Soccer Selections: Run with Arsenal, RB Leipzig in weekend matches

Come one, come all.

Welcome into a two-month dive into European domestic club soccer.

If that introduction sounds a bit like the circus, that's because the next two months have a circus-like vibe to it with so happening on the domestic front in Europe.

The English Premier League is where most of the focus will be because that competition just does not stop during the holiday season, which is great for us and horrendous for the well being of the players.

The English season does not take a break. Three of the four major European leagues take a weekend off and the Bundesliga goes on a two-week hiatus during the holidays.

All of the clubs around Europe are focused on either improving their league standing, or advancing in the domestic cup competitions from now until February.

There are no distractions of European soccer until mid-February and that should allow some teams to get into better form for when the knockout phases come around.

The spectrum of motivation for Europe's top clubs is all over the place this weekend, as we have fully-rested squads, teams coming off euphoric advancements and ones that failed to live up to expectations.

I tried to make sense of all the madness across Europe to find the best plays for Saturday and Sunday's action.

Weekend Soccer Picks

Overall Record: 77-82

La Liga: Espanyol (+100) vs. Levante (Saturday, 8 a.m. ET)

There are a handful of distinct home-road splits across La Liga and I took advantage of two of them last week with Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano.

I'm following the same strategy with Espanyol, who is 5-2-1 with a +6 goal differential and four goals conceded on home soil.

Levante sits at the bottom of La Liga with no wins and just two points on its travels this season.

Bundesliga: RB Leipzig (-140) vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

RB Leipzig went through the quintessential bounce-back performance after firing its head coach on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League against Manchester City.

I believe that boost will carry over into Saturday's league match with Borussia Monchengladbach, who just got rocked by six goals last weekend.

RB Leipzig earned all five of its Bundesliga wins at home and a sixth should come against a club close to firing its head coach.

EPL: Arsenal (-145) vs. Southampton (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)

Arsenal's run at a return to European football has not been incredibly successful yet.

The Gunners have had nice runs of form, but they sit in seventh place just two points ahead of eighth-place Wolverhampton Wanderers going into the weekend.

Mikel Arteta's men can gain ground in the coming weeks against some of the weaker sides in the EPL, starting with Saturday's home match with Southampton.

Arsenal is 5-1-1 at home in league play, while Southampton has a single win and a -8 goal differential away from home. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

Serie A: Venezia vs. Juventus (Over 2.5) (Saturday, noon ET)

Venezia's recent games have been bonkers.

The promoted Serie A side gave up four unanswered goals in a 4-3 loss to Hellas Verona last week. It conceded on four occasions to Atalanta the week prior.

Juventus does not have the Champions League distraction in front of it until February and it should go full speed ahead to get back in the Serie A title mix. Juve is 11 points back of AC Milan.

EPL: Burnley vs. West Ham (+100) (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)

West Ham United has held on to a top-four place through the first 15 games of the EPL season.

The Hammers secured safe passage to the UEFA Europa League knockout round and did so with one game to spare, which allowed them to start young players and rest starters on Thursday.

Michail Antonio and Co. should be well rested for Sunday's trip to Turf Moor to face struggling Burnley, who has a single win in league play.

West Ham is the much stronger side and it should have plenty of fresh legs to take care of one of the league's bottom feeders.

Serie A: Hellas Verona vs. Atalanta (-115) (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)

Atalanta needs to forget about its disappointing Thursday loss to Villarreal that knocked it out of the Champions League and into the Europa League.

Atalanta needs to re-focus on league play immediately because it is one of four teams within four points of first place in Serie A.

The fourth-place side in Italy is the best road team in Serie A. Atalanta is 7-1-0 with a +10 goal differential away from Bergamo. Verona hasn't been perfect at home, as it allowed 11 goals in eight matches.

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

I'm not quitting the Clermont Foot overs anytime soon.

The 18th-placed side in Ligue 1 conceded 32 goals, which is the fourth-highest goals against rate in the league. The Over hit in three of the last five Clermont games and it hit in the last three Angers matches.

Bundesliga: Greuther Furth vs. Union Berlin (-145) (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

Greuther Furth is dead last in the composite rankings of Europe's big five leagues.

In fact, Greuther Furth is not even close to any other team in that table. It has a single point and the leakiest defense in Europe.

I will fade Greuther Furth until the day it is relegated from the Bundesliga.

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