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Across the Continent weekend preview: 15-18 December


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, Ligue 1 and more.

La Liga

Will Girona extend, or at least maintain, their lead at the top?

Following last Sunday’s statement 4-2 victory over Barcelona at Montjuïc, Blanquivermells are now two points clear, having accumulating 41 points out of a possible 48, which is frankly remarkable.

Míchel’s men must wait until Monday night to return to action, with Girona likely to beat mid-table Alavés at Montilivi.

Before then, Real Madrid will get the chance to reclaim top spot on Sunday night, welcoming Villarreal to the Bernabéu.

El Submarino Amarillo are not in good form, winning only two of their last 11, smashed 3-0 last weekend, while Carlo Ancelotti’s team have won nine of their ten home matches in all competitions.

24 hours earlier, Barcelona are in desperate need of victory following a very poor week, as they travel to Valencia.

Xavi’s team were taken apart by Girona at home last Sunday, before losing, albeit a dead-rubber, to Royal Antwerp on Wednesday, this the Belgian champions’ first-ever Champions League win.

Hosts los Che have taken just one point from their last four, but Rubén Baraja’s team will fancy their chances of beating a beleaguered Barça at Mestalla.

Saturday sees Athletic Club and Atlético Madrid go head-to-head at San Mamés and, given that both are in great form, this clash in Bilbao is tough to call.

Lastly, Almería are the only club in UEFA’s top-nine ranked leagues yet to win a game this season, so can Gaizka Garitano’s team change that when they welcome Mallorca to Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos?

footballBetfred logo
Tip of the day

Barcelona, Real Sociedad & Girona to win + Real Madrid to win and Jude Bellingham to score + Athletic Club vs Atleti- BTTS + Las Palmas vs Cádiz- under 2.5 goals.

Back the above six-fold La Liga acca at 27/1!

fire

At 27/1, a £10 bet would return £284.45!

La Liga

December 16, 2023

3:15 pm GMT

Serie A

Sunday night’s headline fixture in Serie A comes from Stadio Olimpico, where league-leaders Internazionale Milano are in action.

I Nerazzurri are unbeaten in nine league matches, winning seven of them, but, after failing to top their Champions League on Tuesday, Simone Inzaghi’s side are under pressure to pick up three points.

Well, this seems the most-likely outcome, given that hosts Lazio are all the way down in tenth, despite the fact I Biancocelesti have lost only two of their last eight in Serie A.

Elsewhere, after leaving St James’ Park victorious in mid-week, it’s back to domestic business for A.C. Milan, with Stefano Pioli’s side welcoming Monza to San Siro.

For third Friday night in succession, Juventus are in action, with Massimiliano Allegri’s men targeting a third successive Friday night win when la Vecchia Signora take on Genoa at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

There’s a fascinating game on Sunday evening, as fifth faced fourth.

Bologna have been this season’s revelations, losing only once since the opening day, and Thiago Motta’s team know that victory over Roma would see them leapfrog their visitors into a Champions League spot.

After losing three on the spin, Napoli get back to winning ways against Braga on Tuesday, so will Walter Mazzarri’s team win again as they welcome Cagliari to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona?

footballBetfred logo
Tip of the day

Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli, Inter & Fiorentina to win + Atalanta HT/FT + Bologna vs Roma- under 2.5 goals.

Back the above seven-fold Serie A acca at 27/1!

fire

At 27/1, a £10 bet would return £281.97!

Serie A

December 15, 2023

7:45 pm GMT

Bundesliga

With the top three all in action on Sunday, an exciting weekend in the Bundesliga should be in store.

11-in-a-row champions Bayern Munich welcome third-placed Stuttgart to Allianz Arena on Sunday evening, with this set to be a serious test for both.

Thomas Tuchel’s team are now four points adrift league-leaders Leverkusen, albeit with a game in hand, following last weekend’s 5-1 hammering at Frankfurt.

Stuttgart meantime, despite finishing third-bottom last time round, are only one point below Bayern at kick off, so can die Schwaben spring a massive surprise in Bavaria?

Earlier in the day, Bayer Leverkusen will get the chance to move seven points clear, even if only temporarily, when they welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to BayArena.

Bayer and Bayern are essentially swapping dance partners this weekend, so Xabi Alonso will not be taking die Adler lightly, having seen what Dino Toppmöller’s team did to the Meisterschale holders eight days earlier.

