The past fortnight has seen a very scintillating start to the start of the football season especially in Europe’s major football leagues with a lot of teams making transfers in order to fortify their squads for domestic and European challenges.
Today’s review starts with matches in the English Premiership and it has been a devastating start to the season by Man City with eight goals scored and one conceded in just two matches; the premier league champions are the team to beat and the run will definitely continue against a Wolves side who hasn’t done too badly since their promotion to the premiership but this challenge is a huge step and I am expecting Sergio Aguero to continue from where he left off last week against Huddersfield where he scored a hat trick.
The Gunners are already six points behind the league leaders due to the fact that they lost their opening two matches but I am tipping Unai Emery’s charges to win against West Ham especially when the amount of unconverted chances against Chelsea is considered. It is only a matter of time before a team is on the wrong end of a thrashing and West Ham may be in for a very long afternoon.
Liverpool plays against a Brighton side who are high in confidence after defeating a very lackadaisical Man United side last week so whilst I edge towards a Liverpool victory, it is going to be a close encounter whereby the final score may not accurately reflect the game play. Liverpool to win by two goals.
Newcastle hosts Chelsea and I have been impressed by The Blues start to the season considering the whole upheaval with Conte and the late appointment of Sarri but credit to him, he has got the team playing his favoured pressing pattern which has yielded two victories so far but an away match against Newcastle is always a banana peel so I expect loads of goals in this one with Chelsea edging it with the odd goal.
Man United clashes against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night and United fans may be forgiven if they have a sense of foreboding going into this one. Recent events involving Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola has threatened to derail their start after an opening-day win over Leicester City and a clash against a high-flying Spurs is not going to fill any Red Devil with confidence. But Mourinho being who he is seems to bask in these top clashes plus Spurs has lost on their last four visits to Old Trafford ergo, I am going for a low-scoring game which may end in a slim United win or a draw.
The La Liga is in the second week and here are my picks for the weekend:
• Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano
This is going to be an easy win for Atletico Madrid who are still going strong after their European Super Cup win over city rivals, Real Madrid.
• Valladolid vs Barcelona
Barcelona brought quite a bit of players to offset the retirement of Andrea Iniesta whose loss is still going to be felt as the season unfolds but I still expect the Cules to annihilate Valladolid away from home. The defence is suspect so Barcelona may concede the odd goal but it is going to be an easy win for them.
• Girona vs Real Madrid
The change in the management of Real Madrid may lead them to struggle a bit this season but I still expect them to edge Girona in what will be a very close encounter. I tip Gareth Bale to get a goal or two.
The Bundesliga starts this weekend and it promises to be a goalfest based on the fixtures. Bayern Munich already won on Friday night against Hoffenheim by three goals to one and I expect to see more goals over the course of the weekend.
Borussia Monchengladbach hosts Bayer Leverkusen in a match-up that has always delivered high-octane goal-mouth action over the years and this opener is not going to be different with a high-scoring draw on the cards.
Wolfsburg plays against Schalke 04 in what should be a very tight and tense game till the end. A slim win for Schalke 04.
Borussia Dortmund plays against RB Leipzig still reeling from the loss of Naby Keita to Liverpool and I expect Borussia Dortmund to win the match with goals conceded by both teams.
The Italian Serie A has been agog since the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to defending league champions, Juventus and the Old Lady should pick up from their victory last week by defeating Lazio in what promises to be a very fascinating encounter. I fancy Ronaldo to break his duck against Lazio.
Inter Milan was disappointing last week against Sassuolo who defeated them by a lone goal courtesy of a penalty in the early minutes of the game but I expect them to bounce back against Torino who lost against Roma last week.
Roma on the other hand, should have no problems in putting Atalanta to the sword at Stadio Olympico with Dzeko already laying down the marker by scoring the winner against Torino in their last match.
The pick of the weekend is the match between Napoli and AC Milan. The loss of Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea hasn’t done anything to dent the spirit of the Napoliteans and I tip them to steamroll AC Milan who are now a mid-table team these days.
In the French Ligue One, Bordeaux hosts Monaco in what should be a score draw whilst Marseille host Rennes. I tip Marseille to get a slim victory, probably two goals to one. PSG should have no such problems against Angers with Kylian Mbappe picking up from where he stopped after the FIFA World Cup by scoring a brace in PSG’s last league match. Angers are the team that will be on the end of the ruthlessness of the PSG machine this weekend and I expect nothing less than a three-goal victory by the Parisians.