World Football: A goal-shy Sunday showdown from Holland

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WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) continues his quest for global value with a selection of hand-picked best bets from across the planet on Sunday.

Heerenveen v Groningen | Sunday 27th October 2019, 11:15

Just like in our Saturday article, we’ll be venturing to Netherlands for the Eredivisie in this Sunday edition as Heerenveen take on Groningen. Note the morning kick-off for this one, although I must admit I don’t expect it to be much of an entertaining affair, at least from a goals perspective. Then again, we all love a good 0-0!

Heerenveen haven’t been a consistent team for a very long time now at this level and have endured a lengthy series of mid-table finishes. However, they are on a three-game winning streak, the latest being a fine 4-2 away success at AZ Alkmaar, although it was neutral territory for AZ due to their stadium experiencing some repairs. Still, it was a fine result to keep Heerenveen ticking along nicely.

Groningen are a very similar team to Heerenveen in the sense that they are regular in the middle of the Dutch top flight, and for quite a long time. Consistency has too been their issue, but they too are on a winning streak, two matches in their case. Both did come at home however, although the clean sheets are possibly the greater plus to take from those.

A tougher assignment awaits for Groningen on Sunday, especially as they’ve only won on one of their last eight visits to Abe Lenstra Stadion. They’ve only won three times here since 2009. Four of the last five head-to-head meetings overall have ended in draws, which again highlights how closely matched these teams are, certainly on paper.

Although this is a meeting between two in-form sides, I did hint above that this is likely to be a low-scoring affair. I’ll explain why. Every Heerenveen home game this season has finished under 2.5 goals, averaging a league low of 1.40 for all teams in the division. Groningen’s away league matches are averaging only 2.00, which is again the lowest of all teams on the road. Four of the last five H2H meetings has done so, too.

Under 2.5 Goals is a worthy call and odds of 109/100 (Marathon) are far, far too good to ignore all things considered.

Shanghai SIPG v Dalian Yifang | Sunday 27th October 2019, 11:35

We’re very much approaching the business end of the Chinese Super League season and there is once again a three-way tussle at the top of the table. Guangzhou Evergrande have three-point lead over Shanghai SIPG with just four-games remaining, with Beijing Guoan a point further behind in third.

SIPG and Guoan met last weekend, with SIPG earning a fine 2-0 away win to give them hope of earning their second league title.

Dalian Yifang enjoyed a bit of a bounce when Rafa Benitez took charge of the club, but that momentum has since died down. They were in a relegation battle when the former Newcastle boss took the job, and they’re well clear of that, so it is job done in that regard for the Spaniard. Not having that cause in terms of needing points has seen their form drop of late, winning one of the last six in all competitions, losing four.

Shanghai SIPG, who possess the likes of Hulk and Oscar within their ranks, have a slump of their own not so long ago. They have won back-to-back league matches, but prior to that they won just two in two in all competitions, which coincided with their exit from the AFC Champions League to Japanese side Urawa. Where they can be relied upon however is at home, where they’ve won 10/13 in the league.

Benitez has managed ten games for Dalian, winning four, drawing two and losing four. What is noticeable is that three of the four losses was by a one-goal margin, which comes as no shock given how Rafa can organise his teams. This proves that SIPG will have to work hard to defeat them.

However, in away games versus teams positioned first and third in the table so far, they’ve lost 4-1 on both occasions away to Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan. This suggests they do come up short against the top teams, although Rafa will have a plan to frustrate. However, their plan is to prepare for next season, so this game is way more important to the home side.

SIPG again have to be the play, but they’re very slim odds. A way to increase their odds is to propose Shanghai SIPG to win and Both teams to score. This boosts our price to 6/4 (Betway). Of their ten home wins this season, this selection has paid out on seven of those occasions.

Seven of their 11 clean sheets came in away games, proving they have a go at home, often getting the job done but being prone to conceding. As for Dalian, they only have four clean sheets across their league campaign, also only failing to score in four matches. This selection has a great chance of paying off.

Best Bets

Heerenveen v Groningen – Under 2.5 Goals (109/100 Marathon)

Shanghai SIPG v Dalian Yifang – Shanghai SIPG to win and Both Teams To Score (6/4 Betway)

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