Champions League Matchday 6 Preview: Barca on the brink, Milan fight for a miracle, full predictions & facts of every match

Welcome to the final matchday of the Champions League group stage! Let’s have a quick look at what will happen in the final matches.

Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich result: Robert Lewandowski scores twice, German  side crushes Blaugrana
Barcelona on brink of being eliminated

Game of the Week

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Bayern Munich vs Barcelona

1, It proved to be a fantastic weekend for Bayern Munich who brushed aside great rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a chaotic ‘Der Klassiker’ showdown to move four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga standings. Here, they enter this clash with Barcelona, having already sealed top spot in UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group E after winning all five of their previous group stage matches, netting a whopping average of 3.8 goals per fixture.

2, That included a mammoth 3-0 away H2H victory at Camp Nou on matchday one, a result that extended their streak to three straight wins against Barça – the longest such streak suffered by the visitors against any opposition in European football history. Bayern have also won a remarkable 22 of their 23 prior UCL home group stage matches (D1), a run dating back to 2013/14, which will further increase confidence here.

3, A late 1-0 home defeat to Real Betis over the weekend was hardly ideal preparation for this crucial UCL clash for Barcelona, especially as that defeat ended their previous six-game run without a loss (W3, D3). Sitting two points clear of Benfica in second spot in Group E, only a victory here would guarantee that the Catalans would qualify for the knockout stages given their negative H2H record versus the Portuguese outfit.

4, That could prove an extremely tough task as Barcelona have now netted just four goals across their previous eight UCL clashes, whilst they’ve also failed to score more than once in a UCL match since December 2020 – their longest ever such run in competition history.

5, Players to watch: Bayern’s Thomas Müller loves this fixture as he’s scored seven goals in six previous UCL matches vs Barcelona, including the opener in the reverse H2H. Barça’s Ousmane Dembélé is expected to be fit for this match and has three goal contributions in four previous H2Hs with Bayern (G1, A2).

6, Hot stat: Bayern have scored two or more goals in their last 11 home UCL outings.

7, Apex prediction: Bayern 2-0 Barcelona

Round of 16 (Before MatchDay 6)

Miracle in Milan?

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AC Milan vs Liverpool

1, Seven-time European champions AC Milan have a mountain to climb to advance to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), needing a win over six-time champions Liverpool to stand any chance. The footballing gods will ultimately decide their fate though, as whilst a draw in the Porto vs Atlético Madrid match would put Milan through (if they win here), a win for Porto would see Milan finish outside the top two, as would a win for Atlético if it came by a higher margin than any Milan victory.

2, The Serie A leaders could also finish last in Group B and fall out of European competition all together if they don’t show up ready for a war. But the ‘Rossoneri’ will have to find at least another gear here based on the fact they’ve lost five of their last six matches (W1) when English opposition have visited the San Siro in European competition (excluding qualifiers), notably failing to score in four of those defeats.

3, Liverpool will still be on a high after scoring a 94th minute winner over Wolves last time out, securing their fourth win ‘to nil’ in their last five games. Boss Jürgen Klopp has the luxury of rotating his squad should he wish given that their Round of 16 status is already guaranteed, although a win would make Liverpool the first English club to navigate the UCL group stages with a 100% record.

4, The ‘Reds’ have been marauders this UCL campaign, scoring first in all of their group games. Milan did give Liverpool a scare in the reverse fixture though, leading 2-1 at the break – the only time across Liverpool’s 22 games played this season that the Merseysiders trailed at half-time.

5, Players to watch: Milan could use some Franck Kessié magic here, as they’ve never lost when the midfielder has found the net (W26, D4), while Divock Origi’s heroics at the weekend could earn him a start, and his last six Liverpool goals have come away from home.

6,Hot stat: Milan have seen the opening goal arrive before the half-hour mark in 12 of their last 14 matches.

7, Apex prediction: Milan 2-1 Liverpool

‘Group of the Week’

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Group G

1, For the first time since 2009, all four teams go into the final matchday with a chance of progression. That’s the case in Group G which features Lille, Salzburg, Sevilla and Wolfsburg who are fighting it out for two places.

2, While there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way, the situation is relatively straightforward.
The top two (Lille and Salzburg) can secure qualification by avoiding defeat and they don’t play each other, while Sevilla and Wolfsburg in the chasing pack must win to stand any chance.
But every team knows three points will see them through. Talk about perfectly poised.

3, Salzburg vs Sevilla: Amid a host of permutations in Group G, one thing is clear – the winner of this final UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage clash between Salzburg and Sevilla will advance to the knockout stages. After winning both of their two previous home games during this group stage, the advantage rests with the Austrians, who prepared for this clash with another home league victory to maintain their near-perfect home record in all 2021/22 competitions (W11, D1).
Though Salzburg were declared warm favourites on all 12 of those occasions, it remains to be seen how they’ll rise to the additional challenge offered by Sevilla, having lost three of their last four games at home to Spanish opposition.

4, Wolfsburg vs Lille: Bottom-placed Wolfsburg will end the night either in the UCL last 16 for the first time since 2015/16 or eliminated from Europe entirely. Only a victory here can see them avoid the latter scenario, and while the reverse meeting on matchday one (D 0-0) showed their defensive resilience, it remains their last clean sheet in this competition, and their record since (W1, D1, L2) is poor.

5, Apex prediction: Wolfsburg 1-1 Lille, Salzburg 0-2 Sevilla

Red Hot Haller

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Ajax vs Sporting

1, Players to watch: With just five games under his belt, Ajax’s Sébastien Haller is the fastest player in UCL history to reach nine goals. Memorably, four of those goals came in the reverse fixture! While none of Paulinho’s six competitive goals this season have been crucial to the result, he has found the net in three of Sporting’s five UCL group games.

2, The seemingly unstoppable form of Ajax continued unabated over the weekend, as they swept aside Willem II 5-0 to make it ten games unbeaten (W8, D2). While this UEFA Champions League (UCL) fixture will undoubtedly pose more of a challenge, Ajax have their sights set on joining an elite group of only six other clubs to pick up maximum points in a UCL group stage.

3, Even though all four places are already set in stone in this group, it is unlikely that group winners Ajax will take their foot off the pedal here. Indeed, only Bayern Munich and Manchester City have scored more goals than Ajax’s 3.2 per match on average, while only UCL holders Chelsea can boast fewer goals conceded ahead of this final match day.

