Urawa Red Diamonds vs Sanfrecce

Urawa Red Diamonds will host Sanfrecce Hiroshima at the Saitama Stadium 2002 on Wednesday in another round of the J1 League campaign.

The home side endured a sluggish start to their league campaign but have seen results improve in recent weeks and are steadily climbing up the table. They beat Kyoto Sanga 2-0 in their last league outing with Shinzo Koroki scoring the opener before Jose Kante came off the bench to seal the win in additional time.

Urawa Reds sit sixth in the league table with 24 points from 13 games. They will aim to continue their good run of results when they play on Wednesday.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima have had their struggles this season but will fancy themselves as early title contenders. They returned to winning ways last weekend with a 1-0 win over 10-man Shonan Bellmare, with veteran striker Douglas Vieira scoring the sole goal of the game from the penalty spot.

Urawa Red Diamonds vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima Head-to-Head and Key Numbers

  • There have been 40 meetings between Urawa Reds and Sanfrecce. The hosts have won 20 of those games while the visitors have won nine times. There have been 11 draws between the two teams.
  • The visitors picked up a 4-1 win in the last meeting between the two teams ending a six-game winless streak in this fixture.
  • Four of Urawa Reds’ seven league wins this season have come on home turf.
  • Hiroshima have conceded 12 league goals this season. Seven of those goals have come away from home.
  • The Reds have conceded 11 goals in the Japanese top-flight this season, the joint-fewest in the competition alongside league leaders Vissel Kobe.
  • The Viola have kept six clean sheets in the league this season. Only Kashima Antlers (7) and Vissel Kobe (8) have kept more.

Urawa Red Diamonds vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima Prediction

Urawa Reds are on a run of back-to-back victories and are undefeated in their last four games across all competitions. They have lost just one of their last 12 home games and will fancy their chances ahead of Wednesday’s clash.

Sanfrecce’s latest result ended a three-game losing streak and they will be looking to build on that this week. They have lost their last three away games and could see defeat here as well.

Prediction: Urawa Red Diamonds Win

Preview: VVV-Venlo vs. Almere City

VVV-Venlo will be aiming to secure a first-leg advantage when they welcome Almere City to De Koel for the first leg of their Eredivisie playoff semi-final on Tuesday night.

The home side secured their spot at this stage by beating Willem II 5-4 on aggregate, while Almere City were 3-2 aggregate winners over Eindhoven in the first round.

Match preview

VVV-Venlo finished seventh in the final Eerste Divisie league table, picking up 58 points from their 38 matches courtesy of a record of 16 wins, 10 draws and 12 defeats.

The Good Old were relegated from the Eredivisie at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, and they finished 10th in the second tier last season before claiming seventh in 2022-23.

Rick Kruys’s side took on Willem II in the first round of the playoffs, and they recorded a 3-2 victory in the first leg of their contest, before a 2-2 draw in the reverse match brought a final aggregate score of 5-4.

VVV-Venlo will now take on Almere City over two legs, and the winner will advance to the final of the playoffs, where either Emmen or NAC Breda will be waiting to play for a spot in the Eredivisie.

The Yellow and Blacks were victorious in both league games against Almere City during the regular season, running out 3-0 winners at home and 3-1 away.

Almere City, meanwhile, overcame Eindhoven in the first round of the playoffs, with Alex Pastoor’s side triumphing 3-2 on aggregate.

The Flevoland-based outfit actually lost 1-0 in the first leg away to Eindhoven but managed to record a 3-1 victory after extra-time in the return game to progress to the semi-finals.

Rajiv van La Parra netted the tie’s decisive goal in the 109th minute of the second leg, and Almere City will now be looking to move to a step closer to earning promotion to the top tier of Dutch football for the first time.

Pastoor’s team picked up 70 points from their 38 matches during the regular season, although they finished comfortably behind the top two, with Heracles Almelo winning the division with 85 points, which was the same amount that PEC Zwolle managed to gather to finish second.

Almere City have impressed on their travels this season, boasting the second-best away record during the regular campaign, while VVV-Venlo found it difficult to show consistency at home, picking up just 25 points from 19 matches, winning just six times in the process.

Team News

VVV-Venlo head coach Kruys will need to assess the fitness of his players due to the quick turnaround from the second leg with Willem II.

It seems unlikely that Levi Smans will be available for selection, as the 20-year-old was forced off in the early stages of Saturday’s game, so Daan Huisman could come into the XI.

There is also concern surrounding the availability of Sem Dirks, who was forced off at the interval against Willem II last time out, which could open the door for Brian Koglin to come into the side.

Almere City, meanwhile, have no fresh injury concerns from the second leg of their clash with Eindhoven on Friday.

