With a full slate of European fixtures set to take place this weekend, I’m back to take a look at some of the biggest leagues on the continent. Saint-Etienne lead my 10/1 four-fold ahead of this weekend; check out my thoughts on the action below.
SAINT-ETIENNE vs Montpellier
Saint-Etienne are yet to taste defeat in five Ligue 1 home games this season, winning three whilst drawing two – including a slender 1-0 victory over Nice back in August.
Sitting third in France’s top flight, Saint-Etienne look well placed to secure another win as they look to keep pace with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, Montpellier have won just once in four away fixtures – a 1-0 win at Troyes last month. Currently 11th in the division, the visitors have been in decent form; avoiding defeat in their last four Ligue 1 games.
In nine matches, Montpellier have conceded just six league goals and that ranks as the joint-best defensive unit in the division. However, this could be a step too far given Saint-Etienne’s dominance on home soil this season.
TIP: Saint-Etienne to win @ 57/50
SCHALKE 04 vs Mainz 05
Schalke were well beaten by Bayern Munich in September but victory over RB Leipzig and a draw against Bayer Leverkusen has swayed me to side with Domenico Tedesco’s men this weekend.
At 10/13, they represent excellent value for money considering Mainz’s issues on the road – this could turn out to be one of the best Bundesliga bets this weekend.
Mainz have been very Jekyll and Hyde so far this season. At home, they have been excellent but away from the OPEL Arena, they have tended to struggle.
Rouven Schroder’s side are struggling to inspire confidence right now and it would take a brave man to back the visitors in this fixture. It won’t be totally one-sided but Schalke should be comfortable.
TIP: Schalke to win @ 10/13
REAL BETIS vs Alaves
When Real Betis play, one thing is for sure: goals are an absolute certainty. Over 2.5 goals has landed in six of their last seven games in all competitions and another high scoring affair looks likely here.
Furthermore, Betis are playing some superb stuff and have won three of their last four home league games – 5/6 is an excellent price.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Deportivo Alaves. With just three goals scored so far this campaign, the Spanish minnows have scored the fewest goals in La Liga – and two of those came in the victory over Levante at the end of September.
The onus will be on Betis to take control of this one. Alaves are struggling and an early goal for the hosts may force them to come out and attack.
TIP: Over 2.5 goals @ 5/6
Benevento vs FIORENTINA
The hosts have struggled for form all year and punters may be amazed to see Fiorentina at a very appealing price of 3/5 given Benevento’s Serie A woes. With just two goals scored and 19 conceded, the newly promoted outfit are in serious trouble. I can only see this going one way and it isn’t in favour of the home side unfortunately.
Meanwhile, Fiorentina have failed to inspire confidence themselves but their position isn’t quite as precarious. Victory over Udinese last time out may inspire Stefano Pioli’s side to push on and build momentum ahead of the festive period. Anything less than a one-sided Fiorentina win would be a surprise here.
TIP: Fiorentina to win @ 3/5
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*