4, Feeling vengeful after their comprehensive 5-1 defeat in the reverse fixture, Sporting Lisbon arrive in Amsterdam after putting together a 12-game winning streak in all competitions. Yet, with the ‘Leões’ picking up just two wins across their last 12 UCL away games in the competition proper (D1, L9), they seem well deserving of pre-match underdog status.

5, Current winning run aside, the case for Sporting mainly lies in their solid away record on Dutch soil (W5, D1, L3). However, Sporting shouldn’t lack any motivation, after winning their last three UCL games at any venue, especially as they have never previously won four consecutive games in the UCL.

6, Hot stat: Ajax have scored at least twice in eight of their last ten UCL games.

7, Apex Prediction: Ajax 3-1 Sporting

Apex Predictions (FULL)

Real Madrid vs Inter

Real Madrid lead Group D by two points and come into this midweek welcome of Inter in superb form. Indeed, Los Blancos are on an 11-game unbeaten run and have won their last eight in all competitions.
Inter, too, are unbeaten in 11 and a 3-0 win at Roma on Saturday extended their winning run to five games. They did lose the reverse fixture late on back in September and have lost their last three meetings with Real Madrid.
A point is enough for Real Madrid to secure first and the pair could well play out a draw at the Bernabeu.
So, Madrid 1-1 Inter?

Porto vs Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid are at the bottom of Group B but they can still finish second if they beat Porto and Liverpool beat Milan. However, they have lost their last three Champions League game and have only won three of their last 10 in all competitions in total.
FC Porto are on point clear of both Atletico and AC Milan in Group B. A draw would be good enough here as long as Milan fail to beat Liverpool. Porto are winless across their last three away matches in the Champions League.
So, Porto 2-1 Atletico?

Zenit vs Chelsea

Zenit have third place secured no matter what happens on Wednesday due to their superior head-to-head record over fourth place Malmo.
Chelsea just need to match Juventus’ result in order to secure top spot but Thomas Tuchel’s side find themselves in a rut.
Defeat at the weekend was only their first lose in 13 matches but there have been warning signs in recent weeks.
Chelsea have conceded in each of their last three matches and injuries are starting to pick up for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
While they remain favourites on Wednesday, they should expect a very tricky game against Zenit.
So, Zenit 0-1 Chelsea?

Juventus vs Malmoe FF

Chelsea’s superior head-to-head record over Juventus means the Old Lady need to win here and hope Zenit can do them a favour in Russia. The Italian side have won back-to-back league matches, and have won six of their last eight at home.
Malmoe FF have been the Group F whipping boys and it is now impossible for them to secure European football in the New Year. They have earned just one point from their five matches, but have won their last three away games.
Nevertheless, this should be a routine home win for Juventus.
So, Juve 3-0 Malmoe FF?

Atlanta vs Villarreal

Serie A side Atlanta must beat Villarreal to leapfrog the Spanish side into second place in Group F.
Atalanta will finish bottom of the group if they fail to win on Wednesday and Young Boys beat Manchester United.
Villarreal must avoid defeat to secure Champions League knockout football next year.
Villarreal have lost their last three matches with top-flight clubs, while Atalanta are unbeaten in 10.
So, Atlanta 2-1 Villarreal?

Benfica vs Dynamo Kyiv

Benfica know that if they beat bottom side Dynamo Kyiv and Barcelona fail to beat group winners Bayern Munich then they will finish second and qualify for the knock-out stage of the competition for the first time since 2016/17.
Dynamo Kyiv are bottom of Group E and cannot improve on that. While Benfica will naturally think they should beat the worst team in the group, they did only manage a 0-0 draw with them in the reverse meeting and that result would see them finish third.
So, Benfica 2-0 Kyiv?

Thank you for reading our Champions League predictions for the last matchday of the group stage, never forget to keep an eye on our football app ‘Apex Football’ to get one of the quickest livescore and match event pushes. Feel free to comment your ideas and feeling below in the comment area. Enjoy the Champions League!

Messi wins historic SEVENTH Ballon d’Or; Chelsea awarded ‘Club of the Year’; Donnarumma gets Yashin Trophy; Lewandowski picks up the ‘Striker of the Year’; Putellas wins Women’s Ballon d’Or

Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi won the 2021 Ballon d’Or, his record-extending seventh player of the year award in his career. He beat out Bayern Munich and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski, who was the other top contender.

FC Barcelona star attacking midfielder Alexia Putellas won the women’s award, PSG goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma was voted the best goalkeeper in the world, and another Barcelona player, 19-year-old Pedri, was named the best men’s Under-21 player in the world.

Robert Lewandowski was named the inaugural Striker of the Year as the top scorer for club and country, while Chelsea FC took home the Club of the Year with the most candidates across the Ballon d’Or awards.

LIONEL MESSI WINS HIS SEVENTH BALLON D’OR🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

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Lionel Messi has won an historic seventh Ballon d’Or after picking up the prestigious individual award at a ceremony in Paris.

The 34-year-old has now won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021, meaning he has lifted the prize handed to the best player in world football more times than any other male player in its history, two clear of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi beat out Robert Lewandowski who finished in second place and Chelsea midfielder Jorghino who was ranked third in the voting.

The forward added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 trophies after winning the Copa America for the first time with his country last July.

“It’s incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key”, Messi said at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer from Barcelona during the summer, collected 613 points, with Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski, named best striker on Monday, getting 580.

Jorginho, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and the European Championship with Italy, ended up third on 460, ahead of France’s Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Club of the year: Chelsea FC

2021 was a memorable one for Chelsea and they have been handed the award for the Club of the Year!

Of course, Thomas Tuchel’s team won the Champions League and are top of the Premier League while Emma Hayes’ side made the final of the Women’s Champions League last season.

N’Golo Kante: 5th in the Ballon d’Or

Jorginho: 3rd in the Ballon d’Or

Chelsea: 2021 Club of the Year

What a run for Chelsea!

Best Goalscorer Award

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Robert Lewandowski and the newly-created Striker of the Year award

Bayern Munich and Poland striker Lewandowski has won the Striker of the Year award! He enjoyed an excellent 2021, breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for the most Bundesliga goals in a single season!