As a result, it would not be a surprise to see head coach Pastoor keep faith with the side that started the second leg of the first-round playoff contest, with Alvaro Pena retaining his spot in central midfield.

Jeredy Hilterman has been the team’s main source of goals this season, finding the back of the net on 15 occasions, and the 24-year-old is set to again lead the line on Tuesday night.

VVV-Venlo possible starting lineup:
Van der Gouw; Dekker, Ketting, Koglin, Janssen; De Boer, Klaasen, Van Rooijen; Venema, Huisman, Braken

Almere City possible starting lineup:
Bakker; Akujobi, Van Bruggen, Barbet, Smeets; Van de Kamp, Pena, Resink; Pascu, Hilterman, Duijvestijn

Pohang Steelers vs Jeonbuk Prediction: The Steelers Are Expected To Triumph

The K-League springs again with Pohang Steelers visiting Jeonbuk at the Seoul World Stadium in anticipation of a well-deserved thrill. Both teams seek to scavenge for points in the current league standings. The key proposal for this game boils on the fact that the guest squad languishes at the bottom tier and desperately need points for a table climb. League Diagnostics reveals stronger statistics of the visitors needing buffers. Therefore the hosts remain slightly tipped as the premium choice of victory for this contest.

Jeonbuk (7th)

Last five matches: D-W-D-L-L

Jeonbuk comes into this game off the back of a very perplexing exhibition in the last five league games. Reputed to be resilient and a point-staller of ties in the league so far, veracity is a prerequisite from the hosts if headway is something envisaged from this game. If not, a display of defeat would be inevitable for the home fans who wish for something credible from this fixture.

Pohang Steelers (4th)

Last five matches: W-D-W-D-L

For the better part of the K League, Pohang Steelers has been left struggling since the opening games and is in third place. Critics reveal that things may finally turn around positively for this team after this fixture, despite the recent hiccups of losses, draws, and wins.

They dropped points against their last two adversaries, and would basically fight against the steep plunge they face. Home and Away, Pohang Steelers has gained eight robust points from the last five games. Fans of Pohang Steelers hope for a miracle against Jeonbuk, who are in seventh place – a step below them in the league tournament.

Teams Position Goals Scored Goals Conceded Points
Pohang Steelers 19 15 24
Jeonbuk17 13 18

Expert Betting Tips

The last five meetings between both squads have ended in more draws for Jeonbuk and two wins for Jeonbuk. Although it looks like both sides have relatively equal chances of domination, the Hosts have a predominant edge of preference. In light of this, we are tipping an Away Win at full-time at 1.65 odds (bet365)

BTTS – Yes will also be an interesting alternative for 1.80 odds (Coinplay)

The guests need to bridge the sweeping gap between themselves and the hosts, and three points from this match may be the all-time prerequisite needed to fuel their drive.

Bet on Over 2.5 Match Goals for 1.75 odds (1xbet)

Sevilla vs Real Madrid

In what looks like it could be an enjoyable affair from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Saturday evening, Real Madrid will make the trip to Sevilla.


Starting with the hosts, while Sevilla might have been disappointed after settling for a 1-1 draw away at Elche earlier in the week, Los Nervionenses should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Punching their Europa League final ticket on May 18th as they claimed a famous 3-2 aggregate victory against Italian heavyweights Juventus, Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men have only continued to shine since returning from the World Cup’s winter break. In fact, along with opening May with an action-packed 3-2 victory against Espanyol, the former Athletic Bilbao boss has seen his side lose just one of their last 14 straight appearances across all competitions. With that extended purple patch stemming all the way back to a 2-0 loss away at Getafe on March 19th, Sevilla could be smelling the chance to make another domestic statement on Saturday evening. It should also be highlighted, the Andalusia-based outfit have suffered just a sole defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium since the end of February.

Team News

All dealing with long-term injury issues and not set to feature for the remainder of the season, Sevilla will be without the trio of Tanguy Nianzou, Marcao and Joan Jordan on Saturday evening. Likewise, shown a straight red card against Elche in midweek, Pope Gueye will miss out through suspension here.

Despite recording just a single goal in his last seven outings, Youssef En Nesyri will spearhead Mendilibar’s charge. Notching two goals in his last three La Liga appearances, ex-Tottenham ace Erik Lamela should partner En Nesyri in attack.

