The Primeira Liga’s top two sides clash on Saturday as Porto play host to Sporting Braga, and with both teams on twenty-one points were expecting a competitive ninety minutes at the Estádio do Dragão. Porto picked up three points courtesy of a 2-0 win over Maritimo last weekend, while Braga edged passed Vitoria Setubal at home 2-1.
We’re confident that at home Porto will beat Braga and have backed both teams to score in the process, and for the game to end 2-1 to the hosts. Porto have won each of their last six matches in league and cup. Both teams have scored in three of Porto’s and three of Braga’s last six matches, while four of the last six matches between the pair have also seen both teams score.
- Porto have won each of their last six matches in league and cup.
- Both teams have scored in three of Porto’s last six matches.
- Both teams have scored in three of Braga’s last six matches.
- Four of the last six matches between Porto and Braga have seen both teams score.
PREDICTION: Porto Wins
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund’s landscape has changed a lot since the glory days of the early 2010’s and last season’s hot and cold performances prompted the due change.
Former-Nice and Borussia Monchengladbach boss Lucien Favre is the man Der BVB have assigned to mould them into title contenders once again, and with 24 points from their opening ten matches (W7 D3), it’d be reasonable to say they look back on the right track. Spanish forward Paco Alcacer, on loan from Barcelona, is expected to retain his position as the lone striker this weekend despite three games without a goal – incredibly, he’s scored seven in just 205 minutes. He should spearhead an attacking quartet that has scored a massive 22 goals over their last six league outings!
At Bayern, slowly but surely the dark cloud is clearing, but there’s work still to be done in the Bavarian camp. A comfortably 2-0 win over AEK Athens in the Champions League on Wednesday was a relief after yet another hiccup over the weekend.
Youngster Serge Gnabry has been impressing on the left wing since his introduction into the starting line up a few weeks back but even his injection of creativity wasn’t enough to see them beat Freiburg.
And drawing 1-1 at home to a side like that is not something a team like Bayern should be doing. A lack of free-flowing goals is what’s most concerning – in fact, their 18 goals scored is their worst tally at this stage of the season since 2010/11 under Louis van Gaal. And though things are looking up, coach Niko Kovac will be fully aware of how important a fixture this is. He may even be content with a point.
So how does this one look in terms of betting? Well, this could arguably be the toughest fixture of the season for Bayern, and yet in the bookies’ eyes, the reigning champions remain favourites. For us, the value has to lie Dortmund, a side that looks truly capable of challenging for the title.
Bayern has been far from their best these past weeks and even with a reduced number of goals, you don’t expect a side like them to be struggling so bad defensively. Not all the blame can be put on Manuel Neuer, but he has failed to save any of the last eight shots on target against him, and with Dortmund one of the most dangerous attacking sides in Europe at the moment, you’d have to like their chances. Forwards Marco Reus, Christian Pulisic, and Jordan Sancho (to name just a few) have all contributed in one way or another in the 18/19 season so far and Der BVB are averaging over a massive three goals per game scored.
- Dortmund have conceded the second lowest number in the Bundesliga this term (10).
- Borussia Dortmund have won four of their five flight home games under manager Lucien Favre (W4 D1).
- Dortmund have seen 20 goals in five Bundesliga home matches so far, an average of 4 goals per game.
- Dortmund have scored 30 goals in 2018/19 – their best ever tally at this point in a season.
- Bayern Munich have kept a clean sheet in just 2 of their 10 Bundesliga matches so far (20%).
- Bayern Munich have scored 18 Bundesliga goals this term – their worst tally after 10 matches since 2010/11 (12).
- Bayern Munich have lost four of their last eight Bundesliga matches against sides at the top of the table (W3 D1).
- Each of the last eight shots at Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer has gone in – he hasn’t made a Bundesliga save for 428 minutes.
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao
It has been an excellent week so far for Atletico Madrid following an important victory in Europe on Tuesday. They head into this Saturday’s clash with Athletic Bilbao certainly expecting to pick up another win to ensure they head into the international break on a positive note. The Basques don’t have a good record against Diego Simeone’s men and they’ll do well to change that here.
Atletico Madrid’s best and worst performances this season have both come against Borussia Dortmund. Battered 4-0 in Germany a fortnight ago, their dream of a Champions League win on home soil in the Madrid final next year seemed a distant one. However they bounced back with a much more assured display, seeing off the free-scoring Germans 2-0 at the Wanda on Tuesday and while their league form has been patchy, they are only 4 points off Barcelona.
