Mythbusters: 5 favourites to consider swerving this weekend
After calling four shocks last week, we pick out the underdogs who could spring a surprise this time around.
Bournemouth v Watford
Watford make their second consecutive appearance in this piece, a decision justified by the fact they defied odds-on favourites Liverpool at Vicarage Road last week.
The Hornets have not lost at Bournemouth in the Premier League. In fact, all four top-tier meetings between these sides have ended in a draw.
Eddie Howe’s side, meanwhile – 19/20 favourites to win this game – failed to live up to their billing at West Brom last week, conceding from a set-piece in their 1-0 defeat.
After this weekend’s visitors scored from two corners in that Liverpool game, that defensive vulnerability could be key in the Cherries’ failing to win this match at .
Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
While Borussia Dortmund ended up second in the Bundesliga last season, they were far from convincing away from the Westfalenstadion.
BVB won just five of their 17 away games last season, conceding at least once in four of those victories.
That, coupled with uncertainty over the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, means this game could prove a difficult start for new manager Peter Bosz.
Wolfsburg only just stayed up last season, but will be much-improved after spending more than €50m this summer.
Back them not to lose this game at .
Aston Villa v Norwich
Aston Villa tend to be favourites at home, as is expected with a club of their status in the Championship.
Unfortunately for the Villains, very little evidence points towards a home victory in this one.
Steve Bruce’s side are winless in their opening three matches of the Championship season, crumbling badly in away games at Cardiff and Reading in the last week.
Norwich, meanwhile, recorded their first league win of the season at home to QPR on Wednesday.
They are available at not to lose.
Rangers v Hearts
Defeat at home to Hibernian on Saturday proves that Rangers are far from infallible at home, and that should offer some encouragement to Hearts.
The hosts have now conceded six goals in their last four matches.
Hearts, meanwhile, won their last away game at Kilmarnock, and will be buoyed by the fact that they secured a point in this fixture last season.
Back them not to lose again at .
Barcelona v Real Betis
Barcelona are typically formidable at home, but Real Betis will never have a better chance of denying them at the Nou Camp.
The hosts don’t appear close to replacing Neymar, a vulnerability accentuated by their toothless performance against Real Madrid in the Super Cup. To make things worse, Luis Suarez will miss the game with injury, too.
Real Betis have had a good summer, adding ex-Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia, ex-Barca winger Cristian Tello, and striker Sergio Leon to a squad that comfortably stayed up last season.
These two sides drew when they last met in January. Back Betis to avoid defeat again at .
*Odds subject to change.