There’s a full schedule of soccer across all the big European leagues this weekend and MTS bring you the pick of the betting action in Spain, Germany, England, and Italy
Who do Bettors Favor?
Bookmakers are favoring Bayern heavily in the pre-match markets and fans checking out their favorite online sportsbooks will find the German champions priced as short as -415, with Wolfsburg rated as big outsiders. Home advantage means Leicester have the edge in the betting markets over Tottenham, but not by a huge margin, while Atalanta are -130 favorites against Roma and Real Sociedad are rated +110 to beat Villarreal in a game that is priced up as though it will be close.
|Bayern v Wolfsburg|
Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg, 2021-12-17
With a six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga and a perfect record in the Champions League Group stage, the reigning German champions are in good shape ahead of their final league game before the annual winter break, which will run until January 7.
Their Bundesliga performances have not been flawless, with two surprise defeats, against Frankfurt and Augsburg, but they still have one of the best records across the top European leagues and not surprisingly they are short odds to win the title again, for the tenth consecutive time.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side could hardly have wished for a more comfortable way to sign off till the New Year than a home fixture against a woefully out of form Wolfsburg.
Four wins from their opening four fixtures took Wolfsburg top by mid-September, but there then followed a disastrous run in which they picked up one point from five. That streak signaled the sudden end of the tenure of coach Mark van Bommel, and his replacement by Florian Kohfeldt, but their fortunes have not improved and having crashed out of the Champions League, morale is low at the Volkswagen Arena.
A victory in Munich would be a great way to go into the break, but even the most optimistic Wolfsburg fan would have a hard time making the case for their team here, particularly given their disastrous form on the road, which has seen them win just one of their last eight.
Leicester v Tottenham, 2021-12-16
Losing two games from a schedule would usually be good news for a Premier League team at this time of year, but in Tottenham’s case, the extra time off is a double-edged sword.
An outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of Tottenham’s Europa League game against Rennes and the postponement of their weekend clash against Brighton, and at this point, it is impossible to predict how many of their starting line-up will be available for Thursday’s game.
Antonio Conte’s side had been improving steadily prior to their enforced lay-off but trying to put together an effective starting line-up in their current circumstances would tax the ingenuity of any manager and Conte faces some difficult decisions as he attempts to prepare for their trip to the King Power Stadium.
Had it not been for the impact of the virus, Tottenham might be favorites for this game, given the inconsistency that Leicester have displayed this season, but to be fair to Brendan Rodger’s team, they are fairly solid at home. They warmed up for this one with a morale-boosting 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle at the weekend and they look a good bet to pick up another win here.
Real Sociedad v Villarreal, 2021-12-18
After topping La Liga in the fall, Real Sociedad’s performances have fallen away dramatically and they appear to be in freefall after three consecutive defeats.
The latest of those setbacks was a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Real Betis, a result that also extended their scoreless streak to four games, and Sociedad’s goalscoring woes mean that they are now the lowest scoring side in the top eight.
Confidence won’t be high, then, when they entertain Villarreal this weekend, but Unai Emery’s side are having difficulties of their own. They’ve only won two of their last nine and are scoring at a dismal rate of one goal per game. Goal chances are likely to be few and far between when these two sides meet and the draw looks like the best play here.
Atalanta v Roma, 2021-12-18
Atalanta extended their winning streak to six at the weekend, and they are now unbeaten in Serie A since October 3, a run of form that has taken them to third. Few teams in Europe are in better form right now and they will be confident of extending that run against Jose Mourinho’s Roma on Saturday.
The visitors have shown glimpses of promise, but they have struggled for consistency throughout the season and much of that old Mourinho magic appears to have dissipated.
Roma broke a two-game losing streak with a win over Spezia at the weekend, but this is several levels tougher, and given their recent struggles, no one can be confident they will be able to follow up here. Atalanta are a short price but they could be shorter against these opponents.