Matchweek 37 Preview

Before we get into this weekends preview let’s go over Barcelona v Liverpool in the first leg of their Semifinal.

On paper you’d think Liverpool were able to get a result as they had more of the ball, more shots, and even more passes completed. But the scoreline says a completely different story as Barcelona ended up throttling Liverpool 3-0. They failed to achieve two of my three key points; stopping Messi and keeping a clean sheet/scoring an away goal. They did well to contain Messi for a lot of the match but there were times that the entire Liverpool defense went into panic mode whenever he had space, which allowed the lanes for Suarez and Coutinho to open up. On his first goal he was unmarked in the box and put away one of the easier chances of his career. That’s what happens when you take your eye off of him for 5 seconds in the box.

It also didn’t help that Messi scored one of the greatest free kicks we’ve ever seen. It was so good that the Liverpool players couldn’t even complain and it even made Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp smile on the touchline. 30 yards out, at 61 miles per hour and perfectly in the top corner. I really recommend watching the goal HERE. Liverpool now have a massive mountain to climb especially since they don’t have an away goal in their back pocket.

This Season’s Record: 201-159-46 (+14.9 Units)
Barcelona v. Liverpool: 1-0 (+1.0 Units)

Saturday, May 4th
English Premier League
7:30 am EST

Tottenham @ Bournemouth – This is an interesting one because how Spurs line up will say a lot about their commitment to their top 4 finish and their Champions League Semifinal on Wednesday. Son was rested on Tuesday against Ajax because of his suspension but they’ll be without Vertonghen, Kane and several other rotation players I’m sayursay both because of rest and injuries. They have enough of a cushion in the league where if they drop points, a top four finish is still likely. I think they’ll end up resting a few players because of their upcoming trip to Amsterdam. Their form worries me as they’ve only had one win in their last five matches and away from home they’ve gone 1-8 in their last 9. Bournemouth haven’t been fantastic either but they’re coming off of a 3-3 draw at Southampton where they showed that they can grind out a result especially by scoring goals. This is a great opportunity for Bournemouth to steal some points and I’m going to take them as home underdogs. Bournemouth (+0.5, -110).

10:00 am EST

Fulham @ Wolves – Fulham have been in fantastic form ever since they got relegated, winning three straight. But those matches weren’t far-fetched wins for the club and they’ll now have to face their first real test in Wolves. They’ve gone 0-4 in their last four matches against top-8 opponents with a -9 goal differential which makes for an average loss margin of 2.25. Wolves meanwhile have gone their last three matches unbeaten, with a win away at Watford and a win at home to Arsenal. They’re playing well enough to halt Fulham’s form in it’s tracks and they’re still fighting for that 7th place spot. A win here and a Leicester loss at City could guarantee that spot. I’ll take them on the spread at home. Wolves (-1. -110).

German Bundesliga
9:30 am EST

Nurnberg @ Wolfsburg – Nurnberg’s draw against Bayern last weekend was nothing short of spectacular, but it’s a one-off performance In my opinion. Adding to that, Schalke’s win at Dortmund puts Nurnberg’s hopes of survival at almost 0 as they now have an 11 point gap with 5 matches left. They’ll face a Wolfsburg team who have performed up to their standard over the last few matches, covering or pushing in most of them. They’re also still within an earshot of qualifying for European competition next season as they sit only 2 points behind the last Europa League spot and 4 points behind the last Champions League spot. Three points would be crucial in maintaining that quest for Europe and I trust them to get those points at home here. Wolfsburg (-1, -105).

