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TODAY’S HOTTEST FOOTBALL NEWS: Red Devils Freeze Pogba Contract Talks, Ronaldo Replacement: Real Madrid Told To Sign Mbappe – Not Neymar PLUS MORE…



Manchester United have postponed contract talks with Paul Pogba.
That’s according to ESPN FC, who claim the Red Devils were planning to open preliminary discussions with Pogba and renowned agent Mino Raiola in September.
Pogba, 25, still has three years remaining on his £290,000 per week contract and United executives were eager to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
However, with questions over the club-record signing’s happiness under Jose Mourinho over recent months – United have decided to freeze negotiations until the situation is resolved.
ESPN FC report that the World Cup winner is not pushing for a January move to Barcelona, but could be tempted should the Catalan giants renew their interest.
It’s also claimed by sources close to the player that Pogba’s recent comments are not designed to secure a pay rise.
ESPN FC continue to say that Manchester United are NOT worried about the situation because of the one-year extension option embedded in his current contract and had originally hoped to initiate talks early because of agent Raiola.  (

Ronaldo replacement: Real Madrid told to sign Mbappe – not Neymar

REAL MADRID would be better off signing Kylian Mbappe to replace Cristiano Ronaldo than breaking the bank to land Neymar, according to Steve McManaman.
Ronaldo left the Bernabeu in July to join Italian champions Juventus, a transfer which saw the Spanish giants pocket £105m.
Real were expected to make a marquee signing to replace the Portuguese and were linked with moves for Paris Saint-Germain’s star strikers.
However, the reigning European champions surprisingly opted to re-sign Mariano Diaz from Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Should the option to sign Mbappe or Neymar arise in the future, McManaman believes his old side would be better served buying the France international, who he reckons will play at the highest level for the next decade.
“If Neymar comes, the situation will be difficult, because he previously played for Barca. I know Florentino [Perez] really wanted him,” the former Real and England midfielder told Goal.
“But when you need a reliable star figure for the next ten years, I think you have to bring in players like Mbappe. He’s only 19 years old and seems to be a rising star.
“If I had to choose, I would go with the future, so I’d say Mbappe [as the ideal replacement for Ronaldo].”
Real’s decision not to replace Ronaldo – their record goalscorer – with a big-name player has led many to question their transfer policy, but not McManaman.
“Madrid are actually spending a lot of money this summer but didn’t replace Ronaldo with a superstar. They brought in [Thibaut] Courtois, brought back Mariano, and a promising young Brazilian [Vinicius Junior],” he added.
Real president Perez will face a difficult task to lure Mbappe away from the Parc des Princes in the future as the 20-year-old hitman has his heart set on staying in the French capital.  (

‘I was wearing the Real Madrid shirt… Wenger changed my mind – Pires

ARSENAL legend Robert Pires has lifted the lid on why he ended up at Highbury in 2000 even after he was pictured in a Real Madrid shirt. Pires joined Arsenal from Marseille 18 years ago having established a reputation as one of the top players in France.
And over the course of the subsequent six seasons he helped the Gunners win four trophies and reach a Champions League final.
Pires is fondly remembered by Arsenal fans for his efforts prior to his move to Spain with Villarreal.
And he’s now revealed how Arsene Wenger played a key role in luring him to north London despite interest from Real.
“One day, I met the Spanish journalists and I was wearing the Madrid shirt,” Pires told Arsenal Player.
“Some journalists took the picture of me because the people in Spain thought it would be nice as they thought I was signing for Real Madrid.
“The problem was that maybe two or three days after the picture, I called Arsene Wenger and he changed my mind.
“That’s why I signed for Arsenal and it was the best decision I ever made.”
Pires admits his decision to snub Real’s advances was questioned by people close to him.
“For me, the first destination was Madrid because Madrid is, even now, one of the best clubs in the world,” Pires added.
“Some people, after my decision, especially in my family, told me I was crazy because Madrid is the best club in the world.
“I said: ‘Yeah, maybe’ but I called Arsene Wenger, talked a lot with him and he changed my mind.
“That’s why I signed for Arsenal in 2000. “It was a great decision.”
Pires paid tribute to Wenger after the veteran Frenchman announced he was leaving Arsenal after 22 years at the end of last season.  (

Pogba to Barcelona: Man Utd alter transfer stance as Mourinho eyes replacement

PAUL POGBA could be allowed to join Barcelona with Manchester United less opposed to selling the midfielder and Jose Mourinho eyeing up a replacement, reports claim.
Pogba has experienced mixed fortunes since returning to Old Trafford in 2016 but is widely accepted to have failed to justify his £89m price tag.
The France international has laboured at times this season and was powerless to prevent back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Tottenham.
Paul Pogba’s inconsistency on the pitch has come amid speculation of a rift between himself and United boss Mourinho.
And he poured fuel on the transfer rumours fire on Thursday by hinting he could look to leave Manchester once again.
“My future is currently in Manchester, I still have a contract, I’m playing there at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the next few months,” Pogba said.
United have deemed Pogba priceless since re-signing him due to his obvious talent and considerable commercial value.
And that resolve was tested over the summer as Barcelona lined up the 25-year-old as one of their principal targets.
However, The Independent indicate United’s stance has altered with their position on Pogba being unsellable “already loosening”.
Pogba is said to be eager to call time on his United career a second time in order to head to Spain with Barcelona.
And United might “seriously consider” an offer around the £200m mark if he was to make his desires clear to them.
That would also involve Barcelona abandoning their usual policy of courting players in the media by getting straight to business.
Mourinho would apparently not be opposed to the idea of selling Pogba, on whom he splashed out a then-world-record fee.
And the Portuguese is thought to have lined up a direct replacement for him in the form of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Milinkovic-Savic has forged a reputation as one of Serie A’s top midfield talents over the past couple of years.
And it would take a sizeable portion of the fee United would secure for Pogba in order to prise him away from Lazio.
Liverpool signed Keita in the summer from German side RB Leipzig, securing an agreement back in January before splashing out a massive £48million to land their man.
The 23-year-old has made a positive start to his Reds career, helping them win their first four Premier League matches.  (

Ander Herrera swoop

AC Milan are looking to sign Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, reports claim.
The Spanish midfielder, who was signed from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, has entered the final year of his contract and is facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford.
Italian website Calciomercato claim Herrera, 29, is wanted by AC Milan, who view him as a viable alternative to Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and PSG star Adrien Rabiot.
The report adds that Herrera is “completing a move elsewhere” and AC Milan believe they could take advantage of his contract situation by securing him on a cut-price deal in January.  (

‘I want to manage Liverpool… Steven Gerrard will challenge me for the job’

