European football weekend preview – Premier League and more1st Feb 2018 |
Koln v Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
The European football weekend begins in Germany, where Borussia Dortmund visit Koln on Friday night. BVB would have hoped for an instant improvement upon replacing manager Peter Bosz with Peter Stoger in December, but the eight-time German champions continue to stutter, failing to win any of their last three games after back-to-back wins against Mainz and Hoffenheim. Koln are bottom of the table, though, so it would be smart to include an away win at 9/10 in any weekend accumulators.
Burnley v Manchester City (Premier League)
Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City travel to Burnley at lunchtime on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s side extended their lead at the summit of the standings to 15 points with a routine victory over West Brom last time out, and it is hard to see Burnley denying them another win at Turf Moor. The Clarets can be difficult to beat, but a 1-1 draw at Newcastle in midweek means they are now without a triumph in their last eight encounters. I like the look of an away win to nil at 9/10 – City are one of the strongest teams in European football, and Sean Dyche’s charges will find it tough to halt them.
Arsenal v Everton (Premier League)
Arsenal may have completed the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Wednesday, but they were beaten by struggling Swansea City in their last Premier League encounter. Arsene Wenger’s side’s performance at the Liberty Stadium was disappointing but not at all surprising, with the Gunners’ defensive vulnerabilities the cause of their downfall once again. Arsenal have been much stronger at the Emirates Stadium this term, though, which is why I’m backing them to return to winning ways this weekend. A home victory in a game featuring goals for both sides fetches odds of 7/4.
Liverpool v Tottenham (Premier League)
Liverpool and Tottenham both boosted their top-four chances in midweek, beating Huddersfield Town and Manchester United respectively. Spurs remain outside the Champions League places despite that fantastic defeat of the Red Devils, however, and could fall five points behind fifth spot if they are overcome at Anfield. This is a difficult match to call in terms of a result, so perhaps a flutter on Roberto Firmino to score anytime – the Brazil international has found the back of the net seven times in his last 10 Premier League outings – will prove tempting.
Atletico Madrid v Valencia (La Liga)
Valencia were thrashed 4-1 by Real Madrid last time out, but the scoreline did not tell the full story of a game in which Los Che more than held their own. Marcelino and his players must get that reverse out of their system as soon as possible, with another stern test at Atletico Madrid awaiting them this weekend. Diego Simeone’s side are second at present, and while they have little chance of catching Barcelona in top spot, Atleti should finish ahead of their city rivals this term. Few teams in European football are as adept at grinding out wins than Simeone’s men, which is why odds of 21/20 on there being fewer than 2.5 goals are appealing.
Monaco v Lyon (Ligue 1)
Ligue 1 champions Monaco played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Marseille last weekend, as goals from Keita Balde and Fabinho ensured the club from the principality avoided defeat at the Stade Velodrome. Lyon, meanwhile, were beaten 3-1 by Bordeaux, and will be desperate to bounce back on Sunday night against a direct rival for second spot. I think these two sides will cancel one another out at the Stade Louis II – consider taking advantage of a price of 51/20 on the draw.