Sunday, May 5th
English Premier League
9:00 am EST

Watford @ Chelsea – Chelsea will be coming off of their 1-1 draw at Frankfurt in the Europa League Semifinals while Watford will have a full week’s rest. I always like fading teams late in the season when they’re coming off of major travel, especially against clubs with a full week’s rest. Also, Chelsea’s recent results have been somewhat uninspiring as their only win in their last five matches was at home to Slavia Prague in the Quarterfinals of the Europa League. Yes Watford are coming off of a home loss last weekend, but they’ve been pretty good against top-6 clubs away from home this season. They’ve only failed to cover once against those teams in their last four tries and rank 8th in the league in away goal differential. I think they can cause Chelsea some serious trouble, especially if Sarri decides to rest some starters before the second leg against Frankfurt. I’ll take them on a spread that I think is 0.5 points too many. Watford (+1.5, -125).

Spanish La Liga
6:00 am EST

Girona @ Getafe – This is one of the more intriguing matches of the weekend as Getafe are still clinging on the the last Champions League spot and Girona are still at risk of relegation. Due to those factors, Getafe only sit as -0.5 favorites, but I think Vegas is severely underestimating how good this squad is. In their last few matches, Getafe have drawn Real Madrid, beaten Sevilla handily and had a home win against Bilbao. That’s three major results against three top-7 clubs while Girona are 1-6 in their last 7 matches. Yes, Girona’s sole win came against Sevilla last weekend (which ironically helped Getafe tremendously in the race for 4th), but overall Girona aren’t a team that Getafe should be too scared of. I love Getafe at home here to continue their quest for their first Champions League birth in 8 years and only their second ever. Getafe (-0.5, -125).

German Bundesliga
7:30 am EST

Augsburg @ Schalke – Schalke are coming off of their biggest win of the season as they dismantled rivals Dortmund and possibly ruined their chances at a Bundesliga title. Shockingly though, they still sit in the last safe spot in the league, but with a six point cushion. Meanwhile Augsburg sit only one point above them. If either of these teams can get three points, it’ll likely guarantee survival for that club. Although Augsburg have had a few good results as of late, they haven’t won in any of their last ten away matches, with their last win coming back in October. I trust Schalke, who are surely buzzing after their win last weekend, to take care of business at home and guarantee survival. Schalke (-0.5, -125).

Italian Serie A
9:00 am EST

Atalanta @ Lazio – This is probably the best match in Italy this weekend, outside of maybe the Turin derby between Torino and Juve. Atalanta come into this match in great form as they have won three straight matches and have gone unbeaten in their last eleven matches. Lazio meanwhile have had a few good wins including against Milan an Inter, but they’ve also dropped points to Chievo Verona, Sassuolo and SPAL. They’re also 2-3-1 in their last six and sit four points behind the final Champions League spot held by Atalanta. Atalanta will also have to play Juve in a few weeks and would feel much more comfortable going into that match with a three point cushion in their 4th place spot. I feel much more comfortable picking an Atalanta team who have had steady and consistent results against a Lazio team who are somewhat out of sorts right now. I’m even going to go as far as taking their moneyline at 2/1. Atalanta (+200).

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo

Matchweek 35 Preview

Wednesday Review:

  • It’s hard to describe how Man City v Spurs went down on Wednesday. There were 4 goals in the first 11 minutes, 5 goals in the first 21 minutes, 2 massive VAR calls and a 93rd minute goal from Sterling to put City through, reversed due to VAR. The drama was unlike anything I’ve seen, the tension was palpable, the Etihad was rocking like I’ve never seen it and the stakes couldn’t have been higher. In the end, Spurs prevailed via the away goals tiebreaker and will now be facing Ajax in the Semifinals. I highly, highly recommend watching the highlights HERE.
  • Liverpool beat Porto 4-1 to advance 6-1 on aggregate. Any chances of Porto advancing were wiped away almost immediately once Mane scored in the 26th minute, giving Liverpool a 3-0 lead on aggregate with the away goal. Liverpool will now play Barcelona in the other Semifinal.