HARRY KEWELL wants to manage Liverpool – and he thinks Steven Gerrard will challenge him for the job.
Kewell and Gerrard were team-mates when Liverpool pulled off the greatest comeback of all time in the 2005 Champions League final.
The pair have since both moved into management with Kewell at League Two Notts County and Gerrard at Rangers
Aussie Kewell, 39, rescued Crawley Town from League Two relegation last season and he has similar problems to deal with at Notts County after replacing Kevin Nolan.
But that hasn’t stopped him having lofty ambitions of managing one of Premier League big boys.
Kewell said: “Why wouldn’t you want to manage Liverpool?
“Liverpool are one of the best clubs in the world. It would be a huge honour. I’m sure I’m going to have a lot of challengers for it.
“The biggest challenger would probably be Steven (Gerrard). He’d be the first one that they would want to have.
“But why not set yourself a goal and try and get to that level?”
Kewell has chosen to do things the hard way by learning his trade in the lower leagues.
He started his coaching career as Watford under-23 coach before moving to Crawley and now County. (



WEDNESDAY CHAMPION’S LEAGUE PREVIEW: Can Mourinho Survive Young Boys Scare? Ronaldo To Build On Brace, Man City Face Ligue 1 Giants Lyan



Wednesday UEFA Champions League Games
7:55 Shakhtar Donetsk vs Hoffenheim (Betting tip 2/GG)
7:55 Ajax vs AEK Athens (Betting tip X/GG)
10:00 Manchester City vs Lyon (Betting tip 1/OVER)
10:00 Benfica vs Bayern Munich (Betting tip 2/OVER)
10:00 Real Madrid vs Roma (Betting tip 1/GG)
10:00 Valencia vs Juventus (Betting tip 2/GG)
10:00 BSC Young Boys vs Manchester United (Betting tip 2/OVER)
10:00 Viktoria Plzen vs CSKA Moscow (Betting tip 2/OVER)

There’s a huge gulf in class and experience between these two sides but Man Utd’s poor away record in Europe of late might give Young Boys a chance.

Young Boys in fine form
To say this is unchartered territory for the brilliantly-named Young Boys is putting it mildly. This is their first-ever game in the Champions League, although they did take part in the European Cup several times before it was re-branded in 1992 and gave Harry Redknapp’s Spurs a fright in a qualifier back in 2010, racing into a 3-0 lead before eventually losing over two legs.
And the Swiss champions certainly didn’t do too badly the last time they were in Europe’s top competition; they beat Real Madrid here back in 1986 before going out on aggregate.
To prove that last year’s win in the Swiss League was no fluke, they’re top again this year, with six wins from six games. Christian Fassnacht and Gulliaume Hoarau (who is French) each contributed four goals to their very impressive tally of 19 in just six matches.
Despite all the investment that Man Utd made there are worrying areas of weakness in at least three positions on the pitch. And few will have forgotten that bizarre capitulation at the hands of Sevilla last year at Old Trafford in the Champions League.
Still, at least over the last two rounds of the league, Mourinho has re-discovered the art of winning games without playing that well. Not many sides this season will go to Burnley and Watford and come back with six points from those two outings.
They’d be well-advised to take this match seriously. They’ll do well to get more than a point off Juventus across two matches and then there’s Valencia. Los Che didn’t start the season particularly well but have arguably the strongest squad they’ve had in a while and their quick, passing-based style of football isn’t one Mourinho likes being up against.

United shouldn’t be odds-on
The odds-compilers are clearly thinking the occasion will get to such an inexperienced team at this level. Because the away record of Mourinho’s men in this competition certainly doesn’t suggest they should be odds-on here.
Opta tell us they’ve won just three of their last 14 games away in the Champions League and scored just once in their last three.
David de Gea is going through a rare poor patch, Antonio Valencia looks a bit heavy-legged at the moment and you never know which Luke Shaw is going to turn up.

Fired-up Rashford worth a look
If Shaw is a bit of an enigma, then so is Marcus Rashford. The 20-year-old has already been through more in his short career than many players have by the time they’re 30. Few players go from being flavour of the month to scapegoat or vice-versa more often than him. Take this last couple of weeks, for example. Sent off as a substitute for violent conduct under provocation in a game Utd were cruising 2-0 in at Burnley, he then goes on and scores both of England’s goals during the international break.
The result of that red is that he missed their trip to Watford on Saturday. And with two more domestic matches coming up he’ll be unavailable for, he’ll surely get a game here. He grabbed three goals in the group stages last year, is fresh and with a point to prove, he could well get another.

Manchester City v Lyon: Citizens on the handicap the way to play

Premier League champions Manchester City begin their latest Champions League campaign with a home tie against Ligue 1 giants Lyon. The Manchester side are only “halfway up their Everest” according to owner Sheikh Mansour, who wrote an open letter to fans on the 10th anniversary of his acquisition of the club last week. There’s no doubt that Champions League success is next on the Citizens wish list.
The Premier League champions warmed up for their latest continental efforts by maintain their unbeaten Premier League record with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium. Leroy Sane netted on his first start of the season before David Silva and Raheem Sterling completed the rout.
Benjamin Mendy picked up a knee injury and is not expected to feature here so Fabian Delph should fill-in at left-back, although Aymeric Laporte is an option. Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero avoided serious injury at the weekend but may only be fit enough for the bench with Gabriel Jesus possibly given a starting berth.
Lyon continued their stuttering start to the season with a 2-2 draw at nine-man Caen on Saturday, salvaging a point thanks to Ferland Mendy’s late equaliser. Les Gones had been hoping to build some momentum ahead of their trip to Manchester but struggled to find any as they were second best throughout.
Bruno Genesio’s group had taken a lead through World Cup winner Nabil Fekir’s superb free-kick but a second-half fight-back from the Normandy club meant Mendy’s late strike clinched a point as Lyon failed to triumph for the third outing in five during domestic duties (W2-D1-L2).
Memphis Depay was rested at the weekend but is expected to start here with Moussa Dembele potentially missing out if the Lyon boss fields a conservative side. Elsewhere, former Manchester City defender Jason Denayer is line to partner Marcelo at the heart of the visitors’ backline.
Manchester City claimed five wins from six Champions League group-stage games last term, only failing to secure top honours when fielding a heavily rotated XI at Shakhtar Donetsk when top spot was already secured. The hosts have W7-D1-L1 in group-stage outings here during their past three campaigns.
Unsurprisingly, the Citizens are favourites to extend that strong home record with Pep Guardiola’s troops pocketing victories in all bar six matches at the Etihad since the start of last season. Twelve (40%) of their 30 fixtures in that sample were won by a margin of three goals or more.
Indeed, 17 (57%) of those matches on home soil were won by at least two goals.
Lyon have struggled to find their best form in the early exchanges of Ligue 1 and have tended to do their best work at their Parc OL base in France. The visitors were beaten in three of their five trips to top-six teams last season and have returned just W1-D4-L3 when travelling to English sides.

