Previous Day’s Record: 0-3
Oh, you beautiful fútbol, you. So unpredictable, so apt at pissing me off.
It was absolutely on brand for 2020 to have Uruguay´s superstar forward Luis Suarez test positive for COVID-19 24 hours before playing against Brazil last week. Then it managed to turn what should have been an exciting matchup between Spain and Germany into a historic 6-0 blowout the likes of which the Germans hadn´t suffered since they were West Germany in 1958.
Stop. It. With. The. Historic. Shit. We get it, you are special, 2020. All we ask is for this week to be a little more normal, ok? It´s Thanksgiving in the United States, short work week. Chill out and let the following three matches be relatively normal.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE – MATCHDAY 9
Wolverhampton (13 points) vs Southampton (16 points)
It´s a battle of the Hamptons, but far away from New York (ba-dum-cha!). Bad jokes aside, this is a matchup between two serious candidates aspiring for Europa League and Champions League bids.
Southampton started the season with back-to-back losses to Crystal Palace and Tottenham, but they are 5-0-1 since then with a +8 goal differential. Meanwhile, Wolverhampton is coming off a loss but is 3-1-1 in its last five contests.
The problem with the Wolves is that they are anemic on offense with barely 8 goals in eight matches, a mark that’s only better than the bottom four teams in the table. Southampton doubles that total with 16, sixth-best in the league before last weekend.
The Wolves won 3-2 in a thrilling matchup back in January, but their powder seems to be drier than back then. Southampton prevails and vaults into the top four while keeping up with the leaders.
My pick: Wolverhampton 1 – 3 Southampton
LA LIGA – MATCHDAY 10
Athletic Bilbao (9 points) vs Betis (12 points)
3-5-0 vs. 4-5-0. The Battle for Mediocrity rages on in Bilbao. If this were the NFL, it would be the equivalent of Lions-Vikings, and who wants to watch Lions-Vikings?
Betis has lost three of its last four and is coming off a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Barcelona with a Messi Special (2 goals, making you feel like he is just toying with you and questioning physics). This recent slump hasn’t taken the wind completely out of their sails since they finished Matchday 9 in 7th place four points off a Europa League spot despite a -5 goal differential equivalent to a 17th place team.
Athletic Bilbao has won its last two at home, including a quality 2-0 victory over Sevilla in Week 8. Betis, meanwhile, is 2-0-3 on the road.
My pick: Athletic Bilbao 2 – 0 Betis
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TUESDAY SPECIAL – MATCHDAY 4
Paris St-Germain (3 points, 3rd in Group H) vs RB Leipzig (6 points, 2nd in Group H)
I leave you with a thrilling UCL Special for Tuesday. The best match of the day, by far, pits a desperate Paris Saint-Germain squad against an emboldened German opponent that prevailed 2-1 at Red Bull Arena back on November 4.
If the energy drink prevails in Paris, Group H might as well be tied up with a bow since PSG would be 6 points back of both RB Leipzig and more than likely Manchester United with six left to play.
To make things worse for the Parisians, they are coming off a brutal Ligue 1 loss at Monaco last Saturday when a Mbappé brace for a 2-0 first half lead turned into a “how the hell did this happen” 3-2 loss.
It seems that Neymar could be back from injury for this match, so here is the equation you should follow: Brazilian superstar returns + PSG desperation and anger + RB Leipzig’s lone Champions League road match was a 5-0 loss at Old Trafford = French celebration.
My pick: PSG 2 – 1 RB Leipzig