The international break came at the perfect time.
It gave me a good chance to reset after a few average at best weeks on the European soccer side.
The action heats up again starting on Friday in Germany and France and then we go straight back into the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. No rest for the tired players;.
The main attraction of the weekend comes from Germany, where Bayer Leverkusen plays host to Bayern Munich.
Bayern lost its last league match against Eintracht Frankfurt. Sunday’s match at the BayArena could be viewed as a bounce-back spot for Bayern, or a chance for Leverkusen to take advantage of a vulnerable league leader.
There are a handful of other spots throughout the weekend to look at as well, but most of the focus will be on Sunday morning in Germany.
Weekend Soccer Picks (38-42 overall record)
Bundesliga: Freiburg vs. RB Leipzig (-110) (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)
I’m willing to go back to RB Leipzig one more time.
Jesse Marsch’s team outscored its last two Bundesliga opponents 9-0 and it should have enough quality to get past Freiburg.
Freiburg has been one of the most surprising teams in the big five European leagues, but it only played one of the top clubs in the German top flight. It beat Borussia Dortmund and its susceptible defense back on August 21.
If Leipzig truly has found a rich vein of form, it should overpower Freiburg and start its push up the table into the Champions League places.
Ligue 1: Clermont Foot vs. Lille (+125) (Over 2.5; -105) (Saturday, 11 a.m. ET)
I’m making one more run at the Clermont Foot Overs.
In five of the club’s last seven games, there have been at least three goals. The two other matches ended in 1-1 draws.
Before the international break, Lille began to turn a corner with three wins in four games.
Lille should have Jonathan David, Timothy Weah and Burak Yilmaz back in the fold and the away team alone could hit the over.
Lille is the much better side and it could use Saturday’s match as a catalyst to offensive success with Sevilla and PSG on the horizon to finish October.
La Liga: Rayo Vallecano (-125) vs. Elche (Sunday, 8 a.m. ET)
I’m going back to Rayo Vallecano after losing on it two weeks ago.
Rayo Vallecano is 3-0-0 at home in La Liga play. It welcomes 14th place Elche, who is 1-0-3 on the road, Estadio de Vallecas on Sunday.
I’m banking on Rayo Vallecano’s home form to come through in this matchup. Look for Radamel Falcao to be at the forefront of most of Rayo’s scoring chances.
Bundesliga: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (-170) (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Bayern Munich bounce back spot.
You do not get to say that much throughout the European season.
But here we are with the top team in the German top flight.
Bayer Leverkusen is without a doubt a tough opponent, but Bayern doesn’t lose twice in a row. Look for Bayern to reinforce their will atop the league with Leverkusen making a push from second place .
Premier League: Newcastle vs. Tottenham (+115) (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET)
During the international break, Newcastle United underwent an ownership takeover.
There are rumors whether manager Steve Bruce will keep his job under the new owners from Saudi Arabia. That has to be an unsettling feeling while preparing for one of the most dynamic attacks in the Premier League.
Newcastle does not have a win this season and it has conceded 16 goals over seven matches.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min should feast on the Magpies defense. A road victory should be in the cards for Spurs.