Best Weekend Bets
As the European Leagues have moved past the midway point, the quest for glory draws nearer with each match week.
While Serie A has a runaway leader in Napoli and Barcelona is setting the pace in La Liga, other leagues like the EPL and Bundesliga are more closely contested.
Here is a preview of some of the top matches this weekend and our betting tips.
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Leicester vs Arsenal
Arsenal will look to extend their lead to five points at the top of the Premier League table to five points when they head to the King Power Stadium to meet Leicester City in Saturday’s EPL fixture.
Leicester were counterpunched by Manchester United last time out, as they fell to a 3-0 loss at Old Trafford last weekend, and will want to produce a better performance than that one.
Tottenham were the last North London side to visit the King Power stadium and suffered a humbling 4-1 loss which Leicester will hope to repeat when fellow North Londoners Arsenal visit.
Brendan Rodger’s team sit 14th on the table, only four points clear of the relegation places.
Their three-match unbeaten run was halted at Old Trafford, and will look to recapture that upturn of form that has coincided with the return of James Maddison from injury. However, the Foxes are yet to keep a clean sheet in eight matches this season and will have their hands full against an Arsenal team that have been shut out only twice in the Premier League this season.
The Gunners were staring down a run of four matches without a win until two late strikes against Aston Villa completed a 4-2 comeback win at Villa Park last time out.
Mikel Arteta’s team have a two-point lead over Manchester City with a game in hand after City dropped points away at Nottingham Forest. With Arsenal’s match kicking off before the Bournemouth vs Manchester City game, Arteta and his charges will be keen to increase that lead to five points.
Of concern for the Gunners is their inability to shut teams out. They have now gone six straight games without a clean sheet in all tournaments. To their credit, they have scored the highest number of goals away from home, scoring an average of two per game.
Arsenal have looked shaky lately and were fortunate to win by a margin that flattered their performance last time out. However, they showed some grit to pull themselves back into a winning position against Aston Villa, which indicates they still have oodles of self-belief going into the last half of the season.
Leicester were unfortunate not to go ahead against United and were undone by some quickfire goals in the second half. Against Arsenal, they will have to be much more ruthless if they are going to pick up points against the Gunners.
Our betting picks
- Arsenal win or draw @ 1.18
- Over 2.5 @ 1.66
- Both teams to score @ 1.63
- Over 3.5 bookings @ 1.62
Bournemouth vs Manchester City
When Manchester City travels to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday night to face Bournemouth in the Premier League, they will be looking to close the gap on Arsenal after dropping points against Nottingham Forest.
Bournemouth picked up a win at Wolverhampton that lifted them out of the relegation zone for the first time since mid-January.
City defeated the Cherries in the rematch between the two teams back in August, winning 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
When Bournemouth defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 away from home last Saturday, they snapped a nine-game losing streak and earned their first three points since the World Cup break.
Bournemouth have struggled to score goals since the return of action following the World Cup break; Tavernier’s goal last weekend was one of just three league goals in eight games, the fewest of any team in the top division.
However, the Cherries have scored in five of their last eight meetings with Manchester City, giving them some hope of pulling off an upset on Saturday. Despite this, they have yet to defeat the Citizens in 17 league games, the longest winless streak by a team against another in English football league history.
City go into the match against Bournemouth on the back of two consecutive draws. Following the 1-1 draw away against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, they were also held to a 1-1 draw against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Despite the fact that City has only lost one of their past eight games overall, their recent away performances have been below their usual lofty standards. They have lost five of their last six away games, while also conceding in each of their previous five.
Manchester City will feel confident about their chances of getting back on the winning track against Bournemouth on Saturday. They have an unblemished record in the Premier League against the Cherries, winning all 11 of their previous encounters.
This time around, they will have to make sure their dominance in possession results in goals and will get anxious the longer the match stays goalless, expect Manchester City to start with a lot of intensity in the opening minutes of the encounter.
Our betting picks
- Manchester City to win @ 1.30
- Over 2.5 @ 1.55
- Over 8.5 corners @ 1.37
- Over 3.5 bookings @ 1.80
Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid
On Saturday night, Real Madrid will host Atletico Madrid in Spain’s top division for the most recent iteration of the Madrid derby at the Bernabeu.
Atletico Madrid is currently in fourth place, barely four points ahead of Real Betis in the battle for the top four, while Real Madrid is currently in second place, eight points behind division leaders Barcelona.
The 2022 Club World Cup champion Los Blancos enter this game after five straight wins in all competitions, including victories against Al Ahly and Al-Hilal in Morocco earlier this month.
They also defeated Elche and Osasuna in their last two league matches, winning both with six goals and zero conceded, and on Tuesday night, they defeated Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield in the first leg of their round of 16 match.
Real Madrid are currently unbeaten at home in the league in 2022–23, they overcame Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Wanda Metropolitano earlier this season.
The difficulty of Atletico’s assignment in this game is demonstrated by the fact that they haven’t defeated Real Madrid at Bernabeu in La Liga since 2016, although Diego Simeone’s team will be the more rested of the two.
In addition to being eliminated by Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals at the end of January, Atletico was also eliminated from the Champions League after a poor group-stage performance that saw them finish last in their division.
Their only attention will be on securing a top-four spot. They are only two points behind Real Sociedad in third place and four points ahead of Real Betis in fifth place in the rankings.
With seven victories out of 11 games played, they have the fourth-best road record this season, scoring 23 points.
With Barcelona’s incredible league record this season, Real Madrid does not have much leeway in La Liga. The defending champions are presently second in the standings, eight points behind the division leaders, who will be in league action on Sunday night away to Almeria, making the derby against Atletico a must-win match for Los Blancos.
