Sunday sees a whole host of top games to choose from across Europe's top leagues, though a large proportion of the attention could well be on a cup game, as Bradford take on Swansea at Wembley in the Capital One Cup final. With the underdogs on a record breaking run of 9 consecutive penalty shootout victories, their victims including Arsenal and Wigan, the Bantams could head into the tie looking to hold out for as long as possible and potentially take the game to penalties. One can back the game to be decided on penalties at 9.00 and though Swansea are likely to win in 90 minutes, it could be a decent outside bet.
As for league football, the Milan derby dominates the weekend's fixtures, with the bitter rivals embroiled in a battle for a Champions League spot and meeting on Sunday night in a key clash. Inter have had the better of recent meetings between the sides, winning each of the last 3, but Milan's rise from the depths of Serie A to 4th position before the start of the weekend has seen the usurp Inter in the rankings. Max Allegri's side are in fantastic form - unbeaten in 7 Serie A games, whilst they also beat Spanish giants Barcelona in midweek.
Their away record is significantly worse than their home one, but they are not really 'away' in this game at all. Milan could thus be expected to win this game, particularly with increased confidence after the Barcelona result. Whether they do or not, however, Mario Balotelli, formerly of Inter, is certain to be at the centre of attention. He has scored 4 goals in 3 appearances since joining Milan, and has been their last goalscorer in each of those games, with his side winning late penalties on two occasions. This is a high octane affair with red cards frequent, while there were 3 penalties in this fixture last season, so Balotelli could get another chance from the spot, and rarely does he miss. Back Balotelli to score anytime at 2.20, or as Milan's last goalscorer at 4.00.
After a drab goalless draw in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge one could be forgiven for expecting a low key affair this time around. However, with Chelsea (slowly) closing in on Manchester City in 2nd place in the table and Spurs following closely behind, there is a great deal riding on this game. City need a win to retain any chance of catching United, while Rafa Benitez may hope a positive result could sway a few of his many doubters.
Both sides have been involved in their fair share of dramatic games this season, with late goals a constant throughout. Chelsea scored late in both recent Europa League legs against Sparta Prague, whilst also scoring 4 second half goals to overcome Brentford. Furthermore, in their last 7 Premier League games, 26 goals have been scored, but only 7 of those have come in the first half. This is a trend that has run throughout their season; the Blues' matches have seen 51 second half goals, compared to 32 before the break. City have seen 43 second half goals and 29 in the first half. Also, only 3 of the last 14 goals in games between these sides have been netted before the break. Bet on the 2nd half to have more goals at evens.
After crashing out of the Europa League on Thursday at the hands of Lazio, Borussia Mönchengladbach might just have been motivated to have get themselves back up the Bundesliga and into the qualification places for next season's competition. Now facing a tough game against Dortmund, they are certainly up against it.
However, Gladbach have lost only 3 of their last 30 home league games, and only 1 of their last 5 at home to Dortmund. Furthermore, whilst most teams tend to struggle with the packed schedule of games that comes with European participation, Gladbach have flourished, winning 5 and losing only 1 of their 9 games immediately after a midweek Champions or Europa League game. Thus, at great value to avoid defeat on Sunday at 2.30, Gladbach could certainly be worth backing.
While PSG have kept their place at the top of the table, Marseille have struggled to maintain the pace, and the two meet on Sunday in a key game at that end of the table. After an incredible run of 8 league games without conceding a single goal, PSG have shipped 4 goals in their last 2 outings, whilst also letting one in at Valencia between those games. Salvatore Sirigu has been culpable for 2 of those goals with errors, and confidence may be a slight issue at the back for the Parisians.
Despite only having won 3 of their last 15 matches at Parc des Princes, Marseille haven't failed to score in any of their last 13 league meetings with PSG, and they have also only failed to net a goal once in their last 11 matches in all competitions. Of course, PSG do not struggle for goals, so 'both teams to score' at 2.00 is certainly decent value.