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  1. Sociedad dnb @2.13Min price to bet: dnb @2.04Model +value: yesSignificant team news: - (still quite a few absentees for the visitors, but pretty much the same squad as in last couple of months; only rb Sola recently inj)Note: Sociedad are in superb form, they have won their last 6 in all competitions, and they're 8-1-1 in last 10. They were simply superb v Villarreal last week, we have lost on both away dnb and o2.25 there, and it was a thoroughly deserved loss on the hcap, as Sociedad were the much better side right from the kick off, they were more ambitious, very active, and didn't stop playing after taking 1-0 lead in 33rd minute. If anything was off with their game, it was efficiency - they def should've scored some more goals, as they wasted massive 5 big chances. This is an early 14h cet kick off, which would be a worry with Sociedad playing UEL game a few days ago, but it was a very easy game against Sheriff (3-0 home win), in which they had a man advantage for 60 mins and rotated quite a bit, plus could've afforded to sub out a few starters at the beginning of 2nd half. Celta are blowing hot & cold, which is a standard for this side in last few years, they have lost 3 of last 4, and the only win was undeserved 1-0 against Betis at home, in a game in which their gk Marchesin was man of the match, despite the fact that Betis were reduced to 10 after just 20 minutes. Sociedad have won on their last 3 La Liga visits here, and we make them small 37% favs to make it 4 in a row.
  2. Girona o2 @1.88 Min price to bet: o2 @1.81 or o2.25 @2.15 Model +value: yes Significant team news: Note: Girona 'overs' delivered again last week, their 4th straight game that has gone over 2.5 line with both teams scoring; and we gotta try goals again here, as price seems a bit high (yet again). This time they play against one of the most defensive sides in the league, offensively challenged Cadiz, but we can't go below est TG 2.40; especially if we consider that we have a home fav of around 50% hw est. No clean sheets for Girona yet, they won't change their style under Michel, and should easily dominate possession tomorrow, be able to create chances as well; but they'll be vulnerable to counter-attacks, and Cadiz should fancy their chances to score. The visitors have failed to score in first 5 La Liga games, but they've scored in 2 of their last 3, including 2 in 2-2 draw v Espanyol last week, so things are slowly improving on the offensive front! Ok weather conditions, both teams should treat this as a winnable game. Sevilla dnb @1.90 Min price to bet: dnb @1.86 or -1/4 @2.30 Model +value: no, negative Significant team news: Mallorca are without their key cf Muriqi (suspended) Note: Two games and two 1-1 draws for coach Sampaoli, and while Sevilla were quite poor in last 20 mins v Bilbao last week, and could've lost the game, it was an improved performance in CL in Dortmund. So, perhaps a better future for them after a dreadful start to this season under coach Lopetegui, we know they have enough talents and are not as bad as La Liga standings suggest. Still, we wouldn't have touched them at this price, if it weren't for a piece of a VERY negative team-news for the hosts, which is that their key cf Muriqi is out suspended. His importance to this Mallorca team can not be overstated, he became an important figure almost immediately after arrival (signed in winter transfer from Lazio last jan), he played an absolutely vital role in their fight against relegation last season, and his importance has grown over time. A true key player, so much of what they do offensively goes through him; he is a typical target man upfront, with distinctive physical presence; and they have noone near his quality as a replacement, plus both of their cf options for tomorrow are just different type of players, so the team's style when in possession will need to be changed as well. This is a good opportunity for Sampaoli to get his first win, we est Sevilla 39.5-40% and like this dnb offer.
