World Football – Santa Cruz to inspire Olimpia on Sunday


NEW WLB contributor James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) has scanned Sunday's world football scene and unearthed five great value selections to share from the continent.

Lech Pozan v Miedz Legnica | Sunday 30th September 2018, 17:00

Lech Poznan needed all of extra-time to secure a 1-0 victory in the Polish Cup to out-of-form second-tier outfit LKS Lodz on Tuesday, naming quite a strong side in the process.

Ivan Đurđević’s side are on a poor run of form in the Ekstraklasa, being winless in five, four of which ended in defeat. They finished third in the division last season and currently sit eighth.

The big Polish teams tend to start slow as they struggle to balance that with the early season European qualification matches.

Legnica come to town sitting just below their opponents in the table; situated in ninth. They won 3-2 at current league leaders Jagiellonia, so they won’t come looking to ‘park the bus’.

Legnica have scored in three of their four away so far, whilst Lech shipped five at home to Wisla in mid-August. Lech will play to win at home, and usually score, but can be caught on the break.

Both Teams To Score pays 10/13 with 10BET.

Molde v Rosenborg | Sunday 30th September 2018, 19:00

It is very much a two-horse race in the Eliteserien, and second spot Brann shall be hoping Rosenborg drop points in a tough looking trip to third-place Rosenborg on Sunday.

Molde have won the top-flight title three times since 2011, whereas Rosenborg are going for a 26th league triumph, which would also be their fourth in succession.

Rosenborg are seemingly over the uncertainty that surrounded the shock departure of Kåre Ingebrigtsen, which led to fan protests. They have a four-point lead with only seven points to play.

Molde are starting to find their feet again under Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, in his second spell with the club, who did come under pressure recently for a bad run of form. They did give Zenit a scare in the Europa League last month and have won 10 of their last 11 at home.

However, Rosenborg have won the last five head-to-head meetings, including a 4-0 victory in April. They’ve also won on their last two visits to the Aker Stadion, so there is some value to backing them to claim three points with Betway offering 9/5.

Internacional v Vitoria | Sunday 30th September 2018, 20:00

The Brazilian schedule is quite hectic at this time of season and there is an appealing selection on Sunday’s card.

Internacional celebrated promotion back into the top-flight last season and already find themselves firmly in a title race. They sit in third spot with 50 points, just a point behind league Sao Paulo, separated by only Palmeiras.

The Estadio Beira-Rio is very much a fortress for Inter, having yet to taste defeat here in the campaign. They only lost twice here as they finished in second spot in Serie B too, and their passionate support certainly plays to their strengths.

In Brazil, there are many teams with a dreadful record away from home. Over half the top-flight are yet to win three times on the road.

One of those is Vitoria, who have conceded a league-high 30 times already on their travels. They scored in their first three away, but since then they’ve failed to score in seven of eight away from Barradão.

Combined with the fact Internacional have the second-best defence in the league, conceding only three at home and winning ‘to nil’ in 50% of those, a strong case is made for Internacional to win ‘to nil’. This can be backed at 21/20 with Bet Victor.

Club Olimpia v Nacional Asuncion | Sunday 30th September 2018, 22:35

There may only be 12 teams in the Paraguayan Primera Division but this is one of the fixtures which always attracts plenty of attention. They can claim 50 league top division titles between them, although 41 of those can be afforded to current holders Olimpia.

One for Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City fans, but Olimpia is where 37-year-old Roque Santa Cruz is dwindling down his career, the club which he came through the youth academy when signing aged nine. He is still a regular starter and very much key to their success on the pitch.

The Estadio Manuel Ferreira is another case of a club making their home ground a fortress. Only twice since May 2017 have they tasted defeat here. They’ve also won 10 of their last 15 head-to-head in front of their fans, so we have to find a way to get them on side this weekend.

Olimpia are rightly the odds-on favourites, and they’ve won the Half-Time/Full-Time bet more than any other side in the league so far.

Nacional have won just two of their last 13 away in all competitions, keeping only two clean sheets in that period. Back Club Olimpia/Club Olimpia in the Half-Time/Full-Time market at a healthy 13/10 with Sky Bet.

Best Bets

Lech v Miedz Legnica – Both Teams To Score (10/13 10BET)

Molde v Rosenborg – Rosenborg to win (9/5 Betway)

Internacional v Vitoria – Internacional to win ‘to nil’ (21/20 Bet Victor)

Club Olimpia v Nacional Asuncion – Club Olimpia/ Club Olimpia (13/10 Sky Bet)

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