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Soccer best value picks for the weekend


All of Europe’s leading sides are in action this weekend as the race to win the Premiership, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga resumes. Of the four the English Premiership looks to have the most interesting betting options, but there are a few in the other leagues that offer value. Here we run through some of the most intriguing games set to take place:


Chelsea v Man Utd


Man Utd’s last game was a Jose Mourinho masterpiece as his side strangled the life out of their game with high-flying Liverpool and emerged with a point in a drab 0-0. Mourinho will be even more determined not to lose to Chelsea, the club that sacked him last season, and will set his side up to frustrate Antonio Conte’s men. He knows the club and the players inside out and will have his side well drilled and ready. William Hill is offering 3.50 on the draw and that looks a great bet.


Bournemouth v Tottenham


Tottenham were expected to beat West Brom last time out but slumped to a draw, while Bournemouth slaughtered Hull 6-1 to leave them unbeaten in three. Tottenham have also had to contend with a gruelling midweek fixture against Bayer Leverkusen, where they emerged with another draw but one that was far more creditable. For those reasons Tottenham are well priced to win this, 2.00 with William Hill, Coral, Stan James, Bet Stars. That looks to good to ignore when you consider that Tottenham beat Bournemouth 3-0 and 5-1 last season. They are a fantastic side and will get back to winning ways soon, and this really should be where they do it. Eddie Howe’s men beat Everton 1-0 recently, so that might set alarm bells ringing, but if you assess the two teams Tottenham have more quality in every department and will win this if Vincent Janssen finds his shooting boots.


Leicester v Crystal Palace


Champions Leicester are an astonishing 2.10 to win this game. That is a crazy price for a team that won the Premiership last season playing at home against a team that just about dodged relegation. But it reflects Leicester’s awful start to the 2016/17 campaign, where they have taken just eight points from eight games and lie in 13th, three points and four places below Palace, who have racked up some strong wins of late. Leicester were always going to be a scalp for teams this season and they have struggled, with the loss of N’Golo Kante hitting them hard and they have possibly missed the diligent and industrious Shinji Okazaki up front. But Islam Slimani, who has consigned Okazaki to the bench, is a strong forward and he has a great relationship with star player and countryman Riyad Mahrez. Leicester’s Champions League form has flown in the face of their domestic results, as they have won all three games and are virtually assured of qualification. Perhaps they can concentrate on domestic matters now and show the sort of ruthlessness that catapulted them to a famous title win last season. The odds of 2.10 are too good to ignore, just like the Tottenham game. Leicester’s home form has been good – it is their form on the road that has let them down – and they need three points here.


Arsenal -1 to beat Middlesbrough 1.75 Bet Stars


The Gunners finished second behind Leicester last season and are desperate to go one better this time out. They are in sensational form and have not lost since the opening day of the season. They are keeping a lot of clean sheets and attacking with pace, dynamism and creativity after Olivier Giroud was replaced up front by Alexis Sanchez and the creative talents of Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were allowed to flourish in a fluent attack, while Theo Walcott has been a revelation. They are fresh from a 6-0 Champions League victory over Ludogorets and should comfortably beat a Middlesbrough side who will face a fierce battle to avoid relegation. Arsenal -1 is 1.75 on the handicap betting with Bet Stars and that looks a great price as Arsenal should win this by a couple of clear goals given the teams’ respective form.


Hertha Berlin v Koln


The season’s surprise packages are currently fourth and second respectively in the Bundesliga after both of these unfancied clubs put together a string of great results. Unbeaten Koln in particular have been excellent and recently held league leaders and champions Bayern Munich to a draw. Koln have drawn three of their seven matches, winning the other four, while Hertha have drawn two, and a draw looks a likely outcome here between two equally marched sides. You can get 3.25 with Bet Victor and Paddy Power on this.


Juventus beat AC Milan away 1.85 Marathon Bet


Juventus beat AC Milan home and away last season and are on a six game winning run. The odds on them extending that further away at AC Milan are great – 1.85 with Marathon Bet – and that is due to a strong upturn in form for Milan. But Juventus are the better side and have enough about them to win this. They beat Milan home and away last season in Serie A and then beat them 1-0 in the Copa Italia final. That was a typical Juventus performance, based on strong defending, and they can pull off a repeat here.


Udinese v Pescara


This clash between 17th placed Udinese and 16th placed Pescara should be tight, but Udinese played very well last time out when losing 2-1 to Juventus and if they carry on like that they should beat a limited Pescara side. William Hill and Sportingbet are offering 1.91 on the Udinese win.


Barcelona -1 to beat Valenica 2.10


Barcelona just beat Deportivo 4-0 and Man City 4-0 after the world’s best player, Ballon d’Or holder Lionel Messi, returned from injury to drive an upturn in their results. He has inspired those around them and now that the fabled attacking triumvirate of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez is firing on all cylinders once more Barcelona are a frightening prospect. Valencia took four points off Barca last season and Barcelona will be desperate for revenge as they seek to close the gap on league leaders Atletico. You can get 2.10 on Barcelona -1 on the handicaps and that looks a good option given the way Barcelona have been attacking of late.