Yashin Trophy

Italy and PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has won the 2021 Yashin Trophy, beating out Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy who had been tipped for the award.

Donnarumma won the Best Player award at Euro 2020 and made the switch from AC Milan to the French capital in the summer.

Gianluigi Donnarumma beats out the likes of Edouard Mendy (2nd), Jan Oblak (3rd), Ederson (4th), Manuel Neuer (5th), Emiliano Martinez (6th).

Women’s Ballon d’Or

What an extraordinary year it’s been for Women’s Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who is crowned the winner ahead of stars Jenni Hermoso, Sam Kerr and Vivianne Miedema.

Congratulations, Alexia!

Kopa Trophy

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Pedri has won the Kopa trophy handed to the best male player age 21 or under. It’s certainly true that the teenager had an incredible year for Barcelona and Spain!

Bukayo Saka came sixth in the voting with Mason Greenwood fifth and Jude Bellingham in second place!

2021 Kopa Trophy Ranking:

1 | Pedri
2 | Jude Bellingham
3 | Jamal Musiala
4 | Nuno Mendes
5 | Mason Greenwood
6 | Bukayo Saka
7 | Florian Wirtz
8 | Ryan Gravenberch
9 | Giovanni Reyna
9 | Jérémy Doku

More to follow… Keep refreshing the page to getting more information!

Men’s Ballon d’Or Rankings (2nd to 10th)

Lewandowski at 2nd place in the Ballon d’Or rankings

Kante 5th, Benzema 4th, Jorginho 3rd!

Ronaldo 6th, Salah 7th De Bruyne 8th

There will be no sixth Ballon d’Or for Cristiano Ronaldo this evening with the Portuguese forward finishing sixth in the ranking! Sixth-place Ronaldo finishes outside the top five in the Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2010.

Kevin de Bruyne has been ranked sixth in the Ballon d’Or voting with Mohamed Salah in seventh place! Both players have enjoyed brilliant years with Salah arguably in the form of his life right now!

Of course, de Bruyne helped Manchester City to their third Premier League title in four years.

MBAPPE 9TH, DONNARUMMA 10TH!

Laporta: I am convinced Barcelona will beat Bayern Munich

The Blaugrana president has full confidence in side’s chances to advance to the Champions League knockout stage

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is “convinced” his club will defeat Bayern Munich in their final Champions League group game on December 8.

He has said the appointment of Xavi as manager has inspired more respect from opponents, which could be a factor in what he has predicted to be a “miracle” win at the Allianz Arena.

The Blaugrana could still advance to the knockout stage without toppling their German opponent, but leaving Munich with a win is the only way to 100 per cent assure advancement regardless of what happens in Benfica vs Dynamo Kyiv.

What has been said?

“Beating Bayern is something that can be achieved,” Laporta said to AS. “There is going to be a miracle, I am convinced that we are going to win.

“Xavi is very motivated and very strong. I hope everything goes well for us, I think that at the moment Xavi’s arrival has generated a little respect from our opponents. They know we can do it again.”

Bigger picture

Barcelona lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou earlier in the campaign, and their general form this season has been below typical standards as they sit in seventh place in La Liga.

There is also the matter of their infamous 8-2 loss against Bayern Munich in 2020, which they will be reminded of by rival fans in the build-up to the December 8 clash.

However, the Bavarians may be fielding a weakened starting line-up as they have already clinched first place in the group and could be hesitant to risk injury.

Laporta also believes the Xavi boost in spirit will translate to a passionate display on the pitch.

Barcelona will seal a place in the last 16 if they beat Bayern Munich; if they draw or lose at the Allianz Arena they would need Benfica to draw or lose their match against Dynamo Kyiv in order to advance.

Chelsea host Juve, Carrick’s Utd coaching debut, Xavi’s honeymoon – Opera Football Champions League (Tuesday) Preview & Predictions

Welcome! We’re on matchday five of the Champions League now, and here’re all you need to know before the Tuesday matches start! Before our preview begins, please do not hesitate to subscribe to the matches you’re waiting for on our ‘Opera Football’ app, you will surely receive one of the quickest and best livescores & event pushes once the match starts!

Villarreal vs Manchester Utd

How to watch Villarreal vs Manchester United in the 2021-22 Champions  League from India? | Goal.com

Both teams are on seven points at the top of this UEFA Champions League (UCL) group, and depending on Atalanta’s result, Group F can be won with a matchday to spare. Villarreal enter this clash with something to prove, having dropped two points despite leading at half-time in their weekend match at Celta Vigo, although that was a fourth game unbeaten across their last five (W2, D2, L1).
A Villarreal win would see them equal the ten-point tally that was sufficient to win a group containing Manchester United back in their debut UCL campaign (2005/06). History awaits if the hosts can utilise home advantage from the start, as the ‘Yellow Submarine’ are yet to win a H2H (D5, L1) or score before half-time in a UCL clash against the ‘Red Devils’.

The sole defeat in that record came via a devastating stoppage-time winner from Man United’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the reverse clash on matchday two. Times have changed though, and United travel after a bruising 4-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked following, after a third defeat by a 2+ goal margin in five matches.
A win here at the Estadio de la Cerámica should all but secure top spot for United, given their relatively easier finish to this group stage with a game at home to Young Boys on the final matchday. That said, the three-time European champions have conceded 2+ goals in each of their last four UCL away games (D1, L3), illustrating the task that lies ahead for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement.
Players to watch: Villarreal’s Arnaut Danjuma has seen two of his last four goals come in stoppage time of either half. Ronaldo could be ready to haunt Villarreal again though, as he’s closed the scoring in each of Man United’s last three UCL outings (W2, D1).
Hot stat: Each of Villarreal’s UCL games this term have seen at least one goal beyond the 80th minute.
Our prediction: Villarreal 1-1 Manchester Utd

Dyn. Kyiv vs Bayern Munich

Dynamo Kyiv-Bayern | UEFA Champions League | UEFA.com

A 6-1 victory at the weekend pushed Dynamo Kiev top of the Ukrainian Premier League by virtue of goal difference (W12, D2, L1) although the hosts need to improve upon their UEFA Champions League (UCL) form if they’re to qualify from Group E. Sat five points behind second-placed Barcelona with two matches to play, that’s likely to prove a tall order but a third-placed finish and potential Europa League campaign could prove a handy consolation.
The hosts’ attacking output will need to improve drastically if that’s a possibility though. That’s because Dynamo have failed to score in their four UCL matches this campaign (D1, L3) whilst they’ve mustered just nine shots on target, three less than Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has managed on his own (12)!

