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Hour glass kick off 14:30 26 Aug

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Southampton vs QPR

Calendar 26th August
Football icon kick off 15:00
Football icon Southampton to win
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Losing the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Romeo Lavia would hurt any side, and Southampton fans must have been dreading the prospect of playing without such a solid midfield pivot.

But, Russel Martin looks to already have instilled his principles on the South Coast. The saints have picked up 7 points from 9, including 2 wins on the road, and look a serious threat in the final third.

They’ve bagged 8 goals in their 3 outings thus far, and an average xG of 2.42 is evidence enough to suggest that they’re creating chances for fun.

The big difference here? Their forwards are finally firing. The step down has done wonders for both Che Adams and Adam Armstrong, who have 3 apiece already this season.

What helps is that they’re completely controlling games, with their average of 70.3% possession putting them streaks ahead of the other teams in the Championship.

You can’t score if you don’t have the ball, and that’s something that QPR have very much learnt so far this season.

Little seems to have changed for Gareth Ainsworth’s side. A team that narrowly avoided relegation and scored just 44 goals last campaign, have netted in just one of their first 3 outings this season.

They were battered from pillar to post on opening weekend by Watford, and were perhaps lucky to get the win that they did against Cardiff.

They’ve averaged just 35% of the ball in their games, and have watched their opponents create countless opportunities. Their average xGA sits at 2.11, the worst of any team in the Championship.

Afford these chances to Southampton, and there’s no doubt that they’ll take full advantage, and I can’t see anything but a Saints win on Saturday.

Bochum vs Borussia Dortmund

Calendar 26th August
Football icon kick off 14:30
Football icon Dortmund to win either half
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Only time will tell just how much of an impact selling Jude Bellingham will have on the club, but, in the meantime they have kicked things off with a win at the start of the new season.

Granted, it was only 1-0 at home to Koln, but the German giants created a plethora of chances, amassing an xG of 2.06 over the 90 minutes.

They’re a side certainly capable of far more, and in Haller, Reus, Malen, Brandt, Adeyemi, and Moukoko, they have lethal forward thinking options that scored a combined 46 goals in the Bundesliga last season.

If they’re looking to find that goalscoring touch, then they may well be playing against the best possible opponents.

Bochum had a disastrous start to their campaign last weekend, labouring to a 5-0 demolition job at the hands of Stuttgart, a side who narrowly avoided relegation last season.

It wasn’t exactly a fluke either, they were well and truly battered. Stuttgart amassed an xG of 3.13, and managed 9 shots on target from a total of 21.

Those are quite staggering numbers, and given the quality that Dortmund have at their disposal, they should be able to do the same.

We only need them to win one half of football here, and they should do so comfortably, even if their forwards misfire.

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