Soccer Selections: Take Barcelona over Atletico Madrid in La Liga showdown

Some of the top clubs in European soccer return to the field this weekend after going through some roster changes.

Barcelona made some of the biggest moves in the January transfer window and a few of its new signings might be on display against Atletico Madrid.

Barca's new stars will likely not be on the field for 90 minutes, but the improvements could provide a major emotional boost to the squad currently struggling to stay in the UEFA Champions League places in the La Liga table.

The good news for Xavi's squad is Atletico Madrid is going through some similar struggles and it is not as strong as it has been in previous seasons.

Barca-Atleti is one of a few headline-grabbing contests across Europe this weekend. Bayern Munich-RB Leipzig, AC Milan-Inter and Lille-PSG are on the marquee as well, but I like Barca the best from that collection of games.

There are also some major clashes in other parts of the European league standings going on Saturday and Sunday and I picked out a few edges in those contests as well.

Soccer Selections

Overall Record: 92-104

Bundesliga: Arminia Bielefeld (+235) vs. Borussia Monchengladback (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Monchengladbach are heading in different directions in the Bundesliga table.

Bielefeld went into the international break on a five-game unbeaten run in league play to move it out of the relegation zone.

Monchengladbach fell to 13th with back-to-back defeats and it returns to the field with more tumult around the club after sporting director Max Eberl announced his departure.

For me, this is all about form and Bielefeld has the easy edge in that department.

Serie A: Fiorentina vs. Lazio (+190) (Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET)

Fiorentina experienced a dip in form over the last few weeks and it comes into Saturday at a disadvantage up top.

Fiorentina just sold leading scorer Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus and it may take time for the club's attack to get back into a rhythm without Vlahovic.

Lazio beat Fiorentina in their first meeting this season and it could score on the vulnerable eighth-place side to create some separation in the top seven of the Serie A table.

Ligue 1: Nice (-170) vs. Clermont (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)

Nice comes into Sunday in third place in Ligue 1 with a +18 goal differential.

Clermont sits in 15th place with a -17 goal differential.

Yeah, sometimes the pick is that easy to build up the bankroll.

La Liga: Barcelona (+135) vs. Atletico Madrid (Sunday, 10:15 a.m. ET)

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are both in need of victories in the fight for UEFA Champions League places in La Liga.

Barca received a boost at the end of the January transfer window by adding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore. Both players could appear off the bench.

Barca picked up six of its nine league wins at home and it should receive a boost from the January additions. I'm willing to take Barca because it turned a corner defensively in the last three games with one goal conceded.

Bundesliga: Wolfsburg (-175) vs. Greuther Furth (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET)

Wolfsburg absolutely needs to win at home on Sunday.

The Wolves dropped close to the relegation zone before the international break and it must beat the last-placed team in the Bundesliga to feel somewhat secure.

Wolfsburg is in awful form, but it gets an opportunity on Sunday to get back on track and pull away from the bottom three in the coming months.

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