This Season’s Record: 188-152-44 (+5.8 Units)
Tuesday Champions League: 1-1 (-0.1 Units)

This week we only have six picks for your fix (rhymed, I know). There wasn’t a ton of value out there especially with a lot of the big teams coming off of exhausting Champions League and Europa League matches midweek. But let’s see what we can cook up…

Saturday, April 20th
English Premier League
7:30 am EST

Tottenham @ Manchester City (TV: NBCSN) – No, your eyes do not deceive you. These two somehow, someway square off again this weekend in the Premier League with massive implications for both teams AGAIN. City are in the thick of the title race with Liverpool while Spurs are still fighting for a top 4 spot. You honestly can’t write this stuff. I think this match will comes down to three factors; injuries, home field advantage and revenge.

Man City are now left to fight for the Premier League title after losing their Champions League hopes on Wednesday and I can guarantee you that they are pissed. They now get another shot at this Spurs team who will likely be missing a few of their most important players including Sissoko and Kane. A few others rotation players will also likely miss the match including Dier, Winks, Aurier and Lamela. A hobbled Spurs team facing this angered City team at the Etihad again is not good news. The Etihad reached it’s full potential this week and you know City and their fans will be looking for revenge. The combination of this hurting/resting Spurs squad, City getting another crack at them for revenge and the home field advantage has me picking City to run away with it. Manchester City (-1.5, -125).

Italian Serie A
9:00 am EST

Torino @ Genoa – Shockingly, Torino are still in a fight for a European spot in Serie A this year. They’ll face a Genoa team who have won once in eight matches, going 1-3-4 in that span. Torino meanwhile have lost once in their last twelve and have only lost one match this season away from home. They’ve been a really tough team to beat this season and are usually a sure thing to cover or push on the pickem line, especially when they’re fighting for a birth in a European competition. I’ll take the lads from Torino on the against a 15th place Genoa. Torino (Pick, -105).

English Premier League
10:00 am EST

Watford @ Huddersfield – This one seems pretty easy to me here. Huddersfield are long gone and Watford are still fighting for a top 10 finish. Watford are a team who don’t look good away from home on paper, losing their last three, but those matches came against United, City and Liverpool. In fact the last time they’ve lost outright, home or away, to a team outside the top 6 was in December when they lost to Leicester. They have a brilliant record against teams outside of the top 6 this season, going 12-7-3, and they are 4-1-0 against teams currently inside the relegation zone. Even without striker Troy Deeney, I think they’ll find their production via Andre Gray and Deolofeu if he starts. I’ll take them here against a really really bad Huddersfield team. Watford (-0.5, -115).

12:30 pm EST

Southampton @ Newcastle (TV: NBC) – These two teams aren’t technically safe, unless one leaves this match with three points. Newcastle sit 7 points ahead of Cardiff while Southampton sit 5 points above that last relegation place. Naturally this match is a pickem since they’re basically even on paper, but Newcastle have some juice since they’re home and have been in decent home form. Although they lost the last time they were home, Newcastle won their previous five in the league at St. James Park and they haven’t lost to a team outside the top 6 there since December. Newcastle currently ranks higher in Points Per Match (PPM), Goal Differential Rank and in relative Home/Away rank (per Lowe Down Stats). I think this one has the potential to be really close but I trust Newcastle to either draw or win here at home. Newastle United (Pick, -130).

German Bundesliga
12:30 pm EST

RB Leipzig @ Borussia Mochengladbach (TV: FS1) – This is a massive game in the Bundesliga as Gladbach are fighting for a European spot and Leipzig are trying to hold on to third place. They are separated by only seven points, but that could be ten or four by the end of this match. Leipzig are firing on all cylinders right now as they’ve won five straight matches and seven straight away from home. Gladbach meanwhile are 2-3-4 in their last nine and haven’t won outright at home in their last five attempts.

Leipzig currently rank 2nd in H/A (home/away) rating while Gladbach rank 6th and they rank 2nd in GD (goal differential) rank while Gladbach rank 8th. Those stats back up the lack of home field advantage Gladbach have, how capable Leipzig are away from home and how Leipzig tend to beat teams comfortably. RB Leipzig (Pick, -135).

