Bayern Munich ready to defend league title
The Bundesliga resumes this weekend, with defending champions Bayern Munich bringing down the curtain on the new campaign with a home match against Hoffenheim (11.00), who will again be targeting a top-four finish in Julian Nagelsmann’s final season at the club.
The RB Leipzig-bound 31-year-old has done a phenomenal job at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena and have enough quality to cause an upset if Bayern Munich (1.20), now under the management of Niko Kovac, are lacking cohesion and fluidity on the opening day. The Bavarians should still get the job done, but both teams to score looks a fine option at 1.78.
Wolves vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Wolves (9.00) were dealt a harsh lesson in the importance of finishing your chances in the Premier League last time out. Nuno’s side created a host of opportunities throughout their 2-0 defeat by Leicester, but a lack of clinical edge in front of goal saw them fall to their first league loss since the final day of 2017/18.
The promoted outfit must ensure they are not similarly profligate this weekend, but even if Wolves do find the net it is difficult to see them keeping out Manchester City (1.25) at the other end. Back the reigning champions to win a match featuring goals for both sides at 2.80.
Napoli vs Milan (Serie A)
Napoli (1.65) got the Carlo Ancelotti era off to a winning start, coming from behind to beat Lazio 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico. It was a great result and, notwithstanding a poor opening quarter, impressive performance from a team who will be fascinating to follow this term, having come so close to toppling Juventus at the summit of the standings last time out.
Milan’s (5.00) scheduled opener against Genoa was postponed due to the Morandi bridge disaster, which could give Napoli the edge in terms of sharpness and match fitness. I would back Napoli to beat Milan at odds of 1.65.
Newcastle vs Chelsea (Premier League)
Chelsea (1.68) continued their fine start to life under Maurizio Sarri on Saturday, edging out Arsenal 3-2 in an entertaining London derby. The Blues looked vulnerable at the back during the first half of that encounter, but their attacking display was excellent.
And they will have the potential to overwhelm Newcastle (5.00) at St James’ Park – particularly as star man Eden Hazard is likely to start for the first time this season. Rafael Benitez’s men will look to defend deep and keep things tight, so Chelsea will have to work hard for their third triumph of the campaign. Put some money on a goalless first half at 1.90.
Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig (Bundesliga)
The most intriguing encounter of matchday one in the Bundesliga pits Borussia Dortmund (1.75) against RB Leipzig (4.20), two sides who will have designs on second place this season. Leipzig slipped down to sixth in 2017/18 after finishing as runners-up the previous campaign.
Former sporting director Ralf Ragnick has now retaken his seat in the dugout as the East Germans attempt to return to the Champions League. Dortmund should also improve after a turbulent season last time out, and I would advise a wager on them getting off to a winning start in a game featuring more than 3.5 goals – that is available at 3.60.
Manchester United vs Tottenham (Premier League)
Manchester United (2.55) turned in a woeful display at Brighton on Sunday, losing 3-2 after goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross. Tottenham (2.80), conversely, ran out 3-1 winners against Fulham, and will fancy their chances of a first victory at Old Trafford since 2014.
It is, however, worth bearing in mind the fact that Spurs have not performed well at this venue in recent years – they have lost their last trips 1-0 – and Jose Mourinho’s natural reactivity may suit a game against fellow big-six opposition. Under 2.5 goals would be a good choice here at 1.78.
By Greg Lea
After many years of sports writing with emphasis on football, including a stint at Sky Sports, Greg is here to help you with betting tips. Follow him on Twitter @greglea to get the latest updates before placing your bets.