Kaiserslautern v Grossaspach | Saturday 26th January 2019, 13:00
Kaiserslautern won the German top-flight as recently as 1998, but now they find themselves plying their trade in the third-tier these days.
They were relegated last season and it would be fair to say they are yet to really hit the ground running in the current campaign. They are in mid-table 20 games into the season, but only four points above the drop zone. It has been an inconsistent year for the club on the pitch and a run of results are required to mount a push for maybe sneaking third spot.
Grossaspach are in the bottom four but a victory on Saturday would take them to within a point of their weekend opponents. So all to play for!
The division resumed following the winter break and it probably arrived at a good time for the two clubs. Kaiserslautern have won just once in their last seven and they have not made the Fritz-Walter-Stadion the fortress that they intended either. In fact, they have one of the worst home records in the division.
Grossaspach, also known as SG, are very much the draw specialists of the league. Of their 20 league games, quite incredible they have drew 12 of those. That means they’ve only lost five, which is two less than Uerdingen, who sit third in the standings. SG have won just the three as well, once on the road.
With neither side in great form and likely to be low on confidence, the two might need a bit of time to get back into the swing of things, especially after last playing a competitive fixture before Christmas. A classic is not anticipated, and it is one of those games where points are all they want right now.
No team in the league has experienced fewer goals in their games than Grossaspach. Considering they draw as many games as they do, it is pretty obvious what sort of tactics that Florian Schnorrenberg, who has been in charge since October, implements.
There has been a 1.80 goals per game average for them, by far the lowest in the division. Kaiserslautern’s reads 2.70, which is almost a whole goal more, but their home games alone reads an average of just 1.90. They’ve only scored nine and conceded eight on home soil.
It’d be a surprise if many goals arrive in this contest, so we’ll back Under 2.5 Goals at just shy of evens at 99/100 (Marathon).
Cremonese v Palermo | Saturday 26th January 2019, 14:00
Anyone who would have had a glance at the Serie B table before a ball was kicked this season would have seen many with any kind of footballing knowledge that Palermo would probably be the team to beat at this level.
That was a fair assumption then and it still is now as Roberto Stellone’s side lead the way after 19 games of competitive action. However, they returned from the winter break last weekend and suffered only their second defeat of the campaign at home to play-off chasing Salernitana, so Stellone’s side have some questions to answer this weekend.
Cremonese will celebrate their 116th birthday as a club in March and they’re a club that is yet to really catch the eye in Italian football in more recent times. They’ve spent time in Serie A during the 1990s, but were relegated in 1996 and haven’t been back since.
Cremonese finished 14th in the league last season and find themselves 12th as things stand. They’re likely to be one of those sides to have enough to avoid relegation, but lack that extra to challenge for the play-off spots. However, they’ve been particularly tough to beat at home this season, which is why they’re excited to welcome Palermo to the Stadio Giovanni Zini.
For those of you who like backing the draw, then Serie B is a good division for you to be focusing on more often than not. 34% of games this season in the league has ended all-square, which might not seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of thing it is. Especially considering it only rises to 45% for home wins, and it down to 21% for away victories.
Palermo might sit top of the table, but four of their last eight have ended in a draw. They certainly aren’t in blistering form, even if they did go 13 unbeaten prior to the shock loss to Salernitana last time out. Perhaps now is the time to catch Palermo out again. Cremonese earned a solid away draw to Pescara on their return from the winter break, which is a good outcome considering Pescara sit third in the table.
Cremonese, known as Grigiorossi, have conceded only four goals at home all season. Two of those came in the 2-1 loss to Carpi last month. Palermo might have the best away record in the division but many of their away clashes have been close encounters. Only three times have they kept a clean sheet on the road.
We’re going to keep Cremonese on side for this game, or more so not want to back Palermo at fairly short odds away from home. Games involving Cremonese this season has averaged only 2.00, which then drops to a division-lowest for home games at 1.60. For Palermo, it is 2.50, and then down to 2.30 for clashes away from home.
Cremonese Double Chance and Under 3 Goals pay 7/5 (Bet365).
Charleroi v Waasland-Beveren | Saturday 26th January 2019, 17:00
Charleroi weren’t our friends at the weekend as we had them to lose to Club Brugge in our weekly blog, with BTTS. They did take the lead but Club Brugge underperformed and suffered a rare home setback.
Now is probably the time to have a bit of joy with Charleroi therefore, who should be on a real high going into the weekend. They know a victory this weekend would probably propel them into the Championship Group once the latest round of fixtures play out. They’re odds-on favourites to claim the three points on home soil, but we’ve found another way to gain more value but keep them on side.
Waasland-Beveren are a side that often flirts with the bottom echelons of this league. In terms of budget, they are roughly where they should be, and will always fall short of really trying to break into the higher bracket. Still, on their day they’re capable of springing a surprise.
Waasland have only won four league games this season, but two came versus Club Brugge and Antwerp in back-to-back matches in December; those top clubs being situated second and third in the standings.
However, head-to-head they’ve not had as much joy when facing Charleroi, now managed by Felice Mazzu. This has been a regular fixture since Waasland-Beveren won promotion into the top flight back in 2012. However, they’ve won just in the last 16 meetings, that coming in 2016.
Charleroi have one of the stronger home records in the league, only four points short of Club Brugge, who have amassed the most points on home soil. They won every game at home in September, October and November, which was their springboard this season after initially starting the campaign in quite worrying fashion.
We fancy them to get the job done this season, but job done is perhaps the best phrase to use, as we don’t think it’ll be as emphatic or easy as the odds suggest. Fifteen of their 22 have ended below the 3.50 goal line. The same can be said in 17/22 of those for opponents Waasland-Beveren. This is always a good way to get more value out of an odds-on side.
Charleroi to win and Under 3.5 Goals pays a tidy 6/5 (Coral).