  3. Monaco -1/2 @2.01 Min price to bet: -1/2 @1.93 or -3/4 @2.20 Model +value: yes Significant team news: first choice gk Omlin back in the squad for Montpellier Note: Monaco had UEL game on Thu, but it wasn't a demanding one, as they beat Trabzon 3-1 at home, after playing with man advantage since 10th minute. 3-0 up early in the 2nd half, so they could've afforded to substitute Ben Yedder, Embolo, Vanderson and Camara with 30 mins left, and we can expect close to best 11 for them in this game in Montpellier. The hosts have lost at Toulouse last week, in another shambolic defensive performance, massive 21 goals scored, but also massive 19 conceded in 9 games for Montpellier, that is 4.4 goals on avg in their games, 8 of 9 have gone over 2.5 line, and each of their last 4 home games v Monaco (in last 4 seasons) has seen both teams scoring, with at least 4 goals in total - there should be goals in this one as well, we would love to get on overs, but current price is just not good enough, hopefully some pro money on unders until tomorrow that could help us get on goals! As already mentioned, Montpellier are simply the least balanced Ligue 1 side, with some high quality upfront and creativity in midfield, and absolutely terrible defence, both individually and in terms of teamwork and communication. Monaco are in a very good form, they have won 4 straight league games and 6 of last 7 in all competitions; they have scored 3+ in each of last 3 and it's not hard to envisage similar feat against this poor Montpellier defence, even though their first choice gk Omlin should be back in 11. Strasbourg dnb @1.96 Min price to bet: dnb @1.90 or -1/4 @2.30 Model +value: yes Significant team news: cb Nyamsi suspended and cf Ajorque still out for Strasbourg; cf Diony inj for Angers, cb Sabanovic also still likely out Note: Strasbourg are still win-less after 9 rounds (0-5-4), we've already mentioned that they've shown signs of improvements about a month ago, in 1-1 draw v Brest (which they played with 10 men for 3/4 of the match), but then they failed to beat Clermont at home (0-0 draw with oppo gk Diaw making a few spectacular saves) and their inj/susp situation got ridiculously bad, so losses at Montpellier (2-1, they conceded the 2nd goal in 95th min) and Rennes (1-3 at home, they were again down to 10 early in the first half) followed. Coach Julien Stephan is of course under pressure, but it would be a shame if he got sacked and hopefully Strasbourg can get over this crisis soon. This is essentially the same team that impressed last season, their injury/susp situation is much better now than in last couple of games, their key am Thomasson is also finally back in the squad, and we make them 40% to beat Angers tomorrow. The hosts have 3 points more and their lw Boufal is in superb form, but they are inferior to the visitors in terms of quality and they have conceded a league-high 21 goals so far. Strasbourg have won here on their last 2 visits and could make it 3 in a row if they stay disciplined, of course, as another bloody red card should really be avoided.
  4. Villarreal dnb @2.06 & o2.25 @1.86Min price to bet: dnb @2.00; o2.25 @1.80 or o2.5 @2.07Model +value: yesSignificant team news: Villareal's cf Moreno still unavailable; Sociedad still without quite a few players, including best player Oyarzabal (no games this season), but mostly same squad as in last few weeks, rb Gorosabel a doubtNote: Both teams won their UEL games on Thu, but Villarreal had a much easier game (5-0 home win v Austria Vienna), plus they rotated heavily (just 2 players from best 11 started) and didn't have to travel; while Sociedad had to make a long trip to Moldova and then struggled against very physical opponent, but found it a bit easier in 2nd half after the hosts Sheriff were reduced to 10 following a red card (2-0 Soc win). Sociedad played with 9 from their best 11 there, so no rest and long travel, clear advantage for Villarreal in terms of this congested schedule. Furthermore, Villarreal are the better side, they are behind Barca and Madrid, but on same level as Atletico, and we'd make this game in San Sebastian 50-50 (36.5%-27%-36.5%) if there was no UEL involvement on Thu; but in current circumstances we go with 39% away win, and we like this dnb offer on the visitors enough to take it. As for TG, Villarreal have a very strong defence, no doubt about that, but they should've scored a lot more goals so far, considering the number of chances they have created. Some of those you would have to see to believe, it's not even worth describing, especially first half against Betis, something like 4 times one-on-one with goalkeeper, if memory serves me well. Wastefulness upfront is the biggest reason for their run of just 1 win in last 5 La Liga games, but quality is there, even without cf Moreno, and goals will come, hopefully already tomorrow - Villarreal have created 21 big chances so far, which is the league-best, more than Real Madrid and Barca. As for Sociedad, they've been very defensive/pragmatic side in last couple of season, but seem to be a bit more open now, and they are also creating, currently 4th in La Liga in big chances created. They have scored in all 10 official games this season, while both teams have scored in all of their 4 official games at home; their last 3 in the league have all gone over 2.5 line with both teams scoring; and both teams have scored in each of last 6 meetings between Sociedad and Villarreal (last 3 seasons). Villarreal are unbeaten in last 4 visits here, with 3 wins, and we believe this price on them should be lower, they should be small favs tomorrow.
  5. Troyes +1/4 @1.91Min price to bet: +1/4 @1.83 or dnb @2.15Model +value: yesSignificant team news: Experienced dm Gonalons doubt to start for Clermont (but he is in the squad for tomorrow), wng Allevinah out, rb Zeffane also still out; Troyes' first choice rb Balde unavailable due to sicknessNote: Clermont are in mid-table with respectable 10 points after 7 rounds, but they have heavily relied on heroics of their gk Diaw, who has been performing like a man possessed recently; being their clear man of the match in last 3 games (0-0 at Strasbourg, 2-0 win v Toulouse, 1-0 loss at Marseille), and impressing in 1-0 win v Nice earlier this season as well. Theit 5.8 xG is the worst in Ligue 1; same goes for 15.6 xG against (but they conceded only 10, thanks mostly to their hero between the posts), and only toothless Ajaccio have created less big chances. Troyes are no world-beaters, they have 3 points less and are certainly a relegation candidate, but they look like the better side, and we can't really make Clermont favs in this game, it's about 50-50, perhaps with 0.5-1.0% advantage to the hosts, so at current prices we make the visitors a clear bet for tomorrow, in this low-profile Ligue 1 game.