Visiting Bayern suffered a shock 2-1 Bundesliga loss to Augsburg last time out, but with the German champions already guaranteed qualification from UCL Group E after four wins from four outings, the pressure is off for this long trip to Ukraine. In fact, top spot in the group will be secured with a game to spare if Bayern can avoid defeat here.
What will be a cause for concern though, is Bayern’s poor recent away record against Ukrainian opposition. The visitors are winless in their last three such matches (D2, L1) and were defeated 2-0 in their last away H2H in 2000. They’re unlikely to be held goalless again here however, as Julian Nagelsmann’s outfit are currently averaging a whopping four goals per match across all competitions this season.
Players to watch: Dynamo’s Vitaliy Buyalskyi has eight goals in 13 league outings this campaign after netting a brace in his last match. Bayern’s Lewandowski has scored in his last eight UCL appearances and is looking to become the first player in competition history to net in nine straight matches on more than one occasion.
Hot stat: Bayern could become the first ever team to score four or more goals in four straight UCL matches.
Our prediction: Dyn. Kyiv 1-4 Bayern Munich

Barcelona vs Benfica

How to watch Barcelona vs Benfica in the 2021-22 Champions League from  India? | Goal.com

A season record 74,418 fans at the Camp Nou witnessed club legend Xavi Hernández’s Barcelona managerial bow in a 1-0 win over Espanyol last weekend. As Xavi etches his name into the record books as the fifth individual to both play for and manage the ‘Blaugrana’ in the UEFA Champions League (UCL), the need for three points supersedes emotion as a win will guarantee progress from the group stages for an 18th season in a row, something which looked beyond reach after starting with consecutive 3-0 losses.
While back-to-back 1-0 UCL wins have put them in pole position for second place, Barça remain shot-shy with only Malmö (four) having fewer shots on target in the competition than their six. Yet, their 11 first-half shots over the weekend vs Espanyol (four on target) is Barça’s season-best for the first period in all competitions, hinting at a change of focus and possibly fortunes.

The scars of a 3-0 loss to Benfica are still fresh though, with that win ending the Portuguese side’s 60-year wait for a win over Barcelona. Back-to-back domestic wins before this trip just plaster over their diminishing UCL form, as Benfica have conceded nine goals across their last two matchdays after starting the group stage with two clean sheets.
Benfica last progressed from the UCL group stages in 2016/17, with the ‘Eagles’ winning just once across their last 13 UCL competition proper away games (W1, D3, L9), and conceding an average of 2.85 goals per game. Whilst a win here would see them leapfrog their hosts – with an easier final matchday ahead – the fanfare surrounding the homecoming of Xavi will make this a difficult assignment for the visitors.
Players to watch: Memphis Depay’s match-winning penalty over the weekend for Barcelona made it a joint-league high seven La Liga points won via his goals (seven) this season. Meanwhile, Benfica’s history-chasing Darwin Núñez has three UCL goals this season and can become just the third player to net three against Barcelona in a single group stage, after his brace in Lisbon.
Hot stat: The team scoring first has lost only once in Barcelona’s 17 competitive matches this
Our prediction: Barcelona 1-0 Benfica

Chelsea vs Juventus

Chelsea vs. Juventus, Champions League: Preview, team news, how to watch -  We Ain't Got No History

It’s going swimmingly in the Premier League for Chelsea who currently sit at the top of the table, yet there’s work to be done if they want to finish top of UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group H (W3, L1). Their one defeat, which came against Juventus in the reverse fixture (1-0), was also the only game in which they conceded in this competition. Consequently they’re three points off the Italian giants with two rounds to play, making this a real six-pointer.
With qualification into the knockout stage all but secure, it’ll be revenge and finishing first that will be the driving motivation heading into this clash. Not only did the ‘Blues’ suffer their first UCL defeat since April against the ‘Old Lady’, but that fixture also extended their winless H2H run against the two-time competition winners to four matches (D2, L2), the last two of which ended in defeat ‘to nil’.

Another win for Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus would create history. Not only would his team become the first to record three consecutive UCL victories against Chelsea, but they’d also be the first to win four consecutive UCL/European Cup away matches against English opponents. This is a feat they’ll surely be backing themselves to do given their 100% record in the competition so far.
Whilst success on the continent has masked their domestic woes this season – they currently sit outside Serie A’s top six – overall form does look to be on an upward trajectory. They’ve lost only two of their last 11 competitive matches (W8, D1), restricting their opponents to one goal or less in seven of those clashes.
Players to watch: Chelsea’s ever-present creative threat Reece James has registered an assist in three of his last four matches for club and country, whilst Juventus’ Federico Chiesa scored second-half goals in the last H2H and in his team’s most recent UCL win.
Hot stat: Chelsea have won just one of their last ten UCL matches vs Italian opposition (D3, L6).
Our prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Juventus

Lille vs Salzburg

Salzburg vs Lille (Champions League) Highlights

After domestic stalemates over the weekend, Lille and Salzburg turn their attention to their penultimate Group G fixture of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League (UCL). Starting this matchday occupying the top two places in the group, both clubs could almost certainly book their place in the next stage of the tournament if they get a result, a welcome surprise given that neither team has advanced from a UCL group stage for 15 years!
Lille have hosted two scoreless draws in this group stage against the other two Group G clubs to date (Wolfsburg and Sevilla) and after registering a further three draws from their last four Ligue 1 fixtures – albeit with goals scored in all three – the hosts will be challenging for the title of biggest forearms in Europe after all the arm wrestling they’ve participated in!

