It’s that time of the week again where we bring you 10 of our best bets and value picks from Europe’s major football leagues. Loads of matches to look forward to, lots of money to be made.
Aston Villa v Man United (Saturday)
After facing off in the FA Cup on Monday, Manchester United take on Aston Villa again, this time in the Premier League. The Red Devils weren’t particularly impressive although they did manage to win the tie 1-0. But Steven Gerrard’s team, now boosted by the arrivals of ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho – and possibly Everton’s Lucas Digne, will fancy their chances of revenge.
West Ham v Leeds United (Sunday)
West Ham host Leeds United at the London Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday. David Moyes’ men have already beaten the Peacocks twice since the season got underway, grabbing a 2-1 victory at Elland Road in September, followed by a 2-0 FA Cup success last weekend. The Hammers also did the Premier League double over Marcelo Bielsa’s side last season.
Elche v Villarreal (Sunday)
With much of the focus in Spain on the Copa del Rey this weekend, Villarreal takes on Elche in the only La Liga fixture. The Yellow Submarine are unbeaten in their last five matches in the league. They had won four in a row before earning a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid last time out. Elche, meanwhile, climbed out of the bottom three with a vital 2-1 victory at Espanyol.
Dortmund v Freiburg (Friday)
Borussia Dortmund welcomes Freiburg to Signal Iduna Park in the Bundesliga on Friday night. Marco Rose’s side is strong favourites in this tie, as expected, but they’ll need to be wary of the upset threat posed by Christian Streich’s men. The Breisgau Brazilians have beaten BVB in the last two matches between the two teams, including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture back in August.
Stuttgart v RB Leipzig (Sartuday)
Stuttgart come into the clash needing to turn around their poor spell of three winless games without scoring and last played out to a goalless draw with rock-bottom Greuther Furth, which doesn’t bode well for their chances when the Red Bulls come to town. RB Leipzig will continue their quest up the log standings after losing valuable ground in November, however, with Portuguese spearhead Andre Silva enjoying a purple patch of scoring seven goals in eight games across all competitions, I can’t see the visitors dropping points in this encounter.
Juventus v Udinese (Sartuday)
Juventus scored three goals within the final 20 minutes against Roma last Sunday to complete a magnificent come-from-behind victory and secure maximum points in a 4-3 game humdinger at the Stadio Olimpico. Bianconeri find themselves nine points off log leaders and defending champions Inter Milan and know dropping more points at this stage could prove detrimental to their hopes of wrestling back the Scudetto. Udinese was put to the sword against Atalanta last time out, suffering a 6-2 defeat on home soil, while the previous seven meetings between these sides have seen a minimum of three goals scored in each match.
Atalanta v Inter Milan (Sunday)
Atalanta and Inter Milan promise to entertain football lovers in the pick of the Italian Serie A action. The champions travel to Bergamo, eight points ahead of fourth-placed Atalanta, and can’t afford to drop points which could see Nerazzurri surrender top spot to crosstown rivals AC Milan. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men were undone by AC Milan (3-2) and Roma (4-1) in their two biggest league games on home soil this season, while these sides played out to a 2-2 draw last September at the San Siro.
Troyes v Lyon (Sunday)
Lyon finds themselves in unfamiliar territory – the bottom half of the French Ligue 1 log. Following their shock of 2-1 defeat at home to Reims at the beginning of December, the Kids have failed to win a league game with four draws on the bounce against the likes of Bordeaux, Lille, Metz, but more importantly against Paris Saint-Germain in their last outing. Coach Peter Bosz is under severe pressure after effectively losing 11 points in this spell that would’ve seen his team sitting pretty in second place with five consecutive wins. Newly-promoted Troyes will hope to put in a better performance after succumbing to a 3-1 loss in the east of France.
Monaco v Clermont (Sunday)
Monaco set their sights on new boys Clermont as the Monegasques seek to return to winning ways following a disappointing goalless draw with Nantes. Coach Philippe Clement’s men are well and truly in for a battle during the second half of the season with a host of teams closely knitted together on the log standings, all desperately hoping to secure qualification to European football for next season. Monaco ran out 3-1 winners when these teams met earlier this season and they’ll be hoping for a mirror of that result.
Belenenses v FC Porto (Sunday)
In Portugal’s Primeira Liga, it’s top versus bottom as table-toppers FC Porto visit bottom side Belenenses. Sergio Conceicao’s side head into the tie as overwhelming favourites riding a 12-match winning streak in the league, while the Blues have lost five of their last seven and have failed to score a goal in four meetings with the Dragons, conceding 11 goals.