Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with plays from the Bundesliga and La Liga.
GOALS GALORE IN GERMANY
Both RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt were involved in crunch Champions League knockout ties in midweek but there’s no time to dwell on their continental commitments with the two teams crossing swords on Saturday afternoon in one of the Bundesliga’s standout showdowns on Matchday 22.
RB Leipzig endured a false start to the current campaign, but the DFB Pokal champions have found their feet impressively under Marco Rose’s watch.
The home-town hero has guided the Saxony-based side back into top-four contention whilst recently overseeing an impressive 18-match unbeaten streak that was only ended by title challengers Union.
Die Roten Bullen showcased their potential in the second half of Wednesday night’s clash with Manchester City and with Christopher Nkunku edging even closer to a fully fit option, the home team now have almost a full complement of their eye-catching attacking arsenal available again with only Dani Olmo rated as doubtful for the Red Bull Arena match-up.
There’s a beautiful blend and variety to Leipzig in the final third and last weekend’s superb 3-0 destruction of Wolfsburg was a heady reminder of what Rose’s troops are capable of.
Now back at their home base on Saturday, RB will be looking to enhance their excellent goalscoring record of notching in every fixture, striking twice or more in 8/10 (80%) tussles.
A chunky 7/10 (70%) Red Bull Arena encounters have crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier with Bundesliga dates here boasting a lofty 3.20 goals, and backing a repeat of Over 2.5 Goals holds plenty of appeal at 1.75.
Seven of Leipzig’s nine matches with fellow top-eight opposition have seen this selection land, whilst all nine delivered a minimum of two goals.
Despite their envious league position, RB have recorded only six league clean sheets and were turned over 4-0 in the corresponding contest back in September.
That should encourage an Eintracht Frankfurt outfit that have also displayed a penchant for forward-thinking football under Oliver Glasner’s astute leadership.
Die Adler have gotten on the scoresheet in all bar three of their 21 Bundesliga battles and sit a solitary point behind their hosts. Boosted by positive team news, star summer signing Randal Kolo Muani will be available to lead the line with a rejuvenated Mario Gotze, Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindstrom all set to feature in Frankfurt’s preferred 3-4-2-1 system.
The visitors have grabbed a goal in eight of 10 away days, and scored in both of their trips to current top-six rivals (Bayern Munich and Freiburg).
Frankfurt have therefore netted in nine of their 10 matches against top-10 opposition overall. However, Glasner’s group have managed only two shutouts in the same sample, neither of which were achieved away.
All 10 of Eintracht’s road trips have produced at least two goals with an average of 3.20 goals per-game.
In fact, the Bundesliga is averaging 3.23 goals per-game this term with 61% of league fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals yet the market is still offering a seductive 1.75 on a repeat here with two of the most potent forwardlines in the division going head-to-head.
VALENCIA: A CLUB IN CRISIS
One of Spain’s biggest clubs are in crisis with Valencia facing the very real prospect of a relegation battle following a disastrous run of mid-season results.
Rudderless on and off the field, Los Che have picked up a solitary point from a possible 21 since the World Cup break to plunge into the bottom-three – it’s nine La Liga defeats in 12 going further back.
This is the first time that Valencia have been in a relegation position this late in a season since 1986 – the only time they have suffered top-flight demotion.
Already out of the Copa del Rey, Los Che have not won in La Liga since November and are enduring one of their worst runs of results in La Liga history with fans demonstrating against the board.
It’s a bleak situation for new head coach Ruben Baraja to step into. Assisted by fellow club legend Carlos Marchena, the duo were unable to stop the rot on Monday as Valencia slipped to a damaging 1-0 defeat against fellow basement battlers Getafe. And the situation doesn’t get any easier with captain Jose Gaya and Edinson Cavani now out through injury.
The situation at Mestalla should give Real Sociedad a real opportunity to cement their top-four credentials.
The Basques have held third place in the Spanish top-tier for much of the current campaign, losing only five times across their 22 outings (W13-D4-L5), including an excellent W8-D1-L2 record on the road.
Imanol Alguacil’s outfit is aesthetically pleasing in possession but also underpinned by a rock-solid rearguard that’s held remarkably firm.
The Txuri-Urdinak have delivered 11 wins from their past 17 La Liga fixtures (W11-D3-L3) and in 15 of those 17 encounters La Real have leaked a solitary strike, or no goals at all.
Only Barcelona can better Real Sociedad’s Expected Goals Against (xGA) figure in Spain’s top-tier, and the Catalans and Atletico Madrid are the only La Liga sides to better La Real’s tally of eight clean sheets.
Since Christmas, the Txuri-Urdinak have conceded an average of only 0.83 xG, again highlighting their exceptional defensive process.
Alguacil has a strong squad available for the trip south with only David Silva set to miss out, which makes Real Sociedad an excellent option at 1.73 off a scratch 0 start.
- Over 2.5 Goals in RB Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt – 1 unit @ 1.75
- Real Sociedad +0.0 in Valencia vs Real Sociedad – 1 unit @ 1.73
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