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Across the Continent weekend review and midweek preview- New Year’s special


Most European leagues took the weekend off just before New Year’s, but there was a full round of Serie A action, producing plenty of talking points.

While the Bundesliga are still on their extra-long winterpause, La Liga returns on Tuesday, while there’s both Trophée des Champions and Coupe de France action to look forward to in France.

Serie A

Given that all other European leagues were on hiatus, Calcio took centre stage this weekend, with a full fixture list on Friday and Saturday.

The big game came on Saturday night, as Juventus battled to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Roma, in which Adrien Rabiot was the match-winner, slotting home shortly after half time.

Massimiliano Allegri’s team are now unbeaten in 13, winning ten of them, so la Vecchia Signora are now just two points off the leaders, after Internazionale slipped up on Friday night.

Inter had won four on the spin, including hammering both Napoli and Lazio on the road, but Simone Inzaghi’s side could only draw 1-1 with Genoa, despite taking the lead through Marko Arnautovic, remember him?!

Going into 2024, it appears we do indeed have a title race on our hands.

Just below, AC Milan remain in third, after they narrowly beat Sassuolo at San Siro, with Christian Pulisic the match-winner on Saturday evening.

Champions Napoli meantime have slipped all the way down to eighth, following a goalless draw with Monza, with I Partenopei having won only one of their last five.

Surprise package Bologna suffered just their third defeat of the season, hammered 3-0 by Udinese, while Salernitana claimed only their second win of the season, beating Hellas Verona away from home.

Coming up this week, the Coppa Italia round of 16 concludes, and there have already been a couple of upsets in this competition; Frosinone hammering Napoli and Bologna beating back-to-back winners Inter.

In this week’s quartet of matches, the home sides should all get through, but you just never know.

bet365
bet365

AC Milan to win

AC Milan vs Cagliari


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Atalanta to win

Atalanta vs Sassuolo


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Roma to win

Roma vs Cremonese


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Juventus to win

Juventus vs Salernitana


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At 3/1 a £10 bet would return £41.19

Coppa Italia acca of the week

La Liga

After a fortnight away, La Liga is back on Tuesday, with all 20 clubs in action during this mid-week round.

The big game for sure comes on Wednesday night, as Girona continue their unlikely title bid, welcoming Atlético Madrid to Montilivi.

18 matches into this campaign, Blanquivermells have 45 points, winning 14 times, with their sole defeat coming against Real Madrid in September.

Míchel’s men are currently joint-top, but their credentials will be sorely tested here, or you’d think so at least.

Atlético Madrid meantime endured a miserable end to 2023, losing each of their last three away league games, beaten at Las Palmas, Barcelona and Athletic Club, failing to score at either Montjuïc or San Mamés.

Diego Simeone’s side then drew 3-3 with Getafe at home, conceding twice in the final three minutes, before battling to a 1-0 win over Sevilla, Marcos Llorente the match-winner, but Atleti remain seven points adrift.

So, given los Colchoneros’ recent away day troubles, do Girona kick off as favourites?

Elsewhere on Wednesday, current leaders Real Madrid are likely to swat aside Mallorca at the Bernabéu.

The following night, Barcelona are under big pressure to beat Las Palmas at Estadio Gran Canaria, given that Xavi’s team have won only four of their last eight, sliding down to fourth during this period.

García Pimienta’s team, quite improbably, start 2024 ninth, despite having scored just 15 goals in 18 matches so far.

Sevilla, who are onto their third manager of the season already, are just above the relegation zone, having won only one of their last 12, with Quique Sánchez Flores’ side up against Athletic Club on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Real Sociedad should be far too strong for Alavés in Anoeta, while the derbi de la Comunitat between Valencia and Villarreal should guarantee goals.

bet365
bet365

Both teams to score

Girona vs Atlético Madrid


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Real Madrid to win and both teams to score NO

Real Madrid vs RCD Mallorca


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Barcelona to win and both teams to score NO

Las Palmas vs FC Barcelona


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Real Sociedad to win

Real Sociedad vs Deportivo Alavés


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Both teams to score

Valencia vs Villarreal


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Osasuna to win

Osasuna vs Almería


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At 33/1 a £10 bet would return £ 341.89

La Liga acca of the week

Trophée des Champions

Ligue 1 does not return until 12 January, but there are 32 Coupe de France ties to look forward to this weekend, more on that in Friday’s weekend preview.

Before then, the 2023 Trophée des Champions takes place, six months later than first advertised.

Since 2009, the French Super Cup has taken place all over the world, in such exotic places as Montréal, Tūnis, New Jersey, Libreville, Běijīng, Klagenfurt, Ṭangier, Shēnzhèn and Tel Aviv.

This edition was scheduled to take place on 5 August at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok but, just four weeks before, the LFP announced the match had been cancelled, due to Thai organiser Fresh Air Festival pulling out.

So, for the first time in 16 years, the Trophée des Champions will take place on French soil, with supporters in attendance, making hosts Paris Saint-Germain even more favoured to win this competition that usual.

Les Rouges-et-Bleus are the record 11-times winner of this competition, victorious in nine of the last editions, their sole defeat since 2010 coming against Lille in 2021.

Their opponents here Toulouse won the Coupe de France for the very first time last season, but le Téfécé are currently in the Ligue 1 relegation zone, having won just two of 17 fixtures so far.

They did hold PSG to a 1-1 draw at home back in August, but it would be a major surprise if Luis Enrique’s team didn’t cruise to victory, thereby starting the new year with silverware.

bet365
bet365

Paris Saint-Germain to win

1st selection


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Both teams to score NO

2nd selection


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Over 2.5 goals

3rd selection


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Kylian Mbappé to score anytime

4th selection


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At 7/2 a £10 bet would return £45

Trophée des Champions Bet Builder

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".