Monthly Archives: October 2016

France Ligue 2 – Brest v Lens Preview (31/10/16)

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Brest preview

  • The Breton outfit are two points clear at the top of the table and could extend their lead even further with a victory here.
  • New coach Jean Marc Furlan has made an immediate impact at the club and they've only lost once so far. Brest’s home record reads 5 out of 6 wins so far.
  • Veteran playmaker Bruno Grougi remains injured. He’s an important player but hasn’t featured since mid September now, so Brest are used to life without him.
  • Right back Gaetan Belaud is still on the sidelines too and this position is perhaps their weakest spot at the moment without him.
  • Since the opening day of the season, Brest have scored at least one goal in every fixture as new coach Furlan has made their attack force a lot more potent.

Lens preview

  • A win would put them just one point off the podium. Lens have only lost twice all season but drawing half of their matches has definitely halted their progress.
  • Squad condition is excellent with nobody significant missing out due to injury or suspension. Anyone not included in the squad is due to the decision of the coach for tactical or personal reasons.
  • Lens are usually pretty good away from home, although did lose the last time they featured on Monday night, 0-1 away against Sochaux.
  • They have strong counter attacking potential and some good technical players who are quite dangerous if given the space and some might say they prefer playing on the road.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Brest have been excellent at home this season, winning 5 out of 6 games and the only blemish was against Clermont. New coach Jean Marc Furlan is a master at Ligue 2 level and always seems to carry an element of luck with him in this division.
  • Brest have scored a lot of late goals to either win or draw games and they are one of the most dangerous sides in the last 20 mins. Furlan will always push for the win,  so you could say they deserve a lot of the good fortune which comes their way.
  • I’m personally surprised Brest are as big as 2.09 on a -0.25 handicap. I don’t really see them losing this game and I'm happy to grab them on this line.
  • Over 2 goals also seems overpriced, close to the even money mark. Since the opening day of the season, only two Brest matches have contained less than a couple of goals and they’ve netted in 11 consecutive fixtures.
  • It’s exactly the same for Lens in that only twice since the opening day have any of their fixtures contained less than two goals.
  • This should be an attractive enough game between two teams who generally like to play football and attack. Ultimately, I think Brest will have enough about themselves to find a way to win, but both sides will probably score.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bets both 1 unit: Brest -0.25 @ 2.09 & Over 2 goals @ 1.98

France Ligue 1 – Marseille v Bordeaux Preview (30/10/16)

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Marseille preview

  • OM have gotten off to a solid enough start under new coach Rudi Garcia. They drew 0-0 at PSG last weekend, ending their long losing streak against the capital outfit. This was followed up by a hard fought cup win midweek against Clermont.
  • Marseille are actually unbeaten in four Ligue games now and are gradually starting to make some positive steps. I’m unsure what to expect from Garcia at the moment. He’s usually quite an adaptive coach so it’s easily possible they could be much more positive in this match.
  • Right back Sakai is injured although the attacking duo Romain Alessandrini & Remy Cabella both make their returns from injury,.
  • The Velodrome was far from a fortress last season, but OM are much improved here this year and unbeaten in front of their own fans.

Bordeaux preview

  • Les Girondins have starting keeper Cedric Carrasso ruled out because of injury. Striker Jeremy Menez will also miss the game along with a few others.
  • Bordeaux seem a really inconsistent side under the management of Jocelyn Gourvennec. They are literally capable of anything and haven't won any of their last four games.
  • The same can be said in terms of style and tactics. They don’t have an identity under their new manager yet and are difficult to forecast.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • The home team usually has a good record in this fixture, although Bordeaux do tend to have a slight upper hand. Marseille are unbeaten at home this season and have improved at Le Stade Velodrome.
  • This has the makings of a close match. It could be one of those contests where the match is open but the goals don't necessarily flow due to some poor misses or last ditch defending.
  • Marseille are rightful favourites on a -0.25 handicap, but they don’t have that much of an appeal due to the high draw risk.
  • Likewise, the goalline of 2.25 around the 1.90 mark seems about right. It feels like the sort of fixture which might contain exactly two goals.
  • Overall, I’d say it makes sense to leave this game alone, there’s too much uncertainty with the clash.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

Tippeligaen – Stromsgodset v Rosenborg Preview (30/10/16)

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Stromsgodset preview

  • A victory against Sogndal last week (1-0) was their first in the league since early July and got new coach Skullerud off to a winning sdart.
  • However, Godset’s miserable season continued in midweek when they were knocked out of the midweek cup at home to second division outfit Kongsvinger!
  • This rather sums up their campaign and the winter can’t come soon enough for this side. The starting XI prediction is very hard due to them having played just a few days ago, and having performed so poorly.