Real Madrid

As for the visitors, coming under a huge amount of scrutiny over the past few weeks, Real Madrid are simply looking to sign off their La Liga campaign with a flurry. Making a crucial return to winning ways earlier in the week as they claimed a 2-1 victory against local rivals Rayo Vallecano, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are seeking some much-needed stability. Crashing out of the Champions League on May 17th after slumping to an infamous 5-1 drumming at the hands of Premier League giants Manchester City, Los Blancos have won just a trio of their last seven appearances across all competitions. Blown away by historic rivals Barcelona this season and a million miles away from defending their domestic crown, the one-time AC Milan boss should at least be excited by an eye-catching record against Saturday’s opponents. Claiming a 3-1 romp when they welcomed Sevilla to the capital for their reverse La Liga showdown on October 22nd, Madrid are unbeaten in each of their previous eight meetings against Los Nervionenses.

Team News

After having his red card overturned earlier in the week, attacking talisman Vinicius Junior could make a full return on Saturday evening. However, dealing with a muscle injury and missing both of Madrid’s last two La Liga appearances, Mariano Diaz is once again a major doubt.

Drawing a line under his mini four-match draught after finding the net against Vallecano in midweek, reigning Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema will lead Ancelotti’s attack at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides met for their reverse La Liga meeting on October 22nd, Real Madrid picked up a 3-1 victory at the Bernabeu.
  • Likewise, Los Blancos are unbeaten in each of their last eight straight meetings against Sevilla across all competitions.
  • However, the now-former Spanish champions have won just a trio of their previous seven appearances.
  • Sevilla have suffered just a single domestic defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium since the end of February.
  • Five of the last six meetings between Sevilla and Real Madrid have finished with both teams finding the net.


While Real Madrid might have made a crucial return to winning ways earlier in the week, Los Blancos are seeking some much-needed stability. Remarkably losing each of their last four straight appearances outside of the Spanish capital, Sevilla could be smelling the chance to spring an upset here. Punching yet another Europa League final ticket on May 18th as they came past Italian giants Juventus, Los Nervionenses are enjoying what has been a famous flurry. Suffering just a single defeat from any of their previous 14 outings, Mendilibar’s side have also continued to shine on home soil. Despite not picking up a domestic win against the now-former champions since back in 2018, we are expecting a home double chance here.

Preview: Coventry City vs. Luton Town

After yet another captivating season in the Championship, Coventry City and Luton Town do battle at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening as they bid to secure a surprise place in next year’s Premier League.

The Sky Blues and Hatters head into the Championship playoff final having overcome North-East giants Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the two-legged semi-finals.

Match preview

Luton Town defender Gabriel Osho scores against Sunderland on May 16, 2023.

Back on September 14, after these two teams had played out a 2-2 draw at the CBS Arena, Luton found themselves in 18th position and winless Coventry were bottom, albeit with matches in hand due to the poor condition of their pitch.

Fast forward eight-and-a-half months and they are now preparing for one of the biggest occasions in their history, most certainty for Luton who have never graced the Premier League.

Much has been made of how Luton were in the Conference Premier in 2013-14 and how Coventry were relegated to League Two in 2016-17, yet it is only a small part of the narrative ahead of the showpiece at Wembley.

There was simmering frustration when Rob Edwards – most recently at rivals Watford – was chosen as Nathan Jones’s replacement at Luton in November, but his appointment has proven to be a masterstroke.

Sixteen wins and just five defeats have come from his 31 contests in charge, while Luton had been on a 14-game undefeated streak before they lost the first leg of their semi-final at Sunderland.

That setback for the division’s third-placed side has now been forgotten, a consequence of their dominant 2-0 triumph in the reverse fixture as they out-hustled the Black Cats.

Coventry City celebrate scoring against Middlesbrough on May 17, 2023.

A day later, Coventry went into the second leg of their own last-four tie with Middlesbrough as the underdogs to leave the Riverside Stadium with the result that they required to move to the brink of ending a 22-year absence from the top flight.

Mark Robins’s side had failed to register a single shot on target in three halves of football across the two legs before Gustavo Hamer’s brilliantly-executed effort in the second period of the reverse fixture proved to be the difference.

Although any kind of victory over Boro is impressive enough, preventing the division’s second-highest goalscorers from netting across 180 minutes plus added-on time is arguably a greater feat.

Coventry travel to Wembley on a nine-match undefeated streak and have lost just once in 19 games, that no more than a minor blip even if it did come by a 4-0 scoreline at home to Stoke City.

During the regular season, Luton scored just one more goal than Coventry, while that heavy defeat to the Potters contributed to Coventry conceding seven more goals than their next opponents across the 46 games.

Everything points to this fixture being decided by small margins in a match which takes place 115 years on from their first-ever clash in the Southern League First Division.

Team News

Coventry City manager Mark Robins applauds fans after the match on May 8, 2023

Barring any fitness issues, Coventry boss Robins only has a selection dilemma with regards to his central midfielders and attack.

Only two of Josh Eccles, Ben Sheaf, Jamie Allen and Matt Godden will play, the latter being removed from the forward line to accommodate creative midfielder Allen in the second leg.

