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. He's backing Liege to put Euro disappointment behins them and to begin a revival in the league.
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
Standard Liege v Oostende | Saturday 22nd December 2018, 19:30
Standard Liege have been juggling UEFA Europa League duties alongside their usual Belgian league games so far, but their European dream ended last week after finishing third behind Sevilla and Krasnodar in their group. Therefore, it is a case of them putting all their eggs into one basket again, with Oostende their weekend opponents in the Jupiler League.
Liege sit seventh in the standings at this moment in time, but are only five points off Club Brugge in second place, with Genk being the runaway leaders at present, despite their form stumbling in recent weeks. Liege have been blowing hot and cold in recent times, but being involved in Europe can’t have been easy for Michel Preud’homme’s side. They’ve at least had a full week to get ready for this game as they look to back up last weekend’s 4-1 home win over Waregem.
Perhaps another reason for Liege seeing their form swing one way and then to the other is that they have played quite a lot of matches away from home of late. Six of their last ten have come on the road, and they certainly prefer to be in their familiar surroundings of the Stade Maurice Dufrasne. They beat both Sevilla and Krasnodar here in their UEFA Europa League group, and they’ve only lost once here in the league.
Oostende might only be five places below Standard Liege in the table but it is still an eight point difference. Oostende have scored ten fewer goals and conceded 12 more than their Saturday night opposition. They’ve been floating around the bottom reaches of the table all season, and a glance at their recent form proves why that has been the case. They’ve won just twice in their last 11 in the league, both of those victories coming at home.
Oostende are managed by Gert Verheyen, who is something of a club legend at Club Brugge, but he is now in his first club management job and even he’ll understand it’ll be a tough night for them at the weekend.
When they travel, they often fall short to the better teams in the league. They’ve been to Anderlecht, St.Truiden, Club Brugge, Genk and Antwerp, all returning empty handed. I’ll happily put Standard Liege into a similar bracket to that list of clubs, they were fighting for the league title last season after all.
Liege won the earlier season meeting, meaning it is them winning the last three head-to-head.
Unsurprisingly, they are not a big price to secure victory this weekend. However, there is an angle we can get them on our side at a better price. Roughly two-thirds on Standard Liege’s league games has ended Under 3.5 Goals. Only 26% of Oostende’s has finished above this mark too.
Just two of Standard Liege’s last 13 in all competitions has ended Over 3.5. Whilst only two of Oostende’s last ten in the league has done so far.
Standard Liege To Win and Under 3.5 Goals is nicely priced at 11/8 (Betway).
Standard Liege To Win and Under 3.5 Goals 11/8 (Betway).