European Football Betting Preview: 19-22 April

There’s plenty of European football to look forward to this weekend, so here’s a selection of games not to be missed from La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

La Liga

The biggest game in club football is coming your way on Sunday night, as el Clásico takes centre stage.

Real Madrid won 2-1 at Montjuïc back in October, courtesy of Jude Bellingham’s brace, including a stoppage time winner, and it is very much advantage los Blancos in all respects right now.

In mid-week, los Merengues reached the Champions League semi-finals, overcoming holders Manchester City on penalties, with Andriy Lunin one of many heroes on an historic night at the Etihad.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team are now favourites to hoist aloft a 15th European Cup, ahead of a semi-final showdown with Bayern Munich which, to quote José Mourinho, is pure ‘football heritage’.

24 hours earlier, despite being 4-2 up on aggregate early on, Barcelona crashed out against Paris Saint-Germain, beaten 6-4 in the end, with Ronald Araújo’s red card the key turning point.

Xavi’s side had been unbeaten in 13 beforehand, but now look likely to endure a season without silverware.

Back in La Liga, with seven games to go, Real Madrid are eight points clear, meaning Barça simply have to win at the Bernabéu, or any hope that there will be a title race will surely be over.

The last 12 Clásicos have produced 43 goals, an average of 3.58 per game, so another high-scoring fixture seems likely, with the home side firm favourites to prevail.

Away from the top two, Girona need wins to make sure they cling onto a top four place, following a fifth successive away defeat last time out.

In the midst of this, Míchel’s men have still won each of their last three at home, making victory over relegation-threatened Cádiz at Montilivi likely.

The side who beat Blanquivermells a week ago were Atlético Madrid, although they’ve since crashed out of the Champions League, ousted by Borussia Dortmund, beaten 4-2 at Westfalenstadion, after winning 2-1 at home.

Overall, Diego Simeone’s side continue to be dismal away from home, losing nine of their last 13 on the road, winning only two, which is a concern as they travel north to Mendizorrotza on Sunday.

Hosts Deportivo Alavés have won just one of their last nine, losing three on the spin, meaning Luis García Plaza’s team are not safe just yet, despite being 14th.

On Friday night, Athletic Club can close the gap on fourth-placed Atleti should they beat second-bottom Granada at San Mamés, a result that seems likely.

Lastly, Valencia currently occupy the seventh and final European spot, but Saturday’s opponents kick off just two points behind, making that match at Mestalla very important.


Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Real Madrid vs Barcelona


Atlético Madrid to win

Deportivo Alavés vs Atlético Madrid


Girona to win

Girona vs Cádiz


Athletic Club Bilbao to win

Athletic Club Bilbao vs Granada


Under 2.5 goals

Getafe vs Real Sociedad


Under 2.5 goals

Real Betis vs Valencia


At 14/1, a £10 bet would return £153.63!

La Liga acca of the week

Serie A

One of the biggest fixtures on the Serie A calendar is also coming up this weekend and Monday’s Derby della Madonnina has the potential to be one of the most historic.

Right now, after both were held to draws last weekend, Internazionale Milano remain 14 points clear at the top of the table with six games to go, ahead of this clash with second-placed AC Milan.

So, should Inter prevail at San Siro, they would become the first Milan club to secure a 20th Scudetto, earning a second star on their shirt, doing so at the expense of their great rivals, who are also currently on 19 titles.

I Nerazzurri have won each of the last five derbies, including knocking I Rossoneri out of the Champions League 12 months ago, so it promises to be a night of celebration for Simone Inzaghi’s team.

In an earlier kick off on Monday, there’s a huge clash in the fight for Champions League qualification, as fourth-placed Bologna welcome Roma, who are one spot and four points behind, to Emilia-Romagna.

It was confirmed this week that Serie A will be awarded an extra Champions League place, given that Italy sits top of the one-year UEFA Coefficient ranking, which is great news for the two teams involved.

Roma have played their part in this, overcome AC Milan in the Europa League quarter-finals last week, so they’ll now take on recently-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen in the semis, as they did a year ago.

Bologna though are the story here, given that I Rossoblù haven’t featured in Europe since 1999/00, on course to appear in the Champions League for only the second time, previously doing so all the way back in 1964.

Thiago Motta’s team have drawn their last two games 0-0 but, boosted by the knowledge that fifth place would be enough, victory at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara would be a huge step towards Champions League qualification.

Atalanta, the side currently chasing those two down, ousted Liverpool from the Europa League this week, and will travel to Monza on Sunday night, also in need of domestic points.

Juventus have won only two of their last 11 Serie A outings, ahead of la Vecchia Signora’s visit to Cagliari on Friday night, with Claudio Ranieri’s team fancying their chances of an upset.

Another team in poor form are Napoli, hence why I Partenopei start the weekend eighth, with Francesco Calzona’s team under pressure as they travel to Empoli on Saturday.


Internazionale Milano to win

AC Milan vs Internazionale Milano


Juventus to win

Cagliari vs Juventus


Under 2.5 goals

Roma vs Bologna


Both teams to score

Monza vs Atalanta


Fiorentina to win

Salernitana vs Fiorentina


At 15/1, a £10 bet would return £160.41

Serie A acca of the week


It’s been a brilliant week for the Bundesliga, with all three of their remaining representatives in UEFA competition making it through to the semi-finals.