Salzburg’s attackers are in need of an energy drink after the team registered just two goals across their last three matches in all competitions (W1, D1, L1). Whilst consecutive clean sheets in the league has kept their enormous lead at the top of the Austria Bundesliga intact, both teams have scored in all six of their UEFA matches this season and thus their recent solid defending appears unlikely to continue.
They’ll even do well to keep Lille off the scoresheet in the first half, having registered three 1-1 results at the break across their four group stage games so far, although the exception did come in their 2-1 home win in the reverse fixture. With an inaugural Round of 16 place to be secured with victory, there’ll be no shortage of both nerves and motivation for the Austrian outfit.
Players to watch: Lille striker Jonathan David has scored first for his club or country in five of his last six appearances of at least 20 minutes, whilst Karim Adeyemi has found the back of the net in three of his last seven Salzburg games in all competitions.
Hot stat: The half-time result has been replicated at full-time in just one of the last eight competitive matches involving either team.
Our prediction: Lille 1-1 Salzburg

Sevilla vs Wolfsburg

Late Ivan Rakitic penalty denies Wolfsburg all three points against Sevilla  | Bundesliga

With only four points separating those at the top and bottom of UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group G, an enticing climax is in store with any outcome possible heading into the penultimate round. Even last-placed Sevilla have destiny in their own hands. They’ve been involved in both a fiesty and fruitless campaign so far, with two of their matches producing a red card (D3, L1), but a pair of victories in their last two group games would be enough to secure progression to the next round.
Home was a sanctuary for ‘Sevillistas Rojiblancos’ this season, until Lille handed them their first defeat of the campaign on their own turf in all competitions last round (W5, D2). A visit from Wolfsburg will have the Sevilla faithful on the edge of their seats, with their team only previously securing two wins in their nine UCL fixtures against German opposition (D4, L3 – excluding qualifiers).
Wolfsburg know they need a positive result in order to avoid requiring favours from others come the final round of the group stages. Anything but a loss will set up what will essentially be a playoff with Lille on the final matchday, as the visitors are currently deadlocked on five points with the reigning Ligue 1 champions.
Manager Florian Kohfeldt will be instructing his troops to focus on their concentration here given that they dropped two valuable points against Sevilla in the 87th minute in the reverse fixture. But winning only three of their previous ten UCL road games shows the magnitude of the task that awaits the ‘Wolves’ should they wish to progress (D1, L6).
Players to watch: Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitić, who scored in the reverse, has never lost a UCL game when getting on the scoresheet (W7, D2). Opposing him is Lukas Nmecha, who has seen five of his last seven goals come away from home for Wolfsburg.
Hot stat: Sevilla have failed to win any of their last five UCL group games on matchday five (D1, L4).
Our prediction: Sevilla 2-2 Wolfsburg

Young Boys vs Atalanta

How to watch Atalanta v Young Boys in the Champions League: Start time, TV  channel, streaming and more | Forza Italian Football

On this penultimate matchday of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage, things are looking wide open in terms of qualification in Group F. All four teams can technically still finish in the top two, although Atalanta would condemn Young Boys to bottom spot if they win here at the Wankdorf Stadium after the Swiss outfit lost all of their group games following their shock matchday one victory vs Manchester United.
Another defeat here for the hosts would give Swiss Champions Young Boys an unwanted record too – their first set of four consecutive defeats in a major European competition. Indeed, a four-game winless run in all competitions coming into this game doesn’t give David Wagner’s men much confidence (D1, L3), although they do hold a solid home record vs Italian opposition (W3, L1).
While Atalanta didn’t make their debut in Europe’s premier competition until 2018/19, they have progressed to the knockout stages in both of their prior group stage appearances. As such, the Bergamo-based outfit will want to make it three for three this time around and they will likely set up a straight shootout for qualification with Villarreal on the final day if they can win here.
It’s been tough for Atalanta on their European travels this season, as they’ve failed to win both of their away group games this term despite scoring twice in both. However, this game is certainly the easiest on paper after travelling to Man United and Villarreal prior, so a callback to last season’s perfect away group return would be welcome here.
Players to watch: With their league top scorer injured, Young Boys may rely on Jordan Siebatcheu for a goal here – but just three of his ten competitive strikes this term were match openers. Atalanta’s Duván Zapata has contributed to more goals in this UCL group (G1, A3) than Young Boys have scored altogether (three).
Hot stat: Just four of the 32 UCL group sides have received fewer than Atalanta’s six yellow cards so far.
Our prediction: Young Boys 0-2 Atalanta

Malmo FF vs Zenit

Malmo FF vs Zenit Prediction 23 November 2021 . Free Betting Tips, Picks  and Predictions

Rooted to the foot of Group H in this season’s UEFA Champions League (UCL), Swedish champions Malmö will need a drastic change of fortune to avoid finishing dead-last this time round. They’ve collected the wooden spoon in their previous two UCL group stage appearances, but managed to pick up a win in both those previous campaigns too.
The Eleda Stadium has played host to both of Malmö’s prior UCL victories, with those results including their only clean sheets kept in the continent’s showpiece club competition. A rare feat indeed for ‘Di blåe’, who have lost all their other 14 UCL group games by an astonishing aggregate of 48-2.
One of those heavy defeats came against Zenit Saint Petersburg, who registered their largest ever margin of victory in the UCL (excluding qualifiers) with their 4-0 trouncing of the hosts in the reverse fixture. A win here for Zenit would at least guarantee them entry into the preliminary knockout round of the UEFA Europa League, while keeping alive their slim hopes of snatching second place if results elsewhere also go their way.
The Russian side are looking for a first victory on their UCL travels since securing back-to-back victories in the 2015/16 season, losing nine of their ten away games since. They’ll be favourites in their first-ever trip to Sweden, as the champions of the Russian Premier League battle it out with the champions of the Allsvenskan.
Players to watch: Malmö’s Veljko Birmančević has scored his last five domestic goals in the first half. Albeit in qualifiers, two of Birmančević’s four UCL goals have proven decisive. Often key to the opposition’s best attacking moves, Artem Dzyuba has contributed seven goals in his last five appearances for Zenit (G5, A2).
Hot stat: Zenit have seen nine of the 12 total goals scored in their UCL games this season come beyond half-time.
Our prediction: Malmo FF 1-3 Zenit

Opera Football Weekend Preview: Liverpool host Arsenal, Xavi’s Barca coaching debut, Leicester vs Chelsea & more – details and predictions

Hey! The international break has finally gone, do you miss league games? Time to have a preview of key matches this weekend!

Liverpool vs Arsenal

Kick-Off

20.11.2021 17:30 (utc)

Probable Lineups

Summary

Liverpool saw their 20-game unbeaten run in the top flight come to a sudden halt prior to the international break, going down 3-2 to West Ham. That makes welcoming opponents Arsenal to Anfield all the more enticing, with just two points separating them coming into the weekend, and as Liverpool’s last three league defeats have now come against London clubs!