Godden is more likely to get the nod, partnering leading marksman Viktor Gyokeres, while one of Eccles or Sheaf will feature in the central three, but it remains to be seen whether Kasey Palmer and Tyler Walker will be fit enough to return to the substitutes’ bench.

Edwards named the same Luton XI for both legs of the semi-final and it would come as a surprise if he tinkers with his starting lineup.

Allan Campbell may be considered as an alternative to Jordan Clark in midfield, with Reece Burke an option for the back three if Edwards decides that a greater physical presence is required to help deal with Gyokeres.

Cauley Woodrow has failed to recover from a knee injury in time to feature among the replacements.

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Wilson; McNally, McFadzean, Doyle; Norton-Cuffy, Hamer, Kelly, Sheaf, Bidwell; Godden, Gyokeres

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Horvath; Osho, Lockyer, Bell; Drameh, Clark, Nakamba, Mpanzu, Doughty; Adebayo, Morris

Preview: Manchester United vs. Chelsea

Needing just the one point to guarantee Champions League football for the 2023-24 season, Manchester United’s final Premier League home game of the season takes place on Thursday, as Chelsea make the trek to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are on the brink of sealing a top-four finish thanks to their 1-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend, while the mid-table Blues lost by the same scoreline to newly-crowned champions Manchester City.

Match preview

Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring against Bournemouth on May 20, 2023

While one Brazilian in Roberto Firmino managed to keep Liverpool’s Champions League hopes alive in the Reds’ draw with Aston Villa, his compatriot Casemiro came up with a moment of individual brilliance to keep Man United in the driving seat for a top-four finish at the Vitality Stadium.

The midfielder’s stunning bicycle kick settled an otherwise low-key affair on the South Coast, during which David de Gea – for all the criticism he has received this season – posted a 17th league clean sheet of the season to collect the Golden Glove, and Erik ten Hag is on the verge of achieving his overriding goal in his debut season at Old Trafford.

Sitting three points clear of Liverpool with a game in hand, the fourth-placed Red Devils will assure themselves of a place in next season’s Champions League – where Manchester City, Arsenal and Newcastle United will also be present – should they avoid defeat on Thursday night, but they will get a second bite of the cherry against Fulham on Sunday if they fall short here.

Ten Hag will no doubt aim to wrap up a top-four finish on Thursday before attention turns to their FA Cup final date with bitter rivals Manchester City, and despite a few frailties on the road, Man United have been the toughest nut to crack at home in the current Premier League season.

Indeed, the Red Devils have conceded just eight times at the Theatre of Dreams in the 2022-23 top flight – winning each of their last four without shipping a goal and keeping clean sheets in each of their last six – which certainly does not make for pleasant reading for a goal-shy Chelsea crop.

Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard on May 21, 2023.

With Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday confirming Man City’s status as champions, Pep Guardiola sent out a second-string team onto the field to meet Chelsea, but Frank Lampard’s injury-hit charges could not spoil the Citizens’ celebrations.

A 12th-minute strike from Julian Alvarez was all it took to separate the two sides on the day, and while Man City had to survive a few scares along the way, the champions celebrated their coronation in the right way – handing Lampard his seventh defeat from nine games in charge of the Blues.

Nevertheless, Lampard was able to cut an upbeat figure after the game as he hailed signs of progress from his Chelsea side, but progress did not translate into points, and the Blues enter Thursday’s game languishing in 12th place in the table and still at risk of being demoted to as low as 14th in their final two fixtures.

Chelsea can only finish a troubled campaign as high as 11th – a spot currently occupied by Crystal Palace, who have a one-point lead having played a game more – and any hopes the London club have of redemption on Manchester soil will not be helped by a meagre record of just two wins from their last 13 Premier League away games.

However, each of the last five meetings between Man United and Chelsea has remarkably ended level, with October’s clash at Stamford Bridge ending 1-1 for the third time in a row, and not since the pre-COVID days of February 2020 have the Red Devils actually beaten the Blues, but a sixth stalemate in a row would be enough for Ten Hag’s men to dine at Europe’s top table.

Team News

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford goes off injured against Everton on April 8, 2023

As well as their known plethora of absentees, Man United were forced to cope without Marcus Rashford for the second week running against Bournemouth; the Englishman missed out against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a leg injury before coming down with a bug.

Rashford is expected to fight off his illness in time to start at Old Trafford, but all of Lisandro Martinez (foot), Tom Heaton (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Marcel Sabitzer (knee) and the departing Phil Jones (knee) will watch on from the sidelines.

