Four teams make up this Sunday’s 6/1 accumulator – Malaga, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain.
Both Malaga and Chelsea have to play away from home but are facing considerably weaker opposition, while Inter never lose at home to Torino and PSG are on a brilliant run that shows no sign of slowing.
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Malaga to beat Mallorca @ 27/20
Former Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl once proclaimed that statistics are like mini skirts: they give you a lot of good ideas but hide all the important bits.
That is certainly true in the case of Malaga who, statistically, are without a win in four having drawn two and lost two of their last four games.
What that doesn’t tell you, however, is that three of those four games have been against Barcelona, and that one of those draws was in the Nou Camp.
If you take out the results against Barca then Malaga have won four and drawn two of their last seven games. On top of that, they are unbeaten against Sunday’s opponents Mallorca in the last four meetings between the sides, winning three of them.
The Balearic Islanders, in contrast, currently sit second-bottom of La Liga and they haven’t won at home in any competition since September.
So it’s best to ignore the stats here and get on a Malaga win.
Inter to beat Torino @ 11/20
If the stats in the above match didn’t tell the whole story, then in this one they are quite clear.
Torino haven’t beaten Inter Milan since February 1994, losing 14 of the last 17 meetings between the sides. They have a woeful record in the San Siro, having failed to beat Inter there for a generation and failed to beat city rivals AC Milan there for 12 years.
In the present, Andrea Stramaccioni’s team have won three and drawn one of their last four home games in Serie A, while the Turin side have won away from home just twice all season, both times against sides in the bottom half of the table.
With the title still very much on the agenda for Stamaccioni’s side they should make no mistakes in this one.
Chelsea to beat Brentford @ 7/25
I normally steer clear of the English games on my Sunday accas, with Sky Sports’ demand for ‘Super’ games meaning that they are often very difficult to call.
FA Cup weekend gives me a chance to return to UK shores, though, as Chelsea face a London derby against Uwe Rosler’s Brentford at Griffin Park.
I have spent the preceding part of this article analysing statistical data but there isn’t really any need for that in this one.
Chelsea need to win to appease the growing unrest amongst their fans and that alone should ensure that their big-name players don’t take their eyes off the ball against a side who shouldn’t have the firepower to trouble them.
Even allowing for the romance of the FA Cup, I expect the European Champions to be far too good for their League One opponents.
Paris St Germain to beat Lille @ 1/2
PSG are top of the Ligue 1 table and on a run that has seen them win six and draw one of their last seven games, including wins over fellow-heavyweights Lyon and Bordeaux.
Even more impressively, they haven’t conceded a single goal in their last six games and this record shouldn’t be threatened by a Lille side who have won just two of their last nine and haven’t won a league match away from home since the start of November.
With 19 goals this season, including six in his last six games, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Ligue 1’s top scorer by a mile and is on red-hot form. Back him to help shoot down the visitors in this one.