Koln v Bielefeld | Saturday 9th March 2019, 12:00
Two of the form teams in the second tier of German football take to the same field on Saturday lunchtime, as title favourites Koln entertain a Bielefeld side situated firmly in mid-table. With that being the case, Koln are viewed as big favourites to claim all three points. However, it might not necessarily be a straightforward success for the Billy Goats.
Bielefeld have returned from the winter break in good form, winning four of the six matches they’ve played. They’ve proving especially tough to beat away from home, where they are currently unbeaten in six. Although they won’t be going down or gaining promotion this season, they still travel looking to cause an upset, and they’re suitable motivated to do so.
Koln are the latest leaders at the top of 2. Bundesliga. It is very much a three-way battle between themselves, Hamburg and Union Berlin. It is three straight victories for Markus Anfang’s side, but a record of four wins and three losses from their last seven suggests that there is still some work to be done.
The first thought when focusing on a Koln game this season is goals: 16/24 of their 24 contests has ended Over 2.5, whilst their matches average 3.70, which is the second-highest behind Paderborn in the division. It is fair to say that they very much look to outscore the opposition, proven by the fact they’ve only achieved 25% clean sheets so far.
Bielefeld only have 17% clean sheets to their name, but they’re on a run of 10 games in succession without failing to score. Koln have scored for 12 home matches in a row.
The emphasis is clearly on Koln to take the game to the opposition given this game ultimately means more to them, plus they’re the stronger team. However, they are anything but stable defensively in relation to keeping clean sheets. They’ve only conceded five goals less than Bielefeld, but scored 25 goals more.
A whopping 83% of Koln home league matches has seen each team score. The same applies in 67% of Bielefeld contests too. Both Teams To Score has to be out play, with 9/13 (10BET) being a nice little price.
AEK Athens v Panathinaikos | Saturday 9th March 2019, 17:30
If you ask any football supporter to name a few teams that play their football in Greece, then there is a good chance that AEK and Panathinaikos are two names which will come to mind, along with the likes of Olympiakos and PAOK.
However, the reality this season is that this is not a contest which is anywhere near fighting for the title. It might be fourth against sixth, but these two are 18 and 30 points off the top respectively.
AEK won the division last season, which was the 12th time in which they did so. Panathinaikos however finished a rather embarrassing 11th in a league of only 16 teams. They’re offering more this time around, being positioned in sixth, but they’re 12 points behind AEK, who hold the final European qualification spot.
Whilst this game might not mean much from a league positioning perspective, this is still a game rivalry and each set of fans demand three points.
AEK might have lost two of their last four, both away from home against the teams sitting second and fifth in the table, but they are their only defeats in any competition since a setback in the Champions League versus Benfica back in December.
AEK do have home advantage, which does count for a lot. They lost all three of their Champions League group games here versus Benfica, Bayern Munich and Ajax. This means only third in the table Atromitos has defeated them in front of their own supporters in the league this season.
One issue Panathinaikos do have this season is recording victories on the road. They’ve only achieved three of those in the league so far. AEK have only shipped 15 goals all season, whilst they are the third-highest scorers. PAO therefore face a stiff task this weekend to get anything, especially as they’ve only scored two goals overall in their last six.
Four of the last 16 head-to-head contests has ended Under 2.5 Goals, so there is a strong possibility that this will be another tight affair. The Greek Super League in general is a rather low-scoring division, with an overall average of 2.20 goals per-game across the league.
With Panathinaikos struggling for goals at the moment, where they have failed to score in 42% away games, and AEK enjoying 67% home clean sheets, there is a clear and obvious selection that we have to look towards.
AEK to win ‘to nil’ is a 13/10 (Bet365) chance this weekend.
PSV Eindhoven v NAC Breda | Saturday 9th March 2019, 18:45
There is a bit of a mismatch in the Eredivisie this weekend, as top of the table PSV entertain rock bottom Breda at the Philips Stadion. With PSV quoting as 1/11 shots to claim the three points, then it gives a clear indication of what is expected to happen on Saturday night.
Breda have a five-point gap to overcome to try and jump into the relegation play-off positions, where PSV have a five-point gap over Ajax at the top, but have played a game more.
This is probably a must-win game for both teams for very, very different reasons. Let’s cut to the chase, PSV will win this game. The question is how we find an angle to make this game an appealing betting proposition. There is a nice little angle which we can take.
Before we tackle that, let us truly separate these two teams utilising the facts and the figures. Only Ajax have scored more than PSV in the league, whilst Breda are rock bottom in that respective category as well.
PSV have the best home record, whilst Breda have the worst; earning an extremely bad two points on the road out of a possible 36. PSV have the best defensive record, whereas Breda have the joint worst. Breda are conceding an average of 3.00 goals per away match.
Breda have been nothing short of abysmal since returning following the winter break. They’ve played seven games, earning just two draws in that time, both at home to sides situated in mid-table. They lost 5-0 away to Ajax, as expected, plus 4-1 in Vitesse and 3-0 at home to AZ, also as expected. However, there was also a 3-0 away loss to Graafschap; the team positioned just one place above them in the standings.
As if Breda needing more realisation as to the task in hand this weekend, then just scouring the list of PSV home results this season makes for awful reading. PSV have netted six against Excelsior, Emmen and Sittard, plus five to Sittard, four to Utrecht and Venlo, plus also a commanding 3-0 triumph over nearest rivals Ajax.
PSV are averaging 3.67 home goals in the Eredivisie and they’ve clearly shown that they can dish out a beating or two. Breda were actually 1-0 ahead in Vitesse in their last game, and were so until the 54th minute. It was 1-1 until the 77th minute, but still went down to a 4-1 loss. The fear for them is that once PSV score, then the floodgates will really open. PSV have four players scoring double digit goals, so they don’t lack firepower.
The head-to-head meetings read for further grim reading for Breda. PSV at home to Breda has seen them dominate for as long as records can remember. In the last six at the Philips Stadion, they’ve won 5-1, 6-1 and 4-0.
PSV should again be among the goals this weekend, and PSV to score Over 3.5 Goals isn’t a bad 21/25 (Royal Panda) chance at all.