Liverpool v Everton @Anfield @8:55pm on Jan 5
The pick of matches in the third round of the FA Cup is the Merseyside derby going down on Friday at Anfield. Just 25 days ago, Sam Allardyce waltzed into Anfield and despite just 23% of ball possession picked a share of the points through Wayne Rooney’s penalty. Since then Everton have wobbled and lost two matches consecutively while Liverpool have waxed stronger with goals from the fabulous four of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino. Will this game follow the same course of the one in early December or will Liverpool get an early goal to ensure Everton don’t camp on the edge of their box for 90 minutes? Tune in on Friday starting at 9pm.
Current Form: Liverpool [W-W-W-D-W]; Everton [L-L-D-D-W]
Head to head
Sun 10/12/17 PRL Liverpool 1 – 1 Everton
Sat 01/04/17 PRL Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton
Mon 19/12/16 PRL Everton 0 – 1 Liverpool
Wed 20/04/16 PRL Liverpool 4 – 0 Everton
Sun 04/10/15 PRL Everton 1 – 1 Liverpool
Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Everton
Fiorentina v Inter Milan @Stadio Artemio Franchi @8:45pm on Jan 5
Both teams are in dire form and need the three points though Luciano Spaletti’s team needs it more to stay in touch with Napoli and Juventus. This match would also see the emotional return of Borja Valero, who played for five seasons at the Franchi.
Miranda and Danilo D’Ambrosio will miss the encounter for Inter with Andrea Ranocchia continuing in the centre of the defence. Fiorentina are undefeated in 26 of their last 29 Serie A matches at home and have scored 15 goals in their nine home matches this season. Inter have scored 13 and conceded six goals in their nine away matches, losing just once. It promises to be a cagey affair.
Current Form: Fiorentina [D-L-W-D-W]; Inter Milan [D-L-L-L-W]
Head to head
Sun 20/08/17 SEA Inter Milan 3 – 0 Fiorentina
Sat 22/04/17 SEA Fiorentina 5 – 4 Inter Milan
Mon 28/11/16 SEA Inter Milan 4 – 2 Fiorentina
Sun 14/02/16 SEA Fiorentina 2 – 1 Inter Milan
Sun 27/09/15 SEA Inter Milan 1 – 4 Fiorentina
Prediction: Fiorentina 1-2 Inter Milan
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid @Estadio de Balaídos @8:45pm on Jan 7
It never rains but pours for Real Madrid. Are they in a crisis of confidence? Will Zinedine Zidane be sacked? All these are unclear but the sure thing is Celta are a very tricky two-faced team. They can be very good and then be very poor and in Iago Aspas, they have a goal poacher, who understands goal scoring. The duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema; especially Benzema must start scoring more frequently to help the fans forget the 3-0 pounding the got in the Christmas El Clasico. But this is a very tricky tie!
Current Form: Celta Vigo [W-L-L-D-W]; Real Madrid [L-W-W-W-W]
Head to head
Wed 17/05/17 LAL Celta Vigo 1 – 4 Real Madrid
Wed 25/01/17 CDR Celta Vigo 2 – 2 Real Madrid
Wed 18/01/17 CDR Real Madrid 1 – 2 Celta Vigo
Sat 27/08/16 LAL Real Madrid 2 – 1 Celta Vigo
Sat 05/03/16 LAL Real Madrid 7 – 1 Celta Vigo
Prediction: Celta Vigo 2-3 Real Madrid
Man. City v Burnley @Etihad Stadium @4pm on Jan 6
With no wins in their last five matches, would Burnley lay down at the Etihad and be sacrificed in this FA Cup third round matchup with all-conquering Manchester City? Knowing Sean Dyche’s DNA, this would be no. For City, it is expected that Pep Guardiola would rest the cream of his team, which means Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, and maybe Ederson. Fernandinho should also be given a rest. But because of Gabriel Jesus’ injury, Guardiola could deploy Raheem Sterling down the middle while Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Toure support through the middle.
Current Form: Man. City [W-D-W-W-W]; Burnley [L-D-D-L-D]
Head to head
Sat 21/10/17 PRL Man. City 3 – 0 Burnley
Mon 02/01/17 PRL Man. City 2 – 1 Burnley
Sat 26/11/16 PRL Burnley 1 – 2 Man. City
Sat 14/03/15 PRL Burnley 1 – 0 Man. City
Sun 28/12/14 PRL Man. City 2 – 2 Burnley
Prediction: Man. City 2-1 Burnley