insurance bendel v Remo Stars @Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium @4 pm on January 28
The most unlikely top-of-the-table clash will take place in Benin City on Saturday, when two unbeaten teams with perfect records, Bendel Insurance and Remo Stars, in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) will be put to the test.
The certainty is that one or both teams will not leave Benin-City unblemished. They have met seven times in the last five years, with the Remo Stars looking for their first league win over Seguros.
The last time they met in the NPFL was during the abbreviated 2019 season, where both sides drew two meetings. Unfortunately, both were relegated that season, with Bendel finishing with 28 points and Remo, finishing 12th with 20 points.
Subsequent games in the 2020/2021 season ended in two draws and a home win for Bendel Insurance. According to the records, this game could end in a draw.
Current form: Bendel Insurance [W-W-W]; Rowing Stars [W-W-W]
head to head
04/13/19 NPF Insurance 0 – 0 Rowing Stars
01/20/19 NPF Rowing Stars 1 – 1 Insurance
Prediction: Bendel Insurance 0-0 Remo Stars
Napoli v Roma @Diego Maradona Stadium @8:45 pm on January 29
The first match of the season was settled by a ‘Great Goal’ by Victor Osimhen last October, but José Mourinho would like nothing more to give away his 60 years than three points against the Serie A leader at the Maradona on Sunday.
Luciano Spalletti’s side have been near perfect in their quest for the Scudetto, having suffered just one league defeat all season and scoring plenty of goals. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia should regain his place after the miss against Salernitana, while Mourinho could start fit again with Leonardo Spinazzola at left-back.
Historically, this has been a close affair, but Roma haven’t beaten the Neapolitans since November 2019, a six-game streak.
Current form: Naples [W-L-W-W-L]; Rome [W-W-W-D-W]
head to head
10/23/22 SEA Roma 0 – 1 Napoli
04/18/22 SEA Naples 1 – 1 Rome
10/24/21 SEA Roma 0 – 0 Napoli
03/21/21 SEA Roma 0 – 2 Napoli
11/29/20 SEA Napoli 4 – 0 Rome
Prediction: Napoli 3-1 Rome
Brighton v Liverpool @AMEX Stadium @2:30pm on January 29
The last time Liverpool were at the AMEX, they put in one of the worst performances under Jurgen Klopp. The Reds haven’t radically improved but they have more legs in the team with Darwin Nunez set to start helping the defending FA Cup champions progress to the fifth round.
It is touching to note that Klopp has lost to the Seasiders twice in their last five meetings and won only once. Brighton have scored six goals against Liverpool in two league games this season, meaning defensive solidity will be the watchword for the Reds at the AMEX on Sunday.
Expect Stefan Bajcetic to continue in Fabinho’s place, while Mohamed Salah needs to come alive to propel the champions forward. Roberto De Zerbi has no new injury concerns with Kaoru Mitoma from the left flank.
Current form: Brighton [D-W-W-W-L]; Liverpool [D-W-L-D-L]
head to head
01/14/23 PRL Brighton 3-0 Liverpool
01/10/22 PRL Liverpool 3 – 3 Brighton
03/12/22 PRL Brighton 0-2 Liverpool
10/30/21 PRL Liverpool 2 – 2 Brighton
03/02/21 PRL Liverpool 0 – 1 Brighton
Prediction: Brighton 2-1 Liverpool
Marseille v Monaco @Stade Orange Vélodrome at 21:00 on January 29
The race for third place in the Champions League in Ligue 1 continues to be red hot with third-placed Marseille welcoming fourth-placed Monaco to the Velodrome on Saturday. With five points to recover in Marseille, expect this to be a steamy matchup.
Marseille are on a five-match winning streak, and another three points will see them narrow the gap to PSG as they edge past second-place Rennes, but have to deal with a series of injuries to some crucial players. Igor Tudor will have to do without Amine Harit, Eric Bailly, Jonathan Clauss, Bamba Dieng and perhaps his talisman, Dimitri Payet.
ALSO READ: NPFL: Imade scores again as Bendel Insurance defeats Remo Stars
One point to note is that there has not been a home win in the last three meetings.
Current form: Marseille [W-W-W-W-W]; Monaco [W-D-L-W-W]
head to head
11/13/22 LI1 Monaco 2 – 3 Marseille
06/03/22 LI1 Marseille 0 – 1 Monaco
11/09/21 LI1 Monaco 0 – 2 Marseille
01/23/21 LI1 Monaco 3 – 1 Marseille
12/12/20 LI1 Marseille 2 – 1 Monaco
Prediction: Marseille 1-1 Monaco
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