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Everything posted by Pep004

  1. Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta Betting suggestions: Shakhtar -0,25 @2,37 Pinnacle over 2,5 & both teams to score @1,709 Pinnacle Shakhtar to win & both teams to score @4,20 Pinnacle Short preview: Both teams are still in a position to qualify, but the Ukranian club is in the pole position to take the second place. Being on a 14 matches unbeaten run, Shakhtar will definitely enter this match with lots of confidence. Besides, while the away manager Gasparini will miss defenders Toloi and Kjaer, and forwards Iličić and Zapata, Luis Castro on the bench of Shakhtar has almost no worries and will be capable of putting the strongest lineup on the pitch. Atalanta came in this competition completely without experiences and I think that costed them losing especially the first match in Zagreb. After they have found the edge with teams, caused plenty of problems to City, won against Dinamo and now they even have chances to qualify. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to represent themselves in the best XI in Kharkiv, and I think Shakhtar with all the experiences they have in Champions League, they won’t lose the “pole position” status in the group and win the match. I don’t understand why exactly are odds as high as they are for the home win, but there definitely is the value on the home side. Atalanta will push because the only thing that counts for them is the win, but as they are doing plenty of mistakes in positioning when losing the ball, I think Shakhtar will have too many opportunities to harm them on counter-attacks. Taison is back and I see the 31yrs Brazilian as the “key” in this match, as he will be the one who will most likely lead those counters. In any case, even without Iličić and Zapata, I expected offensive-minded Atalanta to still create enough chances to score here, but as said, I think Shakhtar will simply be the stronger team in this clash. Moreover, Man City will very likely play with plenty of rotations in the team, which means the surprise of Dinamo Zagreb isn’t impossible. In this case, Shakhtar needs all three points as well! Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow Betting suggestion: Atletico Madrid & under 4 goals @1,80 Bet365 Short preview: Simeone is probably waiting for the moment to get at least Gimenez back after an injury, but the Uruguayan central defender is still doubtful for the match. Vitolo, Diego Costa, and Savić are out for sure. On the other side, Lokomotiv is coming without a few important players as first goalie Guilherme, and midfielders Barinov, Joao Mario and Ignatyev are out. In any case, Russians have literally nothing to play in this match, as they are at the bottom of the group with only 3 points. Atletico, on the other hand, needs all three points in case if Leverkusen beats Juventus at home, which once again wouldn’t be a surprise, as Juve is already 1st and we will most likely see plenty of rotations of Allegri. Atletico fell into the small result crisis, as they lost twice and draw twice in the last 4 matches. Anyways, there’s no room to fail tonight, as it would definitely be a huge blow for the team if they won’t qualify for the knockout stages. “Luckily” for Atletico, their tonight’s opponent is even in a bigger crisis as they are already 9 points behind 1st placed Zenit and are currently on the 5th spot of Russian Premier League. After the 0-2 defeat against Leverkusen at home, they added two fails in the domestic league as firstly, they lost against Dinamo Moscow at home, and in last match they added a 4-0 lost against Arsenal Tula away. Therefore, they are coming in Madrid with plenty of worries on their shoulders, with minds probably headed to the Sunday’s derby against Zenit. I don’t expect Atletico with all the “problems” they have when it comes to the realisation to destroy the opponent and beat them with a huge difference, but I do expect a score like 2-0, which means both win and the under 4 should pass easily.
  2. Lyon v Leipzig Betting suggestion: both teams to score & over 2,5 @1,80 Pinnacle Short preview: As you probably know, I simply love to take handicaps on Leipzig in Bundesliga, as they really play impressive football, especially up-front. With 30 points and by far the best goal difference in Bundesliga, they are currently only a point behind Gladbach, and I still see them as the biggest “challenger” for Bayern than anyone Gladbach and BVB for example. Their tonight’s opponent won their last match on Friday really comfortably and had a day more to prepare for this match. Konate and Orban are still out, which means the defensive line of “bulls” aren’t as strong as it could be. Garcia is missing both fullbacks, Kone and Dubois, as well, so the main problems of both managers regarding injuries are in defense, which is a “positive” fact to our pick. Both teams are currently at 7 points in the group, therefore the importance of this match is enormous. Logical thinking would be, so they will try to tighten up in defense and play a bit more carefully than usual. Well, both teams conceded 16 goals in their domestic leagues, they both conceded 6 in 5 rounds of Champions League, and on the other hand, they scored 28 and 39 in domestic leagues … What I’m trying to say is, that the main strength of these two is up-front. Both managers have some great forwards in their hands and I simply think that the team who will win tonight, will have to score at least 2… Ajax v Valencia Betting suggestion: both teams to score & over 2,5 @1,78 Pinnacle Short preview: the same pick once again, but this time mainly because Valencia will have to push for the win in Amsterdam, and I consider both teams pretty shaky at the back, and once again pretty decent offensively. The first goalie of Ajax, Onana has some problems but will probably start the match. Out are Neres and Promes, which means ten Hag might start with the veteran Huntelaar as number 9. With the last two wins in La Liga against Villarreal and Levante, Valencia players have raised the atmosphere in the locker room a bit and they are definitely going in Amsterdam without any fear. Lille is out, therefore Chelsea should get an easy win, which means they will be at 11 points, while Ajax and Valencia will fight for the 2nd ticket in knockout phases. A draw would be enough for Ajax and that’s why I expect Valencia to start offensively from the very beginning. With all the experiences Ajax possesses in Champions League, I literally have no doubts they will create dozens of chances in counters. Unfortunately, ten Hag can not count on pacey Promes and Neres, but still, with creativity level of van den Beek, Tadić, Ziyech, … they have more than enough to harm the opponent. Celades will miss some players as well – Gomez, Cillesen, Cheryshev, Kondogbia, Guedes, Sobrino are out due to injuries, while the center back Garay will miss due to suspension.
  3. Arsenal v Brighton Betting suggestion: Arsenal -1 @1,98 Pinnacle Short preview: Will Arsenal beat Brighton with more than a goal difference? Well, I believe they will win the match so, in "worst-case", this bet will be returned. The main reason why I am suggesting the home side here is, of course, the fact, that Gunners decided to sack Unai Emery who looks like or let's say obviously didn't really get along not with the squad, not with the fans. Problems of this squad are definitely in defensive lines, where they can not find the working formula, conceding goals against every single opponent without bigger problems. Last time they didn't concede was on the 6th of October when they won against Bournemouth with 1-0. Since then, they conceded 19 goals in 9 matches in all competitions, therefore it's not a surprise that they won only once in those 9 matches. An interim manager or Arsenal is the clubs legend Ljungberg, who's debut on Emirates might be something special. Honestly, I expect home fans to represent huge support to the team, as they are really in need of positive things start happening to their club. Among possibilities for the new coach is Viera, so another clubs legend, but that isn't even that important right now. The main thing is that all players will have a new chance of showing their best and convincing the new manager to get the place in the first eleven. Quality, especially offensively in this club definitely isn't a question, the question is how to use them in the way to get the best out of them. Emery obviously failed, and I'd say nothing can change in that short period of time, but in this case, I have a feeling that there were soo many "hard feelings", argues, bad relations that some players were with heads far from where they were supposed to be. Somehow relaxed Arsenal, with the "new" spirit in their dressing room and in front of probably the new manager coming in next days, should be motivated enough to beat the poor side of Brighton whose performances aren't as bad as it looks lately, but I simply think that they are coming on Emirates Stadium at the wrong time.
  4. Chelsea v West Ham Betting suggestion: Chelsea -1,5 @1,80 Pinnacle Short preview: The only problem I see for the home side is the recent injury of young prolific striker Abraham, but I think nothing will really change if Lampard puts Belgium striker Batshuayi in, between Pulišić and Willian. From what I’ve seen from Chelsea last week against Manchester City, I have to say I was enormously surprised. It’s obvious that Frank Lampard will be another big coach, transformed from the great player and I am looking forward to seeing how will he transform his football knowledge and ideas onto his players. He has pretty much young squad, a group eager to learn, eager to work and what’s most important, who respects their coach. I won’t even compare the match of West Ham against Tottenham, because they really played catastrophically and I don’t know how they succeeded to bounce back after being already 3-0 down. Well, I expect Chelsea to be dominant, to create many more chances, and to win this match with more than a goal difference. West Ham will miss suspended defender Issa Diop, which is yet another problem for the side who’s in very poor form – won only 1 point in the last 5 matches, against Sheffield United at home. Liverpool v Brighton Betting suggestion: Liverpool -1,5 @1,74 Pinnacle Short preview: Is Liverpool slowly letting the foot from the gas pedal? Well, let’s be honest. You can not simply trash every single opponent with 4-5 goals difference in Premier League, especially when they defend soo deep. Brighton will come on Anfield with super defensive tactics, but I think that offensively, they simply don’t have what’s needed to surprise Liverpool. Reds will miss Fabinho who is their very important player who’s doing great work especially defensively, but I think Brighton will try more with set-pieces and long balls, and less with counters. Last two matches, Brighton lost 3-1 and 0-2 against Manchester United and Leicester, both teams against who you normally are a bit more “fired-up”. Liverpool and Manchester City are teams, against who teams as Brighton are even more motivated but I don’t believe that can be enough to surprise the team, who are having 8 points advantage in a tough Premier League.
  5. Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund Betting suggestion: both teams to score & over 2,5 @1,833 Pinnacle Borussia Dortmund team totals over 1 @1,961 Pinnacle Short preview: As a former huge fan of Barcelona style, I am very disappointed in the last few years, when several managers slowly started "ruining" the work that has been made in history. A team, that was amazing to watch thanks to their superiority in midfield, is now playing almost without the midfield, with straight, direct attacks, plenty of times jumping over the midfield, playing directly on forwards. In the era of Enrique, when it somehow started, it was possible, as he had Neymar, Suarez in best years and Messi, while now, all Valverde's got is Messi, with bunch of talented players like De Jong, Griezmann, Dembele, all somehow used not in their roles, but in roles where tactics as 442 or 4231 offers place. Seeing Griezmann completely on the wing is absurd, but the fact that bothers me the most is the role of Sergio Busquets, one of the key figures of the success in the era of Guardiola (Barcelona) and Del Bosque (Spain). Valverde is using him even in the role of a double pivot, which Busquets most definitely isn't, at least not with instructions he has. Therefore Barcelona now really looks like a very average side, full of superstars, who can perform at their best on good days, and really bad on their bad days. In one word, a very inconsistent team that can be beaten by everyone - yes, even Leganes and Sparta Prague. Why those two teams? Slavia played wonderfully and deserved much more in both matches against Barcelona, while Leganes was easily coping with the pressure of Barça and was able to strike on counters several times. Let me be clear - in this case, we are talking about the last-placed team in La Liga. Without both first full-backs, who are very important in the build-up, or let's say even finishing in the final third, they seem to be lost and the "newbies" as Firpo, have huge pressure on them as they are not adapting fast enough... As it is a very particular way of play. Besides, Sandro Russel assured that Ernesto Valverde will remain on the bench of Barcelona until the end of the season "no matter what happens." Borussia aren't at their best either, as they lost 4-0 in Munich before the international break, and saved a point against weak Paderborn in last minutes (they were 1-3 down). They are currently sixth in Bundesliga, but with a very small gap to catch. Anyways, with the performance, especially in the second half against Inter, they've shown a lot in my opinion and if they repeat a match like this - I am 100% sure they will be fired up and motivated against the top side as Barcelona is. With Reus finally back, Favre has a bit of more options in attack and can easily switch tactics during the match with few substitutions. Against Inter, the right side of BVB worked extremely work and this is the side where Barcelona is still missing Jordi Alba, while the signing - Firpo as mentioned is playing under huge pressure, making plenty of mistakes. Maybe someone will feel strange about my betting suggestions here as BVB is doing pretty poor away from the home and as Barcelona have failed to win only once at Camp Nou this season, but with performances they are showing, with problems at the backline - today, they will miss suspended Pique, while the only positive news is that Arthur and Sergi Roberto are coming back (Roberto, a player that has been promised he will be used as a midfielder this season), but will for sure take the place on the right fullback position tonight. I am well aware of the individual quality of players like Messi, who can decide this match easily, but without help and with Suarez who's ball control is getting weaker and weaker, I think BVB will have plenty of chances in transition. With both defensive lines not being at their best, I expect to see goals in this match. A draw would play for Barcelona as well, as they are current group leaders with 1 point advantage, but like so, they will gamble a lot as they will play on San Siro against Inter in the final round! p.s. Guys, what do you think about Barcelona at the moment? It makes me feel sick watching them.. I know fans should be fans "forever", but if you aren't a habitant of the city where the club plays, it's harder to "keep" the connection no matter what, especially if the "downgradation" is in the process for several years now... and then all the crying stories about how new players aren't performing - Dembele, Coutinho, Griezmann,... dear lord, no one is performing. Messi is carrying this team for years now...
  6. Juventus v Atletico Madrid Betting suggestion: Juventus -0,25 @2,02 Pinnacle Short preview: I expected to see odds for -0,25 handicap a bit lower. AH -0,25 means, we will get half of our stake returned if the match finishes with the draw. It’s true that Sarri has Douglas Costa, Alex Sandro, Chiellini, Rabiot out injured, and that de Ligt, Ronaldo and Bernareschi are all doubtful, but they still have a very good team, and what is even more important for Champions League, very experienced team. Cristiano is listed doubtful, but with his post on twitter yesterday – I am back, and pictures from the training session, I believe he “announced” himself in the first line-up tonight. Juve is already 3 points in front of second-placed Atletico so with three points they will “book” the first place in the group. They are in great form and even when they don’t play at their best, they still win the match, which only says a lot about their mentality. Except against Atalanta in the last round (1-3), they won 8 of their last 9 matches with only a goal difference, and I expect to see something similar tonight. Atletico isn’t at their best, playing only 1-1 against Granada in La Liga last round. Moreover, in the last 5 matches, they have 3 draws, 1 win, and 1 defeat. They won against a very poor side of Espanyol at home and lost away in Leverkusen (2-1). Still, they are in a solid position in Champions League, as they are second with 7 points and 4 points advantage and playing at home against Lokomotiv Moscow in the last round of the group stage. Therefore they still have everything in their hands, and they won’t be under pressure tonight. Anyways, the truth is that with beating Juve today on Allianz Stadium in Torino, they will have chances of taking the first spot in the group,… But still, comparing these two sides at the moment, I see Juventus in a much better state, Ramsey is back, Dybala raising his form, Ronaldo coming back,… For me, odds above 1,90 on -0,25 represents decent value. Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk Betting suggestion: Manchester City 1st half -1 @2,02 Pinnacle Manchester City -2,5 @2,15 Pinnacle Short preview: The thing which bothers me a bit is that the defensive line of Manchester City is changing a lot, due to injuries of course. The key player of backline Aymeric Laporte is still absent, and Guardiola is usually putting Fernandinho in pair with Stones/Otamendi, or even the second defensive midfielder Rodri. Uncertain is also who will play in offensive part, as Bernardo was forced to skip the match against Chelsea (accused of racism post on twitter, as he made a joke with his best friend Mendy), and as Mahrez is performing better and better. With Silva picking up a slight injury, it might even happen that Bernardo will be positioned in a bit deeper role, why Mahrez will keep his spot on the right-wing. The central striker will be Jesus, as Kun Aguero is out injured. While Man City is currently 3rd in Premier League, Shakhtar is very comfortable in the first place of the Ukranian Premier League, with 13 points advantage and goal difference +37. With 5 points in the group, they still have chances of qualifying and will play against Atalanta at home in the last round, but it will be very tough to take points from Etihad, especially with so many problems as they will have today. Luis Castro will miss suspended Marlos, while Taison is injured. Each scored 6 goals in 11 matches so far and are irreplaceable figures of this team. When it comes to “ball-carrying”, Taison has the competition high with 1811 meters (1049 of these, upwards on the field)! Manchester City and Shakhtar played against each other several times in past years and Citizens have won 4 of 5 last matches, all of them with the clean sheet. Guardiola is always speaking very highly about the Ukranian league, how full of talents it is, so I expect them being fully prepared for this match, which as the manager said, is crucial, as he wants to go in Zagreb without any pressure. With the win over Chelsea, City have shown a bit more of maturity, as they scored in a moment when they weren’t performing as they should. Winning matches like this are very important for the morale and I believe we won’t see them failing that soon, therefore I expect a comfortable victory. Tottenham v Olympiacos Betting suggestion: Tottenham 1st half -0,5 @1,81 Pinnacle Tottenham -1,5 @1,99 Pinnacle Tottenham ht/ft @1,91 Short preview: After several ups and downs, and some mini-clashes inside the locker room, Spurs have decided to change the coach and Pochettino was replaced by Mourinho. The Portuguese coach has already shown an impact on the team, which will (not surprisingly) play more direct, without “play out of the back” style, and to be honest, I think that Mourinho got a very interesting team in his hands, regarding the way of how he wants to play. He has lots of physicality in players like N’Dombele, Dier, Sissoko, Wanyama, plenty of pace and individual quality in Son, Lucas, physical, pacy fullbacks, and plenty other quality individuals like Alli, Lamela, Eriksen and we should not forget the “leader” Kane,… Son has already told the press that the football they were used to play will change, but that it can help the group on the mutual road to win trophies. Mourinho, even though he had some unsuccessful spells lately is definitely a manager who can do something with this group and in my opinion, it will be something big, or nothing at all – I want to say that I don’t expect some kind of “average result”. Today’s opponent Olympiacos is at the bottom of the group, they’ve won only 1 point in 4 matches, and they are a terrible away team – lost with Crvena Zvezda 3-1 and Bayern 2-0. I’m sure they will position really deep on the pitch but Tottenham have plenty of answers on this kind of tactic… What bothers Spurs so far is how to calmly finish the “already won” match, and that’s why my favorite pick here is for them to win the first half. I’m sure they will push with force from the first minute and try to make the difference early in the game. They are a way better side, they have plenty of experiences with Champions league, they have a very experienced manager I expect nothing less, than a big win of their side. Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb Betting suggestion: both teams to score & over 2,5 goals @1,943 Pinnacle Short preview: Even though Italians are with only 1 point sitting at the bottom of the group C, where Manchester City will most likely take the first points as they have 5 points advantage already, they still have some theoretical chances of qualifying … They have to win their last two matches and count on Manchester City to do their part of the job. This match is coming after a tough clash with Juventus, which they lost 3-1, but they had plenty of chances to make it 2-0, so with a little bit of luck, everything might be finished differently. They are a team that is trying to develop their game, who is playing with their style, regardless of the opponent is Man City or Dinamo. Of course, experiences are hardly on the side of Croatians, as it is the first time in history Atalanta is competing in this elite competition, but after a catastrophic performance in Zagreb, where they lost with 4-0, I expect them being eager to revenge this result, where yes, Dinamo played well, but it was also one of those games, where everything works for one, and nothing for the other side. Dinamo is relaxed in the first position of 1. HNL, but they can feel their chances of qualifying and they will be under a bit of pressure tonight. Both sides are great offensively, while especially Atalanta isn’t too good behind, as they are way too much focused on attack. Comparing with the match against Juventus, Gasparini will be able to count on Muriel, Malinovskiy, and Iličić, therefore three very important players of his side. Therefore I see a bunch of value in odds on over with the addition of both teams to score, which is my main suggestion for this match.
  7. Crystal Palace v Liverpool Betting suggestion: Crystal Palace to score @1,71 Pinnacle Both teams to score & over 2,5 @2,26 Pinnacle Short preview: Crystal Palace again. Current league leaders are coming on to Selhurst Park in London, where they will surely look for the win, and put more pressure on Manchester City who will play against Chelsea later. International break brought plenty of worries for Klopp, as Henderson was ill, Gomez picked up an injury on the training,… While Robertson and Salah had problems with ankle and even though they are close to being fully fit, I wouldn’t expect Klopp to send both in the action. In any case, Liverpool have an amazing squad, and even if they rotate with the squad, we will still see a very decent squad on the pitch. As I mentioned last time, I think Crystal Palace is a team, who is made to make surprises. They are a team, who is easily fired-up against big teams. With the names, they have in the squad, especially offensively, I think that things will soon turn around, as they scored only once in the last four matches. Well, the truth is they faced Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester, and Chelsea, and with Liverpool coming, their schedule was far from easy, but as mentioned, international breaks aren’t helpful at all for big teams and every season we can see, that some of them have big problems on first matches… Will that be the case for Liverpool?
  8. Leganes v Barcelona Betting suggestion: Barcelona -1 @1,84 Short preview: The last positioned Leganes, who “collected” only 6 points in 13 rounds will early on Saturday host the current leaders of La Liga, FC Barcelona. Besides the catastrophic start of the season 2019/20 for Leganes, they won’t be able to count on several players – Marc Navaro and Cristian Rivera are injured, while Recio and Kevin Rodrigues are suspended for the clash with the Catalan giant. On the other side, Barcelona is coming without Semedo, Alba, Lengled, Arthur and Sergi Roberto, which means Valverde will face problems especially in the defensive part of the team, as he will be without the right fullback. As it looks, that will be a chance for young Moussa Wague, who will partner Pique, Umtiti, and Firpo in the back four. However Barcelona lost 2-1 here last season, I can not past the value bookies are offering with odds above 1,80 on asian handicap -1, which once again means that if Barcelona wins for only a goal difference, your stake will be voided. La Liga is completely La Liga Loca this season as only 5 points are between 1st Barcelona and 10th Levante. Therefore there will be no room for mistakes and I expect favorites to get the job done, even though it’s gonna be the first match after the international break. I think that even though this season all Spanish giants made several fails, lost points literally everywhere, I believe that we won’t see odds like 1,45 on the victory of Barcelona.
  9. Completely agree with you @StevieDay1983... Besides the ht/ft market, I am also looking at win with the clean sheet, and asian handicaps (-1, -1,5)... I think that Wales will be the one scoring first and after that, there will be simply too much space as Hungarians will have to push higher...
  10. Romania v Sweden Betting suggestion: both teams to score @1,91 Pinnacle Short preview: Two rounds before the end of qualifiers, we have Sweden on 2nd and Romania on 3rd spot, with only 1 point advantage for Scandinavians, who are coming in Bucuresti, where they will try to remain unbeaten and look for confirmation of the final 2nd place in the last round when they will host Faroe Islands in Stockholm. Romania, on the other hand, have to win all three points and surprise Spain in the last round. The fact is that Spain is already 1st in the group, and will probably add another 3 points tonight against Malta, so their coach might give a chance to some players who haven't played that much so far... In any case, there are still chances for Romania and as long as they are, I believe they will fight for that. While Sweden is coming with the full squad, Romania will miss striker Andone, which means Puscas will most likely play the role of number 9, with Coman, Deac, and Hagi behind him. This Romanian squad have scored in every match in those qualifiers and at home, in front of the huge support from the stands, I expect them motivated and hyped... Regardless of the importance of this match, I believe they won't calculate too much and play in the way they prefer - offensive, but on the other side I do expect that the tough Sweden side, with most likely 442 formation, will score at least once, if not even twice, regarding the fact that Romanians will push higher if they won't have the result which will suit them. The last match in Stockholm finished with 2-1 for Sweden. Scandinavians have scored 11 goals in 4 matches away from home (0 against Spain, 4 against Malta and Faroe Islands, and 3 against Norway). Once again, for the home side, everything that counts is to take all three points tonight...
  11. Turkey v Iceland Betting suggestion: Turkey -0,75 @1,90 SBO Short preview: Everyone expected France to beat Turkey in the last international break, but the match on Stade de France finished with 1-1, and Turkey was actually as close to all three points as France, if not even a bit more. Today, they will miss their best goalscorer Cheikh Tosun, which probably means that the tall offensive midfielder of Fortuna Dusseldorf, Kenan Karaman will take his spot aside from Yilmaz, who will most likely take the spot number 9. Both sides are mathematically still “in the game”, but the fact is that Turkey will take care of everything if they win tonight. As they have better h2h with France, they will remain 1st as long as they will have the same number of points as the current World champions. If they beat Iceland, they will have an easy task in the last round, as they travel to Andorra. On the other hand, if they fail today, they will for sure find themselves on the second spot as I am 100% sure France won’t lose points against Moldova at home. Turkey is expected to be positioned in 433 formation, but even if so, I believe they will be careful against the Icelandic 4411, where probably the only question is who will lead the attack – or Sightorsson, or Finbogasson. A huge blow for the away side is the absence of Burnley’s winger Gudmundsson. As said, a very important match for Turkey, while for Iceland, even if they win, I believe they are very aware of the situation, which means that if Turkey wins the last match, they have no chance of qualifying. H2h stats are strongly on the side of Iceland (they won on the last 3 meetings), but the truth is also that Iceland reached the top of this generation on Euro 2016 and since then, they started slowly falling. Honestly, I am surprised to see them at 15 points, but it’s also true that they have two very poor teams in the group (Andorra and Moldova). Czech Republic v Kosovo Betting suggestions: Kosovo to score @1,60 Pinnacle both teams to score & over 2,5 @2,240 Pinnacle In group A, we have only 5 teams and England is even though they lost in Czech Republic with 2-1, still in the first place with 3 points advantage and will most likely keep the first spot. Tonight, they play at home against Montenegro and are huge favorites to beat them, which means they will be at 18 points. An answer to the question who will take the second spot will be probably known tonight after this match as currently, Czech Republic is 2nd with 12, and Kosovo is 3rd with 11 points. One big difference is also that Czech’s will play their last match in Bulgaria (3 points), while Kosovo will host England at home. It can easily happen that England will already 1st and play in Pristina with the rotated squad, but for that, Kosovo needs to take at least a point today in Prague. I’d probably suggest taking the +0,5 as well here, but the fact that Kosovo is coming into this match without their key striker Muriqi pushed me away from this idea. Still, with Muriqi or without him, this side possess something special. In my opinion, the biggest difference is in their nation, belief and simply a fighting spirit. Will that be enough to surprise pretty much solid Czech’s tonight? Czech’s will miss the Leipzig’s striker Schick as well, but with the way how those two national sides play, I expect to see at least a goal on both sides.
  12. Chelsea v Crystal Palace Betting suggestion: Crystal Palace team totals over 0,5 @1,80 Pinnacle Crystal Palace +1,5 @1,95 Short preview: Chelsea is coming into this encounter after a goal-fest with Ajax in midweek, where they returned in the match after being 1-4 behind. The way how they play, they like to have the possession, they play with plenty of offensive-minded players in the lineup and even though Crystal Palace is one of the most inconsistent teams in the league, especially when considering the quality they possess, I do think that Chelsea’s game style will suit them, as they like to sit deeper and strike with counters. They have some very pacy players, and they have 0 problems with injuries for this match. Palace got the same amount of points at home and away in the last 10 matches, and they are usually a team that is tough to beat when you are a “big” favorite. I honestly expected to see odds a bit less in favor of a team, who won with more than a goal difference only once in the last five home matches. Therefore I like both, Crystal Palace to score and Crystal Palace to cover the +1,5 asian handicap, which means Chelsea should not win with more than a goal difference.
  13. Real Sociedad v Lleganes Betting suggestions: Real Sociedad -0,75 @1,97 Pinnacle over 2,25 goals @2,06 Pinnacle Short preview: Firstly, I had only Real Sociedad to win on my list, but I suggest a bit smaller stake on over in goals as well. I can remember matches from the last season, where Sociedad entered them as a big favorite but started the match with few missed chances and playing too much comfortably, letting a lot of space in the defense and the opponent took advantage. Truth is, that they look a bit more serious this season, more mature, and therefore I believe that they will win this match, but I think they will have to score twice to get it “c0mfortably”. Leganes is in a horrible form, winning only 5 points in 12 matches so far and it’s not a surprise to see them at the bottom of La Liga. Their opponent is completely on the other side of the league table, as they are “sharing” the first spot with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Unfortunately, Odegaard is still out injured, but they seemed pretty strong without him in Granada. Basque team has an opportunity to jump on the first place of La Liga, and who else would you want to play against than the worst team in the league at the moment? Valencia v Granada Betting suggestion: Valencia -1 @2,26 Pinnacle Short preview: Valencia overturned the result in mid-week against Lille, and won 4-1, so they are coming into this clash with Granada with heads up. With some players coming back from injury, they start looking better and better, and soon, I expect them higher on the league table. Current 13th place looks bad, but results in La Liga this season are something “new”, as even Valencia is only 5 points behind the league leaders. Therefore nothing is lost but it will be crucial to collect points at home. Granada seemed like a surprise of the season three weeks ago, but two consecutive defeats against Getafe away and Real Sociedad at home “pushed” them in the 6th place. Still, they are 2 points behind the 1st and 3 in front of 13th Valencia, but I think Valencia should simply take advantage of quality difference and the home stadium, so I expect all three points to stay at home. Granada isn’t afraid to attack, so I believe they won’t play defensively, which I see as an opportunity for the home side to score even more. Atletico Madrid v Espanyol Betting suggestion: Atletico Madrid -1 @1,88 Pinnacle Short preview: Talking about the worst team in the league, Espanyol isn’t far from that. They’ve got 3 points more than Leganes, but still… 8 points of possible 36 is a catastrophic result and considering the away match on Wanda Metropolitano, where Atletico conceded only 1 goal in last 4 matches, I can not see “anything good” happening for Espanyol in this round. Atletico lost the champions league match in Leverkusen on Wednesday, but Espanyol will play the match even a day later (today against Ludogorets), so all in all, Atletico will have a day more to rest. Besides all of that, Simeone has a way bigger squad, so that’s the factor going in favor of the home side. Atletico is at the moment only a point away from the first three teams, but as mentioned above, one or two bad results can very easily kick you down to the 13th spot. I’ve been looking at the odds on the clean sheet, on Atletico to win to nil, but I think the best suggestion is simply to take the Asian handicap -1, which means the bet will be voided in case of only a goal difference in favor of Atletico. Honestly, I can not see Espanyol setting up a surprise in this one … Betis v Sevilla Betting suggestion: over 3 goals @2,46 Pinnacle Short preview: Without a doubt the biggest match of La Liga this round will be played in Sevilla, where Betis will host the city rival Sevilla on Benito Villamarin stadium, which is known as one of the loudest venues in Spain. While Sevilla is doing pretty fine, having 21 points, being on the 5th place, only 2 points behind the league leaders, their rival, with 13 points in 12 matches aren’t in the best form, but at the same time we have to mention that they’ve won against Celta in the last match at home, and snapped a point on Santiago Bernabeu last round, so they are coming in to the derby Sevillano with a solid atmosphere. In any case, in matches like this, current standings aren’t really important… The last match on Pizjuan finished with 3-2, and I expect to see a goal-fest this time as well.
  14. Cyprus v Russia; 18:00 Betting suggestion: Russia -1 @2,05 Pinnacle Short preview: With a 1-2 win over Kazahstan in last round, Cyprus with 10 points, is “comfortably” sitting on the 3rd spot, which of course doesn’t mean anything special, when you see Belgium and Russia already at 18 and 21 points. Cyprus lost 3 matches in this group – besides Russia and Belgium, they lost against Scotland too and of course, they have zero chances of qualifying on Euro. Russia on the other side won their last match against Scotland with 4-0, their goal difference is +18, they have 6 wins in a row, with the only defeat in those qualifications against Belgium away, but they will play against Belgium at home in next match… In any case, Russia is currently amongst the best 2nd placed teams, which means that they can directly qualify even as a second-placed team. Slovenia v Austria; 20:45 Betting suggestion: over 2,5 @2,16 Pinnacle Short preview: In group G, everything got even more complicated as Slovenia lost in North Macedonia. Poland “jumped” a bit away again, winning in Latvia, while Austria took the “Slovenian” place with a win over Israel at home with 3-1. Austrians were losing 0-1, but they were a better side and until the end of the match succeeded to turn the result in their favor. Slovenia played one let’s say acceptable and one catastrophic half-time against North Macedonia, and while they didn’t score from their chances in the first half, Macedonians did in the second, and the final result should probably even stay at 2-0 as Slovenia got a pretty much offered penalty in last minutes. With the current position, with the fact that they play against Poland in the last round of qualifications, truth is that only 3 points somehow count for Slovenia, and they will have to attack that. On the other side, if anyone could accept a point, that it’s Austria, as they play against North Macedonia at home and Latvia away in the next two fixtures. In any case, Austrians have a decent team, with plenty of players playing on a really high level, being regulars in their clubs, and that’s the reason which should make the difference at the end… In any case, Slovenia will play in front of a sold-out stadium, they won against Poland and Israel in the last two home matches and everything is possible… Poland v North Macedonia; 20:45 Betting suggestion: Poland -1 @1,89 Pinnacle Short preview: North Macedonia cooked things up by beating Slovenia in the last round, and now they are on a third position with the same number of points. They won’t have an easy match until the end as they play against Austria and Israel, therefore they will have to show something more than just defend and try with counters in the next fixtures. The main reason why I am suggesting this bet is that they still have some problems with the lineup, especially in defense and with all the spaces they were letting open for Slovenia in the first half, I think that they will find themselves already 2-3 goals behind the opponent, especially when you consider the enormous form of Lewandowski. Without a doubt, Macedonia has a solid team, especially defensively, but as mentioned they have some injury problems, some players aren’t 100% fit and Poland should use that and “finish” the question about the 1st place. If Slovenia gets points against Austria, Lewa & the company can make a huge step to the qualifications.