Rosenborg preview

  • The champions wrapped up the title ages ago, and unlike their opponents managed to secure their path to the cup final in midweek by beating Bodo Glimt.
  • Now they have Godset to effectively thank for another trophy because there’s absolutely no chance the will lose to Kongsvinger in the final.
  • With only that match really mattering for them now, I would expect to see some sort of rotated squad for this match.
  • They lost against Odd last week and it was their first defeat since the opening day of the season, so they don't have any long streaks to play for anymore.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • This match was set to be the NM Cupen final next month but Godset well and truly blew their chance in midweek.
  • Now all they have left to play for is pride, but on the back of such a poor result it would be difficult to bet on them.
  • This match is an overall nightmare from a betting point of view. I have no idea who will prevail and there appears to be question marks everywhere. A clear no bet situation.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

Tippeligaen – Start v Brann Preview (30/10/16)

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Start preview

  • This will be Start’s last home match before they go down to the OBOS-Ligaen next season. They have at least regained some respectability recently and seem to have enjoyed playing ‘spoiler’ against some other teams.
  • The hosts have had nothing to play for in recent weeks but have delivered some much better performances and right now can’t really be underestimated.
  • Having covered a string of asian handicap lines during a 10 game period, there’s no guarantee they will lose, or at least lose easily anymore.

Brann preview

  • One more win would secure them a deserved medal spot and would also increase their chances of finishing second ahead of Odd.
  • Brann have been excellent all season and a victory against close rivals Molde last week looks to have done enough to ensure they finish in the top three.
  • Their away form hasn’t been as strong this season but they simply have to deliver in a match like this facing such a lowly ranked opponent.
  • Squad condition is good with only striker Jacob Orlov rated doubtful.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Brann are quite rightly -0.75 favourites and should win the match. But they have a knack of winning games only by one goal and Start have suddenly become no pushovers.
  • The biggest strength the visitors have is a solid defence and I see no reason why they won’t continue to lean on their biggest weapon.
  • My feeling is that this won't be a walk in the park for the visitors and I don’t really have any interest betting on the game.
  • Start have been costly for me in recent weeks and I’m happy to leave their games alone for now.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

Tippeligaen – Sarpsborg v Tromso Preview (30/10/16)

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Sarpsborg preview

  • A late win at Stabaek last week has kept them in with a chance of finishing in the top three, but they need a lot of luck and other results to go their way now.
  • Sarpsborg have had a strong season and certainly deserve a top five place. This is their last home match of the season and they will want to put on a decent show.
  • Squad condition is perfect with no injuries or suspensions. It’s now up to the coach to find the perfect XI for this match against a team that will fight for its life.

Tromso preview

  • Four consecutive defeats at the wrong time has put Tromso third bottom and they currently reside in the relegation playoff position. They would probably accept finishing there right now but desperately need points to avoid automatic relegation.
  • Their terrible run of defeats have all been disappointing performances and it might be they have hit the rocks at just the wrong time. From a defensive point of view they’ve been especially poor.
  • Squad condition is at least good with no major injuries apart from long term casualties. Tromso desperately need to make the most of this positive factor.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Sarpsborg are odds-on around the 1.90 nark but Tromso will come here fighting for their lives, so a home win is anything but a banker.
  • Both can be quite physical sides who will produce a high level of commitment. This could be a tight game in which both cancel each other out.
  • I have to say Sarpsborg are the most likely winners but at this stage of the season who knows. I do not see any clear enough betting opportunities and it’s a clear no bet match.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

Tippeligaen – Valerenga v Lillestrom Preview (30/10/16)

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Valerenga preview

  • A crucial 3-0 victory away against relegation rivals Tromso looks to have secured Valerenga’s survival. They still need one point from this fixture in order to confirm that though.
  • For the most part it’s been a frustrating season for ‘Enga. But they’ve only lost 2 of their last 13 games, one of which was against Rosenborg so they’ve been a different team in the second part of the campaign.
  • Centre back Kjetil Waehler & midfielder Magnus Lekven are both suspended. Talented young player Sander Berge remains injured and will miss the last two matches.