Real Madrid vs Roma

Two of last season’s semi-finalists clash on Wednesday in what is arguably the pick of the first round of Champions League group games.
Real Madrid would go on to win the competition in what was their third successive triumph. The manager that masterminded this treble, Zinedine Zidane, has since departed. His successor Julen Lopetegui therefore has high standards to maintain and needs to do so not just for the club, but also to vindicate his own decision to sign a contract with Real on the eve of the World Cup, which resulted in his sacking as Spain manager.
Lopetegui has made a decent start. After losing in the European Super Cup to Atletico Madrid, his side have bounced back with a four match unbeaten run (W3 D1), winning both of their home games.
Roma’s season has gone in the opposite direction. They won their opener against Torino, only to then embark on a three match run without a win (D2 L1). The fact that they have conceded seven goals in those three games, points to defensive issues which were evident in last season’s Champions League semi-final against Liverpool.
The Italians may have had a disappointing start to the season, but they have scored in both of their away games and been involved in high-scoring home draws against Atalanta (3-3) and Chievo (2-2).
With Real Madrid only having kept one clean sheet in their five outings this season, it seems likely that Roma should be able to score, even if they do eventually succumb to defeat.

Valencia v Juventus: Ronaldo will build on brace

Juventus will be hoping that the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo will be the measure needed for them to finally win the Champions League again, having gone close on several occasions since they last lifted the trophy in 1996.
The pursuit of greatness will be challenging from the off, with a tough away trip to Valencia to start and with clashes with Manchester United to come. Juve are rightly expected to win Group H and have began the season brightly, winning all four of their matches so far.
Valencia are in contrasting form. They have not won a league game this season (D3 L1) and are currently 17th in La Liga. New strikers Michy Batshuayi and Kevin Gameiro have yet to find the net, which has been a big obstacle to Marcelino’s team reaching the heights of last season when they finished fourth.
Ronaldo opened his account for his new club at the weekend, as he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo.
He is a player that lives for the big occasion who always delivers in the Champions League. The all-time top scorer in the competition with 120 goals, no player has outscored Ronaldo in a Champions League season in any of the last six campaigns.

Benfica v Bayern Munich: Back German champions to take early lead

Bayern Munich, the favourites to win Group E face what on paper could be their most challenging fixture, when Bayern Munich travel to Portugal to take on Benfica.
Bayern have got off to a characteristically strong start to the season. They thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the Super Cup, have progressed in the DFB Pokal and won all three of their Bundesliga games.
They face a Benfica side that have enjoyed a similarly consistent start to their campaign. Benfica have knocked Fenerbahce and PAOK out of the Champions League and are top of the Primeira Liga after a four unbeaten matches (W3 D1).
Despite their similar records it’s Bayern who have faced the stiffer opposition this season and have the extra quality in their squad. They have managed to hold on to players such as Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski who were strongly linked with moves away from the club this summer, while adding class in the form of new signing Leon Goretzka.
Bayern won five of their six Champions League group games last season. In four of those victories they were leading at half-time, which has also been the case in their three Bundesliga matches this season.


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CHAMPION’S LEAGUE PREVIEW: The Unstoppable Force (PSG) Versus The Immovable Object (Liverpool), Messi And Suarez Gear Up For PSV



Tuesday UEFA Champions League
7:55 Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven (Betting Tip 1/over)
7:55 Inter vs Tottenham (Betting Tip X/over)
10:00 Monaco vs Atletico Madrid (Betting Tip 2/over)
10:00 Schalke 04 vs FC Porto (Betting Tip GG)
10:00 Club Bruges vs Borussia Dortmund (Betting Tip 2)
10:00 FK Crvena Zvezda vs Napoli (Betting Tip 2/over)
10:00 Liverpool vs Paris Saint Germain (Betting Tip 2/GG)
10:00 Galatasaray vs Lokomotiv Moscow (Betting Tip x/over)

Paris Saint-Germain come to Anfield with a perfect record so far this season, but are they still searching for a definitive identity under new management?
The unstoppable force versus the immovable object. Something has to give when Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain open their respective Champions League campaigns with a titanic meeting at Anfield on Tuesday, and quite where that give will materialise be takes a bit of unravelling.
Both teams go into the game with unblemished records, having won five out of five league games even if, curiously, Liverpool’s start is only good enough for a share of the summit, with Chelsea having reciprocated point for point. Perhaps the sense that competition is stiffer in the Premier League, as much as being at home, informs The Reds’ status as favourites.
Liverpool get another Champions League campaign underway. And if you believe, as many managers do, that playing a big game is the best way to get disappointment out of your system, you’d have to say that the fixture computer has been kind. This, after all, is the tie of gameweek one by some distance.
The omens so far this season are good for Jürgen Klopp’s side, who have made a faultless start in the Premier League. They were especially impressive away to Tottenham at the weekend, dominating far more than the 2-1 scoreline might suggest, with the players clearly now fully attuned to their manager’s energetic approach.
There’s a slight chance Roberto Firmino could miss out here after being poked in the eye (accidentally) by Jan Vertonghen, but otherwise the XI should be the same as the one that has started in all the league games so far. Liverpool play Southampton at home after this, and that will be a perfect opportunity to rotate if there are any tired legs this early in the campaign.

Back to the well for PSG
If Liverpool are trying to work off some relatively short-term frustration, their opponents are having another tilt at what is becoming an elusive prize. Paris Saint-Germain have been targeting the Champions League for some time now, but have yet to progress past the quarter-finals since their Ligue 1 dominance began.
The last couple of failures have been especially galling: they chucked away a massive lead against Barcelona in the second round in 2015/16, then exited at the hands of Real Madrid at the same stage last year. The message could hardly have been more explicit: the nouveau super-riche could not yet compete with the traditional powers.
They might have a better chance this term, though, with Kylian Mbappé every more influential, Gigi Buffon bringing all his experience, and Neymar thriving in a central role. PSG have also made a strong start to the season (five wins in five), and you imagine Thomas Tuchel will be highly motivated to get one over on his mentor here.

