Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners | Saturday 14th December 2019, 08:30 | BT Sport
We all love a bit of the Australian A-League and there is an interesting Saturday morning battle for us to get our teeth stuck into. It is a top against bottom encounter as in-form Sydney FC entertain bottom of the standings Central Coast Mariners.
Sydney have been something of a favourite for me doing these columns over the months. They are a team which are practically always towards the upper echelons of this league for as long as I can remember and that means there is always good opportunity to get them on side.
This weekend is likely to be another of those given that Central Coast are the visitors. Whilst Sydney have a won seven and lost one record so far, the Mariners have two wins, one draw and four defeats as things stand. In their defence, they have played two games fewer than Melbourne Victory, who sit directly above them in the table, and one game less than almost every other team.
It won’t come as a great shock to see Sydney as odds-on shots to win this match. All being well, they should do. They have a cool 100% home record to protect, whilst the Mariners traditionally have been a team which does not travel so well. They’ve lost three of four away so far, and just an example of their away struggles comes from knowing last season they picked up just five away points out of a possible 42.
There is always a way to keep Sydney on our side and the selection we’re going for actually requires for to showcase some defensive frailties as our play will be Sydney to Win and Both Teams To Score. This is available at 7/4 (Betway), which is a significant upgrade on the slim odds-on we’re getting just for them to win.
The reality of the matter is that this is a play which should be playing our, regardless of the fact this is top at home to bottom. Sydney may top the table and have conceded the least goals in the league, but they are vulnerable defensively. They only have one clean sheet this season, which is the same as the Mariners.
Also, Sydney has only failed to score in one match, also the same as Central Coast. Both teams are ranging in the 70 in terms of percentages for BTTS paying out in their games. This is an obvious play purely on the numbers, plus the last five head-to-head encounters saw each team net.
Ponferradina v Deportivo | Saturday 14th December 2019, 17:00
I’ve mentioned before how the Spanish La Liga2 is pretty much a drawing league, similar to that of the Italian Serie B and German 2.Bundesliga, and I’d be quite glad for that to continue this weekend! That is because I have selected a play in the Ponferradina against Deportivo encounter, which is a bottom half battle.
Specifically for Deportivo however, this is a bottom of the table battle, as they all are for them at this moment. They are having what can only be described as a disastrous season and it is only going from bad to worse for them. 19 games in they have just one victory for their name, which leaves them five-points adrift at the bottom and seven points from safety.
Only Racing Santander, who are also in the relegation zone, has drew more games than Deportivo this season. Depo desperately need to start turning some of those stalemates into wins if they’re to recover, but they do have time on their side at least, as we’re not even halfway through the campaign.
Ponferradina will fancy their chances of getting the job done this weekend considering the struggles of their opponents. Nevertheless, beating Deportivo still remains something of a coup in this league, so Saturday’s home side will be more than up for this. They’re the definition of mid-table right now given they’re six-points off the play-offs and six-points above the bottom-four.
We have another drawing team in the form of Ponferradina given they have nine to their name so far. Five of them came at home, meaning they’ve lost just the once in front of their own fans this season. They’re one of just seven teams in the league to have lost one or fewer home encounters. It is a tough place to go and Deportivo will know they’re in for a game.
We’re getting decent odds on an outright Ponferradina win, as the bookies are still classing Deportivo as a side above what they actually are. No longer are they UEFA Champions League regulars and reality is very much set in within their supporter base. I’m not touching a home or away win on this occasion however, giving the draw bias in this league.
The play will keep the hosts on side however, given Deportivo cannot buy a win. Ponferradina Double Chance and Under 3 Goals is a tidy 10/11 (Bet365) play using the bet-builder which we fancy.
Ponferradina have conceded only eight home goals, whilst Deportivo have scored just six away. Of their 38 league games combined so far, 24 has seen a maximum of two goals. Ponferradina has 8/10 at home finish Under 2.5, and we cannot ignore numbers like this.