Monthly Archives: April 2017

MLS – LA Galaxy v Philadelphia Union Preview (29/4/17)

 

Match Preview

Everyone knew it’d be difficult for LA Galaxy to adapt to life without legendary coach Bruce Arena. He’s now with the US National team and Curt Onalfo took over at the helm. Things have started badly for the new boss and the Galaxy find themselves second bottom of the Western Conference. It was worrying how poor they were in the first half against Seattle last week, going down 0-3 before the interval and that was how things stayed. I will cut the Galaxy some slack though because most of their losses have been against good teams this year, plus most of their performances have been ok at least.

Their opponents this weekend are a Philadelphia side currently rock bottom of the Eastern Conference and they are the only MLS team without a win this season. Manager Jim Curtin is under severe pressure after they somehow blew a 3-0 lead against Montreal last week, ultimately having to settle for a 3-3 draw. That simply isn’t acceptable for any side and major discontent was shown from the crowd after the final whistle. You have to wonder what sort of stranglehold Curtin has on the dressing room right now. Philly seem like a really frustrated group, but this is definitely in a negative way. They are feeling the heat and it’s difficult to see where their next win will come from.

It’s not often I’ve said this since I’ve been covering MLS, but I think the Galaxy are a spot of value in this fixture. They are -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites, but I actually believe they should be around a -1 line. Many would argue that Philly are currently the worst side in MLS, even Minnesota are performing better right now. Despite a sticky start, Galaxy still have a bunch of quality players in their ranks, and in Romain Alessandrini they have one of the form players in MLS. This match will be played 22:30pm Philadelphia time and I always love opposing sides from the Eastern Seaboard in these late fixtures on the West coast. Philly could be sleepwalking by the end of this game! The Galaxy aren't what they used to be, but I fully expect them to have too much for the visitors, who look so poor at the moment.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: LA Galaxy -0.75 @2.04 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

Norway Eliteserien – Brann v Viking Preview (29/4/17)

 

Match Preview

I personally think the result of the match is difficult to call. Firstly, it has to be mentioned this is somewhat of West Coast derby and the rivalry between the two teams is intense. Nobody will give an inch and I expect a committed physical battle from both sets of players. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was an under 2.5 sort of match, but all it takes is an early goal in a fixture like this and it could explode. Viking lost their first four games but played much better than their results suggested. They have looked much more dangerous since key left winger Samuel Adegbenro returned to the side after injury, but Brann have a good defence and might be able to do a decent job on him. Honestly, no result would surprise me here. It’s too risky to go against Brann at home, but equally Viking have shown a few times this year that they can lose even when playing well. I’m happy to sit this one out, it looks like a tough match to bet on.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

Norway Eliteserien – Round 6 (29 April-1 May)

Note - very few previews this round due to lack of time

Saturday 29th April

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/norway-eliteserien-brann-v-viking-preview-29417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Brann v Viking - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

Sunday 30th April

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Kristiansund v Stromsgodset[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Sogndal v Lillestrom[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Stabaek v Haugesund[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Sandefjord v Molde[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Aalesund v Tromso[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Odd v Valerenga[/otw_shortcode_button]

Monday 1st May

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Sarpsborg v Rosenborg[/otw_shortcode_button]

MLS – Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

I personally see Toronto winning this game fairly comfortably. The value perhaps isn't there on a -1 line, around the 1.90 mark it’s a tad too short for my liking. However, I wouldn't want to put anyone off taking the hosts because they are definitely the better team. My preferred bet is to take over 3 goals. We have seen signs in recent matches that TFC are starting to fire offensively, with Sebastian Giovinco especially looking hot. When he starts to play like this then watch out, because he goes on great streaks of scoring. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he bagged two or even a hat trick here.

Houston themselves are one of the highest scoring teams in the division and possess plenty of threat upfront. The likes of Torres, Ellis and Quioto have all looked hot this year and I think the Dynamo will score tonight. Toronto are badly missing key defender Drew Moor and they aren't anywhere near as solid without him around. I see an end to end sort of game with lots of chances, and hopefully a lot of goals. The extra class of TFC should ultimately shine through. Houston put up a good fight at Portland the other week but lost 2-4, and I could see something similar occurring again really. Over 3 goal is my call for this game, at worst I’m expecting a push.