Paris superstars happy to graft
Speaking at length to L’Equipe this week, PSG’s new coach Thomas Tuchel expressed his mild chagrin that his team’s race out of the blocks hasn’t been properly acknowledged for what it is. “To play at Nîmes, in 30 degrees, with that atmosphere, you have to actually do it,” Tuchel reflected of his team’s thrilling recent win at the promoted side. “It’s a bit sad that, seen from outside, people imagine that it was an easy (game) to win.”
It’s a convincing point. In that match, for example, PSG showed that they have grit to go with their glitter, fighting back in an intimidating, claustrophobic stadium after losing a two-goal lead to subdue a pumped-up home side and to come back and win the game. Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé (in some style) were all on the score sheet, and didn’t spare any effort.

Tuchel still fine tuning line-up
The other plus for Tuchel going into this game is that both Neymar and Mbappé should be nice and fresh for Anfield. The Brazilian watched on from the stands as his side pulverised Saint-Etienne on Friday night, catching his breath after a trip Stateside on international duty, while the teenage World Cup winner was beginning a suspension for the red card picked up in that scrap at Nîmes.
What’s more of a concern for the French champions is that their opening steps in Ligue 1 have been like a glorified tune-up for this moment. Tuchel has experimented with a few different formations, beginning with three at the back, shifting to a 4-2-3-1 – which seems to make Neymar play for the team more, perhaps indicating it might be the way to go at Liverpool – before 4-3-3 was used on Friday in his two big stars’ absences.

Midfield still an issue
Finding the right shape is about accommodating Neymar of course, but not only about that. Tuchel needs to find a way of covering his side’s major shortcoming, the lack of a top-class defensive midfielder, with Lassana Diarra not having recovered his best since being picked up on a free last winter – and having not been considered fit enough to be used in the last 16 exit to Real Madrid in February and March.
The search for a solution has even led to the coach trying out his best defender, Marquinhos, in the holding role, with Tuchel unconvinced that Adrien Rabiot has the right profile for the role. The irony of Fabinho, who came close to moving to the Parc des Princes in summer 2017, twiddling his thumbs on Jürgen Klopp’s bench to date will be lost on few Parisian supporters.
Just how important this match is in terms of these two heavyweights measuring just where there are, even at such an early stage, should not be underestimated. The suspicion is that Liverpool might just be a little more ready for the moment to arrive as stands.

Bet on this week’s champions league games here

Barcelona v PSV: Dembele can add to goal tally

Barcelona’s brilliant domestic form has continued into the new season. They are currently top of La Liga after winning all four of their games, with Ernesto Valverde’s side winning 2-1 at Real Sociedad at the weekend.
Yet while Barca won the double in Spain last season, they were less impressive in the Champions League. In the group stage they dropped points in two of their away games, including a surprise 0-0 draw at Olympiakos. They then suffered a humiliating elimination at the hands of Roma, despite having gone into the second-leg with a 4-1 aggregate advantage.
It seems doubtful that PSV will spring a surprise at the Nou Camp, where Barcelona won all of their European matches last season. The Dutch champions have also started brightly, winning their first five games of the season, but this is a massive step up in class from their opponents in the Eredivisie.
PSV have been unfortunate to land in a very tight group from which they have little chance of qualifying. Aside from Barcelona, they must also face Tottenham and Inter Milan. Unsurprisingly they are rated as the rank outsiders to win Group B at 36.00.
Barcelona’s ace forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have both started the season in predictably hot form. Messi has four goals in four matches, while Suarez has three goals. After a tough debut season at Barcelona in which he only scored four goals in 23 games, Dembele has already matched that total in five games in all competitions this season. The French winger can be backed at 2.60 to add to his tally, which is the sort of price we might not be seeing for long.

Inter v Tottenham: Goalscorer markets appeal in San Siro

Off all the stats flying around ahead of Tuesday’s showdown (note the early kick-off time), perhaps the most surprising is that Inter will be playing in the Champions League for the first time in seven years. The season before that hiatus began, we had the famous Gareth Bale San Siro hat-trick although history has rather played tricks on the brain with that one.
The sight of Bale’s buccaneering runs and left-foot finishes are still vivid in the memory but perhaps it’s been forgotten that Inter were 3-0 up after 14 minutes, 4-0 ahead after 35 and still 4-1 in front in the 89th minute.
What made the Tottenham comeback even more remarkable was that they’d had goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes sent off after just eight minutes.
The scorers for Inter that night were Javier Zanetti, Samuel Eto’o and Dejan Stankovic, the first two part of the Nerazzurri side which had won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010.
As for the current Inter, they qualified for this tournament after finishing fifth last year and sit eighth in Serie A after a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Parma on Saturday.
There were also held 2-2 by Torino so Luciano Spalletti’s men have managed just one point out of six in the San Siro this season.
After kicking the season off with a trio of victories, highlighted by a 3-0 triumph at Manchester United, Tottenham head off to Italy on a downer.
For the first time since the final two games of the 2015-16 season, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have lost back-to-back Premier League matches.
If the defeat at Watford was considered a blip, the 2-1 home defeat by Liverpool at the weekend highlighted some deeper flaws. The result flattered them as the Reds could have won by a far bigger margin.
There are problems at both ends of the pitch with Hugo Lloris’ absence being felt and Harry Kane way short of his best. Dele Alli is also set to miss out with injury.
There is still plenty of talent in this Spurs side and they lost just one of their eight Champions League matches last season.
There’s enough experience there to win an encounter like this but whether they’re in the right shape to do so is another matter.
As well as that crazy 4-3 at the San Siro in 2010, the two shared four goals when Spurs gained revenge at White Hart Lane with a 3-1 win.
The duo met again in the Europa League in 2012/13, Spurs notching a 3-0 victory in London before Inter won 4-1 in Milan (going out on away goals). That’s 19 goals in four meetings.
Kane may have won the Golden Boot at the World Cup but there’s a player on show who scored in both the semi and final.
England were 22 minutes away from the World Cup final – almost hard to believe – before Ivan Perisic showed his eye for a goal with the equaliser that sent the game into extra-time.
And although France ran out 4-2 winners, Perisic popped up again to make it 1-1 in the first half.
This season, the Croat has continued to make hay from his left-sided forward role, scoring three in five games for club and country. That includes two in his last three Inter starts.
If Tottenham’s full-backs push up as normal, he’ll have the space to inflict damage.
Erik Lamela looked lively when he came on against Liverpool and fired a late goal to reduce the deficit. He also scored twice in Tottenham’s final game of last season.

