This Weekend’s Best Soccer Picks: Don’t Sleep on These Derbies

Manchester City Norwegian striker Erling Haaland
Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland celebrates after scoring a goal. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

Join us for this weekend’s best soccer picks as we dive into Saturday and Sunday’s schedule and provide expert analysis from the top European leagues.

Continue reading for this weekend’s soccer analysis and betting previews from the top European leagues, as you’ll discover the best odds and bets from the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and more.

Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Saturday, January 14, 2023 – 07:30 AM EST at Old Trafford

Manchester United

Manchester United will host their arch-rival Manchester City this weekend as EPL fans are gifted with a double helping of intense derby fixtures this weekend as Arsenal and Tottenham are also scheduled.

Moreover, all four of these teams are sat in the top five of the EPL standings, so they aren’t just fighting for pride but also the valuable points at hand.

Manchester United are four points behind their old foes, and with a four-game win streak in tow, they’ll be confident in resurfacing as the top side in the Capital of the North. Further boosting the home team’s confidence will be their record at Old Trafford, which has seen them lose just three games from the previous 27 meetings as hosts.

Marcus Rashford is on a hot streak for Utd; he’s netted seven goals from his previous six appearances and 13 goals total from 17 games for club and country, making him a prime candidate as an anytime goalscorer at the best sportsbooks.

Manchester City

Losing 2-0 to Southampton in a shock defeat wasn’t the result Pep Guardiola needed to enter the Manchester derby with, as his team failed to register a single shot on target during this EFL Cup affair.

However, it’s worth noting that the defending EPL champions have lost just two of their 17 domestic outings this term, and Guardiola’s squad is the division’s top scorer with 45 goals.

In addition, City demolished Utd 4-1, and 6-3 in consecutive Premier League encounters in 2022, as star man Erling Haaland and Phil Foden netted hat-tricks in the most recent meeting.

Pick and Prediction

There’s no denying that Utd has excelled under Ten Hag in recent months. However, Guardiola’s men are still the prime candidates to remove Arsenal from the top spot, and they own significantly more firepower than their Manchester rivals.

That said, this is still a derby game, and a Manchester United win isn’t off the cards. The safer play is to back goals in this affair, as we anticipate the floodgates to open as they usually have when these two sides have met in recent years.

Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 Goals (-138) at FanDuel

Real Sociedad SAD vs. Athletic Club

Saturday, January 14, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST at Reale Arena

Real Sociedad

The Basque derby will be revisited this Saturday when Athletic Bilbao makes the short trip to the Reale Arena, but the home side enters this encounter with the finer form of the two.

Sociedad has enjoyed an excellent season thus far, and their quest to finish in the top six for a third consecutive season looks promising, as they’re currently in third position with 10 wins from 16 outings this term.

Defensive solidarity has been the key to Sociedad’s success this season, allowing just 17 goals from 16 La Liga games.

Imanol Alguacil has steered the Real Sociedad ship towards the higher ground of late, and with four consecutive wins and clean sheets post-World Cup, they’re now six points within touching distance of Real Madrid.

Athletic Club

On the topic of statistics, despite sitting in seventh place, Athletic Bilbao holds an elite offensive/defensive record at the time of writing. The El Clasico giants are the only sides to have netted more than Bilbao (24) this season, and with just 14 conceded, their defensive record is equally as impressive.

However, post-World Cup success hasn’t surfaced, unlike their weekend opponents. Bilbao has drawn back-to-back fixtures against Real Betis and Osasuna, both of which ended 0-0.

Pick and Prediction

As Real Sociedad’s most recent encounters have all provided low score lines – under 2.5 goals in their previous five home games – and Bilbao hasn’t lost in 6 consecutive games, expecting a tight affair in the Basque derby is a viable betting approach to take.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see these teams share the spoils and walk away with one point apiece, as we predict under 2.5 goals for this fixture.

Soccer Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-165) at FanDuel

Extra European Soccer Best Bets

  • Brighton & Hove Albion FC vs. Liverpool FC: Over 2.5 Goals (-165) at Caesars Sportsbook
  • US Cremonese vs. AC Monza: Monza ML (+155) at BetMGM is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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