Monthly Archives: April 2017

France Ligue 2 – Nimes v Auxerre (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

There is a lot at stake for both teams here. Nimes have done well to sneak themselves into third position after a great run of results, whilst Auxerre have gradually inched themselves away from relegation trouble. However, both teams would dearly love three points here. I think this will be a nervous sort of game, quite twitchy and it’s a possible under 2.5 match. Auxerre have been defending well recently, but a few players missing out could de-stabilise them a bit. My gut feeling is that Nimes will win 1-0 or 2-0. However, their price is about right and I don't really feel like going against Auxerre right now. They are fighting very hard against relegation and I’ll offer them some respect tonight.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

 

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

 

France Ligue 2 – Niort v Reims (28/4/17)

 

Match Preview

I like the overs here, but the value simply isn’t there. Reims have desperately faltered in their promotion bid recently and simply must win this game. A number of key defenders on both teams are either ruled out, or might not be playing fully healthy. This should in theory lead to an open game of football but Reims would take any sort of win and Niort have nothing left to play for. Extra motivation from the visitors will surely play a part, but who could trust Reims right now? I’d totally back the overs if I liked the price, but the odds aren’t acceptable enough.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

 

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

 

France Ligue 2 – Round 35 (28 April-1 May)

Friday 28th April

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-amiens-v-ajaccio-preview-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Amiens v Ajaccio - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-bourg-en-bresse-v-sochaux-preview-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Bourg-en-Bresse v Sochaux - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-gfc-ajaccio-v-valenciennes-preview-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]GFC Ajaccio v Valenciennes - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-nimes-v-auxerre-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Nimes v Auxerre - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-niort-v-reims-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Niort v Reims - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-orleans-v-red-star-preview-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Orleans v Red Star - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-strasbourg-v-le-havre-preview-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Strasbourg v Le Havre - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

[otw_shortcode_button href=http://www.meatmansoccer.com/2017/04/france-ligue-2-tours-v-clermont-preview-28417/  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Tours v Clermont - Preview[/otw_shortcode_button]

Saturday 29th April

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Troyes v Brest[/otw_shortcode_button] (no preview)

Monday 1st May

[otw_shortcode_button  size="tiny" icon_position="left" shape="round" color_class="otw-green" target="_blank"]Lens v Laval[/otw_shortcode_button] (no preview)

France Ligue 2 – Le Havre v Lens Preview (24/4/17)

 

Match Preview

I would say there is value on the unders and Le Havre here. But we are at the stage of a season where motivation is something to consider, and I find it really hard to factor it into the estimations. Lens are in desperate need for the 3 points and a win would put them back up to third in the table. Le Havre are locked in midtable and have nothing left to play for except pride. There were signs in their previous match at Amiens (0-2) that the players were maybe starting to think about their summer holidays and the beach. So if I had to side with anyone then it would certainly be with Lens. I fancy an away victory, but there is no value on them. It’s worth noting that the last eight Le Havre matches all ended under 2.5, but as there is no pressure on them anymore then maybe they might open up?

Prediction:

Recommended bet: None

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

 

Norway Eliteserien – Haugesund v Molde Preview (24/4/17)

 

Match Preview

There are two picks I like for this match. The first is Haugesund +0.25 and the second is over 2.75 goals. I personally think the bookies have this match the wrong way around. Haugesund should be a -0.25 favourite and I don’t think there is that much of a gulf between the two teams. Molde are a good side, but they aren’t anything special and I think they are overrated. Part of that is probably due to their 4-0 win last time out against Valerenga, but the ‘Enga defence was so terrible in that match that anyone would’ve fancied their chances of scoring a few. Molde generally play much much better at home anyway, I’m not so sure they will relish a difficult looking trip to Haugesund.

I think the home team have shown some good signs this year. They’ve claimed two nice victories and their defeats at Godset and Brann were no disgrace, at difficult locations. This seems to be a team full of goals and they have players like Abdi, Shuaibu & Gytkjaer in great form. Haugesund do have problems at the back though which is concerning. Their one clean sheet was highly fortuitous. I think this will be a very end to end game containing a lot of chances. The goal line should be around the 3.0 mark, but instead we can grab over 2.75. I’m not a believer in H2H records much, but it’s worth noting that Molde have failed to beat Haugesund in any of their last eight meetings.

The one concern is the weather forecast, which isn’t great. Cold conditions with potential rain & very strong winds are expected which might hinder goal production. On the positive side though, this will surely help Haugesund more. I believe they are a team full of ‘real men’ who will relish such conditions. I personally think Molde have a ‘weak’ core and a number of their players are quite soft, pussy like who might not want to roll their sleeves up here. I’m happy to take Haugesund +0.25 and over 2.75. If the weather affects this game creating a poor encounter then so be it, I will have to take the risk.

Prediction: 3-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Haugesund +0.25 @1.79 (minimum odds acceptable 1.79)

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.75 goals @1.97 (minimum odds acceptable 1.84)

 

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

 

MLS – Minnesota United v Colorado Rapids Preview (23/4/17)

 

Match Preview

There can be no doubt that Minnesota are an improving side, both in terms of results and also performances. They were getting routinely battered at the start of the season but things have changed a little bit in recent weeks. They stopped the rot by drawing 2-2 away at Colorado, then were superb during the 4-2 win against RSL. Last week’s come from behind 2-2 draw at Houston showed how much progress this team has made. When you consider they were a +1.25 underdog on the road, the bring back a point from a 0-2 deficit is impressive. I think they are a strong offensive force and have to be respected going forwards. The likes of Ramirez, Molino, Venegas and a few others have decent technical skills and are quick. Minnesota do create chances and their conversion rate is improving.

