With the Bundesliga back in force, and having gladly avoided the Schalke game, we have my first German tip of 2013! We also have another from the Eredivisie and another few too. 5 in total, let hope for a great Saturday!
Hoffenheim v Borussia Monchengladbach (2:30pm)
Hoffenheim come back after the winter break having lost their last 6 Bundesliga games of 2012, conceding 18 goals (3/game). Monchengladbach have lost just 4 times so far this season and are unbeaten in 5. Both sides’ home and away results show a similar trend, where Hoffenheim have lost their last 4 at home, and ‘Gladbach haven’t lost in 5 on the road. With ‘Both Teams to Score’ winning in the last 5 Hoffenheim home games and 5 ‘Gladbach away games, it is likely to happen again, but I can see value in the Asian Handicap market on the away side. At around 3.05 for the away win, there is value there too. With few quality attacking players with any consistency, the home side will more than likely concede more than they manage to score.
Swansea v Stoke (3pm)
Stoke have now failed to score in their last 3 games on the road (not score in 6 of their last 9 away), and create the fewest chances per game in the league. Swansea’s home form has been indifferent too, with just 3 wins this season at the Liberty Stadium. They have held Chelsea and Man United though, so it is by no means an easy place to travel. With Michu rested in midweek at Arsenal, he is certain to start and be raring to go. His record is impeccable, and against a Stoke side that appear to have lost their defensive prowess (conceded 10 in their last 3), he may thrive. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a slow start, and with Stoke seeing just 9 1st half goals in their 11 on the road, 0-0 HT looks possible. Swansea’s fluidity and mentality should be enough to see them take all three points from this fixture. The odds represent solid value.
Palermo v Lazio (5pm)
Lazio’s away form has been pretty poor this season, managing 8 goals in their 9 on the road so far. This is far below their capabilities, as highlighted by their league position and strong home form. They are up against the side that barring points deductions would be bottom of the table. Palermo have lost 5 of their last 6 league games and have failed to score in 4 of them. Lazio have been defensively very strong, keeping 6 clean sheets in their last 6 Serie A fixtures. I can genuinely see this becoming 7 clean sheets in 9. Palermo have 33 Fabrizio Miccoli up front, who is proven in this league, but not enough to cause the Lazio side too many defensive difficulties. Going forward they don’t offer that much, so the value in this game lies with the away side. Earlier in the season, Lazio managed 4 wind from 5 when on the road, so they are more than capable. I am shocked by the odds in this fixture. In my opinion they shouldn’t be much over evens for the win.
Brest v St Etienne (7pm)
Averaging a little over 3 shots on target a game, Brest have an impressive conversion rate of exactly one goal for every 3 SOT. Saint Etienne are less efficient in front of goal, and average almost 4 SOT per goal. Despite being defensively strong, St Etienne have managed just two victories away from home this season from nine games. Brest have poor form on the road, but at home have been very solid, winning more than half of their games. They have lost their last three at home, which sounds bad, obviously. However, these games were against Marseille, PSG and Montpellier, three strong sides. Prior to that, against the weaker sides, they had won 5 and drawn once. It will be a tight affair, but with the Asian Handicap and favourable odds, backing the home side becomes a no brainer. They have scored in all home games barring the 3-0 loss to PSG, and expect them to score today. Saint Etienne haven’t scored in their last three away, so to score 2+ seems unlikely.
AZ Alkmaar v Vitesse (7:45pm)
AZ haven’t won in 6 at home, and have lost 4 of their last 5. After looking decent for the beginning part of the season, they have plummeted down the table and are struggling to find the back of the net. With just one goal in their last 5 home games, I can see them struggling again today as the host Vitesse. Vitesse have won at Ajax and at PSV this season, so coming up against a poor AZ side should be a more straight forward task. They played a couple of minor friendly games in the break and bagged 7 goals twice. They know how to score and have bagged in their last 16 away games in the Eredivisie.
Back them one way or another, to get the odds on a positive Asian Handicap is unreal.
Terry’s Football Tips
Hoffenheim v Borussia Monchengladbach – M’gladbach +0.00 (2.25 – Bet 365)
Swansea v Stoke – Swansea Win (2.20 – Betfair)
Palermo v Lazio – Lazio Win (2.50 – bet365)
Brest v Saint Etienne – Brest +0.25 (2.00 – Bet365)
AZ Alkmaar v Vitesse – Vitesse +0.25 (2.19 Pinnacle)