Pep004

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Pep004 last won the day on February 7 2017

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About Pep004

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  1. The lineup of Croatia with 4 very offensive players - Mandžukić, Rebić, Kramarić, Perišić surprised me a lot, but still.. I think, that they have everything. Experiences, quality, mentality... all except the home pitch advantage. Which in my opinion won't be enough this time. Croatia won't play on possession, they will play to create as many chances as possible and with so many "finishers" on the pitch, it seems that they want to "finish" the match as soon as possible.
  2. Last 16 Predictions > Jul 2nd & 3rd

    Yesterday I said... Denmark is the worse opponent for Croatia. Today, something similar with Mexico and Brazil. They just don't like the style of Mexico... that's why I decided to skip it, but I cannot skip the other match. I see simply too big difference... Btw, I still think that Tite is making a huge mistake, playing anyone else instead of Fernandinho. In my opinion, right now, he is the smartest defensive midfielder in the world. Definitely capable of making a quick transition, incredibly calm on the ball, very precise with passes and besides... he can run in the box from the second plan as well. Comparing him with Paulinho... the only thing Paulinho can do is to run in the box from the second plan. Nothing else. Slow on the ball, slow with changing direction,... I won't say that Casemiro is useless in possession because that's not true. But truth is, that he is not used to be the guy, taking care of possession in midfield. He is never coming to pick up the ball in Real Madrid, he is just there to do the 1-2 with Kroos who is taking the ball deep. Therefore, if the ball isn't immediately in legs of Coutinho, there is huge lack of creativity...
  3. Last 16 Predictions > Jul 2nd & 3rd

    In big competitions, especially in knockout phases of the tournaments, it’s pretty rare to see one team trashing their opponent, winning with 2-3 or even more goals of difference. In knockout phase on World Cups, you have only one chance, and there is no 2nd match. For this reason, plenty of high rated countries, or let’s say favorites in this case – are starting matches slow, cautious, thinking that this way is the safest way, but sometimes happens that opponent scores and then favorites find themselves in troubles, as their opponent decides to close their box with as many players as possible, and defend with everyone for the rest of the match. For this reason, I expect (in my eyes) very highly rated Belgium, to start this match strong. Without calculations, because they had enough opportunities to see that Japan is a team, who will play if they will have a chance to play. They have some very good individuals in last third and let them space to play, would be a huge mistake. With strong midfield, very comfortable on the ball, I expect Red Devils to make a huge difference in ball possession, which will decrease the possibility of Japan scoring here. In my opinion, even though they have shown heart and some good football, Japan was pretty lucky to be here where they are. They qualified due to receiving fewer cards than Senegal. In my opinion, they got Colombia the on wrong foot (scored from the penalty, had a player more from the start of the match), then they played draw against Senegal, against who they didn’t play I don’t know how good and at the end they lost against Poland – true that without some important players, but still. On the other side, Belgium cleaned the group without any problems. They won all three matches, including the one against England with a very mixed squad. Lukaku and Hazard are back after skipping the match against England due to injuries and this Belgium will be once again complete. Even if they don’t have experiences on a national level as a team, which are very much needed in competitions like this, I think that they are simply too good to have any kind of problems with Japan. They trashed Panama and Tunisia, and now they will face Japan who simply isn’t on the same level as they are. An individual comparison between those two teams is nonsense. Motivation will be very high for both, but I think that difference in quality is too big and I expect at least two goals of difference here. Japan will fight, that’s for sure, but I think that they won’t be able to cope with much stronger Belgium side. I see advantage not just in quality, but also in physicality. True is, that Japan surprised me in this segment of the game against a much more physical side of Senegal, but in this case… it won’t be just a brute strength, but strength in combination with football knowledge and technical abilities. Simple as it is, my suggestion is Belgium to win the match with asian handicap -1,5 with odds around 2,25.
