It is not just the Premier League that returns this weekend, as most of Europe begins to get their domestic seasons underway. Our experts have been hard at work finding the very best value picks from across the continent, and we have enough accumulator tips for not one, but two European accumulators.
The first is drawn from the opening weekends of the Ligue 1 and La Liga season and sits at just under 5/1, whilst the second takes a deeper dive into Scandinavian football, which has continued to run throughout the summer, and looks very tasty at odds of 7/1. We have games from the Norwegian Eliteserien, Finnish Veikkausliiga, and the Swedish Superettan, all to ensure you have the very best options for your Sunday acca.
And as if that wasn’t enough already, we also have a European goals accumulator, focusing on the games where we expect the goals to flow freely across the continent.
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Sunday’s European Football Accumulator Tips
Montpellier v Le Havre
Montpellier were one of the form teams at the end of the last Ligue 1 season and they should be viewed as strong favourites to get the 2023/24 campaign off to a winning start against a Le Havre side that is underprepared compared to many of their top-flight rivals.
The home side come into this game off the back of an encouraging pre-season that concluded with a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany last weekend. It was achieved despite the absence of last season’s leading scorer Elye Wahi, whose future remains uncertain. What was encouraging for Montpellier, though, was the number of opportunities they created and also the form of key man Teji Savanier in a playmaking role.
Le Havre, meanwhile, might have won Ligue 2 last season, but this is a team that arguably looks weaker now than it did in June, having lost Jamal Thiare and midfielder Victor Lekhal, who both put up positive offensive numbers for Luka Elsner’s side.
This is a team that won promotion based off its defensive strength, much like Ajaccio did a year earlier. The Corsicans found the step up too much for their rearguard to cope with and crashed straight back down again having conceded 74 goals.
Le Havre face a similar fate, with France’s oldest club having an even harder task of bridging that gap given the league has been cut to 18 teams. Look for Montpellier to continue their resurgence under Michel Der Zakarian to give HAC an unhappy return to the top flight after more than a decade away.
Honka v Inter Turku
It was beginning to look like Honka were pretty safe in the top half of the table after a mixed start, with Roman Eremenko looking assured and Clesio Bauque scoring freely.
That has all come crashing down, with an unlikely defeat at Lahti allied with the incredible winning run of VPS (seven in a row) knocking Honka down into seventh and a struggle to avoid the also-rans for the rest of 2023. Midfielder Lucas Kaufmann, consistently impressive over a number of years, left to drop down a division last week and his experience will be missed. They’ll be disappointed to have conceded from a set piece on Monday, and will face a strong dead ball attack against Inter.
In winning 4-1 at KTP, veteran Petteri Forsell scored his 50th (and 51st) Veikkausliiga goals and will fancy his chances with his trademark long shots in Espoo. At the other end of their career, young prospect Bismark Ampofo scored his first goal for the club, celebrating his newly extended contract.
Much was made in pre-season about Jarkko Wiss getting a tune out of Inter, and while he might have left it late, a win here would put real daylight between the two sides and almost guarantee a place in the championship group in the autumn. Inter are without Iiro Jarvinen, who has formed a good midfield bond with Ampofo and former player of the month Tommi Jyry, suspended after another yellow card.
Inter have a double header against Lahti later in the month where they’ll be looking to confirm their top half status – but will be confident of a third straight away win here.
Ilves v KuPS
After a terrible run of form of ten games without a win and scoring one goal in five, Ilves sacked manager Toni Kallio this week, on his 45th birthday no less. He had done a reasonable job in his tenure, but with a relegation battle now looming, action was required and off he goes.
Assistant Joni Lehtonen steps up until the end of the season, while he’ll be assisted by Pasi Tuutti – who was sacked as KuPS manager after just three games in April… It’s a small world. New signing Marius Soderback, signed from KaPa on Monday, goes straight into the squad with a lot of pressure on the shoulders of an U19 international with no top-flight experience. It’s going to be a tough run-in for Tampere’s finest.
