WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) has scoured the planet for his best bets this weekend and bring us his best six plays from across the world. With an average of four goals per game at home James expects PSV to make us profit.
See James' other previews for the weekend here;
- Karlsruher v Braunschweig | Saturday 22nd December 2018, 13:00
- PSV Eindhoven v AZ Alkmaar | Saturday 22nd December 2018, 18:45
- Standard Liege v Oostende | Saturday 22nd December 2018, 19:30
- Aue v Union Berlin | Sunday 23rd December 2018, 12:30
- Porto v Rio Ave | Sunday 23rd December 2018, 15:00
- Guimaraes v Sporting Lisbon | Sunday 23rd December 2018, 20:00
PSV Eindhoven v AZ Alkmaar | Saturday 22nd December 2018, 18:45
After PSV lost in Feyenoord earlier this month, which remains their only league defeat of the campaign, it has reduced the gap between them and red hot Ajax to only two points. Even at this stage of the season, it makes every game vitally important, as dropped points will more than likely see PSV drop into second spot.
Given Ajax’s form at present, PSV will be wary of sacrificing top spot, as they may not regain it back. Therefore, it is vital they get three points over AZ Alkmaar at Philips Stadion on Saturday night.
AZ are very much in the second tier of clubs in the Eredivisie. They are certainly short of the likes of PSV and Ajax, and probably Feyenoord too. However, they are comfortably in the next bracket of teams that will regularly finish in the Europa League qualification spots. Being fifth in the table is not bad at all, but the reality is that they are closer to the bottom of the table than they are the top. This highlights the task at hand this weekend.
It hasn’t been a good campaign for the club, which may surprise some with that sitting in fifth. Reports are that their manager John van den Brom is already set to leave at the end of the season has circulated, with a move to Utrecht being touted by many. This will put some uncertainty around the club.
With PSV only losing once in the league all season, they are obviously going to dominate most of the various statistics on offer that cover the Eredivisie. They’ve conceded only seven times this season, which is the same as Ajax. They netted 57 times too, which is also the same as Ajax. PSV and Ajax meet again on March 31st, so get that one in your diary early!
As mentioned, AZ are still one of the better teams in the league, but are far, far, far off being the best. PSV and Ajax hold that title jointly at present, so PSV really should be brushing AZ aside this weekend. They may have to work a little harder than normal, but they won 4-0 away to seventh in the table Heracles last weekend, and they’re a side who are probably in the same bracket as AZ in terms of quality.
One bet which I have commonly used to get PSV on side this season revolves scoring in both halves. PSV are slim odds-on favourites in practically every game they play in this league, certainly against anyone other than Ajax. At home, they have a 100% record this season, scoring 33 in eight matches and conceding only the one. In the game they did concede one, they were already 4-0 up at the time!
PSV have scored in both halves in 75% of their matches this season. AZ have conceded in both halves in half of their away games. It is perhaps best to reflect on PSV specifically in those stats rather than AZ however.
As I keep saying, AZ are still one of the better sides in the Eredivisie, but they’ll generally come up short against a side like PSV more often than not.
AZ have lost on their last nine visits to Eindhoven, last taking any points home all the way back in 2009.
PSV are scoring an average of over four goals per home game this season, so backing them on a goals front is the best way to utilise them at the moment.
PSV To Score In Both Halves is available at 17/20 (William Hill), which is better than the slim, slim odds on figure you’ll get for them just to win the game.
PSV To Score In Both Halves 17/20 (William Hill).