4 matches to watch | City travel to Watford and a Catalonia derby

The new year will start with the EPL and La Liga in full swing to finish on time for the European Championship in June and already there are exciting matches to watch. Do not miss City’s visit to Watford and the Catalonia derby between Espanyol and Barcelona to kick off 2016.

 Watford v Man. City @Vicarage Road @18:30 on Jan.2

Manuel Pellegrini has to find a way for his team to win away from home​, ​but against a resilient Watford side, City have to be at their physical best to get all three points. Quique Sánchez Flores has done a sterling job with the newly promoted side and with their Nigerian hitman, Odion Ighalo, they have defied all expectations. City, on the other hand are expected to be challenging for the title but have fallen short on their travels, a period that has coincided with the injury to Sergio Aguero. This will be practicality against flair and it should be exciting to watch.

Form Guide – Watford [W W W D L] | Man. City [W W L W D]

Head to head

29/08/15      PRL      Man. City        2 – 0   Watford

25/01/14      FAC     Man. City        4 – 2   Watford

05/01/13      FAC     Man. City        3 – 0   Watford

21/04/07      PRL      Watford          1 – 1   Man. City

04/12/06      PRL      Man. City        0 – 0   Watford

Prediction: Watford 2-2 Man.City

Espanyol v Barcelona @Cornella de Llobregat @16:00 on Jan.2

Local derbies are always hard to call but with Barcelona in the picture, calling this match has been made easier. With Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, firing on all cylinders – the question has become how many goals the trio will get in every match. The last time Espanyol got a win over their neighbours was in 2011 and in the 10 matches that have followed that rare win, Barcelona have scored 21 times while conceding just thrice.

Form Guide – Espanyol [D L W W L] | Barcelona [D D W W W]

Head to head

25/04/15      PRD     Espanyol         0 – 2   Barcelona

07/12/14      PRD     Barcelona       5 – 1   Espanyol

21/05/14      COC   Barcelona         0 – 0   Espanyol

29/03/14      PRD     Espanyol          0 – 1   Barcelona

01/11/13      PRD     Barcelona       1 – 0   Espanyol

Prediction: Espanyol 1-3 Barcelona

Crystal Palace v Chelsea @Selhurst Park @14:30 on Jan.3

Palace are in 5th position while the defending EPL champions, Chelsea are in 14th, in what is already a crazy season that has seen the demise of Jose Mourinho, six months after he won the EPL title. Palace have already beaten Chelsea this season and two games into Guus Hiddink’s second tenure, he is yet to taste a win. Can Chelsea manage three points at Selhurst Park on Sunday? It is also a London derby but keep your eyes on this one because a loss for the Blues and the fans would really be on the backs of the players – who have not been forgiven for sacking Mourinho.

Form Guide – Crystal Palace [D W W D D] | Chelsea [W L W D D]

Head to head

29/08/15      PRL      Chelsea           1 – 2   Palace

03/05/15      PRL      Chelsea           1 – 0   Palace

18/10/14      PRL      Palace              1 – 2   Chelsea

29/03/14      PRL      Palace              1 – 0   Chelsea

14/12/13      PRL      Chelsea           2 – 1   Palace

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea

Valencia v Real Madrid @Estadio de Mestalla @20:30 on Jan. 3

Rafael Benitez is under serious pressure and any dropped points will add to the pressure that the fans are putting on him and Florentino Perez and his opponent on Sunday. Gary Neville needs a big scalp to kick off his managerial time in Valencia. So, two teams under tremendous pressure for all three points will either mean an all-out attacking onslaught from both sides or a very cautious affair where both teams will be happy with one point. Whichever way it pans out; it will be an exciting watch!

Form Guide – Valencia [L D W D L] | Real Madrid [W W L W W]

Head to head

09/05/15      PRD     Real Madrid   2 – 2   Valencia

04/01/15      PRD     Valencia          2 – 1   Real Madrid

04/05/14      PRD     Real Madrid   2 – 2   Valencia

22/12/13      PRD     Valencia          2 – 3   Real Madrid

23/01/13      CDR    Valencia          1 – 1   Real Madrid

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