Well, last week saw the return of the Premier League, and it threw up some interesting results. The dissatisfaction at Chelsea is clearly greater than we all believed, while Liverpool’s defensive frailties continue apace. Arsenal squeezed through their game with Leicester, and a seemingly revitalised Jamie Vardy, and who could have seen Huddersfield’s demolition of Palace? This week sees the return of the Bundesliga, and we’ll be hoping for just as much excitement there.
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Manchester United travel to Swansea in the lunchtime kickoff in what should be a second simple win for Mourinho’s side. Lukaku hit the ground running and they are playing some good football. West Ham, who they beat last week, travel to Southampton which could be an entertaining draw – Hernandez could get himself on the scoresheet for the first time. Bournemouth host Watford in what, again, could be an entertaining encounter – the home side should be able to get the job done, as should Burnley, fresh from their opening day heroics, against West Brom. Leicester host Brighton and an away win here wouldn’t surprise me, given Chris Hughton’s record, while Liverpool should be the safest bet of the weekend against a disorganised Crystal Palace – they play similarly to Huddersfield, with better players. Arsenal should pick up a win away at Stoke in the evening, before Huddersfield host Newcastle and Spurs make their Wembley debut against Chelsea – the Sunday games are too close to call, while Man City should beat Everton on Monday night.
Burton Albion kick off the weekend’s action on Friday night against Birmingham – the away side have started inconsistently so its a tough on to call. A Yorkshire derby is the lunchtime kick off as Sheff Utd host Barnsley and Chris Wilder’s side should win that. Aston Villa have started poorly, so expect Norwich to pick up an away win, while Derby do the same at Bolton. Bristol City take on Millwall in a close encounter and Fulham should see off an enigmatic Sheffield Wednesday. Ipswich and Brentford is too close to call, as Preston‘s game against Reading, and Wolves against Cardiff. Hull should have enough to beat QPR while Sunderland should pick up a home win against Leeds.
League One and Two
Blackburn‘s terrible start should continue away at Bradford while league leaders Oxford take on Scunthorpe and should win there. Peterborough and Rotherham is too close to call, but Wigan should see of Oldham and likewise Fleetwood should beat Wimbledon. Shrewsbury round out the top six and Rochdale have started poorly, so a home win is on the cards there. In League Two Coventry should continue their winning start against Newport County but pre-season favourites Mansfield are difficult to place against Accrington. Wycombe should see off Notts Co but Barnet may come unstuck away at Crewe. Newly promoted Lincoln may struggle away at Exeter, while Morecambe and Swindon should match each other. Port Vale away at Chesterfield who are without a point should pick up three of their own.
Bayern kick off the Bundesliga season on Friday night against Bayer Leverkusen, and should win while Saturday sees the other big guns start their campaign – expect wins for Dortmund at Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig away at Schalke. In Italy there should be easy wins for the Scudetto contenders as Juve host Cagliari, Napoli travel to Verona and Roma go to Atalanta. Newly monied AC Milan could start the season with a bang at Crotone. The title contenders in Spain should all pick up three points as Real Madrid travel to Deportivo, Barcelona host Real Betis and Atletico travel to Girona. In France, Monaco kick off the action against Metz before Lyon host Bordeaux and Nice take on Guingamp. On Sunday PSG should make light work of Toulouse but the more interesting project is Marcelo Bielsa’s Lille at home to Caen.
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