Borussia Dortmund ousted Atleti and Bayern Munich beat Arsenal in the Champions League, meaning an all-German final at Wembley could be on the cards again, as was the case 11 years ago.

PSG and Real Madrid may have something to say about that!

Then, on Thursday, fresh from being crowned Deutscher Fußballmeister for the first time ever, Bayer Leverkusen overcame West Ham in the Europa League, with Jeremie Frimpong’s late strike securing a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.

This preserves die Werkself’s unbeaten record in all competition, 44 matches and counting, ahead of their semi-final with Roma, the same side who beat them at the same stage of the same competition 12 months ago.

Back in the Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso’s side are seeking to become only the third German top-flight team to go an entire season unbeaten, after Dresdner SC (18 matches in 1943) and Berliner FC Dynamo (26 Matches in East Germany in 1982/83).

This weekend’s trip to Borussia Dortmund is, without doubt, die Schwarzroten’s toughest remaining fixture so, if they are going to taste defeat, it’s most-likely to come here.

As for the hosts, boosted by the fact that fifth is likely to be a Champions League spot, die Schwarzgelben can play with freedom, so can they become the first team to beat Bayer this season?

Elsewhere, following Wednesday’s crucial win over Arsenal, Bayern Munich have a Champions League date with Real Madrid to look forward to, aiming for another win when they take on Union Berlin on Saturday evening.

Stuttgart have not featured in the Champions League since 2009/10, or any UEFA competition since 2013 for that matter, but that’s about to change, with die Schwaben comfortable in third, seeking to continue their winning streak at Werder Bremen on Sunday.

RB Leipzig’s six-match unbeaten run is set to continue at Heidenheim, while the sides in sixth and seventh meet on Friday night, as Eintracht Frankfurt welcome Augsburg to Deutsche Bank Park in a key fixture.

At the bottom, Darmstadt are doomed, but second-bottom Köln are not, making it of paramount importance that die Geißböcke win the battle of the bottom two at RheinEnergieStadion.

Mainz, currently in the relegation play-off place, face a tough trip to Freiburg, while Wolfsburg and Bochum, the two teams occupying the final pair of safety positions, meet in a huge game at Volkswagen Arena.


Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen


Bayern Munich to win and over 2.5 goals

Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich


Stuttgart to win

Werder Bremen vs VfB Stuttgart


RB Leipzig to win

Heidenheim vs RB Leipzig


Köln to win

Köln vs Darmstadt


Over 2.5 goals

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Augsburg


At 20/1 a £10 bet would return £213.61!

Bundesliga acca of the week

Ligue 1

Lastly, to Ligue 1, where Paris Saint-Germain could wrap up the title in the next week, given that they’re currently ten points clear with a game in hand.

Les Rouges-et-Bleus reached the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, coming from a goal down to hammer ten-man Barcelona 4-1 at Montjuïc, so will now take on Borussia Dortmund for a place at Wembley.

This is PSG’s third semi-final appearance of the Qatari era but, given that the last two were during Covid times, it’ll be the first played in front of fans since defeat to A.C. Milan in 1995.

Before traveling to Westfalenstadion on 1 May, Luis Enrique’s team could be crowned French champions again, although Sunday night’s clash with Lyon, a dress-rehearsal for the Coupe de France Final, can’t be taken lightly.

That’s because Olympique Lyonnais are Ligue 1′s form team, winning 11 of their last 15 games, including a 4-3 win over Brest a week ago, in which Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ snatched victory in the 15th minute of injury time, the latest goal in French top-flight history.

So, since Pierre Sage’s appointment as manager, les Gones have climbed from bottom up to seventh, seeking a statement victory in Paris as they aim to gatecrash the European spots.

Elsewhere in the battle for Europe, second and third meet at Stade Francis-Le Blé, with both Brest and Monaco knowing a win would be a gigantic step towards Champions League qualification.

Fourth-placed LOSC Lille were dumped out of Europe by Aston Villa on penalties this week, so can Paulo Fonseca’s side bounce-back when Strasbourg visit Stade Pierre-Mauroy?

Should they slip-up, Nice and Lens will be hoping to close the gap at home to Lorient and Clermont Foot, two of the bottom three, respectively.

Lastly, there was joy for one French team in a penalty shootout on Thursday, with Marseille overcoming Benfica in the Europa League, setting up a semi-final date with Atalanta.

Right now though, given that they’re ninth, les Phocéens might have to win the tournament to be back in Europe next season, meaning Jean-Louis Gasset’s team really need three points away to Toulouse.


Paris Saint-Germain to win and both teams to score

Paris Saint-Germain vs Olympique Lyonnais


Nice to win

Nice vs Lorient


Lille to win

LOSC Lille vs Strasbourg


Lens to win

Lens vs Clermont Foot


Both teams to score

Stade Brestois vs Monaco


At 13/1 a £10 bet would return £141.86!

Ligue 1 acca of the week

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".