Club Brugge v Borussia Dortmund: Goals likely at leaky hosts

Club Brugge have been drawn into what initially looks like a pretty daunting group, but scratch the surface and they should find some reasons to be positive.
Last season’s Europa League winners Atletico Madrid are certainly fearsome opposition in Group A. Yet while Borussia Dortmund and Monaco have enjoyed recent success in the Champions Leaue, both struggled last season and were eliminated at the group stage. Dortmund failed to win a single game in the Champions League last season, though they did face some tough teams in the shape of Real Madrid and Tottenham.
Dortmund are unbeaten this season under their new manager Lucien Favre, who joined the club in May after a successful spell at Nice and with previous Bundesliga experience at Hertha Berlin and Borussia Monchengladbach. Club Brugge are also unbeaten and are deeper into their league season, having played seven games.
Though Club Brugge have made a very good start to the season, their defensive record has been poor.
The Belgian champions have conceded in each of their last four games, but remained unbeaten after scoring ten goals themselves (W3 D1). With Dortmund having scored seven goals in three league games this season, an entertaining game looks likely.


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THIS WEEKEND PREVIEWS: Can Spurs Stop Liverpool? Mourinho Faces Tough Watford, Ronaldo Still Looking For First Serie A Goal PLUS La Liga And Serie A Previews



English Premier League
2:30 Tottenham vs Liverpool (BETTING TIP 2/GG)
5:00 Newcastle United vs Arsenal (BETTING TIP 1/OVER)
5:00 Chelsea vs Cardiff (BETTING TIP 1/OVER)
5:00 Huddersfield vs Crystal Palace (BETTING TIP X)
5:00 Manchester City vs Fulham (BETTING TIP 1/OVER)
5:00 Bournemouth vs Leicester (BETTING TIP 2/GG)
7:30 Watford vs Manchester United (BETTING TIP 2/GG)
3:30 Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Burnley (BETTING TIP X/GG)
6:00 Everton vs West Ham (BETTING TIP X/OVER)
10:00 Southampton vs Brighton (BETTING TIP 1)

The first Premier League match of the weekend is the biggest one of them all and Paul Robinson is predicting a Liverpool win at Wembley…
There was plenty written about Spurs during the summer, with their lack of transfer activity being the main topic of conversation. A run of three straight wins definitely quietened their critics – with the 3-0 win at Old Trafford being the highlight – but they were beaten 2-1 at Watford a fortnight ago, and they now have something to prove.
The international break probably came at the right time for Tottenham as they prepare for the start of the Champions League. Mauricio Pochettino’s squad will be tested over the next few months, and he will be desperate for Harry Kane to remain fit for the duration.
The England man cut a frustrated figure at Vicarage Road as he didn’t get much service, so it will be interesting to see if Pochettino changes his midfield – be it the personnel or the shape. Son Heung-min returns from a successful Asian Cup campaign with South Korea and could go straight into the team, replacing Dele Alli who picked up a minor injury while with England. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains out.

Reds on cloud nine
It’s been the perfect start to the season for Liverpool as Juergen Klopp’s side have 12 points from 12 and have conceded just one goal. That being said, the performances haven’t been on the same level as some of the ones from last year, with the latest one against Leicester being particularly poor.
This is the first real test for the Reds this term as, no offence to West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brighton or Leicester, Tottenham are on a different level to that quartet. It will be interesting to see who Klopp picks in midfield, but there is a strong chance that Naby Keita will be back in the XI after he missed out last time, probably alongside James Milner and one other.
Mo Salah was subbed at the King Power following a frustrating display, but it’s hard to imagine him not starting this match, with the red-hot, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino completing the trio.
Liverpool will not only be aiming to make it 15 points from 15 at Wembley, they will also be looking to banish the memories of the 4-1 defeat they suffered there last season. Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet were the fall guys that day, but this is a new-look Liverpool defence, and it will only be Joe Gomez who retains his place from that match last year.

Leaders to maintain their 100% record
The visitors are the marginal favourites for this fixture as they are trading at around the 2.50 mark. The Betfair Layers clearly have confidence in the Liverpool defence, and it’s really not hard to see the improvement in it.
Virgil Van Dijk has proven to be a fantastic signing as he marshals the back four exceptionally. Joe Gomez has been stellar alongside him this season, and full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have been impressive in both defence and attack – the Scot being the pick of the pair.
It’s not often that you will be able to back Spurs to win a home Premier League game at odds of 3.10, but if you fancy the hosts to take the three points, that’s exactly the price you will get here.
Tottenham have only played once at home this term, and they beat Fulham 3-1. It did take two late-ish goals to get the job done though, but it is worth noting that they only lost two Premier League fixtures at Wembley last year.
The draw is priced up at 3.65 – four home draws for Spurs last season and five away ones for Liverpool. It was also a draw the last two these teams met, as a dramatic finale at Anfield saw the game finish 2-2.
Unfortunately for supporters of the North London club, I am going to have to recommend an away win on Saturday. Liverpool have won four matches without being anywhere near top gear this season, and they often play better against better opponents.
The same can’t be said for Spurs though as Opta tells us that since the start of the 2014-15 season, only Arsenal (37) have won fewer points in Premier League matches between the ‘big six’ sides than Spurs (54).
The improved Liverpool defence is also a determining factor.

Defence to outshine attack
There is a clear favourite in the Over/Under 2.5 Goal Market and it’s the former that is trading at odds-on, at 1.68. A mere mention of the names of these two teams would have you reaching for the back button, but I’m not convinced, and I quite like the Under at 2.38.
There has been a definite shift in the nature of Jurgen Klopp’s tactics this season, as the players aren’t so gung-ho when they don’t need to be. They wouldn’t have conceded a single goal if it wasn’t for an Alisson howler, and Virgil Van Dijk has been a rock at the centre of defence.

Watford v Manchester United

Watford face Manchester United – with the home side six points ahead of Jose Mourinho’s men in the table. If you’d been asked to predict which of these sides would have a 100% record after the first four games of the season, you probably wouldn’t have picked Javi Gracia’s Watford. But after a 2-1 victory over Spurs last time out, the Hornets are still flying high, and will be confident of causing Manchester United problems here.

Watford to play with aggression
After a rare summer of little upheavel, in terms of both playing and coaching staff, Watford appear solid, settled and tactically intelligent. Gracia is using 4-4-2 system that becomes 4-2-2-2 when the side players drift inside, and Watford have shown ability to win matches in two very different ways, either through the guile of their creative midfielders, or through physicality, as against Spurs. Manchester United’s defenders have struggled against physical presence this season, and it’s likely Watford will seek to exploit that weakness here.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster is enjoying life back at Watford, and is protected by a centre-back partnership of Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele, who have performed well so far this season. The full-backs both fly forward into attack: Daryl Janmaat attacks with energy and purpose, while Jose Holebas swings in crosses from the left.
Their attacking intent means Watford’s central midfielders have huge defensive responsibility, although Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure have both pushed forward and popped up with assists this season, and they’ll be relishing the battle against United’s midfield trio.
Roberto Pereyra has arguably been Watford’s best performer so far this season, even if he was quiet against Spurs, while Will Hughes has taken up some clever positions between the lines and smashed home a fine long-range goal against Burnley. Their movement inside creates space on the overlap for the rampaging full-backs.
Upfront, Troy Deeney plays as the target man, although his link play is also very impressive. He’s worked well with Andre Gray, who will make runs into the channels and attempt to reach Deeney’s knock-downs.