This is actually a basement battle in the Western Conference and from what we have seen so far this year, both could continue to struggle this season. Colorado finished bottom of the 2015 MLS, but rebounded strongly last season to make the playoff finals, only just falling short of making an MLS Cup final appearance. Their big strength was a great defence, making themselves hard to beat and sneaking the odd goal at the other end. This year, they seem a shadow of their former selves though. One of the main reasons was a natural ‘slump’ because their style of play was unsustainable. The recent injury at the back to star defender Axel Sjoberg has hit them hard too.

With stud goalkeeper Tim Howard suspended for this match after making foul mouthed comments to some SKC fans a couple of weeks ago, Minnesota aren’t likely to be worried by his deputy Zach McMath, who is decent but not in the class of Howard. One interesting side note is that two Colorado players, Sam Cronin & Marc Burch have already been traded to Minnesota this season and both are pretty strong players, especially Cronin. Right now, it’s difficult to rank the home team properly because they still make a lot of rookie mistakes that a new franchise will typically struggle with. But in this instance I fancy them to win and for the game to contain quite a few goals. Therefore, I think backing Minnesota on a DNB Asian Handicap and taking the over 2.75 goal line are viable options.

Prediction: 4-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Minnesota United DNB @1.83  (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.75 @ 1.87 (minimum odds acceptable 1.76)

 

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

 

MLS – LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders Preview (23/4/17)

 

Match Preview

There is absolutely no doubt that this is a big heavyweight clash between two Western Conference rivals who are historic power teams in MLS. It is therefore a surprise that both are situated quite poorly in the table right now. To be exact, it’s 8th vs 9th in the West and neither have gotten off to a great start this campaign. For Seattle, this was perhaps expected due to the massive target on their back thanks to winning the MLS Cup last season. We have seen similar things happen to defending champions, with the Portland Timbers being an obvious comparison in 2016. It could take Seattle a bit of time to find their form and rhythm this year.

Some would also say that the slow start the Galaxy have made was to be expected too. With long standing coach Bruce Arena poached by the US National team, this was always perhaps going to be a period of transition, certainly at the start of 2017. The Los Angeles outfit haven't been helped by injuries but that situation is now improved, with only long term casualties Sebastian Lletget and Robbie Rodgers ruled out. There is plenty to get excited about in attack for the Galaxy and the likes of Alessandrini, Dos Santos and Zardes have gradually looked sharper in recent weeks. The home team are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites and this looks about fair. It would be hard to choose which side to take on this sort of line though.

Whenever these two teams meet I always think there’s a big ego factor to consider. Both consider themselves superior to the other and both will want to lay down a marker at this early stage of the season. Whilst both respect each other, there is rarely any over-respect and absolutely no fear on either side. It’s all about winning the match and both will be at loggerheads throughout the 90 mins. I’m anticipating an open game of football, despite each team possessing some strong defenders like Jelle Van Damme and Chad Marshall. I think there will be enough chances created for at least three goals to be scored, which is why I’d say over 2.5 is the best betting option.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.5 goals @1.92 (minimum odds acceptable 1.79)

 

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

 

MLS – New York City FC v Orlando City Preview (23/4/17)

 

Match Preview

Orlando have had a very good season so far, winning 4 out of 5 games and in general have performed much better than anyone expected. It’s worth noting all of their victories have been at home and they suffered defeat in their lone road game at Columbus (0-2). In past years, I would have this down as a banker over but Orlando seem a more solid team these days and are playing more conservatively. So I think a goal line of 3 or 3.25 is simply too high here, any value is possibly on unders. I find this a tough match to predict, and I’m more than happy to leave it alone. Gut feeling tells me NYC will win, but not by much.

Prediction:

Recommended bet: None

 

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

 

Norway Eliteserien – Lillestrom v Brann Preview (23/4/17)

 

Match Preview

I think this will be a physical match, possibly a tight encounter played on a fairly poor pitch. Lillestrom have been a big over team this season but Brann will be quite hard to break down and can usually defend quite well. I wouldn’t actually be surprised if this match ended a 0-0 draw, but I have a feeling there will be a goal or two somewhere. Nothing interests me from a betting point of view and the odds seem set fair.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

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

 

Norway Eliteserien – Sarpsborg v Kristiansund Preview (23/4/17)

 

Match Preview

Sarpsborg suffered a setback in their last match, losing 0-3 away at Stabaek. Prior to that, they’d won three in a row and looked very convincing. Sarpsborg were undone by a harsh red card early in the Stabaek mach and in truth I don’t think they enjoyed playing on the potato field that is the Nadderud Stadion. They should enjoy life more back on their own artificial surface, a place where they’ve been very strong for a while now. Sarpsborg have no injuries to worry about and the loss of star defender Rosted is unlikely to felt too much in a game like this one.

Kristiansund are a hard working, but extremely limited side. They've only scored one goal so far this season and that came from the penalty spot. The squad is quite small in size sand has already been affected badly by injuries to key players. Striker Daoud Bamba might be back soon, but probably not today, whilst crucial midfielder Kamer Qaka will likely miss out here too. Against such a solid team I struggle to see how Kristiansund score a goal. The only real danger scoreline is 0-0, so I’m happy to take Sarpsborg on a - asian handicap. I think 2-0 or 3-0 is the most likely outcome here.


Prediction:3-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Sarpsborg -1 (asian) @ 1.98 (minimum odds acceptable 1.80)

 

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