  6. Sittard o3.25 @2.07Min price to bet: o3.25 @2.00 or o3 @1.75Model +value: yesSignificant team news: first choice cb Nieuwpoort out for the visitors (injured in last game)Note: Fortuna Sittard and Excelsior have very high goal averages in their games after first 6 rounds; 4.2 gpg and 4.5 gpg respectively; and while these numbers should be lower come the end of a season, we like the look of goals in this match, and 3.25 line with price above 2.00 seems acceptable. The hosts are in much worse position, with just 1 point after 6 games, despite scoring in 5 of them, but that first point came in last week's draw in Nijmegen, so morale is up and they will fancy their chances for first win here, against Excelsior side, who are in high 7th place, but were very lucky to have 3 wins so far; with all 3 coming against the run of play, especially the opening game at Cambuur, which they won 2-0 despite allowing 27 shots, 12 of which were on target, massive 19 from inside the box and finishing xG for opponent of super-high 3.97! That was their only clean sheet so far, and based on the way they play and chances they concede, we wouldn't be surprised if it proves to be their only clean sheet until the end of a season. High TG 3.55 for us here, weather should be ok though some showers are possible during the match.
  7. St Truiden -1/4 @2.11Min price to bet: -1/4 @2.02 or dnb @1.70 or -1/2 @2.35Model +value: yesSignificant team news: -Note: Backing low-scoring side like St Truiden on minus hcap is always difficult, we've already both mentioned and done that once this season though, and are happy to do it again in this game, fully expecting them to outsmart Zulte Waregem here. The hosts will likely go for it, in attempt to get out of relegation zone before this international break, which should play directly into hands of the visitors and their large Jap contingent. After an opening 2-0 win v Seraing, Waregem are winless with only 2 points from last 7 games, though their schedule was very difficult as they played top 5 JL teams (Brugge, Antwerp, Genk, Gent, USG) during this bad run. The problem is that all their defeats were fully deserved and most of those should've been with a bigger margin, while both draws were lucky, and they've especially shown problems in last 4 games, on both sides of the pitch, creating very little and allowing chances at an alarming rate. St Truiden don't win many games, but they have lost just 2 this season, and actually, just 2 in last 17 Jupiler league games, stretching back to last season, none of those losses were on the road, as they are unbeaten in 10 straight away league games, winning 5. Again, minus hcap is always a problem for low-scoring sides, but with half stake back in case of a draw, we like the visitors as odds-against option.
  8. Fulham dnb @1.93Min price to bet: dnb @1.83 or -1/4 @2.18Model +value: yes, strongSignificant team news: first choice lb Robinson doubtful for Fulham (wng Wilson still out); cb Niakhate still out for NottinghamNote: Nottingham Forest were the big spenders this summer, with 20+ new signings and >200m gbp spent on new players, they have basically a completely new squad, save for a few players, and while this is still a big club and big name, the return to EPL won't be easy despite all the money spent. Fulham are another newly promoted side, but they have shown so much more on the pitch in first 6 EPL games, not only that they have collected 4 points more, despite arguably more difficult schedule, but in terms of general play they have looked like a mid-table EPL side, while Forest played on ECH level so far. With current large base of quality players the hosts should improve over time, but at the moment we see the visitors as touch bigger favs than market suggest, 42.5-43% aw in our est, suggesting that price on Fulham should be lower. This one is probably worth a watch for neutrals, the atmosphere in stadium should be fantastic. No real opinion on price movement tomorrow, the performances so far are one thing, however Forest do have their backers, they are the bigger 'name' and fancy pick to do well due to all the investment made.
