21st of February, 11/2 Sunday Accumulator
Here’s my accumulator for Sunday afternoon if you want to get involved. There’s 5 selections in total, you can load them into your slip by clicking here.
Who’s an avid reader of my research? You can see my notes below and that’ll tell you why I’ve gone for each pick.
Barcelona v Cadiz (Barca & Over 2.5 goals)
· Time to respond for Barca following their disappointing midweek defeat to PSG as they host lowly Cadiz at the Camp Nou this afternoon.
· Domestic form has actually been exceptional since the turn of the year for Barca and they are pretty consistent when it comes to beating the less reputable teams in La Liga such as Cadiz.
· Barca’s league form in 2021 has been excellent, winning each of their last seven matches, including a 5-1 victory over Alaves last weekend, which also made it 12 games unbeaten in Spain’s top flight.
· Cadiz meanwhile are not in a good way who have lost each of their last four league games conceding 15 goals in the process.
· They are now just 3 points above the relegation places and based on recent performances are in real danger of being relegated this season.
· Koeman is desperate for a response this afternoon and sources suggest he will play a strong team this afternoon with the likes of Messi, Griezmann and co all starting.
· Cadiz struggle to defend at the best of times and have now conceded the most goals in the whole of La Liga (39). I expect a response from Barca and from Messi and I anticipate a high scoring Barca victory at the Camp Nou this afternoon.
Fenerbahce v Goztepe (Fener win)
· Title-chasing Fenerbahce host midtable Goztepe this afternoon knowing they must win if they want to stay within touching distance of the league leaders.
· In what is turning out to be the tightest title race in years, just 3 points separate the top 4 at the moment and Fener can ill-afford to slip-up here.
· Fenerbahce certainly have a squad capable of competing, for me on paper they probably have the most talented squad in the entire SuperLig.
· The likes of Luiz Gustavo, Diego Perotti, Enner Valencia and of course Mesut Ozil are now strutting their stuff at the Istanbul giants.
· Ozil is without doubt the best player in the SuperLig and his manager this week confirmed he is now fully fit and ready to play 90 minutes. All the major Turkis sources are tipping him to start this afternoon.
· Goztepe meanwhile are very much what you would expect for a midtable Turkish side, get the odd result here and there but realistically don’t have the quality to compete with the big boys.
· They sit 11th and are particularly poor on the road having won just twice from their 12 league games away from home this season.
· They make the trip without 3 important players with both first choice fullbacks expected to miss out. Starting left back Berkan Emir and right back Lassime Gassama missed training yesterday and aren’t expected to be involved. January signing Peter Zulj is also missing and his goal threat will be a big miss.
· With Ozil tipped to start and looking to impress I can’t see past a Fenerbahce win this afternoon which could see them go top of the Superlig.
Braga v Tondela (Braga & Over 1.5 goals)
· Despite their disappointing defeat to Roma on Thursday night it won’t take away from what has been an impressive domestic campaign for Braga thus far.
· They host Tondela this evening knowing a win will take them 2nd with Porto not playing until Monday night when they travel to Maritimo.
· They are in fine form in the league having won 4 of their last 5 and the other game was a draw against reigning champions Porto.
· Carlos Carvalhal continues to do a stellar job at the helm and although Sporting look to have sealed the title there is no reason why Braga can’t finish 2nd in Liga Nos this season.
· The hosts are great for goals too and have the 2nd highest over 2.5 goals record in the whole of Portugal- we only require over 1.5 goals for the all-important tick in this one.
· Tondela meanwhile currently sit 11th in the table but the bottom half of the table is so tight that they are just a few points above the relegation places.
· Most worrying of all for Tondela is their quite frankly shocking away record. They have picked up just one (yes one!) point from their 9 away games this season. They have lost 8, drawn one and just can’t get a result when away from home.
· Can’t help but fancy an in-form Braga this evening who I expect to secure a fairly comfortable victory and in doing so move up to 2nd in the Portuguese top tier.
Manchester United v Newcastle (Man United & Over 1.5 goals)
· United were at their free-flowing best on Thursday night as they convincingly dispatched of a decent Real Sociedad side 4-0. They now turn their attentions fully back to the Premier League as they host a struggling Newcastle side at Old Trafford tonight.
· Given the substantial first leg lead that United have it is unlikely they will need to rest & rotate too much this evening as they can use the return leg on Thursday as the chance to hand players a breather. De Gea will likely come back in having been rotated against Sociedad as will Luke Shaw in for Alex Telles.
· Newcastle not sit 17th, just one place above the relegation places and are slowly but surely being dragged towards the danger-zone.
· They looked toothless in their 2-0 loss at Chelsea last weekend and without top scorer Callum Wilson it is difficult to see where the goals are coming from. In-fact in the three games Wilson hasn’t played so far this season Newcastle have lost every one and haven’t even managed to score a goal.
· Wilson has contributed to well over half of the league goals Newcastle have scored this season having scored 10 and assisted 5 of the 25 league goals they have scored. His importance can’t be underestimated and Newcastle look a substantially weaker side in his absence.
· Bruno Fernandes scored another brace on Thursday and is fast becoming one of the best midfielder players in the world. He has 21 goals and 12 assists to his name this season in 36 appearances and is tipped to start from his usual attacking midfield role this evening.
· With United back to their best on Thursday I can’t see them not comfortably beating a pretty average Newcastle side this evening.
Ross County v Celtic (Celtic & Over 1.5 goals)
· The win over Aberdeen in midweek made it 5 league wins in succession for the hoops and after a turbulent few months around the Christmas period they are really starting to find their feet again.
· The title race is all but over given the form of Rangers but Celtic will want to do all they can to delay the title celebrations for as long as possible.
· Lennon has said he wants his side to enjoy their football for the remainder of the season and work on ‘getting their groove on’. The more relaxed approach to management seems to be working and his players a responding with their performances.
· They travel to bottom of the league Ross County this evening who are struggling to compete at the moment and have leaked 10 goals in their last 4 top-flight fixtures.
· They are far from convincing at home and have won just twice at Dingwall this season meaning they have the worst home record in the division.
· They haven’t won against Celtic in their last 22 top-flight matches at home, their last win against the Hoops coming in March 2013.
· They come in to today on the back of a 15 day break without a game having had last weekend’s game postponed. They will likely be a little rusty and off the pace as a result and Celtic will be chomping at the bit to capitalise.
· Odsonne Eduoard has rediscovered his goalscoring touch in recent weeks and has 8 goals in his last 7 appearances! He will lead the line once more tonight.
· Given the respective form of the two sides and the obvious gulf in quality between the squads it is hard to see past a comfortable away win for Neil Lennon and his side to make it 6 league wins on the bounce.