As we all know, the European footballing schedule never ends. Nary a day goes by that one or more of the leagues from across the Atlantic have at least one game running, whether it be a cup, league game, or even a friendly match. And oh yeah, there is this tournament coming up in the summer in Russia that you possibly heard about. I feel that many games and teams go under the radar because of this oversaturation. But this is where I come in. Every day I am going to make picks between two or three contests across a multitude of leagues. I’ll make predictions on the spread, score, and prop bets, and sometimes a combination of the three. By the end of 2018, I hope to have covered every team from as many leagues as possible. (I’ll create a table once I get going.)
So without further rambling, let’s get to the first set of SFTB Picks From Across The Pond.
Werder Bremen @ Borussia Monchengladbach (2:30 PM ET/Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes USA, fuboTV, SiriusXM FC)
The Bundesliga has been done and dusted for months now (Thanks a lot, Bayern), but there is still plenty to play for amongst the division’s other 17 clubs. While Monday night matches have drawn ire in Germany, Friday affairs have been a staple for many years. The two teams going at it to open Matchweek 25 in the Bundesliga are hoping to buck recent trends.
Borussia Monchengladbach has seen themselves drop out of the European places in Germany with shutout losses in four of their last five. In fact, in their last six, the losing side of Gladbach matches has been held scoreless. If they want to keep their hopes of at least a Europa League spot alive, the Borussians can’t play coy in this one.
On the flip side, Werder Bremen once again finds themselves in a relegation battle. I remember a completely different Bremen culture when I began to follow the Bundesliga, but lately, this has been the norm. Werder is two points above 16th place Mainz with ten games to go. They have one of the Bundesliga’s better defenses, even with losing Lamine Sane to the MLS, but struggle for consistency offensively. This up and down goes for their form as well, trading wins and losses in their last five.
If you want to keep patterns going, Werder Bremen is due an L on Friday Night Football, especially on the road. Vegas agrees with Gladbach currently .5 goal favorites (per Bovada). I’ll give the half goal and take the Foals at home outright. I’d love for a goal fest to get casuals into this league, but I’m afraid this game won’t provide it (Under 2.5 goals is -105 compared to -120 for the over).
PREDICTION: Borussia Monchengladbach 1 Werder Bremen 0
Leeds United @ Middlesbrough (2:45 PM ET/ESPN 3, WatchESPN)
I’ve said it many times and I’ll continue to say it. There is no more grueling league in the world than the English Football League Championship. 46 games of pure stress, and more if you make the playoffs (more on that in a moment), with promotion to the Premier League cash factory as a reward, makes for gripping storylines all season long. Two of the more intriguing tales in the Championship are Leeds United and Middlesbrough.
Leeds has been on the precipice of a Premier League return for years now. Once an English power, they fell to League One in the mid-2000’s but have their sights on promotion back to the top flight. Middlesbrough wants to bounce back after relegation a year ago, leading to a drastic reshaping of the squad.
Leeds one the first match 2-1 on their home turf. Middlesbrough takes the second here by the same score. I would even throw a cheeky couple bucks on Boro’s record signing, Congo international Britt Assombalonga, to score first. He’s the favorite to do so at the moment (per Betfair).
PREDICTION: Middlesbrough 2 Leeds 1
Well, that is the inaugural edition of Picks from Across the Pond here on Sports from the Basement. I hope you come back tomorrow for more picks from all over that continent yonder eastward. If you have any games you’d like me to pick you can contact me on Twitter @TREVORutley. In addition to the available media listed for each game, be sure to try out our Gameview service while watching as well. Cheers!