Who does Mourinho pick at the back?
Jose Mourinho has selection problems here, with on-form Luke Shaw out after his head injury while on England duty, and Marcus Rashford suspended after his altercation with Phi Bardsley last time out. Marouane Fellaini is also a doubt having missed Belgium’s two matches, although seems likely to return in midfield here, against a side who showed their physical presence against Watford.
Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are also unavailable, and Mourinho will look to choose his most aerially dominant centre-backs. Chris Smalling seems likely to start, with Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelhof alongside him. Bailly is surely the better player but has struggled badly this season. Lindelhof hasn’t looked much better but seems likely to be favoured.
Ashley Young will return in place of Shaw at left-back with Antonio Valencia on the right. They’ll find themselves sucked inside by Pereira and Hughes, with Watford’s full-backs overlapping bravely.

Fellaini’s height could be crucial
Fellaini will probably play alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the centre of the pitch, with Pogba’s battle against Doucoure likely to be entertaining. Ander Herrera is another option, but Mourinho always loads up his side with tall players when necessary, and this is one of those occasions.
Romelu Lukaku will lead the line, and with five goals in three games for club and country, must be the favourite to open the scoring here. Alexis Sanchez finally assisted Lukaku last time out with one of his typical chipped crosses towards the far post and will be a threat from the left, while Jesse Lingard or Juan Mata will battle it out to start on the right. Mata might be favoured having not playing international football.
There’s more to Watford than direct play and physical confrontations, but for this game in particular, it feels like they’ll target Bailly or Lindelhof and get some joy. Watch for Isaac Success coming off the bench, too – he made a big impact against Tottenham last time out.

Man City v Fulham

Four games, three wins. The Man City machine looks pretty well-oiled and 10 goals from those games shows they haven’t lost their appetite for tearing teams apart rather than just beating them.
That said, Pep Guardiola will be more concerned about his side’s inability to keep a clean sheet in any of their past three games than he will about the fact they dropped two points at Wolves.
What he doesn’t need to be concerned about though is injuries. Kevin de Bruyne and Claudio Bravo are of course long-term absentees but despite just about every member of his squad being on international duty over the past week, no-one picked up any knocks. Raheem Sterling had a slight injury before the international break but should be fine to play here.

A front three that deserves respect
Fulham have made a decent start to their campaign. They were caught cold on the opening day and understandably lost at Wembley but a 4-2 win over Burnley and a good draw at Brighton will have given them belief that they can stay in this division. They’re currently 6.00 for the drop so they’re not the only ones who think that.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has been their main man. He’s the league’s joint top-scorer with four and enjoyed being on international duty this week by scoring twice against Romania. But on-loan Luciano Vietto and the well-travelled Andre Schurrle have also played their part. It’s meant opportunities have been scarce on the left wing for Ryan Sessegnon, of whom so much is expected for club and very soon, country.

Goals very likely
City could rack up a cricket score here and you’d be foolish to rule out Fulham getting one of their own. We’ve already said City have kept just one clean sheet in four games while Opta tell us there have been 16 goals scored in Fulham games this season; that’s the joint-highest alongside Arsenal matches.
Further evidence of the fact that plenty of folk expect City to go crazy here is the fact that no fewer than five players are odds-on to score: Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane are all deemed more likely to score than not.

Corners provide us with a bet at last
The problem with a game like this is that you’re getting short prices on something that’s likely to happen in the sense that City probably will score a fair few goals. But going against the flow isn’t particularly appealing, either. So we may have to resort to a very different sort of bet.
Whether they score lots or not, City are bound to have a gigantic amount of possession and with that, they’ll surely get lots of corners.
Their corner count for the season has been 10, 10, 9 and 4 (against Newcastle).

Chelsea v Cardiff

Chelsea suffered a disappointing title defence last season which resulted in Antonio Conte’s inevitable summer exit but his replacement Maurizio Sarri has made a promising start since his recent move to England. The Italian’s style of football in Napoli won him plenty of admirers, if not silverware, with the early signs also offering optimism at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri has had relatively little time to work with his new players but he has already had an impact with Chelsea winning all four league games and scoring ten goals in the process. It looks as if the Blues will give their opponents chances, as Arsenal proved in their 3-2 away defeat last month, but his attacking blueprint is already starting to pay off.

Cardiff still searching for first win
It was another masterclass from Neil Warnock last season as he guided Cardiff back to the Premier League on a limited budget, at the expense of bigger spending clubs, but he faces a monumental task to steer the team to safety this season. Cardiff were favourites for relegation heading into the campaign and not much has changed in the opening month.
Warnock’s side have only taken two points from their opening four league matches with goals hard to come by. Goalless draws against Newcastle and Huddersfield underlined the team’s competitive endeavour and their limitations as an attacking force. Cardiff played well in their last match at home to Arsenal but were still beaten 3-2.

Hazard can lead Chelsea to comfortable win
Chelsea are strongly fancied to extend their 100 per cent record and Eden Hazard could be the man to fire them to victory. Hazard has scored in both his starts for Chelsea this season and was on target for Belgium in their win last week over Scotland. The playmaker also scored twice in his club’s 4-1 home win over Cardiff back in 2013 and he can get in on the act again.

German Bundesliga
4:30 Mainz 05 vs Augsburg
4:30 Wolfsburg vs Hertha Berlin
4:30 Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen
4:30 Fortuna Duesseldorf vs Hoffenheim
4:30 RasenBallsport Leipzig vs Hannover 96
7:30 Borussia M.Gladbach vs Schalke 04
4:30 Werder Bremen vs Nuernberg
7:00 Freiburg vs VfB Stuttgart

Although new Bayern coach Niko Kovac was derided by some as an inexperienced candidate who wasn’t the Bavarian giants’ top choice, the Croatian could barely have made a better start to life at Sabener Strasse. Four games across three competitions, and four wins. The Supercup is in the bag, and two victories in the Bundesliga put the German champions on top of the pile before the international break.
Kovac is an excellent man-manager (look what he did with Kevin-Prince Boateng), and his ability to get into players’ heads has already reaped rewards. Thomas Muller has shrugged off a dismal World Cup, while Robert Lewandowski has gone from wantaway agitator and World Cup flop to razor-sharp goal machine in a matter of weeks.
Doubts have resurfaced about coach Heiko Herrlich, and it’s worth noting that stretching back into last season, B04 have won just one of their last six league games.
Bayern are firm favourites and have rattled in three goals in each of their first two league matches, while five of Bayer’s last eight league games have featured at least four goals, and they have leaked 12 goals in their last six Bundesliga outings. It’s also worth remembering that Bayern put six goals past Bayer in the DFB Cup last season.

