Andy Brassell on European Football: Inter take charge, Sevilla challenge and Wolves optimism

Antonio Conte of Inter
Inter have excelled under new coach Antonio Conte

In the midst of a packed programme of domestic and continental competition, Andy Brassell is impressed by Antonio Conte's work and Sevilla's weekend win but feels Besiktas are on shaky ground...

"Antonio Conte’s influence is already clear. Inter are efficient, miserly - with just two goals conceded to date - and versatile."

Are Inter title favourites?

Beating Sampdoria shouldn't be taken as definitive evidence of anything so far in this Serie A season. Following Marco Giampaolo's exit, the Genoese club have lost five out of six and find themselves bottom of the pile.

Inter's win there on Saturday is hardly an isolated incident, however. It was their sixth win from six following their own coaching change, and Antonio Conte's influence is already clear. They are efficient, miserly (with just two goals conceded to date) and versatile, as they showed in smoothly negotiating a raft of team changes between Wednesday's win over Lazio and Saturday's victory at Marassi.

Among the seven newbies brought into the XI was Alexis Sánchez, making his first start for the Nerazzurri. It was eventful, as he opened his goalscoring account for the club before being sent off in the second half. With teammate Romelu Lukaku and Roma pair Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling, he is among a clutch of former Manchester United players reviving their careers in Serie A.

Alexis is also symptomatic of the Conte effect, responding brilliantly to firm, fair direction. With Juventus' own performances under Maurizio Sarri so far underwhelming - even if the results haven't been terrible - this weekend's Derby d'Italia at San Siro promises to be an absolutely fascinating affair.

Back Inter at 2.747/4 to beat Juventus on Sunday

Can Sevilla make it tough for Barcelona?

It had been a pretty rough week for Sevilla - firstly slipping to defeat at home to Real Madrid, having caused Zinedine Zidane's team so many problems at Nervión in recent seasons, and then giving up a two-goal lead to fall to defeat at Eibar in the midweek round of games. Julen Lopetegui had been widely praised for his efforts in making a solid collective out a group mainly comprised of new players, but he still has work to do in order to convince the world that he's a good club coach.

More performances like Sunday night's thrilling win over in-form Real Sociedad will certainly help. Sevilla were a goal down inside five minutes but rallied in thrilling fashion, and they showed that they have fight as well as depth and quality in their squad. Lucas Ocampos, signed from Marseille this summer and the scorer of a solo effort for the second against La Real, personifies the alliance of personality nad craft.

Getting points at Camp Nou on Sunday will be a tall order - Barcelona have won all three home games in La Liga so far and scored at an average of four goals per match - but they have the talent and daring to at least make it competitive.

Barcelona are 1.68/13 to beat Sevilla

Are Wolves coming to Besiktas at the right time?

There was a sigh of relief at Molineux on Saturday as Wolves finally netted a Premier League win, albeit against the only side that had started the day below them in the table, Watford. Even if their displays had not been fairly compensated points-wise - give or take the implosion against Chelsea - they will feel a lot better after taking the three points.

Their first Europa League group stage game, at home to Braga, had been a case in point. Nuno's side controlled most of the game and were caught out on the counter. That makes the need to take something from Thursday's visit to Besiktas all the more pressing.

If ever there was a moment to seize the opportunity, this is it. There is no doubting Vodafone Park's fierce atmosphere but Besiktas are struggling at present. After Sunday's 4-1 loss at Trabzonspor they have won just once in the SüperLig so far, and new coach Abudullah Avci is struggling to repeat the success he had with Basaksehir. They have conceded a league-high 12 times and let in four at Slovan Bratislava in their Euro opener. Maybe, in the circumstances, Nuno will elect to play both Raúl Jiménez and Patrick Cutrone.

Lay Besiktas at 2.915/8

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