European football weekend preview15th Aug 2018 |
Chelsea vs Arsenal (Premier League)
Having begun his Arsenal tenure with a 2-0 home defeat by defending Premier League champions Manchester City, Unai Emery must now take his team across London for another tough assignment against Chelsea. The former Paris Saint-Germain head coach would have hoped for an easier start to life in the capital, but his side will be up against it once more this weekend. Granted, Maurizio Sarri is also in the early stage of his career at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues have an excellent record against the Gunners at home and looked in pretty good shape when they dispatched of Huddersfield 3-0 last time out. Back a home victory at a -1 handicap at odds of 39/20.
Lazio vs Napoli (Serie A)
Serie A resumes this weekend, when all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of his competitive debut for Juventus against Chievo. It is hard to look past a straightforward triumph for the Serie A champions in their opening game, so Lazio vs Napoli is actually the standout fixture of matchday one in Italy. The Blucerchiati missed out on a Champions League spot on the final day of 2017/18, and going one better could be difficult this term after Inter and Milan’s work in the transfer market. Napoli, meanwhile, could take time to get used to Carlo Ancelotti’s methods, so the safest bet here is a draw at 5/2.
Manchester City vs Huddersfield (Premier League)
Manchester City picked up where they left off last season on the opening weekend, easing to a 2-0 win at Arsenal as they set about retaining the Premier League title they won so comfortably in 2017/18. Liverpool enjoyed a fine summer in the transfer market but it remains difficult to envisage anyone dethroning City this term, particularly given Pep Guardiola’s track record of winning league championships. Huddersfield scored only 28 goals last season and did not manage to find the net against Chelsea on Saturday, so a home win to nil looks like a safe choice at a 1/2.
Brighton vs Manchester United (Premier League)
Manchester United did not deliver their best performance against Leicester on Friday, but they still found a way to get over the line and collect all three points. Brighton lost 2-0 at Watford following a disappointing all-round display a day later, but Chris Hughton’s side are a different proposition in front of their own supporters at the Amex Stadium – as they demonstrated when they beat United at home back in May. The Red Devils could therefore find it tough to break down a well-drilled unit, so consider putting some cash on a goalless first half at 31/20.
Chievo vs Juventus (Serie A)
As mentioned above, Cristiano Ronaldo will make his competitive bow for Juventus against Chievo this weekend. Even before they convinced the Portugal international to swap Madrid for Turin, the Bianconeri would have been overwhelming favourites to triumph here, so it is difficult to see anything other than a straightforward away win. The focus will inevitably be on Ronaldo, so why not join in the fun with a flutter on the 33-year-old scoring the first goal.
Real Madrid vs Getafe (La Liga)
This is a new era for Real Madrid, who begin the La Liga season without Cristiano Ronaldo or Zinedine Zidane. New manager Julen Lopetegui will be pleased that his team start their title bid with a relatively straightforward game at the Bernabeu, though, with Getafe unlikely to pose a rejigged Madrid too many problems. This will probably be a comfortable evening for the reigning European champions, with a home win in a game featuring more than 3.5 goals my tip – that is available in the sportsbook at 23/20.