On to the next one. With last week of Chit Picks wrapped up, strap in for an exciting week as our very own Young Leg, the gaffer, has decided to choose the games for this week. Now I think this is because he does not like the games I have been picking: first there weren’t enough La Liga games, now there aren’t enough Serie A games…I don’t know what to do. Thankfully our leader has decided to pick this week’s games and therefore you will not be disappointed.
Torino v. Genoa: TOR +125, Draw +220, GEN +230 16 JULY, THURSDAY
History: A game between two bottom of the table sides with Torino in 16th and Genoa in 17th. Genoa is only one point clear of relegation and just four points behind Torino who is currently safe. I personally think that both of these squads will wind up staying in the top flight of Italian football, but these last few matches are crucial for both sides and a loss may determine their fate. Torino beat Genoa last time out 6-4 in a Coppa Italia matchup but this matchup typically does not have a lot of goals. Genoa will have a tough test in front of them especially since they have not beaten Torino since May of 2017. Is this the matchup that ends the losing streak and propels them to safety?
Players to Watch: Andrea Belotti. There are no two ways around it, the man is an extreme threat in front of goal. This could very well be his last season in a Torino jersey where he has spent the last five years playing and racked up an impressive 78 goals in 169 matches. The big clubs are calling, but will he leave? Expect Belotti to have a massive impact on the game.
YL’s Pick: Torino ML, both teams to score, Belotti to score
Roma v. Inter: RMA +175, Draw +260, INT +145 19 JULY, SUNDAY
History: A classic Serie A matchup with two teams who have been drastically under performing during the latter part of the last decade and, quite frankly, off to a shit start in the current decade. Nevertheless this matchup will certainly provide viewers the opportunity to see what Italian football is all about. Inter, once the giants in Italy, are currently sitting in third place and pretty much have the Champions League position solidified. The same cannot be said for Roma, who are currently fifth and in a fight to secure a Europa League position. The game carries much more weight for the Roman side, because European football (regardless of which league) brings in money, money that clubs who are used to receiving, rely on it even, goes a long way. Let us hope that a winner comes out this time, with the teams having played to a draw the last four matches and splitting the two games prior to that.
Players to Watch: Inter, all eyes should be on Lautaro Martinez who is consistently linked with a move to Barcelona. I do not understand why Barca keeps spending money they most likely do not have, but it doesn’t matter because FFP is a joke anyway. Martinez needs to keep putting the ball in the back of the net and driving at defenders. I would also keep an eye on the Premier League core at Inter with the likes of Sanchez, Lukaku, Young, and Eriksen who have also seemed to find another gear at the latter part of their career (except Lukaku who is still pretty young).
YL’s Pick: Roma +0.5, Zaniolo to score
Tottenham v. Leicester: TOT +130, Draw +230, LEI +210 19 JULY, SUNDAY
History: Leicester, the newest member of the big six, will be facing off against the North London side a week after Spurs beat their bitter rivals 2-1. Will Tottenham be able to ride this wave of confidence or will the Mourinho effect continue to rear its ugly head? A must win game for the Spurs to have any shot at securing a Europa league spot, and equally as important for Leicester to maintain their Champions League place. The game is set up to be played with hunger and tenacity for both teams. Leicester won the first match of the season 2-1 but lost the previous three matches, will Leicester be able to hold on for another victory this season? Tottenham surely have not looked as dangerous as they have been over the past two seasons and Leicester seemed to regain its form under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers. Managers can make a difference.
Players to Watch: I would keep my eye on Son, the man is just so dynamic and such an attacking threat. He is an absolute joy to watch and he can pounce on defensive mistakes in a heartbeat as we saw against Arsenal last Sunday. Far and away he has been Tottenham’s best player over the course of this season and one should expect him to have an impact on this game. However, I believe that all eyes will be on Jamie Vardy, who can solidify his lead in the golden boot race. Bring your Vodka and your Charlie.
YL’s Pick: Leicester ML, Son and/or Vardy to score
Granada v. Athletic Club: GRA +150, Draw +183, ATC +189 19 JULY, SUNDAY
History: Currently, as of the time this is being written so it is still subject to change by kickoff, Athletic Club are 1 point ahead of Granada but separated by two places. This is a mid-table matchup in La Liga but one with a lot of history and a pretty even split between the two sides. Athletic Club have been the more dominant side in the past couple of match ups with Granada only winning one of the last five games. Not much on the line here in this game except the gaffer’s prediction of where Granada would finish this season (13th, I believe).
Players to Watch: Keep an eye on the loaner, Gonalons, for Granada. He has not been that impactful and he may be looking forward to returning to Rome, but I think he could be a surprise this game. Athletic Club fans, all eyes should be on the winger/forward Inaki Williams. Williams has been having a good year and provides a dynamic attacking threat. I would not be surprised if he were to have his name on the scorer’s sheet at the end of the day.
YL’s Pick: Athletic Club ML, Inaki Williams to score
Man United v. Chelsea: MUN +120, Draw +240, CHE +190 19 JULY,SUNDAY
History: First things first I need to point out who is officiating this game…Mike Dean. I mean that should give you enough reason to go and watch that idiot referee this game. I wonder which team he is going to celebrate a goal with this time. Which team is going to have the opportunity to win a piece of hardware this season? Chelsea have been firing on all cylinders of late and by god United have looked absolutely disgraceful, especially in their last performance. However, that was the Premier League, this is the FA Cup. Once the dream of little footballers across England and to a lot of players, and fans, the FA Cup still means something to them. United, who are in good form against Chelsea winning three matches in row, will need to continue to smother the Blues. The Blues, thanks to the play of Pulisic (no one else gets credit) have established themselves since the restart of the Premier League minus the hiccup against Sheffield. Chelsea, in my opinion, are the much more talented team, but United is so hit or miss that you never really know which United team you are going to get. It will certainly be a great matchup.
Players to Watch: Will Christian Pulisic be put in a position to win his first trophy in England? I would have to say that will solely lie on the play of the young American. Pulisic has been absolute dynamite since the return of the Premier League and this Chelsea’s shot at a trophy this season, a trophy that Lampard desperately needs. I would expect Lampard to continue to ride the superb play of Pulisic into this FA Cup Semi Final. Paul Pogba. Will he stay or will he go? That is the question. Pogba had an absolutely dreadful performance in the league this past weekend but I would expect him to bounce back in this FA Cup Semi Final. He is too talented of a player, too dynamic to be left off this squad as consistently as he has been under Ole Gunner Solskjaer.
YL’s Pick: United ML, Martial to score
Written by: Tyler Bond aka Charlie Tweeder (@tybond16)