Back by popular demand, we return with another dollop of Continental Breakfast plastered all over your plate, and this weekend we take in trips to Spain, Italy, France and Germany to sample the delights the four countries have to offer…
Sevilla started last season off excellently, leading the way in La Liga for a part of the campaign before the three big heads in Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid came along to knock them off their perch. It’s a new dawn for the Andalusian side, whose manager Jorge Sampaoli opted to move to take over the Argentina national team after a solitary season at Los Rojiblancos. They’ve brought in ex-Celta Vigo boss Eduardo Berizzo to take over from Sampaoli and their new Argentine head coach will be expected to secure Champions League football at least this term.
Berizzo has got to work early on, bringing in former Manchester City duo Jesus Navas and Nolito, who’s is an ex-Espanyol player, whilst Ever Banega has returned for a second stint after opting to depart Inter Milan. Sebastian Corchia and the once highly rated Simon Kjaer are also new arrivals. Visitors Espanyol head south armed with new signings Naldo and Pablo Piatti, and Diego Lopez, who has signed a permanent deal after impressing on loan last term.
What We Sayin’?
We’re edging towards Sevilla for an opening day victory. They’ve won the last five home meetings against Espanyol and there hasn’t been a draw in the last nine clashes. Sevilla to win and BTTS would be our selection at 23/10.
It’s been a busy, busy summer at the San Siro, but not too much activity has been happening at Inter. Whilst AC’s offices have had revolving doors for the last few months, it’s been pretty quiet at Inter. However, they’ll be boosted by the fact Ivan Perisic remains their player – for now at least. It’s a new era at Inter, who have appointed Luciano Spalletti as boss for this campaign, and the Italian manager has raided their weekend opponents for midfield pair Matias Vecino and former West Brom man Borja Valero. On paper, the capture of Dalbert looks a great signing from Nice.
The Viola have somehow decided to replace the aforementioned Vecino and Valero with two from Aston Villa, with Carlos Sanchez and Jordan Veretout, whilst Marco Benassi signed for a reported £9m from Torino, too. We doubt they’ll have enough to really trouble Inter, but they should have a decent-ish season.
What We Sayin’?
Get on an Inter win. Spalletti worked wonders at Roma and has over 20 years of experience. There’s no doubt their new coach Stefano Pioli will hope to get one over on his old side, who sacked him at the end of last season after just six months in charge. We’re backing Inter to start the season off well and a 3-1 win is priced at 11/1.
Top of the table and looking good, who really needs Alexandre Lacazette? They’ve scored six goals and conceded just one in the two games so far and are one of six teams in Ligue 1 to have a 100% league record. But having said that, Bordeaux are no mugs and are yet to lose any of their two league games.
The visitors have a proven goalscorer in Uruguayan hitman Diego Rolan, whilst Lyon are likely to pin their hopes on new signings Mariano and Bertrand Traore to replace the Lacazette machine that banged them in on a regular basis. This game should be very decent indeed for fans at the Groupama Stadium.
What We Sayin’?
Of the 51 previous clashes Bordeaux have only won 12 of them – two of which have come in the last nine meetings. We’re edging with Lyon to nick the spoils for this one with a 6/1 2-1 win.
Two of the big hitters in Germany only a few years ago, whilst visitors Dortmund are still challenging the top dogs Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg have fallen away over recent seasons and following the departures of Julian Draxler in January and Ricardo Rodriguez a couple of months ago to big spending AC Milan, their squad lacks star names.
For Dortmund, it’s a new start under boss Peter Bosz, who took over from Thomas Tuchel at the end of the year just a month after guiding ex-club Ajax to the Europa League Final. Bosz has managed to keep hold of star man Pierre Emerick Aubameyang for now and could well hand competitive debuts to new captures Mahmoud Dahoud, Omer Toprak and Maximilian Philipp for the trip east.
What We Sayin’?
Wolfsburg survived by the skin of their teeth last term in what was a pretty dismal campaign. They’ve lost their last four games against Dortmund, with half of those results being 5-1 defeats. However, both teams have scored in six of the last seven meetings, which is why we’re going for a Dortmundwin and BTTS at 2/1.
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