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Top Soccer Acca for January 4-6 – Accumulator Odds of 36.18

| January 2, 2020 12:34 pm PDT
Real Sociedad, Bologna F.C, Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C, FC Lorient, A.C. Milan Club Logos

This is the first European soccer accumulator of the New Year, and we have something slightly different this week. Due to the winter breaks that occur in some leagues, we have selections from some other European competitions. The Bundesliga does not resume for another week or so, Ligue 1 returns next week, and it is FA Cup third round day in England. So I’ve chosen a game from the FA Cup and one from the Coupe de France, as well as one from La Liga and a bonus game from Italy.

I’ll go through my selections for my top weekly soccer parlay bet in a moment, but first, let’s take a look at how I got on with the last acca just before Christmas.

The Last Parlay

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to boost my Christmas present budget with a win. It was a mixed bag of results with only two correct legs. Atalanta convincingly beat Milan as expected, and Köln defeated Werder Bremen at home with fairly favorable odds. But Real Madrid could only draw with Athletic Bilbao at home, and Everton and Arsenal played out a goalless draw in one of the worst games of soccer I have seen in quite a while.

Nantes lost its home game against Angers to make it a poor showing for the week.

It is interesting that the games I thought were the riskiest ending up being quite straightforward, proving once again how difficult it is to correctly predict the outcome of five games of soccer. Hopefully, I can do a little better this week. All game odds are courtesy of Betway.

Wolves to Beat Manchester United – 2.40

I wasn’t sure whether to include cup games in my acca as they can be very unpredictable at this time of the season. With the race for European qualification and the money that comes with it all-important, many teams don’t prioritize the cups and will field much-changed and inexperienced starting elevens. Even though the FA Cup in England is one of the most famous cup competitions in soccer, Premier League clubs will usually field squad and youth players in the early rounds.

So, don’t expect Wolves or Manchester United to include their top stars in this game. If this was a league game, I think I would still go for a Wolves win, as the club has enjoyed an excellent December and looks like recapturing the form that was rewarded with a Europa League spot last season in its first year back in the top flight. But I feel as though there will be enough of the first team in the squad to overcome a Manchester United team that is likely to include more unknown players.

Although head coach Nuno Espirito Santo will definitely be concentrating on the Premier League, he knows that Wolves is the type of side that has a real shot of winning the FA Cup and bringing silverware to the club for the first time in years. A well-disciplined side should be able to beat a weakened Manchester United team at Molineux and not affect the fitness of the very best players at the club.

At this stage of the season, neither head coach will probably be too bothered if his side loses in the third round of the FA Cup. But there is the morale-boosting element to consider, something that both clubs could use as they go into the New Year. You may not recognize all the faces on show in this game (unless you are a Wolves or United fan), but this should finish in a home win.

Real Sociedad to Beat Villarreal – 1.95

Back to league business in Spain, as Real Sociedad welcome Villarreal to the Basque region. Villarreal would probably have preferred Spain to have the same kind of fixture deluge over the Christmas period as they do in the English Premier League, given the way the Yellow Submarine finished 2019.

After a struggle last season, Villarreal stayed up but did not play the best soccer. This campaign looked like it was beginning to go the same way. Just one point in the whole of November saw the club drop to 13th in La Liga, and it was only the poor form of the clubs below that kept it that high in the league. But back-to-back wins just before the break suggested some hope for 2020. There are no games against the big sides in Spain coming up for a while, so head coach Javier Calleja will be hoping that his team can push on in January.

But Real Sociedad has been playing some of the most exciting soccer in Spain this season and fully deserves its lofty position as it resumes action in 2020. A four-game unbeaten run, including a draw against Barcelona, rounded off 2019, and there is a lot of confidence around the club. European qualification at the end of the season should not be discounted.

Real Sociedad’s home form has not been quite as formidable as expected, with losses to Getafe and Levante coming as something of a surprise. But this is a side that looks the part against any opponent, and I think it should have too much for a Villarreal team that will need to find the determination and intensity it showed before the holidays if it is to get anything from this one.

