Four matches to watch this weekend

Enyimba FC
Enyimba FC

Ifeanyi Uba v Enyimba @FC Ifeanyi Uba International @4pm on Jan.19

Enyimba have won none of their last five NPFL matches – a run that looks to continue when they travel to face FC Ifeanyi Uba in Nnewi on Sunday. There has been a change in the coach, but successfully navigating NPFL matches continues to look like a mirage.

After doing well in the CAF Confederations Cup, the Aba-based side lost at home to Heartland to leave them stranded in 16th place with 15 points from 11 matches. Their hosts have not fared better, they sit in 10th place with 20 points from 15 matches.

Will the league’s defending champions go six league matches without a win?

Current Form: Ifeanyi Uba [W-L-L-W-L]; Enyimba [W-L-L-D-D]

Head to head

10/06/19 NPF Enyimba 3 – 1 Ifeanyi Uba

09/05/18 NPF Enyimba 1 – 1 Ifeanyi Uba

16/07/17 NPF Ifeanyi Uba 1 – 0 Enyimba

15/03/17 NPF Enyimba 2 – 0 Ifeanyi Uba

25/09/16 NPF Ifeanyi Uba 1 – 0 Enyimba

Prediction: Ifeanyi Uba 2-1 Enyimba

Liverpool v Man. United @Anfield at 5:30 pm on Jan.19

The only team to have taken anything from Liverpool this season in the English Premier League has been a stuttering Manchester United side, whose manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed a successful formula for negating the world champions.

Will that bluster withstand the Anfield fervour, who will go for the kill against their sworn rivals? The clubs separated by 53km are more miles apart on the league table with Jurgen Klopp’s side better by 27 points after 22 matches. The rumblings and disquiet around Old Trafford continue to grow, which means Solskjaer’s team on Sunday cannot afford to be beaten black and blue.

United are ravaged by injuries – a phenomenon that has not affected Liverpool this season. Klopp welcomes back Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, and Fabinho, who have all returned to training. United will be without the injured Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, and Luke Shaw while Marcus Rashford is also a big doubt after injuring his back against Wolves in the FA Cup 1-0 win last Tuesday.

Can United perform another miracle by taking anything from Anfield?

Current Form: Liverpool [W-W-W-W-W]; Man. Utd [?-W-L-D-L]

Head to head

20/10/19 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 1 Liverpool

24/02/19 PRL Man. Utd 0 – 0 Liverpool

16/12/18 PRL Liverpool 3 – 1 Man. Utd

28/07/18 ICC Man. Utd 1 – 4 Liverpool

10/03/18 PRL Man. Utd 2 – 1 Liverpool

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Man. United

Real Madrid v Sevilla @Santiago Bernabeu @4pm on Jan.18

Saturday sees the return of Julen Lopetegui to the Bernabeu, a place where his managerial career was almost decimated by getting the Real Madrid job whilst at the helm of Spain’s national team.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are building momentum, joint top of La Liga with Barcelona, and have added the Spanish Super Cup to their gallery. But Zinedine Zidane’s team will be without Sergio Ramos and the quietly influential young midfielder Fede Valverde, which could leave the back door slightly ajar for Sevilla to score especially with their new recruit, Youssef En-Nesyri, who arrived from Leganes on Thursday, keen to impress.

Sevilla have a bad record at the Bernabeu, having lost their last 12 consecutive matches – a stat Lopetegui will be keen to end on Saturday. Will Lopetegui have cause to smile at the Bernabeu?

Current Form: Real Madrid [W-W-W-D-D]; Sevilla [W-D-W-W-L]

Head to head

22/09/19 LAL Sevilla 0 – 1 Real Madrid

19/01/19 LAL Real Madrid 2 – 0 Sevilla

26/09/18 LAL Sevilla 3 – 0 Real Madrid

09/05/18 LAL Sevilla 3 – 2 Real Madrid

09/12/17 LAL Real Madrid 5 – 0 Sevilla

Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Sevilla

Juventus v Parma @Allianz Stadium @7:45pm on Jan.19

Juve have started 2020 will all guns blazing with Cristiano Ronaldo back to his best and scoring goals. Maurizio Sarri has also found a way to play the three of Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, and Gonzalo Higuain together as an attacking trident. But in Parma, they have an awkward opponent who can be very good, especially on the counter but also can be very woeful on the road.

With Merih Demiral injured, the out-of-sorts Matthijs de Ligt gets another shot to show he is worthy of starting amidst swirling reports that he wants to go out on loan while Roberto D’Aversa could start Jasmin Kurtic ahead of Gervinho with Roberto Inglese and on-loan Juventus player, Dejan Kulusevski, keen to impress.

Juventus cannot afford to drop points in the Scudetto race as Inter Milan sit just two points behind with a better goal difference.

Current Form: Juventus [W-W-W-L-W]; Parma [L-W-L-D-W]

Head to head

24/08/19 SEA Parma 0 – 1 Juventus

02/02/19 SEA Juventus 3 – 3 Parma

01/09/18 SEA Parma 1 – 2 Juventus

11/04/15 SEA Parma 1 – 0 Juventus

28/01/15 COI Parma 0 – 1 Juventus

Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Parma


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