Away from the title race, Borussia Dortmund may have topped their Champions League group this week, but things are not going quite so well domestically.

Edin Terzić's team have won just one of their last six in the Bundesliga, also dumped out the DFB-Pokal earlier this month, so die Schwarzgelben are under huge pressure to beat Augsburg at WWK Arena .

RB Leipzig moved four points clear of Dortmund in fourth by beating them a week ago, with Marco Rose’s side faced with another tough challenge this Saturday evening, welcoming Hoffenheim to Saxony.

After finally claiming their first win since 26 August last time out, Union Berlin are now no longer in the relegation zone, so can Nenad Bjelica’s team leapfrog VfL Bochum with a victory at Vonovia-Ruhrstadion?

footballBetfred logo
Tip of the day

Bayern Munich to win & over 2.5 goals + Dortmund, Leverkusen, RB Leipzig, Freiburg & Mainz + Mönchengladbach vs Werder Bremen- over 2.5 goals.

Back the above seven-fold Bundesliga acca at 30/1!

fire

At 30/1, a £10 bet would return £305.32!

Bundesliga

December 16, 2023

2:30 pm GMT

Ligue 1

After, just about, sneaking through to the Champions League knockout stages this week, Paris Saint-Germain face another tough test on the road on Sunday night.

Les Rouges-et-Bleus have won eight on the spin in Ligue 1, while their opponents on Sunday night are the last different French champions LOSC Lille.

Given that they’re unbeaten in nine, les Dogues have moved up to fourth, so can Paulo Fonseca’s team upset the league-leaders at Stade Pierre-Mauroy?

Nice could close the gap between themselves and PSG to just one point should they beat Le Havre on Saturday, although a trip to Stade Océane is never easy.

Olympique Lyonnais remain bottom of the table, despite claiming a second win of the campaign last time out, but les Gones travel to Stade Louis-II as big underdogs to get anything against third-placed Monaco.

Meanwhile, Olympique Marseille are firm favourites to make it four league victories on the spin, given that second-bottom Clermont Foot are the visitors to Stade Vélodrome.

Lastly, Lens and Reims meet in a key clash at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, with the pair currently sit just below the guaranteed European spots.

footballBetfred logo
Tip of the day

Lille vs PSG- BTTS & over 2.5 goals + Marseille, Monaco & Lens to win + Nice to win or draw + Toulouse vs Rennes- BTTS.

Back the above six-fold Ligue 1 acca at 15/1!

fire

At 15/1, a £10 bet would return £164.50!

Ligue 1

December 15, 2023

8:00 pm GMT

Anything else?

Primeira Liga: top 4 all go head-to-head

Since 2013/14, the same four clubs have occupied the top Primeira Liga four positions, in various orders of course, in all but one of these ten seasons; Vitória de Guimarães in 2016/17 the only club able to break up this four team monopoly.

Once again, the big four are leading the way, all separated by just two points, with this quartet of clubs all going head-to-head over the weekend.

First up, on Sunday night, reigning champions Benfica travel to Estádio Municipal de Braga.

Roger Schmidt’s team haven’t lost domestically since the opening weekend, although back-to-back draws with Moreirense and then Farese have seen as Águias lose ground in the title race.

Braga meantime have won four on the spin, with Artur Jorge’s team targeting a win at A Pedreira that would see Os Arcebispos leapfrog their visitors.

24 hours later, on Monday night, the joint-leaders go head-to-head at Estádio José Alvalade.

Sporting Clube de Portugal have only won three titles since 1982, ending their 19-year wait to be crowned Portuguese champions in 2021.

However, Rúben Amorim’s team begin the weekend top of the table although, following back-to-back away defeats, coming in the Derby de Lisboa and then at Vitória, the Leões are under pressure to win this one.

Porto meantime beat Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 on Wednesday, reaching the Champions League last 16, but Sérgio Conceição’s side tend to be more solid in the league, hence why we expect this to be low-scoring.

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Tip of the day

Benfica to win + Sporting vs Porto- under 2.5 goals.

Back the above Primeira Liga double at 3/1!

fire

At 3/1, a £10 bet would return £41.40!

Primeira Liga

December 17, 2023

8:30 pm GMT

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

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