What a line-up of games! Manchester United kick things off at Southampton on Saturday before Serie A’s top two meet. Then on Sunday there are massive derbies in London and Rome, before Real Madrid take on Villarreal.
Southampton 1 v 2 Man United – Saturday 31 August – Premier League – Both Teams to Score (1.75)
Southampton lost their first two games of the season but managed a win against ten-man Brighton last weekend to finally get some points. United started the season brightly with a 4-0 win over Chelsea but it’s been downhill since then. They lost at home to Crystal Palace in their last game, leaving them with only two wins in their last ten league matches. However, they haven’t lost any of their past five games against the Saints. I’m going for an Away Win as well as Both Teams to Score, which happened in both meetings in 2018/19.
Juventus 2 v 1 Napoli – Saturday 31 August – Serie A – Juventus Win (1.90)
Juventus ended last season without a single win in their final five games, and it was clear that something had to change. Maurizio Sarri has arrived, and his first home game will be against the club where he made his name. Napoli won 4-3 at Fiorentina last weekend. They have now scored in their last nine away games in Serie A, and a good performance here will worry Juventus. That said, the champions won both of their meetings last season and you won’t get better odds for Juventus to win at home this season. I see a Home Win.
Arsenal 2 v 1 Tottenham – Sunday 1 September – Premier League – Both Teams to Score (1.50)
It’s time for the North London Derby! These games were incredibly entertaining last season, with Arsenal winning 4-2 at the Emirates in the league. The two sides then drew 1-1 at Wembley in March, and I expect goals this time too. The Gunners started the season with two wins but were brought back down to earth at Anfield last Saturday when Liverpool won easily. Their record at the Emirates is strong, though. They’ve won 11 of their last 15 games at home in all competitions. Spurs have lost ten of their last 15 games away from home and looked short of ideas when they were beaten by Newcastle last Sunday. I see a narrow Home Win.
Lazio 2 v 1 AS Roma – Sunday 1 September – Serie A – Over 2.5 Goals (1.60)
This is another derby and you can’t get any closer than Lazio and AS Roma. Even though they share a stadium, Lazio are the home team this time. They won all of their six pre-season friendlies and started their Serie A season with a 3-0 win at Sampdoria. Roma’s summer friendlies were goal-packed – all five saw Over 2.5 Goals. They could only manage a 3-3 draw at home to Genoa on the opening weekend and defeat here would really add to their woes. I am backing Lazio this time, though. I’m also going for Over 2.5 Goals, since it’s happened in four of the last five derbies.
Villarreal 2 v 2 Real Madrid – Sunday 1 September – La Liga – Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals (1.55)
These games usually deliver goals. Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals has been a winning bet in four of the last five games between Villarreal and Real Madrid. The hosts have seen both teams score in 13 of their last 15 home league games, too. Real Madrid were held to a draw last weekend and have only won one of their last five away games. Their record against the hosts isn’t great, either, with four wins in the last ten meetings. Considering that Villarreal have only lost one of their last ten home games, I think this could be a Draw.