Author Archives: bigwin
Crunch time in the UEFA Champions League
Nice vs Napoli
Both teams managed nice wins at the weekend and Nice have recovered some key players like Balotelli. Sneijder will also participate in this one. Not all is done for Napoli and they must be able to keep cool even if they concede (which we think they will). Nice will have the win or go home mentality and that usually means a fast flowing game with some volatility
Both teams to score @ 1.66
Over 10 corners @ 2.00
Risky one –> Over 1.5 first half goals @ 2.40
NK Maribor vs Hapoel Beer Sheva
NK’s away goal means it’s game on here in Slovenia. It will not be an easy fixture for both as they are two very well balanced teams. This will be a hard fought battle and perhaps a hostile crowd too (not violent). The money stakes here are enormous as there is a Group stage place on the line. A defining moment for both teams during the upcoming season. Maribor have more champions league experience but will need to get 1 goal without conceding . On the other hand, the visitors can play a defensive + counter attack game.
Maribor’s main striker is out indefinitely with an injury. Low scoring game this one and perhaps a few cards
Card before 24:00 @ 1.83
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.75
Aston Villa vs Wigan
Villa have not started their campaign in the best fashion possible but are coming off a great win at the expense of Norwich. Wigan come in to this one knowing that this cup will be important for them footballing wise and also as the new sponsorship of the cup has increased prize money. Wigan are on form and Aston Villa are the stronger club. We expect some squad changes from Villa and we also expect Wigan to be the ones trying harder.
Both teams to score @ 1.80
Over 2.5 goals and btts yes @ 2.25
Birmingham vs Bournemouth
not the best quality game you will find on the fixture list today. Both sides coming off disappointing results at the weekend. Squad rotation is a must and that creates volatility in the results. Defoe should be starting this match for Bournemouth so we will favour his experience and scoring ability in this one
Bournemouth to win outright @ 2.15
Over 5 first half Asian corners @ 1.80
BET OF THE DAY – 22nd August 2017
AUGUST 2017 Statistics
7 wins / 4 losses = 65% Win Rate
Massimo’s Serie A predictions are BACK !!!
Juventus vs Cagliari prediction
League title current holders Juventus open their 7th league title defense against Cagliari on Saturday. The early Serie A kick off will kick start the new Serie A season at the newly names Allianz Stadium (previously Juventus Stadium). This is a stronghold for a Juve side that is desperate to make a statement after an embarassing last minute goal against Lazio in the Italian super cup last weekend. No major injuries for Juventus in this one and neither for Cagliari. The last 5 games between these two resulted in many goals and this one will not be any different. Watch out for Juventus’ new signings Douglas Costa and Bernardeschi as these two aim to impress their home crowd on their debut.
Verona vs Napoli prediction
Fresh from a fantastic showing in the Champions League playoff on Wednesday, in-form Napoli start their Serie A campaign against minnows Verona at the Stadio Bentegodi. Some injuries for Verona mean that they already start worse off than if they were 100% healthy. This is really going to be an uphill struggle for them. This is the beginning of the season so Napoli would not even be fatigued after Wednesday’s game.
Atalanta vs Roma prediction
Tough opening fixture for both teams here with Champions league place aspiring Roma coming off a good summer. Di Francesco replacing outgoing Luciano Spalletti and also big time players like Salah and Rudiger have left the club. Roma having replaced some good players with young promising players. They also renewed Naingolan’s contract which is also a good step in the right direction for the Roman side. Atalanta remain fairly competitive for 6th / 7th place as they lost two key players in midfield (Kessie and Conti – also Spinazzola soon). Roma will be without their attacking midfielder El Sharaawy as well as their new promising signing, Luca Pellegrini.
Bologna vs Torino prediction
Torino are expected to have a fairly good campaign this season and contend for a Europa League placing. With coach Mihajlovic in his 2nd term at the club, after offloading Benassi, Maksimovic and Bruno Peres. Torino look to start getting the goals here with their super striker upfront, Bellotti. Torino also have a good record of scoring against Bologna and therefore we see them take this one.
Crotone vs AC Milan prediction
This new Milan side will be without their iconic president Silvio Berlusconi for the first time in over 20 years. I am sure this will be a strange feeling for Milan fans in general but i am sure they are really happy with their flying start in the Europa League qualifiers this week. This team will take some time to come together as they have at least 8 new players in their first 11. However it is looking good for Milan this season and they are hoping to finish in the Top 3.
