World Football: Benfica can clinch title in style on Saturday


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 Saturday.

Mattersburg v Rapid Vienna | Saturday 18th May 2019, 16:00

We’re coming to the end of the footballing season in Europe and we’ve reached the penultimate round of fixtures in the Austrian top-flight. We have ourselves a bit of an end of season rubber on this occasion, also something that we’ll be witnessing plenty of in the next week or two.

Mattersburg and Rapid Vienna are part of the Relegation Group in the Tipico Bundesliga, with these two essentially the top two in the bottom six. What is certain is that Rapid Vienna will finish the season in seventh, which grants them a passage into possible European football next season. Mattersburg are seven points behind with only six to play for. These two are effectively playing for pride.

With that being the case, it opens the door to this being a game with no pressure on either team. Whilst that in turn also means there is the strong possibility of motivation being very low, we’re more likely to be present to an open game as opposed to a boring 0-0 with both going through the motions.

We have to remember that in this league there has been an average of 2.86 goals per game. Mattersburg and Rapid Vienna have been involved in 63% and 57% of their matches respectively in terms of beating the 2.50 goal line. Rapid’s away league contests has done so 80% of the time. Another percentage count is that Mattersburg and Rapid Vienna has only failed to score 17% and 20% of the time in the league.

Neither are especially secure defensive too. After all, they are in the Relegation Group. Mattersburg has seen both teams score 67% of the time, whilst for Rapid we can say the same amount has occurred in their away league matches.

Over the years this has also been a match which has led to a few goals. Only two of the last 11 meetings has failed to see each team find the back of the net. Furthermore, six of the last eight H2H’s in the league has featured a minimum of three goals overall.

Rapid have been involved in quite some epic games in recent times. They recently under back-to-back 4-3’s (one win, one lost) in the league. They won 4-2 only last month as well, whilst there was a 2-2 the weekend before. They generally play quite an open style, meaning they are good for goals, but can look a little suspect at the back.

With no pressure on them at all, and of course the possibility of some rotation, there is no need for them to be playing for a draw at all. Mattersburg has seen the 2.50 goal line beaten in three of their previous five on home soil.

We like the goals angle on this occasion, specifically the Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals market. This is available at 5/6 (Bet365) using the Bet Builder.

Benfica v Santa Clara | Saturday 18th May 2019, 18:30

One of my favourite leagues in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and we have reached the final weekend. The title race has indeed gone to the final day, with Benfica holding a two-point advantage over rivals Porto.

Benfica very much have a winnable match in terms of a home encounter with Santa Clara, who to their credit have had a fine season, after winning promotion following 15-years in the second tier this time last year. Porto, on the flip side, have a home encounter with third in the table Sporting CP, which is anything but easy. Therefore, Benfica are massive favourites to secure a 37th league triumph.

Porto obviously need to do their own job on the day, but they’ll be wondering exactly how Santa Clara can potentially do them a favour. Well, there aren’t too many statistics which go in their favour. Benfica are only one goal shy of scoring 100 times in the league in this current campaign, whilst onto Porto has conceded fewer.

Benfica has only dropped points three times at their fortress Estádio da Luz. Santa Clara has only taken one point out of a possible 21 versus the current top four too. Of their 11 league victories, six of those came versus teams within the bottom six of the table. The earlier season meeting between these two saw Benfica run out 2-0 winners away from home, in what was a comfortable affair for Águias.

Benfica are scoring goals for fun as we’ve touched upon. I’ll stick my neck out and confidently state that they will score on Saturday to take them to at least the 100 goals scored mark. They’ve only failed to score twice in the league, both coming away from home. They’ve on an 18-match scoring run.

Santa Clara have only conceded 11 goals more than Benfica have done, which does suggest that they can be relatively stubborn and tough to break down. However, Benfica have a cause this weekend and they’ll be determined to put on a bit of a show.

In Benfica’s last eight matches in all competitions (league and Europa League), they have scored 3+ goals seven times. The one time they didn’t was away at Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-final second leg, where they were defending a 4-2 lead from the first leg. In those seven matches, they’ve scored 4+ in six of them too.

Santa Clara are likely to face a tough task on Saturday. The only thing that really affords Porto some hope here is if Benfica get nervy and perhaps don’t score early, or possibly fall behind to a set piece or counter attack. Even so, Benfica scored 61% of their goals in the second half anyway.

This weekend is all about Benfica and the fact they’re priced at 1/66 to claim the title says everything. With that in mind, we fancy Benfica to again be among the goals.

Benfica Over 3.5 Team Goals is a market they’ve been regularly beating in recent times. We can get a price of 6/5 (Royal Panda) on them doing so on matchday 34.

Best Bets

Mattersburg v Rapid Vienna – Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals (5/6 Bet365)

Benfica v Santa Clara – Benfica Over 3.5 Team Goals (6/5 Royal Panda)

About Author

Since leaving university I've worked as a Research/Football Performance/Betting Analyst. I live and breath all things football. This has gradually helped me with my betting when looking for value and ultimately, winning selections. I've experienced both the bad, and more recently, the good supporting Lincoln City, with whom my weekends aren't the same without.

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