Coupe de France – Rennes vs. Orleans, Wednesday 27th February, 17:30
Rennes are unlikely to make a late surge for the Europa League spots with their comfortable mid-table position in Ligue 1, and while they’re still in action on the continent this term, they’ve drawn Arsenal in the last 16 and so the Coupe de France represents a far greater chance of silverware this term.
The hosts should expect to pass an examination by Ligue 2 outfit Orleans, despite the visitors’ good form of late, as they’ve won seven of 11 unbeaten matches at Roazhon Park since early December and averaged two goals per game across this spell.
Two of the stalemates came against teams above them in the table in Montpellier and Marseille, while another came in the Europa League against Real Betis, and quality should prevail in the end against lower-league opposition.
The visitors have won four of seven unbeaten games across all competitions, but three of those victories came at teams below themselves in Ligue 2, while one of the stalemates came against fourth-tier outfit Bergerac in the last 32 of this competition as they required extra time to get the job done.
Coppa Italia – Fiorentina vs. Atalanta, Wednesday 27th February, 20:00
Fiorentina won’t fear anyone having thumped Roma 7-1 in the quarter-finals and especially not an Atalanta side that have lost form at a crucial stage of the season, losing their last two outings against Milan and Torino to leave their European ambitions hanging by a thread.
However, Atalanta also secured a sensational win in the previous round of the Coppa Italia with a stunning 3-0 triumph hosting Juventus, and with the top three in the table all out of this competition, both sides will giving this their complete attention.
Head-to-head meetings between the two sides in recent times haven’t exactly produced any thrillers however, with each of their five encounters since 2016/17 featuring fewer than two goals as four of them ended in stalemates.
With the second leg to come next Tuesday, this could well be a quite cagey affair along the same lines. Although Fiorentina last lost a game on Boxing Day, they’ve only won four of the subsequent nine matches and they’ve been the draw specialists in Serie A with a league-high of 12 from their 25 fixtures.
In fact, 11 of their 19 outings across all competitions since the October international break have finished all square, and this tie should still be very much in the balance after the first leg.
Copa del Rey – Valencia vs. Real Betis, Thursday 28th February, 20:00
Valencia hold the upper hand in this tie after netting two away goals in the final 20 minutes in the first leg, earning themselves a draw, and as a low-scoring outfit (only two sides have netted fewer in La Liga this term) they can force their visitors to take the initiative.
That’s especially the case as like Fiorentina in Serie A, they’re La Liga’s draw specialists with 15 from 25 fixtures this term. They’re certainly tough to beat as they’ve lost just once in 13 matches across all competitions, drawing five of their last seven.
Real Betis have only been victorious in one of their last six outings across all competitions and having only kept two clean sheets across their last 13 in all competitions, will struggle to get through to the final away from home.
Indeed, Valencia are unbeaten in five encounters with Real Betis since the start of 2017 (W2-D3) and have lost just one of 22 visits from their opponents since 1994/95. Real Betis have drawn each of their last five Copa del Rey matches, but while that’s the likely outcome once more, it probably won’t be enough to take the game to extra time or penalties.
*all odds are subject to change