As for Athletic Bilbao, these are pretty worrying times. The general assumption was that this season couldn’t possibly be as poor as the last one when they finished 16th under José Ángel Ziganda. A change in coach has not brought a change in fortunes though and Athletic remain winless since the opening weekend heading into this game.
It’s pretty hard to look past the home team here. These teams have seen fewer changes over the past few years than most in La Liga and therefore the head-to-head should be taken pretty seriously and it doesn’t make good reading for the Basques. Athletic Bilbao hasn’t beaten Atleti since the very final game at the old San Mamés in January 2013. They’ve lost 8 of the 10 league meetings since then.
- Athletic are winless in their last 10 league games (D7 L3) and could equal their worst winless run in their history (11 between September and November 2005).
- Atlético Madrid’s 20 point haul after their opening 11 LaLiga games is their worst start since Diego Simeone joined the Madrilean team.
- Atlético Madrid are the only big five European league team yet to concede a first-half goal this season.
- Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has scored each of his team’s last five direct free-kick goals in LaLiga.
- Aritz Aduriz has played more games for Athletic without scoring against Atlético than versus any other team in LaLiga (12 games).
- Atlético’s Diego Costa has failed to score in his last 17 league appearances, his worst run in the competition. However, he has scored in his last three meetings against Athletic in LaLiga.
- Diego Pablo Simeone has won 13 games versus Athletic in all competitions in his managerial career with Atlético, more than against any other team.
De Graafschap vs PSV
De Graafschap were narrowly beaten in Alkmaar last weekend, while their guests on Saturday, PSV, continued their 100% start to the season courtesy of a 1-0 win at home against Vitesse. De Graafschap have a poor record against PSV and the way the visitors have been playing this season suggests this will be the newly promoted club’s toughest home game of the campaign.
De Graafschap put up a brave defensive display which almost earned them a point against AZ Alkmaar on Saturday, but the hosts eventually earned the win their performance deserved. The first half ended goalless despite the best efforts of AZ who created a number of goal scoring opportunities, but couldn’t find their way past Jurjus in the visitor’s goal.
There is nothing wrong with De Graafschap playing more negatively away from home, they are newly promoted let’s not forget and a point away from home could make a huge difference in their bid to remain in the Eredivisie for another season
PSV have some excellent goalscoring options, so that even when de Jong had a poor game in front of goal, teammates Lozano on eight league goals, and Pereiro on seven, usually step up to take on the burden of being the match winner. It’s hard to imagine De Graafschap standing any chance of even claiming a point from Saturday’s game, and they are going to need a solid defensive display or their best attacking performance of the season to claim even a point against in-form PSV.
We’re confident that PSV will win and that both teams will score in the process, and have backed the final score to be 3-1 to the visitors. PSV have won all of their eleven Eredivisie games this season, while De Graafschap has lost four of their last five in league and cup. PSV have won five of the last six meetings between the two clubs, and both teams have scored in the last four encounters.
- PSV have won all of their eleven Eredivisie games this season.
- De Graafschap have lost four of their last five in league and cup.
- PSV have won five of the last six meetings between the two clubs.
- Both teams have scored in the last four meetings between the two clubs.
PREDICTION: PSV Wins
Chelsea vs Everton
Chelsea managed to all but secure the top spot in their Europa League group in midweek with a tight 1-0 win away to BATE, leaving them 6 points clear with 2 games left to play and with a far superior goal difference to 2nd placed MOL Vidi.
That means, at least until the knockout stages begin, that all of Maurizio Sarri’s focus can go to the Premier League title race. The Blues remain unbeaten in all competitions this season, and with 8 wins from 11 Premier League games they find themselves just 2 points adrift of Manchester City and up in 2nd place.
Chelsea’s success in the league has been a team effort, but there’s one man that stands head and shoulders above his teammates when it comes to quality. Eden Hazard has only made 7 Premier League starts thanks to a minor injury problem, but the Belgian maestro has still managed 7 goals in this period, and with 4 assists to add to that it means that no other top flight player has been involved in more goals than him this season.
Hopes were high among Everton fans coming into this season under the tutelage of Marco Silva, but his fresh start at Goodison Park hasn’t been straightforward. They have had injury problems to deal with, but even that doesn’t explain some of the performances they have put in.
Last weekend The Toffees did manage to get back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-1 win against Brighton, following on from their loss at Manchester United. Slowly, Everton are starting to show the form we were expecting from them, but even so they are a long way off Chelsea at the moment.
