The European action continues this weekend, but which teams should be included on your soccer predictions? These are the teams that we are backing in some of the most interesting fixtures taking place this weekend.
Real Betis vs Real Madrid
The LaLiga season got underway for Real Madrid last weekend, but it was hardly the start that they were hoping for. The recently crowned champions of Spain were held to a goalless draw away from home to Real Sociedad.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying from Madrid, as they had 16 shots in the game but only managed to get four on target. Zinedine Zidane’s team boasted 68% of the possession, and these dropped points could be put down to the fact that they were just easing their way into the new season. There will be extra pressure on Zidane this season, as the club have finally parted ways with James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale. However, a lack of attacking threat could mean that this decision could be questioned.
Real Betis have already played two games in LaLiga this season, and they have won them both. Their opening day victory came against Alaves before this was followed up with another three points against Valladolid. It is certainly the dream start that Manuel Pellegrini would have been looking for, but this is a much bigger challenge against Real Madrid. Their recent 2-0 win over Valladolid indicates that they are at the top of the game, and the pick would be for them to get a point out of this fixture against Madrid.
AS Roma vs Juventus
The first huge game of the new Serie A season takes place this weekend as Juventus will travel to AS Roma. It was an excellent first game in charge for Andrea Pirlo, as Juventus strolled to a 3-0 win against Sampdoria.
There was a debut goal in that game for Dejan Kulusevski, who has recent arrived from Parma. Goals from Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo with 12 minutes remaining highlighted the dominance that Juventus had throughout the game. However, Pirlo will be aware that bigger challenges await them, and the first of those will come against Roma this weekend.
Roma were able to fight back last season to secure themselves a fifth-place finish in Serie A. However, Paulo Fonseca will be looking to improve on that finish this term. There are still questions surrounding the team off the field, as fans are still unsure whether Edin Dzeko will be staying at the club, with their top scorer being linked with a move to Juventus. Roma are still also hopeful of bringing back Chris Smalling, who enjoyed an excellent loan spell with the club last season. Roma did manage to bring in ex-Chelsea and Barcelona winger Pedro over the summer, and the Spaniard made his debut in their opening game of the season.
However, he was unable to help his side break the deadlock as they were forced to settle for an opening-day goalless draw against Hellas Verona. It will be another tough fixture for Roma this weekend, and it’s hard to see anything other than a Juventus win.
Manchester City vs Leicester City
Manchester City will play their first home game of the new Premier League season this weekend, as they come up against the side currently at the top of the league.
Manchester City started the new campaign with an excellent performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening. Pep Guardiola’s side looked as fresh as ever in the opening half, as they breezed into a 2-0 lead. Kevin De Bruyne gave the Citizens the lead from the penalty spot, before Phil Foden finished off a sweeping move to make it 2-0. Wolves came back into the game in the second period, and after missing a host of glorious chances, Raul Jimenez finally made it 2-1. However, they were unable to push on for the equalising goal, as Gabriel Jesus restored the two-goal lead in the final stages.
Leicester have also been excellent so far this season and currently sit at the top of the Premier League table having won both their games so far. Their first victory of the campaign came against West Brom, with Jamie Vardy scoring a brace. This was followed up with an excellent 4-2 win at home against Burnley. Leicester will be aware that this is a bigger challenge for them, but they have shown over the past 18 months that they are ready to challenge the top-four.
City will be keen to ensure that they don’t lose ground on Liverpool at this early stage, and they will do enough against Leicester to get the three points.
Liverpool vs Arsenal
The final game of this round of Premier League fixture will see two undefeated sides go head to head. This will be a repeat of the third game from the 2019-20 season, which saw Liverpool run out 3-1 winners.
The Reds have already started the season in excellent form, as they have won both of their opening two games against Leeds United and Chelsea. That opening day win against Leeds highlighted that Liverpool still have cause for concern in defence, but those doubts were answered efficiently with a commanding 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool controlled the game against the big-spending Chelsea from start to finish, with Thiago also impressing in his first appearance for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Sadio Mane scored a brace in the win for the Reds.
Arsenal will be looking to make it three wins from three, but they will need to play much better than they did against West Ham United last time out. The Gunners needed a late Eddie Nketiah goal to get the three points in that fixture, but their sloppiness at the back will not go without being punished against the efficient Reds at Anfield.
Mikel Arteta has certainly improved this Arsenal team, but they are still a long way behind the pace being set by Liverpool. Therefore, the preference is for Liverpool to maintain their perfect start to the new season.