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If you haven’t been paying attention to the action in the Bundesliga, you might be surprised to learn that Union Berlin enter this contest sitting above RB Leipzig in the table. However, a success for the visitors on Friday evening would see them leapfrog their hosts and jump up to fifth spot. It hasn’t been the easiest time for Leipzig this season though, and they’ve lost their last two league games heading into this clash.
However, they face a Union side that are equally out-of-form as they are, with the home outfit only winning one of their last five Bundesliga matches. Berlin also have an unhealthy habit of conceding to Leipzig when they play, and have let in at least one goal in the eight matches between the pair.
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If Union are to be breached on Friday night, we reckon Christopher Nkunku will be the man to do it. The French striker has netted four times in his previous five games and has notched at Stadion An der Alten Forsterei for Leipzig in the past. Don’t be shocked if he repeats that trick on Friday evening.
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Amazingly, we are already into the 21st round of Championship fixtures this term, and Friday night’s offering features the top two in the standings going at it. Fulham hold a slender one-point lead over Bournemouth at the top of the shop and will want to extend that advantage here. They should have a right shot of doing that too, as The Cherries have been ripe for the picking of late – winning just one of their last five league games.
For their part, The Cottagers have won five of their previous six home matches and only Derby County managed to keep them off the scoresheet in that run. In fact, that was the only time in the last 10 games in all competitions that Fulham have been held scoreless.
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But, when you have Aleksandar Mitrovic in your side, it’s easy to see why it’s hard to keep out Marco Silva’s men. Aside from scoring the goal to take his nation to the World Cup at the expense of Portugal, the Serbian frontman is far and away the division’s top scorer with a phenomenal 21 goals (from only 19 games) to date – five ahead of his next closest challenger. Mitrovic has also banged in an amazing 13 goals in his last nine matches, so there really was no one else we’d rather tip to score in this game than him.
Who doesn’t love a bit of cup football and the chance of a potential upset on a Friday night eh? Well, we’ve got a tasty FA Cup Round 2 scrap to get our teeth into here as National League promotion-chasers Stockport County travel to the New York Stadium to meet League One table-toppers Rotherham United.
The Millers will be a daunting task for Dave Challinor’s men as they have been in simply stunning form lately, winning 11 of their previous 15 matches in all competitions and you have to go all the way back to mid-September to find their last defeat. On the flip side, County are unbeaten in seven games themselves and knocked out Bolton (also of League One) in extra time in the last round.
We have to go with a Rotherham man to score here though, and that’s because Paul Warne’s outfit have banged in a stunning 23 goals in their last 10 games. Key to that stat has been the form of star marksman Michael Smith, who has bagged 12 in League one this term. Smith has struck seven times in his previous 10 appearances, including one on Tuesday night against Port Vale in the FA Trophy – so he’s not shy of a cup goal really.
There is no sugar-coating it, Benfica’s preparation for this huge game in the Portuguese Primeira Liga has been nothing short of farcical. That’s because they were forced to batter a Belenenses outfit – whose line-up consisted of just nine players (two of which were goalkeepers) due to a Covid outbreak – 7-0 in their last game. It was a contest that only lasted 48 minutes before it was abandoned due to the home side’s lack of players!
However, that victory did push them to within one point of Sporting (who they host here) and Porto at the summit of the table, so a win on Friday night will send Benfica top of the pile. They will need to beat a Sporting outfit who have picked up a whopping 11 wins in a row in all competitions to do that though.
Thankfully, we are not being forced to pick a winner and a goalscorer is our only concern. So, we are throwing our considerable weight behind Darwin Nunez of Benfica to find the net at some stage. Nunez is second only to Luis Díaz of Porto in the Portuguese scoring charts and the Uruguayan has notched five times in his previous five matches, so there is every reason to feel he can net again on Friday night.
19:30 Union Berlin v RB Leipzig: Christopher Nkunku To Score Anytime
19:45 Fulham v Bournemouth: Aleksandar Mitrovic To Score Anytime
19:45: Rotherham United v Stockport County: Michael Smith To Score Anytime
21:15 Benfica v Sporting Lisbon: Darwin Nunez To Score Anytime
* An accumulator on these four best bets pays at approximately 39/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
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Friday’s football tips
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- Fulham v Bournemouth tips: Your 27/1 bet builder for Friday’s huge clash
Saturday football tips
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Sunday football tips
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