World Football

B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend of August 29-31

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterAugust 29, 2014

B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend of August 29-31

1 of 7

    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    The Premier League programme has thrown two Merseyside-London matches together for this weekend, but there is no doubt where the focus of attention will be.

    New Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is set to make his debut in the game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday following his move from AC Milan.

    Chelsea make the trip to Everton for the Saturday evening kick-off in the English top flight, looking to avenge their defeat at Goodison Park last season.

    Balotelli's former team-mates at Milan open their Serie A campaign with the visit of Lazio, while Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund both look for better displays than their opening matches in Spain and Germany, respectively.

    But how do our Bleacher Report experts view the weekend matches? Do you agree with them? Let us know in the comments below.

Augsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund

2 of 7

    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: Augsburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    One game into the season and this is a battle of the bottom two clubs. While Augsburg could struggle, Dortmund won't, so I take them to get their first win of the season.

     

    Karl Matchett: Augsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    BVB to get back to winning ways after the wake-up call of defeat to Leverkusen.

     

    Sam Tighe: Augsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    Dortmund's loss to Leverkusen is a wake-up call and Jurgen Klopp's men will respond with three points.

     

    Will Tidey: Augsburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    Dortmund to bounce back from their recent loss with a convincing away victory.

     

    Michael Cummings: Augsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Own goal (in Dortmund's favour)

    BVB to struggle again but eke out the points to get their season off the ground.

     

    Jerrad Peters: 0-3 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    Dortmund were humiliated by Bayer Leverkusen last time out and will take out their frustration on an Augsburg side that opened the season with a loss to Hoffenheim.

     

    Alex Dimond: Augsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    It will be interesting to see how the Leverkusen defeat impacts Dortmund, and they might need to dig deep to bounce back in this one.

Everton vs. Chelsea

3 of 7

    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Everton 0-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Eden Hazard

    This will be a true test for Chelsea, but one I expect them to pass in style with some slick, attacking play.

     

    Karl Matchett: Everton 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku

    Lukaku’s headlines will be wiped out by Chelsea’s all-round strength and ability.

     

    Sam Tighe: Everton 1-1 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    Goodison Park is a horrible venue for Chelsea and that poor streak of form continues here.

     

    Will Tidey: Everton 1-1 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    Everton will be a stubborn force and hard to beat at home this season. A draw for Chelsea is a decent return at Goodison Park.

     

    Michael Cummings: Everton 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku

    It's been a tough start to the season for Everton, who have played well at times and could feasibly have the maximum six points already. Look for the trend to continue.

     

    Jerrad Peters: Everton 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku

    I don’t see Chelsea keeping a clean sheet at Goodison Park, although I think they’ll do just enough to sneak the three points.

     

    Alex Dimond: Everton 1-2 Chelsea

    First goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku

    The Arsenal result showed Everton are not quite there in terms of fitness just yet, and Chelsea might come from behind to take advantage.

AC Milan vs. Lazio

4 of 7

    Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: AC Milan 0-0 Lazio

    Being the first game of the season, this could be a cagey affair so expect defences to win the day.

     

    Karl Matchett: AC Milan 1-1 Lazio

    First goalscorer: Senad Lulic

    Milan still have a lot of work to do to make their side competitive. Lazio can get a result.

     

    Sam Tighe: AC Milan 1-0 Lazio

    First goalscorer: Keisuke Honda

    Milan to get off to a great start under Filippo Inzaghi—a start that reflects the positive work they've been doing this summer.

     

    Will Tidey: AC Milan 2-1 Lazio

    First goalscorer: Stephan El Shaarawy

    A very tight scrap decided by a late Milan winner, with El Shaarawy making a statement after Mario Balotelli's departure.

     

    Michael Cummings: AC Milan 0-0 Lazio

    I'm forecasting a drab draw and an underwhelming start to the season for both.

     

    Jerrad Peters: AC Milan 1-1 Lazio

    First goalscorer: Keisuke Honda

    AC Milan are a team very much in flux. Both matches against Lazio ended 1-1 last season and I don’t foresee a different scoreline here.

     

    Alex Dimond: AC Milan 1-1 Lazio

    First goalscorer: Antonio Candreva

    It will be interesting to see where Milan go post-Balotelli, but they may have to settle for a point from this game.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool

5 of 7

    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Daniel Sturridge

    Mario Balotelli could well hog the limelight, but Sturridge can put him in the shade by firing Liverpool to victory.

     

    Karl Matchett: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Emmanuel Adebayor

    Spurs have improved, Liverpool have improved depth. Should be eventful but tight.

     

    Sam Tighe: Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Emmanuel Adebayor

    Spurs to out-press and out-muscle Liverpool in midfield regardless of Mario Balotelli's status.

     

    Will Tidey: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Mario Balotelli

    Has to be Mario for the opening goal. Spurs are looking good this season, though, and I think this will be a classic that sees the teams share four goals.

     

    Michael Cummings: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Christian Eriksen

    Spurs have started the season well, and a win at home to Liverpool will be impressive. But I fancy Liverpool to bring enough offensive firepower to grab a draw.

     

    Jerrad Peters: Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Daniel Sturridge

    Liverpool will dominate the midfield and Mario Balotelli will score on his debut—perhaps twice.

     

    Alex Dimond: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool

    First goalscorer: Emmanuel Adebayor

    Both sides have started the season reasonably encouragingly (Liverpool were not bad in the defeat to Manchester City), and they will perhaps be content with a draw in this one.

Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid

6 of 7

    Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Real Sociedad 0-3 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Gareth Bale

    Real were workmanlike rather than spectacular against Cordoba, but they got the job done. They'll go through the gears against Sociedad.

     

    Karl Matchett: Real Sociedad 1-1 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Karim Benzema

    La Real had a shock defeat to start the season but Real Madrid didn’t look convincing, either, in victory.

     

    Sam Tighe: Real Sociedad 0-2 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Karim Benzema

    La Real's poor start to the season continues as they surrender points to the irresistible European champions.

     

    Will Tidey: Real Sociedad 0-3 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Karim Benzema

    Madrid won't be denied away at Sociedad. I fancy Benzema to score at least once, possibly twice.

     

    Michael Cummings: Real Sociedad 1-3 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo

    As ever with Real Madrid; too many weapons, too many goals in the squad.

     

    Jerrad Peters: Real Sociedad 0-2 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo

    The Anoeta is a difficult place to play, but Real Madrid romped to a 4-0 win in San Sebastian back in April.

     

    Alex Dimond: Real Sociedad 0-2 Real Madrid

    First goalscorer: Karim Benzema

    Real Madrid should be able to move on from a week that has seen Angel di Maria and soon-to-be Xabi Alonso, per Sid Lowe of The Guardian, depart with an edgy away win.

Latest Standings After Weekend of August 29-31

7 of 7

    Matt Dunham/Associated Press
    B/R Experts' Table
     Week's TotalTotal
    Karl Matchett229
    Jerrad Peters527
    Mike Cummings223
    Sam Tighe823
    Alex Dimond218
    Alex Livie316
    Will Tidey616

    B/R

    Correct result: 1 point

    Correct first goalscorer: 2 points

    Correct scoreline: 3 points

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices