Things to look out of for in the Champions League: Round two group fixtures

The Champions League second round of fixtures will continue this week as Liverpool, Barcelona and Chelsea all seek to redeem themselves. Bet on Champions League football here.

First big test for Inter Milan

Barcelona and Inter Milan will square it off against each other at Camp Nou in their Group F fixture. Both sides shared the spoils with Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Prague respectively in their first round of European fixtures, meaning that we are likely to see both of them going for the win here. The Italians have had an impressive start to their local campaign but this will be their first real test of the season. Can Antonio Conte gain a positive result away to Barca?

Liverpool to bounce back 

Liverpool suffered a 2-0 loss to Napoli at Stadio San Paolo in their Champions League opener, meaning that the European Champions are desperate to get back to winning ways. Jurgen Klopp’s charges are likely to go all guns blazing at home to Salzburg and they are favourites to pick up vital points in this one. The hosts have an incredible record at home following seven wins in eight home games and they will be looking to extend that record.

A strong display from Cristiano Ronaldo

Bayer Leverkusen will head to Turin to meet Juventus and the home side will be eager to pick up all three points. As is expected all eyes will be fixed on Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo who has an impressive record in this competition. He has scored 26 goals in 24 appearances against teams from Germany in the UEFA Champions League. It is worth noting that no other player has more against teams from a specific nation. With the Portuguese on form, we can expect a very strong display for him.

Another shaky outing for Spurs?

Tottenham are set to host Bayern Munich in the Champions League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This has been a challenging spell for Spurs, who have won just once in their last four games. Their weekend success over Southampton was not all that convincing, while their League Cup exit to Colchester was just plainly disappointing. Bayern Munich head into this week’s game with some great Bundesliga form behind them and they will have a few questions to ask. It remains to be seen how Tottenham will respond.

Osimhen to trouble Chelsea

Chelsea have little choice but to go for glory at Lille in their second group game, following their home loss to Valencia in the first match. For all their exciting forward play, Chelsea have looked really vulnerable in defending counter-attacks and set pieces. They will have to worry about the threat posed by Lille’s forward Victor Osimhen. The young Nigerian has six goals in seven appearances for Lille in Ligue 1 and he will have instructions to hurt the opposition.

Things to look out for in European football: September 28-29

League action is set to resume in Europe as the Madrid derby takes centre stage. Here is a look at some of the talking points in La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1. Bet on football here.

Bragging rights up for grabs in Madrid

Real Madrid will make the trip to bitter city rivals Atlético Madrid on Saturday as Los Blancos aim to continue their one-point lead at the top of the table. Los Colchoneros will be looking to build on their most recent win over Mallorca during the midweek. Atletico have kept clean sheets in eight of their 13 home games, proving that they are defensively solid and they will be out to take the bragging rights here. Real have not given off the impression that they are league leaders, but surprisingly they sit in first place in the table and they will not give up their position easily.

Athletic Bilbao to continue unbeaten run?

Valencia will travel to Athletic Bilbao where they will be hosted by a high-flying home side and the big question is, can Los Ches get back to their winning ways? The hosts will be disappointed to not have continued their winning streak during the week, but they remain undefeated this season. Valencia will be trying to find their feet under their new coach, and their away record has been mixed in recent games, losing three of their last five outings. San Mamés has always been an absolute fortress and it is impossibly difficult for a visiting side to win here.

High scoring thriller in Germany

Title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund are hoping to get back to winning ways when they host Werder Bremen after being held to a draw last weekend. As always this game promises to be a thrilling encounter between two of the Bundesliga’s most entertaining and attacking sides. This fixture has a history of delivering goals and ultimately, we feel that this game is not going to be any different. These two played each other three times in all competitions last season and there were Over 2.5 Goals scored in all three fixtures.

Napoli to respond to midweek loss

Napoli will be looking to return to winning ways in the Serie A when they take on Brescia in yet another home fixture. Carlo Ancelotti’s men need to pick up all three points from Sunday’s football game if they are to rejoin the race for the Serie A title. The Partenopei failed to turn their dominance into goals in the midweek fixture and were unfortunate not to grab something from the match. Mario Balotelli and his new teammates face an uphill task against Napoli and there is a good chance that they are going to return home empty-handed from the trip to Naples.

Neutral affair

Olympique Marseille will want to return to winning ways in Ligue 1 when they host Rennes at their Orange Velodrome. The hosts won just two of their last six home matches which doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence. And whereas they are unbeaten in their last four clashes with Rennes, they have won just one of those encounters. Draws have been common between the two in recent years and with neither team in top form, it is what looks very likely.

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Things to look out for in Premier League: Matchweek 7

 

Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Watford and Chelsea are looking to return to winning ways, while West Ham and Bournemouth are aiming to continue with their good run of form in the Premier League this weekend. Here are some of the Things to look out for in the Premier League: Matchweek 7. Bet on the Premier League here. 

Manchester United v Arsenal – Who will lift the gloom?

This fixture was once one of England’s fiercest rivalries, but years of underinvestment and mismanagement has made it meaningless. A match between Arsenal and Manchester United was one of the biggest matches in English football which would determine who lifts the coveted Premier League title. These two meet on Monday but that rivalry, although it still retains some glamour, it is a distant memory. Now, it’s a fight of who will get into the top four and who will avoid social media banter. Both have made poor starts to the season and whoever wins on Monday will at least bring some much-needed delirium to the fans.

Bottom of the table clash: Wolves and Watford

Both Wolves and Watford are winless in the Premier League this season. The Hornets have already fired their manager Javi Gracia and replaced him with former boss Quique Sanchez Flores. Wolves’ boss Nuno Espirito Santo is a man under pressure ahead of their clash against Watford. The Hornets suffered a chastening 8-0 defeat away to champions Manchester City last time out. The home team have failed to win any of the last five league meetings between these two since the Hornets triumphed 2-1 at Vicarage Road in November 2012

Marco Silva’s last throw of the dice

Everton suffered yet another defeat against newly-promoted Sheffield United putting more pressure on Marco Silva. A clash against rampant Manchester City is not a fixture Silva would want to use to bounce back. Everton spent over £100m in the summer transfer window but currently sit 14th and hopes of breaking into the top six look bleak. A win over City might save Silva’s job, but can he stop Pep’s men?

Lampard to gain first home win?

Chelsea are yet to taste victory in the league at Stamford Bridge. They’ve drawn two and lost once of their three home games. On Saturday, they face Brighton, a team that have taken only one point from 13 Premier League away matches at last season’s top six sides and lost 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last season. If they produce a performance as they did against Liverpool, they shouldn’t have a problem dispatching the Seagulls.

Clash of top six contenders: Bournemouth v West Ham

Both Bournemouth and West Ham have made decent starts to the season and they sit sixth and fifth respectively. Both teams registered huge wins last week and their consistency should be put to test when they meet. The Cherries are unbeaten in five meetings against the Hammers and have won three of those five matches. Moreover, both teams are looking to break into the top six this season given the huge summers they had. Can Eddie Howe’s men continue with their good record against the Hammers?

 

Pochettino to ease the pressure

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure following a poor start to the season. Spurs have won just three of their last ten league matches and the Argentine is aiming to alleviate some of the pressure when they host Southampton this weekend. Spurs have won just once this season and have lost to Leicester and Newcastle. They have blown leads against Arsenal, Olympiakos and the Foxes. Can they bounce back this weekend?

Things to look out for in Serie A: Matchweek 5

The Serie A midweek action will resume tonight as Napoli and Inter Milan seek to accumulate points. Here is a look at some of the talking points. Bet on football here.

Edin Dzeko to stand out?

Roma are aiming to add to their fine run of form in Serie A when they host Atalanta on tonight. The visitors are hoping to return to winning ways here and whereas we are backing them to score a couple, there is a good chance they are not going to keep a clean sheet. The hosts can rival Atalanta’s scoring form going forward. With Edin Dzeko fit you can expect lots of drama as the forward has three from three at home this term. He also has an incredible record against Atalanta, following four goals and an assist in five against this opposition.

Bologna’s impressive start to the season to continue

Bologna have had a brilliant start to the season and despite losing their last fixture against Roma they have done well so far. Their next test will be against Genoa and we expect a very exciting fixture. They are the only side to rack up over ten Expected Goals in the first four games of the campaign. To this end, they have scored seven times already, while their last away trip saw them hit four goals away to Brescia, pointing to another good outing for them

Inter Milan to prove title credentials

Inter Milan continued their perfect start to the season with a 2-0 victory over rivals AC Milan on Saturday night. They will be out to demonstrate their title credentials when they face Lazio in midweek ahead of clashes against Barcelona and Juve in the next coming 11 days. They showed their mettel against AC Milan at the weekend, now they need to confirm this against a team who tend to disappoint in this kind of fixture.

Fiorentina’s struggles far from over

Sampdoria’s poor start to the season could be a thing of the past as they travel to Fiorentina on the back of a win. The hosts have won just two of their last 24 matches in Serie A since the beginning of the year. The host are winless in their last 18 league games, which includes a run of seven losses in ten matches and this has left them near the bottom of the table yet again. They have now failed to score in six of their last seven Serie A home games and Sampdoria have lost just once in their last five visits complicating matters.

Napoli to extend excellent record against Cagliari

Napoli’s season is going from strength to strength and they will be out to keep it that way when they host Cagliari. The Partenopei have won their previous seven meetings with Cagliari and on current form, we can only see this one going to the home side. Carlo Ancelotti’s men enjoyed three straight wins in the space of eight days. The visitors also have scoring form at this ground, having scored in three of their last four visits and they will not go down without a fight.

