World Football: Flying Donkeys to deliver on Saturday

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WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) continues-off his 2019 travails with two hand-picked best bets from across the continent on Saturday.

Kaiserslautern v Hallescher | Saturday 7th December 2019, 13:00

The third-tier of German football is a league which does catch my eye every so often and this weekend presents with us with a nice little wagering opportunity. I must admit, I pay close attention to this league mainly due to the presence of Kaiserslautern, who are by far the biggest team at this level. However, they’ve hit hard times over the last few years, so nothing is coming easy for them.

Going into this weekend, there is actually some light at the end of the tunnel for Kaiserslautern as they’ve won their last three games. Perhaps the good point about that is that two of those came with a clean sheet, and they actually have one of the worst defensive records in the league. On the flip side, they’re one of the highest scorers, so goals aren’t ever far away, for or against.

Hallescher have spent the last seven seasons at this level, and last year was by far their best when managing a fourth-place finish after a series of mid-table finishes prior. They’ve continued along that theme into this campaign and find themselves second in the table, with only league leaders Duisburg ahead of them.

A big part of their success is their defensive record, having shipped only 15 goals. That is the joint-best defensive record in the league, and they’ve scored over 30 goals too, so they’ve found a nice little blend which has proven the key to them winning matches.

It might surprise some to see that Kaiserslautern are viewed as favourites to win this game. Remember they are positioned 13th, and face a team sitting second as things stand. Of course, Kaiserslautern are a big club, but clearly all the value is on Hallescher.

Hallescher may get around 12,000 fewer fans through their gates in comparison to Kaiserslautern, but they shouldn’t just be downgraded because they’re away this weekend. They’ve won five away league games this season, conceding only five goals in the process. Kaiserslautern haven’t really made home advantage count given they’ve won two out of eight in front of their passionate supporters.

I’m quite strong on the following bet of Hallescher Double Chance and Over 1 Goal on the bet-builder. It is a nice little even money (Bet365) shot, and I just had to find a way of getting Hallescher onside, whilst also acknowledging that Kaiserslautern are in strong form but not always the most consistent. They ship too many goals and face one of the best defences in the division.

Chievo v Cremonese | Saturday 7th December 2019: 17:00

Our second play on the Saturday card allows us to make a relatively rare venture to Italy and Serie B. Similarly to the second tier in Spain, this is a league which is quite common for draws, which is generally why I have avoided it quite often. Nevertheless, I believe I have found a nice value play for us on Saturday night.

It involves Chievo, who saw their 11-year stay in Serie A end last season after finishing the campaign rock bottom. The Flying Donkeys now very much trying to rebuild once again, and they’ve made an OK start to life back in this league. Won five, drawn six and three defeats is good for this level and it has afforded them a play-off spot after 14 games. A lot of draws in there, remember!

Certainly they would have harboured ambitions of an immediate return to facing the likes of Juventus and co next season, as anything above one year in this league would be a disappointment for them. They’ve been promoted in their last two years at this level in 2000/01 and 2007/08.

They take on a Cremonese who have been through it all over the years, having played in the first ever Serie A season and being relegated as low as Serie C2 in 2000. They’re building and had a decent ninth place finish in Serie B last season but they’ve had it much tougher this time around.

Cremonese are currently only one point outside the relegation play-off positions. The funny thing is, they’ve won only one game less than Chievo, and only have four points fewer. Again, much like the Spanish Segunda, several places in the league are often only separated by a few points. Teams rarely seem to pick up ground given how many draws there tend to be!

I have tried to talk myself out of this play a few times because of the draws, but I do think Chievo at home are the team to side with here. They are one of only four teams in the league to remain unbeaten at home, whilst Cremonese have just the one away victory to their name, which came at Venezia who have the same amount of points as they do.

Not only in this a drawing league, but generally a low-scoring one as well. Every team in the league has played 14 games so far, and every single one of them can say 10 of their matches finished Under 3.5 Goals. Only eight teams in the league has an average amount of goals ranging Over 2.5, so it would really go against the grain for this one to contain goals.

Chievo to win and Under 3.5 Goals is a more than generous 8/5 (Sportingbet) play.

Best Bets

Kaiserslautern v Hallescher – Hallescher Double Chance and Over 1 Goal (1/1 Bet365)

Chievo v Cremonese – Chievo to win and Under 3.5 Goals (8/5 Sportingbet)

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