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Coping Without Football - Week 3

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The long wait is finally over! On Friday night we finally welcome back domestic football, with the Football League re-commencing. This summer has been a magnificent one with England performing so well at one of the best World Cup's we've ever seen, but the weeks that've followed have dragged to say the least! The wait for the EFL & Premier League to return has been an extremely long one and we can't wait to get back into our weekly Saturday traditions!

The start of the season may be edging ever closer but there's still a lot of work to do for clubs up and down the country. Many of them are playing out their final pre-season friendlies over the course of the weekend and there's some crackers on paper which should help fill the void slightly! Some of the slightly more obscure leagues around Europe also kick-off over the next few days meaning that there's plenty of betting opportunities which are included in our Accumulators.

Football gaming

Worthwhile Club Friendlies

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Villarreal - Molineux - 3pm

Perhaps the most eye catching of all the friendlies this weekend, Nuno Espirito Santo's big spending Wolves take on Villarreal at Molineux. The West Midlanders have been extremely busy in the transfer market bringing in a host of stars for their upcoming Premier League campaign following their title success in the Championship last term. The likes of Diogo Jota, Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho have all made permanent moves to Wolverhampton and times are incredibly exciting for their supporters at the moment.

They're looking in incredibly good shape and they feature in our 18/19 Premier League 40/1 Request-A-Bet to finish in the top half! But before they're involved in the Premier League they face a strong Villarreal side, in a game that'll give us a real indication of where they're at right now. Javier Calleja's men finished 5th in La Liga last term and have stars such as Santi Cazorla, Denis Cheryshev and Nicola Sansome amongst their ranks so it should make for a belter of a game!


Adults - £11

Under 21s & Over 65 - £9

Wolves were crowned Championship winners at the end of last season. The Championship returns this weekend, so get yourself invested in it!

The Premier League is the most watched division in the world without question, but arguably the most competitive one comes in the form of the Championship. The English second tier is about as entertaining as it comes with any team capable of beating each other, which makes for plenty of shocks and drama! You have to be a very good side to win promotion from it and that's exactly what Wolves did last season, lifting the trophy with an immensely impressive 99 points!

This year we see Stoke, West Brom and Swansea drop down into the second tier and it should make for exciting viewing. If you're a stranger to the Championship then it's definitely worth taking an interest in it, especially with broadcasters pumping so much money into it meaning that there's plenty of games live on TV! And if that isn't enough, on the opening game of the season next Friday we see Chelsea legend Frank Lampard make his managerial debut for Derby, so there's plenty of reasons to get involved!

SEE MORE: 17/18 Championship Predictions & Betting Tips, Championship Club Record Signings

Everton v Valencia - Goodison Park at 3:00pm

One of the biggest spenders this summer has been Marco Silva's Everton, with them shelling out a mega £50m on Watford man Richarlison. It's a move that's raised a few eyebrows around the Premier League but he'll be determined to prove his worth starting here, on what will be his first appearance at Goodison Park since joining the club. The young Brazilian joins a Toffees side that has big aspirations for the upcoming season, looking to build on their 8th placed back in May but their pre-season schedule has been far from ideal, losing three of their last four games.

But now back on home soil for the last time before the PL kicks-off, they'll mean business and Silva is expected to field the majority of his big guns. This weekend they take on Marcelinho's Valencia who finished 4th in La Liga last season which has secured them Champions League football. Their squad features former Premier League players in Francis Coquelin, Simeone Zaza, Rodrigo and Gabriel so there's a few notable faces to look out for!


Adults - £15

Under 18s - £5

Both sides have strengthened over the summer. Why not prove yourself as an amateur football manager by starting a career mode of your own on a football video game?

When in the stands we're always questioning what the manager is doing on the sidelines. 'How is he starting?', 'Why hasn't he made a sub?', 'Get the ball forward' are just some of the cries from angered supporters who clearly see a different game to that of the main man. And whilst we'd all love to manage our clubs the reality is that not many of us will get the opportunity, so the next best thing is doing it on a video game.

FIFA or Football Manager give you the opportunity to do that and despite it not being real life, things can get pretty heated on it when competing against your mates! FIFA is without a doubt one of the most annoying and irritating games when you're not winning (which for us isn't the case cause we always win) but we all still keep playing it desperate to come out on top! So whilst the competitive football fixtures have dried up it's definitely worth trying your hand at management through your console or computer to see how you compare to the guys on the touchline - just don't get too hooked!

QUIZ: Everton's Club Record Transfers

Football player in stadium

Bournemouth v Marseille - Vitality Stadium at 3:00pm

Another Premier League side in action are Eddie Howe's Bournemouth, who round off their preparations for the new season with a tasty looking clash against Marseille on the south coast. The Cherries are the smallest club in the Premier League but that hasn't stopped them achieving great success over the last few years, with them comfortably staying up in each of their previous three campaigns which included a superb 9th placed finish in 2016/17. The top half is the aim again for the Cherries and Howe has strengthened his squad in the transfer window with the additions of David Brooks and Diego Rico from Sheffield United and Leganes respectively. The pair look like good fits for the club and they could each make their home debuts in this one against Marseille. In that they could potentially face the likes of Dimitri Payet, Luis Gustabvo and Florian Thauvin so it should make for a decent game between two very good footballing sides - get yourself down if you can!


Adults - £15

Under 21s and Over 65s - £10

Watford v Sampdoria - Vicarage Road at 3:00pm

Our final weekend highlight on the friendly front comes from Vicarage Road, where Javi Gracia's men take on Sampdoria at Vicarage Road. The Hornets have been tipped by many to struggle this season with Gracia struggling to really get consistency out his side at the back end of the campaign, but their movements in the summer window will certainly give their supporters reasons to be optimistic. The arrivals of Ken Sema, Ben Foster, Marc Navarro and Gerrard Deulofeu have added quality to important areas of the squad & they're all expected to be in action against their Serie A opponents.


Adults - £12

Under 18s - £3

Watford received the most red cards of any Premier League side last season. If you’re looking for a cleaner activity, you could always finally get around to washing your car!

You wouldn't wish having a car that was as dirty as Watford on anyone, so why not use the break from competitive football to ensure that you're not one of the unfortunate ones! It's a job that no one wants to do after spending the week working, but if your side is out of action on the weekend then you need to find something to keep yourself occupied! Whether or not you'll enjoy it is a different matter, but one thing for sure is that it might keep the Mrs off your back for a bit!

No football, wash the car