Bayern take on the biggest name in Germany
Two of the biggest names in German football go head-to-head this Saturday: Bayern Munich because of their 28 Bundesliga titles, 18 DFB-Pokals and five Champions Leagues; Borussia Monchengladbach for the fact that their moniker is made up of no fewer than 23 letters.
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Bayern have experienced a rare wobble in recent days, first dropping two points at home to Augsburg and then losing 2-0 to Hertha Berlin last time out. Some would claim that it is no coincidence that the Bavarians’ form has tailed off just as Oktoberfest has begun, but we would never doubt the Bayern players’ professionalism.
This match should bring a return to winning ways for Niko Kovac’s men – as long as they are not nursing a hangover come kick-off, that is. Back Bayern at 1.20.
Southampton vs Chelsea (Premier League)
Chelsea maintained their unbeaten record against Liverpool last weekend, but they will have been a little disappointed to only draw 1-1 having led for a large chunk of the encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard was – as usual – fouled around 952 times but still managed to produce a moment of magic to give the Blues the lead, but they were unable to hold on as Daniel Sturridge struck a sensational late equaliser.
Mark Hughes will criticise the referee regardless of what happens at St Mary’s this weekend, but it is far more likely that he will be bemoaning a defeat rather than celebrating a win – go for Chelsea to win to nil at 2.85.
Napoli vs Sassuolo (Serie A)
Defeat by Juventus last time out shows that Napoli have fallen further behind the defending champions, having failed to end their domination of Italian football despite amassing 91 points last season.
If Carlo Ancelotti’s eyebrow was not permanently raised anyway, he would have responded in that manner to his team’s dip in performance in the second half against Juve, but they should put things right this weekend. Go for a home win with both teams to find the back of the net at 2.65.
Valencia vs Barcelona (La Liga)
Much like Bayern Munich, Barcelona have also struggled in the last week or so, collecting just one point from a possible six. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have also dropped points in that time, but the Catalans still need to return to winning ways this weekend as they seek to steal a march on their title rivals.
Valencia seem to enjoy drawing more than Pablo Picasso, with five of their seven matches so far having ended with the scores level. Another stalemate could be on the cards here – take advantage of odds of 4.10.
Liverpool vs Manchester City (Premier League)
The standout fixture of the European weekend takes place in the northwest of England, where Liverpool will be targeting a fourth consecutive victory over Manchester City in all competitions.
Neither team has lost yet this term, but rather than predicting a winner it would be advisable to focus on the goals market – we expect there to be plenty, so choose more than 3.5 goals in total at 2.45.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Lyon (Ligue 1)
Paris Saint-Germain made it eight wins from eight last weekend, extending their lead at the top of the table to eight points and taking their goal tally to 27.
Those are undoubtedly impressive statistics, but the gloss is somewhat taken off when you remember that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has still been unable to help the French giants reach the latter stages of the Champions League.
Lyon are a fine young side and could make PSG work for their victory, so go for a draw at half-time and a home win at full-time.
By Greg Lea
After many years of sports writing with an 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.