Kolos v Shakhtar | Sunday 14th June 2020, 15:00
Your Sunday tipping fun begins in the afternoon and a trip across to Ukraine presents us with Kolos Kovalivka versus runaway league leaders Shakhtar Donetsk. If you aren’t such a regular viewer of football in this part of the world, then all you really need to know is that Shakhtar are the top dogs! Dominant doesn’t even begin to describe how far and away they’re the best team at this level.
Kolos, on the other hand, are perhaps an outfit the vast majority of you won’t have heard of. Well, the fact that they’ve made their way into the end of season Championship Group means they deserve some credit, especially as this is their first ever season at this level. They’ve only been in existence since 2012, but two promotions have earned them a shot at the big time.
It would be fair to say that it is proving a bit of a step too far to truly make a significant impact in the Championship Group as they currently sit sixth out of six in this mini-group. They are so far adrift of fifth that it is only really pride that they’re playing for, but getting another chance to test themselves against the might of Shakhtar shall appeal to them. After all, they gave them a scare recently when losing 4-3.
As mentioned, Shakhtar are once again well on course to lift yet another Ukrainian Premier League crown. They’ve won the league for three seasons running, as well as the domestic Ukrainian Cup. Whilst they won’t get another cup this term after losing at the quarter-final stage, another league gong is merely a formality. They’ve played 25 matches this season, winning 21, drawing twice and losing just the two. Dominant.
This Shakhtar offensive unit is headlined by trio Junior Moraes, Marlos and Taison, who are responsible for scoring 40 of Shakhtar’s 65 overall league goals this season. Despite being the best team in the league, Shakhtar actually rank only third for shots on goal, with Dynamo Kiev and Zorya ranked quite far in advance.
However, they’re scoring 2.60 goals per game on average, plus they’re ranked second in both chance conversion and shots on target percentages.
I mention this as this puts them far in advance of what Kolos generally offers going forward. Despite making the top six in the league, they’re fourth-lowest in the league for major chances created and also third-worst for key passes created, therefore they aren’t the most creative of outfits. Put them next to Shakhtar and there is a bit of a chalk and cheese feel about it.
Having said that, they did score three versus Shakhtar recently, but if anything that’ll ensure Shakhtar are more switched on now, in what will be their first away match since March.
These type of games scream bet-builder and I’ve put together one involving three selections. Shakhtar HT/FT, Shakhtar to score in both halves and Kolos Under 2 Goals is priced 23/20 (Bet365).
Shakhtar are the best first-half team in the league and have won 14 of 15 when leading after 45 minutes. They also lead the lead in the away HT/FT category. Furthermore, they lead the league in scoring in both halves (14). Kolos are on a five-game losing run (two since returning), and only seven times have they managed to score 2+ goals in league action this season, with six in victories and I just can’t see them springing a surprise here.
Maribor v Aluminij | Sunday 14th June 2020, 19:30
This is the second round of fixtures for the Slovenian Prva Liga since returning from the lengthy break and it is a top of the table encounter as Maribor in third hosts Aluminij in fourth. Both have a little bit of ground to make up if they’re to mount a title challenge, so three points this weekend is really a must for both.
Both experienced contrasting experiences upon their returns to action last weekend as Maribor came from behind to defeat Domzale 2-1, with both goals in the final 15 minutes, whilst Aluminij suffered a disappointing home defeat to Mura but the game was level until they were reduced to ten men.
The bookies have this as something of a home banker as you’re looking at odds of around 4/11 on a Maribor victory. Whilst that does strike as an accumulator type of price, there does have to be a word of caution towards backing them outright.
The main reason is that Maribor haven’t generally made the most of home advantage this season. Winning six, drawing four and losing three is hardly anything to shout home about at 4/11. What does home advantage mean in this day and age I here you say, well this league is not officially behind closed doors but there are severely less people in the crowd that usually. The officially attendance for Domzale v Maribor last weekend was 80.
Considering this is indeed third against fourth then I just don’t see the value at all in Maribor at that price. Perhaps another reason for this is Maribor have had the upper hand in this battle for a while now and haven’t lost any of last ten head-to-head renewals, winning eight of those. However, only one of those we could class as a dominant victory, and the last five games reads scores of 0-2, 2-1, 1-1, 1-0 and 2-1.
Both Teams To Score is priced at 17/20 (William Hill) and I do feel this is too good to pass up. Granted, the actual BTTS numbers for both teams may not necessarily suggest we should be backing this too confident, but other angles suggest it is more likely to occur than you’d think.
Both teams are in the top four for goals scored, the top three for shots on goal and top four again for efforts on target. Aluminij are also ranked joint third in the league for percentage of chances taken, and way above Maribor, which proves they don’t need as many chances to score as their opponents do. At this price, I think it is a better call than touching any outright score market.
Kolos v Shakhtar – Shakhtar HT/FT, Skahhtar to score in both halves and Kolos Under 2 Goals (23/20 Bet365)
Maribor v Alumunij – Both Teams To Score (17/20 William Hill)