  4. It was only a few of us, thinking that Croatia can steal the first place in the group from favorized Argentinians, but that’s exactly what happened. Argentina started slow, with only a point and missed penalty against Iceland, while hopes for the first place vanished in the match against Croatia, which finished with 3-0 in favor of Croats. Players of Argentina were under big pressure against Nigeria, where they succeeded, winning and qualifying with help of Croatia. Still, the winning goal came in last quarter of match from Rojo and even though Argentinians were playing with heart in this match, giving their best, I cannot help myself, but I cannot see the level of quality in the team. Bunch of individuals, which are once again set together in a strange way. I have to admit, that I have much bigger expectations when Sampaoli was announced as the new manager, but it seems that things simply aren’t really working as they should. Biglia isn’t 100% ready, Banega is playing, but as well isn’t fully fit, while veteran Mascherano is losing lots of balls in the midfield and if he will continue playing with so many mistakes, they will find themselves in horrible position against France, who possess some very quick players… On the other hand, I have to say that France didn’t convince me either. Without doubts, most talented squad or let’s say with the biggest depth, but as said several times, in my opinion with an average coach pulling strings from the bench. They finished group on first place, without defeat but with some very bad performances. To be honest, their group wasn’t as tough as the group of Argentina. Plenty of big stars underperformed so far, but still… team looks pretty solid in defense, pretty solid in set-pieces and still with a very poisonable forward line, which can set up a chance from nothing. Putting all pictures together, I see a difference between those two teams not just in quality, but also in mentality and especially in self-confidence. France with 7 points, securing 1st place without sweating for real and Argentina saving their World Cup in last 10 minutes of the last match in group stages… it simply cannot be the same. True, that Argentina has Leo Messi and if he will have his day, it’s very hard to stop him, but he will be covered by some of best defenders in the world, probably best defensive midfielder when it comes for defensive duties and I think that Leo won’t see an easy match today. On the other side, the offensive line of France will be covered with from what we were able to see until now, pretty weak, unstable defensive line and with all those reasons… I suggest taking France to win with odds around 2,50.
  5. Over 2,5 goals @2,28 Maybe that looks like a strange pick to someone, but let me explain why do I think that this match will go over... In the first match of Morocco, I took them as winners but they failed against Iran. Even if it sounds strange as they lost to Iran I have to admit that they played very well! Having almost 70% of possession, creating several very good chances, but they were poor at finishing. Expectations of their nation were big, as everyone knows that they have one of the most talented generations but they failed. Still, regarding the 3-3 result between Spain and Portugal, they still have chances. But to take those chances, they will need to get points from two European giants. As they are sitting at the bottom of the table, it is gonna be a must-win match for them. Portugal is considered to be a favorite, but on the first match, they didn't especially impress me. Combination of Ronaldo and De Gea brought them a big point, which was, in my opinion, undeserved. They are a decent side, they have much more than just Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad, but I still think that Morocco can mess it up against them. Why not taking Morocco +0,5 than? The answer is simple. I expect Morocco to go out and attack Portugals without any calculations. It's true, that even with the draw, they can have some chances, but they will have to beat Spain with enough goals of difference... Therefore I think, that if they fail today, they won't see the knockout phase of this tournament. I actually think that this side of Morocco can have a bigger ball possession, create more chances in 90 minutes than Portugals, but the problem will be the same as it was for Spanish team - counterattacks. Ronaldo has shown that he came on WC very determined and in very good shape and counters with him, Guedes and Bernardo will lead to goals... Therefore I like odds, given by bookmakers as they fancy under here. I would give even more than 50% of chances to over, so... value!
  6. Colombia -0,5 @1,92 Yesterday, odds on Colombia were under 1,70 and I have to admit that I was thinking about taking it. Now, at 1,92 it's a default bet for me but count on the fact that James Rodriguez will start on the bench, due to the problems with calf. Even though I've said in the first post about the World Cup, that I smell the surprise in this group with Senegal qualifying and one of two strong teams - Poland or Colombia being a flop, I've decided to go with South Americans here. They are a way more experienced team, having much stronger team individually and I think that in 90 minutes, they should be able to break the Japan side. Japan is the biggest underdog in this group, but even they have some chances of qualifying - anyway fewer chances among other teams in my opinion. With Inui, Kagawa, Haraguchi, they have some interesting players, but I think that all in all, they will have a tough time, competing against well "oiled" Colombian side with veteran Falcao as a lone striker, and strong support of Cuadrado, Sanchez, Quintero and some other players. Pekerman will also have some jokers on the bench - especially in Bacca and James which cannot be said for the Japan manager Nishino. Once again, I think that odds went crazy only due to the fact that James starts on the bench, but looking from another perspective... Japanese were probably preparing themselves on this player, trying to cover his movements, not allowing him to take the ball often, not allowing to be alone at all and I expect them being a bit lost now as they don't know if they should do the same with Quintero, or simply pay more attention to other players as Falcao, Cuadrado, etc. I think that a lot will go through Carlos Sanchez in the middle, while it's true that focusing on only a few players against this Colombian side might be a problem. I don't think that will be an easy match for Colombia, but I do think that they will start with a 1-0/2-1 win. I've been looking at over as well, but I have to admit that Colombian defense seems pretty solid, so I am staying only with this suggestion.