Inter vs Fiorentina prediction
What a summer Inter had on the transfer market ! They’ve made all the right moves. They’ve gotten a great coach in Luciano Spalletti. Also they’ve covered their weakest positions in the full backs and have also added assist men for their main hitman Icardi. Fiorentina on the other hand went through the opposite type of summer. They have lost their playmaker Borja Valero (to Inter), Ilicic and Mattias Vecino but have acquired Benassi from Torino and Simeone from Genoa. Pioli, the Fiorentina coach will meet his ex-club and will definitely want revenge. Attacking style football in this opener at San Siro.
Lazio vs Spal prediction
Lazio had a cracker of a start to the season last Sunday, beating Juventus 3-2 with a last gasp winner. The win was deserved and they were the better team on the day. Spal come into this season as the complete underdogs and favourite to relegate after this season. Lazio have a formidable attacking formation and can hurt on the counter. Expecting lots of goals in this one.
Crucial matches already on the 2nd week
Swansea vs Manchester United prediction
The early fixture on Saturday is between relegation headed Swansea vs title aspiring Man Utd. After a good start against West Ham, Man Utd are full of confidence to go to their first away fixture of the season. Lukaku has already shown his prowess and will be giving Swansea defenders a hard time again tomorrow. Man Utd have lots of striking power with all midfielders being able to slot in a goal too if needed. Swansea come to this fixture off a surprising 0-0 draw with Southampton last weekend. They find themselves with very little scoring ability with their top strikers not available for this match. They also lost their best player Sigurdsson who has moved to Everton. Not looking pretty for Swansea here
AFC Bournemouth vs Watford prediction
Two humble teams meeting up on the 2nd league day with very important points up for grabs. Watford managed a helluva good 1 point recovery at home to Liverpool last weekend with a last gasp goal in a 3-3 thriller. This augurs good things for them as they will find it hard to remain in the top flight this season. Bournemouth struggled to get shots on target last weekend against a surprisingly solid WBA side. Okaka Chuka looked on form last weekend and will be a threat again here.
Burnley vs West Bromwich Albion prediction
Low key fixture between two winnings sides on Day 1 of the premier league. Burnley pulled off the biggest upset of the day beating holders Chelsea. WBA had a convincing low margin win against Bournemouth. We usually tend to see disappointing games following magical upsets. It will be tough for Burnley to find the same motivation they had against Chelsea. On the other hand WBA look like a solid side that can have a decent mid-table placing this year.
Leicester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion prediction
Leicester looked like a side that will cause some damage to this year’s premier league. They will not pull another 2015, they will also not place within the top 4 but do not exclude Europa league places for this stubborn side. Jamie Vardy and Iheanacho WILL get the goals. Lots of goals in this one.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace prediction
Really disappointing league start for Liverpool last Saturday when Watford managed to get a last gasp 3-3 draw. Liverpool were obviously complacent and kept all their energies for their mid-week Champions league fixture. That went well and puts Liverpool in strong position to qualify for the group stage. This fixture though, is really important for Liverpool to aspire to managing a 4th place finish. Every point counts for them in this premier league and they could easily miss out if they do not bank the points at home.
Southampton vs West Ham United prediction
Southampton only needed to break their scoring jinx on opening day to get the 3 points against Swansea last week. Their low scoring opening day streak continues. They did however look like a strong side that will improve and have some good games along the way. Still expecting Gabbiadini to score in this one as the Italian has a great sense of scoring. West Ham look weak but can still pop a surprise. West Ham will be missing key players here and will struggle to score.
Stoke City vs Arsenal prediction
Arsenal’s great comeback win at home may have ignited positive vibes in the Arsenal changing room but the transfer rumours around Alexis Sanchez are still the overpowering voice. Lacazette will solve goal problems for Arsene Wenger but they must also think about the 3 goals they bagged on day 1. Defensive matters will get you lower or higher in the league table. Stoke looked ok at Everton last weekend but still they lack the oomph. Mertesacker will still be out with a head injury and Alexis Sanchez also out with Abdominal strain. Stoke will be missing a key player in Afellay.