The visitors have lost both of their meetings with big six opposition this season, and away from home they have only won 1 of their 5 league games. As you might expect from a Marco Silva side, they haven’t kept a single clean sheet on the road and have shipped 9 goals in total. The result has been all but 1 of their trips away resulting in more than 2 goals being scored.
- Everton have won one of their last 16 away Premier League games in London (D6 L9), losing their last four in a row, all during 2018.
- Chelsea are looking to remain unbeaten in their opening 12 games to a top-flight season for only the second time, also doing so in 2014-15 (unbeaten in first 14).
- Everton have lost 11 of their last 13 away Premier League games played on Sunday (D2) since winning 2-1 at QPR in March 2015.
- Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas has had a hand in 10 goals in his last 10 Premier League games against Everton (5 goals, 5 assists).
- If Chelsea avoid defeat here, Maurizio Sarri will set a new record for longest unbeaten start in the competition by a manager (12 games), overtaking Frank Clark’s 11 games in 1994.
- Coming into this matchday, no player has been involved in more Premier League goals this season than Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (11 – 7 goals, 4 assists).
- Everton manager Marco Silva has lost all six of his away Premier League matches in London – no manager has a worse 100% losing rate in London than Silva, with Nigel Pearson also losing six out of six in the capital; only one manager has lost his first seven Premier League away games in London (Mick McCarthy, who lost his first eight).
PREDICTION: 12 & U 4.5
Manchester City vs Manchester United
It was a successful night for Manchester in the Champions League on Wednesday as both clubs pulled off stunning victories. Manchester City’s 6-0 demolition of Shakhtar Donetsk was as dominant a display as you’re ever likely to see in Europe, while Manchester United’s late comeback to win 2-1 at Juventus is their best continental result for quite some time.
However, the 2 sides are having rather different seasons domestically. Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions, sit 2 points clear at the top of the table after the opening 11 games, while Manchester United are languishing down in 7th place after a series of very poor performances.
The Citizens come into this Manchester derby unbeaten in 11 competitive games, 10 of which have ended in victory. They haven’t lost a Premier League game yet this season, and they won’t be planning on starting now.
Manchester United are coming into a bit of form in the Premier League though. They are now unbeaten in 4 games and have won 3 of them, scoring 9 goals during this period to catapult them back into top 4 contention.
There’s no getting away from Jose Mourinho’s major problem though. Defensively, Man United have been atrocious at times. They have conceded 18 goals in the league already and haven’t kept a clean sheet since the start of September. That 2-0 win at Burnley is their only league clean sheet of the season, and they’re facing a Manchester City side who have notched 33 goals in their 11 games so far.
However, the visitors have scored in all but 1 of their league outings this season and have a respectable 19 goals to their name so far. Considering they have also scored in 8 of their last 12 meetings with their cross-city rivals.
- There have been just three occasions of a team scoring 24+ goals after six home games in a Premier League season, with Man City responsible for all three (2013-14, 2017-18 and 2018-19).
- Manchester United have conceded 18 goals in their 11 Premier League games this season. It took them 25 games until the 31st January to concede as many in the competition last season.
- Manchester City hasn’t lost any of their last 53 Premier League games against sides starting the day outside the top four (W44 D9 L0), since a 0-4 loss at Everton in January 2017.
- Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is still yet to score against Manchester United in the Premier League, attempting 19 shots in 12 games without success; among players with at least 50 Premier League goals, only Robbie Keane (22) has played more times against the Red Devils without scoring than Sterling.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has scored 17 goals and assisted a further five in his last 13 Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero scored seven goals in his first seven Premier League games against Man Utd, but has failed to score in his last three against them since.
- Anthony Martial has scored in each of his last four Premier League games for Man Utd – he could become the seventh different player to score in five or more in a row for the club in the competition (Ruud van Nistelrooy x4, Wayne Rooney x2, Eric Cantona, Dwight Yorke, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie).
- This will be the 22nd meeting between Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in all competitions – the Spaniard has won nine and lost five (D7) of the previous 21. He’s only lost more matches against Jurgen Klopp (7) than Mourinho (5) during his managerial career.
PREDICTION: 0.5 HT
Arsenal vs Wolves
Arsenal’s goalless draw in midweek against Sporting Lisbon may have secured their passage into the Europa League knockout rounds, but it wasn’t the evening they were hoping for. Their disappointing goalless draw aside, the evening was overshadowed by a serious-looking injury to Danny Welbeck, and the injury-plagued forward is now expected to be sidelined for a lengthy spell.
