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Best bets European soccer for the weekend


Europe’s top five soccer leagues are all in action this weekend and several teams over the pond are battling for glory. Here we run through some of the games that offer the best value:


Betis v Barcelona


Barcelona are on a four-game winning streak during which they have scored 13 goals and conceded just once. Last weekend they steamrollered Eibar, running out 4-0 winners despite playing away from home against a mid-table side in decent form. They should do a similar job on Betis, who are below Eibar in the table, and make it five wins in a row. Barcelona -1.75 on the Asian handicap looks a good bet with Bet365 and Bet Victor at -105 as Barca’s attacking triumvirate is in superb form. 


Espanyol v Sevilla


Sevilla have been great at home for years but their away form has let them down. They have sorted that out this year, also doing well on the road, and have been rewarded by climbing to second place in the table, just a point behind leaders Real Madrid. This is a tricky away fixture though: Espanyol are ninth and come into the game fresh from beating Granada 3-1. Sevilla struggled to beat bottom club Osasuna 4-3 in their last game, which was also on the road, and may have to settle for a draw here, which is good value at +250 with the likes of Betfred, Sportingbet and Bet Victor.


Real Madrid v Sociedad


Real are fighting for their lives to stay at the top of the table thanks to the superb form of Sevilla and Barcelona, but they are grinding out the results and at home they have won eight and drawn two. Sociedad are a good side but have lost four times on the road already this season and the Bernebeu is an unforgiving place to visit. The -120 Coral is offering on Real Madrid half-time/full-time looks good here.


Arsenal v Watford


Arsenal were involved in a madcap game against Burnley last weekend but eventually emerged with a 2-1 win despite going down to 10 men, thanks to a last ditch penalty from Alexis Sanchez. Arsenal and the over 2.5 goals looks a good bet at -142 with Bet Stars. Arsenal are the league’s second highest scoring team and have won out of 11 home games, scoring more than two per game in them, while conceding a goal per game. Watford have lost six of 11 away games and have conceded almost two goals per game in them and scored almost two goals per game. A 2-1, 3-1 or 3-0 win for Arsenal could well be on the cards here.


Burnley v Leicester


Burnley have the fourth best home record in the league, while Leicester have the second worst away record in the league, so everything points to a home win here. Leicester, who are missing Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani due to the African Nations Cup, were dreadful in losing 3-0 away at Southampton last time out, while Burnley were very unlucky to lose to second placed Arsenal, so Burnley can get a result here. Burnley are outsiders and look great at +190 with Bet Victor, but to cover yourself you could go Burnley-draw double chance at -181 with Bet365, or Burnley draw no bet at +100 with Bet Victor.


West Ham v Man City


West Ham have been improving of late thanks to the return to the side of Andy Carroll and the confidence this has given his teammates. But Man City really did a number on them here in the FA Cup, running out 5-0 winners, and can get over the disappointment of drawing with Spurs by beating Slaven Bilic’s men. Man City -1 on the Asian handicap looks a good bet at -104 with Bet Victor.


Lazio v Chievo


Lazio will be disappointed to lose 2-0 to Juventus last time out but there is no shame in that. Before that they were on a three-game winning streak and can get back to winning ways here against a Chievo side that has lost five in a row and is sliding down the table. Lazio have won eight of 11 at home; Chievo have lost six of 10 away. Lazio are -181 with Betway to win this.


Inter v Pescara


Inter have won six in a row to climb to fifth in the table, while have lost their last two games and are rock bottom of the league. Pescara have lost four of their last five games and each has seen over 2.5 goals (the only exception was a 1-1 draw against second bottom team Palermo) so Inter and over 2.5 goals looks great at -161 with Paddy Power.


Sampdoria v Roma


Roma are on a fantastic five-game winning streak and are piling the pressure on league leaders Juventus. They are still attacking with pace and incision, but have really sorted out their defence, which previously was a weakness for them. They have won their last four games to nil, and are 3.50 with Paddy Power to do so again. Sampdoria have not won for several weeks and have dropped to 16th in the table, so it is amazing to see Roma so well priced for this game. The -133 on offer at Ladbrokes and Sky Bet looks a great set of odds on a team gunning for the title.


Napoli v Palermo


Napoli have banged in 26 goals in their last eight league games to emerge as Serie A’s top scorers. They have only kept two clean sheets in those eight games, so there have been some real goal fests and they are currently the league’s great entertainers. The fans will be happy too as they have won seven – the only blip being a pulsating 3-3 draw away at Fiorentina – and are vying for the title. Palermo are looking nailed on to be relegated after three straight defeats left them 11 points below safety, and they could take a battering here. Bet Stars and Betway have +100 on Napoli to win and over 3.5 goals.


RB Leipzig v Hoffenheim


Two of the season’s surprise packages go head to head in the Bundesliga this weekend. RB Leipzig are second, just three points behind leaders Bayern Munich, despite being newly promoted (although they have enjoyed heavy investment from Red Bull). Hoffenheim are third, eight points behind Leipzig, but remarkably they still have not lost all season. RB Leipzig have not lost at home (won seven and drawn one) so these teams could well cancel each other out, and the draw looks great at +275 with Stan James and Bet Victor, particularly when you consider Hoffenheim have drawn 59% of their games this season.


Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund


Dortmund have won the last four meetings between these two sides and will look to make it five in a row as they bid to reign in Hoffenheim and then Leipzig. They moved up to fourth with a well-earned win over Werder Bremen last weekend, and should just shade this contest, with Sportingbet and Bet Victor offering -153.


Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Monchengladbach


Last season’s third and fourth placed teams are currently languishing in eighth and 14th respectively. Leverkusen have a bit of momentum though and beat high-flying Hertha Berlin 3-1 last weekend. They should prevail here against a badly out of sorts Monchengladbach team that are winless in three games. Bet365 and William Hill are offering -117.


PSG v Monaco


This huge six-pointer in France’s top flight gives PSG the chance to move level on points with league leaders Monaco. Both teams are in superb form and have each won four in a row, but PSG have looked so impressive this month – winning all four games to nil and scoring 15 goals in the process – and should be able to just edge this one, making the -142 on offer at Sportingbet look good.