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Borussia Dortmund have a mouthwatering rematch with Real Madrid in the Champions League to look forward to next week, but first they must negotiate relegation-threatened Stuttgart.
Faltering Arsenal host Manchester City in the Premier League looking to keep their faint title hopes alive, and will be out for revenge having been spanked 6-3 by the Blues back in December.
While on Sunday there's some top-of-the-table Serie A action to get stuck into, as leaders Juventus visit Naples to take on third-placed Napoli, who trail the Old Lady by 20 points.
Stuttgart vs Dortmund (Sat, 2:30pm)
Stuttgart were thrashed 6-1 in the first meeting between these teams this season and things have only got worse for them since. After winning their next game they’ve lost 11 of their last 15 matches and have lost all 6 of their home games this season against the current top half.
Dortmund have raised their game recently having come under pressure for second place from Leverkusen and Schalke. While they still have a few injuries, their problems are not as bad as they’ve been and they’ve won 6 of their last 9 matches. Furthermore, they’ve won 14 of their 18 trips to bottom-six teams since 2011/12 and are unbeaten against Stuttgart since 2010/11. Dortmund look good value to win at 1.75 but are very capable of winning by a few and we wouldn’t put anyone off the 2.75 on them to win by more than one goal.
Both teams have scored in 10 of Stuttgart’s last 12 home matches with 6 of the last 7 seeing at least 3 goals. However, since 2011/12 just one of Stuttgart’s 13 home games against top-six teams have had more than 3 goals and so while both teams matches tend to be high-scoring the goals markets look best avoided.
Arsenal vs Man City (Sat, 5:30pm)
We’ve highlighted Arsenal’s awful record against the top teams on several occasions this season and with a trip to Everton next they could find themselves dropping out of the Champions League spots.
The Gunners have won only 3 of their last 9 matches and 2 of those were against teams in the bottom four. They are unbeaten in 14 home matches but have drawn their last 3 games against the current top seven. City have won 7 of their last 9 away matches, and 15 of 18 home and away. Plus, they have won half of their 10 trips to top-six finishers in the previous two seasons and this term have won 2 of 3 matches at the current top seven. With Arsenal suffering with a number of injuries and Sergio Aguero having an outside chance of being fit for this game, the away side look a touch of value at 2.1.
Arsenal’s last 9 home games against top-six teams have all had fewer than 3 goals and the Gunners have been unconvincing in attack in recent times. While they’ve been rolled over at Chelsea and Liverpool in recent weeks they should be much stronger here and we are likely to see a cautious game; 9 of their last 11 home games have had fewer than 3 goals and after earlier hammerings this season at City (3-6) and Liverpool (1-5) they’ve had 0-0s in their following home games. At the same time that Arsenal have been struggling for goals, City have been improving defensively. They’ve kept 5 consecutive clean sheets and this fixture has had fewer than 3 goals in each of the last 5 seasons. Under 2.5 Goals look excellent value at 2.15 while a goalless opening half is a tempting 3.45.
Napoli vs Juventus (Sun, 7:45pm)
Napoli bounced back from defeat last weekend to record a comfortable win in midweek and open up a 10-point gap to the teams below them. Juventus, meanwhile, recorded a seventh consecutive win and are on target to record the most wins in a single Serie A season.
Juve have not been setting the pulses racing recently, but they know they only need to do enough to win and are under no pressure to send out any messages to the rest of the league by destroying teams. A chance to impress against one of their main rivals should get the team focussed, however, particularly given they’ve not won in Naples since 2000.
Napoli have drawn half of their last 6 matches against Juve but they were comfortably beaten in their last 3 trips to Turin. They were unbeaten in 6 home games against the top-four finishers in the previous 2 seasons (W3 D3 L0) but have lost twice at home against the current top six this term.
Juventus will miss Carlos Tevez through suspension (but are otherwise close to full strength) and they have drawn 6 of 13 trips to top-six finishers since 2011/12 and teams currently in the top six this term, so we would want to keep the draw on our side. However, they shouldn’t lose and with Napoli in average form they should prove their superiority over the league and can be backed on the Draw No Bet at 1.83.
This term, 3 of Napoli’s 4 home matches against the current top six have had fewer than 2 goals while Juve have recorded 4 wins by a 1-0 scoreline in their last 6 matches. Furthermore, 8 of Juve’s 11 away wins this season have come to nil and 62% of their away games since the start of 2012/13 have had fewer than 3 goals. It should be a tight game and Under 2.5 Goals looks the way to go at 1.90.
Jonas Olsson (West Brom)
Since 2011/12 Olsson has missed 11 games for West Brom and without him they are yet to win. Furthermore, they’ve conceded first in all 11 games, going on to lose 8 times, including at Hull last weekend. Cardiff have lost 8 consecutive away matches but if you fancy them to get a shock win they are a juicy 4.65.
Ciro Immobile (Torino)
Immobile has scored 7 times in his 9 home games this season as Torino have won 5 times and 5 of the matches have had at least 3 goals. However, in the 6 home games he’s missed they’ve won only 1 and the last 4 have had just 4 match goals in total. Cagliari are also without one of their regular forwards and Under 2.5 Goals can be backed at 1.70.
Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao)
Herrera has missed just 17 of 68 Athletic games since the start of last season and they’ve conceded 41% more goals per game in those matches than when he’s been playing. With that in mind Over 2.5 Goals could be a decent bet at 2.10.