World Football: Swiss table-toppers to run riot on Saturday


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.

San Martin de Tucuman v Defensa y Justicia | Saturday 2nd February 2019, 00:10

Heading into this weekend, there is only one side in the top-flight of Argentinian football that boosts an unbeaten record. Considering most sides have played 15 or 16 games, then that is some going. If we told you that a quote of 23/20 was available for that side to win on Saturday, then you’d probably be surprised. However, that is exactly the case.

Defensa y Justicia, known as Halcón to locals, sit second in the table and are very much hunting down what would be their first ever Superliga success. Considering they finished ninth last season, they have showcased rapid improvement under former Arsenal defender Nelson Vivas this time around.

Halcón boast a record of 10 wins and six draws from their 16 encounters so far, sitting only three points behind league leaders Racing Club. Facing San Martin de Tucuman, back in this league after winning promotion last season, who have only three victories all season, might suggest a routine away win. The market has this about right, but there are other factors to consider here.

San Martin de Tucuman, also known as Los Cirujas, are something of a draw specialist. They have drew the joint-most amount of games in the league with eight, meaning half of their matches have ended all-square. Five of those have come on home soil, and they are the only side to have inflicted defeat on league leaders Racing Club this season.

Having said that, consistency just is not in their DNA it what appear. Their last victory came on 1st December and they are in a period of conceding plenty of goals. In their last eight games in league and cup, they’ve conceded at least twice in seven of those.

Another reason for seeing a fairly generous price on Halcón this weekend is that they will be in Copa Sudamericana action in a few days’ time during the week. They will travel to Brazil to take on Botafogo in the first leg, before taking in the second leg later in the month. That of course means there is a chance that a degree of rotation will be considered for this encounter.

This is not for certain though, and Halcón do actually have a decent record in their league games prior to playing in this competition in recent times. When having a league game before Copa Sudamericana action on the last six games, they’re unbeaten in six, winning five of those. Plus, with them in such a great position in the league, they won’t want to squander the chance of that three-point gap at the top opening up further.

Halcón last lost in the league back in May, losing only two Copa Sudamericana clashes since then. They are the form team and the league table reflects that they should be winning this. Odds of 23/20 (Bet Victor) is too good to reject.

Vitesse v Heerenveen | Saturday 2nd February 2019, 17:30

Ask anyone that has been following the Dutch Eredivisie for even a little while and they will tell you the same thing when noticing that Vitesse are playing Heerenveen. Goals, goals, goals is the answer, and emphasising on three occasions is more than appropriate.

The top-flight in the Netherlands is known for its attacking play at the best of times, and two clubs like this typify it quite nicely. They won’t ever win the league whilst PSV and Ajax are playing as they are, but when they face against one another, knowing victory is realistic, they’ll go all the way to try and achieve that.

These two aren’t in the best of form at present either, which will probably highly the importance of three points even further. Attack is the best form of defence for these two, and that won’t change for 90 minutes on Saturday night.

Vitesse do sit fifth in the table, so they are rightly the favourites for this contest. Under the management of Leonid Slutsky, the former Hull, CSKA Moscow and Russia boss, Vitesse are pretty much performing as they should be. The Europa League play-offs spots are the best they can really hope for.

Heerenveen find themselves 11th in the standings, but quite incredibly it is only top three PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord who have scored more goals than they’ve done. On the flip side, only De Graafschap and Excelsior have conceded more than they’ve done. Remember attack being the best form of defence? It certainly applies in their case.

We’ll cut to the chase, we’re using the Bet Builder to give ourselves odds of 10/11 (Bet365) on Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals being witnessed. Here’s why.

BTTS has paid out in 78% of Vitesse’s home league games, and 68% when including those played on the road. It isn’t much different for Heerenveen, as 70% of their away clashes, and 74% including home Eredivisie games for each side netting.

Vitesse have 16% clean sheets, whilst Heerenveen it’s just a lowly 5%. Also, there’s been an average of 3.60 goals present in Vitesse home games this season. Considering that Heerenveen have scored 40 and conceded 45 so far, it means no other side in the Eredivisie has a higher goals per game ratio than the 4.50 they have. 13/19 Heerenveen’s matches has featured a minimum of three goals. That has been the case for five games straight for Vitesse as well.

Goals are the name of the game in this one. Having said that, a meeting in 2015 did finish 0-0.

Young Boys v Xamax | Saturday 2nd February 2019, 18:00

For those of you with Swiss Super League withdrawal symptoms then fear not as the league resumes following its winter break this weekend. The 10 sides in the top-flight of Swiss football last played before Christmas and have since been taking in various friendly encounters to keep them on their toes.

Both Young Boys and Xamax have taken in five matches across January, but form in those games really counts for little. The reality is that Saturday’s clash is ultimately a top versus bottom encounter, and Young Boys really should emerge victorious. You won’t get rich backing them in any game this season given their odds, so we have to squeeze out some extra value elsewhere.

Considering the vast gap between the two, we’re backing Young Boys to claim something of an emphatic and comfortable success on the day. With them craving competitive action after last doing so on 16th December, then a game of this nature is probably the one they’d have wanted the most. They no longer have any European distractions and all focus is on securing another league title.

Young Boys are 19 points clear of Basel, meaning Basel are actually closer to the bottom of the table than top, despite sitting second. This reflects Young Boys’ level of dominance in this league.

Young Boys played Xamax twice in the league in 2018, securing two wins, the scores being 5-2 and 4-1. Young Boys are scoring 3.22 goals per-game on average this season, and they’ve been scoring for fun this season. Unsurprisingly, they are the highest-scorers in the league, and they also have the best defensive record.

Xamax are the only side to concede over 40 goals and they’ve got the worst defensive record by far. Only Grasshoppers have scored fewer than they have done as well.

It is 10 without a win for Xamax, and they’ve won just the twice all season. Young Boys have lost once, and that was a 3-2 home deficit to Luzern back in October, but this came a few days after a tough trip to Juventus, so they had excuses. These two teams met in the last game before the winter break and Young Boys were dominant in that away fixture.

The only thing that really sees Young Boys underperform here is if they take their opponents lightly. They must be eager to get back into league action however and this could get nasty for Xamax if Young Boys play to their maximum.

Clearly we’re going for a Young Boys Win here, but for extra value we’re including Over 3.5 Goals too. This pays out 21/20 (Coral).

In terms of goals, matches involving Young Boys and also Xamax have featured the most amount of goals in the Swiss Super League this season. It reads 4.30 for Young Boys and 3.80 for Xamax. 14/18 of Young Boys’ matches have ended Over 3.5, and the same it said in 13/18 for Xamax.

There are too many reasons not to back this selection and we’d be quite unlucky for it not to pay out.

Best Bets

San Martin de Tucuman v Defensa y Justicia – Defensa y Justicia to win (23/20 Bet Victor)

Vitesse v Heerenveen – Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals (10/11 Bet365)

Young Boys v Xamax – Young Boys To Win and Over 3.5 Goals (21/20 Coral)

About Author

Since leaving university I've worked as a Research/Football Performance/Betting Analyst. I live and breath all things football. This has gradually helped me with my betting when looking for value and ultimately, winning selections. I've experienced both the bad, and more recently, the good supporting Lincoln City, with whom my weekends aren't the same without.

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