  9. Trabzonspor -1/4 @2.11 Min price to bet: -1/4 @2.05 Model +value: - Significant team news: - Note: Both teams with undeserved losses in first round, and both in quite poor form overall. Trazbzonspor have won just 1 of their last 7 competitive games, losing their key rw Visca to injury in early Aug was a clear blow, but they also sold key cf Cornelius a few weeks ago to FCK, bringing in Maxi Gomez as a high-profile replacement. They are not weaker than last season (except for Visca's injury) as they also brought in some quality players from La Liga this summer (mid Bardhi and cb Bartra); however with all of Galata, Fener and Besiktas stronger this year, it will be hard to defend Turkish title. Red Star have also considerably slowed down in recent weeks, just 2 wins in last 7 competitive fixtures, 3 straight below-average performances in the weak Serbian league, that painful loss to Monaco in a game in which they actually played quite well, but again gifted a penalty to the opponent, it was literally a gift as there was no danger whatsoever, but it is the trademark of most of teams from this region anyway, a general lack of concentration and, why not say it, some plain stupidity from individuals. Red Star are also stronger than last season and they still feel the pain from failure to qualify for UCL group stage, as they had a favorable schedule and certainly were favorites against Maccabi Haifa; but again, they made some silly mistakes and gifted Israelis a lucrative UCL participation. Not much between these two sides at the moment, but Trabzon do have home advantage and we would make them a bet at prices above 205 -1/4. The betting market does not like Trabzon this season at all, with prices moving against them almost by default; not sure if that will happen tomorrow though as there was a substantial early move on Red Star already. Price on overs should improve, and could perhaps be of interest, though the problem is that this could be a very heated game with quite a few cards, possibly a red card as well, which is never good for goals... but let's see where is the market tomorrow. Ok weather. Freiburg -1/4 @2.13 Min price to bet: -1/4 @2.07 or dnb @1.71 Model +value: - Significant team news: - Note: Olympiacos almost got a point at Nantes last week, despite showing nothing on the pitch, being outplayed for 90 mins with lucky own-goal at the start of 2nd half making it 1-1, and late winning goal for Nantes was fully deserved. Another bad performance followed in domestic league, they rotated heavily but were still expected to beat Volos, only to draw 1-1, which means they have won only 2 of their first 11 competitive games this season. Freiburg are flying high in Bundesliga with 4-1-1 after 6 rounds, they beat Qarabag 2-1 last week to get the first 3 points in UEL, and they are clearly in much better shape. However, they had a very demanding game (physically) against Gladbach on Sun, and with another important league game coming up in 3 days against Hoffenheim, there is a danger that coach Streich could rotate a bit more heavily here. Now, Freiburg have a solid depth and many players of similar quality and characteristics, so unless wholesale changes are made, it should still be fine. Olympiacos won't spare anyone here, this is key game for them and they will field what coach considers their best poss 11 without a doubt, so in terms of attitude towards this game, the Greek champs do have an upper hand; and in case Streich opts for very heavy rotation, this price on the visitors could sky-rocket, but we are happy to take a risk on current price as well, it already allows for 3-4 changes in Freiburg's 11. Potentially huge coup in transfer market for Olympiacos, as they are just about to announce the signing of Colombian intl superstar James Rodriguez, though it remains to be seen in what shape he is... if it's ok, he will help this team a lot, but in any case he won't be available tomorrow. Malmo +1 @1.86 Min price to bet: +1 @1.80 or +3/4 @2.14 Model +value: - Significant team news: first choice cb Moisander and cm Christensen are out for Malmo after first half injuries in last game v Norrkoping, mid Rakip is still out as well; for USG rwb Nieuwkoop is likely out Note: Union SG with brilliant win at Union Berlin last week, Malmo with a home loss against Braga; and while the Belgians are big favs here, we would give them 56-56.5% to win, so believe that at current prices there is ok value on Malmo. Union SG are a good, smart team, perhaps not as strong as last season when they almost won the title in Bel; but they are not too far off - however, they are more suited for games where they don't have to create and attack, which they will probably have to do against Malmo, as Swedish team is likely to be defensive here. Moisander may be 37yo, however he is still an automatic first choice when available, so we have to assume this will be a weaker Malmo defence; while mid Anders Christensen is also a first choice when fit; and with a couple of other players missing Malmo do not have favorable team-news here, but we did move USG win up for that, and it should be covered in 56%. 2-1 win over Norrkoping on Sun is a big boost, they were down after only 3 mins but found their way back, created a TON of chances, could have and should have scored five, efficiency was again missing, but at least they did get the win and travel to Belgium with their tails up. Bodo o3 @1.93 Min price to bet: o3 @1.87 or o3.25 @2.15 Model +value: - Significant team news: key fwd Pellegrino still out for Bodo Note: It's a real shame that this brilliant Bodo side almost certainly won't win the title in Norway this season, they've done so much good for both them and country and football in general in last couple of years; but heavy schedule, some injuries and a bit of luck for their main rivals Molde mean no UCL for them next season, they were so close to group stage this year, with Dinamo Zagreb prevailing in extra time in playoffs final. Full focus for Bodo on this UEL game, they would have prioritized it regardless of situation in the league, european nights are always big for them, especially at home, and this should be another one. Zurich are in dreadful position in Swiss Superleague, no wins and just 2 points after 8 games, but they've shown some really good stuff against Servette on Sun, never should've lost that game - they were actually the better of the two, had more initiative, hit the post at 2-2 (of