Ligue 1 preview

Ligue 1 has a familiar look at the top of the table. Paris Saint-Germain have created some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack, but there are some huge clashes to look forward to this weekend in France’s top flight. We will preview PSG’s trip to Marseille on Sunday evening, while earlier in the day, Nice host Lyon.

Paris Saint-Germain forced to come from behind in nail biter against Angers

After a rather flat-footed display before the international break against Rennes, Paris Saint-Germain were forced to work hard for the win against a defiant Angers last weekend. After going a goal down at the Parc des Princes, Danilo Pereira brought the Paris giants back on level terms when he flashed home a header.

Kylian Mbappe completed the turnaround with a penalty shot for his fifth goal in all competitions. Mauricio Pochettino fielded an unchanged side from the one that lost against Rennes, but they were more impressive against Angers. PSG are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, and they are in good shape heading into big games, including a Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

Kylian Mbappe ends barren run against Angers

There are probably few things worse than facing an angry Mbappe. The Frenchman had gone four Ligue 1 outings without hitting the target, which was his worst run in nearly three years. But he was electric against Angers. He scored and provided an assist, ensuring he had at least two meaningful goal involvements in a league game for the third time in 2021.

Marseille face defining week in their season

While PSG have been in cruise control from virtually the first kick of the season, Marseille have been going through a bit of a rough patch. They have won only once in their past five outings in France’s top flight, and after PSG, they face Nice in a rearranged fixture, so this feels like a make-or-break week in Marseille’s season.

Marseille v PSG: A tale of past encounters

Although Marseille got their season back on track with a thumping 4-1 victory over Lorient last weekend, there will no doubt be some level of anxiety over facing PSG. Indeed, PSG ran out comfortable 2-0 winners last season, with Mbappe and Mauro Icardi wrapping up the game for the visitors inside the first 24 minutes. Marseille will have to step it up this time around.

Nice in need of pick-me-up after surprise defeat to Troyes

After their stunning run to the Championship title last season, expectations have gone up a couple of notches at Nice. Of course, there was always likely to be a few more bumps along the road in this campaign, but the manner of their 1-0 defeat to Troyes will have caused some concern.

Christophe Galtier’s side had a second loss inflicted upon them, and after falling behind in just the fourth minute, they couldn’t muster a response. And, what is more worrying, is they have ceded a lot of ground to PSG, as they occupy the fourth spot in the table, trailing the league leaders by 11 points.

Lyon, meanwhile, have got their act together after a somewhat pensive start to the campaign. They are undefeated in their past five games, and in their previous outing against Monaco, they put in an assured display as they claimed a 2-0 victory. Lyon are now in the sixth position in Ligue 1 and level on points with Nice.

Nice v Lyon: A look back at recent matches

Lyon will be relishing a trip to Nice this weekend, and if last season’s encounter is anything to go by, it could be easy pickings for them. On their previous visit to Nice 10 months ago, Lyon romped to a 4-1 victory. Memphis Depay, Tino Kadewere, Karl Toko Ekambi, and Houssem Aouar all got on the scoresheet as Lyon put Nice to the sword.

Although Lyon are likely to be bereft of Moussa Dembele and Islam Slimani once again due to the calf and muscular injuries, respectively, Lyon looks like a well-drilled unit under Peter Bosz, and they will fancy their chances of walking away with all three points.

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Blackburn v Reading betting preview

2-0 up at the break and Reading were cruising along against Blackpool at the SCL Stadium on Wednesday night. We’d like to stop that sentence here but have to include the unfortunate negative result. Blackpool hit back with three goals in the final 30 minutes to steal the points and take them home. No one was expecting that, as Reading looked good in the first half and were comfortable.

But, alas, this is The Championship, a league where you can’t take your eyes off the ball for one second, a league where anything is possible, a league where nothing is guaranteed. At half time, Reading were 5th in the league, but by full time, they slipped to eighth spot. The competition is stiff and with barely any time for a breather, the Royals must go again…

This time, Reading are on the road and heading to Blackburn. The hosts also fell to a midweek defeat, with QPR securing a slender 1-0 victory. Blackburn have now not won a match in their last four, so Reading have a chance to bounce back and put things right again.

Fans will remember that Reading won both rounds against Blackburn, 1-0 at home and 4-2 away.

