The European football season is heading into the final furlong and Mark O’Haire peruses the markets across the continent whilst picking out two of his favourite fancies.
The Premier League might be coming to a close this weekend but major leagues across Europe still have at least a pair of league fixtures still to play. Although the majority of title races are over and relegation races run, I’ve still found two angles I’m keen to explore from Germany and the Netherlands in the hope of signing of 2018/19 in style.
Expecting A Herculean Effort From Heracles
Heracles are almost certainly going to be involved in the end-of-season Europa League qualification play-offs in the Eredivisie but the expectation of the market is that the Almelo club could down tools on Sunday when relegation-threatened Excelsior arrive.
Quite frankly, I couldn’t disagree more.
Clubs in the Netherlands, particularly outside the big three, just don’t boast the resources to rest or rotate their small squads.
Plus, there’s still plenty to play for with Heracles keen to finish as high as possible in the standings and avoid a tougher-looking semi-final showdown in the playoffs.
So I’m keen to support the hosts. Frank Wormuth’s men are consistently strong operators at their Polman Stadion base and can be backed for a 12th home victory in 17 this season with a -0.75 Asian Handicap hurdle available around the 1.92 mark. Exclude teams currently above Heracles in the rankings and the home side have tabled nine triumphs from 11 here.
In exactly half of Heracles’ Polman Stadion showdowns, the Heraclieden have racked up at least three goals, and if we go back to the start of last season they’re returning an impressive 64% win ratio. In that last sample, the hosts have pocketed 11 victories from 12 when welcoming bottom-six opposition so they’ve history in swatting strugglers’ aside.
Excelsior are sleep-walking their way to the second-tier. The visitors have picked up a solitary point from their last 10 tussles (W0-D1-L9) and have failed to even score in six of their most recent 11 encounters. The Rotterdam outfit have been beaten in 12 of their 16 games as guests and it’s 11 losses in 13 away when excluding the bottom-four.
Excelsior have leaked three times or more in seven of 16 away trips and posted a -25 goal difference on the road. What’s more, the basement battlers are rated as the Eredivisie’s worst team according to Expected Goals (xG) data, generating the lowest tally per-game and also giving up the highest figure.
It’s difficult to see them competing on Sunday.
Oppose High Goals Line In Germany
Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen have been two of Europe’s best teams to follow for goals in 2018/19. Nevertheless, I simply have to oppose the market on Saturday afternoon after the goals line has been set at an eye-watering-high four for their meeting in Sinsheim.
It’s true, Hoffe under outgoing boss Julien Nagelsmann have been a goal-backers dream in recent campaigns. But despite their penchant for high-scoring contests, the bulk of TSG’s most exciting outings have arrived on the road with matches at their Rhein-Necker Arena home actually averaging fewer than three goals-per-game this term.
If we were to take Under 4 Goals around the 1.92 mark – five goals would need to be scored to see our stake lost. Performance data points to an average of just over 3.00 xG here in total, whilst only five of Hoffenheim’s 16 fixtures here have produced five or more goals.
Werder Bremen had scored in every Bundesliga game before heading to Bayern Munich last month have continued their goalscoring ways thereafter. Even so, like Hoffe, the majority of the River Islanders’ most open games have come in Bremen with only half of their away trips paying out for Over 2.5 Goals backers, let alone Over 3.5 or Over 4.5.
Werder’s away days are averaging 2.80 goals with this particularly wager losing money in only four of their 16 ties on their travels overall.
So simply putting the two teams’ respective home/away records together this season, we can see that 23/32 (72%) of matches featured profit for Under 4 Goals backers with just five contests seeing this selection lose money.
It might fly in the face of the expectant market but it’s difficult not to oppose goals when the line is set quite so high.
- Under 4 Goals in Hoffenheim v Werder Bremen 3 units @ 1.92
- Heracles -0.75 Asian Handicap in Heracles v Excelsior 3 units @ 1.92