Soccer Selections: Put Trust In Roma, Wolves in Weekend Action


We have reached the point of the European soccer season where trends are starting to develop.

Most of the notable trends do not involve the elite clubs in Europe because Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are winning most weeks and are tough to bet with inflated prices on money lines and overs.

However, there are a handful of clubs that have stuck out over the last month that I'm trying to take advantage of this weekend.

A handful of my weekend Soccer Selections involve strong defensive units that have boosted some surprising clubs into the top half of their respective leagues.

There is also a team in France that could be turning into an over factory and one club in England that could reach that status if it starts to fire goals into the back of the net.

Below is a look at every game I'm on this weekend. I listed everything in chronological order to make it easier on all of us.

Soccer Selections (26-15 overall)

Serie A: Sassuolo (-135) vs. Torino (Friday, 2:45 p.m. ET)

On paper, Sassuolo is a much better side than Torino.

Torino comes into Friday's road match off a victory, but that came against Salernitana, who is expected to be at the bottom of the Serie A table all season. Torino started the campaign by dropping 2-1 results to Fiorentina and Atalanta.

Sassuolo has won one of its last six games against Torino and it has a -1.2 expected goals differential.

So why I am hooked on Sassuolo? It has the better overall collection of talent and it had a +5.2 xGD at home last season. Eventually this season's totals should move in the right direction and that starts with Friday.

EPL: Wolves (-115) vs. Brentford (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)

Wolves finally broke through with a victory last weekend over Watford.

Wolves have the highest xG total of any team in the bottom half of the EPL table and they were unlucky not to score in their first three matches.

Brentford has not won since the opening weekend triumph over Arsenal. The Bees picked up a pair of draws in their first two road trips of the season.

Wolves have yet to score at Molineux this season. That should change with the attack now playing with a bit of confidence. Wolves should be the better team by season's end and it has the superior attacking players in Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez who should help create an abundance of chances.

Bundesliga: Mainz (+105) vs. Freiburg (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

Mainz and Freiburg have been two of the most notable overachievers in Europe so far.

Mainz resides in fourth place thanks to a trio of shutout victories.

The defensive play of the 05ers should be the difference against fifth-place Freiburg, who has had a mixed bag of results over four games.

Freiburg dropped two points at home against FC Koln last weekend, but it also delivered multiple goals against Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund.

I'm going with the more consistent team through four matches here. With a win on Saturday, Mainz will be one home win away from equaling last season's total.

EPL: Norwich City vs. Watford (Under 2.5) (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)

Norwich City and Watford both rank in the bottom five of goals scored in the EPL.

To make matters worse, the Canaries and Hornets both rank in the bottom three of expected goals.

The two potential relegation fighters conceded 18 goals over a combined eight matches, but even the lack of defense does not convince me enough to take the over.

Saturday's clash at Carrow Road could feel like watching paint dry in some stretches.

Bundesliga: FC Koln vs. RB Leipzig (-130) (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET)

Don't be fooled by RB Leipzig's early strugglers.

Jesse Marsch's team was dealt the toughest hand in the top five European leagues to start the season.

Now that the clashes with Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are out of the way, RB Leipzig can focus on picking up points against some of the weaker sides in the Bundesliga.

RB Leipzig's three-goal output against Man City on Wednesday was a promising development. The good news is most three-goal outings this season will not be countered by six tallies from the opponent.

FC Koln currently sits in seventh place in the Bundesliga, but that standing is buoyed by home wins over Hertha Berlin and VfL Bochum, who both sit in the bottom six places of the league table.

RB Leipzig's quality should show through in a favorable matchup and it should finally get on a winning path in Marsch's first season in charge.

Ligue 1: Nice (+175) vs. Monaco (Sunday, 7 a.m. ET)

Monaco may be the better team on paper, but Nice is in the better form.

Nice strung together three consecutive wins in Ligue 1 to move into fourth place behind Paris Saint-Germain, Angers and Marseille.

Monaco has been a mess in league and continental play. It is 1-1-3 in Ligue 1 with its only win coming over Troyes.

In Europe, Monaco was ousted from UEFA Champions League group-stage qualifying in the final round and it struggled to beat Austrian side Sturm Graz at home to start off the UEFA Europa League.

There appears to be too much strain on the Monaco squad right now, while Nice is just cruising along.

Ligue 1: Clermont Foot vs. Brest (Over 2.5) (Sunday 9 a.m. ET)

I'm going to keep betting the Clermont Foot over until the trend dies out.

Over 2.5 goals hit in the last three Clermont Foot games. The first two contests the club played in Ligue 1 this season featured two tallies.

Clermont Foot scored and conceded nine goals and its Sunday opponent has not been the cleanest side in the back.

Brest let up 10 goals in five games and no team in any of those contests recorded a clean sheet.

Serie A: Verona vs. Roma (-120) (Sunday, Noon ET)

Roma has been the most consistent team in Serie A.

The capital city side started the Jose Mourinho era with three consecutive league wins over Fiorentina, Sassuolo and Salernitana.

Roma is beating the weaker teams on its schedule and Hellas Verona falls into that category as well. If Roma continues to get three points from those types of matches, it will be a player in the Serie A title fight.

Verona sits in 19th place of 20 teams in the Italian top flight and it conceded three goals in two of its league matches.

Roma played in the UEFA Conference League on Thursday, but that should not be a concern for this match since it put together an easy 5-1 win over CSKA Sofia and has a late-afternoon kickoff locally on Sunday.


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