Soccer Selections: Take Brighton, Burnley in FA Cup Fourth Round, More

Liverpool is probably sick of seeing Brighton and Hove Albion on its schedule.

Jurgen Klopp's side fell to the Seagulls two weeks ago in the English Premier League and now the two sides meet in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Brighton is one of the surprises of the season in the EPL. The Seagulls are making a push for European qualification and have been scoring at a high rate since returning from the World Cup break.

Brighton enters the FA Cup fourth-round tie in better form, but it is listed as the underdog for its home match against the Reds.

The Seagulls are one of a few teams to look at in the FA Cup this weekend that have positive results against their fourth-round opponents from earlier in the season.

There are also a few spots to look at from the Bundesliga and La Liga, including one where Barcelona should be higher than it is on the odds board.

Soccer Selections

FA Cup

Sheffield Wednesday (-1.5; +125) vs. Fleetwood Town (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)

If you think Brighton and Liverpool are tired of seeing each other, imagine what Sheffield Wednesday and Fleetwood Town are going through.

The pair of League One sides met on December 26 and January 21 in league play and now have to face each other in the FA Cup.

Wednesday, who is second in the English third division, won those matches by 1-0 and 2-1 scores.

The Owls have allowed three goals since the start of December. They outscored opponents 14-3 in that nine-game span.

Fleetwood Town enters on a three-game losing streak that dropped it to 17th in League One. The club lost five of its last seven games and conceded multiple times in four of those contests.

Wednesday is the more consistent team, and the lack of goals recently from Fleetwood Town, opens up the possibility of a multi-goal win.

Ipswich Town vs. Burnley (+120) (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)

Barring a total collapse, Burnley will be back in the Premier League next season.

The Clarets are the class of the Championship and they currently have six wins in a row.

Vincent Kompany's men visit an Ipswich Town side that has two wins in its last six games and has two clean sheets dating back to the start of December. League One played through the World Cup break.

Burnley produced three clean sheets in its last six matches and it is by far the more consistent team in the back.

Brighton and Hove Albion (+155) vs. Liverpool (Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET)

Brighton should be a popular pick to advance to the fifth round.

The Seagulls own a recent win over Liverpool and they played to a 3-3 draw with the Reds at Anfield on October 1.

Brighton produced multiple tallies in each of its last six games, while Liverpool's attack has been stuck in neutral with one goal in the last 270 minutes.

I'm more than happy to take Brighton at an underdog price with their form and track record against Liverpool this season.

Derby County (+330) vs. West Ham United (Monday, 2:45 p.m. ET)

West Ham United appears to be turning its season around after wins over Brentford and Everton in the Premier League.

The Hammers have not been great on the road, though, and they face one of the in-form teams in England in Derby County.

Derby has not lost in League One since October 21. The Rams are on a six-game winning streak in which they conceded four goals.

Although West Ham has more quality on its roster, Derby enters with more consistency and it has the advantage of playing at home against a vulnerable EPL side.


Hertha Berlin vs. Union Berlin (+105) (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

Union Berlin Team Total Over 1.5 (+130)

The two Berlin sides in the Bundesliga have suffered different fortunes in the last week.

Union Berlin returned from the World Cup break with wins over Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen in which it scored five goals.

Hertha Berlin conceded eight goals against Wolfsburg and VFL Bochum in the same stretch of days.

The stats behind Union Berlin's offense do not suggest it should be in second place. Union sits 14th in expected goals, just one spot ahead of Hertha.

But Hertha's defense has been far worse, as it is tied for the fifth-most concessions with 30. Union owns the third-best defensive record in the German top flight.

I think Union will win the game easily because of its defense, and multiple goals should come against a reeling Hertha back line.

Werder Bremen vs. Wolfsburg (+110) (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

Wolfsburg has been on fire in the final third.

The Wolves returned from the World Cup break by scoring 11 goals in two wins over Freiburg and Hertha Berlin.

Conversely, Werder Bremen's back line was gashed for nine goals, seven of which came from Koln last weekend, in the last two games.

Wolfsburg may not win by four or five goals again, but its attack can take advantage of what has been a suspect Werder defense.

La Liga

Girona vs. FC Barcelona (-175) (Saturday, 10:15 a.m. ET)

Yes please, I will take FC Barcelona at -175.

Barca is taking on a Girona defense that conceded 28 times in La Liga this season, which is tied for the fourth-highest concession total.

Girona's lack of clean sheets is a big hindrance when it faces the top clubs in Spain.

Barcelona only needed one goal to win its last two games because its defense played so well.

If you mix Girona's inability to earn shutouts, Barca's recent defensive form and one of the top attacks in Spain together, you get the formula for a Barcelona win.

Serie A

Atalanta vs. Sampdoria (Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET)

Over 2.5 Goals (-150)

The last three Atalanta games featured 23 goals.

That is an absurd rate of scoring for any soccer league across the globe.

Atalanta scored multiple goals in each of its last six matches and its defense has not held a clean sheet in eight contests.

The sixth-place side in Italy could be involved in another topsy-turvy match against relegation-fighting Sampdoria, and at the price of the over, I'm more than willing to hit send on the wager.

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