Huddersfield Town vs Newcastle United prediction
Huddersfield pulled off a massive 3-0 win away to Crystal palace last weekend and they looked like they got through that so naturally and easily. Newcastle are our favourites to relegate this season. Rafa Benitez seems frustrated at the lack of incoming transfers this summer and they also miss Shelvy from this match after his crazy incident vs Tottenham last weekend. The magpies will find it difficult to score this year without a killer striker upfront.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea prediction
Game of the week and what a crucial one for Antonio Conte and his men! Losing the opening fixture to Burnley at home on day one is NOT how AC thought he would start his title defence. Shocking result but it would probably be a stern reminder to Chelsea that nothing is for granted in Premier League. This London derby has a long history of rivalry and we think that this game will be fought hard and with goals but some hard tackles. Chelsea will probably start Morata this time round as he was the one that gave them the spark to attempt a comeback last Saturday. Chelsea will miss key people in this fixture which makes it all the harder. Hazard, Pedro and probably Bakayoko will be out through injury, whilst Cahill and Fabregas will both miss out due to red cards acquired last weekend. Tottenham come into this game stronger and will not miss any key players. They will play their first league game at Wembley and it remains to be seen how they will react to this change of stadium.
Man City vs Everton prediction
2nd best match of Week 2 in the premier league is title challenger vs top 6 challenger. Manchester City showed excellent attacking football last weekend and all throughout the summer session. They go into this game, their first at home, with a lot of confidence. Pep is finally getting the on-pitch movements he wants from his players and this means that we should see some serious firepower from City. Everton will have their newly signed £45m man, Sigurdsson. Both teams are solid but there will only be one winner here.
Champions league – Big names need to win
Hoffenheim vs Liverpool prediction
What a disappointing start to the Premier League Liverpool had on Saturday. Whilst the positive of scoring freely allows Liverpool to feel ok about Coutinho’s possible departure, bagging 3 goals from a poor side like Watford spells disaster for an aspiring team like Liverpool. This week Liverpool turn their heads towards the Champions league and meet a tougher contender in Hoffenheim. A fast paced German side, capable of putting up a decent challenge to any team, even in the Group stages. This game is crucial for Liverpool. If they do not pass the round and end up out of the Champions league it almost leaves them with a disappointing season and it’s only August. Hoffenheim bring pace and attacking possibilities. This side is free flowing and although Livperpool are the favourites, a win in Germany is going to be an uphill climb.
Celtic vs FC Astana prediction
Celtic park hosts the much awaited fixture on Wednesday between the Scottish giants and the Kazakhstan league leaders. Dembele will be out of this tie with an injury and that deals a blow to Celtic, but they are still the stronger side. Celtic are a tough side at home and they are still expected to win this first leg. FC Astana will be hoping to either snatch an away goal or limit the damage. Nevertheless they will be a hard headed side to go up against. The crowd will be, as always, Celtic’s 12th man.
Napoli vs Nice predictions
Napoli are hoping to avoid elimination in this round as this can be a serious pay day for their squad. Having had a great attacking display during the summer friendlies, Napoli go into this game knowing it is crucial to get this tie right. They are an attacking force and have no trouble scoring goals freely. Nice have been a tough cookie both in the French ligue 1 and also in Champions League in earlier rounds. They have young firepower but have lost their left back to Inter earlier this week.
Exciting start to this year’s Premier League
Arsenal vs Leicester City
A great game to kick off the English Premier League season 2017/18 indeed, with the Gunners lining up against Leicester on a Friday night opener. Arsenal go into this game having a 21 game unbeaten run vs the blues and therefore the odds are heavily in Arsenal’s favour to take this one. Arsene Wenger’s side showed great poise on Sunday against Chelsea and it was promising, knowing also that Alexis Sanchez, Lacazette and Walcott will probably all feature in this one. Iheanacho and Vardy will feature upfront for Leicester City. This match looks like it will have lots of goals and corners.
Watford vs Liverpool
Minnows Watford go into this game after a humble off-season, whilst Liverpool will not be able to field their bone of contention on the transfer market Philippe Coutinho as his injury will keep him out of this tie. Liverpool are rumoured to be refusing almost £100m for their star attacker. Meanwhile, Salah will start the match alongside Mane and Firmino with Sturridge out injured again. Troy Deeney will be out for Watford as he is also nursing an injury. Liverpool have won their last 4 EPL openers and we expect them to get their 5th winning start on this one. Keep in mind that Liverpool’s midfield will be without Lallana (injured).
Southampton vs Swansea
Manuel Pellegrini will be at his first game in charge this Saturday in what promises to be a nice season for the Saints. Swansea on the other hand will be somewhat having a 38 game relegation battle as their best player Sigurdsson sits this one out as it seems he is on the way to Everton. Their next best player, Fernando Llorente is also out with a broken hand. This means that their scoring power is at an all time low. On the other hand, Southampton are dealing with want away defender Van Dijk but are still likely to stay on form with Gabbiadini upfront.
