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: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. RB Leipzig
Second place in the Bundesliga is up for grabs this week as the current German League runners-up, RB Leipzig, visit fourth-place Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday. Only two points separate the teams, with Borussia Dortmund sandwiched in-between. Frankfurt are installed as +175 underdogs despite being the home side; they've won three of their previous four league matches to remain within striking distance of second place. Leipzig (+150) are back in form with consecutive league victories, and will be looking for a season sweep after prevailing 2-1 in their previous head-to-head encounter Sept. 23.
Atletico Madrid have started to make the Spanish League race a little more interesting - and they'll look to close the cap on La Liga-leading Barcelona even further as they host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Atletico (-250) have made up four points in the standings over the past two weeks, and are now within seven points of powerhouse Barca; that surge has moved the runners-up to +3,300 to win the league title. Athletic Bilbao (+800) are winless in their previous five league matches to slip to 13th in the La Liga table; they've also dropped four of the last five meetings with Atletico Madrid.
Juventus are on an incredible run in Serie A action, but would love to get off to a better start this week as they visit Torino. Juve are -143 favorites on Bet365 as they seek their ninth consecutive league victory; they remain one point back of table-leading Napoli, who are expected to roll past visiting Spal. Juventus shouldn't be in any danger themselves - they've outscored Torino 6-0 in their past two games - but are looking for a faster start, as they've been tied after the first half in each of their past three league matches. Torino (+375) have played well of late, earning points in seven consecutive league matches (three wins, four draws).
* West Bromwich Albion has shaken things up, firing chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman earlier this week. The moves were made in response to West Brom winning just three of their first 27 matches; they're at -275 to be relegated.
* The president of the Argentina Football Association has asked Barcelona to give Lionel Messi more rest heading into this summer's World Cup in Russia. Barca has a comfortable lead atop the table and is -10,000 to win the Spanish League championship.
* Bayern Munich have rewarded goalkeeper Sven Ulreich for his sensational play this season, signing him to a three-year contract extension. Ulreich is unbeaten in league play after taking over for injured starter Manuel Neuer, who fractured his foot in September.
* Roma have cut ties with Bruno Peres after the Brazilian defender crashed his car and subsequently failed a breathalyser test. Roma sit fourth in the table and are -120 favorites on Bet365 for this weekend's tilt with host Udinese (+320).
* Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne is back in training, and could make his return next weekend when English Premier League action resumes. Clyne has missed nearly six months with a significant back injury that required surgery.
* Good news for Barcelona, as French forward Ousmane Dembele made his return last weekend from a thigh injury suffered in mid-January. The 20-year-old didn't suffer any setbacks for Barca, who are -223 road favorites this weekend vs. Eibar (+550).
* Borussia Dortmund welcomed back Marco Reus last weekend after the veteran winger missed more than eight months with a torn knee ligament. Reus's return will be a big help for a Dortmund squad that is installed at -300 on Bet365 to finish in the top four.
* Juventus will likely have to do without striker Paolo Dybala for this weekend's encounter with Torino. Dybala hasn't played since Jan. 6 as he recovers from a hamstring injury which forced him to miss Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Tottenham.
* Valencia have gone above the 2.5-goal total in seven of their last nine league matches, most recently a 3-1 victory over Levane last weekend. Valencia and Malaga are +105 on Bet365 to go over 2.5 goals this weekend.
* Mainz have had major problems keeping the ball out of their net, having conceded at least two goals in each of their previous 10 Bundesliga matches. Hertha Berlin is listed at +110 to exceed 1.5 goals vs. visiting Mainz on Friday.
* Chievo have struggled mightily in the last half of games, tied at half and losing at full-time in five of their previous seven matches. Bet365 has the hosts installed at +550 to keep that trend going this weekend against Cagliari.