Midweek Euro feast
with Nick Pulford
There is a full midweek programme of league action from Spain, Italy, Germany and France, while England focuses on the second round of the Carling Cup, with several Premiership teams entering the fray. The Carling Cup is not the best betting contest, and the European league action is more appealing, including big games such as Barcelona v Valencia and Milan v Lazio. Two of Italy's Champions League teams face off, with Udinese at home to Juventus.
The champions rate as a good bet here, having won five times out of nine (including four of the past five) since their last defeat at Udinese. Inter also look booked for an away win at Chievo. The best home bet in Italy is Roma, who host poor travellers Parma.
German title contenders Schalke and Werder Bremen rate as the best away bets in the Bundesliga. Schalke won home and away against Nurnberg last season and the hosts appear to have declined since, while Werder's impressive attack looks too strong for Borussia Monchengladbach. Stuttgart rate highly for their home game against Hamburg but that could be unreliable and a safer home bet is Dortmund, who host Bielefeld. Real Madrid have slipped up badly twice already this season - losing at home to Celta Vigo and away to Lyon in the Champions League, letting in three goals each time - but they look a home banker against Bilbao. Espanyol, rate as a good chance for their trip to Racing Santander. Lyon (who feature Brazilian Juninho, pictured) are the top-rated home bet against Lens in France, where Marseille could follow up their recent away victory at Sochaux by winning at Toulouse.
Best homes: Stuttgart, Dortmund, Zaragoza, Sociedad, Getafe, Real Madrid, Messina, Roma, Lyon, Rennes, Sochaux.
Best aways: Schalke, Bremen, Espanyol, Inter, Juventus, Marseille.
Low goals: Nurnberg v Schalke, Borussia Monchengladbach v Werder Bremen, Chievo v Inter, Udinese v Juventus, Toulouse v Marseille.