Salah next? The 11 players given a new Liverpool contract in 2021-22 -  Planet Football


The ‘Reds’ currently boast a nine-game unbeaten league home run (W5, D4), albeit having drawn their last two despite taking the lead in both games. The four points dropped in those two matches are as many as they surrendered from winning positions in their previous 23 league games at Anfield. A visit from Arsenal could therefore be the tonic for Liverpool to get back on track, as the Merseysiders have won the last five home league H2Hs, finding the net at least three times on all occasions.
But Arsenal are one of the league’s most in-form teams at the moment as Mikel Arteta’s youth-oriented strategy finally seems to be uniting fans of the team. Their current eight-game unbeaten streak (W6, D2) is actually the longest of all PL clubs and you have to go back to August to December 2018 to find the last time they embarked on a longer top-flight run without defeat.
After the hysteria surrounding starting the season with three defeats, the ‘Gunners’ have catapulted themselves to the cusp of the top four. They’ve kept three consecutive PL clean sheets on their travels and are now on the verge of securing four successive top-flight away shutouts for the first time since May 2005. That’s a big ask here though, as they’ve won only one of the last 12 league H2Hs against Liverpool (D4, L7), keeping one clean sheet in that time.
Players to watch: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has seven goal contributions in five home PL games against Arsenal (G5, A2), whose in-form youngster Emile Smith Rowe has seen four of his six PL goals arrive in the first 30 minutes of play.
Hot stat: Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s average of 2.18 points per game against Arsenal is the third-highest points per game ratio of all managers who have faced Arsenal 5+ times in the PL.

Match Facts & Betting Odds

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Liverpool’s last 8 games (Premier League).
Over 2.5 goals 1.50
Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches (Premier League).
Over 1.5 goals 1.16
Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches (Premier League).
Arsenal win or draw 2.62
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 10 home matches against Arsenal in all competitions.
Liverpool win or draw 1.11
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 9 home matches (Premier League).
Liverpool win or draw 1.11
Arsenal have won their last 3 matches (Premier League).
Arsenal win 6.50
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Arsenal’s last 3 away games (Premier League).
Under 2.5 goals 2.62

Opera Football Prediction

Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season last time out before the international break, losing 3-2 away to West Ham in a thrilling game.
Arsenal now hold the longest unbeaten run in the division as a result, eight games without defeat in the Premier League.
Liverpool remain favourites but they haven’t been as solid at the back this season as normal. They are struggling to get the right balance in midfield without Gini Wijnaldum.
Liverpool have won their last five home league matches against Arsenal but Mikel Arteta’s side will give them a tough game on current form.
So, Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal

Leicester City vs Chelsea

Kick-Off

20.11.2021 12:30 (utc)

Probable Lineups

Summary

Things aren’t quite right at Leicester City with their pre-season expectation to challenge the top four currently off-track as they languish in the bottom half of the Premier League (PL) standings. Compounding matters further for the hosts is the fact that manager Brendan Rodgers is heavily linked with a move away from the club, stirring further unrest amongst their ranks.
An optimistic fan would point to Leicester beginning this weekend just five points off the top five and being unbeaten in five of their last six PL games (W2, D3, L1). However, if Rodgers’ record against high-flying Chelsea is anything to go by, this will be a tough afternoon for the hosts (W2, D8, L8) though those outings are usually tight affairs, with eight of the last ten producing two or fewer total goals.

Chelsea at Leicester predicted XI: Tuchel turns to 3-4-2-1 in PL return


The international break came at the perfect time for title-chasing Chelsea, who had dropped points for just the third time this season prior with a frustrating 1-1 home draw against Burnley. Boss Thomas Tuchel also had a lengthy list of injuries to contend with and the break has given those individuals time to step up their recovery efforts ahead of the PL return.
Extremely solid when playing away, Chelsea have picked up 13 of a possible 15 points on their travels so far (W4, D1) and are one of just two unbeaten PL away sides, alongside Brighton. That form has been built on a solid defensive unit that has conceded just once across five PL away games this campaign.
Players to watch: Leicester’s Patson Daka became the first Zambian to score in the PL after his strike here just last month, he also netted over the international break. Another player who scored for their country during the break was Chelsea and Germany star Kai Havertz; he’s led the line in the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
Hot stat: No PL side has picked up fewer yellow cards than Chelsea’s 12 this season (1.09 per match on average).

Match Facts & Betting Odds

Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches (Premier League).
Chelsea win or draw 1.18
Chelsea have won their last 3 away matches (Premier League).
Chelsea win1.75
Leicester have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches (Premier League).
Over 1.5 goals1.30

Opera Football Prediction

Leicester are winless in three (D2, L1) and are already seven points adrift of fourth place.
Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League but dropped points to Burnley last time out.
Chelsea have only won one of their last four away to Leicester but will be considered favourites here.

So, Leicester 0-1 Chelsea.

Barcelona vs Espanyol

Kick-Off

21.11.2021 20:00 (utc)

Probable Lineups

Summary

Club legend Xavi Hernández returns to Barcelona, but this time in the dugout, as he’s charged with turning around what is the club’s second lowest 12-game La Liga (LL) points tally in the 21st century. Their 3-3 draw (after being 3-0 up) against Celta Vigo before the international break extended Barça’s winless LL streak (D2, L2) and summed up the on-field problems and morale-sapping results that Xavi must now address.

The three requests Xavi has made to Barça as he takes over as coach
Xavi’s Barca coaching debut

The new boss couldn’t have chosen a better first game than the ‘Derbi Barceloní’, as Barcelona are unbeaten in 22 LL matches against city rivals Espanyol (W17, D5) – their longest-ever undefeated H2H streak against their derby foes. As Xavi plots a way to make the Nou Camp a fortress again, he’ll expect to extend Barcelona’s 11-game winning LL H2H home run.
H2H history can only get you so far though, and what Espanyol have is improving form in their corner with three wins across six LL games (W3, D2, L1) – as many victories as they managed across their previous 25 LL fixtures. Three points here will actually propel Espanyol above Barcelona, and possibly heal some of the wounds of a 1-0 loss here back in July 2020 that relegated the visitors.
Alternating between draw and defeat on the road since the start of the season (D3, L3), gaining a first win at the Nou Camp since February 2009 – a match that saw Barça boss Xavi play in midfield – seems a stretch of the imagination. However a stalemate would add to Espanyol’s H2H draw record of 38, which is more than they have recorded against any other LL opponent.
Key battle: Barça’s Marc-André ter Stegen has gone six LL games without a clean sheet, but does have a joint-personal best of seven H2H LL clean sheets to his name. He will have to stop red-hot Raúl de Tomás who is looking to become only the second Espanyol player in the 21st century to score in six consecutive LL games.
Hot stat: No side has seen more match goals (eight) beyond the 80th minute in LL home games than Barcelona.

