World Football: Back the Pumas to pounce on Sunday night

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WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) looks to continue his fabulous form with a selection of hand-picked best bets from across the planet on Sunday.

Extremadura v Malaga | Sunday 25th November 2018, 15:00

Malaga are giving it a good shot on trying to win back their La Liga spot at the first attempt. Fourteen games into the new season in the second-tier of Spanish football they sit second, only a solitary point behind league leaders Alcorcon.

Malaga now make the trip to face an Extremadura side who are situated within the relegation places, but did earn a great 4-1 away win at Reus Deportiu last time out.

An intriguing battle is to take place on Sunday afternoon. As expected, Malaga are the favourites to win and it is roughly an even-money shot that they will emerge triumphant, which is about fair. They will be favourites to win in almost every game they play this season as they're the biggest team at this level along with Deportivo La Coruna, so traders will price them up accordingly.

With that being the case, it means there is always some value to be had if they ever don’t want to side with them. We’re not confident enough to back them to win here, so the hosts will give them a game, despite the difference between the two in the league.

Extremadura won promotion last season after progressing through the play-offs. This is the first time they are playing at this level, and whilst results haven’t always gone their way so far, they are certainly proving to be one of the entertainers in the league.

Whilst the Azulgranas are indeed in the relegation zone, they have actually scored more goals than Malaga. In fact, Extremadura are the third-highest scorers in the entire division. Without a doubt, their weakness is in the defensive side as only Cordoba, who sit second from bottom, have conceded more goals.

This attacking mode of play has only earned them three victories so far. However, one did come last weekend by an emphatic 4-1 margin, so it might not be a start of better things to come.

Malaga have only conceded 10 goals this season. Only league leaders Alcorcon have conceded fewer as Juan Muniz has made his side hard to beat in that regard, or so you may think.

Yes, they’ve only lost three times this season, but their away record will offer some hope of a shock result this weekend. They actually won their opening two matches on the road this season at Lugo and Almeria. However, since then, they’ve yet to win again.

That means it is five away matches since a win. In those five matches, they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet, conceding at least twice in the last three.

As this features a team from each end of the table participating, the market will naturally expect the top side to win. That may occur, but Both Teams To Score is something we can exploit.

79% of Extremadura’s matches has witnessed both teams scoring. The same applies to 86% of their matches at their Francisco de la Hera base. Both teams have netted in 57% of Malaga’s matches away too.

Statistically, there is a good chance it’ll pay out on Sunday. With that being the case, a quote of 17/16 (188BET) is an excellent price.

St. Truiden v Anderlecht | Sunday 25th November 2018, 17:00

Fifth meets fourth in the top-flight of Belgian football this weekend. St. Truiden have been one of the surprise packages of the season in Europe and they have only been beaten on three occasions so far, which is the same amount as Sunday opponents Anderlecht.

There are big expectations in contrast between these two sides, so for them to enter this encounter directly next to one another in the standings is a story in itself.

The odds price Anderlecht as favourites to win this game. They have won their last two in the league, but consistency has been their biggest issue over the season so far. Whilst man-for-man they have a stronger squad on paper, this is no routine away victory for Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side.

St. Truiden, known as De Kanaries, have actually enjoyed the better in the recent head-to-head history. Over the last five meetings, Anderlecht have won only once, with St. Truiden winning two of the most recent three.

Considering they finished 10/16 in the regular season and Anderlecht second, and the gap between the two is now seemingly much closer, all points towards the hosts giving their bigger name opponents a good game at Stayen.

St. Truiden have certainly made Stayen a fortress this season. They are in fact yet to taste defeat here, and they have faced two of the current top three in the form of Club Brugge and Antwerp.

Anderlecht officially have one of the stronger away records this season. However, four wins and three defeats from seven is hardly bulletproof. Those three wins on the road came against teams currently presiding in the bottom five.

Both teams are among the strongest defensively in the league, goals therefore may not be in big supply on Sunday. Four of the last seven head-to-head has contained one goal or less.

However, St. Truiden will enter this believing they can win and reduce the six-point gap to Anderlecht. The form guide does little to separate these two as well. There really isn’t much between these, besides budget, and that hasn’t done much to break these apart 15 games in.

Therefore, we’ll back St. Truiden to avoid defeat here on the Double Chance market. We can get a price of 4/5 (Bet365) on that being the case, which is a handy little price.

Anderlecht are the favourites but it is hard to be hugely confident about their prospects given how inconsistent they have been, and St. Truiden are unbeaten at home.

Pumas UNAM v Santos Laguna | Sunday 25th November 2018, 18:00

Santos Laguna are the current holders of the Mexican Liga MX Clausura and they have very much maintained that momentum going into this campaign. They sit fourth in the Apertura table after 18 games, sitting level on points with Pumas UNAM who are positioned in third.

Therefore, this top-four encounter in the top-flight of Mexican football is a must-see for those seeking some early Sunday evening football.

UNAM have only played seven home matches this season and have rather disappointingly amassed only nine points from that period. They do seem to have better joy on the road, where they have the best record in the division so far thanks to their 20 points. However, they do play a very offensive game, which is helping them score, but at the other end they can be a little leaky.

That being said, UNAM still hold the joint-fourth best defensive record in the league. Their last five home matches in all competitions reads 3-1, 4-2, 2-2, 3-3 and 1-2. Goals tend to be in big supply. Thirteen of the 18 goals they have conceded have come in front of their own supporters at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario.

For Santos Laguna, their home is very much their fortress. Only top of the table Cruz Azul has earned more points on home turf. Twenty-one of the 29 points they have earned have arrived here – if only they could offer more on the road than they would be walking this league right now.

Although, we could say the same about UNAM and them at home. Two wins, two draws and three defeats on the road for Los Guerreros highlights their inconsistency away from Estadio Corona.

This is two of the more in-form teams in the league facing off on Sunday, so entertaining is likely. Both average just shy of three goals per-game, so it would be a shock if this were to end 0-0.

Although UNAM on paper have a poor home record, it is hard to deny that they clearly offer a goal threat. Santos Laguna seem to reserve their best football for their home games, so their game plan here is likely to sit back and play on the break.

Santos Laguna have only earned 25% clean sheets this season, but they have scored in every single match. They are clearly effective.

It is tough to separate these on the 1×2 market, with UNAM being marginal favourites. Rather than do down that route, the goals approach is how we’ll play this.

In their nine away games in both league and cup this season, Santos Laguna have conceded at least twice in six of those. We’ve already spoken on the run of scores in Pumas’ home games of late, scoring 13 in their last five in all competitions.

UNAM to score Over 1.5 Goals pays 21/20 (888) and is worth a cheeky little play. They’ve beaten this line in the last three head-to-head meetings as well.

Best Bets

Extremadura v Malaga – Both Teams To Score (17/16 188BET)

St. Truiden v Anderlecht – St. Truiden Double Chance (4/5 Bet365)

Pumas UNAM v Santos Laguna – UNAM Pumas to score Over 1.5 Goals (21/20 888)

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