Hi gang! We’ve got two Premier League sides battling for the Super Cup, plus the return of the Bundesliga and La Liga. I can’t wait!
Ajax 2 v 1 PAOK – Tuesday 13 August – Champions League qualifier – Over 2.5 Goals (1.50)
The first leg last week went as I expected, ending in a draw with both teams on the scoresheet. Ajax were actually better away from home last season in the Champions League. Their home games produced plenty of goals though, and they warmed up for this with a 5-0 win at the weekend. PAOK have only won one of their past five qualifiers and I think their journey will end here.
Liverpool 2 v 0 Chelsea – Wednesday 14 August – Super Cup – Liverpool Win (1.60)
This should be an interesting game. Two English teams lifted the European trophies last season but they have had very different starts to this one. Liverpool put four goals past Norwich on Friday night and should welcome back Sadio Mane here, although Alisson will be absent. In contrast, Chelsea conceded four goals at Manchester United. A lot has changed for them since they beat Arsenal in the Europa League final and I think they will lose this time.
Bayern Munich 2 v 0 Hertha Berlin – Friday 16 August – Bundesliga – 2nd Half with Most Goals (2.00)
Bayern only lost one of 17 games in the second half of last season as they leapfrogged Dortmund to win the title. I don’t expect them to have it all their own way here. They have just one win in 90 minutes in their last six games against Hertha. However, last season they scored 47 goals in the second half, while Hertha conceded 33 after half time. I think Bayern will win, but they might have to wait.
Lyon 3 v 1 Angers – Friday 16 August – Ligue 1 – Over 2.5 Goals (1.50)
Lyon started their season with an easy 3-0 win against Monaco on Friday. I can see lots of goals here too. There were Over 2.5 Goals in all of their final eight home games last season in Ligue 1. The same has happened in four of their last five games against Angers. The visitors came back from 1-0 down to beat Bordeaux 3-1 on Saturday but I expect them to lose this time.
Athletic Bilbao 1 v 2 Barcelona – Friday 16 August – La Liga – Both Teams to Score (1.75)
Barcelona have won their opening league game in each of the last ten seasons. This will be tricky though. Last season they could not manage to beat Bilbao, who only lost three league games at home. That said, Barcelona have won four of their five friendlies over the summer. I’m backing the champions to start with another win – don’t be surprised if Bilbao score though.