course), then got the needless red card 20 mins from time and conceded a goal for 3-2 with last kick of the game in 96th minute. They are likely to play this game with a freedom and without a pressure they feel in Superleague, they have more than enough offensive weapons to create here, especially on counter-attacks as Bodo are expected to be v aggressive and offensive, dominant in possession in Zurich's half; and while we don't like the chances of Swiss reigning champs to avoid a loss here, goals should def be on the menu, 3.40-3.45 est TG. This price should drop tomorrow, in case this doesn't happen and it improves, it would almost certainly mean some late negative team-news. Rennes o2.75 @2.01 Min price to bet: o2.75 @1.95 Model +value: - Significant team news: Rennes still without a few players who would be in contention for 11 or first options off the bench (wng Doku, fwd Kalimuendo, cb Omari), but it's the same squad as in last couple of weeks, except that cm Santamaria is now out injured Note: Rennes rotated heavily in Cyprus last week, leaving their main offensive guns on the bench; and since they play Marseille on Sun, they may rotate heavily again here - but with this being a home game against strongest opponent in the group, it's quite possible Rennes won't mess around as much this time around, especially as we also have international break coming up after this weekend. The hosts scored five against Auxerre on Sun, they were a joy to watch and also managed to keep a clean sheet for the first time this season; however it is highly unlikely they will achieve that against this strong Fenerbahce side, who have played 10 games since their UCL qualif.loss against Dinamo Kiev, and scored at least 2 goals in 8 of those; and the only two in which they failed to do that were return leg v Slovacko in UEL playoff finals, in which they rotated heavily after easy 3-0 win in 1st leg, and league game at Konya, in which they were reduced to 10 men after only 20 minutes. Both to score here, in good, dynamic game, though price is nothing special really, and could perhaps improve tomorrow.
  10. We disagree on Freib TG, Stevie But ok, always good to have different views, cheers & GL! Freiburg o3 @2.04 Min price to bet: o3 @1.97 Model +value: yes, strong Significant team news: cb/dm Itakura suspended for Gladbach, lw/fw Plea injured Note: Ok weather and good game expected here, TG 3.30-3.35 for us. It is a fact that Gladbach played 3 low-scoring games in a row, but there was a huge element of luck in first two, 1-0 win v Hertha and 1-1 draw at Bayern, with chances wasted, posts hit and penalty missed in first one; and gk Sommer making Bundesliga high 19 saves (!) in Munchen. Even last week, 0-1 v Mainz was not a true refection of game events, Gladbach really should have scored, they wasted 3 big chances and hit the post, but early 2nd half red card to Itakura basically killed the game, with Mainz taking advantage in the end. Freiburg's last home game v Bochum didn't go as we anticipated, at least not in terms of number goals scored, as it ended 1-0 despite some crazy scenes and chances, posts hit, miraculous saves and incredibly high final xG (5.20 combined!)... hopefully higher efficiency tomorrow! Freiburg are in UEL, they beat Qarabag 2-1 on Thu and travel to Greece to meet Olympiacos next Thu, but are not expected to rotate here. Btw both meetings last season were quite bizarre and both produced 6 goals. Union Berlin dnb @2.19 Min price to bet: dnb @2.13 or +1/4 @1.81 Model +value: no, small negative Significant team news: cb Doekhi out for Union (he has started last 3 and played well, but came into 11 only after injury to cb Leite, who is available again); cf Siebatcheu is back in the squad; rb Schmitz and fwd Uth still out for KOln Note: With Bayern, these are the only two unbeaten teams in Bundesliga this season, it may stay like that after this game but we make it a clear 50-50 shot and like current prices on Union Berlin as underdogs. Both are playing well and both are participating in Europe, with Union losing their home game v Union St Gilloise 0-1 in UEL, and Koln drawing 1-1 away at Nice in UECL; both games on Thu. It was not a good performance by Union at all, but perhaps it is Koln who spent more energy and had a bit more emotional game, with thousands of traveling fans supporting them in Nice - if anything, we would say that Koln are in small disadvantage here compared to Union, due to that game on Thu, considering the circumstances (trip to Nice, fans, enthusiasm for European game), and the visitors could be sharper tomorrow - they have scored 2 goals in each of last 3 Bundesliga visits here (last 3 seasons), and are unbeaten with 2-1-0 (plus they won all 3 home games for 5-1-0 overall record in last 3 seasons), hopefully a trip to Koln will be fruitful for them yet again. Model does not like this, but is not aware that Koln had some 'luck' with first half red cards to Schalke and Leipzig, and then early 2nd half red card to Stutgart, so man-advantage for them for quite some time in 3 of 5 BL games so far. That was c/p from our site, I'll add one from Ger2 in this topic at PL as well - no separate topic for this league, and perhaps better not to open it for one game, so will just throw this here: Darmstadt -1/4 @1.90Min price to bet: -1/4 @1.83 or -1/2 @2.11Model +value: yesSignificant team news: -Note: Just 2 points between these two teams, and only 1 defeat for both - however, we strongly like Darmstadt at these prices, after what they've shown last season and also what they've been showing this season so far, they have to be rated as one of the promotion candidates. Kaiserslautern are a bigger club and they don't lack ambition, but quality at the moment is not really there, they were quite lucky to get this many points and should be expected to slow down in the near future. If you look at shot and shots on target differential after 7 games, Kaiserslautern are quite negative in both, and 3rd worst in shots diff in BL2; while Darmstadt are strongly positive and 3rd best in shots diff. Darmstadt's performance last week v Bielefeld (1-1) wasn't good, though it was still tough to concede 94th min equalizer, but other than that and 1st game of the season at Regensburg, they have pretty much impressed with their play and also got a huge 2-1 win at title-favorites HSV a few weeks ago. Kaiserslautern is not an easy place to visit, but we est Darsmtadt at 51-51.5% to get 3 points tomorrow.
