ITALY.... COPPA ITALIA
INTERNAZIONALE - SAMPDORIA
Inter trail 3-0 from the first leg, but I expect them to give it a go this evening and at least try to pull back the deficit. With the Scudetto in the bag, they have little else to get them excited between now and the day the title is officially won. There is also a little bad feeling between the two left over from the bad tempered league game here in January, which saw Jose Mourinho sent off. The three goal defeat in Genoa will not have improved the situation and the former Chelsea boss has named a strong and attack minded 19 man squad, including five strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Julio Cruz, Hernan Crespo, Victor Obinna and Mario Balotelli.
Feel that they will come out all guns blazing and to keep the tie alive really need a first half goal, if that doesn't come, things could simply fizzle out. If they can breach the ten man defence early, then who knows ! I will take the double result option for the champions elect, they have led at the break in over 53% of all starts this season and the need for a fast start is much greater tonight.
5.5 points Inter-Inter HT /FT double result 2.0 + ......... a little 2.12 on the exchanges as I type.
SPAIN.... LA LIGA
SPORTING GIJON - ESPANOL
Espanol were a good winner for us at the weekend and I want to stick with then this evening. Of course it will be tougher on the road, but they meet the team that they are looking to replace in La Liga safety and this is a match they simply cannot afford to lose. Sporting have lost their last four and now sit just three points above the drop zone, four clear of the visitors. They are incapable of drawing, have an incredible 11-0-20 record, losing nine at home, conceding 31 goals, to put that into perspective, no other La Liga team has allowed more than 24 in front of their own fans. Looking at their stats this season, they have allowed opponents far too much of the ball and some of their wins have been real "smash and grab" affairs, coming against the run of play, IMO Espanol are a much better footballing team.Hosts will also be without their suspended keeper and if the visitors can keep this tight early, their away starts have been increasingly tight affairs, I expect them to push on and collect the points.
6.5 points Espanol -1/4 ball 2.12 asian line.
ENGLAND .....BLUE SQUARE PREMIER LEAGUE
NORTHWICH VICTORIA - EBBSFLEET UNITED
Everything I said about Ebbsfleet on Tuesday still holds true, they are a very weary side, it was just that Wrexham lacked the desire to take advantage of it. Despite Northwich having been relegated weeks ago, they have decided to go out with a bang and are looking for a fifth straight win, including three in a row at home, with a 7-0 goal difference. NV are very motivated to win their last home start in the Conference and give supporters renewed hope for next season. Any remaining energy United have will surely be kept for Saturday, when they sign off in front of their own fans, this will be their 19th start in 46 days and although there will be rotation, the squad is not big enough to make wholesale changes. Confidence is high at Northwich and I feel that they will win.
6 points Northwich -1/4 ball 2.02 asian line.