Match Facts

Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions.
Barcelona win or draw 1.08
Espanyol have failed to win their last 15 away matches (LaLiga).
Espanyol lose or draw 1.08
Barcelona have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 4 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions.
Under 2.5 goals 2.37
Barcelona have won 5 of their last 6 home matches against Espanyol in all competitions.
Barcelona win 1.36
Espanyol have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 4 away matches (LaLiga).
Over 1.5 goals 1.20

Opera Football Prediction

It has been a busy international break for Barcelona, who appointed legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez as their new head coach and brought back another favourite in Dani Alves, although the experienced full-back can’t play until January.
Barca head into the derby with Espanyol in pretty poor form, and are currently ninth in the table. They blew a three-goal lead last time out against Celta Vigo to draw 3-3, conceding in stoppage time.
Before that, they did manage beat Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, but even that followed a disappointing draw with Alaves in La Liga.
Espanyol picked up an impressive 2-0 win last time out over a resurgent Granada thanks to goals from Raul de Tomas and Adria Pedrosa. It was an important response from Vicente Moreno’s men after suffering a defeat to bottom club Getafe.
Espanyol have won three of their last six and only lost once, so they come into this game in very good form, although Xavi’s homecoming at Camp Nou has a Barcelona win written all over it.
So, Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol

Watford vs Manchester United

Kick-Off

20.11.2021 15:00 (utc)

Probable Lineups

Summary

Claudio Ranieri hasn’t quite enjoyed the ‘new manager bounce’ Watford fans were hoping for, winning just one of his four Premier League (PL) matches in charge (L3). This contributed to his side heading into the international break only two points above the drop zone, hardly ideal with Manchester United up next, especially as they’ve suffered more PL defeats against them than any other side (W2, L12).
If the ‘Hornets’ are to get back on the right side of the results, then rediscovering their threat in front of goal will be key. They’ve failed to score in a joint league-high seven matches this season, a problem that’s amplified when you’re averaging 1.73 goals against per game. Yet it’s worth noting that they did win and bag 3+ goals in three of the four matches that they did score, suggesting any win could be via a thriller.
With manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær still under mounting pressure, Manchester United won’t care how they win, just as long as they do. However, the ‘Red Devils’ boast only one PL success across their last six encounters (D1, L4), with those four defeats representing as many as they had in their previous 40 matches in the competition (W24, D12).
Although the visitors hold a dominant H2H record against the hosts, recent issues overcoming newly-promoted sides will be causing Solskjær serious angst. United are winless in their last three PL matches against newly-promoted teams (D3) and could go four without a win in such matches for the first time since 1997!
Players to watch: Josh King scored a hat-trick in Watford’s last goalscoring match, and he’s netted in two of his last three games vs United. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 20 goals in his last 14 league games against promoted teams.
Hot stat: Watford are without a clean sheet in 21 PL matches, that’s their longest ever run without one in the top flight.

Match Facts & Betting Odds

Man Utd have won 15 of their last 17 matches against Watford in all competitions.
Man Utd win 1.45
Man Utd are undefeated in 30 of their last 31 away matches (Premier League).
Man Utd win or draw 1.11
Man Utd have been winning at both half time and full time in 7 of their last 8 matches against Watford in all competitions.
Man Utd win/win 2.30
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man Utd’s last 3 away games (Premier League).
Over 2.5 goals 1.66
Man Utd have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 away matches (Premier League).
Over 1.5 goals 1.20

Opera Football Prediction

Watford have lost three of Claudio Ranieri’s first four matches in charge. After a shock 5-2 win away to Everton, Watford have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Southampton and Arsenal.
The international break came at the right time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though the pressure is still on. Supporters are quickly losing faith after a very bad start to the season.
United have lost four of their last six in the Premier League and have generally struggled at Vicarage Road in recent times.
United have conceded in each of their last seven matches away to Watford and only have two clean sheets in two of 11 league matches this season. It looks like they’ll have to do it the hard away again here.
So, Watford 1-1 Man Utd

Manchester City vs Everton

Kick-Off

21.11.2021 14:00 (utc)

Probable Lineups

Summary

Manchester City are one of just three clubs ever to successfully defend a Premier League (PL) crown, though only Manchester United have retained PL titles on more than one occasion. Yet, with City beating United themselves just before the international break, they will feel confident of building on that and keeping pace with the title race, especially after eight successive wins against opponents Everton across all competitions.
After a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace late last month, City will target a strong start, as they last failed to win a PL home game after scoring in the opening 15 minutes back in September 2020. Another loss certainly seems unthinkable, with City never losing successive home league games in front of attending fans under Pep Guardiola (2016/17-present).
Everton’s last game before the November international break (0-0 vs Tottenham) saw them record their first clean sheet since September 25. The same result would be a huge boost to the mid-table ‘Toffees’, though they’ve not kept successive PL clean sheets since May.
Following a 5-0 defeat here on the final weekend of 2020/21, Everton’s last away win against City dates back to December 2010. That hoodoo looks set to survive, though neither of Everton’s last two away league clashes against a reigning champion (W1, L1) have seen them fail to cover a +1 handicap.
Key battle: Man City’s Phil Foden scored in both league H2Hs last term, whilst four of his last six PL goals have been second in the overall order on the day. Though personally goalless since September 2017, former City man Fabian Delph may be a worthy foe for him in the centre of the park, after a strong performance against Spurs earlier this month.
Hot streak: City’s last six PL wins by 2+ goals have seen them score inside the first 15 minutes.

