Following another action-packed midweek of Champions League football, the bread and butter of domestic action returns. Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire has picked out two of his favourite fancies from Europe.
The infamous man-flu knocked me for six over the past week; I failed a fitness test for Champions League content inclusion but have been kicking my heels in anticipation for a quick recovery.
Thankfully, the heavy doses of honey and lemon have worked wonders and I’m excited to get back on the horse following our two profit-makers last weekend.
Goals flowed in games at Lazio and Augsburg, giving us a healthy return on our seven-point outlay, and I’m hopeful of building on that decent display with two more selections from across the continent, including an eye-catching slice of value in Germany. And so, without further ado…
Bet Of The Season In Germany?
The Bundesliga has averaged a huge 3.27 goals per game this season with a whopping 70% of matches surpassing the Over 2.5 Goals mark. Two of the chief protagonists – Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund – lock horns on Saturday afternoon and I’m amazed we can pick up Over 2.75 Goals at a hugely generous 1.79 at Matchbook.
Collectively, the duo have delivered at least three goals in 20 (83%) of their combined 24 Bundesliga battles with a further 15 (63%) fixtures breaking the Over 3.5 Goals barrier. Fourteen of those contests rewarded Both Teams To Score backers with the average goals-per-game figure standing at a bulbous 3.59.
Admittedly, Expected Goals (xG) ratings aren’t quite so sky-high, however, this pair have a history for playing forward-thinking football, as well as chucking in a stinker or six at the back.
With offensive intent, coupled with vulnerable defensive displays, we could have the perfect recipe for potentially one of the best goals plays of the season so far.
As well as the lowly xG figures, a potential concern could be Wednesday’s sacking of Hertha boss Ante Covic. Jurgen Klinsmann has been given the gig until the end of the season and the former national team head coach should be looking at this match as a potential carrot to endear himself to supporters of the capital club.
Not just because Dortmund are one of Germany’s largest. But BVB are also a stone’s throw away from crisis-mode themselves following a disastrous showing against Paderborn last weekend. Die Schwarzgelben also face a do-or-die trip to Barcelona on Wednesday before their trip to Berlin, a schedule that will impact upon recovery and preparation time.
Head coach Lucien Favre has been given a small vote of confidence by the club at their annual general meeting but those at the top of the Dortmund hierarchy have reminded the Swiss supremo that results will ultimately decide his future. Such demands may prompt an overly offensive approach from the guests who are well-stocked in forward areas.
For Hertha, anything will surely be better than last week’s 4-0 drubbing at Augsburg. It’s now four straight losses for the Berlin boys who have failed to build on the solid foundations put in place by predecessor Pal Dardai. Saturday’s hosts have shipped at least two goals in seven of their 12 showdowns thus far, recording a solitary clean sheet.
However, Dortmund have been mind-bendingly bad themselves all too often in 2019/20 and have a habit of putting in sub-par efforts on the road.
So supporting a goal-heavy game is preferred; the pair have seen 10/12 (83%) of their respective home/away Bundesliga matches provide profit with this selection so I’m happy to get on it again.
Atletic To Flex Their Muscles Against Granada
Athletic Bilbao have been a team transformed since Gaizka Garitano took charge almost 12 months ago. Entrenched in La Liga’s relegation battle, the local 44-year-old inspired a marvellous turnaround in performances and results to push the Basque giants into a comfortable top-half position last term.
The eight-time champions have remained a force at their San Mames base but Les Leones produced a rare positive result on the road last weekend when ending regional rivals Osasuna’s long unbeaten home run. It was Athletic’s first success on their travels this season and hopes are now high that Garitano’s group can extend their recent streak (W3-D1-L0).
Back at San Mames, Athletic deserve our support around the 1.75 mark against Granada on Sunday. The hosts have returned an excellent W18-D11-L9 – a 47% win rate – under Garitano with those figures improving to a wonderful W13-D5-L1 when entertaining La Lia opposition here. That 68% win rate arrives alongside a superb 10 clean sheets in 19 outings.
Newly-promoted Granada have made a superb start to life back in the Spanish top-flight. With survival top of Los Rojiblancos’ priority list, the Andalusians have already enjoyed a week at the top of the table – the first time they’d been there for 46 years – as well as accumulating more league wins than their last top-tier stint.
Under Diego Martínez – the division’s youngest head coach and without any previous La Liga experience – Granada excelled early on, winning half of their opening 12 outings. But El Grana have since slipped to three defeats from four winless games against capable opponents Getafe, Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.
Boasting La Liga’s third poorest wage budget, Los Rojiblancos were never expected to be peaking above the top-half, although Martinez’s men have made the most of tight-margin matches, utilising their set-piece efficiently.
Nevertheless, a trip to San Mames isn’t for the faint-hearted and it’s difficult to see Granada picking up a positive performance in Bilbao.
- Over 2.75 Goals in Hertha Berlin v Borussia Dortmund – 5 units @ 1.79
- Athletic Bilbao -0.50 – 3 units @ 1.75