Western Sydney Wanderers vs Melbourne Heart
The Parramatta Stadium hosts an A-League clash between two teams pushing to consolidate their final play-off position. Both come off the back of wins last weekend and are in a rich vein of form, so expect fireworks in this Saturday morning battle.
Those expecting the Wanderers to drop off the A-League pace have been continuously surprised this season, with the side riding on the crest of a first season wave only six points off top place. Lying in fourth spot and a comfortable eight points clear of their opponents Melbourne Heart - thoughts will already be going towards the final series where they have a chance to pick up their clubs first ever piece of silverware. Winning three of their last four fixtures, things couldn't be going much better for the hosts however coach Tony Popovic will be aware that three points at home will have to become a staple diet towards the end of the season if they are to go on and further shock the doubters.
Visitors Melbourne Heart have been making promising strides towards the play-off places and have hit a run of form similar to that of the Wanderers. Picking up nine points from a possible twelve, they have pushed up into fifth spot including a victory over second placed Adelaide United last weekend. The majority of their attacking play has come through Croatian striker Josip Tadic who has found the net six times this campaign, and assisted by the creative flair of Aussie midfielder Richard Garcia the Heart will be confident they can break the stubborn Wanderers defence that has only conceded fourteen times so far.
With the Heart struggling away from home, expect the Wanderers defence to be as unforgiving as ever. A single goal could be enough to take the three points, in favour of the Western Sydney hopes.
Back Western Sydney to win @ [1.71]
Braga vs Benfica
Benfica travel to the Estadio AXA in one of their trickiest trips of the season so far. In third spot and ten points off the pace, Braga are considered the 'best of the rest' in terms of the Primeira Liga, with Benfica and Porto setting the pace in emphatic style. If the hosts want to gate crash the top two's party, it will have to start with inflicting Benfica's first defeat of the season.
Braga are in good form picking up four wins from their last five games and scoring fourteen in the process. Striker Eder has impressed with nine league goals and with 34 goals already to Braga's name this season, converting those goals into victories would see them alongside the top two considering the inconsistent performances from the teams below them. This fixture hasn't always gone Benfica's way with Braga picking up three victories in their last nine encounters, coach Jose Peseiro will know full well that attack starts with their defence and if they keep the visitors out for long enough, a smash and grab could be on the cards.
After picking up a point against Porto a fortnight ago, Benfica got back to winning ways last match day with a comfortable away win at Moreirense. Tied at the top with Porto, and with their rivals playing at home against a seemingly easy opponent in Gil Vicente, the Benfiquistas will know that an away win on Saturday evening will be a massive confidence boost knowing a tricky away day is out of the way. The Braga back four will have to be on their guard with potent striker Oscar Cardozo in goal scoring form, netting thirteen goals this season he is well on his way to eclipsing last year's impressive haul of twenty goals which saw him win the Portuguese equivalent of the golden boot.
Braga will be confident going into this fixture of causing a big upset, but with the Benfica boys form not looking to take a hit any time soon expect a slender away win adding more spice to the title race.
Back Benfica to win @ [2.06]
Feyenoord vs Twente Sunday 13:30
Sunday lunchtime and a huge game for in the race for the Eredivisie title as Feyenoord host table toppers Twente at De Kuip.
After being humbled by Ajax last week Ronnie Koeman's Feyenoord side will want to get back to winning ways. The top four are separated by four, it's a tough call to predict the eventual champion this year so these head to head games have major significance.
Despite last week's result and the impressive opposition on Sunday the Feyenoord fans will be expecting a win. At home they have an impeccable record. They're unbeaten all year at De Kuip and when the place starts rocking opposition teams tend to wilt. You have to go back to Guy Fawkes Night 2011 to find their last home loss in the Eredivisie.
Their main goal threats come from Italian target man Grazziano Pelle, he's just signed on permanently after a breathtaking loan spell, he gets a goal a game. Another regular scorer is Lex Immers who has already reached double figures after his move from ADO Den Haag in the summer. Koeman seems to have an eye for a striker.
'Shteve' McLaren spent big in the summer on improving Twente's potency up front and it seems to have worked. Much hyped striker Luc Castaignos was brought in from Inter after failing to make the grade in Italy and has found his feet again in the Eredivisie. He is supported superbly by two speedy wingers that continually wreak havoc on opposition full backs; Serbian Dusan Tardic signed from Groningen in the summer on the left and Belgian Nacer Chadli on the right. These three forwards are Twente's arsenal but the real reason they sit on top of the pile at this point is the efficiency of the back line that has only conceded 14 goals all year. Twente will be aware of their oppositions' home record and will concentrate on not conceding. Looks like a goal will win it.
Galatasaray vs Beşiktaş
Betfair Live Video brings you another cosy little affair from Istanbul this Sunday evening as Galatasaray welcome their closest city rivals Besiktas for a top two showdown in the SuperLig. Separated by just a point going into Sunday's match loosing is not really an option for either team and for their famously fanatical supporters it's unthinkable.
The Galatasaray fans will be in a total frenzy, this week the club confirmed the signing of Wesley Sneijder, it's a massive coup and must be one of the most high profile signings by a Turkish club ever. There was hysteria when he stepped off the plane as thousands of Gala fans went totally berserk, if he starts on Sunday the anticipation of watching their new superstar will create an even more intense atmosphere than usual for one of these derbies. Coach Fatih Terim will probably begin with his new signing on the bench but if they're not winning by half time expect the Dutchman's introduction. Along with his goal scoring potential Sneijder will be asked to supply the passes for front men Bulut and Yilmaz who have formed a formidable pairing up top and have twenty goals between them so far this season.
Besiktas have a dangerous strike force themselves in Almeida and Holosko. They are already by far the most dangerous attacking team in the league averaging over two goals a game but have further reinforced their forward options this week with the loan signing of Brazilian Dentinho from Shaktar Donetsk. This game should be a cracker as these two Turkish giants vie for bragging rights on the European side of the Bosphorous.
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