Our new European Football expert Simon Mali gives us his three best bets from across Europe this weekend.
My first European football column where I’ll pick out the best three bets across the various leagues, this weekend I’ve decided to go to Slovenia and Italy.
Olimpija Ljubljana at Celje – Saturday 14.30pm
On Wednesday Celje finished Olimpija Ljubljana’s dream of wining the Cup after the home team won quarterfinal match 3-1. Now the two meet again in the Championship and the league leaders will be highly motivated to gain revenge. Even though his team have a four point advantage over second place Domžale, Olimpija Ljubljana’s manager Marijan Pušnik is under big pressure. If his team don’t win Saturday’s match, he could get in trouble. However his team have the best defence in Slovenian Championship and can also always rely on good form of striker duo Ezekiel Henty & Andraž Šporar, so that should be enough for victory in Arena Petrol. Olimpija Ljubljana to win.
Rudar Velenje at Maribor – Saturday 16.45pm
After a slow start to the season, Maribor have been in good form of late with three straight wins and are now up to fourth position in Slovenian championship. New manager Kruno Jurčić has found the right attacking formation and his side has scored 10 goals in those last three Championship matches. Maribor fans expect that their team will once again finish the season on the top of the table so that they can fight for the spot in Champions League, so they need all three points against six-ranked Rudar Velenje who has scored only 14 goals in 15 Championship matches. They have also only managed to take six points in their last seven away matches. These sides met midweek in the Cup, a match that Maribor won 3-0 and although there’s likely to be some changes in personnel we should see a similar outcome. Maribor wins this by more than one goal.
Roma at Inter Milan – Saturday 19.45
League leaders Roma travel to the San Siro to take on 4th placed Inter Milan on Saturday evening. Roma have won five straight games with 17 goals scored in that spell. Manager Rudi Garcia’s side have only been beaten once this season and no opponent have held them scoreless. Inter have had three draws in their last four Serie A matches and are clearly struggling for goals with just 10 in their opening ten games. Inter will be happy with a draw but I don’t think they have enough to hold out.
Olimpija Ljubljana -1 at 5/4
Maribor – 1 at 6/4
Roma at 6/4