Another great weekend of European soccer is before us, as the top leagues gear up for another matchweek. I always try to select the most intriguing matches from the weekend offering and preview them for you, including some savvy betting advice.
For this weekend, I have selected 5 matches, 1 from the German Bundesliga, 1 from the Italian Serie A and 1 from the Spanish La Liga and 2 from the French Ligue 1. All of the matches should provide plenty of entertainment and betting opportunities.
Feel free to read on for the actual picks and main storylines from each of the matches.
Montpellier vs Bordeaux
Sunday, October 21st, 15:00 CET
Montpellier will host Bordeaux at the Stade de la Mosson this Sunday, in an intriguing matchup of teams fighting for European qualification spots in the French Ligue 1.
Montpellier are currently in the 4th place in the French Ligue 1 and riding an 8-match undefeated streak. Since losing their season opener at home 1-2 to Dijon, Montpellier started an 8-match run which saw them win 4 and draw 4 matches. It is important to note that during that time, Montpellier didn’t face any of the traditional powerhouses in the French League 1 such as Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon or Marseille.
Bordeaux are riding their own undefeated streak of 5 matches as well. After starting their season in French Ligue 1 with 3 losses in 4 opening matches, Bordeaux have regrouped and gone undefeated in their next 5 matches with 3 wins and 2 draws. They are currently in the 7th place in the French Ligue 1.
Montpellier will be without the services of midfielder Keegan Dolly who has a broken leg, forward Florent Mollent due to a red card suspension and defender Ambroise Oyongo due to a yellow card limit suspension. Bordeaux are healthy outside of long-term knee injury to midfielder Alexandre Mendy.
Montpellier vs Bordeaux Odds
Montpellier vs Bordeaux Pick
Since 2004, Montpellier and Bordeaux have met on 21 separate occasions with Bordeaux winning 10, Montpellier winning 7 and 4 ending up in a draw. When it comes to playing at Stade de la Mosson, Bordeaux have been even more dominant winning 3 out of the last 4 matches played there.
I expect this one to be a tough defensive-minded matchup, where a single goal could determine the outcome of the match. Montpellier have been particularly stingy at home, allowing only a single goal in their last 4 matches. Bordeaux have picked up their play lately and I am not comfortable in picking either of the teams to win. I believe the sure bet is Under 2.5 Goals.
Nice vs Marseille
Sunday, October 21st, 15:00 CET
Nice will host Marseille at the Allianz Riviera this Sunday, in a great French Ligue 1 matchup. Nice has struggled a bit this season but now they have a chance for a statement game at home against Marseille, who are having trouble protecting their net.
Nice is currently in the 12th place in French Ligue 1 with 11 points from their opening 9 matches. They have been struggling offensively this season, scoring only 7 goals in those 9 matches. The highlight of their season, so far, is 0-1 away win at Lyon.
Marseille were primed as the main title challengers to Paris Saint-Germain along with Lyon. Besides being in the 3rd place in French Ligue 1, they have been wildly inconsistent this season. The defense has been particularly worrying, allowing 16 goals in opening 9 matches, which is the 2nd worst defense in French Ligue 1. They are also already 11 points behind league-leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Nice will be missing their central midfielder Jean-Victor Makengo in this one, due to a muscle injury. On the other hand, Marseille have been hit by an injury bug and will miss Kamara, Njie, and Rolando due to injuries and Luiz and Ocampos due to yellow card suspensions.
Nice vs Marseille Odds
Nice vs Marseille Pick
Nice and Marseille have met 31 times since 2004 and Marseille have dominated the matchup with 17 wins to Nice’s 9 and 5 matches have ended up in a draw. When it comes to recent history at the Allianz Riviera, Nice have won 3 out of the last 5 matches against Marseille, but Marseille did win at Allianz Riviera last season with a 2-4 result.
The matchup has been usually littered with goals and recent history follows the same trend, with 4 out of the last 5 matches between the two sides ending up with more than 2.5 goals scored.
Marseille are the favorites in this matchup, mostly due to Nice’s offensive struggles this season. If Marseille can protect their net fairly competently in this one, they are sure to find a way to score on Nice, who have allowed 13 goals in their opening 9 matches. This is why Marseille is my pick in this one.
Hertha BSC vs Freiburg
Sunday, October 21st, 15:30 CET
Hertha BSC will welcome Freiburg at the Olympiastadion in Berlin this Sunday in this intriguing Matchweek 8 matchup in the German Bundesliga. On the wings of the league’s second-best defense, Hertha BSC have made an early splash in the German Bundesliga and find themselves in the 4th place, 3 points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Freiburg have been hot and cold since the beginning of the German Bundesliga season and are currently in the 11th place with 8 points from the opening 7 matches. The definitive highlights of their season are wins against Schalke 04 and Wolfsburg in Matchweeks 4 and 5.