Lillestrom preview

  • An unbeaten run of three games in which they've picked up seven points has lifted Lillestrom out of the bottom three places, at least for now.  They will be incredibly annoyed that they could only draw 1-1 at home to lowly Start last week.
  • Still, their destiny is now in their own hands and they know that two wins out of two would see them to safety. This however, will be a very tricky match against a local rival.
  • Talented midfielder Marius Lundemo is injured and will miss out. LSK don’t have too many other absences to anyone important.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Crucial derby match between two sides who really hate each other. Usually this is a really entertaining, end to end yupe fixture but with so much as stake I’d imagine it’ll be quite tight and cagey.
  • A draw would suit Valerenga. They don’t need to win the game. LSK could do with three points as well, but a draw might potentially be of use to them too.
  • I think this is a highly volatile fixture in which anything is possible. Literally nothing would surprise me and I don’t think it makes sense to bet in the game.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

France Ligue 1 – Rennes v Metz Preview (30/10/16)

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Rennes preview

  • Christian Gourcuff’s men have had a good week, beating fellow Brittany rivals Nantes & Rennes in the Ligue and cup respectively. A win here would move them into the top give.
  • Les Rouges et Noir have been very strong at home this season, winning 4 out of 5 games with only Bordeaux managing to stop them picking up all three points.
  • The hosts do however have some injuries to worry about. At the back, key centre back Mexer will miss out, as will the midfield duo Gelson Fernandes & Yoann Gourcuff.
  • This is a match they are fully expected to win so I think we’ll see Rennes highly positive right from the off.

Metz preview

  • Four losses in five games has put Metz on the back foot and they are starting to move down the table after a good start to the campaign.
  • Perhaps they are starting to look out of their depth and are now playing at the level which was expected of them this year. They needed penalties to beat off third division side Paris FC in the midweek cup which isn’t a particularly good sign.
  • Squad condition is favourable with only midfielder Yann Jouffre ruled out through injury. Nobody else of significance will miss the match.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Metz seem in a bit of a funk and the promotion bubble which they had at the start of the season appears to have vanished.
  • Rennes are very strong at home and it'd be a surprise if they failed to win this match. The only real question is how comfortable the margin of victory will be.
  • Metz have shown a willingness to attack so it’s possible they might score here. But defensively they’ve looked a shambles recently and Rennes should be able to fill their boots.
  • I am prepared to back Rennes on a -1 Asian handicap. At very worst they should be able to win the game, but realistically this match will end up as an easy home win.
  • Over 2.5 tempted me as well, but the risk of a 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline puts me off and I prefer just to stick with the obvious handicap selection.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Rennes -1 (asian) @ 2.01

France Ligue 1 – Nice v Nantes Preview (30/10/16)

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Nice preview

  • The south coast club are top of the table having won 8 of their 10 games so far this season. They are the only remaining unbeaten side in Ligue 1.
  • Defensive duo Dalbert & Paul Baysse who are both starters continue to miss out with injury. Midfielder Remy Walter is another casualty although not as important.
  • Nice still scored four goals without him at Metz last week, but the return of Mario Balotelli from injury is a welcome boost. Nantes have some strong physical defenders and he could match up well to them.

Nantes preview

  • Defeat at home to arch rivals Rennes last week was a bitter blow and ended their run of successive victories.
  • Nantes have generally been below par all season, struggling to score goals and generally not looking great under new coach Rene Girard.
  • Squad condition is at least healthy with no major injuries or suspensions. That has been the case all season but it hasn’t necessarily done them much good with players stagnant in terms of performance.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Nice have been absolutely flying this season and there seems to be no holding them back. A win here would restore their six point lead at the top of the table.
  • If they have anything about themselves then they should be able to collect a victory. Nantes aren’t a particularly strong side and often struggle going forwards to create chances.
  • Nice have been tight at the back as well as being strong going forwards and I’d be surprised if Nantes cause them too many problems. A slightly tricker task might be breaking them down.
  • Nice now have enough individual match winners to see them over the line though and ultimately I see them winning this match with a bit to spare. Their price, close to the even money mark is much bigger than I expected, so I’m happy to strike.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Nice -0.5 @ 1.98

