter – two losses and three wins in their last matches and they are separated by four points on the table.

Marseille were handed a 4-1 home loss last week courtesy of Monaco, a match that would have glaringly exposed all the team’s deficiencies for new manager, Rudi Garcia to work on.

The tasks for the Marseille and Lyon managers is to get their teams back into Europe, especially the UEFA Champions league, which then makes this match a compelling must-watch.

Current Form: Lyon [L-W-W-W-L]; Marseille [L-W-W-W-L]

Head to head

18/09/16 LI1 Marseille 0 – 0 Lyon
24/01/16 LI1 Lyon 1 – 1 Marseille
20/09/15 LI1 Marseille 1 – 1 Lyon
15/03/15 LI1 Marseille 0 – 0 Lyon
26/10/14 LI1 Lyon 1 – 0 Marseille

Prediction: Lyon 2-1 Marseille

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