Reading have good characters in the dressing room, so the players need to react in the best way possible here, and grab a win against a struggling side. It is the ideal opponent and we’re looking forward to this one. No one likes surrendering a lead, and that wound will have hurt the players.

Despite Blackburn’s failure to score against QPR, this side has goals in them and have indeed managed to net 11 goals in their last five matches. Reading’s defence needs to be on their game.

With that, we’re going back the Royals for the win, a 2-1 away win which is priced at 11/1 or 10.00 with Casumo.

Come on you URZZZ

 

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Man United v Liverpool preview

We’re still catching our breath after an epic week of Champions League football. Match Week 3 stunned us with goals, comebacks, red cards, golazos, hammerings and more… it really had everything. Our focus shifts to the Premier League with next Sunday’s huge fixture in mind.

Both Manchester United and Liverpool enjoyed wins in the Champions League, both sides had to work very hard for them, and both matches included five goals. 

On Tuesday night, Liverpool strolled to a quick 2-0 lead over Atletico Madrid, only to be pulled back by a Griezmann brace. He was sent off in the second half, and Liverpool managed to “win dirty” A Mo Salah penalty gave them three massive points in Group B. 

The following night, Manchester United welcomed Atalanta, and might as well have rolled out the red carpet for the Italians. Atalanta raced to a 2-0 lead at Old Trafford and United looked more still than the statue of their Holy Trilogy outside. Is this Harry Maguire’s way of trying to get a statue made, we wonder? Their first half was dismal, embarrassing and had no style of play, which has become a typical feature this season.

Paul Pogba started on the bench, but the second half saw a different Manchester United emerge. It was Rashford who broke the Atalanta defence first, and then of all people Harry Maguire levelled with a striker’s finish. Of course, you all know what happened next. Cristiano Ronaldo won it late for United, sparing his team’s blushes once again and putting United on top of Group F.

Where would they be without him, you may ask? Well… perhaps in a worse position, but maybe even better tactically. His signing has cast Greenwood on the outside of a front three… and he belongs in that number 9 spot. His signing has also made them at times look like a one man show, and this needs to be addressed.

When United welcome Liverpool, the red carpet has to be locked away. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s choice of midfielders will be the key. We saw Paul Pogba have an instant impact against Atalanta, but using him in the correct position will be the key.

Yes, United are the underdogs here. Liverpool are yet to lose a game this season and Mo Salah looks like he could go on to win the Ballon d’Or at last. His form has been ridiculous, while Mane and Firmino are looking excellent too. Between them they have scored 16 goals this season which is lovely.

Klopp looked prickly in his post match interview on Tuesday night, and this bodes well for the Reds. They managed to win dirty away, where many sides often failed to cope with Atletico Madrid’s tactical and mental set up. Liverpool unlocked a side to them which is key for winning big games: at times you need to play the game, be a little street smart and chase the win at all costs.

Liverpool have only dropped points once when playing away this season and have a winning streak of three away games in a row. Indeed, as United surrendered their record breaking away run, Liverpool are on a run of their own: no defeats in 11 matches on the road. They are looking strong, irresistible and mentally stubborn.

We say form goes out of the window during these type of games, but it is hard to ignore Liverpool’s brilliance and dominance this season. United look baggy, as Gary Neville put it, with huge gaps appearing in the midfield. Their defence is statuesque, so we can’t imagine Liverpool drawing a blank.

There will be goals in this one, but the Ronaldo factor makes it difficult to pick an eventual winner. It takes one moment of glory to win a game, that is unless Liverpool haven’t run away with it early on at Old Trafford.

Do you dare to predict this one? We’re going for the obvious: Both teams to score, and a Liverpool win combined is yours at 14/5 or 3.8.

 

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In Casumo’s Most Popular Slots Series we’re highlighting one popular slot at a time. It could be a golden oldie or a brand new-ie; as long as the game has rightfully deserved its moment to shine, we’ll be there to put the spotlight on it. In our previous blog posts, we talked about Book of Dead, Razor Shark, Jammin’ Jars, Ramses Book, Fire Joker and Reactoonz. And now, in the seventh game highlight of our Most Popular Slots Series, we’d like to talk about a slot that has no Wilds, no Scatters, nor fixed paylines, not even reels! It’s definitely a rather juicy slot: Fruit Warp.

