Kaiserslautern v Meppen | Saturday 7th March 2020, 13:00
With 12 games remaining in the third tier of German football, every point is vital between now and the end of the season. That very much applies to Kaiserslautern and Meppen, who meet one another on Saturday, as both have something to play for. This weekend’s hosts are only two points above the drop zone, whilst Meppen are two points behind the relegation/promotion play-off position.
Without doubt Kaiserslautern are the biggest club in this league. They won the Bundesliga title as recently as 1998. However, those days were a long, long time ago now and financial hardship has hit the club. So much so, they are now in their second season playing at this level and again are finding it somewhat tough. They’ll still expect to have enough to avoid relegation, but it is worrying times.
The Red Devils are actually only ten points off third spot themselves, so if they were to put a run together then who knows, but that appears very unlikely considering very few teams in this league are consistent. Kaiserslautern have had consistency problems all season long, and they’ve returned from the winter break failing to win any of their seven in league and cup.
Meppen is another club that was on the slide, but in recent times they have clawed their way back up the footballing pyramid and this season could see the best still to come. They finished 13th last season, but they’re very much involved in the promotion picture this time around. Three wins in their last four ended the disappointment of back-to-back defeats to give life to their campaign.
Christian Neidhart’s side have been excellent defensively in recent times. Across the last ten league games, they’ve the best defensive record in the division. Only four teams have conceded fewer overall. They’ve also developed a habit of avoiding defeat away from home, as only twice have they been beaten on the road, and even they was only by a one-goal margin.
On eight occasions they’ve netted over 1.5 goals in an away league match, and that is also clearly very helpful.
However, goals haven’t been in big supply when both teams are involved. Kaiserslautern and Meppen have in fact seen each of their last four matches featured under 2.5 goals. Also, in only ten of 52 combined has there been at least five goals, so it is hard to expect that to suddenly change this weekend.
Meppen are the team to keep on side considering they have momentum, plus Kaiserslautern are finding goals hard to come by. Meppen Double Chance and Under 4 Goals is a good 5/4 (Bet365) bet-builder play to get involved with.
Almeria v Deportivo | Saturday 7th March 2020, 20:00
Both Almeria and Deportivo have played their football in La Liga in recent times, but it is the second division in Spanish football for them now and they face off on Saturday night. Almeria have the upper-hand if the league table is anything to go by as they sit third and are looking to close the five-point gap to the top two. Deportivo are still in relegation trouble through being only two points above safety.
Almeria however have seemingly hit the self-destruct button a little bit if their recent run of form is anything to go by. Their first three games in January saw them produce three straight wins, but since then it is six without victory, including four defeats.
This also included a home loss to rock bottom Racing Santander, plus they dropped points to many promotion rivals which has derailed their automatic promotion push to a degree.
They’ve only averaged a point a game across their last eight, and when you consider second place Real Zaragoza have averaged two points per game in that time it highlights the need to get back on track as soon as possible.
That is easier said than done however, as this team just appears to have lost their mojo at a crucial period of the campaign. One win in five at home, including three defeats, doesn’t fuel much hope of a revival, however.
Deportivo were having a nightmare campaign until they finally got their act together just before Christmas. They were bottom and going nowhere fast, but a seven game league winning streak certainly helped their cause and lifted them out of trouble.
Momentum has halted to a degree now given they are winless in three, but two were draws and the loss saw to second place Zaragoza; a game they played the last half hour with ten men.
A 0-0 home draw to Lugo last time out was a bit of a missed opportunity for Deportivo to get one over a relegation rival, but draws just happen in this league as we all know! 16 of the 22 teams have double-digit amount of draws to their name!
A draw would not be a bad result for Deportivo this weekend, and away sides often pull out all the tricks to get this kind of outcome. The difference is that Deportivo also have that bit of quality to win a match like this.
Therefore, I am quite surprised to see a price of 19/20 (Betway) for Deportivo Double Chance. They did win seven in a row not so long ago, which included a win over top side Cadiz. Almeria have just hit a brick wall at the moment and nothing they do at present seems to be working. All the pressure and expectation is upon them to win, and I certainly would not entertain odds-on quotes on them to win this.
Deportivo, as mentioned, have the quality to not just frustrate Almeria, but to beat them outright, and I would not be surprised to see an away win here. A draw wouldn’t be bad either, so we’ll play it slightly safer.