Four matches you must watch this weekend

Nigeria U23 team: www.soccernet.com.ng

Nigeria v Algeria @Leopold Senghor Stadium @19:00 on Dec.12

Samson Siasia would enter Nigeria’s football record books as the first Nigerian coach to win the CAF U-23 Nations Cup if he is able to inspire a victory over his team’s Algerian opponents on Saturday despite all the hassles – both personal and organizational.

The Nigerian team has not lost any match and has succeeded in not conceding for the 180 minutes of football. Algeria, who came first in the same group with Nigeria, are also unbeaten and have qualified for their first Olympic football event in 35 years, which might bring some complacency into their game.

With two wins and two draws each, both teams seem well balanced on paper even though the Algerians have conceded just one goal in their four matches, scoring five times. On the part of the Dream Team VI, they have scored six goals and conceded four.

Form Guide – Algeria [D W D W] | Nigeria [W D D W]

Prediction: Algeria 1-2 Nigeria

 

Napoli v Roma @Stadio San Paolo @18:00 on Dec.13

Roma are in all sorts of trouble – with no win in their last five matches while Napoli suffered a blip away to bologna last weekend falling to a first defeat in five. Roma are also without their speedsters – Mohamed Salah and Gervinho, which seems to have taken the spontaneity and counter attacking element away from their attack.

They are also conceding in buckets – 11 goals conceded in their last five and just four goals scored, which is where the problems really lie. Fans are starting to get restless with Rudi Garcia with rumours circulating that Fabio Cappelo could be interested in the job. That in itself would not help the team as they confront a free-scoring Napoli on Sunday.

Form Guide – Napoli [W W W L W] | Roma [D L L D D]

Head to head 

04/04/15      SEA     Roma              1 – 0   Napoli

01/11/14      SEA     Napoli 2 – 0   Roma

09/03/14      SEA     Napoli 1 – 0   Roma

12/02/14      COI     Napoli 3 – 0   Roma

05/02/14      COI     Roma              3 – 2   Napoli

Prediction: Napoli 3-0 Roma

 

Villarreal v Real Madrid @Camp El Madrigal @20:30 on Dec. 13

A potential banana-skin awaits Rafael Benitez and his team – with only two titles to aim for this season after their expulsion from the Copa del Rey and four points behind eternal rivals, Barcelona.

The Blaugrana leave for Japan to take part in the FIFA Club World Cup, which gives the likes of Real and Atletico the impetus to go ahead of the current league leaders. Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be back in goal scoring form with the return of Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. But they know that they will have to play to the utmost potential to get a positive result at the Madrigal.

Form Guide – Villarreal [W W W D W] | Real Madrid [W W W W]

Head to head 

01/03/15      PRD     Real Madrid   1 – 1   Villarreal

27/09/14      PRD     Villarreal         0 – 2   Real Madrid

08/02/14      PRD     Real Madrid   4 – 2   Villarreal

14/09/13      PRD     Villarreal         2 – 2   Real Madrid

21/03/12      PRD     Villarreal         1 – 1   Real Madrid

Prediction: Villarreal 1-3 Real Madrid

 

Leicester v Chelsea @King Power Stadium @21:00 on Dec. 14

Unbelievably, this game is between the league leaders [Leicester] and the defending champions, Chelsea, in 14th place and a 17-point differential, after 15 matches.

Unbelievable!!! But that is how things stand and the Blues could even be pushed into the relegation abyss if Newcastle, Sunderland, Bournemouth and Norwich win their matches and they lose – that is how big the match is to Jose Mourinho and his team.

Having ensured safe passage to the UEFA Champions League round of 16, Mourinho has to plot another important win but will Jaime Vardy and his crew allow that to happen when they are flying this high even though Chelsea scored three or more goals on their last two visits?

Form Guide – Leicester [W W W D W] | Chelsea [W W D L W]

Head to head 

29/04/15      PRL      Leicester          1 – 3   Chelsea

23/08/14      PRL      Chelsea           2 – 0   Leicester

18/03/12      FAC     Chelsea           5 – 2   Leicester

31/10/07      LEC      Chelsea           4 – 3   Leicester

11/01/04      PRL      Leicester          0 – 4   Chelsea

Prediction: Leicester 2-1 Chelsea


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