BARCELONA started their defence of their La Liga title with a comfortable 3-0 win over Racing Santander two weeks ago and the peerless Catalans are dead certs to welcome little Hercules to the big time tonight.
With David Villa, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta already off the mark, there should be a scramble for goals at the Camp Nou as the Blaugrana turn on the magic. With this in mind, let's take Messi to score two or more (9-4, Victor Chandler) or perhaps even his second hat-trick of the new season (9-1, Blue Sq, 888sport).
Villa is the obvious next contender and he's 8-15 (totesport) to score anytime. Xavi (12-5, Paddy Power) and Iniesta (8-5, bodog) are also worth a glance. After the trials of an international week, there is the slight chance of a few of Pep Guardiola's men being rested or not going full pelt against the Hercules who are likely to be without the unfit David Trezeguet. However, if you believe it's business as usual then go for four or more goals at 6-5 (Skybet).
There is an absolute corker in Germany this weekend as two of the country's biggest sides collide at the stunning Allianz Arena.
After a superb performance in their Bundesliga opener, Bayern Munich seemed to hit the ground running despite a shortened pre-season and the loss of Arjen Robben. However, a disastrous 2-0 defeat to newly-promoted Kaiserslautern sealed an incredibly mixed start to the season. And it's not about to get any easier with Munich facing a Werder Bremen side they haven't beaten at home in five years. It might be a tad easier this time around with stoppers Per Mertesacker and Naldo ruled out of today's clash.
On this note, I'd look to take Ivica Olic (11-10, Paddy Power) to score at any time or Thomas Mueller (8-5) to weigh in. Toni Kroos is expected to retake his place in attacking midfield and he's 12-5. For Werder, who are without Claudio Pizarro, they'll likely rely on Marko Arnautovic (13-5, bet365). Best bet is for Bayern to finally break their duck in this one and they are 8-13 at Blue Square, Ladbrokes and various others and I'm leaning towards the champions.
Serie A newboys Cesena are heavily tipped to slump back from where they came come the start of next season but they proved it won't be without a fight, sealing a surprise 0-0 draw with Roma.
Milan, though, are boosted by the late arrivals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho. In fact, they'll make up a mouth-watering attacking line that also includes Pato and Ronaldinho. It's amazing what two signings can do, with the Rossoneri moving from one of the least exciting to eagerly-anticipated sides in action this weekend.
The easy money would be on one, even all four, of those men getting on the scoresheet at some point. Ibrahimovic (my pick) is 13-10 at bet365, Samba star Robinho is 11-5 at Stan James, while fellow Brazilians Ronaldinho (2-1, Stan James) and Pato (13-10, Paddy Power) provide something worthy of a wee punt. For Milan to score three or more, look at Skybet's £21 back for your tenner. Or, if you fancy it going the other way and think Cesena can earn a draw, try 3-1 being offered at Ladbrokes.
- Luis Fabiano to score two or more Sevilla v Deportivo, 5-1, bet365
- Atletico Madrid