Soccer Selections: Take Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham

The European soccer matches this weekend are a bit difficult to break down because of various factors in play.

A handful of the top teams across Europe could have one eye on the midweek UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matchups.

Sevilla is the lone exception to that situation because it produced a strong first leg against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League and it is not under pressure to produce a result, like Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig will be on Thursday.

When Sevilla eventually enters the next round of the Europa League, it may run into Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham United, who should use their respective games this weekend to gear up for their return to European competition at the end of the month.

Sevilla, Leverkusen and West Ham have my attention the most this weekend, as well as a few other games.

Soccer Selections

Overall Record: 102-113

Bundesliga: Mainz vs. Bayer Leverkusen (+120) (Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET)

Bayer Leverkusen's attack is on fire.

Leverkusen bagged 14 goals in the last three games and it faces a Mainz defense that has not been great of late. Mainz conceded on multiple occasions in three of its last six contests.

I'm more than willing to trust the in-form Leverkusen side as it gears up for the Europa League round of 16 in a few weeks.

La Liga: Elche (+210) vs. Rayo Vallecano (Friday, 3 p.m. ET)

Elche sits three spots back of Rayo Vallecano in the La Liga table, but it is in the better form going into Friday.

Elche is 4-5-2 at home and it only conceded on 11 occasions in league play inside its own dwelling.

Rayo Vallecano is in a rough patch of form with four losses in five games. It has not scored in three games during that spell and it has not produced multiple goals in any match of that stretch.

Elche is 3-1-1 in its last five home games with the only defeat coming to Real Madrid.

Premier League: West Ham (-145) vs. Newcastle United (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)

Newcastle United comes into Saturday in better form than West Ham United, but the Magpies' recent results should be taken lightly.

Newcastle defeated Aston Villa, Everton and Leeds United, all of whom reside in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

West Ham won three of its four home games since the turn of the calendar and it did not concede in those three victories.

If the Hammers turn in a similar performance, they should shut down a Newcastle side gaining form at the right time.

Ligue 1: Nice (-140) vs. Angers (Sunday, 7 a.m. ET)

Nice is in the perfect spot to rebound from its recent struggles.

The third-place side in Ligue 1 faces an Angers side with losses in six of its last eight games.

Angers has not found the back of the net in five of those contests, and it is 2-7-3 on the road in Ligue 1 this season.

La Liga: Espanyol vs. Sevilla (+120 & -1.5) (Sunday, 8 a.m. ET)

Espanyol's defense has been unable to stop anyone recently.

Espanyol conceded multiple goals in each of its last six contests.

Sevilla is coming off a 3-1 win in the UEFA Europa League over Dinamo Zagreb and its attack received an extra boost with the arrival of Anthony Martial, who scored his first goal for the club on loan from Manchester United on Thursday.

Sevilla has five clean sheets in its last eight games and it shutout Espanyol in their first meeting this season. Sevilla should cruise in this matchup to remain four points back of Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.

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