  11. Sagan Tosu +1/2 @2.07Min price to bet: +1/2 @2.00Model +value: yesSignificant team news: - (Cerezo's cm Harakawa out for season, inj early Aug)Note: 6th vs 7th, Cerezo have 1 point more, but also 2 games in hand and in case of a good run they can still hope for ACL qualification, so perhaps have a small edge in motivation here, as realistically Tosu can only hope to better their high 7th place finish from last season. However, this could be a difficult game (psychologically) for Cerezo after they suffered two defeats in shocking manner in last 7 days. First they lost at Sapporo in J1 last Sat, after they were the better team for most of the match and entered the final 5 minutes with 1-0 lead, only to concede in last min of inj time for 2-1 defeat, and this came literally 30 secs after they had a chance to go 2-1 ahead. A few days later, on Wed, they had a big 1/4 final game in Emperor's Cup v Hiroshima and pretty much the same happened - the difference was that it was basically an even game, but Cerezo were 1-0 up until 86th minute, when they conceded the equalizer (same min when Sapporo equalized a few days earlier); and then conceded in 91st again to lose the game 2-1. Very, very painful for Cerezo, and they played their best 11 in both these games, so even if this game v Tosu is important, there could be some rotation due to energy spent and possible psychological issues. Sagan Tosu are a decent side anyway, difficult to play against, as while they do not create that many chances, they are very good in possession and they do defend well, quite aggressive without the ball (2nd in J1 in possession won in final third, behind high-press masters Hiroshima). Sagan had a full week to prepare for this game, and while Cerezo Osaka are favs, it's not >47% in our view.
  12. Malmo o2.5 @1.95 Min price to bet: o2.5 @1.90 or o2.75 @2.14 Model +value: - Significant team news: first choice gk Dahlin out inj for Malmo; first choice centre backs Tormena (suspended) and Niakate (injured) are out for Braga, they have started all 5 games this season (rw Medeiros suspended as well, but that's no big deal) Note: Malmo with disastrous season so far, for their standards and ambition, this EL group stage is the only good thing really, after they beat Sivasspor in UEL playoff finals; but early elimination from UCL qualifiers against Lithuanian side Zalgiris and their league campaign in Allsvenskan, where they are only 7th, massive 11 points behind leaders Hacken, can only be described as terrible. It is a fact they have been unlucky in the league, they should've won more points and really should've scored more goals, if you look at the number of chances and big chances created, also their xG, but it's also a fact they have failed to control the games against teams of lower quality, stability was missing, not only efficiency. Braga are simply on fire at the start of Portuguese Superliga, they are 2nd with 4-1-0 record, the only unbeaten team with Benfica so far, and they have scored a league high 18 goals (!), with at least 3 in first 4 games, only for Vitoria Guimaraes to trouble them in big derby this Sun, where Braga needed a late inj time goal for 1-0 win (though they missed a pen early in 2nd half). Both teams have their old coaches back in charge - Malmo appointed Age Hareide as head coach this week, he has led them before to Allsvenskan title and UCL group stage participation; while Braga have Arthur Jorge in charge this season, he never really left the club after he was a head coach in 2020, but coached Braga's B team, and also worked with youth team and u21 team in the past several years, so he knows Braga inside out, to say the least. Both teams are expected to give this competition a go, and while the league is of course very important, neither have a high profile game this weekend, so something close to best 11 should be expected from both, especially from the hosts. Malmo used to be a tricky opponent at home for bigger sides in the past, they had some big results here, but something is missing in this current squad and Braga are deserved favs, but they are missing 2 first choice centre backs and price on them is not tempting to us, though they are def not the team we want to oppose at the moment. TG look interesting, Braga's team-news are supportive here and Malmo should really take advantage of this situation, but keeping Braga at bay is something else and difficult to imagine - we would go with TG 2.90-2.95 and believe there is enough value in current offer, but also believe price for o2.5 could go above @2.00 tomorrow once the market opens even more, for bigger stakes. Nantes -1/4 @2.12 Min price to bet: -1/4 @2.06 or dnb @1.75 (in theory, dnb @1.70 is also ok on our numbers, it's sort of equivalent to -1/4 206 in this case, but we wouldn't really go for dnb at such low-ish price, so putting 175 as official min, though in general we are v unlikely to ever publish a pick with price lower than 1.80... always