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hoffenheim

Although they have only picked up one point from their first two matches back in the Bundesliga, Fortuna Dusseldorf have plenty to be cheery about. They led Augsburg in their opener before the Swabians turned the game around in the second half, and they were very impressive at RB Leipzig on Matchday Two. They played well enough to win the game at the Red Bull Arena, but ultimately had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Now they face another big hitter, as Hoffenheim come to the ESPRIT Arena. Hoffe have a Champions League trip to face Shakhtar Donetsk looming on the horizon, and coach Julian Nagelsmann has to deal with a long injury list. Nadiem Amiri is out until November, Kasim Adams is struggling with a ligament injury, Benni Hubner is suffering from the after-effects of a concussion, and playmaker Kerem Demirbay has only just returned to training.
Even when Hoffenheim have a fully fit squad, they struggle on the road in the league. They have won just three of their last 16 Bundesliga away games, amazing for a team that finished third last season.

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt

There are plenty of examples of clubs who have suffered the Icarus Effect, in that they rose high, flew too close to the metaphorical sun, and subsequently crashed and burned. Cologne are currently smouldering in the second tier of German football, after a first European qualification for 25 years was followed by the ignominy of relegation. Now Eintracht Frankfurt must battle to avoid the same fate.
Having won the DFB Cup – their first major trophy in 30 years – Frankfurt lost their inspirational coach Niko Kovac to Bayern Munich. He was followed out of the door by key players like Kevin-Prince Boateng, Marius Wolf and Omar Mascarell, weakening a squad that must now deal with the demands of a Europa League group-stage campaign, starting with Marseille on Thursday night.
The early signs under new coach Adi Hutter haven’t been promising. A humiliating 5-0 shredding by Bayern in the German Supercup was bad enough, but a first-round cup exit at lower-league Ulm was the nadir. A dramatic Matchday Two defeat at home to Bremen (the Eagles conceded a 96th-minute winner) means Hutter has lost three of his four competitive games in charge. To make matters worse, a clutch of senior players are either injured or suspended.
Borussia Dortmund suffered their first setback under new boss Lucien Favre before the international break, as they drew 0-0 at Hannover. BVB ought to have nicked it – Marco Reus hit the crossbar, having earlier been denied by a world-class save from H96 keeper Michael Esser, and Maximilian Philipp saw a brave header deflected onto a post.
Dortmund are unquestionably a work in progress, but they should beat a disjointed and depleted Frankfurt with room to spare. Opta tell us that BVB have won their last seven home games against Eintracht. It will help the hosts’ cause that their attack has been boosted by the loan signing of Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer. The Spanish international should make his debut on Friday night.

Spanish La Liga
2:00 Atletico Madrid vs Eibar
5:15 Real Sociedad vs Barcelona
7:30 Valencia vs Real Betis
1:00 Leganes vs Villarreal
5:15 Espanyol vs Levante
7:30 Real Valladolid vs Deportivo Alaves
9:45 Sevilla vs Getafe
10:00 Girona vs Celta Vigo

Two of the four unbeaten sides meet at San Mamés, although that description says less about the hosts than it does about their visitors. Athletic have only played two matches, after all, the postponement of their game against Rayo Vallecano in Jornada 3 having given them an extended three-week break coming into this game.
Eduardo Berizzo can have no excuses if his side isn’t well drilled and well rested, then, especially given what happened in their last game. Athletic should have been home and hosed at 2-0 against Huesca, but sloppily allowed the minnows to get back into the game and claim a point. There has been a focus on defensive shape in training since, which is no great surprise.
Real Madrid have made a commanding start to life without You Know Who, racking up 10 goals in their three games so far. Gareth Bale looks entirely comfortable as the main protagonist in attack, but it’s the spread of responsibility that is the real step forward, with Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio also stepping up and playing with smiles on their faces.
Madrid usually enjoy playing Athletic: they’ve won 13 of the last 17 league meetings in the league, losing only once and averaging 2.8 goals per game in that sequence. There is no real Basque Country swing, either, with Los Merengues having won on nine of their last 13 visits to San Mamés in the league.
We’ll be expecting another Madrid win on Saturday, although Athletic are unlikely to roll over without a fight. Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings between these sides, as well as in four of five Liga games in which the teams have been involved this season.

Real Sociedad v Barcelona

There should be a celebratory feel to this game in San Sebastián, with Real Sociedad showing off the newly renovated Anoeta stadium for the first time. The crowd is now closer to the pitch, meaning Barcelona are likely to be stepping into a cauldron of noise on Saturday afternoon.
For Barça, there is a certain degree of irony here. After all, it was only last season that they seemed to get to grips with the old Anoeta, registering their first league win there in a decade (4-2). Now, the challenge has been renewed, and with La Real likely to be high on homecoming energy after starting the season with three away games, this is going to be no walk in the park.
The hosts started with a fine win over Villarreal but have been typically flaky since, surrendering leads against Leganés and Eibar. New boss Asier Garitano has plenty of attacking talent at his disposal – Willian José is a notable injury doubt here – but the defence is still prone to losing concentration.
That tendency could be fatal against Barcelona, who racked up eight goals against Huesca last time out. Yet they also conceded twice in that one, and with La Real more than capable of troubling the Barça backline (the Basques have scored two goals in three of the last four meetings between the sides), the best angle here is to back over 3.5 goals at 2.22. The new ground could be in for quite a baptism.