Match Facts

Man City have won their last 8 matches against Everton in all competitions.
Man City win 1.14
Man City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches against Everton in all competitions.
Over 1.5 goals 1.14
Man City have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 home matches against Everton in all competitions.
Over 2.5 goals 1.44
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Man City’s last 3 home games (Premier League).
Under 2.5 goals 2.75
Man City are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 matches (Premier League).
Man City win or draw 1.02
Everton have failed to win their last 5 matches (Premier League).
Everton lose or draw 1.02

Opera Football Prediction

Manchester City bounced back from a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace with an easy 2-0 win over Manchester United before the international break. They start the weekend 3 points behind the leaders Chelsea.
Everton are winless in 5 league matches and have lost 3 times in that spell. They have won one of five away league matches this season.
So, Man City 3-0 Everton

Tottenham vs Leeds

Kick-Off

21.11.2021 16:30 (utc)

Probable Lineups

Summary

The weekend’s Premier League (PL) action concludes with what should be an entertaining 100th competitive clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United. Around 8,000 fans watched on as Tottenham won 2-1 in the first edition of this game at the old White Hart Lane back in 1925 and new manager Antonio Conte would surely take a repeat of that result here on what is his home league debut as Spurs boss.
The highly-coveted Italian manager will be confident of getting his tenure off to a flyer as he won at least once against each of the 53 teams he faced across his prior Serie A and PL appointments. However, he will need to get Tottenham scoring in order to achieve that feat in what will be his first meeting with Leeds, as only Norwich have netted fewer than their nine PL goals this term while they are now without a goal in three straight league games!
Leeds are another side desperately struggling for goals, as only Tottenham and Norwich have scored fewer than their 11 in the league so far. As a consequence, there’s already been unwanted talk of ‘second-season syndrome’ at the club as their cult hero manager Marcelo Bielsa looks to steer the off-colour ‘Lilywhites’ away from the relegation dogfight.
While Leeds gained a confidence boost when winning their first away league game of the season at rock-bottom Norwich, the quality of the opponents there will leave fans under no illusions that they should temper their expectations here. They may well score as they did in five of the last seven away H2Hs, though victory in this game would be their first at Spurs since 2001 (D1, L4 since).
Players to watch: Harry Kane should return to Spurs full of confidence after scoring seven goals in two games across the international break for England. Meanwhile, Leeds forward Rodrigo has scored twice in his three career appearances against Tottenham, both coming in 3-1 victories.
Hot stat: Tottenham haven’t had a shot on target in two straight PL games.

Opera Football Prediction

Tottenham failed to have a shot on target for the second league game running in their 0-0 draw at Everton prior to the international break but will be confident of getting back among the goals when they welcome a Leeds side that has conceded 18 times to north London.
The Whites secured an important victory in their last away game, returning to Yorkshire from Norwich with all the spoils. However, they are winless in their last five trips to Spurs, losing four, including a 3-0 defeat here at the beginning of the year.
Antonio Conte will have worked those not on international duty hard at Hotspur Way and as he aims to get his ideas across, Spurs could make it two wins from three under their new boss in Sunday’s afternoon encounter.
So, Tottenham 2-1 Leeds

Wolves vs West Ham

Kick-Off

20.11.2021 15:00

Probable Lineups

Summary

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be itching to return from the international break to right some wrongs after forfeiting their five-game undefeated streak (W4, D1) in the Premier League (PL) by losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace last time out. In hindsight though, even Wolves will be happy with their recent recovery after a shaky start to the season, and it seems consistency is eventually paying off after using just 18 different players in the league, the joint fewest of any team.
Boss Bruno Lage and his men will likely be happy to return to Molineux after winning their last two home PL fixtures, as many as they’ve managed in the nine such fixtures prior (L7). They now chase a hat-trick of home top-flight league victories for the first time since November 1980.
They’ll welcome current PL high-flyers West Ham who must still be on cloud nine after their 3-2 win over Liverpool before the international hiatus put them into third place. That monumental win was their fourth PL victory in a row – the longest winning streak in the league – and they’ll now aim to win five PL games on the bounce for the first time since February 2006.
The ‘Hammers’ have been breaking down doors on their travels lately, as their current 11-game unbeaten streak away from home in all competitions (W8, D3) is their longest ever undefeated away run as a top-flight club. They did the league double over their hosts last season, which was their first time doing so since 1922/23 – the same season in which West Ham last won back-to-back away league matches at Wolves!
Players to watch: Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez has seen 14 of his last 17 PL goals arrive in the second half, while West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen scored three goals in the two PL H2H matches last season, and has now averaged a goal every 77 minutes vs Wolves across three PL H2Hs.
Hot stat: No side has scored more set-piece goals (excluding penalties) than West Ham’s six this PL campaign.

Match Facts & Odds

West Ham have won their last 4 matches (Premier League).
West Ham win 2.40
Wolves have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches against West Ham in all competitions.
Over 1.5 goals 1.33

Opera Football Prediction
Wolves’ five-game unbeaten streak came to an end last time out in a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Wolves are yet to keep a clean sheet at home in the Premier League this season.
West Ham have won six of their last seven after beating Liverpool 3-2 before the break.
With six goals conceded over their last three games, West Ham are not watertight at the back either.
Nine goals have been scored across the last two meetings between the sides so we should expect another entertaining affair here.
So, Wolves 1-2 West Ham?

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BREAKING: Dani Alves makes emotional return to Barcelona!

Alves and Xavi in the colours of Barca

Xavi’s first signing as manager of Barcelona is his former teammate Dani Alves. Alves joins his former side as a free agent after being out of contract since leaving Sao Paulo in his native Brazil in September 2021. 

According to Marca, Xavi approved Barca’s negotiations with the Brazilian on Friday afternoon and within a few hours, there was an update from highly acclaimed journalist Fabrizio Romano that Xavi would join the Catalan giants.

Fabrizio Romano first broke the news on Twitter

Alves had a trophy-laden first stint at Camp Nou which saw him win a total of 23 trophies between 2008 and 2016. He had 3 Champions League winners medals and 6 La Liga winners medals in the colours of Barcelona. 

There are reports that the signing of Xavi is to help add a leader to the Spanish outfit in order to boost their performances. His contract with Barcelona will include a clause to extend the deal until June 2023. Alves would train with the team but would be eligible to play from January 2022.

Alves is the most decorated player in world football, having enjoyed success at a number of clubs. As well as Barcelona and Sao Paulo, he has represented Bahia, Sevilla, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.