Rostov v Ural | Saturday 30th November 2019, 13:30
We’re just over the halfway point in the top flight of Russian football and there is a decent looking card across the weekend for us to get involved with. Firstly, we’ve taken close attention to Rostov versus Ural, which is a top-half encounter, with only two teams currently separating them in the standings.
While that may be the case, there is still a cool ten point difference favouring Rostov, and they are rightly deemed favourites to claim the three points on Saturday afternoon. Only a few weeks ago they looked to be real title contenders, and they technically still are but it might be asking a lot to turnover a nine-point disadvantage with so many clubs in the hunt.
The reason being is that Rostov have just hit a bad run of form at a particularly bad moment. They’ve now winless in their previous four in all competitions, earning just one league victory in their last five. They have endured an especially hard schedule when facing the likes of Zenit, Krasnodar, Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow in recent times, but a home loss to relegation candidates Tambov isn’t really forgivable.
Ural are very much a middle of the road sort of side at this level so it isn’t a great shock to see them in the middle of the table. We can’t really say they are in blistering form at present but they are certainly hard to beat having suffered just one defeat in their last six in all competitions.
A key part of their success of late has actually been how productive they have been away from home. Ural are unbeaten in their last six away, including three victories. Included in that was a notable three-point haul at Spartak Moscow, so they travel very much believing they can make an impression this weekend.
However, dating back to 2008 records, Ural has only defeated Rostov once in that period. They’ve also lost in four of their previous five visits to this stadium, suggesting that it has not been a happy hunting ground for them. There is some cause for optimism if we channel a different avenue, though. Rostov have a very leaky defence, these two teams in fact have the worst defensive records in the top-half as things stand.
Rostov are top of one table, and that is the both teams to score tally in this division. Along with Orenburg, they’ve seen 13/17 where BTTS has paid out. That is quite something. Ural is 10/17, which is still quite a number in its own right. Neither of these teams know how to keep a clean sheet, having only six between them in league action, whilst Rostov has only failed to score in one league match.
Therefore, why can we get a price of Both Teams To Score at 10/11 (Bet365)? Beats me, so snap it up whilst you can.
Heracles v Den Haag | Saturday 30th November 2019, 19:45
We’re not quite at the halfway point in the Dutch Eredivisie so there is still plenty to play for in all different areas of the league table. Heracles versus Den Haag offers up our Saturday night viewing from this area of the world, in a contest which focuses on the middle and the bottom. Heracles are chasing down Europa League football for next season, whilst Den Haag are fighting to keep their heads above water.
Heracles are certainly a team that entertains and having a season ticket at Erve Asito is not so much of a bad thing these days, or for a little while now in fact. They’ve developed one of the stronger home records in the league and they’ve certainly grown accustomed to the artificial playing surface, whilst opponents may not have. They’ve won their last four straight league games on home soil, scoring at least four goals on three of those occasions.
Boss Frank Wormuth has very much looked to build on the strengths of this team, which is their offensive outlay. Scoring goals generally has not really been a problem for them, and it only looks short if we compare that to the likes of Ajax, AZ and PSV; the top-three, but Heracles more than hold their own. 17 of their 25 goals scored came in home fixtures, but they aren’t so secure defensively on the basis of only two league clean sheets.
Den Haag finished quite a respective ninth position last season and they’re roughly halfway below that point now, so they’re definitely digressed on that basis. They’ve only conceded four goals more than Heracles and scored eight goals fewer, yet have 10 fewer points. Defeats in nine of their 14 league assignments is obviously why they are where they are in the table, but two of their three wins did come away from home.
They recently won away at fifth in the table Vitesse, but their form has tumbled of late. They’ve lost at PSV and Feyenoord as expected, but a run of five straight losses in September/October just highlights how vulnerable they can be. They’ve at least scored in 10/14, and they have a 50% both teams scoring ratio in league action, as well.
Heracles are clearly the stronger of the two teams. They’ve won seven of the last 11 head-to-head meetings, losing only two in that period, both being away from home. Den Haag has lost four of their last six visits to Heracles, last winning in 2012. Four of Heracles’ six Eredivisie wins this season came when conceding, whilst Den Haag has scored in five of their seven away in league action.
Heracles to win and Both Teams To Score is an attractive 19/10 (888) proposition that we will happily jump onto.