Valencia v Real Betis

You’d have got decent odds on Valencia hovering just above the relegation zone after three games of the season, but that’s where Los Che find themselves after a winless start to the campaign. That will no doubt be frustrating, but there’s reason to believe 17th is a false position and that they’ll soon be shooting up the table.
For a start, two of the results so far have been acceptable: a draw with Atlético Madrid is never to be sniffed at, and Valencia showed heart to come from behind away from home against Levante a fortnight ago. They actually had the greater xG in both of those games, too (by some way in the derby), indicating that their performances have been better than their points tally would suggest.
Betis beat city rivals Sevilla before the international break, but Joaquín’s goal in that one was their first of the season, and it is clearly taking time for new signings to bed in. The Andalusians might be without William Carvalho on Saturday (he picked up a knock playing for Portugal) and have a shoddy record against Valencia: they’ve managed just one win in the last 23 league meetings, losing 18

Italian Serie A
4:00 Inter vs Parma Calcio 1913
7:00 Napoli vs Fiorentina
1:30 Roma vs Chievo
4:00 Genoa vs Bologna
4:00 Udinese vs Torino
4:00 Juventus vs Sassuolo
7:00 Empoli vs Lazio
9:30 Cagliari vs AC Milan

While all attention is focused on Cristiano Ronaldo and his efforts to score for Juve, don’t underestimate Sassuolo, says James Horncastle as part of his look ahead to the European action this weekend. “Juventus were the best team in Italy. Now they’re the best team in the world,” Sassuolo coach Roberto de Zerbi said last week.
His team are up against it at the Allianz Stadium. The Neroverdi lost 7-0 in Turin in February and flirted with relegation in the spring. But a lot has changed in the meantime.
Sassuolo upset Inter on opening night and blew Genoa away before the international break set in. Top scorers in Serie A, de Zerbi warned against writing his team off. “We are second, you know,” he said with a wry smile.
Sunday’s game is an unlikely top of the table clash which Juventus won’t be taking lightly. Massimiliano Allegri has always found it tricky coaching against de Zerbi. Juventus needed an own-goal to beat his old Palermo side and fell behind to Benevento at the Allianz Stadium last season. Playing at the Vigorito was no cakewalk either with the Bianconeri only making absolutely sure of all three points in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Of course much of the focus remains centred on Cristiano Ronaldo and whether or not he will open his account for Juventus after his €117m move from Real Madrid in the summer. His performance against Parma was called “technically and tactically embarrassing” by La Repubblica who weren’t the only ones left with the impression he tried to over-do it in an attempt to get on the scoresheet.
The 33-year-old is expected to play at the weekend after spending the international fortnight training in Turin. Aside from the attack though it looks as if Allegri is planning wholesale changes with a trip to Valencia on the horizon next Wednesday. Allegri believes Juventus’ second string is good enough to finish in the top four in Serie A.
But Juventus will have to be careful. Encounters with de Zerbi are usually close run things and Kevin Prince Boateng was arguably the best player in Serie A in August.

Napoli v Fiorentina

Fiorentina haven’t won in Naples for four years, but this weekend they surely have their best chance since then of coming away from the San Paolo with a victory.
It wasn’t just that Napoli lost at Sampdoria, it was the way that they lost. They looked stilted going forward, vulnerable defensively, and were in danger of being over-run in an extraordinary second half which was capped by Fabio Quagliarella’s goal for the ages.
Carlo Ancelotti took the decision to leave out Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon at the Marassi, and while both will surely return here, Dries Mertens looks likely to remain on the substitutes’ bench, and Napoli still look disorganised and directionless. They are of course capable of beating La Viola, but look way too short at around 1.60.
Fiorentina have started this season as they finished the last game, inspired and full of drive and confidence. They’ve won their opening two games, have looked really good in doing so, and have a dangerous forward line spearheaded by the excellent Giovanni Simeone.
The last time that these sides met was back in April, when La Viola famously ended Napoli’s title hopes with a 3-0 win and a Simeone hat trick, and so Fiorentina can bring those good memories into this game.

Inter v Parma

Inter finally managed to produce a performance to settle the nerves of their fans when they went to Bologna and won comfortably, and now they face what should be an even more comfortable task against a Parma team that lost at SPAL on the opening day, before putting up a spirited performance against Juventus.
Juve weren’t at their best that day, and fundamentally, they’re an average team still finding their feet in Serie A, and given that Inter will be full of confidence, Parma could be in for a long afternoon.
Only Chievo have faced more shots on goal this season than Parma, which hints at a vulnerability, once which can be exposed by an Inter team who are desperate to impress in front of their own fans. They dropped five points in their opening two games, but played well for large parts of their 2-2 draw against Torino, a game in which second half mistakes cost them. There’s a danger of course that Inter will be distracted by the Champions League game against Spurs next week, and Mauro Icardi may not even play, but they’re good enough and strong enough to beat Parma comfortably.

Genoa v Bologna

Having taken advantage of Bologna’s inability to score last time out, Genoa might recover from their thrashing at Sassuolo and pick up a second home win of the season.
Bologna are still without a goal, and given that Roma and Juventus lie in wait over the next two matchdays, Pippo Inzaghi will be keen to get something from Marassi this weekend.
Genoa have the new striking sensation of Serie A in the shape of Krzysztof Piatek, who has been hailed by Zbigniew Boniek as a potential new Lewandowski, and who has scored seven goals in his first three games in Italy. He is supported by the old familiar Goran Pandev and a new face in the shape of the Ivorian Cristian Kouame, who has already got off the mark in Serie A.
The only question mark about Genoa is that it hasn’t been a typical Davide Ballardini start to the season. Six goals conceded and no clean sheet as yet.

Dutch Eredivisie
7:30 De Graafschap vs VVV-Venlo
7:30 ADO Den Haag vs PSV Eindhoven
9:45 Willem II vs Excelsior
9:45 Ajax vs FC Groningen
1:15 AZ Alkmaar vs Feyenoord
3:30 FC Utrecht vs FC Emmen
3:30 SC Heerenveen vs Heracles
3:30 NAC Breda vs Fortuna Sittard
5:45 PEC Zwolle vs Vitesse

Turkish Super Lig
5:00 Ankaragucu vs Akhisarspor
8:00 Besiktas vs Yeni Malatyaspor
8:00 Goztepe vs Kayserispor
5:00 Istanbul Basaksehir vs Antalyaspor
5:00 Sivasspor vs Erzurum BB
8:00 Konyaspor vs Fenerbahce
8:00 Rizespor vs Bursaspor
8:00 Alanyaspor vs Trabzonspor

French Ligue 1
6:00 Caen vs Lyon
9:00 Montpellier vs Strasbourg
9:00 Dijon vs Angers
9:00 Amiens vs Lille
9:00 Toulouse vs Monaco
4:00 Nantes vs Reims
6:00 Bordeaux vs Nimes
10:00 Marseille vs Guingamp

Russia Premier League
2:00 Rubin Kazan vs FC Yenisey Krasnoyarsk
4:30 FC Ufa vs CSKA Moscow
7:00 Arsenal Tula vs Krylya Sovetov Samara
2:00 FC Orenburg vs Zenit St. Petersburg
4:30 Anzhi Makhachkala vs FC Krasnodar
7:00 Spartak Moscow vs FK Akhmat
5:30 Ural vs FC Rostov

NOTE: Time for all matches converted to East African Time


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