Predictions: Narrow win for Barca, nail-biter for Inter-Juve at hand
Europe’s best eye a conclusive result in their domestic proceedings, before the second international schedule of the season enters operation. Sportsbet.io assesses and predicts the biggest matchups over the weekend.
The eighth round of the Premier League will see Liverpool aiming to safeguard its 100% start to the season against a combative Leicester City at home, this Saturday. The Reds survived a massive scare in the midweek, and Jurgen Klopp has urged his troop to not underestimate the visiting Foxes, third on the league standings. Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield for the first time since 2015 and aims to work out some effective strategies against his former employers.
Watford, rock-bottom on the points table, host Sheffield United at Vicarage Road. The Blades won the last two league meetings between the teams and stand favourites to make it three wins from three. Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United eye a change in fortunes in their respective away trips while Arsenal and Manchester City are poised to record convincing wins at home, against Bournemouth and Wolves respectively.
The Serie A plays host to the latest edition of the Derby d’Italia between leaders Inter Milan and reigning champions Juventus. Antonio Conte, who faces the Bianconeri for the first time since his departure in 2014, hopes his side can withstand Juventus’ attacking onslaught led by the mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo and preserve their unbeaten start to the latest campaign.
In Spain, La Liga holders Barcelona entertain Sevilla at Camp Nou to extend their unbeaten record at home to 16 consecutive games. Ernesto Valverde’s men haven’t lost to Sevilla since 2015, and the Blaugrana are likely to scrape past the Andalusians, courtesy goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Real Madrid partakes in a top-of-the-table clash against Granada and probably will split honours with the Nazaries.
Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain and Angers cross swords in Ligue 1’s summit showdown this match week. Neymar’s third straight goal upon returning to the first team saw Les Parisiens edge past Bordeaux, and Thomas Tuchel will look up to the Brazilian to be the decisive factor against Les Scoïstes. Lyon, meanwhile, travels to St-Etienne for the ‘Le Derby’ and is tipped to return with maximum points in the bag.
Leipzig, whose loss to Schalke saw them surrender the Bundesliga top spot to Bayern Munich, visit Leverkusen with a sole aim of staying in proximity with the Bavarians. Bayern plays Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena, and Niko Kovac hopes his men replicate their midweek European success over the weekend. Borussia Dortmund makes the trip to third-placed Freiburg and Die Borussen are placed on the money line to record a convincing result on Saturday.
Here are our latest predictions for this weekend’s schedule
Words: William Paul