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Author: Brad Cunningham
The chaotic start to the 2020/21 European Football season continued last weekend:
- Manchester City was only able to muster a 1-1 draw on the road at West Ham, dropping them to 13th place in the Premier League.
- Manchester United and Chelsea played an absolute snooze-fest of a 0-0 draw in what was suppose to be the match of the weekend in the Premier League.
- Jaime Vardy came on as a substitute and scored a late winner to give Leicester a 1-0 victory at Arsenal.
- Real Madrid won their second straight El Clasico, beating Barcelona 3-1 on the road.
- AC Milan and Roma drew 3-3 in a crazy six-goal thriller in Serie A.
- Lyon hung four first-half goals on their way to a 4-1 win over Monaco in Ligue 1.
This weekend’s slate features some tantalizing matches, but domestic leagues are once again in a sandwich spot. With Champions League and Europa League in action this week and next, a lot of teams in those competitions will have to manage their squads this weekend. Therefore, it may be a good idea to wait until starting lineups come out before heading to the window.
You can use these projections to identify early betting value on the opening lines, and follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make throughout the week.
If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projected lines and totals using an expected goals model, you can read about it here.
Note: These projections do not take into account injuries. The injury news highlighted below is for players that regularly would start in each team’s starting XI.
Premier League Notes:
- Manchester United vs. Arsenal: It’s been almost 11 months since the last time Manchester United and Arsenal squared off in the Premier League. Both teams find themselves in the bottom half of the table to start the 2020/21 campaign, so this match is crucial as both clubs look to climb towards the top-4. Arsenal hasn’t won at Old Trafford in over 14 years.
- Aston Villa vs. Southampton: An early top-seven clash between two clubs in unfamiliar territory. The Villans started a season with four straight wins for the first time in almost 100 years. However, they were beaten at home the last time out 3-0 against Leeds. Southampton had the fifth best xGD on the road in the Premier League last season.
- Leeds vs. Leicester: Patrick Bamford bagged a hat-trick last time out against Aston Villa, which gave Leeds their third win in their last five matches. Leicester has yet to lose on the road in the Premier League this season and will be playing their fourth match in the last 15 days.
Premier League Injury News:
- Arsenal: Willian (RW) is probable and David Luiz is out against Manchester United.
- Burnley: Jack Cork (CM) and Ben Mee (CB) are both doubtful to play against Chelsea.
- Crystal Palace: Jordan Ayew (ST), Gary Cahill (CB), Jack Butland (GK), and James McCarthy (CM) are all out against Wolves.
- Everton: Richarlison (LW), Seamus Coleman (RB), Lucas Digne (LB) are all out and James Rodriguez (CAM) is questionable to face Newcastle.
- Leicester: Wilfred Ndidi (CM), Caglar Soyuncu (CB), and Daniel Armartey (CM) are all out against Leeds.
- Liverpool: Virgil Van Dijk (CB) is out and Thiago (CM), Naby Keita (CM), and Joel Matip (CB) are all questionable to face West Ham.
- Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus (ST), Benjamin Mendy (LB), and Sergio Aguero (ST) are all doubtful to face Sheffield United.
- Newcastle: Jonjo Shelvey (CM), Matt Ritchie (RM), and Dwight Gayle (ST) are all out against Everton.
- Sheffield United: Lys Mousset (ST) is out for the next few weeks after having a procedure to repair a ligament in his toe.
- Borussia Monchengladbach vs. RB Leipzig: RB Leipzig are the early leaders in the clubhouse in Germany by one point over Bayern Munich and Dortmund. They are unbeaten in their first five matches and are allowing only 0.71 xG per match, which is the best mark in the Bundesliga. Gladbach was second to only Bayern Munich at home last season with a +18.88 xGD.
Bundesliga Injury News:
- Bayern Munich: Alphonso Davies (RB) is out for 4 to 6 months.
- Leverkusen: Lars Bender (CDM), Charles Aranguiz (CM), and Patrik Schick (ST) is questionable to face Freiburg.
- Dortmund: Emre Can (CM) is doubtful to face Arminia Bielefeld due to a positive COVID test.
- Gladbach: Denis Zakaria (CDM) is questionable to face RB Leipzig with a knee injury.
- Frankfurt: Filip Kostic (LM) is out with a knee injury against Bayern Munich.