Prediction: 4-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 3 goals @2.09 (minimum odds acceptable 1.85)

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

France Ligue 2 – Amiens v Ajaccio Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

I like Amiens and the overs here, but ultimately the price on both isn’t what I want. That is especially the case with the hosts who are as short as 1.60 to win. Amiens had a great late win against Brest last weekend to get them back in the promotion race. They should be buoyed by that victory but at some stage you have to expect the pressure will hit them hard. What this squad has achieved is remarkable but can they hold their nerve until the end of the season? Ajaccio realistically look safe now, but could maybe do with one more point just to be sure. I don’t think they’ll roll over here, but have conceded a lot of goals recently. That is why I was tempted by over 2.5. But with the stakes so high for Amiens any win would do and they might be holding on towards the end. I’m predicting a home win and overs, but I’ll leave this match alone.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

France Ligue 2 – Orleans v Red Star Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

This is a huge fixture down at the bottom of the table where 19th placed Orleans take on Red Star in 18th. A defeat for either side would be very costly, especially for Orleans. If the hosts lose then I think it's fair to say relegation would be closing in very quickly. It’s definitely a ‘must not lose’ for them which could add to the tension and nerves. Red Star had a terrible six game losing streak at the worst possible time, but hit back emphatically last time out against Bourg 4-1. Literally anything could happen here and I wouldn't be surprised with any sort of outcome. It could be a tight game, or explode into life. My personal feeling is that Orleans will claim a close win and that an over 2.5 will be seen. But there is no way I’m interested in getting involved considering the high stakes involved for both teams.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

France Ligue 2 – Bourg-en-Bresse v Sochaux Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

Both sides have been so poor of late that they are even looking over their shoulders a little bit towards the relegation zone. I think both will ultimately be fine, but a Red Star win at Orleans tonight, combined with a potential defeat for either would certainly put the frighteners up the backside of whichever team lost. Bourg have lost 6 of their last 7 games and it would’ve been a complete set of losses had they not lucked out against GFCA. Sochaux haven't fared much better, losing 5 out of 7. Clean sheets have been a rarity for both in recent weeks too, but this match could either be wide open or really tight, I’m not sure. Truth be told, a draw for both sides would be a good result which makes this a difficult match to bet on. I think the value lies with Bourg-en-Bresse, but it’d take a brave man to get involved here with two teams in such poor form. I’m going to predict a draw because if it's level with 10 mins left, I can’t see either side risking too much.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

France Ligue 2 – Tours v Clermont Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

A run of eight unbeaten games has seen Tours move three points clear of the relegation zone and they are currently one of the big form teams in Ligue 2. Their performances since a change of coach have been remarkable and I’d say there’s a good chance they’ll win again tonight. I’d love to back Tours in this match but I think 1.95 is a little bit short in terms of odds. Clermont are a really weird side who have a knack of upsetting teams who need points. With not too much pressure on their shoulders, most people will assume they are safe with an eight point gap separating them from the drop zone. I think the best bet here is over 2.25 goals. Tours have only kept two clean sheets in their last 10 games, whilst Clermont have developed a porous defence in recent times. Tours aren’t the sort of team who like to sit on a 1-0 lead and just hold on, they'll go searching for more goals too. I think a 2-1 or 3-1 scoreline could be on the cards here.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.25 goals @1.78 (minimum odds acceptable 1.60)

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

France Ligue 2 – Strasbourg v Le Havre Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

Le Havre did well on Monday and deservedly beat Lens 1-0. Their motivation was questionable heading into that contest but they answered any critics with a good performance. However, I'm going to have to question their motivation again here because realistically nothing much is a stake. I can’t ignore how poor they were in their most recent away game, lucky to only lose 0-2 against Amiens. I personally think Strasbourg are a better team than Amiens, and as long as the pressure of the situation doesn’t get to them tonight, then I’m expecting a fairly easy home win.

Le Havre are missing a few players which won’t help the visitors either. Strasbourg seem like the big form team at the end of this season so I’m happy to ride with them here. I’ll take a -0.75 handicap in case they only win by one goal, but I think something like a 2-0 or 3-0 win is on the cards. The value isn’t huge here. As you might expect with a team that ‘needs’ to win, the odds are lower than usual. But I feel the price is still just about acceptable.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Strasbourg -0.75 @1.82 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

France Ligue 2 – GFC Ajaccio v Valenciennes Preview (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

Valenciennes have done very well to win their last three games and as a result are now probably safe from relegation. They’ve put in such a big effort that it would be understandable if they dropped off the pace a little bit and relaxed somewhat. They continue to be plagued by injuries in all areas of the field which won’t help them either. GFCA have been playing well for quite a while now and should’ve arguably won all of their last six games. It’s a bit worrying how their concentration has dipped, but they have looked great going forwards and I give them the edge tonight. I’m happy to take the hosts on a bigger -0.75 handicap because I see them winning this something like 3-0 or 3-1. They are the better side right now and with VA possibly in a more relaxed mood a GFCA win is more than likely in my opinion.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: GFC Ajaccio -0.75 @2.14 (minimum odds acceptable 1.78)

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player