Sunday, April 21st
8:30 am EST

Manchester United @ Everton (TV: NBCSN) – United are coming off of a somewhat embarrassing loss at Barcelona this past week and will be facing an Everton team who have been brilliant at home recently. The Blues are undefeated in their last three home matches which came against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool while United’s away form has been abysmal. The Red Devils have lost their last four away matches in all competitions and their form is slowly slipping out of control. In their last seven matches, United are 2-5 and will be coming off of a loss and short rest to face a healthy and rested Everton team at Goodison Park. I’m going to go above the pickem line and take Everton on the moneyline, expecting them to come out and win the game against a sputtering United team. Everton (+205).

I hope everyone enjoys their Easter/Passover weekend! Don’t forget to subscribe via email to get notified when I post my blogs and to follow the Instagram page.

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo
Instagram: @canikickitblog

Matchweek 34 Preview

Wednesday Recap:

  • Ajax and Juventus drew 1-1 in a match that either team could have won. Both teams passed up scoring chances all match, but a Ronaldo header right before halftime broke the deadlock after Ajax failed to track his run into the box. Ajax then responded with a goal right out of the gate in the second half, catching Juventus sleeping. It’s all up for grabs in the second leg.
  • Barcelona went into Manchester and dominated the first half, scoring a goal only 12 minutes in. The goal was built by a 48-pass build up where every player on the field touched the ball for Barcelona. They kept United at bay for the rest of the match and will be taking their one-goal lead with the away goal advantage back home for the second leg.

This Season’s Record: 184-154-42 (+8.4 Units)
4/10 UCL Quarterfinals: 3-0 (+4.3) Units)

A great Champions League Quarterfinals for me as I went 4-1 and completely nailed Wednesday predicting both games to a T (is that how you say it? Idk, we’ll carry on). Let’s see what we can get from this weekend.

Saturday, April 13th
German Bundesliga
9:30 am EST

Borussia Mochengladbach @ Hannover – Hannover are currently sitting at the basement of the Bundesliga and are on their way to being relegated. They’ll face a Gladbach team who are fighting for a chance to play in the Champions League next year, as they sit four points out of that final spot. Although they’ve hit a slight blip in form, I just don’t see them dropping points to a Hannover team who have gained points from a match once since mid January (going 1-10 in that span). I think Gladbach’s quality will show and they could honestly run away with this one. Gladbach (-1, -105).

English Premier League
10:00 am EST

Bournemouth @ Brighton – Both teams are in bad form going into this, as Brighton have had three straight losses in all competitions and Bournemouth with two straight. But two of Brighton’s losses came against Chelsea and City while Bournemouth’s came against Leicester and Burnley. Two things stand out to me here with the first being the disparity of Bournemouth’s away results compared to their home results. They stand in 10th in points at home but away from home they’re 16th with a record of 4-0-12, they have the most goals conceded with 37 and have the third worst goal differential.

The other thing that stands out to me is the fact that Brighton still have some work to do relegation-wise. They’re sitting tied for the last safe spot with a game in hand of Southampton and Cardiff, the two teams next to them. A win here would really help their race away from the relegation zone, especially with Cardiff having back-to-back away matches and then they are home to Liverpool. I like Brighton to go out and get a win, just a week shy of holding Man City to a 1-0 win in the FA Cup Semifinal, to all but assure their safety. Brighton (-0.5, +125).

Cardiff @ Burnley (TV: NBCSN) – Much like Brighton, Cardiff could really use a result here to help keep their race for survival alive. The only difference is that they’re going away from home to face a Burnley team who have won two straight against Wolves and Bournemouth. Adding to that, Cardiff have had real trouble this season allowing a large % of shots on target, ranking 5th most in defensive shots on target/shots (Def SoT/Sh) with 36%. Meanwhile Burnley rank 1st in scoring % at 53.7%, a stat which calculates the amount of goals per shot on target. Cardiff allowing a lot of shots this season versus a team who scores the most off of their shots on target does not bode well for a Cardiff team who have trouble scoring themselves, letting in the third most goals in the league this year.Burnley (-0.5, -110).

