The EPL gets doubly exciting this weekend as Leicester pit their title-chasing aspirations against many pundits’ pick for the title at the beginning of the season, Manchester City. Chelsea take their unbeaten streak [five draws in eight games] against an improving Manchester United while in Kigali, DR Congo will be hoping to become two-time winners at the CHAN tournament, in its fourth edition.
Man. City vs. Leicester City @EtihadStadium @1:45pm on Feb.6
I have a weird feeling that the Citizens will be outfoxed by Leicester on Saturday at the Etihad. Call me optimistic or that I am rooting for the underdog, but the Foxes cannot be considered underdogs in this season’s EPL season – what with a three-point lead with just 14 games to go in the season. Jaime Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are dangerous customers with a slow central defensive partnership of Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis even though Sergio Aguero would prove a handful for the Leicester defence. This one is too close to call but if Leicester take anything from the Etihad then many more will start to take them serious in the race for the title.
Form Guide: Man. City [W-W-W-D-W]; Leicester [W-W-L-D-W]
Head to head
29/12/15 PRL Leicester 0 – 0 Man City
04/03/15 PRL Man City 2 – 0 Leicester City
13/12/14 PRL Leicester 0 – 1 Man City
17/12/13 LEC Leicester 1 – 3 Man City
18/01/11 FAC Man City 4 – 2 Leicester
Prediction: Man. City 1 – 2 Leicester
Guus Hiddink comes up against fellow countryman, Louis van Gaal [they are not friends at all] with the aim of getting all three points to waltz up the table while United need all three points to stay in the hunt for a Champions League place, a goal that Chelsea have finally given up on.
Who has more to gain than what is to be lost amongst the two will play a part in settling this domestic rivalry that has lost some bite with the back-benching role of the two teams in the title race this season. United showed in their last game against Stoke that they are beginning to gel with Anthony Martial quite impressive.
Form Guide: Chelsea [D-W-W-D-D]; Man. United [W-W-L-W-D]
Head to head
28/12/15 PRL Man United 0 – 0 Chelsea
18/04/15 PRL Chelsea 1 – 0 Man United
26/10/14 PRL Man United 1 – 1 Chelsea
19/01/14 PRL Chelsea 3 – 1 Man United
26/08/13 PRL Man United 0 – 0 Chelsea
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – 1 Man. United
Pep Guardiola is going to Manchester City next season and their most dependable defender, Jerome Boateng, is injured. Would these two issues play a major part when the defending champions come against Javier Hernandez and his Leverkusen side? Many would say that it does not matter but it matters to Guardiola, who has spoken out against some publications as he accused the media of not respecting managers. So, there is tension. If Bayern loses on Sunday, expect more tension and we could have a situation that becomes untenable for Guardiola to continue to stay at the helm of the Bavarians. Watch this space!
Form Guide: Leverkusen [W-D-L-D-W]; Bayern [W-W-L-W-W]
Head to head
29/08/15 BUN Bayern 3 – 0 Leverkusen
02/05/15 BUN Leverkusen 2 – 0 Bayern
08/04/15 DFP Bayer 0 – 0 Bayern
06/12/14 BUN Bayern 1 – 0 Leverkusen
15/03/14 BUN Bayern 2 – 1 Leverkusen
Prediction: Leverkusen 1 – 2 Bayern Munich
The DR Congo won the first ever edition in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 and are seeking to win again in Rwanda against a battling Mali side. Mali will be bidding to become the first west African nation to take the title after DR Congo, Tunisia and Libya won the first three editions. Expect the final to be very close as both semi-finals showed that there is little difference between all the teams though the experience of the Congo players in high tension matches may play a defining factor at the Amahoro Stadium.
Form Guide: RD Congo [W-W-L-W-W]; Mali [W-W-D-W-D]
Head to head
28/01/13 ACO Congo DR 1 – 1 Mali
17/11/10 FRI Mali 3 – 1 Congo DR
Prediction: RD Congo 2-1 Mali