Lorient to Beat Brest – 2.05

Now for one of the unfamiliar selections. The English FA Cup is known around the world, and most soccer fans will have some knowledge about the two teams in my parlay this week. But the Coupe de France is not a competition that non-French fans will probably know that much about. But there is an interesting rule in the French cup that helps us with a selection. At this stage of the tournament, the lower-ranked club always plays at home, supposedly giving it a better chance of progressing.

So, with not a great deal of expertise in the second tier of French soccer, I looked for a club that is doing well in the league being drawn against one struggling in Ligue 1. Lorient at home to Brest would seem to fit that category nicely.

Brest actually enjoyed a relatively positive end of 2019, including a big win over Strasbourg. But this is a team that has struggled for the majority of the season so far and will likely be involved in a relegation battle towards the end of the campaign. Lorient, on the other hand, has been near the top of Ligue 2 since the first day of the season.

Lorient sits in second place now and has not lost a home game since the end of October. In fact, it has only lost four games all season and will be looking at this game against Brest as one that it should have a good chance of winning. It is very likely that these two clubs will field squad players in the cup games, just like their English counterparts, but I think the form side will end up victorious here.

Bologna to Beat Fiorentina – 2.40

I’m rounding off my weekly European soccer parlay with two Serie A games this week. Italy gets straight back into league action after just the one week off over Christmas, so there is less chance of the players losing momentum gained in December. That is particularly bad news for Fiorentina, who has been on a terrible run of form and will be desperate for 2020 to bring some better fortune.

This was always going to be a tough season for Bologna, with its head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic battling a serious illness. But he has been inspirational for the team that has maintained a healthy mid-table presence without ever looking like dropping into the same kind of relegation scrap that it endured at the end of last season. Bologna won three out of four at the end of 2019, including impressive performances against Napoli and Atalanta, and seemed to have put a run of poor results behind it.

There was a lot of hope around Fiorentina at the beginning of the season, as the new owner forged a swell of optimism after years of disappointment in Florence. New players were brought in, exciting youngsters such as Federico Chiesa remained loyal to the club, and it looked as though the Viola was turning a corner.

Poor results at the beginning of the season did not entirely reflect the performances, and there was hope that as soon as the team bedded in, the wins would return.

It hasn’t quite happened like that, unfortunately.

Fiorentina has not won a game since the end of October, has picked up just two points since then, and Vincenzo Montella was sacked as head coach just before Christmas. There will be the hope that a new manager will change things around, but Fiorentina is showing the worst form in the league outside bottom-placed Genoa, and this one has home win written all over it.

Milan to Beat Sampdoria – 1.57

For my second Italian selection in this week’s European soccer accumulator, I’m backing Milan to carry on where it left off at the end of 2019, in a relatively good run of form. It has not been a good season for the Rossoneri, and the experiment of appointing Marco Giampaolo as head coach at the beginning of the campaign did not work at all. But Stefano Pioli has steadied the ship somewhat and brought a little hope to the red half of Milan.

Milan ended the year with a crushing defeat to Atalanta, following a four-game unbeaten streak that included a draw with Napoli and a win away at Bologna. As long as the players can get the humiliation of that 5-0 thrashing in Bergamo out of their minds, they should be able to start 2020 with a win. The short break will have helped with that.

Sampdoria’s season did get better over the last few months, but it could hardly have gotten any worse, with just one win in its opening ten games in Serie A. After relying on the goals of veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella last season, nothing went right at the beginning of this campaign, and new boss Eusebio Di Francesco only lasted until the first week of October before losing his job. Claudio Ranieri has done better, but recent results have not been that positive for the Blucerchiati.

There was just the one win, against the hapless Genoa, in December, and it is only down to the poor form of some of the clubs around Samp that it didn’t see in the New Year sitting in the bottom three. I’m not convinced that we will see a Milan resurgence anytime soon, but three points to kick off 2020 will please the home fans.

This Week’s Soccer Parlay’s Odds

Accumulator Odds 36.18

A very attractive-looking price of 36.18 for these five selections means that there could be some healthy returns, whatever the stake. There is the slight worry about the unknown element of this bet — the cup games especially — but hopefully, the home teams will come through as expected there.

I’ll be back next week to see how this wager goes and to provide another European soccer accumulator with more league action.

Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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