Gent v Genk | Saturday 27th April 2019, 19:30
We’re very much at the business end of most leagues at this time of year, and the Belgian top flight is no exception. Nothing has been decided yet, but Genk find themselves in quite a commanding position at the top of the standings. They sit six-points clear with only five matches remaining, with a trip to Gent to come this weekend. Gent, along with Anderlecht, have quite a sufficient gap to overcome to make the fourth and final European qualification spot. Therefore, those two could soon be having the ‘on their holidays’ mentality, with so little to play for. Genk have everything to gain on Saturday night.
Genk did have a wobbly spell a couple of months ago. This coincided with their loss to Slavia Prague, which saw them knocked out of the UEFA Europa League. They won two of their six league matches around that period. However, with full focus on winning the title for the first time since 2011, and only the fourth time in their history. It is three wins in succession for Blauw-Wit, suggesting that they’re fully back on track. Not only did that defeat Gent at home, but they defeated second place Club Brugge and then negotiated an always tricky trip to Standard Liege as well. They’ve got momentum at the perfect time.
Momentum is one thing that Gent certainly don’t have at this moment. They actually ended the regular league campaign very positively. They won their last four, meaning they could approach the Championship Group full of excitement. However, that excitement has soon ended as a record of played five, lost four and drew one has all but ended their campaign rather prematurely. An uninspiring 0-0 draw with Anderlecht last time out was a proper snooze-fest, with the players starting to accept European football won’t be coming back to the Ghelamco Arena.
Genk has very much had the better in this head-to-head battle for a little while now as well. They won the last three in a row, with Gent last tasting success in March 2018. That means Gent are winless in their previous five encounters. Quite interestingly, Gent has not won a home meeting between these two since August 2016. Gent have won just three of their last 12 versus Genk.
With everything to play for, we cannot look beyond Genk this weekend. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly and we don’t suffer from a poor refereeing decision, red card or penalty, but they are a team on a mission and want to go one step closer to that precious Jupiler League crown.
Genk to win is available at 19/20 (Betway).
Extremadura v Tenerife | Saturday 27th April 2019, 19:30
I always find myself looking across at LaLiga2 every weekend to check on the scores. It is traditionally a very tight division and this season is no different. If goals are your thing then this probably is not the league for you! Only one team out of the 22, Cordoba, have an average goals to game ratio higher than 3.00. With only a handful of games remaining, it looks as though only one relegation spot is yet to be realistically decided. At least seven sides are fearful of dropping into that spot, with two of those being Extremadura and Tenerife, who meet on Saturday night.
Extremadura have most definitely turned the corner in recent times. It wasn’t that long ago that they were bottom of the table, but avoiding relegation is now very much on the cards. Whilst they’re only one place and two points above Lugo, who occupy 19th position, that is still a position they’d have gladly taken a few months ago. With momentum very much on their side, they’ll fancy their chances of staying in the division. They’ve won three in a row, and four of their previous five. In their last two, they’ve won away at Malaga and Deportivo, who were in La Liga last season and are battling it out to try and get back there.
Something I’ve always noticed about this league is how poor teams generally are away from home. Obviously teams will generally collect more points on home soil, but in this league there are several clubs who only have between one and five road wins. Granada has the best, but they’ve still won fewer than they haven’t away from home. Tenerife are one of those with quite an uninspiring record in this regard. They’ve just two wins away all campaign, but they are unbeaten in their last four officially (one being versus Reus Deportiu, who have been suspended from competing).
I remember earlier in the season I said that this wasn’t a league I like to get involved in too much considering it can be quite unpredictable. With there being so few goals, teams can struggle to come from behind and win if they maybe concede against the run of play for example. I certainly won’t be touching a side at odds-on in this league, but I’ve found a nice little selection for this weekend.
It is pretty straightforward, but Extremadura to win at 29/20 (William Hill) looks very appealing to me.
They’re just find a way to win matches at the moment and they’re touch to back against. It is a bit of a concern that they’re coming up against draw specialists Tenerife this weekend, a side who have drew 16 times so far, the joint-most alongside Las Palmas in the league. However, Extremadura have come out on top in several tight matches in recent times. We said they’re won three in a row; all by a one-goal margin. We like the look of them to get the job done, and for the price they should give us a good run.
Gent v Genk – Genk to win (19/20 Betway)
Extremadura v Tenerife – Extremadura to win (29/20 William Hill)