The Footy Files: Weekly European soccer betting odds and analysis

Oct 11, 2017 |
The Footy Files: Weekly European soccer betting odds and analysis
Manchester United shares top spot atop the league table with rival Man City, with just one goal separating the teams in total differential.
Manchester United shares top spot atop the league table with rival Man City, with just one goal separating the teams in total differential.

The busy and exciting world of European soccer can sometimes be difficult to navigate for bettors. Monty Andrews takes a look at some of the most important news stories, odds, key injuries, and betting trends to help with your footy wagers.

Fixture of the Week: Liverpool v. Manchester United

It's a battle of English Premier League powers this weekend as Liverpool host Manchester United looking to make up some of the seven-point gap between the clubs. Liverpool and Manchester United have identical +162 odds to win on Bet365; the host side is coming off a 1-1 draw with Newcastle in its last league fixture, but has earned points in 28 of its previous 30 EPL matches. Man United shares top spot atop the league table with rival Man City, with just one goal separating the teams in total differential. They've won three straight league games, most recently a 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace.

Can Barca Keep Filling the Net?

Barcelona has predictably been the class of La Liga, particularly on the offensive end - but the unbeaten powerhouse will be in tough to continue its net-filling ways as it visits Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Barca (+145) are only a slight favorite on Bet365 to win their eighth consecutive match to kick off the season, despite owning an incredible plus-21 goal differential over that stretch. Host Atletico (+175) have been one of the premier defensive clubs in the early going, allowing just four goals through their first seven matches. They've lost just three times in their last 38 games at home.

Dynamic Dortmund Facing Stiff Test

Borussia Dortmund puts their four-game Bundesliga winning streak on the line this weekend against a game Leipzig roster. Dortmund (-188) comes in as a comfortable favorite after opening the season with six victories, one draw and a sparkling plus-19 goal differential. But Leipzig (+475) is not expected to be a pushover in this one, coming in with momentum following consecutive victories over Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Cologne. That said, Dortmund has earned points in 37 consecutive Bundesliga matches - and is -600 to do the same Saturday.

Serie A Showdown

Two of the top teams in Serie A square off Saturday afternoon as table-leading Napoli face host Roma. The visitors (+140) are off to a blistering start, having won seven consecutive matches to open the season while outscoring opponents 25-5 along the way. Roma haven't quite gotten untracked offensively but have been elite in their own end so far, surrendering just four goals through six matches. It's a critical match for fifth-place Roma, who sit six points behind Napoli in the crowded Serie A table. They would also like to reverse a trend that has seen the visiting team win the last two encounters.

Player News

* Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is expected to be in the lineup this weekend as he recovers from an ankle injury. Lukaku missed Belgium's World Cup game against Bosnia and Herzegovina last week, but returned to face Cyprus on Tuesday.

* Barcelona is keeping Andres Iniesta around for a very, very long time after signing the veteran midfielder to the team's first-ever "lifetime" contract. The 33-year-old is 128 games shy of passing Xavi for the most appearances in a Barcelona uniform.

* Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was the man to watch in World Cup qualifying, establishing a UEFA record for the format with 16 goals for Poland. Bayern is a whopping -1,400 favorite on Bet365 this weekend against Freiburg (+2,000).

* AC Milan star Hakan Calhanoglu will miss this week's match against Inter Milan after picking up a red card versus Roma. AC Milan is installed at a +230 road underdog on Bet365 against rival Inter (+110).

Injury Updates

* Liverpool will be without one of its key players against Manchester United, after winger Sadio Mane suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Senagal. The 25-year-old is expected to miss the next six weeks.

* Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale returned to training this week after avoiding a serious calf injury. There's an outside chance Bale could return to action for Real Madrid (-400) this weekend against host Getafe (+900)

* Bayern netminder Manuel Neuer has had a setback in his recovery from a major foot injury, and is now expected to be on the sidelines until March. Neuer was initially hoping to return in January from the foot injury he suffered last September.

* Torino striker Andrea Belotti will miss the next 3-4 weeks after damaging ligaments in his right knee. It's a crushing blow to Torino, who are slight -106 favorites this weekend versus host Crotone (+290).

Betting Trends

* Poor Crystal Palace are still looking for their first goal of the EPL season, having been on the wrong end of seven consecutive clean sheets to open the campaign. Visiting Chelsea are listed at -110 on Bet365 to make it eight straight shutouts.

* Real Sociedad have seen plenty of action this season, having gone over the 2.5-goal total in nine straight matches dating back to the end of the 2016-17 campaign. They're -118 to extend that run this weekend against Alaves.

* Ties are fun! And Wolfsburg has cornered the market, having drawn in each of their last three league matches. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you'll get +300 odds on a fourth straight tie against host Bayer Leverkusen.

* Napoli have been unstoppable on offense, scoring three or more goals in 11 consecutive Serie A matches. You'll get +275 odds on Bet365 if Napoli keeps the streak alive against Roma.

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