World Football: Swiss champions can shine on Saturday

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WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) looks to continue his fabulous form with a selection of hand-picked best bets from across the planet on Saturday.

Karvina v Slavia Prague | Saturday 24th November 2018, 13:00

Czech league leaders Slavia Prague make the trip to Karvina at the weekend expecting to rack up another victory in their pursuit of the 1.Liga title. Karvina head into this contest sitting second from bottom, so prospects are high of an away victory on Saturday.

We’ll focus on Karvina first, it has not been a season to remember as they are winless in the league since 22nd September, making it six league contests without a win. However, they have enjoyed two cup victories during that period as well. However, they are only second bottom on goal difference, with Dukla Prague scoring fewer and conceding one more.

Slavia Prague finished last season in second spot behind usual champions Viktoria Plzen, finishing seven points behind the leaders. The season before, the same two filled the top two spots in the top-flight, but Slavia were victors by two points on that occasion.

It is a case of so far, so good for the 1992 European Cup semi-finalists. They’re two points clear of, you guessed it, Plzen, winning 12 of their 15 matches so far. Considering they are also in Europa League group stage action as well, that is some going.

Without wanting to beat around the bush too much, we expect Slavia to emerge victorious again this weekend. However, we don’t want to be piling in on a small odds-on quote. There has to be some value out there and I believe i'VE have found a little gem.

Slavia have more points on the road than any other side in the league. Karvina have the joint-worst home record in the division as well. The away side have also scored the most and conceded the fewest out of all 16 teams.

Karvina are middle of the road in relation to goals scored compared to the rest of the division, but only two other sides have conceded more than they have. It is clear where Karvina's problems currently are.

Only once in the league this season have Slavia failed to score – that came early in the season when they were also negotiating Champions League qualifiers, so we can forgive them that one.

As mentioned, Karvina do tend to score, but also concede. Both Teams To Score has paid off in 67% of their league matches so far. However, with Slavia so good defensively, we won’t jump onto this particular market.

11/15 of Slavia’s league contests have contained Over 2.5 Goals – the same is said in 10/15 for lowly Karvina. With Slavia averaging 2.47 goals per-game and Karvina conceding 2.14 in their home clashes, we envisage goals this weekend.

Slavia Prague to win and Over 2.5 Goals is priced 23/20 (Betway) – getting odds-against quotes on this is a pleasant surprise.

Wolfsberger AC v Mattersburg | Saturday 24th November 2018, 16:00

Third in the Austrian top-flight table Wolfsberger welcome third-from-bottom Mattersburg this weekend looking to maintain their strong run of form.

It is three wins in succession for Christian Ilzer’s hosts. Things are good for the club at present, so much so the boss recently penned a contract extension. Mattersburg, on the flip side, have lost their last two, although both only 2-1 against in-form duo Salzburg and Hartberg.

The reality is that the Bundesliga is a relatively tight league. There are only 12 teams in it after all and RB Salzburg already look nailed on to achieve yet another league title, currently enjoying a 12-point lead at the top and going unbeaten this season. Therefore, when the rest of the sides meet up, anything can happen.

Victory for Wolfsberger, also known as GAM FC, would take them into second spot for a day at least. Motivation therefore is high within the camp to achieve that. Only once in their history have they played in European qualifiers, back in the 2015/16 season, when it took Borussia Dortmund to defeat them.

Wolfsberger want to test themselves at this level again, so winning games like this at home is a must. Only Salzburg have collected more points at home, and the reigning champions are the only side to have netted more goals than GAM FC too.

Clearly attack is the best form of defence for this weekend’s hosts and they’ll look to attack a side that tends to concede plenty of goals. Only bottom side Admira have let in more goals than Mattersburg. Ironically, they have only been beaten heavily once this season, and that came in the opening meeting between these two sides.

Wolfsberger emerged as remarkable 6-0 winners when the away side. It is unlikely to be that straightforward again on Saturday.

Quite a telling statistic is that Mattersburg have only failed to score in 29% of their league matches this season. That is good going for a side sitting third from bottom. Wolfsberger have only failed to score 21% of the time, and have netted in every home game.

Both Teams To Score is available at 8/11 (Betway) this weekend – that is too good to ignore. This has paid out in 71% of Wolfsberger’s home matches, and we can also say it has occurred 71% of the time in Mattersburg’s matches on the road.

Wolfsberger’s attacking approach serves them well at one end, but they will concede chances and Mattersburg are more than used to playing on the break away from home.

Lech Poznan v Wisla Plock | Saturday 24th November 2018, 17:00

When most people think of the Polish Ekstraklasa, Lech Poznan are one of the teams that come to mind.

