Top 5 European Football League’s Betting Action 16-17th December 2017 Including The Basque Derby

With the Champions League group stages completed, attention now switches back to domestic matters among the football powerhouses of Europe. In England, the crucial Christmas fixtures are on the horizon: elsewhere, clubs will be looking to go into the winter break on a high. Where are the big clashes?

Premier League Feature Game: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Kick-Off 1730hrs 16th December

Pep Guardiola's in-form City sit at the top of the league, 18 points ahead of inconsistent Tottenham. Online bookmakers typically offer 5/1 against a Spurs win. Nonetheless, Pochettino's side should not be written off. They have won 3 of the last 4 Premier League meetings- and Spurs fans will always remember Ricardo Villa in 1981! With Vincent Kompany joining Jon Stones on the injured list, City lack defensive cover, and Harry Kane, supplied by a revitalised Son Heung-Min, will have high hopes of getting on the scoresheet. Of course, City have the goal power of de Bruyne, Aguero, Sterling and Jesus, but this contest looks wide open.

La Liga Feature Game: Athletic Bilbao v Real Sociedad, Kick-Off 1515hrs 16th December

The 'Basque derby' is always one of the most hotly contested fixtures in the Spanish calendar. This season, both clubs sit in mid-table, separated by 2 points. Each has faltered slightly after a solid start, but Real are unbeaten in 3 games, and Athletic have just been boosted by a win at Levante. The major goal threats are likely to come from Athletic's prolific veteran Aritz Aduriz, and Real's Brazilian striker Willian Jose. Athletic may be slight favourites, but a draw would be no surprise.

Serie A Feature Game: Torino v Napoli, Kick-Off 1700hrs 16th December

Torino have been patchy so far, and sit in 12th place in Serie A, whereas Napoli are very much in title contention in 2nd place. Napoli have scored almost twice as many league goals as Torino this season and conceded less than half as many. Last season, the corresponding fixture ended 5-0 to Napoli. Torino have also suffered injuries to defender Ansaldi and striker Niang, whilst Napoli have no new concerns. Online bookmakers have Napoli at around 4/6, but their wavering recent form and disappointing elimination from the Champions League could give Torino hope.

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Bundesliga Feature Game: Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim, Kick-Off 1730hrs 16th December

Both clubs have hopes of moving into the Champions League positions, but have struggled of late and will be seeking a psychological boost. After a great start, Dortmund did not win a game in their Champions League group, and, as at 12 December, have not won in 8 league games. This week, they have replaced coach Peter Bosz with Peter Stoger. Hoffenheim lost their Champions League play-off, finished bottom of their Europa League group, and have been inconsistent in the Bundesliga. Dortmund have a lengthy injury list, including Gotze and Reus, but still have the prolific Aubameyang up front, whereas Hoffenheim seem to have little striking back up for Mark Uth. On paper, Dortmund should win, but Hoffenheim are dangerous, and a change of coach can work both ways.

Ligue 1 Feature Game: Lyon v Marseille, Kick-Off 2000hrs 17th December

An intriguing clash between two teams who are level on points in second and fourth. Lyon often have to sell their best players, but are rebuilding well with some talented youngsters allied with the mercurial talents of Depay and the currently injured Traore. Marseille have a slightly more experienced look and are captained by the gifted Dimitri Payet. These are two well-matched sides. Nabil Fekir has 13 goals so far for Lyon, and Florian Thauvin tops the scoring charts for Marseille. Neither team has many injuries, although the absence of Traore may prove significant. The smart money would probably be on a score draw.

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