Everton @ Fulham – This match doesn’t look like a good one for Fulham. They’re already relegated, have lost 13 of their last 14 matches and are facing an Everton team who have won three straight against Chelsea, West Ham and Arsenal. According to Lowe Down Stats, they rank last in their Three Factors Ranking, an offensive and defensive combination of shots/96 mins, shots on target/shots and scoring %. Adding even more to that, they rank in last place in goal differential average. The only reason they hung around that long was because of a few good results after a managerial change earlier in the year. I think Everton will breeze through this one with the chance to get back to their usual spot of 7th place. Everton (-0.5, -125).

Italian Serie A
12:00 pm EST

Udinese @ Roma (TV: ESPNEWS) – This line almost feels like a trap with Roma as a one-goal favorite at home. I know Roma haven’t been themselves this season and only have two wins from their last seven, but they’re facing an Udinese team who have been even more below their average this season. Yes, Udinese are fighting for their lives towards the bottom of the table and are undefeated in their last three, but they’ve been beyond poor away from home this season with one win from 14 matches. Against the top clubs in Italy, Udinese have gone 1-1-7 with a -12 goal differential, and away from home have gone 0-1-3 with a -6 goal differential. Roma will also be fighting for something though, being only one points out of the last Champions League spot.

Adding to this, Roma’s home goal-scoring record is first in the league with 2.33 goals per game at the Stadio Olimpico while Udinese’s away goal differential is 16th in the league. I love Roma to win here at home against an Udinese side who haven’t won at the Stadio Olimpico since 2012 and have had a goal differential of -10 over the five games prior to that win. Roma (-1, -130).

2:30 pm EST

Lazio @ AC Milan – Although Milan are three spots above Lazio in the table, recent results should have their fans feeling very nervous about finishing above them this season. Milan haven’t won in their last four matches, losing to Inter, Sampdoria and Juventus while drawing to Udinese at home. Now only three points separate Milan in 4th and Torino in 8th and that last Champions League will be completely up for grabs in this last month and a half. The biggest thing for me in this match is Lazio’s ability to limit opponents away from home, where they have allowed 15 goals and scored 15 goals. I don’t think Milan offer a lot up top to stifle Lazio’s defense, especially as they rank 7th in goals at home this season. I like Lazio on the pickem line with their ability to limit what Milan can do offensively. Lazio (Pick, -105).

Sunday, April 14th
English Premier League
11:30 am EST

Chelsea @ Liverpool (TV: NBCSN) – The last time these two faced off with one fighting for a title, Gerrard slipped and gave Demba Ba a goal which also gave Man City a title in 2014. That obviously won’t happen again, but this is Liverpool’s opportunity to either keep the pressure on City or fall behind and likely go another year without a title. Can they erase those demons and avenge that fateful day? Unluckily for them, Chelsea haven’t lost to Liverpool in all competitions since September of 2016 (five unbeaten). In fact, Liverpool have only won 2 of the last 16 matches against Chelsea. The Blues are starting to create more chances than they were earlier in the season and now rank second in the league in shots per 96 minutes on offense and third on defense. They also have this guy named Eden Hazard who, let’s just say, is pretty fu**ing unbelievable and can change any game in the blink of an eye.

They’ll be facing a Liverpool team who have been great this season at home with the second best home goal differential average. But lately they have started to see some slippage. Yes, they’ve won their last four at home in all comps but they haven’t been that impressive of wins, only covering the spread once in their last four. Adding to that, in their last four matches against the Top 6 and Everton, they are 1-2-1 with a goal differential of 0. I don’t feel comfortable taking Liverpool as one-goal favorites here and I’m instead taking a risk-averse approach with Chelsea, believing they’ll make it more of a closer game. I don’t see Liverpool running away with it. Chelsea (+1, -120).

