When I was asked to pick out a European treble for you fine people on this glorious Monday, I realised one thing: this is the closest I’m getting to a holiday on the continent this year.
So, please join me in being annoyed at your neighbour’s woeful taste in music, the cleanliness of the pool, the mischievous children stealing your suntan lotion and the price of the third-rate cocktails in the little alcove under the villas.
Yes my friends, today is truly an all-encompassing experience. Except the fact that you’re sat in your living room in summer temperatures and the only sign of an odyssey you have coming is your jaunt down to the shops later to pick up some bread and milk while you (hopefully) wear a mask en route.
Not quite the glory we were hoping for, but at least there’s football in Europe on Monday evening and that can act as some compensation to us all. I reckon I’ve found us a tasty little treble to whet our appetites.
Take a look at the price and ask yourself what’s going on there. I’ll tell you.
These two teams are naturally conservative in their approaches, but I suspect that may change here today as a win all but puts in Getafe in Europe, while three points for Alaves will practically secure their safety.
A point apiece does nothing really in the grand scheme of things for either – only prolonging their situation into a pressure cooker that they could both do without.
As of right now, both clubs might see this as their best opportunity to meet their pre-season expectations, so expect both to come forward far more than you have done this season to date.
At this stage of a season, it’s very wise to look across Europe for matches where there’s a split in the intensity sides will be bringing to it. Here is a prime example.
Inter won’t have an easier game than Torino for the remainder of the season, and Torino won’t come across a tougher opponent than Inter in their last handful of games in Serie A.
Torino are practically safe from relegation at this point, so they conserve their energy for the more winnable games against midtable sides and their would-be relegation-threatened adversaries.
Inter have conceded just 16 times at home this season, too – while Torino have conceded the fourth-highest tally of goals in Serie A on their travels.
This looks an open and shut case.
Ah, certain football clubs just have that legacy don’t they?
Real are one of those, where their struggles are generally all self-inflicted and they appear to be bleeding out, just before a big moment comes to them and they’re somehow impregnable once more.
All Real Madrid do is rise to the occasion and while their European successes are their defining characteristic in world football, having Barcelona exist in La Liga means domestic titles mean more in Spain than in Italy or Germany where there’s not two great rivals atop the standing week in, week out.
This is a chance to all but confirm another league title and I suspect they’ll be taking it some fashion.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
- All the latest football previews from across the Premier League and Europe are just a click away
- Placing bets is easier than ever with Paddy Power News’ live odds banners
- Football tips: Our 3 best bets for Oxford United v Wycombe Wanderers on Monday