In this week’s midweek action, we focus on domestic cup football in Europe. We preview games in England, Italy and Spain.
Chelsea host Swansea City at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tie. Will new signing Demba Ba win it for the London outfit? Who is your money on?
In Spain all focus is on the Copa del Rey. Real Madrid take on Celta Vigo, while Barcelona host Cordoba. Will the two Spanish giants advance to the quarterfinal stage, or can we expect an upset?
Two of Italy’s footballing power houses go head-to-head in the Coppa Italia, as Juventus welcome AC Milan to Turin. Who will win?
If you are a betting person, here are tips ahead of the midweek action brought to you by Soccer 6 and guest predictor, Maccabi Haifa striker, Dino Ndlovu.
CHELSEA V SWANSEA CITY
League position: Chelsea 4th and City 9th
Useful facts: Chelsea are looking a much improved outfit under their new coach, Rafa Benitez. The arrival of Demba Ba has also greatly strengthened the striking department. This means Swansea City will be underdogs going into this tie at Stamford Bridge.
Dino Ndlovu: Chelsea win, they’re too strong at home.
JUVENTUS V AC MILAN
League position: Juventus 1st and AC Milan 7th
Useful facts: Juventus are runaway leaders at the top of Serie A. The Old Lady are scoring plenty of goals and conceding very few. AC Milan are having a poor season by their usual high standards, the Red and Blacks are 14 points behind the Italian league leaders.
Dino Ndlovu: Juventus lost to Sampdoria recently which was a surprise. I’ll go for a Milan win.
REAL MADRID V CELTA VIGO
League position: Real 3rd and Celta 15th
Useful facts: Madrid are a shadow of their all-conquering 2011/12 image, Jose Mourinho’s men are now an incredible 16 points behind Barcelona. Struggling Celta Vigo will hold some hope of recording a good result at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Dino Ndlovu: I always go for Real! Win for Madrid.
BARCELONA V CORDOBA
League position: Barcelona 1st (in Liga) and Cordoba 12th (in Segunda Division)
Useful facts: Barcelona are in beast mode so far during the 2012/13 season. They appear to be completely superior in every department against any foe they face. This means minnows Cordoba can only hope to keep the score down to single figures in this Copa del Rey clash.
Dino Ndlovu: Oh, they always take care of the small teams. Win for Barca!