EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) is heading to Belgium for his next best bet from the continent.
Zulte Waregem v Gent | Sunday 3rd March 2019, 13:30
There’s only three rounds of regular season action left in Belgium before the league splits into their bonkers play-off system and 2015 champions Gent are still eyeing up a place in the top-six mix. The Buffalos overcame high-flying Standard Liege last time out and come into this weekend's contest knowing a positive result is necessary to keep their season alive.
Zulte Waregem are harbouring far less exciting ideas despite an upturn in fortunes since the Autumn. Essevee are unlikely to suffer relegation and are therefore able to play out the remainder of the campaign with relative freedom; although they’ll be hoping to improve upon the division’s worst defensive record at the very least.
Anyhow, rather than try pick sides in what’s become a trappy league to second-guess, there’s mileage in supporting a high-scoring contest when these two teams lock horns on Sunday. For starters, Belgium’s top-flight is averaging a bulbous 2.90 goals per-game in 2018/19 with 60% of fixtures producing Over 2.5 Goals.
Goals to flow
Well, this meeting pits together the division’s two most prolific in the goals markets with Zulte Waregem and Gent combining to see league matches averaging a whopping 3.45 goals. A huge 40/54 (74%) of those fixtures broke the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, and 27/54 (50%) even saw Over 3.5 Goals backers collect – 13/54 (24%) concluded with at least five goals.
Drill down into their respective home/away encounters and we’re again blown away by eye-catching goal stats. The duo have collectively delivered 19/26 (73%) successful Over 2.5 Goals selections with the same return for Both Teams To Score hunters. Those 26 games averaged 3.50 goals per-game as 14/26 (54%) featured at least four goals.
And the phenomenal numbers are repeated when viewing Expected Goals (xG) figures. Gent’s games are generating an average of 3.45 xG, whilst Zulte have seen 2.94 xG on average across the campaign – their most recent four have averaged 4.00 xG.
Zulte will be keen to make their mark as hosts – they’ve only once fired a blank at the Regenboogstadion this season, notching twice or more in eight of 13 outings – and long-term boss Francky Dury has overseen 21/28 (75%) BTTS winners here since the start of last season, with 20/28 (70%) finishing with Over 2.5 Goals.
As already mentioned, Gent will be desperate to pick up vital points in their quest to seal a top-six finish and have failed to score in only five of their last 33 road trips, whilst scoring two goals or more in seven of 13 away days this term, but also shipping twice or more on nine occasions.
It’s a contest that ticks both the data and goal trends boxes, and there’s a generous offering available to support a high-scoring showdown with BetVictor setting Over 2.75 Goals up as a 3/4 chance This selection will see us make money should at least three goals be scored; exactly three goals sees a half-stakes profit made with four or more goals resulting in a full pay-out.
Zulte Waregem v Gent – Over 2.75 Goals (3/4 BetVictor)