Everton vs Stoke City
Wayne Rooney’s coveted return to the Toffees is finally here. Having left as a boy and returned as a man, Rooney will be gunning for his first official Everton goal in a competitive match. He will be alongside Sandro Ramirez and most likely Calvert-Lewin. Everton will be missing some key players such as the outgoing Ross Barkley and obviously their main hitman for the last three seasons, Lukaku, now at Manchester United. On the other hand, Stoke City do not come into this match at full force. Rather they really miss their important players such as newly signed Yannick Bolasie, Funes Mori and Coleman are all out with long term injuries. Arnautovic, is no longer there after having moved to West Ham and he will likely be replaced in the lineup by Max Choupo-Moting. This may mean good news for Stoke as he better suits the running free flowing football that Hughes likes to implement. Lots of corners in this one.
Chelsea vs Burnley
Fresh off a disappointing loss at the hands of Arsenal last Sunday, Chelsea come to this encounter wanting to start their title defence on the right foot. Alvaro Morata wants to get his scoring rhythm going and wants to prove his price tag. He was a promising striker at Juventus and Real Madrid so no reason why he shouldn’t be successful in the Premier League. Hazard will be out for this one whilst nursing an injury. Moses will be in and also Rudiger. Chelsea will win this one hands down and will get off to an encouraging start. Nothing much to say about Burnley unfortunately. They seem destined for the drop.
Brighton vs Man City
Newly promoted seaside outfit Brighton come into this game knowing it is an uphill climb but a first chance at proving the doubters wrong. On the other hand, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola will be looking for nothing less than a convincing statement win. Guardiola has really spent good money this summer fortifying his backline. The defence really let him down last season bagging a number of comeback goals when being in the lead. Expect all but Mendy in the defensive line to be on display this Saturday when they take on Brighton at the Falmer stadium. With Gabriel Jesus and Aguero expected to start this match, we expect nothing short of annihilation.
Newcastle vs Tottenham
The first of Sunday’s two games is a tough fixture to call. Newly promoted Newcastle under Rafa Benitez’s care look to stick it out this season. Perhaps looking to advance in the EFL or FA cup whilst keeping a decent mid-table spot. Tottenham on the other hand come off an impressive 2nd place last season to a very disappointing summer transfer market that saw them lose Kyle Walker to Man City and not signing a single soul to improve their squad. Nevertheless, it was always recommended to not change a winning horse. Harry Kane will bag loads of goals this season and this is the only way Tottenham can hope to avoid anything worse than 6th place in a direct encounter with Everton. All teams placing 1st to 8th last season have improved their squad, whilst the spurs have not moved an inch. Bore draw in this one.
Man United vs West Ham
This week Real Madrid showed their class against an improved Man Utd side. Mourinho’s second year at any club has always been his strongest. With the signings of Lukaku, Matic and Lindeleof, expect a strong campaign from Mou’s boys. West Ham come into this season with some new signings. Namely Arnautovic and Zabaleta. These wil definitely feature in the line up on Sunday to give Man Utd a run for their Money. Bilic’s men will look to make life tough for Man Utd but we only see one winner here.
Notable transfers in: Alvaro Morata (from Real Madrid) £58m, Tiemoue Bakayoko £35m (from AS Monaco) and Antonio Rudiger (from AS Roma) £32m
Notable transfers out: Nemanja Matic (to Manchester United) £40m, John Terry (retired) £0m
Current champions Chelsea return to season 2017/18 in an unconvincing fashion. We are still not concinved Chelsea are actually better off than last season in terms of transfer market acquisitions. Antonio Conte has visibly fallen out with his main striker and missed out on Lukaku during a 2 week long saga. Currently, also failing on a number of transfer targets like Alex Sandro from Juventus and seemingly interested in Antonio Candreva from Inter. Not the kind of action you’d expect from a usually large spending club.
On the pitch though, Conte has proven everybody wrong several times in league format. He has won 5 straight leagues (4 with Juventus and 1 with Chelsea), with the latest being an absolute cracker from start to finish but also unexpectedly after Mourinho’s last year disaster when Chelsea placed 7.
Do not expect Chelsea to have all fire power going into the season. Diego Costa will surely be leaving Stamford Bridge and possibly we could see a big name signing by the end of August.