Floating Fruity Symbols? Yes please!

With Fruit Warp, Thunderkick managed to take your typical ol’ fruit machine and gave it a state-of-the-art overhaul which turned it into a visually juicy delight. The graphics are a selection of bananas, strawberries, grapes, oranges and other assorted fruit set against a plain green background. The dragonfruit is the most rewarding of them all, potentially giving you 216x your bet for a 9 of a kind combo. All nine symbols float onto your screen for every “spin”. If they include a win, the amount will automatically pop up from each piece of fruit. The maximum pay-out that Fruit Warp has to offer is 11,000x your total bet.

Keep on reading to find out more about the delicious Fruit Warp!

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Serie A Preview

There has been plenty of drama over the past few weeks, and few would have expected Napoli to be occupying the top spot at this stage of the Serie A campaign. There are two tasty games to look forward to this weekend — Roma v Napoli and Inter Milan v Juventus. We will run the rule over both of them and divulge the latest odds.

Roma boss Jose Mourinho distances himself from Newcastle job

Speculation has been swirling around the future of Steve Bruce at Newcastle after the club fell into the ownership of Saudi Arabian businessmen. Jose Mourinho has been mooted as a potential target, but the Portuguese tactician made it clear he has an ’emotional connection’ with the club, but purely because of his relationship with the late Sir Bobby Robson, who was a former Magpies manager.

Mourinho appears content at Roma, and his side has made a solid start to the campaign, picking up 15 points from their eight games, and they are fourth in the table. Although they were outdone by Juventus last weekend, Mourinho has impressed the fans. Roma could have nicked a point against Juventus, Wojciech Szczesny denied Jordan Veretout from the penalty spot.

Roma handed boost over Nicolo Zaniolo in the wake of Juventus defeat

Roma were given a much-needed injury boost over Nicolo Zaniolo. The winger was replaced in the first half of the defeat to Juventus with a knee problem, but a medical exam showed there was no extensive damage. Roma has a busy week with Europa League action on Thursday before they face Napoli on Sunday, so they can’t afford to be short of bodies.

Napoli maintain perfect start to the campaign with victory over Torino

Napoli have come flying out of the traps this season, and they maintained their perfect start with a 1-0 victory over Torino. A Victor Osimhen strike nine minutes from the end proved to be the difference between the two sides, but Napoli are starting to look like the real deal.

Roma v Napoli: A look back at past encounters

Roma v Napoli always provides some fireworks, and it is always a great watch for neutral. But as far as Napoli are concerned, they will relish a trip to Roma where they won 2-0 on their previous visit last season. Dries Mertens weighed in with a double to take the game away from Roma on that day.

Inter Milan licking their wounds after Lazio defeat

Becoming the hunted, as football fans know, is an unenviable position. Inter Milan have set loft standards for themselves, but they fell considerably short when Lazio inflicted their first defeat on the reigning Serie A champions as they ran out 3-1 winners. A Ciro Immobile penalty has taken him to the top of the league’s scoring charts, but Inter will have conducted a thorough inquisition.

With the games coming thick and fast, there is little time to dwell on losses. Nevertheless, Simone Inzaghi will be hoping his charges learn from their defeat to Lazio. Although it is still relatively early in the campaign, Inter are seven points behind Napoli in the table, and another defeat could spell trouble for their title defence.

Meanwhile, after a rocky start to the campaign, Juventus have been on the winning trail, registering five victories on the trot in all competitions. The 1-0 victory over Roma will have been a morale booster. And it was a momentous occasion for Leonardo Bonucci, who became just the third active player in Serie A to clock 250 wins in Italy’s top flight.

Massimiliano Allegri provides key Paulo Dybala injury update

On the surface of things, Juventus have been coping just fine without Paulo Dybala. Since picking up a muscular injury against Sampdoria, the Argentine has been out of action, and Allegri confirmed he is responding well to treatment. When quizzed about Dybala’s potential return to action, Allegri said: “I think he will be available within a week, no more than 10 days.”

Dybala, therefore, appears to be touch and go to face Inter. Meanwhile, Inter could restore Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal into the fold after returning from international duty with Chile last weekend. Inter will be desperate to get back to winning ways, and they will have fond memories of their 2-0 victory over Juventus last season at the San Siro.

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