WELCOME BACK! More European football kicks off this weekend as Italy and Spain kick off in addition to Germany that started last weekend; to get things cracking for us this new campaign.
Spain La Liga
Atletico Madrid AH-1.5 to beat Las Palmas @ 1.75 (BetVictor) – 3 points
Atletico Madrid host new boys Las Palmas in their 1st home game of the season, looking forward to whipping them in front of their home fans. Atletico Madrid had made some changes in the summer by getting rid of several players like Jimenez, Alderweireld, Turan, Manduzkic & Suarez who were among their better players that led them to a great 3rd place finish last year.
They managed to make some good summer signings to give them great strength signing Jackson Martinez, Stefan Savic, Yannick Carrasco, Luciano Vietto; while also re-signing Felipe Luis after his failed Chelsea adventure. The team looks equally as strong with those signings, while existing players like Godin, Koke, Greizmann, Torres, Garcia and Juanfran lends them a sense of familiarity and quality in their lineup. They started out the pre-season with some top performances and will be looking to replicate that success particularly led by Jackson Martinez up top.
Las Palmas are the new boys who landed up 4th at end of the season and qualified through the playoffs. They have managed to make a few signings with recognisable experience such as Alcaraz, Valeron, Willian, Viera, Garrido. While they have these experienced players, taking on the champions from 2 years ago and 3rd place team last season in their 1st game back on the road, is asking a bit too much from Las Palmas. They haven’t had a pre-season against some quality opponents, so they in my opinion would be a bit raw still coming into this game.
All concerned, I expected Atletico Madrid to start the season with a solid victory well to lay down a marker for Barcelona & Real Madrid.
Italian Serie A
Roma Over 1.5 goals v Verona @ 1.80 (Bet365) – 2.5 points
Roma To Score in 2nd Half @ 1.90 (Bet365) – 3 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
Roma come into the new campaign after finishing 2nd last season, and will be looking forward to turning the tide around this season. Roma have strengthened their forward line which had been their weakness last campaign by snapping up Dzeko, Falque & Salah to support Gervinho, Totti, Ljajic, & Iturbe. Roma look more set up now to play counter attacking football especially when the midfield string are being pulled by 3 talented players in De Rossi, Pjanic and Nainggolan.
Looking at Verona who have been pretty average defensively, conceding goals in every single game that they have had in pre-season. Roma have always had the better of their opponents winning 4 out of their last 6 games. Roma have also managed to put a lot of goals past them scoring one every single of those 6 games. Verona games were among the highest involved in the Serie A last season with an average of 3 goals per game in those encounters mainly with Verona conceding almost 2 goals per game during that time.
A simple bet of Roma to score 2 goals in this one, could prove a profitable way in this opening round of the Serie A.
Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich – Over 3 Asian Goal Line @ 1.67 (MarathonBet) – 3 points
Bayern Munich had smashed Hamburg by a score of 5-0 last season to put down a very early and strong marker in the first round. They have a pretty strong team this season especially with the addition of Vidal and Costa; who are expected to play most games for this campaign in the starting lineup. They also have a lot of strength going forward with the continued renaissance of Arjen Robben in addition to Thomas Muller & Robert Lewandowski up front to net the goals.
Looking at Hoffenheim, their games generally turn to be entertaining as you expect full value with a lot of goals averaging 3 goals per game last campaign. They started out last weekend going 1-0 ahead at Leverkusen, until Leverkusen came back in the 2nd half with a solid performance to nab the win. They have added experienced Kuranyi along with Volland & Schmid to give some strength in attacking for them to score goals.
Games between the teams have generally been entertaining with 2, 4, 6 and 3 goals in their last 4 outings, and I expect a similar scoring run in this game.