The new week kicks off with several intriguing games across Europe, including a London derby between struggling Crystal Palace and unpredictable Chelsea.
Second-placed Juventus are in action in Italy when they host Udinese in Serie A, while Athletic Bilbao will be aiming to keep up their bid for a top-four finish in Spain when they take on rock-bottom Almeria.
Bet of the day
Athletic Bilbao to win to nil versus Almeria – 2/1
Bilbao are enjoying a decent season in La Liga and are fighting for a top-four finish along with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Girona and Barcelona, having won an impressive 13 of their 23 league games so far.
They should have few problems picking up another three points against struggling Almeria on Monday, as the hosts are cast adrift at the bottom of the table and are destined for relegation.
Almeria have incredibly still not won a league game this season and it’s no surprise to see they have the worst defence in the division, with 55 goals conceded so far.
They have lost without scoring in four of their last seven league matches and Athletic Club’s visit to the Power Horse Stadium could end in familiar fashion with an away win to nil appealing at odds of 2/1.
That makes even more sense when you consider that Bilbao have registered three consecutive clean sheets in all competitions.
Special of the day
Dusan Vlahovic to Score Anytime, Juventus to Win and Over 4.5 Cards – Bet Builder – 5/1
Juventus will expect to beat Udinese at home as the Old Lady, who are second, aim to stay on the coat-tails of leaders Inter in Serie A.
Juve have drawn with Empoli and lost to Inter in their last two games but their recent stumbles are likely to be quickly forgotten when they take on Udinese.
They are just one place above the relegation zone and are a side struggling right now, failing to win any of their last five games.
Dusan Vlahovic seems a likely scorer for the hosts to add into the Bet Builder equation, as the Serbian has netted 12 league goals this term, with six coming in his last five appearances.
Boosting the bet up further to include over 4.5 cards overall seems a good play as well when you consider there were five cards shown in Juve’s last game – the 1-0 defeat against Inter – and the same amount were brandished by the ref in Udinese’s most recent game – their 0-0 draw with Monza.
Furthermore, Juve have picked up 55 yellow cards this season in Serie A, with only four clubs in the Italian top-flight being shown more than the Turin giants.
Udinese are only four behind in that particular table, accumulating 51 yellows in total from their 23 matches.
Long shot of the day
Crystal Palace and Chelsea to draw – 13/5
Chelsea are favourites, understandably, to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park as Mauricio Pochettino’s side look to build on what was an encouraging performance in their FA Cup replay win over Aston Villa last week.
However, the Blues have been horribly inconsistent all season and even though Palace are struggling right now, with the pressure seemingly growing on boss Roy Hodgson, it would sum up the visitors’ season if they stumbled in south London.
Palace were woeful when losing 4-1 at Brighton last time out, but they might just be able to pick up a point against their unpredictable opponents.
Despite their clear problems, the Eagles are actually unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions at home and Hodgson will set them up to try and frustrate and stifle – tactics that could just pay off.
*all odds correct at time of writing and subject to change
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