Have you caught your breath yet? The Premier League made an exhilarating return at the weekend and now I’m here to keep you up to date with how you can keep yourselves entertained with football every day of the week. If, like Joey Barton, you are a betting man check out the BetVictor free bets that are available on at least some of these games.
Tuesday 15th August
We’ve reached the stage of Champions League qualifiers that BT actually bother their arses to cover all the matches. Obviously the main focus of their coverage is Hoffenheim vs Liverpool, which is quite a tasty looking encounter that you can enjoy on BT Sport 2 at 7.45pm. The hipster in you might opt for one of the alternatives, such as FK Qarabag vs FC Copenhagen. That’s at 5pm so you can watch back to back qualifiers if that’s your bag.
There’s also a full Championship programme, the pick of which is probably Hull vs Wolves but at this stage it is hard to tell. There’s also some rancid EFL Trophy (what are Johnstone’s Paint up to these days?) or a full set of National League games. You shouldn’t be bored either way.
Wednesday 16th August
More of the same, with Celtic taking centre stage over on BT as they host Astana at 7.45pm. Again if you’re after an alternative, Napoli vs Nice might be fun just to see what Mario is up to. There’s a couple of Championship games, not televised, or an International friendly between Andorra and Qatar for reasons I won’t even begin to try and figure out.
If you were thinking of placing a bet, £10 on a treble of Celtic, Napoli and Olympiacos would return you £32.50 with bet365
More importantly, there’s the Second Leg of the Spanish Super Cup, as Real Madrid and Barcelona recommence battle, although there’ll be no Cristiano Ronaldo after his petulance in the first leg earned him a 5 game ban. Real Madrid won 3-1 at the Nou Camp but there’s bound to be more goals in the return, and it kicks off at 10pm, which I think is an excellent time for football. Sky Sports have you covered there.
If you buy into the narrative that Real Madrid are invincible and Barcelona are in crisis, £10 on Madrid to win the leg will return £22.50 with bet365
Thursday 17th August
Bless the Europa League, bringing us red hot qualifying first leg action when we needed it most. Everton have a home clash with Hajduk Split, but they are the only British side involved. AC Milan face Shkendija of Macedonia or you can have Ajax vs Rosenborg, but it’s very much a mixed bag. Not a vintage night.
Friday 18th August
Friday night football should always be in the Championship, where the commentator makes every goal sound like that team has put one foot in the Premier League. This week we have Burton vs Birmingham, the Blues of course having their profile sky rocketed now Harry Redknapp is in the dugout. Burton under Nigel Clough thrive on occasions like this and there’s always a cup tie atmosphere there in my opinion. It should make for a decent game, even if Craig Gardner will be involved.
You have some very good alternatives if you are feeling a little bit European. Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen is on BT Sport 2 at 7.30pm, the one thing about Bayern games is that there always seems to be a boat load of goals and Lewandowski normally scores at least half of them. You could also enjoy Metz against what’s left of Monaco on BT Sport 3 at 7.45pm, or Valencia vs Las Palmas on Sky Sports at 9.15pm. That’s on the red button only, which is only considering they have 900 channels dedicated to showing football now. 900 is a conservative estimate.
Saturday 19th August
Oh Saturday, you are the most glorious day. FOOTBALL IS EVERYWHERE. The lunch time affair is Swansea against Man Utd, where we’ll see if Lukaku can do it on a tepid afternoon in Wales, and I expect he probably can. Sky Sports have that one, then after the 3pm kick offs have subsided you can settle down for Stoke vs Arsenal on BT Sport, or if you want to watch a repeat of the 1973 FA Cup, Sunderland vs Leeds is on Sky Sports in the Championship offering.
Our final betting suggestion of the week would be in the Premier League, where there is genuine value in West Ham at Southampton, Crystal Palace getting a point at Anfield and West Brom and Burnley cancelling each other out. Long shots, sure, but the odds are in your favour.
If you want alternatives, and we allow that here, you could have Kilmarnock vs Celtic at 12.30pm in more white hot SPL action, or Juventus vs Cagliari at 5pm on BT Sport Extra 2, whatever that is. You can enjoy Girona (aka Man City D) against Atletico Madrid at 7.15pm followed by Sevilla vs Espanyol at 9.15pm. Hell, go all out and watch TNS vs Bala Town on S4C at 5.15pm. It’s your day.
Sunday 20th August
The games just keep coming. The main attraction is of course Spurs’ first home league game at Wembley as they take on Chelsea. It’s a very early clash between last seasons top two but there are more than a few question marks over whether Chelsea have it in them to retain that title, especially as salt was poured into open wounds against Burnley on Saturday.
The opening act to this particular Super Sunday is Huddersfield vs Newcastle, who enjoyed contrasting starts last weekend. Huddersfield will be brimming with confidence after defeating Palace 3-0 away from home, whilst Newcastle shot themselves in the foot during a 2-0 loss to Spurs. It’s the first Premier League game at Huddersfield, and you know the place will be bouncing. That’s a 1.30pm kick off.
There’s also televised action from Holland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, including Barcelona vs Real Betis followed by Real Madrid’s trip to Deportivo La Coruna at 9.15pm. Prepare the sofa dent.
Monday 21st August
Three words: Monday. Night. Football.
Man City host Everton and we really love a Monday night game. It was missed badly last week but it’s always nice to have a game to look forward to on a Monday night. It should be a decent game as well, I’m sure Rooney will be out to do the red side of Manchester a favour as well as put a marker down for Everton’s intentions this season. I’ll look forward to it, even if there is a risk of Pardew in the build up.
Have a pleasant week and I’ll see you on Friday for Fantasy Football Unplanned