English Premier League
Liverpool vs Manchester United (Saturday 12:30pm)
Sky Sports Premier League
This clash between two fierce rivals is probably the first fixture both these sets of fans looked for and there has been reason for both to be optimistic in their starts to the season. Liverpool have slightly underperformed but continue to show huge potential and look very dangerous going forward while Jose Mourinho has finally begun to turn Manchester United back into a force after a few seasons of mediocrity.
Liverpool were dealt a huge blow in the week with Mane picking up a hamstring injury with Senegal but Coutinho is now fully fit and slots in, with his craft and flair making up in part for the loss of Mane’s pace. With Pogba still out for Manchester United, his replacement Fellaini – who has fitted into the team very well – also suffered injury on international duty so Herrera is expected to start. This is Manchester United’s first real test this season so it will be interesting to see if Mourinho makes any drastic changes to how they have been playing against weaker opposition.
While the neutral would love this game to be an end to end affair the last 5 meetings in all competitions have all been under the 2.5 goal line which has been offered and with Mourinho giving the visitors more solidity this season only an early goal is expected to really open this one up.
Suggestion: Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.941
Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig (Saturday 5:30pm)
BT Sport 2
Dortmund have had a great start to the season, winning 6 of their 7 games and sitting 5 points clear at the top of the league. RB Leipzig have lost some of the impact from last season but have still done well and aren’t too far behind and will be able to close the gap with a victory in this one.
Dortmund are missing a few key players with notably both first choice full backs unavailable and squad depth is being tested with several mid/long term absentees. With a vital upcoming Champions League clash against APOEL which they need to win their could be some slight temptation to rotate. In contrast RB Leipzig are able to recall both Keita and Werner which gives them a huge boost, though Sabitzer is a doubt. They also have a key UCL tie on Tuesday but will feel anything less than a full strength side may struggle to return with a positive result.
Both the Asian Handicap and Total Goals lines are set very well for this game and finding an edge is tight. Dortmund are clear favourites after their excellent start but RB Leipzig have the capability to get something. Both games last season were very tight so there is more value on backing RB Leipzig to take something from the match.
Suggestion: RB Leipzig +1 @ 2.085
Spain Primera Liga
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona (Saturday 7:45pm)
Sky Sports Football
The first big clash in Spain this season between two of the expected top three comes amid political tension in Spain and the Catalan team travelling to Madrid has an extra edge. Barcelona’s perfect start to the season is under threat and Atletico could find themselves 9 points off the pace with defeat in this one.
Atletico do have a full strength side available, with Felipe Luis returning at left back. Simeone is expected to pay maximum respect to their visitors by dropping Cassasco to the bench in order to bring in the more defensive Partey, with Saul playing from the left to limit the space available. Barcelona look set to be without Iniesta which is a blow for their creativity with Paulinho adding more presence and physicality in midfield. Messi will start after almost single handedly ensuring Argentina reached the World Cup.
With Barcelona made favourites on the Asian Handicap line it’s realistic to say that Atletico could expect to take a least a point but there appears to be more value in the Under. It seems odd to go Under 2.5 Goals in a Barcelona game but with Atletico determined not to slip further off the pace a tight and cagey match is expected, with potential fatigue from long journeys over the international break another factor.
Suggestion: Under 2.5 @ 1.970
Ones to Watch
Italy Serie A
Internazionale vs Milan (Sunday 7:45pm)
BT Sport 1
These famous rivals have finally started to turn their fortunes around after a tough few seasons but already this game could go a long way to determining who finishes higher at the end of the year. Interesting have made a great start, winning 6 of their 7 games while Montella is already under pressure at Milan after some mediocre results. Inter are at full strength while Milan have a few injury and suspension problems and have already suffered 2 poor away defeats to Sampdoria and Lazio. The market only makes Inter slight favourites but given their form it’s hard to see past Inter taking all 3 points.
Suggestion: Internazionale -0.25 @ 1.909
France Ligue 1
Lyon vs Monaco (Friday 7:45pm)
BT Sport 3
Due to European commitments these two French heavyweights will battle it out on Friday night, with Monaco having much the better start to the season than Lyon – though both are already playing catch up to PSG. Lyon manager Genesio is under pressure already after just 1 win in 8 games but more notably losing the lead in quite a few of those games. They are without Marcelo at centre back making them notably weaker in this area but in contrast Falcao and Fabinho are both out for the away side. Monaco’s nature means they rarely play to draw and even without some of their key attacking talent they will push for 3 points and expect to take a positive result of some sort back home.
Suggestion: Monaco +0.25 @ 1.89
Derby County vs Nottingham Forest (Sunday 1:15pm)
Sky Sports Football
Another clash between two local rivals, with real animosity between these sides usually making for a frantic clash. Both have underperformed so far this season and Derby are winless in 4, though they have drawn 3 of those. They are slightly below full strength with Johnson missing through suspension, a blow to their midfield. Nottingham Forest’s fortunes improved slightly by beating Sheffield United before the international break and Mills and Vaughan should both be available to strengthen the side. With Forest always looking to play for the win and Derby needing a morale boost, both sides could open up and go for it in this game, so the Over line looks to hold more value.
Suggestion: Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.880
*Odds accurate at time of writing