It is crunch time in most of the top European leagues and the chase for Champions League is hot in Spain, Italy, and England, while in France three teams can still win the league going into the last match of the season.
Atletico Madrid can be assured of a second league title in seven years with a win away at Valladolid.
Enyimba v Pyramids @Enyimba Stadium @4pm on May 23
The only matches Enyimba have scored four or more goals in CAF competitions were a 5-0 victory over Rahimo of Burkina Faso in August 2019 and a 5-1 victory over Vital’o FC of Burundi in March 2016. The task against Pyramids on Sunday will be to score four goals without conceding-a mighty task for this Enyimba side who have scored twice in one match twice in the Confederations Cup. Fatai Osho, the Enyimba manager believes if his team can score the first goals of the Sunday encounter on Sunday then there can be hope for a comeback. “We have to let them (the players) know that it’s not over yet. We have to play and score and not concede; if we can do that, we have a hope. A situation where we can score one or two goals, that brings hope and we have to work on their psyche.”
Current Form: Enyimba [L-L-D-L-W]; Pyramids [W-L-W-D-W]
16/05/21 CCC Pyramids 4 – 1 Enyimba
Prediction: Enyimba 2-2 Pyramids
Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid @Estadio Municipal José Zorrilla @5pm on May 22
The three points at stake on Saturday at the Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla mean different things to Real Valladolid and Atletico Madrid. Win and Atletico will be champions again after seven seasons while for Valladolid, the three points could mean survival in La Liga. Though Elche and Eibar need to lose for the three points to count for something, it is enough motivation for the home side to go chasing a win. Diego Simeone’s men have had to survive flops, slip-ups, and frustration but somehow, they have held on with just 90 minutes between them and glory. Will Atletico hold their nerves?
Current Form: Valladolid [L-L-L-D-D]; Atletico [W-W-D-W-L]
05/12/20 LAL Atletico 2 – 0 Valladolid
20/06/20 LAL Atletico 1 – 0 Valladolid
06/10/19 LAL Valladolid 0 – 0 Atletico
27/04/19 LAL Atletico 1 – 0 Valladolid
15/12/18 LAL Valladolid 2 – 3 Atletico
Prediction: Valladolid 1-2 Atletico
Atalanta v AC Milan @Gewiss Stadium @7:45pm On May 23
AC Milan have to beat Atalanta on Sunday to hold on to their top-four spot as Juventus look for the slightest opportunity to grasp Champions League football. But it is a daunting task as Atalanta have dished out painful defeats in the last two encounters-3-0 at San Siro and 5-0 last season in Bergamo. Atalanta were denied the Coppa by Juventus and are already qualified for the UCL but Milan need their strongest characters to get the required result although they will have to achieve this without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimović. Stefano Pioli has done an excellent job of reinvigorating Milan since he took over and they led the league for so long; finishing without Champions League qualification will be a blow to all the work done and they need the money that UCL guarantees.
Current Form: Atalanta [L-W-W-W-D]; AC Milan [D-W-W-W-L]
23/01/21 SEA AC Milan 0 – 3 Atalanta
24/07/20 SEA AC Milan 1 – 1 Atalanta
22/12/19 SEA Atalanta 5 – 0 AC Milan
16/02/19 SEA Atalanta 1 – 3 AC Milan
23/09/18 SEA AC Milan 2 – 2 Atalanta
Prediction: Atalanta 2-2 AC Milan
Aston Villa v Chelsea @Villa Park @4pm on May 23
Whatever progress Thomas Tuchel has brought to Chelsea, since late January will be qualified as a success with three points against Aston Villa on Sunday. At a point in the league, Villa were in the equation for a spot in Europe but they fell away with the injury to their talismanic captain, Jack Grealish, but he is back now to lead his team to an emphatic end. Chelsea have some injuries to be worried about as they also prepare for the Champions League final against Manchester City next Saturday. N’Golo Kante is a serious doubt, having had to be replaced in the first half against Leicester City last Saturday while Kai Havertz is touch and go. Liverpool are almost assured of a top-four finish as they play at home against Crystal Palace while Leicester City still believe even though they will welcome Tottenham to the King Power, hoping for a miracle slip from either Chelsea or Liverpool. It will be a nervous 90 minutes for all three teams.
Current Form: Aston Villa [W-L-D-L-W]; Chelsea [W-L-L-W-W]
28/12/20 PRL Chelsea 1 – 1 Aston Villa
21/06/20 PRL Aston Villa 1 – 2 Chelsea
04/12/19 PRL Chelsea 2 – 1 Aston Villa
02/04/16 PRL Aston Villa 0 – 4 Chelsea
17/10/15 PRL Chelsea 2 – 0 Aston Villa
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
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