Atletico Madrid v Barcelona
Sunday, 6pm (Live on Sky Sports 1)
BARCELONA will head for the Vicente Calderon as champions after Real Madrid failed to beat Espanyol last night.
Lionel Messi should be fit to start and that’s enough to persuade us to back the Catalans to notch a sixth straight win over Atletico who contrived to lose 2-1 at home to city rivals Real just a fortnight ago.
Diego Simeone has the Copa del Rey final to think about and might even rest a few first-teamers.
Back Barcelona @ 2.0
Malaga v Sevilla
Sunday, 8pm (Live on Sky Sports 1)
SEVILLA last won on the road at Deportivo La Coruna in September. Since then every other team in the top five European leagues has won at least one away game.
But we are now in the twilight zone of the season, a shadowy place where motivation can be as important as form.
Malaga have lost five out of eight – most recently hammered 6-2 by Real Madrid on Wednesday – and will probably not now make next season’s Champions League whatever the result of their appeal.
The squad was stretched by a run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League that the players must now be feeling in their legs. For Manuel Pellegrini’s men the rest of the season is not much more than a warm-down.
Away draws with Betis and Valladolid have shown Sevilla are not total losers away from home. With Geoffrey Kondogbia and Gary Medel back in central midfield, Unai Emery’s side have a chance to break new ground.
Back Sevilla Draw No Bet @ 2.02
Genoa v Inter Milan (2pm)
I WOULDN'T normally recommend a team involved in a relegation struggle against one of Italy’s giants at odds on but Genoa look like value at home against Inter at around 1.85.
Inter’s shortcomings have been plain to see in recent weeks and they’ve now lost seven of their last 10 games as they fade towards a mid-table finish.
Antonio Cassano may be fit enough to return to the Inter bench but suspensions for both Juan Jesus and Alvaro Pereira seriously weaken Inter’s already injury-hit squad.
Davide Ballardini has turned around Genoa’s fortunes and their fully-fit squad and desperation for a win means they should be a bit shorter to beat abject Inter.
Inter have already lost a record number of games this Serie A season and I expect them to add one more defeat to the tally this weekend.
Back Genoa to beat Inter @ 1.85
AC Milan v Roma (7.45pm)
SUNDAY night’s big game has had the edge taken off it somewhat by Roma’s shock midweek defeat by Chievo.
Roma were on the charge and there was real confidence they could still make a run at 4th place but the wind has been knocked out of their sails now and for all Aurelio Andreazzoli’s public statements they must know that their race is run.
Milan need three points from their last two games to be absolutely sure of a Champions League qualifying round place and they’re a little short to beat Roma.
Andreazzoli’s team were a little unfortunate against Chievo and their win the previous week in Florence showed the quality they possess.
Roma have a team which is packed with big-game players and they’re good enough to at least pick up a draw in Milan, especially with the psychological benefits of the thrashing they dished out to the Rossoneri before Christmas.
Roma should still be motivated enough to want something from this game and so the lay of Milan at a stupidly short 1.72 is the play.
Lay Milan against Roma @ 1.72