KuPS return to action after limping out of Europe at the first attempt – a 3-3 draw with Derry City was littered with errors and poor game management, while they have now lost Urho Nissila (contract expired) as well. The embarrassment of forgetting to register three of their back four for the European tie lingers, although full back Clinton Antwi has signed a new deal this week.
With no other distractions and SJK losing in midweek, this is a golden chance for KuPS to return to the top of the table and get points on the board with games against SJK and HJK to come before the table splits. Goalkeeper Johannes Kreidl also extended his stay in Kuopio this week, all the way to 2028.
Ilves are crying out for a new manager bounce, but their weak attack is unlikely to make much headway against the toughest defence in the league.
Västerås v Helsingborg
Ahead of this season, one of these teams may have been predicted to struggle whilst the other were automatic promotion contenders and that statement has come true. However, after 17 games, it is not the way around that one would have expected.
The home team come into this on the back of a comfortable and impressive 2-0 win away to bottom-of-the-table Skovde in their most recent outing, last weekend. Vasteras, under the management of Kalle Karlsson, have now enjoyed seven successive victories in the Superettan, either side of the mid-season summer break in June.
That run of form means they begin this weekend’s round of fixtures level on points with league leaders Utsiktens and nine points clear of Osters in third place. They have leapt from their ninth-placed finish last season and have done so with an outrageous defensive record whereby they have conceded just nine goals in 17 matches, which is three fewer than the next best defensive record; which is indeed the aforementioned Utsiktens.
Seven-time Swedish champions Helsingborg were relegated from the top-flight last season and would have expected a challenge for immediate promotion back to the Allsvenskan this time around. However, co-management duo Alvaro Santos and Mattias Lindstrom were relieved of their duties four games into the season due to four successive defeats to start the campaign. They were replaced by Stuart Baxter, who had initially been appointed Technical Director prior to the season.
Under Baxter, performances pretty much immediately improved but results took a little bit more time to come. However, after a good run of form during the summer, they come into this on the back of a 3-2 defeat at home to struggling Orgryte IS, meaning they have collected just a point from their last three matches.
As the visitors’ concerns of back-to-back relegations grow, Vasteras are eyeing up a shock automatic promotion and potential second-tier title. A comfortable and potentially heavy home win is expected.
Rennes v Metz
Rennes ended last season with four consecutive wins, which resulted in Bruno Genesio’s side pipping the likes of Lille, Monaco and Lyon to Europa League qualification. The hosts will be looking to continue their league form into the new season as they host newly promoted Metz.
Rennes have strengthened in the summer transfer window, with only a few outgoings. Rennes’ most impressive signings have come in the form of Enzo Le Fee from Lorient and Ludovic Blas from Nantes.
Arguably the club’s biggest accomplishment in the transfer window thus far is the retention of winger Jeremy Doku, despite interest from Premier League clubs including Manchester City. Rennes were the third highest scorers in Ligue 1 last season and their attack remains strong with the likes of Amine Gouiri and Martin Terrier staying at the club. The hosts have had a very impressive pre-season which included a 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest and a 3-1 win over West Ham.
Metz have had a positive pre-season; however, their squad is much weaker than that of Rennes, hardly changing since last season in Ligue 2. Their biggest goal threat remains to be striker Georges Mikautadze, who scored 23 times last season, but it is uncertain how he will fare playing at a higher level.
Rennes’ squad looks in good shape to begin the new season and Metz have not recruited well enough to suggest that they will cause a problem for Genesio’s side. The hosts will be disappointed with anything but a win.
Vålerenga v Haugesund
The Sunday evening kick off in the Eliteserien sees an under-pressure Vålerenga desperate to end their poor home run, to claim another vital three points. They suffered a catastrophe in their most recent home game when they got beaten by fellow rivals Sandefjord 2-3.