They are in good position to do so, they are yet to taste defeat at home this season and are unlikely to do so against an Atletico Madrid side that have been poor this season, however, the intensity of the derby can bring the best out of Simeone’s team, while Real have to be careful of complacency after their gusty win against Liverpool.
Our betting picks
- Real Madrid to win @ 1.82
- Over 2.5 @ 1.89
- Both teams to score @ 1.76
Empoli vs Napoli
Empoli’s match against Napoli in round 24 at the Stadio Carlo Castellani on Saturday will be an uphill battle for the Tuscan side.
Empoli’s team’s month-long winless streak was extended by their 1-1 draw with Fiorentina last weekend, while Napoli won their seventh straight league game at Sassuolo last Friday before going on to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the Champions League the following week.
Empoli has lost just once since beating Inter Milan last month, but they haven’t won a Serie A match since.
The problem has been too many draws by the team from Florence; no other top-flight team has had more than Empoli’s ten in 2022–23.
They are currently 12th-placed in Serie A with the 29 goals conceded the second-fewest goals conceded by a team in the bottom half of the league. The struggle has been scoring goals, with only 22 goals scored this season.
Only the bottom four teams in the league had scored fewer goals than Paolo Zanetti’s team, who would rely on their strong form and hard-to-break rearguard against Luciano Spalletti’s rampaging Napoli attack.
Napoli have won 20 of their 23 Serie A matches this season, scoring 56 goals while conceding only 15. They have conceded the fewest number of goals and scored the most goals in the league.
Even though Napoli are on the verge of the club’s first-ever Champions League quarterfinal, a domestic title remains the team’s first priority.
Spalleti resisted the temptation to rest players against Sassuolo, naming a strong side that won 2-0 to maintain their 15-point advantage at the top of the table.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen have had an incredible attacking campaign for Napoli, contributing 19 and 21 goals respectively, in Napoli’s quest for a first Scudetto title since 1990.
As Napoli seeks a fifth consecutive away clean sheet in Serie A, those two will be the danger men for the Neapolitans.
Spalleti’s team have too much firepower against an Empoli side that have not won since January’s win against Inter Milan.
Our betting picks
- Napoli to win @ 1.47
- Over 2.5 @ 1.66
- Over 8.5 corners @ 1.45
- Osimhen to Score & Napoli to Win @ 2.10
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea
Tottenham Hotspur will host Chelsea in North London for a capital derby on Sunday afternoon, with the potential to maintain their grasp on fourth position in the Premier League standings.
In their most recent match, Spurs defeated West Ham United 2-0, while the Blues’ bad run of results continued with a 1-0 loss to Southampton at home.
With third-place Manchester United and fifth-place Newcastle United facing off in the EFL Cup final later on Sunday, this weekend’s London derby provides a fantastic opportunity for Spurs to close the gap to the Red Devils to just four points.
However, it is difficult to predict which Spurs side will show up on Sunday. They are on a run of two successive home wins without a goal conceded, and haven’t drawn a league game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since December 2021.
They will hope to make it three successive wins when Chelsea visit, but they have not beaten Chelsea in the Premier League in their last five attempts.
Despite the influx of new talent into the Chelsea squad, Graham Potter’s team have struggled in the league, picking up only one win in their last eight matches.
Exploring their form further back makes even grimmer reading; they have won only three matches in their last 16 league matches and are 11 points off Sunday’s opponents.
The Blues haven’t fared well away from home, with their last away win coming in October against RB Salzburg in the Champions League.
While Tottenham have been inconsistent this season, they have shown flashes of brilliance intermittently and will fancy their chances of getting their first league win against Chelsea in six attempts.
However, Chelsea showed improved attacking vigour against Southampton and would look to produce a better display than that which they managed at Stamford Bridge
Our betting picks
- Tottenham to win or draw @ 1.40
- Over 1.5 goals @ 1.31
- Over 4.5 bookings @ 1.80
- Over 8.5 corners @ 1.30
Marseille vs PSG
Marseille host Paris Saint-Germain at the Orange Velodrome for the Ligue 1 match of the day on Sunday.
The two teams occupy first and second place in Ligue 1 with PSG holding a five point advantage over Marseille.
A Marseille win on Sunday will reduce the gap to just two points making for a tasty Le Classique derby.
Igor Tudor’s team will be confident when they welcome PSG, they have already beaten the Parisiens this season, claiming a 2-1 win in the round of 16 of the French Cup.
Marseille have a league-high 29 points from away matches in 2023 after winning nine of their 11 games in all competitions,
However, the majority of their dropped points have happened at home. In fact, Marseille have only won three of their previous eight Ligue 1 home games and have only managed to keep two clean sheets at the Orange Velodrome all season, so a thrilling matchup against a PSG team whose defensive record also leaves much to be desired is on the menu.
PSG are without a clean sheet in seven consecutive games in all tournaments, with their last two road matches against Marseille and Monaco ending in losses.
The champions have only beaten Montpellier HSC on their travels in the league since the turn of the year.
Neymar’s absence, along with persistent worries about Hakimi’s fitness, means that Les Parisiens may be in for another dismal away day. Had Neymar been available for this match, PSG would have felt secure about leaving unfriendly territory with at least a point.
While Marseille have not been flawless on their own turf, Tudor’s players have a hunger for goals and might produce a performance identical to their Cup de France victory over PSG to tighten the title fight.
Our betting picks
- Marseille to win @ 2.75
- Over 2.5 @ 1.59
- Both teams to score @ 1.50
- Over 4.5 bookings @ 1.71
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