Utrecht v PSV Eindhoven | Sunday 10th February 2019, 15:45 | Premier Sports
A trip to Utrecht is always something of a banana skin sort of game for the top sides such as PSV and Ajax in the Eredivisie. Utrecht are very much within that second bracket of clubs which won’t compete with the big two, but they’ll regularly compete for the Europa League play-off positions.
However, Utrecht have lost their last five matches in league and cup, and veteran head coach Dick Advocaat faces a huge challenge to rally his side for when the league leaders come to town on Sunday.
PSV have a five-point gap at the top of the standings and they’ll be looking to maintain that here, assuming that Ajax close the gap to two points after they play away in Heracles on Saturday night. Whilst a trip to a side sitting sixth in the table doesn’t necessarily sound like a straightforward assignment for Mark van Bommel’s men, it is still a clash they should be winning.
PSB have won the last five head-to-head meetings. The last four being 3-0, 7-1, 3-0 and 4-0. PSV remain in great form in terms of results but they are challenged in periods of games. Last month they drew away to strugglers FC Emmen and only edged Groningen 2-1 at home. However, a 5-0 success over Sittard last time out meant they resumed dominant status in convincing fashion.
Hirving Lozano is very much PSV’s most prized asset and the key man will miss this encounter through injury. Whilst that is a blow, they won 5-0 without him last time out, and they’ll still be keen on maintaining their strong form on Sunday. This means former Arsenal youngster Donyell Malen will continue in the starting XI.
Utrecht will certainly be up for this one, especially after their poor results of late. Facing the big boys at home will see a big crowd be in attendance looking to spur on their side to cause a shock. However, they’ve only defeated PSV once in their last 14 attempts. PSV won 7-1 on their last trip to Stadion Galgenwaard. A similar score is not expected, but it should be comfortable.
The fact that Utrecht won’t necessarily sit back could actually suit PSV. It means they won’t have to face a defensive brick wall that they’ve come accustomed to facing at this level on an almost weekly basis.
We won’t be backing PSV outright on this occasion as our selection as the odds still don’t reflect value. The odds probably don’t appreciate how much of a difficult game that this could be, even though they should still emerge on top. The absence of Lozano has to be taken into account as well.
However, one statistic which continues to prove worthwhile to back over the course of this season is netting in both halves. PSV has managed to do this in 75% of their Eredivisie clashes this season, a number which increases to 78% focusing purely on away games. With Utrecht shipping goals of late, we believe this number could increase again.
PSV to score in both halves is priced 21/20 (William Hill).
Anderlecht v Zulte-Waregem | Sunday 10th February 2019, 17:00
It has been a desperately poor season for Anderlecht so far. They very much began the campaign expected to challenge for the title, but they currently find themselves 17 points off the pace in seventh position.
Without a doubt the main reason for their troubles this season is their record away from home, where they have lost 8/12. They have had greater joy playing in front of their own supporters, where they have only suffered the one defeat.
Zulte-Waregem haven’t had the best of seasons themselves. However, the fact they find themselves in 12th place on 26 points is actually a huge improvement to how they began the current campaign. Only a few months ago, they were cut adrift at the bottom of the table, and relegation was beginning to look inevitable, even at such an early stage.
Waregem have turned things around now, and they find themselves 12 points off the bottom. Long-serving boss Francky Dury has overseen back-to-back victories going into this weekend. Just before Christmas, they beat Club Brugge 3-1 away from home, and that is never an easy place to go and get anything, let alone three points and three goals.
The odds are probably about right going into this weekend in the sense that Anderlecht are the favourites. Home advantage counts for them, and there is still ultimately 11 points between the two sides. If both played to their best, Anderlecht would emerge with the win.
However, the reality is that Anderlecht haven’t played at their best for quite a while now. They lost away to big rivals Standard Liege last weekend after conceding extremely late on. Anderlecht have won their last two at home, but both were favourable fixtures that they’d have expected six points out of six from.
Entertainment has generally been the name of the game for Waregem this season. They’ve netted 40 goals so far, which is actually the same as Anderlecht, meaning these two teams have the joint fourth-highest scoring record alongside St. Truiden in the Belgian top-flight. Waregem however are the only side in the league to ship 50 goals. We see no reason why this weekend won’t see a goal or two flow.
Without a doubt the play has to be Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals. This is priced at 20/23 (Coral).
Both teams have percentages in the 70’s in relation to the amount of their league games to contain BTTS.
With Anderlecht not convincing and goals arriving in each goal in Waregem games, then that is one action we have to side with. For additional value, we’ll throw in Over 2.5 Goals as well. 62% of Anderlecht matches has beaten this amount. That is 15/24 of their league encounters.
For Waregem, no other side in the division has seen more goals and also beat the 2.5 line. 79% of their matches, and 83% away, has ended O2.5.
FC Copenhagen v Odense | Sunday 10th February 2019, 17:00
The Danish Superliga is back after a lengthy winter break this weekend. These two teams last played a competitive game over a week before Christmas, so they’ll be eager to resume action.
It is a tough resumption for Odense as they make the visit to league leaders Copenhagen. It is very much a two-way tussle at the top of the standings, with Copenhagen currently enjoying a three-gap advantage over rivals FC Midtjylland.
Stale Solbakken probably didn’t want the winter break to arrive when it did, as FCK were in top form at the time. They’ve won their last four in the league, one of which came versus Midtjylland.
Odense are seventh in the table at the moment, but they’re only three points off third. That bracket of the league table is quite a tussle, so one win could see them jump a few spots, or a defeat may lead to a minor drop in the standings.
A trip to the Telia Parken presents a major challenge for OB, especially as they lost their last two before breaking for the winter. That doesn’t tell the entire story however, as prior to that they were on quite an incredible run. They were eleven unbeaten before those two setbacks to Midtjylland and Aalborg, losing just once in 16 in league and cup.
FCK have won eight of their nine matches at home, that one defeat coming in their first game of the season, so we can forgive them that one. Unsurprisingly, they and Midtjylland dominate most stats at this level, and that represents the challenge that OB face on Sunday afternoon.
To their credit, OB, managed by Jakob Michelsen, have one of the stronger defensive records in the Superliga. In fact, only the top two have conceded more than they’ve done. However, we believe the circumstances of this game could give Copenhagen the edge this weekend.
They will be raring to go and get back into the fight of winning the league title, which they last achieved in 2017. They’ve been victorious in seven of the last nine head-to-head meetings. OB last won away to FCK all the way back in 2007, and even that was a cup tie. Their last league success at that venue was 2003. FCK has won the last seven at home versus OB.
We like Copenhagen to resume the winning trend this weekend, but we have to find a little more value than the outright 1×2. A bit like PSV in the first segment in this article, we like the scoring in each half element.
FC Copenhagen to score in both halves is attractively priced at 11/8 (William Hill). This has paid off in 89% of their home games. They look to start strong, and scoring the first goal is always the hardest part.
OB are likely to play a fairly defensive game, but FCK has scored 12/26 home goals in the opening 45 minutes.
Utrecht v PSV Eindhoven – PSV Eindhoven to score in both halves (21/20 William Hill)
Anderlecht v Zulte-Waregem – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (20/23 Coral)
FC Copenhagen v Odense – FC Copenhagen to score in both halves (11/8 William Hill)