That was in front of a big crowd who were celebrating the 110th anniversary of the club and went down as a massive disappointment. ‘Enga had a run of eight consecutive winless games with seven defeats in that run and it must be said they bounced back extremely well last week by beating Strømsgodset 3-1 on the road. They fell behind early due to a defensive mistake so showed great mental fortitude to bounce back and get maximum points.
Vålerenga should in theory to be good enough to beat a Haugesund side who can be quite inconsistent. Jostein Grindhaug’s visitors were the pre-season favourites for the drop but are situated two points above the relegation zone right now in 11th place. They’ve lost both of their last couple of games 2-1 to Sarpsborg and Rosenborg respectively and the big disappointment was that they led 1-0 in each contest.
Defence has been a big problem for Haugesund keeping just one clean sheet in their last 12 games. FKH have some of the worst metrics in the Eliteserien, averaging 1.79 xGA per 90 mins. Offensively they have struggled to create chances and are one of just two teams who average less than 1.00 xG per game. These sorts of metrics are the type which if maintained could send them to the drop zone.
Vålerenga definitely have a problem at home and have lost a massive seven out of eight games at the Intility Arena. Their fans must be very frustrated, but this is an ideal chance to finally get another win here. Last week’s victory should give everyone newly found belief and confidence.
Let’s not forget that on paper this is a decent squad, capable of at least finishing in mid table. They are hard to trust at home and this can’t be a true five star recommendation. But it’s an ideal spot and a soft fixture facing poor opponents so 1.62 is a good enough price.
Strasbourg v Lyon
Strasbourg have been in the headlines this summer following their link-up with Chelsea, but Lyon’s struggles have been high on the agenda in France, with the former giants having endured a shambolic summer that nearly saw them relegated on an administrative basis for their financial difficulties.
As such, Lyon have made next to no headway in the transfer market after finishing a disappointing seventh last season. This has been reflected by some quite startling poor pre-season performances, which have seen them lose four successive games without even scoring. Head coach Laurent Blanc even made a remark about potentially quitting following the loss to Crystal Palace. It was made tongue in cheek but underlines where OL are at present.
The uncertainty hanging over the future of winger Bradley Barcola hinders OL ahead of the weekend and leaves last season’s leading scorer Alexandre Lacazette, who has been nursing an injury, under more pressure after a disappointing spell of pre-season form. Furthermore, starting goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and experienced centre back Dejan Lovren are out.
Strasbourg, meanwhile, are in a far better place than they were for much of last season, with the talent available in their squad scarcely reflected by their 15th place finish in 2022/23. They have lost only a couple of core players from last season while they have been backed heavily in the transfer market.
Racing are a very long price to simply avoid defeat in this game, despite losing 2-1 to OL at Stade de la Meineu in April. There will be a red-hot atmosphere generated by the home crowd for this encounter, and Strasbourg are expected to respond.
Getafe v Barcelona
Getafe, who finished two points above the relegation zone last season, welcome La Liga title holders Barcelona to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Sunday. The Catalan side will be looking to take their first step towards retaining the title with a win on the road.
The summer transfer window has been relatively quiet for Getafe. The club have not made any significant additions; however, they have agreed permanent deals for central defenders Omar Alderete and Gaston Alvarez and winger Portu, following successful loan spells last season. The biggest issue for Getafe this season is the long-term injury of Turkish international Enes Unal, who scored 14 league goals last season. Getafe have scored their fair share of goals in pre-season, but they do lack a direct source without Unal.
Barcelona have had their quietest transfer window in a long while, this time with a greater focus on outgoings than incomings. Oriol Romeu, Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez have joined, whilst Franck Kessie, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Antoine Griezmann have departed. Barcelona have looked very strong in pre-season, with wins against Real Madrid, AC Milan and Spurs. The away side look very strong going forward with Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres all on good form in pre-season.
Getafe look no better than they were last season; whilst Barcelona look at least equally as strong. The away side could not have a much better opportunity to kick off the new season with a win.
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