That’s all for this week’s picks. Don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of the page and to follow on Twitter and Instagram!!

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo
Instagram: @canikickitblog

Matchweek 33 Preview

The international break ends and we get smacked with non-stop soccer for a whole month as there won’t be a single day without a top-five league match until May 6th. That means we’re going to get nonstop midweek fixtures and I can promise you that you won’t see me complaining.

Let’s see how I did over the weekend…

This Season’s Record: 171-147-41 (+2.7 Units)
Matchweek 32: 3-3-2 (-0.2 Units)

QUICK NOTE: I’ve recently started an Instagram account for the Can i Kick It brand. I’ll be posting highlights, key moments, funny videos and everything else in the world of soccer for your educated and uneducated soccer brains. I can promise it’s worth the follow! @canikickitblog on Instagram.

Let’s rock and roll…

Tuesday, April 2nd
Spanish La Liga
1:30 pm EST

Girona @ Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports) – Girona, oddly enough, have been unbelievable away from home this season and somehow have been the worst team in the league at home. Here they find themselves traveling to Atletico Madrid, a team they’ve historically done really well against. Girona have found themselves better off sitting back and absorbing pressure for 75% of the game these last two years, a tactic both of these teams have used successfully over that same span. Girona’s back five forces Atletico to beat them with steady possession in the final third, something they aren’t usually comfortable doing. That might be why these two have drawn the last five meetings. Although I wish this had a bit more of a cushion, I’m going to take Girona and the points especially with the great price it’s being offered at. Girona (+1, +120).

English Premier League
2:45 pm EST

Fulham @ Watford – It would take a lot for me to bet on Fulham right now. They’re essentially already relegated, they’ve LOST eight straight, only two of those losses came by less than two goals and neither of those two losses were away from home. Watford meanwhile have been winning and losing the games they’re supposed to, showing some sort of consistency. They have had six losses since 12/4 all which came against top six teams. I think this Watford team is good enough to beat anyone outside of the top six at home and I don’t see that sentiment changing here. I’ll take them on a goal spread with a good price. Watford (-1, +110).

Manchester United @ Wolves (NBCSN) – Wolves have won four straight home games coming off of a loss, they beat United last time out before the international break in the FA Cup and are known to be top-six killers. I think United are in for some serious trouble and I also think the international break will have slowed down any sort of momentum they had going into it. United have also lost their last two away matches while Wolves’ home form is picking up as they’ve gone undefeated in the league in their last four home matches (3W and 1D). I like Wolves as home underdogs here with the chance to spoil United’s top four ambitions. Wolves (+0.5, -120).

Wednesday, April 3rd
English Premier League
2:45 pm EST

Brighton @ Chelsea – I absolutely hate betting on or against Chelsea spreads because of their inconsistencies on a matchweek to matchweek basis. But the total did jump out to me. Chelsea’s average total goals scored and conceded for home matches is 2.6 goals per match while Brighton’s average total for away matches is 2.8, giving us an expected total of 2.7. These two teams also seem to love goals when they meet with an average total of 3.25 goals per match the last four times they’ve met. Brighton have also gone over 2.5 goals in nine of their fifteen away matches this season. If all of these reasons don’t convince you to take the over like it did for me then I don’t know what else to tell you. I’m taking the over in a match that could easily have a total of 3 goals. Over 2.5 goals (-130).

Cardiff @ Manchester City – I’ve officially come out of my hiatus in betting on City matches. It’s the team I know best from being City fan for years and I know when it’s time to bet on them and not. I’ve nailed that all season long and I’ve backed off the last few matches due to some uncertainties in the squad and their congestion of fixtures. But City are arguably the best team in the world and they will be facing a very deflated Cardiff side who blew a lead to Chelsea over the weekend, possibly dooming them to relegation. Since 12/30, City have only dropped points once in a fluke loss to Newcastle and are absolutely burning through teams at the moment. They’re finally healthy, having Fernandinho and De Bruyne back in the squad, and they know they need points since Liverpool recently jumped them in the table. Yes this is breaking one of my rules of not betting the favorite on spreads of more than two, but I couldn’t resist. Manchester City (-3, -110).

