RB Salzburg v AC Wolfsberger | Saturday 10th August 2019, 16:00
Ask anyone with even half a retained interest in domestic Austrian football and they’ll highly likely jump to Red Bull Salzburg. They are by far the most successful club in this league in the modern era. They’ve won the title for five seasons running, and they’ve already opened their league campaign with back-to-back victories, scoring six goals in total.
AFC Wolfsberger surprised everyone last season with their third place finish in the Austrian Bundesliga, which earned them a shot in the Europa League group stages for the first time in their history. Their longest venture into Europe had previously been the third qualification round in 2015/16, when Dortmund ended their quest. They’ve opened up their league campaign with a win and a defeat, but soon you wonder when all focus turns to their European adventure.
Salzburg have their own European commitments, and they too will soon have to start switching focus for a Champions League group stage. They’re in pot three for the main draw, alongside the likes of Valencia and Inter Milan. However, they’ll be keen to build up a healthy lead in the league beforehand, just come they have a cushion. They’ve also encountered Chelsea and Real Madrid in glamour friendly games, so they’re certainly well prepared.
As expected, the H2H in this battle is particularly one-sided. Having said that, Wolfsberger did actually win the last time these two met towards the end of last season, but Salzburg were as good as confirmed champions by that point anyway, so they have an excuse. Taking that out of the equation, Wolfsberger last defeated RBS in March 2015, and they’ve won four of the 29 times this fixture has been played.
Salzburg have won 16 of those 29 contests, averaging a total of 2.21 goals in them. In fact, they’ve won the last five at home in this battle, scoring 2+ in them all, and 3+ in three of them. Once again, they should have far too much for their rivals on this occasion.
I’m quite happy to see odds of 19/25 (Royal Panda) on Salzburg netting Over 2.5 Team Goals. It is something that they generally don’t have too many problems with at this level. They scored an average of 2.75 home goals in the league last season, and even in their Europa League run they netted 3+ at home versus the likes of Napoli and Club Brugge. Scoring goals is never a problem for them and I’d be disappointed if they didn’t win quite convincingly on Saturday.
Willem II v Vitesse | Saturday 10th August 2019, 19:45
The Eredivisie now heads into its second round of fixtures for the season and there’s a tasty looking contest between Willem II and Vitesse which has caught my eye for some potential value.
Vitesse have ended the regulation season inside the top-seven in seven of the last eight campaigns, and they’re very much a team that can compete with most, with the exception of Ajax and PSV. Willem II are something of a middle of the road sort of club, finishing 9th, 16th, 13th and 10th since winning promotion back to this level.
One thing you can usually guarantee in Dutch football is plenty of flair. It is ultimately a league that is all about playing on the front foot and taking the game to the opposition. Chances are likely to flow at either end in games which don’t include the likes of the previously mentioned Ajax and PSV.
Down the years, this has been a particular fixture which has produced goals. After all, Eredivisie league games last season overall averaged 3.47 goals, so chances are if you were to attend a random Eredivisie game, you’d see a goal or two.
As touched upon, these two teams really go for it when facing one another. The last six contests has produced the following scores: 3-2, 1-3, 2-2, 2-2, 0-2 and 1-4. In that period it is three wins for Vitesse, one for Willem and two draws. The home side has only triumphed once in the last eight renewals, so perhaps that is something to consider.
Vitesse opened the season with an encouraging 2-2 home draw with Ajax, whilst Willem II earned a fine 3-1 win over Zwolle. Willem II were good on the road last season, but at home they let themselves down. Only Heerenveen and relegated NAC Breda collected more points on home soil, whilst only top-two Ajax and PSV claimed more points away. They’ll therefore be especially keen to start correcting those wrongs and win first time up this time around.
It was the other way around for Vitesse as they claimed 36 points at home compared to their 17 away. They only won four times on their travels, and scored 20 more at home than away. They find it tough to replicate that style in both disciplines, so that is another challenge for them.
Finding an outright winner here is tough, but the goals approach is the way to go, without a doubt. Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals is a good little evens shot (Bet365) that should be paying out if history is anything to go by. It would have done so in both teams opening fixtures, and it seven of the last 11 H2H.
RB Salzburg v AC Wolfsberger – RB Salzburg to score Over 2.5 Goals (19/25 Royal Panda)
Willem II v Vitesse – Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals (1/1 Bet365)