It hasn’t been the best of starts for them, which is quite common for the big sides in Poland after negotiating earlier season European qualifiers. However, we are now 15 games into the campaign and Lech sit in a mid-table position.

They’re only 10 points off league leaders Lechia, and it only takes a few wins in this league to really jump up the standings. That’ll be their motivation for victory on Saturday.

Plock, on the other hand, are also in a mid-table situation, sitting only three points behind weekend opponents Poznan. They are unbeaten in their last four, winning their last two, winning 3-0 over Slask at home and then 2-0 to bottom side Zaglebie Sosnowiec.

There are many similarities between these two outfits. Plock have netted only two more goals but conceded three more. It is likely to be fine margins to decide the outcome on Saturday.

One thing in favour of Lech is they have a decent home record, helped by their passionate supporters too. Only five teams have collected more points on home soil than they’ve done so far.

Plock are generally a modal of inconsistency when playing away. Their record reads two wins, three draws and two defeats so far. However, one of those victories was a superb 4-1 triumph over Legia Warsaw, who are the reigning champions in Poland and arguably the biggest club full stop.

Neither side are known for keeping clean sheets, which won’t come as a surprise for teams sitting in mid-table positions. For each side, it is just 20% of their matches in the league seeing them earn a clean sheet.

On the flip side, they are share a figure of 14% for times failed to score at home and away respectively. This further enhances the claims of the similarities between these two.

Poznan are odds-on favourites to win, which won’t come as a big surprise. However, given the numbers reflect how closely-matched these two are, we’ll happily swerve this particularly market.

The one area which does attract our attention is Both Teams To Score. The uniquely priced 13/19 (188Bet) is available for this contest and it surely stands a good chance of paying out. The reason being is that specifically Wisla are a very open side, and that is reflected by their season numbers across their games.

73% of Wisla's matches have witnessed both teams scoring. It is slightly lower for Lech’s games, but still over 50%. Plock have scored six in their last two away matches combined and 12th August was the last time Poznan kept a clean sheet at home in any competition.

Young Boys v Lugano | Saturday 24th November 2018, 18:00

These two teams have been regularly participants in this weekly article and they again make a welcome return following the international break.

The joy for fans of Young Boys is that they are by far the best team in the Swiss Super League and are normally a good bet to win every weekend. Their odds certainly reflect that on a weekly basis too, but with the wins arriving very often, it allows us to search for more value along those lines.

Lugano have been a regular for Both Teams To Score this season in the top-flight of Swiss football – 86% of their league matches has witnessed this, and it also applies for 100% of their away games. There is a chance that this will pay out this weekend too, despite travelling to the runaway leaders.

However, we’ll sidestep that market given the clear difference in quality between the two. Young Boys remain in Champions League action and return to that in midweek. However, they are all but certain to finish bottom so there is no need to rest any players or anything like that. We should expect to see a full strength outfit fielded by Gerardo Seoane at the Stade de Suiss.

Seoane’s side lead the way in all the basic statistics covering this league, which won’t come as a great surprise. They’ve scored the most, conceded the fewest, are strongest at home and also away. They’ve only lost once all season, coming at home to Luzern back in October. That was a freak game with a series of late goals, and they will serve as motivation in the future to not allow it to happen again.

Lugano have only earned five points away from home all season, which is the joint-worst in the division. Only Grasshoppers, Basel and Xamax have conceded more than they have done too, so perhaps the last thing they want to be doing is travelling to the league leaders this weekend.

The hosts have regularly enjoyed the head-to-head meeting between these two. Only twice in the last 12 have Lugano emerged with the three points and the last five head-to-head reads 3-0, 2-1, 4-2, 3-1 and 2-0 in favour of Young Boys.

Young Boys and Lugano are only two of three teams in the Swiss Super League to say that 11/14 matches have beaten the 2.5 line. No other side have seen more beat this.

The league is known for the amount of goals scored and Both Teams To Score paying out, and we expect goals again on Saturday. Baring a big shock, Young Boys will win, and for additional value we’ll throw in Over 2.5 Goals in as well -this market pays out 7/10 (BetBright).

You won’t get rich off this, but if Young Boys do win, it won’t be a scrappy 1-0.

Throwing all four selections in an accumulator pays just shy of 10/1!

Best Bets

Karvina v Slavia Prague – Slavia Prague to win and Over 2.5 Goals (23/20 Betway)

Wolfsberger AC v Mattersburg – Both Teams To Score (8/11 Betway)

Lech Poznan v Wisla Plock – Both Teams To Score (13/19 188Bet)

Young Boys v Lugano – Young Boys to win and Over 2.5 Goals (7/10 BetBright)

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