With Rashford fit and firing, Anthony Martial will be expected to make way after his sour reaction to being substituted against Bournemouth – which Ten Hag played down after the game – and the Red Devils head coach should name his strongest lineup on Thursday before potentially resting players against Fulham if their top-four spot is rubber-stamped.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s perennial injury problems are not letting up as the season draws to a close, as the Blues have suffered a devastating blow with defender Benoit Badiashile, who could supposedly be facing a few months out with a groin problem sustained in training last week.

Mason Mount (pelvic), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Armando Broja (knee), N’Golo Kante (groin), Marc Cucurella (thigh), Marcus Bettinelli (unspecified) and Reece James (thigh) also take up beds in the well-occupied Chelsea treatment room, while Mateo Kovacic remains out with an unspecified issue of his own. On a brighter note, Kalidou Koulibaly was fit enough to come off the bench on Sunday following a thigh issue, and Joao Felix is back from a minor concern.

Having been left relatively satisfied with his side’s display at the Etihad, Lampard may want to keep changes to a minimum, but Carney Chukwuemeka will no doubt be pushing for a starting role after he was blocked from joining up with the England squad for the Under-20 World Cup.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Fofana; Azpilicueta, Fernandez, Loftus-Cheek, Hall; Gallagher; Havertz, Sterling

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City

Fresh from lifting their third successive Premier League title, champions Manchester City travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion in the penultimate game of the top-flight campaign.

The Citizens secured a 3-1 home victory against the Seagulls in the reverse fixture seven months ago, with Erling Braut Haaland (2) and Kevin De Bruyne on the scoresheet.

Match preview

Brighton & Hove Albion's Evan Ferguson celebrates scoring their first goal with Alexis Mac Allister on May 21, 2023

While Man City were celebrating their Premier League coronation, there was also a party atmosphere at the Amex on Sunday after Brighton secured European football for the first time in their history courtesy of a 3-1 win over basement club Southampton.

A first-half brace from rising star Evan Ferguson put the Seagulls in control before Mohammed Elyounoussi pulled one back for the already-relegated Saints just before the hour mark, but Pascal Gross restored the hosts’ two-goal cushion with a strike in the 69th minute.

Roberto De Zerbi’s men are now guaranteed a top-seven finish, but the Italian has urged his side to claim a solitary point from their final two fixtures to ensure that they consolidate sixth spot and qualify for next season’s Europa League – a trip to seventh-placed Aston Villa who sit three points further back is to come on the final day.

Few would have envisaged Brighton challenging for the European places this season, but they are there on merit having adopted an attractive brand of football under De Zerbi, who has been described by Pep Guardiola as ‘one of the most influential managers in the last 20 years’ and seems to have already caught the eye of a number of top clubs if reports are to be believed.

On Wednesday, the Seagulls will test their mettle against another side known for their aesthetic philosophy in Man City, who have won 10 of the last 11 Premier League meetings between the two sides since the South-coast club secured promotion in 2017.

Brighton have won three of their last four home games, albeit losing 5-1 to Everton during this run, while their only top-flight victory over Man City also came on home soil, securing a 3-2 comeback win in their final home game of the 2020-21 season thanks to goals from Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster and Dan Burn.

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan lifts the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after winning the Premier League on May 21, 2023

After being handed the Premier League title without kicking a ball courtesy of Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, the pressure was off Man City heading into Sunday’s clash with Chelsea, but Pep Guardiola’s side were keen to go out with a bang and celebrate one more victory in front of the Etihad Stadium faithful.

Indeed, an early strike from World Cup winner Julian Alvarez was enough for a much-rotated Citizens side to secure a narrow 1-0 win over a toothless Blues outfit in their final home game of the season, before captain Ilkay Gundogan had the honours of lifting the club’s seventh Premier League trophy.

Man City have put together a remarkable 24-game unbeaten run across all competitions, winning each of their last 12 Premier League games in the process, and having previously trailed Arsenal at the summit for the majority of the season, they now sit seven points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.

With one trophy in the bag, the Citizens continue to chase down a historic treble, with finals in the FA Cup and Champions League on the horizon, and Guardiola has suggested that glory in the latter competition will ensure that they are “considered as one of the best” to have graced the beautiful game.

In the meantime, City will conclude their Premier League campaign with two away trips to Brighton and Brentford respectively, seeking to continue their positive momentum before stepping out on the Wembley turf against rivals Manchester United for an FA Cup showdown on June 3, one week before their Champions League final with Inter Milan in Istanbul.

Man City head to the Amex having scored 33 goals in 11 top-flight meetings against Brighton and have never failed to make the net ripple during this run, while they have also won each of their last 25 Premier League matches played on a Wednesday by an aggregate score of 68-11; the longest winning run by any team on a specific day in the division’s history.