Tippeligaen – Odd v Sogndal Preview (30/10/16)

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Odd preview

  • Crucial back to back 2-1 wins against Haugesund & Rosenborg has put Odd firmly back on track in their pursuit of a medal. Beating RBK at the Lerkendal last week was a massive shock.
  • Odd have leaned on defence to pick up these victories. They have looked really solid at the back and fought hard to win a lot of balls. Finally, their clinicality upfront has shown through as well.
  • Key midfielder Jone Samuelsen is ruled out for the rest of the season but he’s been playing hurt for a long time and he’s probably done them a favour by having surgery.
  • Young talented winger Zekhnini should return from his injury and offer them extra creativity out wide which has been missing recently.

Sogndal preview

  • A late defeat at home to Stromsgodset (0-1) last week ended an unbeaten four game stretch. Sogndal are safe from relegation though and are likely to finish up in the comfort of midtable.
  • They are a very hardworking and resilient team, well organised and disciplined. That is the key to their success and if in the mood could really frustrate Odd here.
  • The big question is if they will be in the mood or not. It’s been a long hard season and considering they are effectively safe, I’m not sure if the players will want to put in a really tough stint again.
  • Squad condition is good with no major injuries or suspensions. Their natural DNA is to sit back and park the bus in fixtures like this so it’ll be interesting to see if coach Eirik Bakke sticks to those methods.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Sogndal are the biggest under team in the Tippeligaen, with 18 of their 28 games containing two goals or less. They’ve drawn five games 0-0 this year and nearly added a sixth stalemate last week too.
  • With that in mind, under 2.75 at an odds-against price is extremely tempting. However, if Sogndal decide to open up a bit then it could be dangerous, so I’ll leave alone.
  • Odd need the win to secure a medal spot. I expect them to get it but they might not win easily. They are a -1 asian handicap favourite and this line gives little appeal either.
  • I don’t think this will be a classic by any means. Odd just need to get the job done, whilst Sogndal are a very professional team who won’t roll over easily.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

Tippeligaen – Molde v Stabaek Preview (30/10/16)

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Molde preview

  • Defeat against rivals Brann last week (1-2) has ended their medal hopes. Only 1 win in 6 games has stalled their progress at a crucial time.
  • With the exception of the 2-0 win at Tromso, their attack force has looked really poor recently. Chances aren’t really being created enough, and those that are generated simply aren’t finished with efficiency.
  • Molde are now destined to finish in midtable and there will certainly be some question marks surrounding their motivation, especially as their recent poor results could be quite demoralising.
  • Centre back Vegard Forren & midfielder Babacar Sarr are both suspended. The makeup of the squad and XI will, as always be very unpredictable.

Stabaek preview

  • Two defeats in their last three games has suddenly put Stabaek in massive trouble. As things stand they are set to be automatically relegated.
  • They do have Start to play at home next week, so will eye that as a potential three points. Anything other than victory here could see them officially relegated if their other rivals towards the bottom all won.
  • Winger Muhamed Keita is suspended but everyone else should be available.
  • Stabaek suffered heartbreak last week, conceding two late goals to lose against Sarpsborg. They have a superb away record since manager Toni Ordinas took over though, unbeaten in seven road games.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Molde have been lacklustre for a while and with a potential lack of focus I struggle to see why they are priced so short to win here around the 1.65 mark.
  • Stabaek have much more at stake, which of course will add pressure. But they are the team in desperate need of the points and we could see extra fight and spirit from the visitors.
  • I am willing to risk backing Stabaek on a +0.75 handicap. I just feel these odds are far too generous. Molde are nothing special and the visitors are unbeaten on the road under Toni Ordinas.
  • I would not be at all surprised if Stabaek won this match and for those who like a real big value bet, then they are worth a nibble @ 4/1. I will also have a small 0.25 stake on this outcome.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Stabaek +0.75 @ 2.12

Recommended bet: 0.25 unit: Stabaek win @ 5.50