The injury report for this matchup reads like a Russian novel from the 19th century, with both sides having 8 players questionable for the Sunday’s match. What is definitely know is that Hertha BSC will be without the defender Niklas Stark due to a foot injury, midfielder Marko Grujic due to an ankle injury and defender Jordan Torunarigha who is out with a long-term Achilles injury. The only confirmed absence for Freiburg is forward Florian Niederlechner, who is out with an ankle injury.
Hertha BSC vs Freiburg Odds
Hertha BSC vs Freiburg Pick
Hertha BSC and Freiburg have met on 15 occasions since 2004, with Hertha BSC winning 5, Freiburg 4 and 4 matches ending up in a draw, in this incredibly even matchup. In the last decade, at Olympiastadion in Berlin, Hertha have won only once against Freiburg, losing 3 times and drawing 3 times in the process.
When it comes to goals there is no real trend in the matchup, with 5 out of the last 10 matches ending up with more than 2.5 goals and 5 ending up with less. The only trend I could identify is that Hertha BSC has failed to score at home versus Freiburg in 3 out of the last 4 matches they have played.
It has to be noted that Hertha BSC have been perfect at home this season, winning all 3 matches they have played in convincing fashion, defeating Bayern Munich 2-0, Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 and Nurnberg 1-0. Freiburg have struggled on the road this season, losing 2 out of 3 matches they have played.
Hertha BSC are currently in fantastic form and have a strong defense that has propelled them to success this season. They are the clear favorites in this one and the value is just too good to pass up on.
Inter Milan vs AC Milan
Sunday, October 21st, 20:30 CET
The biggest derby in the Italian soccer is on the schedule this Sunday, as Inter Milan host AC Milan in a rivalry match that divides the city in two. The passion of the Nerazzurri and Rossoneri fans is legendary and while the clubs are far from their glory days, Derby della Madonnina is a match that a true soccer fan shouldn’t miss.
Inter Milan entered this season with high ambitions, hoping to challenge Juventus for the title and are currently in the 3rd place in the Italian Serie A with 16 points from the opening 8 matches. They have also won 4 straight matches coming into the derby. On the other hand, AC Milan have struggled and find themselves in the 10th place in the Italian Serie A with a match to play. They are also on a 6-match undefeated streak, but 3 of those matches ended up in a draw.
Inter Milan should be fully healthy for this one, with the only question marks in Marcelo Brozovic and Sime Vrsaljko facing a fitness test before the match but should be ready to go. AC Milan, on the other hand, will be missing Caldara and Strinic who are out due to injuries.
Inter Milan vs AC Milan Odds
Inter Milan vs AC Milan Pick
Inter Milan and AC Milan have met in 221 official matches to date and Inter Milan hold a slight edge with 78 wins, AC Milan won 76 matches and 67 matches have ended in a draw. Such a competitive rivalry has been at the center of the sport in Italy. In recent history, 4 out of the last 5 matches have ended up in a draw, with Inter Milan winning the fifth match.
In terms of goals, Derby della Madonnina has been tricky to predict. 5 out of the last 17 matches finished with less than 2.5 goals scored in them, but 4 out of the last 6 matches have been high scoring affairs of more than 2.5 goals in them. Last 5 Inter Milan matches saw both teams score, while 4 out of the last 6 matches of AC Milan tell the same story.
It is always difficult to pick a winner in this one and a draw has become a common occurrence in recent history, so I would advise sticking with goals in this one. Both teams struggle to protect their net and I believe that the safest bet is on both teams to score.
Real Sociedad vs Girona
Monday, October 22nd, 21:00 CET
Finally, Real Sociedad will host Girona at Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastian on Monday. Real Sociedad are fresh off their win in the Basque Derby against Athletic Bilbao last matchweek and are looking to improve on their 9th place in the Spanish La Liga. Girona have struggled as well, sitting in the 15th place in the Spanish La Liga, just above the relegation zone and failing to win in their last 4 matches.
Both sides are entering this match with healthy rosters and well-rested players, due to a 2-week hiatus of the Spanish La Liga for the UEFA Nations League matches.
Real Sociedad vs Girona Odds
Real Sociedad vs Girona Pick
Real Sociedad and Girona have met on only 6 previous occasions with Real Sociedad winning 2 of those, Girona 1 and 3 of them ending up in a draw. Only 2 of those matches were played in the Spanish La Liga and that was last season, when Real Sociedad demolished Girona 5-0 at home and a 1-1 draw in Girona.
When it comes to goals, only 2 of the last 6 matches between the two sides have ended up with more than 2.5 goals scored in them. It is a similar story with both teams scoring in a match, with 2 out of the 6 matches having seen both teams score.
Despite being the favorites, it is important to note that Real Sociedad are yet to win a game at home this season in the Spanish La Liga, with 2 defeats and a draw to their record and Girona have been undefeated in away matches this season, with 2 draws and a win. Still, I believe it is finally the time for Real Sociedad to win one at home and they are my pick in this one.