- Freiburg: Janik Haberer (CM) is out against Leverkusen with an ankle injury.
- Hertha Berlin: Jordan Torunaigha (CB) is questionable against Wolfsburg.
- Hoffenheim: Andrej Kramaric (ST), Paval Kaderbek (RB), and Benjamin Hubner (CB) are all questionable to face Union Berlin.
- Koln: Jonas Hector (CM) is questionable and Florian Kainz (RM) is out against Bayern Munich.
- RB Leipzig: Nordi Mukiele (RM), Tyler Adams (CM), and Lukas Klostermann (CB) are all out against Gladbach.
- Schalke 04: Suat Serder (CM) are is questionable to face Vfb Stuttgart.
- Wolfsburg: Paulo Otavio (LB) is out versus Hertha Berlin.
Serie A Notes:
- Napoli vs. Sassuolo: An unexpected early top-four clash in Serie A takes place on Sunday between second-place Napoli and third-place Sassuolo. Sassuolo has scored the most goals in Serie A (16), while Napoli has allowed the fewest (2). Napoli has won eight of their last nine matches at home.
Serie A Injury News
- AC Milan: Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) is doubtful to face Udinese due to a positive COVID test.
- Atalanta: Marten De Room (CM) is doubtful to face Crotone.
- Bologna: Andrea Poli (CM) and Gary Medel (CM) are all out against Cagliari.
- Fiorentina: Franck Ribery (LW) is doubtful to face Roma.
- Inter: Alexis Sanchez (RW), Stefano Sensi (CB), and Milan Skriniar (CB) are all out against Parma.
- Juventus: Matthijs de Ligt (CB), Cristiano Ronaldo, (CF), Leonardo Bonucci (CB), Giorgio Chiellini (CB), and Alex Sandro (LB) are all questionable to face Spezia.
- Lazio: Club is currently dealing with a COVID outbreak as nine players have tested positive including Ciro Immobile (ST), Luis Alberto (CM), Andreas Pereira (CAM).
- Parma: Four players have tested positive for COVID and are questionable to face Inter.
- Sampdoria: Maolo Gabbiadini (CAM) is out against Atalanta.
- Udinese: Juan Musso (GK) is out until late December with a knee injury.
La Liga Notes:
- Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla: Dating back to the restart last season, Athletic Bilbao has lost 8 of their last 11 matches, with a -4.52 xGD. Sevilla on the other hand is allowing a La Liga best 0.77 xG per match. Sevilla has only lost one of their previous ten away matches in La Liga.
La Liga Injuries:
- Atletico Madrid: Sime Vrsaljko (RB), Jose Gimenez (CB), and Diego Costa (ST) are all out versus Osasuna.
- Barcelona: Philippe Coutinho (CAM) and Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) are both questionable against Alaves.
- Celta Vigo: Ruben Blanco (GK) are both out versus Real Sociedad.
- Villarreal: Gerard Moreno (ST), Daniel Parejo (CM), and Alberto Moreno (LB) are all doubtful to face Real Valladolid.
Ligue 1 Notes:
- Lille vs. Lyon: Lille is currently tied on points with PSG for first place in Ligue 1 and has beaten opponents by a combined score of 14-3. Lyon missed out on European football last season, but have responded nicely losing only one of their first eight matches. Dating back to last season, Lille has only allowed one goal in their last six home matches.
Ligue 1 Injuries:
- Bordeaux: Laurent Koscielny (CB) is out against Monaco.
- Dijon: Yassine Benzia (ST) is out versus Lorient.
- Marseille: Dimitri Payet (CAM) is out due to a suspension.
- Monaco: Aleksandr Golovin (CAM) and Fode Ballo (LB) are questionable to play against Bordeaux.
- Nantes: Four player have tested positive for COVID and are questionable to play against PSG.
- Nice: Youcef Atal (RB) is out versus Saint Etienne due to a hamstring injury.
- Nimes: Zinadine Ferhat (RM), Loick Landre (CB), Sidy Sarr (CM) are all out against Metz.
- PSG: Mauro Icardi (ST), Juan Bernat (LB), Marco Verratti (CM), Julian Draxler (CAM), and Danilo Pereira (CM) are out against Nantes.
- Saint Etienne: Harold Moukoudi (CB), Gabriel Silva (LB), and Mathieu Debuchy (RB) is out against Montpellier.
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Author: Brad Cunningham