  7. Croatia -0.5 @1,80 We were able to see that there will be no easy match. Especially in the first round, where especially those well-disciplined teams, with defensive approaches, are capable of surprising much much better opponents. After all, it is only 90 minutes and everything can happen. Here, two very talented squads will meet. Nigeria has some very interesting individuals, some very physical players, capable also of running a lot, but on the other side, we have Croatia with some extremely experienced players, used to play Champions league finals almost every year and tactical advantage is the one, I think will decide the winner on this match. Comparing player to player, Croatia is without a doubt a better side, but Iran, Australia, Iceland have already shown that everything is possible. I think that in overall, odds on Croatia are too high and very valuable. I would set Croatia max at 1,60 as in my eyes they are right behind all those top favorized countries (Brazil, Germany, France, Spain). With Modrić, Rakitić, Kovačić, Badelj, etc... their midfield will be amongst the best on this tournament, they have experienced defensive line and some very good players higher on the pitch (especially Perišić). I expect, that they will get the job done here and start the World Cup with three points. As said at the start of the World Cup, I quietly expect Croatians in the first place in this group.
  8. France to win to nil @1,80 The national team of France has received a very good warning in the last friendly match before the World Cup against the USA, where they were enormously better side, but still allowed the opponent several chances. Could have been even 2-0 for the USA,… After all, I think that draw was actually a good thing for the team with several players with extremely high confidence. Sidibe made a crucial mistake, allowing the USA to score the first goal, but will almost surely remain in the first lineup, which is in my opinion correct. I’ve said few things about French national side in first World Cup post and I am really wondering if Deschamps will finally start the match without Giroud, as in my opinion, they can play much faster, with more continuous high pressure, etc. without than with him. As said in the first post, Australia had pretty tough time with qualifications, where they almost slipped. That says a lot of their current selection, as they almost never had huge problems with qualifications… I see this match totally one-sided, where Australia will try to do some things from set-pieces, but I think that with Umtiti, Varane & co., France is a very decent side when it comes to set-pieces and aerial duels and therefore I don’t expect bigger problems for the French side. It’s a tricky bet, where only one goal of Australia destroys everything, but the first match is very important and for favorized teams, it’s simply a need to start it in a good way. On the paper, Australia is the easiest opponent for France, and I expect 2-0 for Les Blues. Other interesting bets, maybe even more valuable... are France -1,5, France to win the first half-time, France to win half-time/full-time, but it will be easier to get better odds in-play. Why more valuable? Because I think that Australia might be strong enough to hold for first minutes, but then especially with Giroud on the bench, I think that pressure of France will be simply too strong, and Australians won't be able to compete...
