I enjoy England matches as much as the next guy i.e. not very much at all, so imagine my despair when I realised that Roy and his merry band of men had put paid to my weekend of watching all of the continent’s top football fare.
To say I was not amused would be a bit like when the owl-lookalike England boss admitted the national team were a tiny bit disappointing at the World Cup – and by that I mean it would be a massive understatement!
Fortunately after gorging on back-to-back episodes of Champions League classics followed by an extended edition of Futbol Mundial on Sky, I’ve just about recovered my senses to put together this latest set of tips.
Who needs Bayern Munich and Barcelona when you’ve got Osasuna, Philadelphia Union, Livorno and Santos? I do, I need them so, so much, please come back Pep, I want to wake up and find out this has all been some kind of horrible dream.
I remember Alaves from their UEFA Cup final appearance against Liverpool in 2001 – a game with a 5-4 scoreline that would have had Jose Mourinho crying tears of blood – but while those memories remain rose-tinted, they look likely losers again here after Osasuna beat Barcelona II last week.
The enduring love story of transfer deadline day saw Harry Redknapp chasing Jermain Defoe – I half expected ‘Arry to make a late dash to the airport to convince him to stay – but joking aside Toronto are, well, a joke, losing their last five at home. The Phillies have triumphed in four of their last five.
Some say politics and football should never mix, but to those naysayers I say look at Livorno – Italy’s one true left-leaning club. Well, maybe don’t look at them right now, as they are currently in Serie B. They are unbeaten in five meetings with Brescia, who lost last week, though.
Santos miss Neymar – though perhaps not as much as Brazil did against Germany – and while the Sao Paulo club lost away to Botafogo last time out, a home encounter with bottom of the table Vitoria should be an easy win. Santos have won five of their last six at Estadio Urbano Caldeira too.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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