Team News

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their third goal against Brighton on October 22, 2022

Brighton will be without the services of Solly March, Adam Lallana (both hamstring), Tariq Lamptey, Jakub Moder (both knee) and Jeremy Sarmiento (ankle) due to injury, while Adam Webster is fit to return to the matchday squad but will begin as a substitute after recovering from a muscle problem.

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez has sat out of the last three games having mutually agreed to remain at home, and he will miss out again on Wednesday with Jason Steele to continue between the sticks.

With De Zerbi keen to claim at least one more point to guarantee Europa League football for next season, a strong side is expected to be named, although the Seagulls boss will consider freshening up his team in a few positions.

Despite scoring a brace against Southampton, Ferguson may be replaced by Danny Welbeck having only recently returned from injury, and the same applies to defender Joel Veltman which could see one of Gross or Moises Caicedo slot in at right-back either from the start or midway through the game.

As for Man City, Guardiola made nine changes to his starting lineup on Sunday after being crowned champions a day earlier, but the Catalan boss is expected to recall a number of his first-team regulars on Wednesday to maintain their match fitness.

The Citizens’ only injury concern is still with Nathan Ake, and although the defender is edging closer to making a comeback from a hamstring problem, Guardiola does not intend to risk him ahead of two huge finals next month.

Goalkeeper Ederson and defenders Ruben Dias and John Stones are in contention to return at the back, while midfield trio Rodri, Gundogan and De Bruyne could also be recalled at the expense of Kalvin Phillips, Cole Palmer and Phil Foden.

Premier League top scorer Haaland may be selected to start down the middle ahead of Alvarez, while Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez are all set to battle for a place on the flanks.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Steele; Veltman, Dunk, Colwill, Estupinan; Gross, Caicedo; Buonanotte, Mac Allister, Mitoma; Welbeck

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte; Stones, Rodri; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish; Haaland

Preview: Real Valladolid vs. Barcelona

Champions Barcelona will be bidding to return to winning ways in La Liga when they make the trip to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on Tuesday night.

Xavi’s side, who have already won the title, suffered a 2-1 loss to Real Sociedad on Saturday evening, while Real Valladolid lost 2-0 at fellow strugglers Cadiz on Friday, and they now sit 18th in the table with three games left.

Match preview

Real Valladolid's Ivan Fresneda in action with Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior on April 2, 2023

Real Valladolid dropped into the relegation zone on Saturday when Getafe picked up a point against Elche, with Paulo Pezzolano’s side currently 18th in the table, level on points (35) and games (35) with 17th-placed Getafe.

The White and Violets are struggling for points at the worst possible stage of the season, losing each of their last five games in Spain’s top flight, including a 2-0 reverse at Cadiz on Friday night.

Real Valladolid picked up seven points from their three matches against Mallorca, Villarreal and Girona between April 9 and April 22, but they have lost every game since then, and it is set to be a fascinating end to the season for the club considering that their last two games are against Almeria and Getafe.

Pucela, who finished second in the Segunda Division last season to earn promotion, have the fourth-worst home record in La Liga this season, only picking up 24 points from their 17 games.

Real Valladolid have also lost each of their last six La Liga matches against Barcelona, including a 4-0 defeat in the reverse match at Camp Nou earlier this season.Barcelona players celebrate winning the La Liga title on May 20, 2023

Barcelona lifted the La Liga title on Saturday evening after securing the championship on May 14, but it was not quite the celebrations that the club had in mind, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.

Mikel Merino and Alexander Sorloth were on the scoresheet for Imanol Alguacil’s side, and Robert Lewandowski’s late goal only proved to be a consolation, as Barcelona lost for the fourth time in the league this season.

The Catalan outfit will take on Mallorca (H) and Celta Vigo (A) in their final two league games of the campaign, and they will want to end a hugely successful domestic season on a positive note.

Xavi’s side have the best away record in Spain’s top flight this season, picking up 40 points from their 17 matches on their travels, and they were 3-0 winners over Real Valladolid when they last visited the strugglers in the league in December 2020.

Barcelona’s plans for the summer transfer window are well underway, with Lionel Messi their top target, and it will be fascinating to see whether the club can secure a return for the Argentine.

Xavi will also be determined to oversee an improvement in Europe next term, as the La Liga champions once again failed to make it through the group stage of the Champions League.

Team News

Gavi celebrates scoring for Barcelona on February 5, 2023

Real Valladolid will again be missing Luis Perez, Selim Amallah and Anuar Tuhami for Tuesday’s contest through injury, while Martin Hongla is suspended following his red card against Cadiz.

Head coach Pezzolano is expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes to the side that started against Cadiz, but Alvaro Aguado and Lucas Olaza are likely to come into the XI.