  9. Follow World Cup 2018 on https://footalyct.com/blog/ Morocco -0,5 @2,34 Pinnacle I've been looking at Uruguay, hoping that odds will go higher when Egypt announced that Salah is ready to play, but odds dropped even harder... On this match, I see no reason of odds going up on Morocco as for me, besides Senegal they are the strongest African team on this tournament. Both teams had a successful qualification cycle, but competition in Africa is simply tougher, so it counts more for my opinion. With Belhanda, Z, yech and Harit behind the striker, with experienced Benatia leading their defense, I see Morocco as a serious threat in the group, waiting for a fail of Portugal or Spain. I think that in several groups, they would have very very good chances of qualifying, but unfortunately, they came in the group with two very strong European teams. Therefore, the draw isn't an option for either of those two teams. Both have to win all three points and hoping on a surprise against one of the favorized teams in the second or third match. Without underestimating Queiroz and his team, I see them playing extremely defensively, trying to cover all the gaps and try with counters, especially over Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh. They cannot count on suspended midfielder Ezatolahi, which means that veteran Shoajei might have a chance to start. Even considering the bench, Renard will have much better options than Queiroz and I simply see odds above 2,34 very valuable. I see Morocco causing too many problems on flanks, with Ziyech and Harit, while Belhanda will probably take the number 10 role and help Kaabi or Boutaib from the second plan. I see it as a 1 or 2-0 win for Morocco.
  10. 2018 World Cup Ante-Post Chat

    Hello guys, here are my quick thoughts about the WC group stages... I totally forgot to do a c/p so some odds might be different till now. Group A For me personally, two biggest concerns/questions are if Salah will play and how much will home ground help to Russians. “Golden generation” of Uruguay will play one of their last if not the last World Cup as Suarez, Cavani, and Godin are 31/32 years old. With all experiences they have, I expect no surprise in the group, seeing Uruguay at the top without bigger difficulties. Therefore the future bet I suggest for this group is Uruguay to win the group. Odds on Pinnacle are currently set at 1,99. Second suggestion, but can be more or less used as a combo bet as odds are around 1,50 is Saudi Arabia to reach less than 1,5 points in the group. Group B Eyes in this group are completely on two teams from the Iberian Peninsula, but both other teams in the group have some decent players. I think that Morocco has a very decent squad with some exceptional individuals, but unluckily for them, they have two European “giants” in their group, and if both will play up to expectations, there should be no surprises. I was looking at Portugal to have more than 5,5 points in the group at odds around 2,00 on Pinnacle, but they are usually having some problems in group stages, so I think that there is no value on these odds. Another future bet in this group could be also that Iran won’t reach more than 1,5 points with odds around 1,85. Group C In this group, there should be no doubts about the winner as France is having one of the most talented squads on this World Cup. Still, a lot will depend on decisions of Deschamps who is still using Giroud as a number nine and due to his role, France plays much slower than they could, but well… On second place I see Denmark, who seems like a very decent team, while Australia is coming with one of poorest teams in their history and I cannot see them reaching anything. Peru is a team who can complicate things for everyone, but I think that Denmark is more tactically organized and therefore I see them at 2nd place. So my betting suggestion in this group is Denmark to qualify at 1,714 on Pinnacle, while other interesting is Australia to have less than 1,5 points in the group with odds around 1,90. Group D Argentina almost stayed without the World Cup as they booked their place on last matches. Can Messi carry them to finals? Can Messi reach something with the national team? We’ll have responses soon, but due to how much they depend on one player, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Croatia taking first place. The second place in this group will very possibly bring up the match against France, so I believe the both (Croatia and Argentina) will try to do their best to avoid the second position. Nigeria is a very special team, with a bunch of interesting players, but as I said earlier about Morocco, I think that they are simply in a tough group. They have their chances against Iceland, but I think that advantage in tactics – especially in case of Iceland, who plays very well organized, might cause Nigerians big problems. My betting suggestion in this group is Croatia to reach more than 4,5 points at odds around 1,80. Group E Personally, I think that Brazilians are the biggest favorites in this tournament, but the ball