Every week, we look across Europe’s top five leagues in search of draws.
One of our picks for last weekend – Manchester United v Liverpool – wound up getting postponed, unfortunately. However, Bologna v Fiorentina came in.
Remember: every tip contained here is a second opinion from a complete stranger online. Ultimately, trust your discretion in selecting which picks to go with.
We begin our journey this week at the fantastically named ‘Cathedral’ San Mames, as Athletic Bilbao welcomes Osasuna.
Marcelino’s side is making a habit of throwing a spanner in the title works, jamming both Atletico Madrid and Sevilla (the latter potentially decisively) in recent weeks.
However, besides tripping up the big boys, results have been rather modest: those two wins are their only victories in their last eight matches.
All the others have been draws, and that fuels our expectations this weekend. Osasuna are cozy in 11th, and even if they weren’t, they’re game for a scrap any time.
So Jagoba Arrasate’s side will come to play, and that should make for a frantic, stretched game with lots of excitement.
I can see both teams scoring, but as far as the result goes, a draw between two sides with little to play for seems a reasonable pick.
These two sides are neck and neck in the league table, have identical WDL records, and are both reasonably safe from the drop.
I say they keep it that way. I’m not anticipating a biscotto by any means, of course. But it is in their mutual interest to share the spoils here.
Bologna has a poor away record this season, with their survival hinged almost entirely on results at Renato Dall’Ara.
That would seem to swing the tie in Udinese’s favor, until you realize Le Zebrette averages less than a goal a game at Friuli, and are themselves propped up by their form on the road.
So, considering the last two meetings between these sides have ended in draws, can you blame me much for punting that way too?
There’s something rotten at Hertha. After another season for which they spent quite considerably, they are firmly in the relegation zone, second from bottom at this stage of the season. Grim.
If it’s any consolation for them, they do have two games in hand; one with Koln, who are a place above in the table. Considering one of those is against already relegated Schalke, and that this weekend they host 15th-place Bielefeld, their destiny is still very much in their own hands.
Their visitors have the second-worst attack in the Bundesliga, and the season has gone about as well as anyone could have anticipated for the newly-promoted side.
They’ve drawn a third of their away games though, which suggests they’re no pushovers, and so I think they can get something off a Hertha side that has drawn the last three matches themselves.
I’ve been big on Ivan Juric and still am, but his Verona side seems to have hit a wall. Suddenly, getting kneecapped by sales and having to rebuild every season is wearing a little thin.
Their chance to rebound from a winless run of five matches comes in the form of Torino. Il Toro was always unlikely to be relegated in the final reckoning, but they’ve cut it really fine all season.
A run of only two defeats in eight matches has certainly helped, and they have a game in hand to look forward to. They should be just about fine now.
I’ve gone for the draw here based on history: the three most recent meetings between these sides have ended in draws.
Besides, Verona’s home form is quite average, so the fact these two sides are evenly matched in terms of quality should be borne out by the result ultimately.