 

Big Game Focus: Barcelona v Villarreal

Barcelona will face a tough test when they host Villarreal as they look to put a bad run of form behind them. Bet on the match here.

Villarreal are in the very unusual position of travelling to Camp Nou while being a place above eighth placed Barcelona in the table. We definitely expect a very entertaining fixture seeing that these are the two highest scoring teams in La Liga this season with 12 goals each.

Ernesto Valverde’s side’s recent defensive efforts have been far from convincing as they have conceded at least two goals in their last four La Liga games. It is clear that this Tuesday’s clash will be extremely important for Valverde as his future with Barcelona may hinge on this game.

Betting preview

Barca have clearly had a catastrophic start to the season following two losses and a draw. However, they can boast of a perfect record at home where they have won all their league games. They beat Real Betis 5-2 before recording the same score against Valencia a few weeks later. Barcelona have won their last four home games against Villarreal with at least a two-goal difference and backing a -1 Handicap Home Win looks good at odds of 1.75.

Barcelona have found the net in three of their last five meetings in La Liga. Villarreal have scored in their last five outings. Both Teams to Score have landed in five of their last seven encounters and it is the way to go here at odds of 1.55.

The last meetings between the two formations in recent years have been rather spectacular. Three of the last five meetings have seen Over 2.5 Goals scored, including an incredible 4-4 last year at Villarreal. Odds of 1.30 looks fair for Over 2.5 Goals

Team news

Barca will again be deprived of the services of left-back Jordi Alba because of a hamstring problem and Samuel Umtiti who is injured. Ousmane Dembele could return whilst Lionel Messi should start for the first time this season. Arthur and Sergio Busquets should both return to the starting lineup as well.

Bruno Soriano and defender Alberto Moreno are expected to miss the match due to injury for the visitors. Karl Toko Ekambi, Samuel Chukwueze, Manu Trigueros and Mario Gaspar are all options in that area. Moi Gomez and Santi Cazorla should keep their place in the starting lineups

Possible lineups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Semedo, Arthur, Busquets, De Jong, Messi, L Suarez, Griezmann.

Villarreal: Asenjo, Quintilla, Torres, Albiol, Pena, Iborra, Cazorla, Gomez, Chukwueze, Moreno, Ekambi.

Big Game Focus: Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal

 

Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal had great runs in the Europa League last season and both teams meet in the group stage this season. Arsenal travel to Germany, a place they’ve suffered heavy defeats in the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Here’s the Big Game Focus. Bet on the Europa League here. 

Frankfurt were one of only two teams with a perfect record during last year’s group stage. That was impressive bearing in mind they faced strong opponents like Lazio, Apollon Limassol and Olympique Marseille. At home, they were unstoppable. They defeated those teams by an aggregate scoreline of 10-1. They went past Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Benfica in the knockout rounds before being eliminated by Chelsea in the semis. Although they sold their two best attacking players in Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller, they’re still a strong team and the Gunners should be wary.

After participating in the Champions League for 19 straight seasons, Arsenal have given a good account of themselves in this competition. In the two years, they’ve reached the semi-final and the final and will be attempting to go one step further this season. They were impressive in last season’s campaign where they eliminated Napoli and Valencia n the latter stages, eventually losing 4-1 in the final against Chelsea. Their trips in Germany have been forgettable. Starting with this game against Adi Hutter’s men, they can start changing that poor record.

Betting preview

Arsenal have won five of their last six Europa League matches. They’ve also won five of their last seven away matches in the tournament. Although Frankfurt have a strong home record in the competition, Arsenal are a much stronger side. Frankfurt’s squad has weakened significantly following the sale of Jovic and Haller. For that reason, you can back An Away Double Chance at odds of 1.40.  

Arsenal have already conceded eight competitive goals this season, shipping five in their three away games in the Premier League. The Gunners have now kept just 3 clean sheets in their last 14 competitive matches. Nonetheless, the Gunners have failed to score in just one of their last ten Europa League matches. The German side have scored in their last five home matches in the competition. Therefore, odds of 1.55 for Both Teams to Score are attractive. 

Four of Frankfurt’s last six matches in this competition have seen three or more goals scored. Six of Arsenal’s last eight Europa League matches have seen Over 2.5 Goals scored. You can back Over 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.65. 

Team news

The hosts will be without Mijat Gacinovic, who picked up an injury in training last week, while former Swansea City player Jonathan de Guzman misses out due to a muscular problem. Veteran defender Marco Russ is ruled out with a long-term injury while Sebastian Rode and Goncalo Paciencia are both doubts for the game.

For Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette is out until October with an ankle problem. New signing Kieran Tierney is still recovering from a hernia operation. Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are long-term absentees.

Possible line-up

Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp; Abraham, Hinteregger, Hasebe, Rode, da Costa, Sow, Kamada, Chndler, Silva, Paciencia

Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Willock, Torreira, Ozil, Aubameyang, Pepe