There could also be a spot in the final third of the field for Gonzalo Plata, which could lead to a change of formation, with Pezzolano potentially being in an extra forward.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have Gavi available again after the midfielder missed out against Real Sociedad through suspension.

Pedri and Ronald Araujo were also both absent on Saturday due to minor muscular problems, and the pair will again miss out here, while Jules Kounde is also out due to a muscular issue of his own.

Ousmane Dembele is set to make a second successive start, having fully recovered from a hamstring problem which kept him out for an extended period, while Raphinha should also feature in the final third of the field despite pressure from Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati.

Real Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Masip; Fernandez, Sanchez, El Yamiq; Rosa, Monchu, Aguado, Olaza; Plata, Marin, Leon

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Roberto, Alonso, Christensen, Balde; Gavi, Busquets, F de Jong; Dembele, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Preview: Roma vs. Salernitana

After reaching a European final for the second straight season, Roma resume their pursuit of a top-four finish in Serie A when they host Salernitana on Monday.

A resilient display in Leverkusen saw the Giallorossi edge into the Europa League decider, but they have been short of both goals and points in recent league matches; their visitors, meanwhile, are within touching distance of top-flight survival.

Match preview

Roma's Andrea Belotti in action with Bayer Leverkusen's Exequiel Palacios on May 18, 2023

Having taken a slim lead with them to Germany, Roma gritted their teeth and defended resolutely for 90 minutes on Thursday, as they eliminated Bayer Leverkusen to set up a Europa League final clash with competition specialists Sevilla.

Last year’s Europa Conference League winners had won 1-0 in the Italian capital seven days earlier, and a classic Jose Mourinho performance saw them hold Xabi Alonso’s side goalless at the BayArena – Roma had just one shot throughout, and even that failed to hit the target.

Between now and their trip to Budapest on the last day of May, Mourinho’s men must play out two crucial Serie A fixtures – against Salernitana and then fellow continental finalists Fiorentina – as they seek to salvage a top-four finish from a challenging domestic campaign.

In addition to their shot-shy effort in midweek, Roma have also failed to score in their last two Serie A matches – a 2-0 home defeat to Inter and last week’s 0-0 draw with Bologna – and they could now fire blanks in three consecutive league games for the first time since 1994.

With Tammy Abraham and Andrea Belotti both off-form and Paulo Dybala beset by injuries, it is perhaps no surprise that the Giallorossi have scored the fewest goals among teams in Italy’s top eight, and that seems to have left hopes of a Champions League return resting solely on winning the Europa League.

Nonetheless, on Monday, Mourinho will celebrate his 150th Serie A match with 84 wins already under his belt, and one more victory would take him above both Simone Inzaghi and Fabio Capello in that regard; sitting alongside Maurizio Sarri (85) and below only Antonio Conte (102), his fellow ex-Chelsea managers.

Salernitana's Antonio Candreva on September 11, 2022

Not only have Salernitana have won just one of their seven Serie A meetings with Roma – and that came back in January 1999 – but they have never before beaten them at Stadio Olimpico in top-flight competition.

They have, though, tasted victory in Rome already this season, with October’s 3-1 win over Lazio being one of only two successes on the road this term.

Ex-Laziale Antonio Candreva was on target last weekend, when the Granata took a giant stride closer to confirming their Serie A status for next season by beating Atalanta 1-0 at Stadio Arechi, with the substitute’s stoppage-time strike also helping to avoid adding another draw to his team’s league-high total.

However, the Campanian club have failed to win any of their last seven away fixtures ahead of their latest trip to the Eternal City, and eight of their 14 draws have come when on the road.

That has still proved enough for Paulo Sousa to lift them into 15th place, and after his appointment in February an impressive 10-game unbeaten run saw the Salerno side almost assure their third straight campaign in Calcio’s top tier – that could be confirmed this week.

Team News

Roma coach Jose Mourinho on April 20, 2023

Following the exertions of Thursday night’s bus-parking exercise by the Rhine, Roma may make several changes to their lineup on Monday.

As wing-back pair Leonardo Spinazzola and Zeki Celik sustained injuries in Leverkusen, Jose Mourinho could bring in Nicola Zalewski and Filippo Missori, while Ola Solbakken is set to feature up front.

Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Llorente are back from injury to increase Mourinho’s options, with Paulo Dybala and Chris Smalling both likely to be given more minutes as they complete their respective returns to fitness.

Either Tammy Abraham or Andrea Belotti should partner Solbakken, though Belotti is yet to score in 28 Serie A matches since joining the Giallorossi last summer.

Salernitana’s Krzysztof Piatek recently ended his own lengthy goal drought, and now set to play his 100th game in Italian football, the Polish striker has scored in both of his previous league starts against Roma – for Genoa and then Milan.