The show must go on though, and Arsenal find themselves coming into this game in a rather good stint of form. Their last Premier League defeat came all the way back in gameweek 2 against Chelsea, and they have won 7 of their 9 league games since then.
Wolves find themselves in a little spell of poor form at the moment too. Their thrilling 3-2 defeat at home to Spurs last weekend made it 3 losses on the back for the newly promoted club, and while there won’t be any concerns over a potential relegation battle the fans will certainly want to see them break out of this run soon.
Prior to this run, Nuno Espirito Santo had proven that his side have what it takes to compete in the Premier League. They lost just 2 of their opening 8 matches, and even after losing 3 on the bounce they find themselves in a respectable 11th place.
However, they’re facing an Arsenal side in excellent form here, and their record against the North Londoners isn’t the best. They have lost 5 of their last 6 matches against Arsenal and haven’t beaten them since 1979. Arsenal have won 16 of their 19 meetings since then and considering they have won 4 of their last 5 home games in the league.
- Arsenal have taken 59 points from their last 63 available at home in Premier League games against newly promoted sides (P21 W19 D2 L0) since losing 0-1 to Newcastle United in November 2010.
- Arsenal haven’t been behind for a single minute in eight Premier League matches against Wolves – only one team has ever played more games against an opponent without falling behind (Chelsea v Portsmouth, 14 games).
- Wolves have played more Premier League games against Arsenal without winning (8) than against any other opponent.
- All three of Wolves’ Premier League goals against Arsenal have been scored via corners.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in nine Premier League games (W7 D2), last going 10 without defeat in the competition in December 2016 (a run of 14).
- After a six-game unbeaten run (W4 D2), Wolves have lost their last three Premier League games.
- Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has been directly involved in 16 goals in his 18 Premier League starts at the Emirates Stadium (12 goals, 4 assists).
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored five goals and assisted two more in five Premier League appearances against newly promoted sides.
PREDICTION: Arsenal Wins
AC Milan vs Juventus
Juventus were shocked in Europe on Wednesday night, but will they make a statement against AC Milan this week? The champions suffered their first loss when they met Man United in the Champions League, but they remain unbeaten domestically so far. They are heading to AC Milan this week in a test for the Old Lady, as they have to bounce back against top four rivals. The hosts have hit form and climbed into contention for the Champions League spots, but can Gennaro Gattuso inspire his side to a win at San Siro?
The Rossoneri were held 1-1 by Real Betis in midweek, a game which saw their injury issues grow. They have plenty of key absentees for this week, although Gonzalo Higuain is set to return. He’s meeting former side Juve, a team which jettisoned him for Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer. It’s hard to say the Old Lady didn’t upgrade there, but the Argentine is always one to hold a grudge. However, can he make an impact against a wounded Juve?
The champions have to be looking for a response to their defeat, and their Serie A form should boost them. They have made an incredible start domestically, with 10 wins in 11. That run has put them clear at the top, but it also played a part in the complacency which hurt them in midweek.
History does side with the champions in this one, so they have an excellent chance to bouncing back from defeat on Sunday night. They head into Serie A’s biggest game of the weekend with the head to head edge over Milan. Juventus have won 10 of their last 11 Serie A games against AC Milan (L1), as many as they had won over their previous 29 league meetings with the Rossoneri. That impressive record should make them worthy favourites here, especially given the situation the pair find themselves in right now.
- AC Milan have won 49 games in Serie A against Juventus – more than any other side. However, their last win over them came back in October 2016.
- AC Milan are currently enjoying a run of three consecutive league wins, their best such streak since March (five wins in a row).
- Last weekend, AC Milan kept their first league clean sheet of 2018-19 – the last time they managed to keep consecutive clean sheets in the league was back in March.
- Juventus are the only team still unbeaten away from home in all competitions across Europe’s top-5 leagues in 2018 (W12 D3).
- Only one of AC Milan’s 21 league goals this season has come from a set-piece situation, while Juve have already scored six from such scenarios, four of which have been from corners.
- After previously managing 133 league games with Milan, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has won seven of his eight league games against his former team, losing only once against the Rossoneri.
- AC Milan’s Gonzalo Higuaín scored 40 goals in his 73 league appearances for Juventus between 2016 and 2018 – the Argentine striker has only scored one goal in six league appearances against the Old Lady, with that goal coming in September 2015 at the San Paolo when he was with Napoli.
- Juventus’ Paulo Dybala has scored five goals and provided two assists in eight league appearances against AC Milan.
PREDICTION: Over 1.5