Heracles v Waalwijk | Saturday 17th October 2020, 19:00
The Eredivisie season is very much in full swing after the premature ending of the previous campaign, and this weekend presents some intriguing contests on the fixture card. Ajax v Heerenveen and the local derby of Feyenoord v Sparta Rotterdam look good matches, but I’ve elected to focus on Heracles v Waalwijk, which commences on Saturday night.
It hasn’t necessarily been the start to the season that either of these clubs really wanted. Heracles finished between 6th and 10th across the previous four seasons, and they now face a mammoth task at trying to break into the European qualification spots, which is now purely for the top four from now on.
Since winning promotion back into this league for the 2005/06 season, 6th has indeed been their best finish. This season, they’ve won one, drew one and lost two. Their last two have come against PSV and Vitesse however, and a home draw with PSV is a good outcome.
Waalwijk have been a little bit of a yo-yo club over the last 10 years or so, and they are probably one club who was pleased that last season did not play to a finish. That is because they were rock bottom with only four wins and 15 points to their name with just eight regular season contests left.
Three defeats from three this season makes for bad reading on a results front, but considering Waalwijk played Vitesse, Ajax and Utrecht then it comes as no great surprise. Nevertheless, a season of struggle is anticipated.
We’ll look towards the game itself now and we’re looking at around the 1/2 mark on a Heracles victory here. That is completely understandable for several reasons. Heracles are clearly the stronger of the two and that will be reflected in the league table at the end of the campaign. They are also a team that makes the most of home advantage, and the artificial pitch that they use serves them well and often gives them the edge. Since the start of September 2019 they’ve lost just two home league games.
Waalwijk, managed by former Ajax goalkeeper Fred Grim, are another team who are really going to have to make the most of their home matches if they’re to avoid relegation. That is because they are nothing short of dreadful on the road, and that has firmly been the case since winning promotion.
The visitors have played 15 away clashes in that time and have amassed a total of four points. 13 defeats is one thing, but they’ve also failed to score in six of those, too.
I can’t look anything further than a home win here, but 1/2 doesn’t appeal. 11/8 (BetVictor) sounds a much better price when we consider Heracles HT/FT. Waalwijk have not only lost all three league matches so far, but have been doing so at half time, as well.
Also, last season only Ajax claimed more points based on first half home records in the Eredivisie than Heracles, who was level with Feyenoord.
Monterrey v Puebla | Saturday 17th October 2020, 23:06
We all love a bit of Mexican football and Saturday night’s clash between Monterrey and Puebla is one which promises to deliver the goods. Note the rather unique kick off time at 11:06pm for this one!
We’re 14 rounds into the Apertura and Monterrey already find themselves ten points off the pace, with a lack of consistency being the main reason. Puebla are also situated in the play-off places, they have been losing too many matches for their liking.
Antonio Mohamed is currently in his second spell in charge of Rayados, having won two trophies during his last spell and also a third-place finish at the 2019 Club World Cup. As mentioned, they have been a little inconsistent but they are starting to turn things around now.
They’ve lost only three of their previous 15 in all competitions, but drawing three of their last five at home, winning once, is perhaps cause for more concern. Strong home form is key for every team, and correcting that is how they’ll start to threaten the top spots in this league.
Puebla are a team which generally struggles to break into the top bracket of clubs in Mexico. Their last glory days came several years ago now, and it is proving a challenge for them to make an impact. Four wins from 13 in the Apertura explains that, and three of those came to clubs currently in the bottom half, including two of the bottom three.
They have won three of the last seven head-to-head meetings, although only once of their last 12 visits to the picturesque Estadio BBVA.
One particular problem for Puebla is specifically how they have been finished their first half performances. No team has conceded more goals in the period between 30 minutes and the half time whistle.
The funny thing is, they have outscored opponents 5-1 from the 75th minute onwards, so it shows they are capable of turning things around in one sense. Monterrey are odds on to win this, and whilst that isn’t great value I just can’t see Puebla causing a shock here.
Puebla really are a funny old team. They have either won or lost their previous 15 away league matches, so October 2019 was the last occasion in which they drew a Liga MX clash away from home.
Monterrey have had problems against fairly stubborn opponents of late when coming to their ground, so it really begs the question if Puebla can play in that fashion. Those stats suggest otherwise, but in a game between two inconsistent teams I guess anything can happen!
One thing Monterrey have been consistently doing this season is scoring but also conceding. BTTS has paid out in 11 of their 13 Apertura contests, which is unsurprisingly the most of any team in the league. They are also the only team in that time yet to keep a single clean sheet, which is incredible when you think about it!
Puebla only has two in the same time, and whilst they’re not a free-scoring sort of side the fact Monterrey concede so much must give the away side some hope.
I like the look of the Bet Builder combo on Both Teams To Score and Under 6 Goals, which pays 1/1 (Bet365). Only one of 26 Apertura games combined has seen over six goals scored and whilst I expect there is to be goals at either end, it won’t be a cricket score or anything like that! September 2011 was the last time a H2H encounter had six goals in, whilst 10 of the last 12 featured BTTS.