Top scorer Boulaye Dia will join Piatek in the visitors’ forward line, and Antonio Candreva should support them, following his heroics last weekend.

Only ex-Roma defender Federico Fazio is sidelined by injury for Paulo Sousa’s side, for whom Dylan Bronn now returns from suspension.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez; Missori, Bove, Wijnaldum, Zalewski; Pellegrini; Solbakken, Abraham

Salernitana possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Lovato, Gyomber, Pirola; Mazzocchi, Coulibaly, Vilhena, Bradaric; Candreva, Dia; Piatek

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Manchester United

Seeking to strengthen their grip on a top-four finish in the Premier League, Manchester United travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Saturday.

The two teams experienced contrasting results last time out, with the Red Devils securing a two-goal win over Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Cherries losing by the same margin against Crystal Palace.

Match preview

Bournemouth manager Gary O'Neil before the match on May 13, 2023

Twelve months on from securing promotion back to the Premier League, Bournemouth have proven many people wrong by cementing their status in the top flight this season, despite suffering back-to-back defeats in their last two matches against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.

A 3-1 home defeat against the Blues was followed by a 2-0 loss at Selhurst Park last weekend, with an Eberechi Eze brace helping the Eagles to come out on top against a Cherries side who failed to register a single shot on target.

Gary O’Neil deserves plenty of credit for keeping Bournemouth up this season, with his side currently sitting 14th in the table and eight points clear of the drop zone, but the Cherries boss – who turned 40 on Thursday – will be keen to end the campaign on a high and claim positive results from their final two fixtures at home against Man United and away to Everton.

Bournemouth have history when it comes to going out with a bang on home soil as they have won their final game at the Vitality Stadium in three of their last five Premier League seasons, although they did suffer a 2-0 defeat to Southampton in their most recent final home fixture in 2019-20.

The Cherries have in fact struggled in front of their own fans in recent weeks, as they have lost three of their last four home matches by an aggregate score of 10-1. However, a slender 1-0 victory was secured the last time that they welcomed Man United to the South coast in November 2019, courtesy of a first-half strike from former Red Devil Joshua King.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag before the match on May 4, 2023

After suffering two disappointing 1-0 away defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United courtesy of a 99th-minute penalty and a David de Gea howler, Man United returned to winning ways with a routine 2-0 home victory over Wolves last weekend.

Anthony Martial ended his eight-game goal drought by opening the scoring midway through the first half, before Alejandro Garnacho came off the bench to seal the win in second-half stoppage time – no Premier League player has scored more goals than the teenage Argentine (three) as a substitute this season.

Man United’s 20th top-flight win of the campaign has moved them onto 66 points from 35 games, already eight points more than last season, and they remain fourth in the table as things stand, sitting just one place and one point above an in-form Liverpool outfit who have played a game more.

Securing Champions League football for next season is Erik ten Hag’s sole focus as the Red Devils head into their final three league fixtures, but that task has been made tougher due to their poor away record in recent months – accumulating just eight points on the road from their last 27 available since the turn of the year.

Man United lost their final away league match of last season, suffering a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, but they can be confident of success on Saturday having won eight of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Bournemouth, including a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in January.

Team News

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur on April 27, 2023

Bournemouth boss O’Neil has revealed that Antoine Semenyo is set to miss the rest of the season with an unspecified injury, while Hamed Traore (foot), Marcus Tavernier (hamstring), Ryan Fredericks (calf) and Junior Stanislas (unspecified) all remain on the sidelines.

Kieffer Moore recovered from concussion to make the matchday squad last weekend and the striker will be pushing to start either alongside or as a replacement for Dominic Solanke following the Cherries’ powder-puff attacking display against Palace.

Chris Mepham was handed a start at right-back last time out, but he could be replaced by Adam Smith this weekend, while Lewis Cook will push Joe Rothwell for a start in centre-midfield alongside Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing.

As for Man United, Marcel Sabizter has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury and the Bayern Munich loanee joins Lisandro Martinez (foot), Donny van de Beek, Phil Jones (both knee) and Tom Heaton (ankle) in the treatment room.

However, Ten Hag has been boosted by the return of both Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay to team training this week, and the Red Devils duo could be in contention to feature against Bournemouth.

Both Rashford and Garnacho are set to push Jadon Sancho for a start on the left flank, while Martial is expected to continue as the central striker ahead of Wout Weghorst.

Raphael Varane recovered from injury to start against Wolves and the centre-back is likely to retain his place alongside Victor Lindelof, while Ten Hag will ponder selecting either Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Diogo Dalot at right-back, the latter of whom watched on as an unused substitute against Wolves.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Vina; Ouattara, Lerma, Rothwell, Christie; Billing; Solanke

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial