THE European season continues its relentless quest for conclusion on Saturday and Jack Wright (@bet_shop_boys ) is on-hand to preview his favourite three fancies.
Back in March as football across the globe was being suspended due to the Coronavirus, I resigned myself to prolonged absence from the beautiful game and a bet free start to the summer…until news broke that it was Carry On Regardless in Belarus.
I thought, let’s take in a game – a watching brief, if you may. I must confess at that point, like many, I knew nothing about the Vysshaya Liga other than that it contained BATE Borisov. And they weren’t playing.
It was football but not as I knew it, then the team in blue won a corner and another and so it went on. My mind went to work and wondered if there was an angle here – that team was Dinamo Brest and as it turns out fortune was smiling at me that day.
Could I predict results with certainty or goals? No, unfortunately not. But corners – oh how they flowed and in virtually every game. Which brings me neatly to my first European bet of Saturday:
Neman Grodno v Dinamo Brest | Saturday 27th June 2020, 16:30
Dinamo Brest are the corner kings of Belarus – maybe Europe – potentially the world, with their away matches averaging 12.50 total corners and a huge 13.43 overall.
There has been a minimum of 11 flag kicks in EVERY league game Dinamo have featured in this season, both home and away. From just six league road trips this season two have featured 14 corners and one has had 13, with the White-Blues Brestchane winning either six or seven themselves. Overall, nine of their 14 league games this season have seen 13+ flag kicks which is a whopping 64%.
I was very tempted to back team corners here and wouldn’t put anyone off from doing so at odds-against to win a minimum of six or 2/1 for seven plus. We do however have a tiny fly in the ointment – Saturday's opponents are Neman Grodno, conceding a miserly 14 corners from their six league games at the Neman Stadium, and have seen the lowest corner totals in the Vysshaya.
The Nemantsy home games have only featured a total average of 7.33 corners while overall there is only a marginal increase to 8.38 – however I am taking good to outweigh evil and for the visitors to continue their remarkable sequence.
My main bet being for there to be 11+ corners available at a very generous 5/4 – remarkable odds for an outcome that we remind ourselves has happened in every Dinamo Brest league game this season. Given the aforementioned statistics I can’t help but also play 13+ corners at 3/1 – both available with Sky Bet.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Paderborn | Saturday 27th June 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Paderborn are already relegated and with Eintracht Frankfurt safe from relegation but with no hope of a European place in mid-table, this clash at the Commerzbank-Arena is a dead rubber.
Despite looking relegation certainties for much of the season, the visitors actually sit second behind the mighty Bayern Munich in average corners won per-away game, having won 87 from their 16 road trips at 5.44 per-game. In those away games Steffen Baumgart’s side have claimed four or more flag kicks in 12 – a very impressive 75% – including four of their last five, winning 5, 6, 8 and 9 in those games.
Paderborn's most prolific corner haul on the road came when visiting Schalke in February (10) and they've twice won nine (Koln & Leipzig).
Saturday's hosts also love a corner but the Match Total prices don’t appeal, and although they have conceded only 3.44 corners on average from their 16 games at home ,and four or more on seven occasions, they have done so in five of their last eight here, and in five of their nine games overall since returning to action.
Although I am happy enough with the stats in their own right, I am also hoping the ‘nothing to play for' nature of the game will make this one quite open and therefore won’t cause us to sweat on my selection of Paderborn to win 4+ Corners at odds of 11/8 with Sky Bet.
Lazio v Fiorentina | Saturday 27th June 2020, 20:45 | BT Sport
After our successful Roma corner bet on Wednesday we revisit the Stadio Olimpico, the home they share with second-placed Lazio who may be as many as seven points off top spot by the time their clash with mid-table Fiorentina kicks off.
The Biancocelesti will be all out for a win here after a disappointing 3-2 loss to Atalanta on their return to action but it is their opponents that interest me. The Viola have the joint-third highest average for corners won away, winning 76 from their 13 road trips at 5.85 per game and on no fewer than 10 occasions they have won five or more.
Included in that impressive La Viola haul were trips to two other top four sides in the aforementioned Atalanta where they gained nine and going one better at league leaders Juventus with 10.
The consistency of Giuseppe Lachini’s side in this aspect of the game is highlighted by the fact that three of their last four and nine of their last 11 road trips have seen them claim at least five flag kicks. Returning to action from the enforced break at home to Brescia, Fiorentina once again illustrated their fondness for visiting the corner quadrant by doing so seven times.
Simone Inzaghi’s title challengers have faced five or more corners in exactly half of their 14 home matches and in each of their most recent three. Finally, referring once again back to Wednesday’s trip to Bergamo, Le Aquile shipped a huge 11 corners – and although irrelevant for our bet – won none. Therefore the 10/11 available with Sky Bet for the visitors to win 5+ corners looks a drop of value.