The three pre-season favourites to win Ligue 1, Bundesliga & Serie A all face tough tests this weekend and we’ve previewed the betting for their clashes
PSG v Nice: Friday, 19:45 Kick-Off UK Time
Nice effectively ended PSG’s Ligue 1 title chances last season with a shock 3-1 win back in April. Unai Emery’s side have not lost in the league since and sit top of the table, four points clear of Champions Monaco. Nice, however, have had a dismal start to the campaign, having lost six of their 10 league outings so far, leaving them just a point above the relegation zone.
The home side will be without superstar Neymar, who is suspended after his controversial red card in the tempestuous 2-2 draw at Marseille last week. In his absence, more goalscoring responsibility will fall on Edinson Cavani’s shoulders. The Uruguayan striker is in frightening form, having netted 13 goals in 12 appearances in all competitions thus far this term. The home side will be fired up to get revenge against Lucien Favre’s men – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see their main marksman grab at least a couple of goals.
Nice have only netted once on the road in this campaign – their only faint glimmer of hope in this match is that PSG have shown a couple of defensive frailties in recent weeks. Emery’s men haven’t got the balance between attack and defence spot on yet and could concede chances on the break as a result.
Despite potential absentees, a likely front three of Cavani, Kylian Mbappé & Ángel Di María will wreak havoc against the visitors’ defence and it’s hard to see past a big win for the home team. Meetings between these two sides are usually feisty and there were 5 bookings in each of their encounters last season. Tempers could flare again, with Nice likely to try and lay down a physical marker early on in an attempt to stop PSG from getting into their stride.
#PriceItUp – latest: PSG to win, Both teams to score, Edinson Cavani to score 2+ goals, Over 3.5 cards in the match
#PriceItUp – 90 mins: Over 3.5 goals, Both teams Over 2.5 corners, Both teams Over 0.5 cards
AC Milan v Juventus: Saturday, 17:00 Kick-Off UK Time
Both of these sides won in midweek to set up a mouthwatering clash at the San Siro. Milan are looking to make up ground on the top four while Juve could end the weekend on top of the Serie A table if they pick up three points and both Inter Milan and Napoli falter.
Milan won this fixture last season – in fact they had a great record against the ‘bigger’ teams in the 2016/17 season – but this term they have already lost in against city rivals Inter as well as AS Roma.
The Rossoneri squad has undergone a complete overhaul, with Leonardo Bonucci swapping Juve for Milan in one of the most eye-catching deals of the summer. Yet Vincenzo Montella’s new recruits haven’t gelled together perfectly yet, with defence a particular area of concern. They have conceded two goals in four of their last seven matches, and silly lapses of concentration are becoming a recurring issue.
That doesn’t bode well for Saturday, when they face a Juve side who have netted at least twice in 10 of their last 12 league outings. Paolo Dybala’s form has been eye-catching, with the Argentine’s goal tally of 11 league goals already matching his total from last season. I think Dybala will punish Milan’s lack of organisation and it could be another tough night for their back line.
#PriceItUp – latest: Paulo Dybala to score, Alex Sandro to be carded
Juventus – To Win Either 2-0 – 2-1
Bayern Munich v RB Leipzig: Saturday, 17:30 Kick-Off UK Time
This is the second meeting between the two sides in a matter of days, after Bayern beat 1o-man Leipzig on penalties in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday night. The Bavarians have a a good record against their opponents, having done the double over them in the Bundesliga last term.
Leipzig have been at their high-tempo best of late, and have lead at both half time and full time in their last four Bundesliga games – including a highly-impressive win at Borussia Dortmund. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men frustrated Bayern for long periods in midweek despite having a man less, and I think we’ll see more of the same here. I expect the front two of Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg in particular will cause problems to the home side’s back four.
However, Bayern have also shown great energy and drive since the return of Jupp Heynckes to the Allianz Arena dugout. They look fitter and infinitely more inerested than at the end of Carlo Ancelotti reign, even if they don’t look overly organised when they are without the ball. Bayern’s class will tell and I’ve a feeling they’ll edge out an entertaining affair.
Timo Werner to score before half-time
Bayern Munich to win 3-2