Teplice v Zlin | Sunday 28th June 2020, 13:30
There is plenty going on at the top of the 1. Liga table in the Czech Republic with Slavia Prague and Plzen going for it to try and claim the title, but I’m having to focus on matters at the opposite end of the standings this weekend and in the Relegation Group. We’re into the third round of matches following the table split, and Teplice against Zlin is a game which probably involves two teams that in fact won’t be relegated.
The reason I say that is because the team that finished bottom is relegated, whilst the next two fight it out in a play-off, and we’ve got Teplice and Zlin eight and six points above the bottom three respectively, so chances are they should be fine, but clearly a few more points are needed to be sure.
Another saving grace is that the bottom three aren’t the most consistent and don’t win many, whilst Teplice and Zlin have shown over the season that they’re really too good to go down.
Teplice are unbeaten in three, and that includes two home wins over Karvina and Pribram, who are both within the bottom three. Scores of 4-1 and 4-0 over that calibre of opposition again highlights the theory that Teplice really should be fine. Last time out, they earned a creditable 0-0 draw away at Sigma Olomouc, who are essentially top of the bottom group.
The main reason Zlin have struggled so much this season is purely their away record. It has been a problem for quite a while now, and their league road record of won one, drew four and lost ten really does highlight a major problem, as does only netting nine goals in reply. On the flip side, they’ve got eight home wins, so it is a good job they are in fact decent at home. Of course, they’re away this weekend!
Teplice have only lost four matches at home all season and all of those came to clubs competing in the Championship Group. It looks as though they’re just in that situation of not being good enough for the top six and ultimately too good for the bottom six more often than not. Zlin’s away record makes them vulnerable, and after securing back-to-back home wins you think the pressure is off them ever so slightly.
I can only look towards a home win this weekend, especially at a price of 11/10 (Betfair). That price is too good to ignore even if just looking at Zlin’s terrible away record alone! Maybe the slight worry is Teplice have the second-lowest ball possession percentage in the league, so playing more on the counter attack at home is never so easy.
However, they’ve lost only twice at home this year and they generally get the job done over the weaker opponents, so I’m happy to back them on Sunday.
Hamburg v Sandhausen | Sunday 28th June 2020, 14:30
We’ve reached the final day of the 2. Bundesliga campaign once and for all, albeit a few months later than originally scheduled!
The reality is that this is the final game of the season, and Hamburg did seem to have things all under control with ten minutes to go last weekend at Heidenheim. However, they squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1, meaning the drop down to fourth and were leapfrogged by Heidenheim, who now occupy the play-off position.
Bielefeld were confirmed as champions a few games ago and Stuttgart will finish in second barring a mathematical miracle, so third is the best Hamburg can achieve. First things first, they need to win this weekend at home to Sandhausen, who are in 12th and with nothing to play for. Then, they need to hope Heidenheim drop points, and they’re away to Bielefeld, so that is possible.
Hamburg have been stumbling for a few weeks now and don’t let the enforced lockdown suggest it has massively effected them, because they were likely this before that all happened. They do seem to be one club I have banged the drum about a lot this season in that they’re not really one to trust.
Nothing ever comes easy for them and seeing prices of 1/3 on a Hamburg win this weekend is something which nobody, and I mean nobody, should consider.
Of course, they can win, but you may suffer a heart attack in the process! They’ve kept only eight clean sheets all season, and winning three in 12 at this time of the season just proves that they’re ultimately bottling it.
Sandhausen you could argue are the perfect opponent to have this weekend if you need a result. They’re safe from relegation and motivation shouldn’t really be sky high to the point where everything is on the line for them, because it’s not.
However, an issue Hamburg have is that they are the big cheese in this league along with Stuttgart, and opponents are always up for it against them. Sandhausen drew the home game earlier in the season 1-1. Sandhausen have lost back-to-back games; those being 5-1 to Stuttgart and also away to bottom side Dresden, so Hamburg have no excuses not to win.
However, I’m not backing Hamburg at all at the prices as they just won’t go anything easily. Sandhausen aren’t a big hitter in the league, but they’re unbeaten against champions Bielefeld this season, also beat Stuttgart at home and beat Heidenheim away. Ironically, they’ve struggled more so against the strugglers in the league, with six of their losses coming to teams below them in the table.
Hamburg has seen 21 of their 2. Bundesliga clashes this season where both teams have scored, and 18 for Sandhausen. It is only two away clean sheets for Sandhausen and whilst they’re one of the lowest scorers in the league, you’ll just have to have seen Hamburg on a number of occasion this season to not trust them defensively.
Both Teams To Score is 9/10 (VBet). While I pick my jaw up from off the floor, I honestly would be truly, truly amazed if this did not pay out.
Teplice v Zlin – Teplice (11/10 Betfair)
Hamburg v Sandhausen – Both Teams To Score (9/10 VBet)