With the UEFA Nations League stealing center stage this weekend, we are offered a string of eye-catching meetings from across Europe throughout Saturday. On that note, for those of you looking to stick on a weekend acca, we have found a handful of helpful tips that are worth keeping an eye out for.
Saturday 5th September
BST 14:00 North Macedonia vs Armenia
Starting with Saturday’s hosts, while North Macedonia might have failed to find an automatic route out of Group G during their delayed EURO 2021 qualifying campaign, they did impress many with what is a surprise showing. Last seen back in November when signing off their qualification adventure with a deserved 1-0 victory against Israel on home soil, the Red Lions managed to secure a third-place finish and still have the chance to end their major tournament exile this year. Looking to keep the mood in their camp at a real high before they face off against Kosovo in a one-off showdown next month, Head Coach Igor Angelovski was filled with praise after his side bounced back for their back-to-back defeats against Group G heavyweights Austria and Poland. Unbeaten in any of their other qualifying matchups against nations who failed to secure a top-two finish, North Macedonia also hold what is an eye-catching record on home soil. Landing their own back-to-back home victories against Slovenia and Israel last year, Saturday’s hosts have won eight of their last 10 contests at the Toše Proeski Arena. Landing a 2-0 win against Armenia on that winning run, the Reds should be confident of opening their Nations League campaign with three points this weekend. On the flip side, last seen back in November putting in what was an embarrassing showing in their woeful 9-1 drumming away in Italy, Joaquín Caparrós’ side have lost each of their last three contests on the bounce, including a 3-0 drumming at the hands of Finland.
Tip: North Macedonia win and over 1.5 goals @ 1/1
15:00 Sunderland vs Hull City
Making a return to competitive action in EFL Cup duties this weekend, Sunderland will be looking to build off of their successful pre-season run and there is no doubt that they have their sights set on finding a route out of League One this time around. Eventually missing out on a play-off spot after seeing the 2019/2020 campaign brought to an early halt, Phil Parkinson’s men were last seen picking up a 1-0 win against fourth-tier debutants Harrogate Town in a behind closed doors friendly last week and open the new campaign with three pre-season wins on the bounce. While the Black Cats might have shown their inconsistent issues back in March, the one-time Bolton boss did see his side make a string of much-welcomed improvements on home soil. Including back-to-back 3-0 romps against Bristol Rovers and Rochdale earlier in the year, Sunderland are unbeaten in each of their last 10 competitive appearances at the Stadium of Light and it could be worth keeping an eye out for Will Grigg who has found the net in back-to-back pre-season contests. While Saturday’s hosts might be hoping to build off of their summer success, Hull sacrificed their Championship status in woeful fashion back in July and are a club in the midst of a real crisis. Last seen getting hit with a 3-0 drumming against Cardiff on the final round of fixtures, the Tigers lost each of their final six second-tier contests and managed to land just a single victory across any competition since January 4th. With Sunderland landing a 1-0 win when they two sides last met back in 2018 and unbeaten in their last five meetings against this weekend’s guests, we’re backing a home victory on Saturday afternoon.
Tip: Sunderland win @ 19/20
19:45 Portugal vs Croatia
Starting with Saturday’s hosts, lifting the inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy after overcoming Holland last year, defending champions Portugal will be looking to lay down an early marker this weekend. While they might not have been able to secure top spot in Group B during their qualifying campaign for next year’s delayed European Championships, the Reds managed to secure an automatic spot behind surprise package Ukraine. Last seen back in November when signing off their campaign with a deserved and routine 2-0 victory against Luxembourg, Fernando Santos’ men have won seven of their last eight matchups across all formats and have one attacking superstar who will be leading their charge in Porto. Enjoying another remarkable season and playing a vital part in Juventus’ charge to retaining their Serie A crown, Cristiano Ronaldo recorded a staggering 48 goals for club and country last year and finds himself in the midst of another international purple patch. Finding the net in Portugal’s 2-0 win away in Luxembourg last time out, the 35-year-old has found the net in his last six straight international appearances on the bounce and should be confident of extending that tally against a Croatia side who have shown some issues over the past 18 months. Despite managing to secure a route to EURO 2021 last year, the Blazers dropped points against the likes of Azerbaijan and Wales. Unable to fully build off of their silver medal finish out in Russia two years ago, Saturday’s guests have won just one of their last eight contests on the road and should be in for a tough Nations League opener on foreign soil.
Tip: Portugal win & Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime @ 13/8
Our Saturday Accumulator:
North Macedonia vs Armenia – North Macedonia win and over 1.5 goals @ 1/1
Sunderland vs Hull City – Sunderland win @ 19/20
Portugal vs Croatia – Portugal win & Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime @ 13/8
Place a £10 bet on our accumulator with 888sport and pocket £102.37 if all predictions are correct.
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