Man. City v Tottenham @Etihad Stadium @5:30 p.m. on Aug.17
City were smooth against West Ham last weekend as Spurs came from a goal behind to best Aston Villa.
So in this early meeting of two candidates for Champions League places and the EPL title, there should be fireworks at the Etihad.
Pep Guardiola is still angry at how his side was denied a Champions League final place by a resilient Spurs team while Mauricio Pochettino understands that City are the new EPL standard – stand up against City and the chances of ending the season as champions becomes brighter.
One thing you can be sure of is that the probability of this ending goalless is very low as there has not been a goalless affair between these two in their last 17 meetings.
Current Form: Man. City [W-W-W-W-L]; Tottenham [W-L-W-W-L]
Head to head
20/04/19 PRL Man. City 1 – 0 Tottenham
17/04/19 UCL Man. City 4 – 3 Tottenham
09/04/19 UCL Tottenham 1 – 0 Man. City
29/10/18 PRL Tottenham 0 – 1 Man. City
14/04/18 PRL Tottenham 1 – 3 Man. City
Prediction: Man. City 4-1 Tottenham
Bayern Munich v Hertha BSC @Allianz Arena @7:30 p.m. on Aug.16
Bayern have not had a good summer and their visitors on opening day happen to be Hertha, normally tough opponents wherever and whenever they meet. They are now more dangerous having added former Fortuna Dusseldorf striker, Dodi Lukebakio to their armoury.
Lukebakio famously scored a hattrick against the champions last November, his third goal coming three minutes into added on time.
So having lost the Super Cup to Dortmund, Nico Kovac and his team will be looking for a strong start to the Bundesliga season.
Current Form: Bayern [W-L-L-W-W]; Hertha [W-W-L-W-D]
Head to head
Sat 23/02/19 BUN Bayern 1 – 0 Hertha
Wed 06/02/19 DFP Hertha 2 – 3 Bayern
Fri 28/09/18 BUN Hertha 2 – 0 Bayern
Sat 24/02/18 BUN Bayern 0 – 0 Hertha
Sun 01/10/17 BUN Hertha 2 – 2 Bayern
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Hertha BSC
Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona @San Mames @8 p.m. on Aug.16
For the first time in 10 years, Barcelona will kick off a La Liga campaign without Lionel Messi. But San Mames is not one of Messi’s slaughtering grounds as in the last four visits to San Mames, Messi scored just once.
Barcelona cannot afford to be distracted by the continuing Neymar saga as Ernesto Valverde returns to the stadium he used to call home.
Barcelona’s manager has warned his players against complacency saying, “It’s a complicated game to start [the season]. They have had a good pre-season, and play with a lot of high pressure and we have to be careful.”
They have to be extra careful especially as they will be without their man for the tough occasions, Messi.
Current Form: Athletic [W-D-L-W-D]; Barcelona [W-W-W-W-L]
Head to head
Sun 10/02/19 LAL Athletic 0 – 0 Barcelona
Sat 29/09/18 LAL Barcelona 1 – 1 Athletic
Sun 18/03/18 LAL Barcelona 2 – 0 Athletic
Sat 28/10/17 LAL Athletic 0 – 2 Barcelona
Sat 04/02/17 LAL Barcelona 3 – 0 Athletic
Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 1-3 Barcelona
Wolves v Man. Utd @Molineux Stadium @8 p.m. on Aug.19
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and his United players passed their opening day test with flying colours but Wolves on Monday at Molineux will be another stern test.
Wolves believe they were unlucky on opening day not to have won away at Leicester and will do all they can to take all three points.
They faced up three times last season with Wolves triumphant twice and the other drawn. With City and Liverpool not showing any signs of slowing down, United must stay on the front foot though Wolves are on an eight-match unbeaten home record and hoping to gatecrash the top six of the EPL this season.
Current Form: Wolves [W-D-W-W-W]; Man. Utd [W-W-W-W-W]
Head to head
02/04/19 PRL Wolves 2 – 1 Man. Utd
16/03/19 FAC Wolves 2 – 1 Man. Utd
22/09/18 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 1 Wolves
18/03/12 PRL Wolves 0 – 5 Man. Utd
10/12/11 PRL Man. Utd 4 – 1 Wolves
Prediction: Wolves 2-1 Man. Utd