  15. Latvia v Poland; 20:45 Betting suggestion: Poland -2 @1,80 Pinnacle Short preview: I think there is no need for a special explanation. True, every win counts only three points, regardless if it’s 0-1 or 0-5, but with 2-0 defeat in Slovenia, and 0-0 draw at home against Austria, things got complicated even for Poland, who was the big favorite in this group and at the end, it might happen that the goal difference will play its role as well. At the moment, Slovenia and Austria have the best one (+7), Poland is at +6, both Israel and North Macedonia at +0. Slovenia made the biggest difference exactly here in Riga, where they’ve won 0-5. Lewandowski is in a superb form, scoring most goals in Europe this season, scoring every match for Bayern Munchen. The national coach of Poland made a small mistake in the lineup against Slovenia, positioning Zielinski out on the side, instead of more central as he plays in Napoli (in 433 formation). Without “active” Zielinski, Poland depends too much on the individual work of Lewandowski, which wasn’t enough against Slovenia, but even so, it should be enough against a poor side as Latvia (6 matches, 6 defeats, goal difference 1:21).
  16. North Macedonia v Slovenia; 20:45 Betting suggestion: Slovenia -0,25 @1,90 Pinnacle Short preview: group G is one of the most interesting so far. It's not that interesting because of teams playing in, but because of the situation on the table. Except for Latvia (6 matches, 6 defeats, goal difference 1:21), all teams are still in the position to qualify. North Macedonia is 4th, with 8 points, same as Israel, 2 less than Austria, 3 less than Slovenia and 5 less than Poland. Group leaders Poland were in a great position before the last international break, but they lost in Slovenia (2-0) and played a draw with Austria at home (0-0). Regarding the not the best start of Slovenia in qualifications, no one really expected 6 points in the last int. break, but that's exactly what happened, and not just that they got it, they also played really solid, which means that the national manager Matjaz Kek, who already led this country to the World Cup in 2010, is once again on a good way to make something big with the small country as Slovenia is. A classic problem of their team is that often, there are players who aren't regulars in their clubs, but football played in clubs, and football played in national level is completely different, preparations are different, therefore players need to know how to listen, adapt, and simply do their best for the country. It looks like Kek is on a good way of reaching that, but even though they are on the 2nd spot at the moment, the next two fixtures are once again crucial. First, they have to win North Macedonia, especially if Austria wins against Israel at home, and then they will host Austria on Sunday in Slovenia... Tonight's opponent will be everything but easy, as they look better and better under the leadership of Angelovski, who will miss Levante's midfielder Bardhi and Rijeka's defender Velkovski, who are pretty important players. Besides them, another important player Ristovski who plays for Sporting Lisbona is not 100% fit, so we will see some changes in the lineup. One point would probably be pretty much useless for both sides, especially for Macedonia, as they are traveling to Poland in the next match. With some difficulties especially in defense and need of 3 points, I think Slovenia will have enough space in counters, to grab an important win.
  17. Hello, major football leagues are slowly coming back to the action. Most of Ligue 1 clubs have already started with their pre-seasons, and I decided to keep an eye on them, following their squads, transfers, changes in the style of playing etc. For the first time, I've decided to get involved in friendly matches. All the analyses will be posted on my site, but I will be posting them here as well if anyone is interested. I thought the match will start at 20:00, so I am too late with todays suggestion (Marseille half time -0,5 @1,85) but I'll post others. Cheers
  18. Watford v Wolverhampton; 16:00 Betting suggestion: Both teams to score @1,85 Pinnacle Short preview: That will be a meeting of two very interesting sides this season in Premier League, who are neighbors on the league table as Watford is 7th with 51 points, and Wolverhampton is just a point behind on the 8th place. Even though we can see they don’t have a chance to enter the top6 and be a part of the European competition, that might not be true. Watford is playing the FA cup final and if they win it, they will get the ticket for the Europa League next season, while if Man City wins, the 7th place in Premier League will lead to Europa League, therefore they have chances of entering this competition on two different fronts. I’ve seen debates about Watford players have their heads at the final already, I think the club knows that there is still much to play and that to count on a win against City won’t be really an easy thing to do. When Wolves are coming in Watford with the full squad, Javi Garcia has some problems as his captain and best scorer Troy Deeney is suspended for this match, and Bertrand and Armstrong are doubtful. In any case, both teams have lots of offensive potentials and I expect both teams to score at least a goal here.
  19. Eintracht Frankfurt v Hertha Berlin; 15:30 Betting suggestion: Eintracht Frankfurt first half -0,5 @1,88 Pinnacle Short preview: Eintracht is still one of the biggest surprises in Europe this season, holding the 4th position in Bundesliga and reaching semis of Europa League, recently beating Benfica with 2-0 and overcoming the 4-2 defeat in Lisbon. The away side is coming into this match with much more problems in the squad, as Grujic and Stark are suspended, Luckassen is doubtful, and some others are still on the injury list. Still, the great season can quickly turn into an “average” one, as Gladbach, Leverkusen, and Hoffenheim are all on 3 or fewer points difference. Therefore we can expect a huge battle between these clubs in the final run of Bundesliga. Hertha is on the 11th spot, 15 points above the relegation zone, so they can play without any pressure. Of course, in football that often brings pretty good performances, but there is a reason why is Frankfurt holding the Champions League spot right now. In matches like this, it usually happens that longer it stays 0-0, more nervous the match gets, and I expect Frankfurt once again making a difference already in the first half.
  20. I am actually thinking about Watford over 1,5 ... They have "nothing" to play for and they possess a lot of quality in their squad, especially offensive. Seeing them creating chance after chance against Man United, I think they can do the same against Arsenal. Truth is, that the conversion rate of those chances was poor, but with a bit better day today, they could score at least 2.
