World Football: Goals forecast for Sunday Benelux showdowns


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 Sunday.

FC Utrecht v Vitesse Arnhem | Sunday 14th April 2019, 15:45

FC Utrecht against Vitesse Arnhem to any person that appreciates the Eredivisie will tell you that this should be a good game to view on Sunday afternoon. Both are good outfits and are regularly in that region of the table that falls just short of the top two or three, but are almost certainties to finish in the Europa League qualification play-off positions.

The pair currently occupy two of those four slots going into this weekend’s encounter. Only three points and Heracles separates these two in the standings after 29 games of competitive action.

These two teams couldn’t really be more evenly matched as things stand. Vitesse has only scored one goal more than Utrecht, whilst Utrecht has conceded only one fewer than Vitesse. Both therefore have an identical goal difference as well. Before you quickly jump onto the prospect of this encounter possible ending in a draw, just remember just three of the last 15 meetings has ended level.

However, no team has drew more games than Vitesse in this season’s Eredivisie so far, drawing four of their last five. Vitesse are winless in five, although four has been draws as we’ve mentioned. They’ve faced PSV, Feyenoord and AZ in that period, so perhaps it is fair not to judge them too harshly.

Whilst Utrecht have lost once in their last nine, that sole defeat came in their last match, and it was a heavy 5-0 loss to ADO Den Haag. They had won 6-2 away to VVV Venlo only three days previous, so they’ll be hoping it is just a one-off. In that eight match unbeaten run they had scored 21 goals, conceding only eight.

Goals is generally the name of the game in Dutch football. Going into the latest round of fixtures, only two sides in the Eredivisie can say their matches average fewer than three goals, those being Groningen and Zwolle. Vitesse’s matches average 3.40, whilst for Utrecht it is 3.30. That is still roughly middle of the road for the league. Nevertheless, this is a fixture which doesn’t usually fail to deliver.

Only three of the last 25 head-to-head would have failed to see Both Teams To Score deliver. Vitesse’s games in the league has seen 76% end in BTTS – that places them as one of the highest in the world in relation to their games seeing each side net. Utrecht isn’t too shabby on 55%, which is still more than half. Utrecht only have 28% of clean sheets, whilst for Vitesse it is 21%.

With 66% of Utrecht’s and 72% of Vitesse’s league battles beating the 2.5 goal line as well, there is only one play we can go for this weekend.

Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals looks a very worthwhile 5/6 (Bet365) chance.

Genk v Club Brugge | Sunday 14th April 2019, 17:00

We’re very much at the nitty gritty stage of the Belgian top-flight, with the Championship Group in full swing after the league separated. Three games into the post-season and Genk’s lead at the top has now been reduced to just one point. With second in the table Club Brugge to come on Sunday, this game could go a long, long way to determining where the title will end up.

Brugge have won all three of their post-season games, scoring 10 goals in the process. Genk has won two and lost one, but they’re starting to win more again after a bit of a sticky spell.

That sticky spell for Genk came during February and March. This coincided with their exit from the Europa League at the hands of Slavia Prague; they went through a spell of winning just once in seven in all, which included an away defeat to Club Brugge by a 3-1 score in February.

On the flip side, we can look at it as just one loss in their previous seven. Nevertheless, Genk have dropped more points than they’d have wanted at this stage, but they ultimately have their own destiny in their own control at this crucial stage of the season. A win takes them four points clear at least.

Brugge exited the Europa League at the same stage. They were knocked out by Salzburg, having won the home leg, but were heavily defeated in Austria. They’ve recorded victories in five of their last six, but that loss was a shock home setback to Mouscron. Beating Anderlecht away and then third-placed Standard Liege 4-0 at home in recent weeks however has given them real momentum.

The visitors travel to Genk firmly believing they can win, and then takeover top spot once more. They’re looking to make it back-to-back league titles.

Whilst Club going into this weekend’s encounter in good form, this fixture has been a battle which has generally favoured the home team. In fact, no away side has won in a head-to-head since 2014. That was also the last time Club won away in Genk, meaning they’ve returned eight more times since and failed to win. Five of those ended in defeat.

There is clearly very little to separate these two outfits, but something has to give on Sunday. The fact that Brugge tend to struggle when travelling to the Luminus Arena makes them less appealing, but they’ve scored 10 in their last three so are tough to oppose in that regard. Genk has only lost once at home in the league since November, and that also came to Mouscron.

This meeting also tends to generate goals, too. Thirteen of the previous 17 has seen each side find the back of the net. For all that Genk don’t tend to concede many this season, Brugge are scoring goals for fun at the moment. Brugge have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven on the road in all competitions too. If there is a time to catch them out, it is usually in an away fixture.

Genk Double Chance and Both Teams To Score looks a solid enough 1/1 (Bet365) opportunity.

Best Bets

FC Utrecht v Vitesse Arnhem – Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals (5/6 Bet365)

Genk v Club Brugge – Genk Double Chance and Both Teams To Score (1/1 Bet365)

About Author

Since leaving university I've worked as a Research/Football Performance/Betting Analyst. I live and breath all things football. This has gradually helped me with my betting when looking for value and ultimately, winning selections. I've experienced both the bad, and more recently, the good supporting Lincoln City, with whom my weekends aren't the same without.

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