Given that they’re likely to adopt a defensive approach, Russia may have to work hard to get the job done on Tuesday. Punters can profit by backing ‘Russia to Win & Under 3.5 Goals’. The Russians have the forward quality to overpower the Cypriots, but Tuesday’s hosts have shown that they can avoid a battering by frustrating Belgium for long periods, so they ought to be capable of doing something similar on this occasion.
In the betting, there’s not too much between the pair; Tenerife are slight favourites but nothing more, which may seem fair given that they’re close together in the table. However, if we examine their respective home and away efforts more closely, then it’s easy to feel that a bet on the hosts represents a slither of value.
From a defensive point of view, the Tenerife have offered more at home than Zaragoza have on the road. The hosts average 1.05 goals and 1.07 expected goals against, while the visitors have surrendered averages of 1.45 and 1.43. Tenerife also average 1.31 expected goals for, which without being great, is far better than Zaragoza’s average of 0.88 on the road. Given such facts, it’s easy to feel that the hosts should be shorter in the betting, so backing ‘Tenerife to Win’ at the current prices is a viable option.
Thursday’s Copa Sudamericana second round, second leg action sees Colombians Deportes Tolima doing battle with Argentinos Juniors. All is certainly still to play for, with the visitors bringing a narrow 1-0 lead to the Estadio Manuel Murillo Toro.
After dropping out of a Copa Libertadores group containing Boca Juniors, Athletico PR and Jorge Wilstermann despite picking up a respectable 8 points, Deportes Tolima had hoped for better luck now that they’re in the Sudamericana. Nonetheless, a 1-0 defeat in Buenos Aires leaves them with work to do if they are to advance from the tie, but the side will still fancy their chances.
Overall, Tolima have looked a solid outfit so far in 2019. They advanced to the play-off stage of the opening phase of their domestic top flight and are currently top of their group within it, so confidence can be pretty high coming into the game. They’ve also remained unbeaten in 3 continental home games this year, beating Athletico PR and drawing with Boca in the process, results that suggest they have every chance of getting the job done on Thursday.
Indeed, Argentinos Juniors’ name does not carry the same weight as the sides mentioned and though the Argentines will be happy to have established a lead in the first leg, they’ll know they have a huge amount of work left to do to see it through, given how slender it is.
Argentinos aren’t a particularly powerful outfit, finishing 26th in the Superliga Argentina but they have at least improved in recent weeks, reaching the semi-finals of the Copa de la Superliga. Nonetheless, said feat could actually be their downfall for this game, as they arrive tired to Colombian soil, having lost an intense two legged affair with Boca prior to making the gruelling trip to Ibague.
Chelsea have enjoyed the stronger season, but injuries to key players will weaken Sarri's side. Arsenal have impressed in the last two rounds of the competition and have the added motivation of trying to qualify for the Champions League.
RKC earned a gutsy 1-1 draw away to Excelsior in the last round to condemn the Rotterdam side to Eerste Divisie football next term, so it’s clear that Fred Grim’s men are well capable of doing the business outside of Waalwijk on a going day. But their travelling form has been patchy throughout the season and they head into this 2nd Leg on the back of four defeats from their last nine away matches.
That makes the visitors difficult to support in the match betting here, but we’re also hesitant to throw weight behind Go Ahead at a shade of odds-on, as it’s likely to be another tight game. Considering the result and lack of goalmouth action on in Saturday’s 1st Leg, Under 2.5 Goals makes plenty of appeal for the return at a decent price, with a 1-0 home victory the pick in the correct score market.
Sassuolo have certainly looked like a different team at home, having picked up 58% of their points and 63% of their goals at their own stadium. Worryingly, they’re a little more open here – conceding just 42% of their goals so far on the road. Even looking a little deeper we can see the difference location makes for Sassuolo. They’ve averaged three more shots per game at home than away, while their shot conversion rate is just 8% on the road. However, they’ve also conceded 14% of the shots they’ve faced at home, having gifted more opportunities to opponents at the MAPEI.
Atalanta are another side who have a very different record on the road. They’ve averaged more goals per game on their travels, having scored 41 times in 18 trips so far. They’ve also conceded more on the road, while they have one of Italy’s strongest away records. They come into this game following a 6-2 demolition of Sassuolo at this ground earlier in the season. La Dea have also scored 14 times in their last six trips to this stadium to face Sassuolo. Overall we expect goals here, so both teams to score is our pick.
Chiquinho top scores for Moreirense with eight Primeira Liga goals this season, closely followed by Tavares on six. Toze is one away from double figures in league goals for Vitoria Guimaraes this season, and will be hoping to reach that landmark at the weekend. We’re confident that Vitoria Guimaraes will win and have predicted a final scoreline of 1-0. The visitors have been here and done it all before, while for Moreirense this is easily their highest ever finish in the Primeira Liga no matter how Sunday pans out. The visitors have a very good record of wins in recent seasons against Moreirense, but the pair have a habit of playing out lowing scoring matches which is why we have backed a 1-0 win for Guimaraes.
A lack of both creativity and end-product is becoming a big problem for Ostersunds on the road. Away from home, Tuesday’s visitors have scored just two goals in four games, while they average a measly 0.58 expected goals for. Such numbers just won’t do, especially when they’re averaging 1.72 expected goals against.
In contrast, Hammarby have posted some very encouraging figures at home. They’ve scored an average of two goals per game at Tele2 Arena this season, while they also average a pleasing 1.93 expected goals against. Furthermore, Tuesday’s hosts have surrendered an average of just 0.75 goals and 0.97 expected goals on their own patch.
From a betting point of view, ‘Hammarby to Win & Over 2.5 Goals’ catches the eye. Hammarby’s performances at home have been far better than Ostersunds’ on the road, so much so that the hosts, who’ve scored at least twice in three of their four home games, look a good bet to score at least twice on route to emerging victorious.
In what should be a reasonably tight, tense affair, the bet that stands out at the prices is ‘Malaga to Win & Under 3.5 Goals’. Given that the pair are separated by just two points, there’s probably not a great deal between the pair, though Malaga have been slightly more impressive at home than Oviedo have on the road. The hosts won’t run away with it, but when we consider the respective home and away performances of both, especially the fact that Malaga have both scored more and conceded less on average at home, the chances of a low-scoring home win are slightly greater than the current prices suggest.
Chelsea warmed up for the visit of Frankfurt with a comfortable 3-0 success over Watford on Sunday, a win that confirmed they will be playing Champions League football next term. The Blues have never lost a home game against German opposition in European competition (D2 W7) although it is significant that Frankfurt have scored in all six of their away games in the competition so far this season. They may well find the back of the net again at the Bridge, but I feel it will be Chelsea who make the Final in Azerbaijan later in the month.