is rounded and everything can change very quickly in 90 minutes, so I don’t really like to talk about main favorites. Anyway, I cannot see any problems for them in this group, but their coach will need to keep players heads on the ground as the first knockout match could be very tricky. Costa Rica surprised the whole world on last World Cup, but this year I cannot see them repeating something similar this year. Even more, I expect them to be at the bottom of this group. Switzerland is always somewhere up, usually coming through group stages but leaving them as soon as possible and I see them surviving the group stage this time as well. Therefore my betting suggestion in this group is Switzerland to qualify with odds around 2,00 on Pinnacle. Group F National coach of Germany decided to leave Leroy Sane at home which really shocked me as Leroy, regardless of his age is one of the best wingers in the world. Still, they have a lot of same players as in 2016 and what is even more important, they are Germans, they have a winning mentality and they know how to play to win tournaments. As they will mix with Group E, where Brazil will most likely take first place, they will do everything to be in the first place in their group. Mexico looks the most serious contender for 2nd here. Sweden without Ibrahimović is a different team and even though some people are saying that it’s good for the nation because they play as a team, I do not agree with this, because Ibrahimović is still a leader and a player who can make a difference. I think that Swedens will need more time to be used to play without Zlatan. My betting suggestion in this group is Mexico to qualify with odds above 1,85 on Pinnacle. Group G Belgium with their golden generation might be the dark horse of this tournament. True that they will most likely cross with Brazil, but in my opinion, they are the team who can beat them. No one is taking England seriously anymore, but that can go only in their favor. There is no extreme pressure on the team of Southgate for who everyone is saying that it wouldn’t be a surprise of going home already after the group stage and even though I think that Tunisia can be a serious contender for second place, I think that discipline of England could be enough to survive the group stage. No one really speaks about Panama, who I think has no chance in this group. My betting suggestion for this group is Belgium to win with odds 1,751 on Pinnacle, while the other interesting bet is also Panama to reach less than 1,5 points with odds around 1,57. Group H That is the group without the main favorite in my opinion. Bookies are highly rating Colombia, but I have some strange feelings about their selection. True that their superstar Falcao is probably playing last World Cup, but both Poland and Senegal look very decent and could cook up some surprises here. Poland with Lewandowski in front and with some other very decent players could be even first in this group, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Senegal qualifying from this group. Japan is having a bunch of difficulties and currently having a pretty poor selection, so I see them at the bottom of this group. Japan under 3,5 points seems like a decent bet for me, but odds are pretty low (around 1,41). Firstly, I was looking at Poland to win the group, but as I smell that at least one of them – Colombia or Poland will be a flop, I decided to take Senegal to qualify with 2,11 on Pinnacle!
  11. Juventus v Real Madrid; 20:45 The first match of one of most interesting duels in this part of the competition will be played at Allianz Stadium in Torino and I think that Juventus cannot afford to lose at home. Goin on Santiago Bernabeu with negative would minimize their chances. With Pjanić and Benatia suspended, will probably see Chiellini and Barzagli as a center back duo, while De Sciglio and Alex Sandro should cover fullback positions. With Khedira and Matuidi in center of midfield, they will have big defensive support and I see Real Madrid hardly finding spaces between the lines today. With offered odds, I see value on Juventus +0,25 with odds around 1,90. I think that bookies are underestimating the home pitch advantage here. I agree that match can easily go both ways, but once again, I cannot see Italians losing this match and +0,25 is bringing us half profit in case of the draw. Zidane rested some players over the weekend. It will be interesting to see if Bale "bought" his place in starting eleven with the good performance against Las Palmas or not. We will for sure see Cristiano Ronaldo back, but the questions are positions of Benzema and the 3rd forward or attacking midfielder. Benzema, Bale, Isco, Asensio, Vazquez,... three of those five will stay on the bench. In any case, Real will have a strong lineup, but even though they are in series of wins, I'm still not convinced in their performances. In my opinion, with a bit of luck, the first match in Paris could turn up totally differently. Will Real have this "sportive luck" once again, or it will go on another side this time?
