Guardiola vs Mourinho: ding-dong on the touchline

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will renew hostilities at the Etihad Stadium this weekend, and I cannot be the only one who are hoping the pair ditch the friendly pretence and have a good old-fashioned ding-dong on the touchline.

Manchester United have taken 10 points from the last 12 available in the Premier League but Manchester City remain favourites to triumph here, even if they did lose 3-2 to their rivals at home last term.

Guardiola’s men will probably prove too strong this time around, so go for a home win at a -1 handicap – that is available at 2.00.

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Crystal Palace vs Tottenham (Premier League)

Crystal Palace are hoping to expand their stadium in the next couple of years, so Saturday’s showdown at Selhurst Park gives chairman Steve Parish the perfect opportunity to ask the Tottenham hierarchy for their advice – and then promptly do the opposite of whatever they say.

Mauricio Pochettino is doing a fine job given the off-field chaos surrounding Spurs’ new stadium (at this rate they will not be moving in until 2023, by which time the entire planet may have been consumed by the impending apocalypse), and I fancy them to win while conceding this weekend. If you agree, take up odds of 3.40.

Milan vs Juventus (Serie A)

Sunday night’s game gives us the chance to watch one of the greatest forwards of all time, a player who has excelled at multiple clubs in multiple leagues and has admirers all over the globe. But enough about Fabio Borini.

I jest, of course – Cristiano Ronaldo is the star attraction in Italy right now, and his Juventus team will fancy their chances of yet another triumph when they take on Milan. Take up lengthy odds of 4.10 on a Bianconeri success and under 2.5 goals.

Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid (La Liga)

It is getting to the stage where Real Madrid might as well officially recognise Sergio Ramos’ status and power at the club by making him manager and insisting every other player wears a mask of the Spaniard for this weekend’s meeting with Celta Vigo, the type of event which would surely give Mohamed Salah nightmares.

Ramos’ vetoing of Antonio Conte means Madrid are still on the lookout for a new coach, but that should not stop them emerging victorious in this one. Go for los Blancos to win both halves at 2.55.

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)

Borussia Dortmund, the entire world (except most of those who reside in Munich) are with you. Bayern have dominated the Bundesliga in recent seasons and another procession was expected in 2018/19, but Dortmund’s start to the campaign has given football fans everywhere hope that the mighty FC Hollywood can be overhauled.

I really, really do not like being a party-pooper, but Bayern’s experience could get them over the line at Signal Iduna Park this weekend. Discard the form book and go for an away victory at 2.15.

Monaco vs Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)

Paris Saint-Germain’s clash with Monaco on Sunday night is the battle between the haves and the also-haves-but-we-have-preferred-not-to-spend-too-much-money-since-our-Russian-owner-had-a-costly-divorce.

Thierry Henry probably wishes he could put his boots on and help drag his new side up the table, but at least he does not have to deal with a vociferous fan base in the principality, where there are often more yachts than match-going supporters.

Monaco remain in the relegation zone but will surely pull away soon, although do not expect PSG to show any mercy – back an away win to nil at 2.37.

By Greg Lea

After many years of sports writing with emphasis on football, including a stint at Sky Sports, Greg is here to help you with betting tips. Follow him on Twitter @greglea to get the latest updates before placing your bets.