English Premier League
Manchester City vs. Liverpool (Saturday 12:30pm)
Sky Sports Premier League
The Premier League restarts after the international break and both these sides have started well, with Liverpool’s convincing victory over Arsenal showing the potential they have to be title challengers.
Both sides have had the majority of their squad on international duty, with the loss of Kompany for Manchester City a weakening at the back. The long trip from the South American players (Aguero, Jesus, Fernandinho, Firmino) could prove decisive in what will be a high tempo game. Coutinho has been left out of the Liverpool squad despite returning to fitness.
The Asian Handicap line favours Manchester City, but Liverpool’s counter attacking prowess could be key against a back line still finding their feet and Liverpool have the edge in previous encounters, being unbeaten in 7 of the last 8 meetings.
Suggestion: Liverpool +0.5 @ 2.05
Spanish Primera Liga
Barcelona vs. Espanyol (Saturday 7:45pm)
Sky Sports Football
Barcelona are perceived to be struggling after losing Neymar and not getting the players they desired in the transfer window. Dembele is expected to make his debut in this game after his £90m move from Dortmund, so pressure is likely to be high on him.
Suarez could return, though is not 100% fit and would be rushed back, while Barcelona have had many players in World Cup Qualifiers who didn’t return until Thursday/Friday. Tiredness could be a factor so the home side will look to have this game won early.
Espanyol are struggling defensively with Diego Lopez likely to miss out in goal though Victor Sanchez has been passed fit and will start, which will be vital in such a tough game. The expectation will be on Barcelona to make a positive statement and they will look for goals, with Espanyol capable of scoring but unlikely to truly test their hosts.
Suggestion: Over 3.5 goals @ 1.94
Italy Serie A
Lazio vs. Milan (Sunday 2:00pm)
BT Sport 3
Milan’s summer spending has seen them with a much stronger squad already and they seem to have gelled very quickly, winning all 6 games they have played so far conceding just 1 goal. Lazio were surprisingly held 0-0 by SPAL in their opening game but triumphed over Juventus in the Super Cup at the start of the season.
The loss of Keita Balde to Monaco for £27m is a loss for the hosts as is the prolonged absence of Filipe Anderson, though they are at full strength other than this. Nani is expected to begin on the bench. Milan are likely to be without Conti at right back, though Abate is an adequate replacement. Bonaventura could be fit enough for the bench, but Cutrone should keep his place up front after impressing, with Andre Silva and Kalinić offering real firepower in reserve.
Both sides will be looking to make a statement with a victory in this game, but almost as importantly neither will want to lose. This could result in a cagey match, with counter attacking football utilised, particularly if one goes ahead early. Milan have the options going forward to beat a generous line and will expect to return home with at least 1 point.
Suggestion: Milan +0.25 @ 1.854
*Odds accurate at time of writing