  12. Russia v France; 17:50 Both teams disappointed in last friendly match. While Russia has lost against Brazil with 3-0, France has lost against Colombia, after leading with 2-0. France: The disappointment was for sure bigger on the French side, as their leader from the bench Didier Deschamps has one of the most talented and wide squads in the history of the country. He said that result won't stop his process of preparations for World Cup and that he will change several things for today's match. Pavard and Hernandez could take the lateral positions in defense, while Koscielny might jump in instead of Varane who is slightly injured and who isn't impressed with his performance against Colombia. An expected formation is 4-3-3 with Kante, Pogba, and Rabiot in midfield. If so, then from my point of view, France will start with the strongest possible midfield. Kante will be in charge of tackles, running and keeping support covering backs of Rabiot and Pogba. This position will give much more freedom to Paul and as he is in pretty strange position in Manchester, I am sure that he cannot wait to start the match on position which suits him the best. Rabiot has already shown that he is becoming one of the best box-to-box midfielders and in my opinion, he should be preferred over Matuidi. What bothers me the most about this selection is that Deschamps is still forcing to play with Giroud. True, he is scoring, winning some fights, but the question here is. How much slower is the attack of France with him in the lineup? In my opinion - enormously. He could be used as a joker from the bench if "youngsters" won't prevail as he can offer a different style of playing, but in my opinion, France can play way faster without him and therefore be much more dangerous, especially against teams who are playing with physical defenders. Expected attacking trio is Martial, Mbappe and Dembele. With Martial and Dembele they will have an enormous advantage in pace regarding the opponent. Russia: Even though Cherchesov will probably set-up the 5-4-1 formation, I expect troubles on flanks for the Russian side. They won't be able to count on services of three regular players - midfielders Zobin and Kuzyayev and defender Kambolov, who have all returned to their clubs due to injuries. Even though they are expected to play with 5 players in defensive line, Cherchesov cannot count on some regulars as Dzhikiya and Vasin both having torn ligaments this year. That means that positions which were usually taken by experienced Ignashevich and Beresutzkiy brothers, who have all retired from national football are still under the question. For today's match, the expected defensive line is - Smolnikov, Koudriachov, Granat, Neustädter, Kombarov, while Dzagoev, Glouchakov, Golovine, and Miranchouk should be positioned behind the lone striker Smolnikov. It might happen that the formation will be 5-3-1-1 with Miranchouk playing behind Smolnikov, but regarding the team of France, I expect Cherchesov trying to close gaps on flanks as much as possible. Betting perspective: with only 4 matches before the WC, all of them are crucially important. Players will try to do their best to prove themselves and even though that might be a problem of France as they have a bunch of talented players, Deschamps is stressing out that what is important for him is a whole team - so how the team works together and not the individuals. Midfield is still the one deciding about the possession, about how smooth the buildup will be, the transition, everything and in this match, I think that France should have an enormous advantage. They are one of the biggest if not the biggest favorite for winning the World Cup, but they will need to prove that on the pitch. Individually, those two teams cannot be compared and even though the match will be played in St. Petersburg, I think that France won't disappoint once again. Asian handicap -1 with odds around 2,00 seems valuable. Another interesting bet, maybe even better if lineups will really be as expected is in France to win the first half with odds above 2,05.
  13. Barcelona v Chelsea / PICK: Barcelona -1,5 @2,51 Pinnacle 1/10 Barcelona will miss injured midfielder Denis Suarez and fullback Semedo, while Coutinho has no right to play in CL as he already played for Liverpool this season. Chelsea is coming to Barcelona without defender David Luiz and midfielder Barkley. Short preview: even though Barcelona isn’t playing with a high percentage of possession as we were used to in last decade, there is no doubt that they will be in possession tonight. Even though the result of Chelsea isn’t perfect and goalless draw isn’t enough for them to qualify on, they prefer their style, letting the ball to the opponent and trying to exploit their strength with quick counters. It’s highly possible that Conte will start with one of his tall guys Morata or Giroud from the first minute and try to get something more from set-pieces and crosses, but in general, I am pretty sure that they won’t open themselves too much. Barcelona is playing differently as we were used to, for me personally, they are playing with strange tactics due to players they have,… Still, see Barcelona scoring the first goal in this match, and when Chelsea will open slightly, their defense will be reduced and Barcelona will have plenty of space to finish the match, raising their lead to two goals difference. I am aware that match can go in either way, but I see value in odds above 2,40 for Barcelona -1,5 (to win at least 2 goals difference).
  14. admin please delete this post
  15. @Tiffy my biggest mistake in this pick was, that I was talking mostly about Arsenal... seeing some positive things in a match against City, but I totally misjudged the home side (and obviously expected way too much of positive energy from Arsenal as well). My biggest problem when analyzing PL matches is that I have a point of view only from matches of Man City, and that's pretty much irrelevant as only a few sides (IF) can press and outplay someone as they can. That's also why my record in PL is only a few units in profit,... Should read this thread more often, as some of you guys are describing some teams and situations very precisely.