Soccer – Premier League – Southampton vs Manchester United
Southampton have endured a tough start to the campaign, and have already been defeated by Liverpool. On Saturday, Ralph Hassenhutl’s men host Manchester United at St.Marys, and it’s the first of this weekend’s big betting events.
The Saints have a win under their belt, beating Brighton 2-0 at the weekend, and they will be aiming to start climbing the table. Hassenhutl’s side work hard for one another, and they will play with real gusto. Although they were beaten by Liverpool, they gave Jurgen Klopp’s men plenty to think about in the closing stages. They almost snatched a point from the game, it’s highly likely that they will trouble Manchester United.
Moussa Djenpro netted his first goal for the club at the weekend, and he’ll be hoping to add a few more to his tally over the coming weeks. Kevin Danso was also making his debut in that game, and despite a shaky start, he won over the fans with a solid display.
January 2016 was the last time Southampton beat Manchester United, but on current evidence, they look well-positioned to end that barren run against the Red Devils.
Manchester United were defeated at the weekend with an unexpected loss to Crystal Palace. The Eagles always give the bigger sides plenty of problems, and Roy Hodgson’s men nicked a late winner to put the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian has picked up four points from a possible nine, and it isn’t the start that the club would have wanted. Although summer signing Harry Maguire has looked solid, United still probably don’t create enough at the other end of the pitch.
Solskjaer has asked for more from his side, but they looked devoid of ideas at times, and they were caught out very late in the contest.
Two of the last three meetings at St Marys have ended all-square, with United sneaking the other game by a single goal. It’s rarely easy for the visitors at this ground, and they are unlikely to head back to Manchester with a straightforward victory.
I can’t wait to see how United approach this. Southampton will make it tough for them, and won’t allow them much time on the ball. I fancy that that Saints could be overpriced as the outsiders in this one. They didn’t lose by much against Liverpool, and it’s to make a case for an away win.
Southampton vs Manchester United is live on BT Sport on Saturday lunchtime in the UK.
Soccer – Serie A – Juventus vs Napoli
Another Serie A season gets underway, and unsurprisingly, it began with a 1-0 Juventus victory. The Old Lady are back in action this weekend, and they face a real test against Napoli. It is the second of our big betting events.
Chiellini’s flick was enough to earn Juve all three points, and despite the fact that Maurizio Sarri wasn’t present, they still managed to hold on for all three points against Parma. Sarri won’t be in attendance for this game either, and his side will need to be more ruthless in front of goal if they are to beat the Partenopei.
Napoli were involved in the game of the weekend as they edged past Fiorentina at Stadio Artemi Franchi. The hosts took the lead as early as the ninth minute from the penalty spot, but Carlo Ancellotti’s men were soon back on terms. Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon were all on the score-sheet as it was business as usual for Napoli.
These two sides are famailiar foes, and Juventus have tended to dominate the head-to-heads in recent years. They’ve won three of the last four meetings, and were 2-1 victors at Stadio San Paolo at the end of the last season.
Although conceding three goals is far from ideal for Napoli, they can feel a little aggrieved to have given away an early VAR-inspired penalty.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal chalked off in Juventus’ opening fixture, and he also missed a number of good chances throughout the 90 minutes. None of Juve’s new signings featured in the game on Saturday, and we could see some debuts in this match. Matthias De Ligt was left on the bench against Parma, whilst Adrien Rabiot did come onto the pitch in the second half.
This should be a very entertaining match, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see VAR intervene once or twice. With Napoli expected to be the nearest challengers to Juventus’ title hopes, they could lay down an early marker in this Saturday evening contest.
Napoli have scored in each of their last four visits to this stadium, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them get on the score-sheet once more.
Expect this to be a frenetic end-to-end contest, and it should be one of the most entertaining games of the weekend. I can’t wait to see if Napoli can inflict an early-season defeat on their hosts.
Premier Sports in the UK will have full coverage of this Serie A contest.
Basketball – FIBA Basketball World Cup – Canada vs Australia
The Basketball World Cup gets underway at the beginning of September, and there are a number of fascinating matches taking place throughout the month. Canada will face Australia in the opening fixture for each side, and it is the third of our big betting event.
Australia come into this tournament having beaten holders USA at the Marvel Stadium. Although it means very little at this stage, it is a significant confidence-booster ahead of the competition getting underway. A 98-94 victory was a tremendous outcome, and their first success in over 55 years.
Australia may come across the USA once again during the latter stages, but they begin against another North American side – Canada.
Canada are expected to be strong once again, and they have a number of players returning from injury. It is perfect timing for them with Brady Heslip, Andrew Nembhard and Kaza Kajami-Keane all regaining fitness at just the right time.
They will also be facing team USA as part of their preparations for the tournament. They have a 4-2 record in warm-up games so far, and are looking very strong ahead of the competition getting underway.
With the Australian Boomers having beaten Team USA, they’ll be feeling very confident of getting something against Canada Basketball, although it could be a closely fought contest.
All of the games will be streamed live at livebasketball.tv throughout the tournament.
Soccer – Bundesliga – Bayern Munich vs Mainz 05
Bayern made an inauspicious start to the new Bundesliga campaign with a 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin. However, it was business as usual with a 3-0 victory against Schalke at the weekend. The third of their fixtures this season is the last of our big betting events as they take on Mainz at the Allianz Arena.
Although there are concerns about the defensive side of the game, Bayern have now scored five goals this season, with new signing Phillipe Coutinho barely featuring. The Brazilian came on in the second half against Schalke, and may be given a start in this clash.
All five goals so far have been netted by Robert Lewandowski, and the big Pole has looked very sharp during the early stages of the campaign. However, Nico Kovac will want his side to spread the goals around a little.
Mainz haven’t beaten Bayern since March 2016, and the champions have won each of the last four meetings between these two sides.
If Bayern are going to get into their stride, this could be the game in which to lay down their title credentials. It is the opportunity to win over those sceptical supporters with an all-conquering display.
The home side hit six past a beleagured Mainz here last season, and although it may not be as convincing this time around, they should be dominant from start to finish, and there are plenty of markets which are ideal for backing Bayern dominance.
Highlights of this game will be shown on BT Sport in the UK this weekend.