Mark O'Haire - Brest Appeal & Germany Goals

8 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a pair of plays proposed from Ligue 1 and the 2.Bundesliga.


Having spent many of the last few seasons dodging relegation, it looked like Brest’s time in Ligue 1 might come to an end this season.

With the French top-flight reducing to 18 clubs last term, Les Pirates were under pressure in the summer following a high turnover of players and were restricted by a lack of resources to replenish those outgoings.

Supporters were particularly pessimistic following the sale of energetic forward Franck Honorat, who for the last three campaigns had made the top 10 players in Ligue 1 for key passes, crosses and passes into the area, while also contributing to 38 goals, despite Brest’s often lowly position. Experience and versatility were also lost in defence.

Nevertheless, highly-rated head coach Eric Roy managed to plug the gaps in an ever-thinning squad with bargain bin additions, as well as a number of loan signings.

He’s also managed to pull together a functional but remarkably effective team with a sprinkling of quality that has punched well beyond Brest’s wildest dreams.

Exceeding all pre-season expectations, Les Pirates sit fourth in the Ligue 1 standings and only two points off Nice in second.

Incredibly, Brest have been beaten just four times this term and suffered a solitary reverse at their leaky Stade Francis-Le Ble home – that was a defeat by a single-goal margin when welcoming runaway leaders PSG.

Marco Bizot, Brest’s Dutch international goalkeeper, has given the team a solid base. He is helped by reliable centre-backs and three pragmatic midfielders, with that foundation helping Brest to an eye-catching haul of nine clean sheets in 21, with six shutouts earned in nine home fixtures when excluding that match against table-topping PSG.

Brest head into the weekend unbeaten since November’s international break, a run that includes holding PSG to a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes, as well as a 0-0 draw at their Stade Francis-Le Ble base against Nice.

But this is no fluke, Les Pirates are there on merit with my ratings make Roy’s underrated outfit a top-four team in front of their own fans.

With that in-mind, I’m more than happy to back Brest +0 at 1.95 on Sunday against misfiring Marseille.

The visitors have dropped down to eighth having failed to win in five, as well as picking up only one victory in their previous 10 away days – that sample includes five defeats in seven winless matches against teams outside of the current bottom-four.

OM have scored just 11 goals on their travels and are yet to keep their sheets clean when playing outside of Stade Velodrome.

Gennaro Gattuso is under major pressure and his underachieving outfit will be fatigued by playing Thursday night Europa League football in Hamburg against Shakhtar Donetsk before heading to Brest. They’re easily opposed.

  • Brest +0.0 in Brest vs Marseille – 1 unit @ 1.95


The 2.Bundesliga has been great fun to follow this season. Germany’s second-tier has seen a chunky 62% of this season’s fixtures featuring winning Over 2.5 Goals selections with a 63% hit-rate occurring for Both Teams To Score backers; the division is averaging 3.14 goals per-game and Sunday’s showdown between Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern promises plenty.

Despite booking their place in the DFB Pokal semi-finals, Kaiserslautern have slipped into relegation trouble following a disastrous run of league results since October’s international break (W1-D1-L10).

Die Roten Teufel have been hampered by the division’s worst defensive record and despite entering mid-February, are still searching for their first clean sheet.

However, Kaiserslautern can pack a punch of their own. Sunday afternoon’s guests have only fired four blanks, leading to a glut of high-scoring showdowns.

FCK have seen a huge 86% of their 2.Bundesliga dates break the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, whilst 81% of those second-tier outings have seen both sides oblige on the scoresheet.

Kaiserslautern encounters often escalate into high-scoring shootouts and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see something similar occur when Die Roten Teufel travel to mid-table Nurnberg.

The hosts have notched in eight of 10 home games and kept only two clean sheets in that sample with seven of those contests covering the Over 2.5 Goals line.

My goals model gives us a total goal expectation around the 3.40 mark so I’m more than keen to support Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (using Matchbook’s Bet Builder) at around 1.9.

  • Over 2.5 Goals & BTTS (Bet Builder) in Nurnberg vs Kaiserslautern– 1 unit @ 1.9

Recommended Bets

  • Brest +0.0 in Brest vs Marseille – 1 unit @ 1.95
  • Over 2.5 Goals & BTTS (Bet Builder) in Nurnberg vs Kaiserslautern– 1 unit @ 1.9

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