World Football – Distracted Flu to be caught cold 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.

Koln v Heidenheim | Saturday 27th October 2018, 12:00

2. Bundesliga looks like being typically competitive this season, just as it often is. Ten games into the new campaign, the top-half is only separated by five points, and two of those sides go head-to-head this weekend.

Koln do sit top of the table, and whilst that is the case, they have not been entirely convincing over the course of the season so far. They’ve dropped points over the last two, including a shock home defeat to Duisburg, who were then bottom of the standings.

The club known as the Billy Goats will be targeting instant promotion back into the top-flight of German football, and three points this weekend is next on their agenda. Heidenheim are in their fifth consecutive season at this level, and have earned top-half finishes in that period. They are currently eighth, being unbeaten in three and winning three of their previous five.

An entertaining spectacle is expected at the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday lunchtime.

It would be fair to say that Koln have been very reliant on their goalscoring prowess to get them top of the table at this stage. They do play a very offensive style of play, and whilst it helps them create chances, they are actually quite vulnerable defensively. This might come as a shock when they are indeed sitting in first place, but the statistics back this up as well.

All of Koln's home matches has ended with both teams scoring. Including their away matches, it is 80% with each team netting as well. They are unsurprisingly the top scorers in the division, but Heidenheim sit third in that respective category. They too offer a goal threat and will fancy themselves of causing some problems at the weekend.

As mentioned, Heidenheim, who have been managed by Frank Schmidt since 2007, retain a big goal threat of their own. They will travel to the league leaders this weekend certainly without fear, knowing that a win would take them to within two points of their opponents.

The 1×2 market actually has Koln as very clear favourites for this game. Prices like 4/11 and 2/5 are being floated about, which offers no interest at all. There is not a great deal to separate these two at the present moment.

Heidenheim actually have one of the better defensive records in the division, but don’t let that fool you. Every one of their away matches has witnessed Both Teams To Score. When taking into account games at their Voith-Arena base, 70% has each team contributing to the goal count, too.

The odds-on for Koln is something everyone should be avoiding this weekend. They are not as reliable as the league table suggests. In fact, if the standings were purely based on home form, they would sit 13th in an 18-team league. Their offensive style means they’ll create openings, but they play a very high line and will definitely see their goalkeeper quite busy, as is often the case.

Heidenheim may have only won once away this season, but that came as Dresden, which is a very hostile atmosphere. They were unlucky to lose 3-2 at Hamburg as well, whilst they earned a creditable point at Union Berlin, who remain the only unbeaten team in the German second-tier.

Taking the facts and figures into account, we simply cannot ignore the Both Teams To Score market. This is available at 5/6 (Bett365), which is quite simply overpriced given the respective records of Koln and Heidenheim so far, plus considering how this game will be played out.

DVTK v Ferencvaros | Saturday 27th October 2018, 16:00

The OTP Bank Liga is already starting to get a familiar look to it this season. Ferencvaros are back top of the table and have a healthy four-point lead over Honved 11 matches into the season.

Ferencvaros won the Hungarian top-flight in 2016, which was the 29th occasion in which they did. They are certainly the most successful side in Hungarian football and every season they expected to come in first place, with second very much a big failure.

It is so far, so good for the Green Eagles and the high expectancy continues into the weekend when they travel to DVTK, who sit second from bottom.

DVTK, who are managed by former Real Madrid, Malaga and Betis forward Fernando, have had it tough in recent seasons. Since winning promotion back into this league after a year in the second tier, in those seven campaigns, fifth is their best finish in a 16-team league. It is 9th, 10th and 10th in the last three, meaning they regularly flirt with relegation.

DVTK are major underdogs this weekend and the odds do reflect this. Although they are certainly among the lesser sides in this league, they are very much one of those sort of sides that can make life difficult for their bigger and more glamorous opponents.

MOL Vidi, who are in Chelsea’s UEFA Europa League group this season, only last month secured a narrow 1-0 away success over DVTK. Last season, DVTK actually beat Ferencvaros 2-1 in a home encounter of the head-to-head meetings, so they are anything but a pushover.

Whilst they can do this on a game-by-game basis, over the course of a season they are often found out. They are the lowest scorers in the Hungarian league, and only two other sides have conceded more than they have, one of which is Haladas, who sit bottom. Still, they will be sizeable motivated when Ferencvaros come to town this weekend and they’d love to cause a big shock.

Ferencvaros have had plenty of joy over DVTK. Whilst they did suffer defeat to them last season, that was the first time since 2014 that this was the case.