  21. Leganes v Real Madrid Betting suggestion: Real Madrid -0,5 @1,72 Pinnacle Short preview: One statistical fact to begin with: Real Madrid wins 67% of matches with odds around 1,70. Even though Real Madrid isn’t playing at their prime right now, they’ve won 4 of last 5 matches, and even if Leganes is far from an easy opponent at home, I expect Real Madrid to have an upper hand in this match and contribute on the scoreboard at least once more than the opponent. Both teams look interesting as well, as captain Sergio Ramos is still out, but I decided to simply suggest narrow win of Real Madrid, which is priced extremely well regarding the usual prices on this team. Of course, everything is a consequence of not so brilliant season this year, but Zidane is here once again and he will try to “reboot” the team. Leganes have plenty of injury woes at the moment, as Omeruo, Recio, Arnaiz, El Zhar, El-Nesyri are all doubtful, while Rodriguez and Lunin aren’t allowed to play as they are loaned from Real Madrid. Los Galacticos seems to be safe on the third position, which means they will be part of the Champions League next season, but when you are in the club like Real Madrid than only reach CL isn’t enough and everyone expects you to win on matches, especially like this one is. Leganes have won 3 of last 4 matches, they are on a defeatless run for 4 consecutive matches, but I expect Real Madrid to stop the run and keep the pressure on Atletico Madrid who is currently 5 points in front of them.
  22. Real Sociedad v Eibar Betting suggestion: both teams to score @1,74 Short preview: What I like here is that both teams are without any kind of pressure. Both sitting in the middle of the league table – Real Sociedad is 11th with 10 wins, 10 draws and 11 defeats when Eibar is two places lower with 9 wins, 12 draws and 10 defeats. I cannot see any of these two climbing much higher from where they are, even though they are only 6 and 7 points behind 6th Valencia. At the same time, they are 9 and 10 points in front of 18th Villarreal, so, for now, either of those two cannot feel a serious pressure from bottom teams. An interesting fact is that both teams scored and conceded at least a goal in the last 5 matches and that both were defeated in last round – Sociedad in Vigo against Celta, while Eibar lost against Real Madrid, even though they had a 0-1 lead until the 59th minute. Eibar likes to push higher, play with pressing and therefore I expect goals in this encounter.
  23. Sampdoria – Genova Betting suggestion: Sampdoria -0,5 @2,06 Pinnacle Short preview: Even though Sampdoria is in a pretty bad form lately, having 2 defeats in a row, we have to mention that they played against Torino which is very good at home and Roma, which is fighting for a European spot for the next year. With 45 points, it looks that Sampdoria is slowly losing the connection with places for Europe, even though they are still only 4 points behind Lazio and Torino, Atalanta currently the 6th placed team of Serie A is 7 points in front. If they lose points against Genoa today, then I think we can somehow say that the European fight for Sampdoria will be over. Today's opponent is with 34 points only 6 points above the relegation zone, therefore every point will count for them. They succeeded to steal a point from Napoli in last round, but at the same time lost with teams like Udinese and Parma in last matches. Funny thing is, that they won only 4 points in the last 5 matches, and they won it against Napoli and Juventus. In any case, there is a reason that Sampdoria is 11 points in front of them and I expect the side to get the job done today.
  24. Sampdoria v AC Milan Betting suggestion: over 2,5 & both teams to score @2,37 Bet365 Short preview: I was surprised to see odds that high, even though it’s true that Milan is capable of playing a bit more cautious, but I think they won’t be able to take this road today, as Sampdoria will try to attack and stay close to European places. Milan is currently holding the 4th place with 4 points above Roma, they had a very good streak but ruined it in the last match where they lost to their city rival Inter with 2-3. Bonaventura will be the only missing for the away side, while Sampdoria will miss Ekdal, Barreto, and Caprari. Even though we’ve seen some crazy results already, which is just proving the point that is important to be really smart with stakes after international breaks, I think that mentality of the home team is simply too offensive minded. I think that the first goal will change things completely and we’ll watch a pretty open match. Sampdoria scored 49 goals in 28 matches, and at the same time conceded 38. Milan scored 6 goals less, and conceded only 26, which is less than a goal per game, and which is also why odds aren’t really favorizing the over here, but I think that Sampdoria will inject a quick tempo to this match, and Milan, as they can, will simply have to follow it.
  25. Portugal v Serbia Betting suggestion: Serbia team totals over 0,5 @1,854 Pinnacle Short preview: I tweeted about this match this morning, expressing my leans to Serbia covering the Asian handicap +1 and odds for this selection jumped from starting 1,63 to 2,04. I don’t have any news about it, but seeing the potential lineups nothing has really changed in the squad of Serbia. Of course, the fact that they have billions of problems with the football association in this country isn’t anything new, but I think that between players who are there and the coach – who is apparently problematic as well, there is a solid relationship. With performance against Germany, they showed once again that they have a very decent squad with at the moment the hottest number 9 in Europe. Luka Jović, who scored 23 goals this season (10 with the right foot, 9 with left, 4 headers) is probably one of most complete forwards at the moment and in a very good form. Of course, on the other side, there will be Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s in excellent form as well and besides him, in my opinion, one of the most improved players in past years Bernardo Silva – who is currently one of the best if not the best individual in Premier League. Without a doubt, Portugal have covered all places very well, but as they play with both fullbacks pushing really high on the pitch, I see chances for Serbia. Tadić is another great name in the squad of Krstajić, whose performances are on the highest level this season, but besides him, Krstajić has other individuals as Ljajić, Gaćinović (teammate of Jović in Frankfurt), Milenković, Milinković-Savić, and others. There is another thing when it comes for matches of “Balkan teams” and that is self-confidence and morale in general. They are capable of setting the mindset much higher of their abilities. Generations coming into senior squad have won a lot so good results against teams like Portugal isn’t anything new for them. There are some changes expected from the side of Portugal as Dyego Sousa might come in instead of Andre Silva, and Rafa instead of Ruben Neves. Even though I won’t be surprised to see Portugal starting cautiously, I think that both sides have a lot of offensive talent and that we’ll see some goals here. Therefore, my suggestions are also both teams to score @2,20.