It’s time for the reigning champs to get back in the groove.
- Chelsea to place 3rd or worse
- Alvaro Morata to score 15+ goals
- Antonio Conte to leave at the end of Season 2017/18
- Chelsea eliminated before Quarter final of Champions League (Conte is not a CL man)
- No trophies this year
European Super Cup
Real Madrid vs Manchester United
Real Madrid first 11: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Manchester United first 11: De Gea, Valencia, Lindeloef, Smalling, Blind, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Lukaku Rashford
The winners of the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid and the winners of the UEFA Europa League, Manchester United face off today in Macedonia in what promises to be an exciting encounter. Jose Mourinho, a Real Madrid ex manager, has an ego the size of the world and please do not be fooled by his sweet talk tactics of praising Real Madrid. He wants this trophy and will never seriously consider himself an underdog. Meanwhile on the other hand, Zinedine Zidane, calm as ever explains that his team is ready for this match and obviously wants to win the cup as he considers it a prestigious trophy altogether. Zidane also said that it would be nice to go on and win the set of cups that come with winning the Champions league.
Both managers are expected to field their best 11. Initially it was though that Ronaldo would be given an extra few days off, having participated in the Confederations cup, however it seems as though he has been training with the squad of late. Another question mark was Gareth Bale. With Mourinho ready to pounce on the transfer market, Bale has not been in top condition and in doubt as to whether he will have a starting spot with Zidane’s 4-3-3. Assensio being the main perpetrator.
Expect an exciting match with a few goals and with both teams showing a fast pace display of free football. Lots of goals in this one we believe
Atalanta vs Chievo
Atalanta are still in with a chance of finishing 4th this season after narrowly beating struggling side Empoli while Chievo were outplayed on their home soil by a stronger Roma side in an eight goal thriller. I predict Gasperini’s men will seal off a superb season with a win.
Bologna vs Juventus
As expected Bologna stood little chance at the San Siro as they were easily beaten by Milan while Juventus secured their second trophy in less then a week following their victory over Crotone to make it 6 Italian Championships on the trot. I am backing the visitors to win this.
Cagliari vs Milan
Sardinian side Cagliari retained their Serie A status but will definitely see room for improvement next term while Milan will be relatively pleased with their campaign considering their limited budget last summer. The Rossoneri will look forward to the summer transfer market following the takeover of a Chinese consortium who have promised big spending.
Crotone vs Lazio
As expected Crotone were easily beaten at the San Siro by a superior Milan side while Lazio self-imploded at the Olimpico and now risk mssing out of the much coveted 4th place finish, after they ended the game with nine-men and lost to Inter 1-3. It’s do or die for the home side however I am backing Lazio to bounce back.
Fiorentina vs Pescara
Saturday night was a perfect example of how far behind Fiorentina are from the big boys after they were downed 4-1 in Naples. Pescara’s stint in the Serie A didn’t last long after a dismal season and I am backing them to lose in Florence before their return to the lower divisions.
Inter vs Udinese
Inter won their first game in over 2 months in a unexpected victory at the Olimpico while Udinese were held at home by Sampdoria in what was quite a drab affair. Considering the turmoil currently within the Nerazzurri ranks and the lack of quality within the Udine side I reckon a draw is on the cards.
Palermo vs Empoli
Most Serie A fans will undoubtedly miss Sicilian side Palermo next season, perhaps not for their quality, something they have lacked in their squad for over 5 years now, but the fantastic atmosphere at the Renzo Barbera. Empoli are still not safe from the drop a will need to secure all three points in order to guarantee their safety. I am backing another draw.
Roma vs Genoa
Roma have arguably had one of their best domestic seasons in recent history pushing Juventus right down to the penultimate round of games and will hope that a few reinforcements over the summer will be enough to win the Scudetto next season. Genoa’s have been extremely inconsistent this term and despite beating the likes of Milan and Juventus have dropped far too many points and will finish the season in 16th place.
Sampdoria vs Napoli
Sampdoria played out a 1-1 draw at Udine to pretty much secure their mid-table position in the standings while Napoli were superb as they comfortably beat Fiorentina 4-1 to keep the pressure on second place Roma. I am backing Sarri’s men to win this.
Torino vs Sassuolo
Only a handful of points separates these two sides who have both had disappointing campaigns when compared to their pre-season ambitions. I am backing Il Toro to win since they have that little bit of extra quality in their side.