I have 5 tips for the weekend – all in this post to make is simple. Looking to make October a top month as all of the leagues are now nicely settled.
Wolfsburg v Eintracht Braunschweig (2:30pm Sat)
We are favouring the larger handicaps this weekend, and this fixture is no exception. Wolfsburg appear to have had a mixed start to the season, winning three (all at home) and losing 4 (all away) and languishing in 11th place. This isn’t a fair reflection on their ability. They lost 1-0 at Bayern and really should have been leading at half time. They are dangerous from set pieces and creative enough in open play to cause even the strongest defences problems.
Braunschweig have found it tough in the Bundesliga and are rock bottom with a single point after 7 games. They have shipped four goals in their last two away fixtures and 13 in their last 4 games. Their confidence will be low and they are so focussed on trying to stay strong defensively that they sacrifice any attacking threat they might have had. Their negative approach makes this game a daunting prospect. I expect the home side to ‘run riot’ and create a plethora of clear cut chances that put this game to bed early doors. Don’t be surprised to see Wolfsburg 2-0 up at the break if they manage an early goal. As happens so often, an early goal for the home side will force the visitors to be a bit more aggressive and this will play in to Wolfsburg’s hands.
Liverpool v Crystal Palace (3pm Sat)
The reintroduction of Luis Suarez and his seamless integration back in to the starting XI last weekend adds a new dimension to the Liverpool side who have started the season well without him… Palace have managed just the one victory (at home to Sunderland) and have failed to score in 4 of their 6 games so far in the Premier League. Losing their last 3 games 2-0, I fear for them at Anfield and think that a 2-0 defeat would be a result for them in this tie. Liverpool are creating so many chances that it is only a matter of time before they have a real goal glut and bag 3+ goals. For me, today will be that game. The only thing going against them is that Coutinho is still missing. Lucas is suspended too, but from an attacking perspective this won’t change much – though they might miss his presence in midfield.
The Asian handicap line seems high, but based on the idea that Palace will struggle to get a goal I think it is about right. My model gives Liverpool a 82% chance of a clean sheet, and 2/3/4-0 are all probably full time scores – making this a sound bet.
Atletico Madrid v Celta Vigo (11am Sun)
The early kick off is so often avoided by punters as not to ruin an accumulator… However, it’s a great chance to start the day off well and here I am confident of a winner.
Celta haven’t kicked in to full gear yet this season and despite having the potential to finish top half, I think they need to turn it around quickly to avoid being left behind as other mid table sides are picking up points. Without a goal in their last three games, travelling to the Calderon is the last thing they would want. Buoyed by their 1-0 Madrid derby win at Real last weekend, and their impressive 2-1 in Porto (check out their second goal by the way), Atletico come in to this game in full flow. 5 points ahead of their neighbours, Atletico haven’t been phased by the departure of Falcao and somehow look even more dangerous.
With 7 wins from 7 they are keeping up with Barca and are only behind them on goal difference. With 19 goals already, another 3+ is on the cards and is something they are more than capable of. Celta will try and stifle their play, but ultimately I expect the class to shine through and make this a comfortable win for Atletico.
Ajax v Utrecht (11:30 Sun)
Ajax played well in their game with AC in midweek and after snatching the lead late on will be frustrated with the poor penalty decision that cost them three points. However, they have put the 4-0 defeat of PSV behind them and were very impressive last weekend smashing 6 2nd half goals past Go Ahead Eagles at the Amsterdam ArenA.
Bojan is out, and Cillessen will keep his place in goal after Vermeer was dropped post the 4-0 drubbing at PSV. Utrecht are without Bulthius, Takagi (both suspensded) and Janssen and won’t be looking forward to this trip. They’ve picked up just one point on the road this season, scoring once and conceding 10. The 6 they shipped at Twente highlighted the issues they have defensively. They concede to many chances on the road. They will try to counter Ajax here and it could work to an extent, but Ajax are great at holding on to the ball and will ultimately dictate play for the majority. They should get a comfortable 3 points here today.
Spurs v West Ham (4pm Sun)
The two sides are close geographically, but at this moment in time, that is where their similarities end. Spurs have invested very well after the sale of Bale and managed a 2-0 win in midweek with their ‘second string’ at Anzhi. The depth they have is arguably the best in the league and is a contributing factor for this bet today. At above evens it is great value considering the likelihood.
They have amazingly conceded just 2 so far this season in ten competitive fixtures – an awesome record. It isn’t surprising to see that my model forecasts another clean sheet, especially considering the lack of firepower in the West Ham side. They don’t offer much going forward, or not as much as they should. AVB has encouraged having a go at goal and although this hasn’t yet converted in to bags of goals, it has shown their intent and focus on creating chances. Without a goal on the road in their opening three away fixtures, West Ham know they will be up against it at White Hart Lane.
You could take a smaller line if you prefer, but a convincing home win seems the only outcome here.
Sevilla v Almeria (4pm Sun)
Sevilla’s league position is in no way representative of their ability or where they will end up come May. They have had a couple of iffy results but their three defeats were in games they were expected to lose. Away at Barca and home to Atletico in particular as they were big underdogs in both.
They’ve now bagged 12 in their last 4 home games and are threatening as you would expect of a team with their quality. They face an Almeria side without a win on the road, or in any of their 7 games in fact. Despite the list of absentees for the home side, they have enough quality to record a comfortably victory here. Almeria have lost by 2 goals in their last 2 away games, and that would be enough for us today…
Wolfsburg v Braunschweig – Wolfsburg -1.50 (1.83 – 188bet)
Spurs v West Ham – Spurs -1.50 (2.28 – 188bet)
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Liverpool -2.00 (2.04 – Bet Victor)
Ajax v Utrecht – Ajax -1.75 (1.96 – 188bet)
Sevilla v Almeria – Sevilla -1.00 (1.88 – Bet Victor)
Atletico v Celta Vigo – Atletico -1.75 (1.88 – Ladbrokes)