Sturm Graz v Altach | Sunday 8th December 2019, 13:30
We quite often delve into the Austrian Bundesliga, usually to find a way of getting dominant Red Bull Salzburg on side! However, we’re going to swerve them this weekend given they’re dropped points in their last two and have a massive UEFA Champions League game on the horizon. Sturm Graz against Altach will just have to do.
And do it shall as this is a game which contains one of the stronger outfits at this level versus one of the strugglers. Well, I say stronger outfits, but Sturm Graz are probably just about in that next bracket of clubs who will try to play second fiddle to Salzburg. What they generally do is beat the lesser sides and have a bigger challenge against the bigger boys.
Therefore, they should fancy their chances against an Altach side who have suffered the joint-highest amount of defeats in the league. However, they earned their fourth league win of the season last time out when defeating third in the table Wolfsberger, so perhaps thing could be on the up for them.
Sturm Graz are actually in quite good form in terms of just one loss in their past seven in all competitions. In that period they beaten the likes of Tirol, Hartberg and St Polten 5-1, 3-1 and 4-1 respectively. That further backs up my theory of them really causing some damage against the weaker teams in the league.
Altach are really a funny old team. Quite incredibly they have failed to draw any of their last 14 games, and they’ve drew just one league match all season. They do however have the rock bottom away record in the league, losing six of their seven on their travels.
It is hard to be too confident about the guests' prospects, even though they beat a strong team last time out. Remember that Wolfsberger are involved in Europa League group stage action and recently lost their manager to Barnsley.
I think Sturm Graz to win and Over 1.5 Goals has to be the play at 3/4 (Coral). I have chickened out slightly as I did want to go O2.5. 12/16 of Altach’s matches has ended O2.5 but it is a straight 50/50 split for Graz’s contests so 1.5 is the safer call of the two, and still at a price they isn’t to be sniffed at.
Belenenses v Porto | Sunday 8th December 2019: 20:00
We have quite a wait for this game as Sunday at 8pm hopefully gives us a final chance to make a pound or two before the weekend is over.
Porto, as usual, are very much in the thick of the title race in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, sitting only two points behind arch rivals Benfica going into this weekend’s matches. Belenenses are their opponents and they’re occupying their usual mid to lower spot in the division.
Belenenses are at home in this one, which presents them with a slight better chance at causing an upset against their superior opponents. They have actually won back-to-back home matches, but they’ve already hosted Benfica and lost to them, so a mammoth effort is likely required to topple Porto.
However, Porto have not been firing on all cylinders in recent times. They may seem quite a strange thing to say about a side who has lost only twice in their previous 19 in all competitions, winning 14 of them. They’ve made heavy weather and been rather laborious in the last month or so. 1-0 wins over Boavista and Aves, 2-0 against Ferreira is just the kind of result which they’ve been used to of late.
Porto has made home advantage count well, winning all of their games and without conceding. They are however more challenged on the road, with three of their four away league wins coming by a one-goal margin. Actually, their biggest away win came when beating Benfica 2-0 in August, but a recent away draw at Maritimo saw them relinquish top spot.
Belenenses have won only one of the last 32 head-to-head meetings, but that did come last year in a home game, so that serves as one kind of inspiration. They’ve only conceded seven home goals this season as well, and whilst they’ve only scored four in reply, they are just one of those awkward type of teams which aren’t ever easily beaten over 90-minutes.
Still, Porto are the team to side with here, as they very much need to keep the heat on Benfica as quite literally every dropped point is costly given how both teams generally win the vast majority of their matches.
Goals haven’t been in big supply in either of Belenenses’ or Porto’s league matches this season, with them averaging 2.25 and 2.42 goals respectively. Only six of their 24 league clashes to date has featured Over 3.5 Goals, and that is something we just cannot ignore.
Porto to win and Under 3.5 Goals is a selection which should win on the basis of Porto being the much stronger team, plus the previously mentioned U3.5 figures. For it to therefore be priced at 11/10 (Betway) is quite a delight, and a price we can’t really afford to ignore.