Italian Serie A
3:00 pm EST

Inter Milan @ Genoa (ESPNEWS) – Inter’s last true away win (not counting their derby win to AC Milan) came almost two months ago against Parma. In fact, they have had only two away wins since the start of November and will be facing a Genoa team who have become a bit dangerous at home this season. Genoa have had one home loss since mid-November with recent wins at home against Lazio and more importantly Juventus, breaking their invincibility run. Also of note is that the home team has won each of the last eleven matches in this matchup, six wins to Inter and five to Genoa. I like Genoa as underdogs in a situation where I think Vegas is overcompensating for Inter’s quality. Genoa (+0.5, -120).

Spanish La Liga
3:30 pm EST

Real Madrid @ Valencia – Valencia are being posed as underdogs at home to a Real Madrid team who I think right now, Valencia are better than. Madrid had serious trouble beating the worst team in the league on Sunday and have gone 4-0-4 (4 wins and 4 losses) in their last eight. Valencia meanwhile haven’t lost in the league since January 5th, a stretch spanning eleven matches and are playing as solid as ever. They’re middle of the table at home this season but they’ve only lost one match (going 4-10-1) at the Mestalla, a place that has given Madrid some trouble over the years. Feed me Valencia as home underdogs in this one. Valencia (+0.5, -130).

That’s all for the matches I like this week. This weekend will be amazing with some huge matches for the title races in the Premier League and the Bundesliga so keep your eye out for that preview on Friday morning.

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE at the bottom of the page and follow on Twitter and Instagram!

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo
Instagram: @canikickitblog

Matchweek 32 Preview

The international break FINALLY ends as we return to club footy for the final stretch of the season. The two title races are heating up as the Premier League will come down to City and Liverpool (Liverpool with a 2 point advantage but City has a game in hand) and in the Bundesliga between Dortmund and Bayern who are tied on points. It’s been a while so let’s see where I stand and how I did the last time out.

This Season’s Record: 168-144-39 (+2.9 Units)
Matchweek 31/FA Cup: 5-2-1 (+2.9 Units)

Due to the fact that we’ll be coming off of an international break and there may be some players resting, some injuries, rust from two weeks off and more, I’m only going to find a few lines across Europe that I like/pop out to me. Let’s see if we can find some value.

Saturday, March 30th
German Bundesliga
10:30 am EST

Wolfsburg @ Borussia Dortmund – Earlier this week I wrote a piece on Dortmund’s chances of the Bundesliga title (LINK HERE) and mentioned how this match could be a trap game for them. Historically at home they have beaten Wolfsburg but not by comfortable margins. They’re also not the only ones fighting for something in this match as Wolfsburg have their sights on their first European birth since ’15-16. Adding to that, Wolfsburg have been more than comfortable away from home, going 7-2-4 and ranking 4th in away points this season. I think that a goal is too big of a spread for this match and I can’t resist taking the underdog. Wolfsburg (+1, +105).

Borussia Mochengaldbach @ Fortuna Dusseldorf – Two egregiously long-named clubs will face off on Saturday morning with a pickem as the spread. Although it’s heavily juiced towards ‘Gladbach, I can’t fade them since their only chance of losing the bet is if they lose outright to a 12th place Dusseldorf team who has been way too inconsistent at home. This Dusseldorf team has had two home wins in this calendar year, both against relegation squads, and they’re coming off of two bad losses before the international break. I don’t see them beating a ‘Gladbach team who hasn’t lost an away match since Dortmund in December. In fact, ‘Gladbach haven’t lost away from home to a team outside of the top four since October. ‘Gladbach (Pick, -130).