opting for higher/riskier hcap instead) Model +value: - Significant team news: Nantes welcome back fwd Simon and fb Merlin to the squad, they are in contention for first 11; Olympiakos are without injured midfielders M'Villa and A.Camara and suspended cb Ba, who are all first team regulars; plus planned fist choice rb Vrsaljko is still out inj, though rb Pipa Avilla is fine, and he has started regularly since early Aug.. from last season's successful UEL squad, they have lost cf Tiquinho, fwd/wng Onyekuru, cm M.Camara and their squad seems to be weaker than last season Note: Experience is the one thing that Olympiakos has as clear advantage in this game; their experience in playing in Europe is huge as they are regular participants in either CL or EL, unlike Nantes. However, the Greek champs are having a difficult summer with some below-par performances and failure in UECL qualifiers, in which they were eliminated early by Maccabi Haifa, despite a clear favorite tag; and then they struggled in UEL qualifiers against Slovan Bratislava and Apollon, teams they should normally beat comfortably over two legs, needing a penalty shootout against both to progress. Zero clean sheets for Oly in 6 qualif.games this summer, which is really poor considering the level of opposition. They managed to sign am/fw Pep Biel from FC Copenhagen at the end of Aug, and he should be a big signing for them, but otherwise there is an overwhelming feeling that this is an aging squad that needs to be refreshed with young talents more aggressively. We don't see them as better team than Nantes at this moment, and quite like the hosts at -1/4 here, although would not be surprised if this price improved tomorrow (dnb >180 would make sense). Still, happy to post this now and prevent overthinking tomorrow in case price moves in Oly favor. Nantes have played well in last few weeks in Ligue 1, completely outplayed both Toulouse (win) and Strasbourg (draw); even in 3-0 defeat against PSG on Sat they were fine, early red card really killed them, of course, but their heads didn't drop, they kept fighting and fired 10 shots in the end, 6 from inside the box - when you consider they were down to 10 men from min 25' against mighty PSG, that's not bad at all. Europa League is a big occasion for them and they are expected to field a strong team here, close to best poss 11, and it's Nantes at 44% to win for us... although admittedly Nantes are better/easier to be backed at plus hcaps rather than minus hcaps due to their style of play; but with half stake back in case of a draw this is good price for poss win.
  13. Benfica o3.25 @2.00Min price to bet: o3.25 @1.90 or o3.5 @2.15Model +value: -Significant team news: -Note: This line looks by 1/4 hcap too low; Benfica should create enough to score at least 3 on their own here, but we prefer overs to hcap as Maccabi Haifa have shown good quality offensively in qualifiers. While 4-0 at Olympiakos was the highlight of their journey, it is games against Red Star Belgrade in the playoff finals that probably painted a true picture of this team - they qualified after two eventful, chaotic games, but in both legs shown to be very vulnerable in defence, despite not playing too offensively, and they were conceding chances with ease from all situations - open play, set pieces, right, left, centre, slow build up, transition, take your pick - there was no stability and security whatsoever. On the flip side, they are a team that plays without a fear and will use any chances for quick transition, they also have good quality when it comes to set piece taking and long shots, so while we can see them conceding about 6-7 big chances tomorrow, we wouldn't bet on Benfica keeping a clean sheet, it's a fact that Maccabi have scored in all games that mattered this season, and to eliminate Olympiakos and Red Star, and score in all 4 games, is already an achievement. They calculated in 2nd leg v Cypriot champs Apollon, after winning 4-0 in the first leg, so that game should be ignored. Benfica are on a run of 9 straight wins in all comps this season, 14 if you include pre-season friendlies (that were played against some strong opponents like Newcastle, Fulham, Nice), they have scored at least 2 goals in 8/9 and at least 3 in 6/9 (13/14 and 10/14 if we count friendlies); but after keeping 4 clean sheets in a row they have conceded in their last 2 league games against relegation candidates Pacos Ferreira and Vizela. We have mentioned the new era with Rui Costa as president and offensive-minded Roger Schmidt as a head-coach in earlier notes, Benfica behaved as expected in our picks so far this season and we expect nothing different from them tomorrow, it should be high press and high tempo throughout the game on this big UCL stage, as they do not have a big game in the league this weekend (away to Famalicao). Ok weather conditions and good game expected, TG 3.65++ for us here; on 3.25 line this looks like a half-loss at worst.