A trip to DVTK is something they haven’t necessarily enjoyed too often in recent times. They’ve only emerged with a win in three of their most recent eight trips, so they know they cannot take this weekend lightly if they’re to potentially extend their league at the summit.

Ferencvaros, who have former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov as their manager, have scored the most and have conceded only nine times in the league so far. Only MTK Budapest have claimed more points on the road.

Ferencvaros did suffer a 1-0 loss to Puskas Academy in their last away game, who are only a few points above weekend opponents DVTK in the table. Lightning like this rarely strikes twice, especially in quick succession, so Rebrov will be looking for his side to just get the job done this weekend.

We firmly believe Ferencvaros will emerge victorious from their weekend assignment, but quotes of 1/2 and 4/9 offer limited appeal. With DVTK often proving quite stubborn, and Ferencvaros seeing their matches this season average 2.70 goals, there is some value to be had.

Ferencvaros to win and Under 3.5 Goals is priced at 23/20 (Black Type). It is a great way to get increased odds, especially as they don’t tend to win too prolifically away from home.

Besides a heavy victory much earlier in the campaign, their away games have finished 0-2, 0-1, 0-1 and 1-0. Home games for DVTK average only 1.80 as well, conceding only five despite only one home win from five.

Santos v Fluminense | Saturday 27th October 2018, 20:30

We are very much entering the home straight in the Brazilian Serie A this season. Two of the more in-form outfits face of this weekend in the form of Santos and Fluminense, with both still in with a shout of making the qualification rounds of the Copa Libertadores, which is the South American version of the Champions League.

After a very sluggish start to this campaign, Santos are very much on the up and sit seventh in the standings. Following an August defeat to Atletico-MG, Santos have only suffered one further defeat in Serie A.

Fluminense are in decent form themselves, winning six of their last 10 in all competitions. It is worth noting that they are struggling their league campaign whilst still participating in the Copa Sudamericana – their version of the Europa League.

This trip to Santos is sandwiched between a tie with Uruguayan outfit Club Nacional. They drew 1-1 in the home leg in midweek, and travel away in a few days’ time. It is expected they will rest some of their regulars this weekend.

Santos are perhaps best known on a more global scale for producing several top talents from within their academy. Neymar perhaps tops that list, but the likes of Robinho, Felipe Anderson and also Gabriel Barbosa, who is back on loan with the club from Inter, have Santos to thank for making their breakthrough.

Barbosa, also known as Gabigol, is actually the top scorer in the Brazilian top flight. He is responsible for 15 of their 35 goals overall.

Santos are also starting to make their Estadio Urbano Caldeira a fortress again. They are unbeaten here in their last eight in all competitions, impressively keeping seven clean sheets in those, conceding only once.

Fluminense have a pretty average away record and nothing to be totally ashamed of. It is anything but impressive however and they tend to be a little vulnerable on the road. Only five times have they won on their travels this term, two of which came in the Copa Sudamericana, which seems to be their primary focus at this stage.

The visitors also conceded 25 times in the league on the road, which is among the worst in the division. With Marcelo Oliveira likely to ring the changes at the weekend, the game plan will surely to be hard to beat, and try to nick a point. No matter what, they will end the weekend in the Copa Sudamericana places. With a trip to Uruguay to come in midweek, that will have to be on their minds.

Only three points and Atletico-PR separate these two in the table at present, but there is a lot to like about Santos’ prospects at the weekend. They are fully focused on the league and will view this weekend as a great chance to continue their upturn in form over the last few months.

Both sides have played 30 Serie A games combined so far this season, and only nine of those altogether has beaten the 3.5 line. It is 2.10 and 2.20 goals per-game on average in matches involving Santos and Fluminense respectively, so we probably shouldn’t expect goals on Saturday.

Another interesting little stat proves how important home advantage is in the Brazilian Serie A – 53% of their matches are won by the home team, which is reduced to only 18% for those playing away. This is taking into account the over 650 matches played so far.

Santos to win and Under 3.5 Goals is still attractively priced at 19/20 (Sportingbet). Only once since 2010 have Fluminense won a head-to-head meeting away from home.

Fluminense will simply have to have a focus on their next game and Santos still have ground to make up to try and finish 5th or 6th, which is now their main aim.

Best Bets

Koln v Heidenheim – Both Teams To Score (5/6 Bet365)

DVTK v Ferencvaros – Ferencvaros to win and Under 3.5 Goals (23/20 Black Type)

Santos v Fluminense – Santos to win and Under 3.5 Goals (19/20 Sportingbet)

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