Juventus, Leverkusen and Villarreal can all build on an excellent start
In seasonal terms it’s very early days yet there have still been plenty of clues on offer as to how things could shape up in continental Europe. This treble that pays just over 11/1 backs the teams who have started the year in style.
Serie A champions Juventus faced Lazio only two weeks ago in the Italian Super Cup winning 4-0. The Old Lady took the lead thanks to Paul Pogba after 23 minutes before a flurry of goals in the second half completed the rout.
There is no reason the Turin side cannot assert their dominance over the Eagles again this time and it bodes well for the champions that Carlos Tevez has apparently taken no time at all to find his feet in Italy.
The ex-Man City man got the winning goal in a difficult opener away at Sampdoria to take his tally to two goals from two games for Juve and is 7/2 to open the scoring this time.
While many will be tempted by the 13/5 on Juve -2 goals after the last fixture, in truth the quality between the sides is not as vast as that scoreline suggests, Juve were simply proving to clinical on that occasion. However, with Antonio Conte’s men undefeated in nine at home, nothing but a dominant performance can be expected.
On paper, one might expect this to be a close call with last year’s third place taking on the team who occupied fourth.
In truth though, there are fewer fixtures this weekend that pits two teams with such contrasting starts to the season against each other.
Leverkusen have picked up maximum points so far this season and boast solid wins against Freiburg, Stuttgart and took Borussia Monchengladbach apart in a 4-2 victory last time.
Contrastingly, Schalke find themselves in the relegation zone. After drawing 3-3 with Hamburg on the opening day, they went on to lose 4-0 to Wolfsburg and most recently 2-1 against Hannover. That they just about managed to scrape through their Champions League play-off against Greek minnows PAOK Thessaloniki is a good indication of where they are right now.
Expect Leverkusen stars such as the Bundesliga’s top scorer last year, Stefan Kießling and the highly rated Sidney Sam to pose a constant threat to Schalke who have conceded already conceded 11 in all competitions.
Villarreal could not have envisaged a better start to life back in the Primera Liga having won their two opening games and are in fine fettle in front of goal having already netted five.
On the other hand, Osasuna have really struggled since selling their star striker Kike Sola to Athletic and their struggles in pre-season, where they only scored six goals in eight games, have translated to the regular season.
Los Rojillos also have plenty of injuries to contend with six players sidelined already and it is difficult to look beyond another three points for the men in yellow.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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