  14. Nantes +1.75 @1.97Min price to bet: +1.75 @1.90 or +1.5 @2.15Model +value: yesSignificant team news: (fb Merlin, cf Simon and cm Sissoko still out for Nantes, but all players that were available vs Strasbourg are available tomorrow as well - PSG expected to rotate)Note: PSG have not rotated so far, playing their best poss 11 (or close to it; with top 3 superstars always included) in every game, but this game comes 3 days after midweek win in Toulouse and, more importantly, just 3 days before their big opening UCL group game v Juve... and UCL is PSG's key competition this season, yet again, and the big stage they will want to shine on. Nantes are a tricky opponent in any case, as they are a well drilled side; and while they also have a European game in midweek, in EL group stage, it's fair to assume they won't be resting players in home game vs the reigning champions, it's always a special occasion when PSG are in town, for any team in Ligue 1 really. Min prices to bet would depend on confirmed team-news and lineups here, assumption is that PSG will rotate, and we put 7-8 pts below current mkt avgs as official minimums, but in case the rotation is heavier, even lower prices would be ok, say +1.75 @1.80ish or +1.5 @2.02ish would do it. Lyon o3.25 @1.93Min price to bet: o3.25 @1.87 or o3.5 @2.10Model +value: yes, smallSignificant team news: - Note: Fine 3-1-0 start for Lyon, but they have conceded in each of those 4 games, despite playing 4 teams that are expected to finish in bottom 10, and actually, 4 relegation candidates. Angers games have been full of goals, cards and entertainment, 4 of their 5 league games have gone over 3.5 line with both teams scoring, they have conceded at least 2 goals in last 4, and only in the opening game of the season played a 0-0 draw v Nantes, but that one was also full of excitement and chances, it may have ended with 0-0 but final xG were 1.60-1.65, there were 30 shots in total, 20 from inside the box, 10 on target, with two goalkeepers dominating, especially Lafont in Nantes goal who won man of the math award. Lyon are heavy favs here, we agree it's 75%+ for them but wouldn't really count on them keeping a clean sheet, hcap for hosts looks good but we would need slightly better price, while overs off TG 3.70ish is a go, as we think it should be 3.5 line around @2.00 for overs.
  15. Genk -1 @1.86 Min price to bet: -1.25 @2.04 or -1 @1.75 Model +value: yes Significant team news: - (same squad for Genk as in last few games) Note: No reason to stop trusting Genk as long as the market is above our fair prices, they were impressive again last week, won only with 2-1 but it should've been by 3 goals really, they allowed almost nothing to Cercle, conceded out of the blue right at the start of the 2nd half, from what was only Cercle's 2nd shot from inside the box (they finished with 3; Genk had 14) and missed quite a few chances, it was especially amazing they failed to score from set pieces, especially corner kicks, from which they looked very very dangerous indeed, with 3-4 sitters missed. Seraing got a big 3-1 away win at fellow relegation candidates Eupen last week, their first points of the season, and while that will boost their confidence, the problem is that Genk are on another level at the moment, more than likely to bring their hosts down again. About 70.5-71% for an away win for us, Seraing have a narrow ugly pitch that is certainly not something better teams like too much; but that area is their only (small) advantage here. There is -1.25 @2.10 available at the moment, and while this is the hcap we actually prefer to -1 in this case, the problem is that vast majority of the mkt is on -1, so we will stick to lower and uglier price here. St Truiden -1/4 @2.01Min price to bet: -1/4 @1.90 or -1/2 @2.20Model +value: yes, smallSignificant team news: yes, quite a few problems for Mechelen, as they are without first choice gk Coucke, star lw Storm, cb/cm Lavalee, lb Bolingoli; rw Shved a doubt and their important duo from last season, am Mrabti and lb Bijker are both still out as well... first choice cf Hayashi is doubtful for the hosts (should be out)Note: We can say that Mechelen are severely weakened here, their team-news are truly poor, but they were in even worse situation last week and still somehow managed to beat Westerlo 5-4 (and they were 2-4 down with 15 mins to go), in a weird game that featured some terrible defending and goalkeeping. However, it's difficult to ignore these problems at Mechelen, let's not forget they also lost last season top scorer cf Cuypers to Gent this summer, and at this stage they don't look like the side who should challenge for UECL playofs. St Truiden got their first win of the season last week (1-0 at Oostende), but they lost only to Anderlecht this season, despite playing 2 other strong teams in Gent and Union SG; and actually, if we look back at last season as well, loss against Anderlecht was the only defeat St Truiden have suffered in last 14 league games. It's not ideal that cf Hayashi is (likely) out, but his other countrymen are all available, with Japanese legends Kagawa and Okazaki set to lead the line, and rwb Hashioka and gk Schmidt to start as well, as usual. We like the hosts at these prices, est hw at 48.5-49% after some adjustment for team news.
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