We are back to post-weekend action with MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, with just a couple of picks for this evening.
England Premier League
Liverpool AH-1 to beat Bournemouth @ 1.75 (Bet365) – 2 points
After spending over 200 million pounds in his tenure; there will be huge pressure under Brendan Rodgers come the beginning of this season, and nothing less than victory against newly promoted side Bournemouth will do well for the mounting pressure on Rodgers.
Liverpool will be looking to create plenty of opportunities for star forward Christian Benteke who will be deployed up front as a solitary striker, along with a support cast of Lallana, Coutinho and Ibe as he played in the last game. New attacking midfielder Firmino will be making a push to start his first game of the campaign; after having enough time to recover after Copa America Exploits; and could see him replace Ibe as Liverpool will go in search of a lot of goals, after having an insurance policy of Milner and Henderson in the middle of the park. Last week the defensive lineup of Liverpool proved strong, holding on to a clean sheet against Stoke City; and will be expecting a similar performance against newcomers Bournemouth tonight.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says that he is going to set his team up to attack and try and take the game to Liverpool at Anfield, and that his side are not in the Premier League to draw games or get intimidated. This could land up back firing against a Liverpool side who are eager to make a statement. Bournemouth put in a spirited performance against Aston Villa, but had to settle for a 1-0 loss at him in their last outing.
This game will surely be an exciting one for the neutrals, with the bookmakers predicting a lot of goals in this one. I am back Liverpool on the Asian Handicap as an insurance of a 1-0 victory; will be a refund into the kitty.
Spanish Super Cup
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao – Over 3.5 goals @ 1.85 (BetVictor) – 3 points
Barcelona were given a real humbling on Friday night with a 4-0 thrashing by Bilbao at the San Memes, led by a hat-trick from Aduriz and Barcelona will be keen to turn around this poor form in front of their home fans at the Camp Nou in the 2nd leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
Barcelona will rely on the efforts of Messi, Suarez and Iniesta to get this team back in the hunt in this encounter, but a minimum of 4 goals will be required if they are to put in the effort and secure this title. Luis Enrique has no qualms that his team can overcome the fact that they have conceded 8 goals in 4 days, and go on to take their 3rd game in 7 days. Barcelona will really need Messi in particular to step up, in particular after his grand performance of 2 goals in the UEFA Super Cup, before blanking out on Friday.
Bilbao know that travelling away to the Camp Nou is a daunting task, but they will be confident, that 1 solitary away goal, will put things in their favour, leaving Barcelona the need to score 6 goals in order to save this tie. They relied a lot on counter attacking football. They will again rely on Aduriz along with support to come from Benat, Ibai Gomez and Merino to provide the creative talents for the goals.
I expected a lot of goals in this game, and Barcelona will take the game to them in search of a strong performance.