♫Return of the CHIT, Return of the CHIT♫
That’s right folks the biggest piece of CHIT this side of the Mississippi is back with the weekly edition of “CHIT Picks”. Man does it feel good to be back; the grad course I was taking is now done and dusted, we are going into the offseason for coaching, and work is….well its still work so it sucks.
We have some great live action coming to you this weekend as all five major leagues come back from the international break. So club teams picked up some very critical injuries to crucial players and those injuries may wind up swinging who you should pick this upcoming week. I am excited, I hope you are excited, and I know that Adawg is excited: It is time for CHIT Picks.
Napoli v. AC Milan: NAP +130, ACM +195
History: Probably one of, if not the biggest games coming out of the international break pitting to very good Italian squads against each other with one of them being the only unbeaten team left in Europe. The two sides played to a draw in their two matches last season and the last team to secure a victory was Milan back in a 2019 Coppa Italia matchup. This game will be interesting for multiple reasons but the main one being is whether or not Gattuso has some insight into how to beat his former team. Gattuso is definitely one to hold a grudge after being sacked by Milan and he will certainly want to come out of this game with a victory. However, do not be surprised if you see very little celebration coming from the Napoli manager as he was once a fixture for Milan as a player. One should certainly expect a lot of attacking football thanks to Napoli being on the pitch but it all comes down to if that forward unit is working well and whether or not Napolis backline continues surviving on the bend don’t break strategy that has worked for them thus far. Milan is unbeaten in league play, the only team left in Europe to do so, expect them to play some good clean football and minimize their mistakes.
Players to Watch: Hector Lazano or “Chucky” as we like to refer to him on TwoFootTalk had an excellent international break and you should expect him to continue on that upwards trend. The front four of Napoli is extremely tough to deal with but may not be as big of a factor especially if Zlatan sees the pitch because he is always good for a goal or two.
YL’s Pick: Milan Moneyline
Atletico Madrid v. Barcelona: ATL +190, BAR +140
History: Atletico is hit extremely hard with injuries right now but they do have the great equalizer, Jan Oblak, the best goalkeeper in La Liga and possibly the world right now. Joao Felix will really need to step up and show his worth that giant price tag in a big game. Barcelona are just an absolute dumpster fire right now but they still have Lionel Messi and just more overall quality on the field than Diego Simeone’s side. Last season the two teams played three games in which we got three different results. I personally think the injuries that Atletico are suffering from right now really handicaps them and they will have to play the perfect counter attacking game in order to defeat Barcelona.
Players to Watch: Joao Felix. He needs to show that he is worth $120 million and he needs to show up on a big stage in a big time game. Lionel Messi. Messi is “always the problem with the club” and let us see what problems he will cause the team this time around. Messi is still one of the greatest players of all time and he still has the ability to single-handedly decide games. In order for Barcelona to walk away from this one with a win Messi will need to pull some strings and score some goals.
YL’s Pick: Barcelona Moneyline, Messi to Score
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE:
Tottenham v. Manchester City: TOT +300, MCI -125
History: First things first: Tottenham suck. Now that’s out of the way let’s get down to the game. One team is overperforming to start out the year and the other seems to be right where they are supposed to be. Tottenham utilizing some of that Mourinho magic to just will themselves to victories in games. Much of that is attributed to the likes of Kane and Son who have been absolute dynamite this season and are really the only two who have a shot at producing a goal against City. City, on the other hand, have been playing exactly the way we expect them to play but there are currently missing an outside back and that may give an opportunity for Tottenham to expose City if Mourinho gameplans correctly to occupy Kyle Walker. The Spurs defense will have a lot to deal with given the attacking threats that City have and it will require some stout defending and idea on how to counter out of those lethal attacks by City.
Players to Watch: The only player you should be watching is Son. The man is an absolute problem to deal with and he may be going against an inexperienced outside back which will give him the opportunity to set himself up to score. City fans should watch for De Bruyne who performed well in international break and can he bring that same energy and level back without having a dropoff.
YL’s Pick: City Moneyline, Over 3 Goals
Leeds v. Arsenal: LEE +210, ARS +115
History: Arsenal played Leeds last January in an FA Cup match which saw Arsenal come away with a 1-0 victory. That scoreline means nothing in this game because Leeds play a style of football in which anything can happen, especially against teams who constantly try to play out the back like Arsenal do. I think Arsenal will have a very tough time breaking Leeds press and their backline is already shaky to begin with so I would expect to see Leeds have some ripe scoring chances off of botched clearance attempts. The one saving grace for Arsenal is can Aube get loose and can he get the ball in behind and work his magic. It’ll be difficult given the injury to Thomas Partey and that injury may have given the edge to Leeds except for the fact that stalwart defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips is out.
Players to Watch: Saka. There has been talk in the Arsenal camp that Saka has regressed as a player and this would be completely unfortunate and more of the same when it comes to Arsenal youth. Saka really needs to shine brightly if he sees the pitch. Patrick Bamford. The dude is a goal scoring machine. I mean good things happen when you leave Chelsea that is a fact. Bamford is like a heat seeking missile for the back of the net right now and I don’t see him cooling off anytime soon.
YL’s Pick: Leeds Moneyline, Bamford to Score
Liverpool v. Leicester: LIV -110, LEI +260
History: I really don’t think we need to look at any previous matchups considering Liverpools’ entire first team and some of their second team are going to be injured for this match. The fact that Vegas, as of today, has the odds looking like this is completely disrespectful to a very good, talented, deep, and extremely well-managed Leicester squad under Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool being completely decimated by injuries and a positive Corona test coming from Mo Salah really hampers their chances of walking away with a clean victory; not forgetting to mention that TAA is out and that most likely means that Milner will have to settle in on the backline. Leicester on the other hand is virtually injury free right now and have an extremely deep squad with a solid back line that can deal with a depleted Liverpool front four.
Players to Watch: Jamie Vardy. Bring your Vodka. Bring Your Charlie. Do not look for anybody else. The man is a gift from the soccer gods.
YL’s Pick: Leicester Moneyline, Vardy to Score
Written by: Tyler Bond aka Charlie Tweeder (@tybond16)