English Premier League
11:00 am EST

Bournemouth @ Leicester City – Leicester are starting to play some really good ball right now under new manager Brendan Rodgers. Yes their last two wins came against Fulham and Burnley, but prior to his arrival they went winless in seven with six of those being losses. Also, their win against Burnley came from being a man down for 86 minutes and away from home, showing that they can get it done facing adversity. They’re getting more and more productivity going forward from Vardy, Tielemans and Maddison which is exactly what this team needs if they want to succeed. They’ll face a Bournemouth team who has one win in their last seven (against Huddersfield) and one win away from home in their last nine away league matches (against Huddersfield). I like Leicester at home where they have thrived under Rodgers so far in his tenure. Leicester City (-0.5, -115).

Wolves @ Burnley – I’m shocked they have this one as a pickem considering how Wolves were playing prior to the international break with a draw at Chelsea in the league and a win against United in the FA Cup. Outside of their shocking loss at Huddersfield and their expected loss at City, they’ve been brilliant since the turn of the new year. Burnley meanwhile have lost their last four matches before the break (A. Newcastle, H. Crystal Palace, A. Liverpool, H. Leicester) and have the 17th best home record this season. They even lost to Leicester last matchweek with an extra man for 86 minutes. Wolves are far and away the better team and I’ll never shy away from them on a pickem line especially against a team like Burnley who will have serious trouble against this Wolves team especially in the midfield. Wolves (Pick, -135).

Sunday, March 31st
Spanish La Liga
8:00 am EST

Real Betis @ Rayo Vallecano (beIN Sports) – Rayo Vallecano are in big big trouble as they sit six points below the relegation zone and have lost their last seven matches. They’ll face a Betis team who are not only better than them quality-wise but they’re also coming off of two away wins before the international break. Although they did lose the match before the break to Barcelona, they haven’t lost back-to-back La Liga matches since October and it’s another match where I can’t fade the better team on the pickem line. Real Betis (Pick, -120).

Italian Serie A
9:00 am EST

Napoli @ Roma (ESPNEWS) – The second best match of the weekend brings us to Rome where the city’s namesakes will be taking on second-place Napoli. Roma have had an up and down season and recently have been poor against good opposition. In their last eleven matches against similar-quality opposition (similar on points in the league or Champions League matches), they’ve gone 0-5-6. They’ll be facing a Napoli team who sit in second in Serie A and have been great away from home, going undefeated in their last four in the league away from the Estadio San Paolo. Napoli have also won their last two matches at Roma and I love the value on their Moneyline and pickem here to do it a third time in a row. Napoli (+135), Pick (-130).

English Premier League
11:30 am EST

Tottenham @ Liverpool (NBCSN) – The second best match of the weekend leads us into the best match of the weekend as Spurs travel north to face league leaders Liverpool. This match can really set the tempo for Liverpool’s title chase as this is one of their two matches against top six sides that they will likely need to win if they want to raise their first Premier League trophy in almost three decades. Spurs came into the international break in bad shape with only one win from their last five matches while Liverpool have gone 4-1-0 in that same span. But Liverpool haven’t covered in their last three Premier League matches, showing that their last few wins have come in a tighter margin than expected. With the spread being a goal and since I can’t get a great read on this one due to Liverpool’s recent non-convincing wins and Spurs’ bad form/inconsistency, I’ve decided to make a play on the total. Liverpool’s last three league home matches have averaged 4.6 total goals while Spurs’ last three away matches have averaged 2.7 (a combined average of 3.65). Another reason why I like the over is that often after international breaks, top six clubs who have a lot of players on international duty need some time to get their chemistry back especially in a match that occurs so quickly after they get back to camp. I think this will be a high-scoring match and I’ll take the over at 3 goals even with the likelihood of a push. Over 3 goals (+110).

That’s all for this weekend’s preview! I hope you can get back in the swing of things with club soccer returning and maybe throw some coin on some matches before the Elite Eight starts on Saturday and Sunday.

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Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo

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