Charleroi v Waregem | Saturday 8th February 2020, 17:00
Fifth takes on seventh in the Belgian top-flight on Saturday night as Charleroi entertains Waregem. Both teams certainly have aspirations of playing in European competition next season, meaning that three points this weekend is especially important. That’s certainly the case for Waregem, who are just outside the league split line, which is sixth.
Charleroi are a team that ultimately has not been losing that many games of late. Whilst they did lose narrowly away to Genk last time out, they’ve lost just twice in their last 16 in all competitions. However, one of those was versus Waregem in a cup game back before Christmas, so this weekend’s hosts will certainly be out for revenge.
Not all teams in Belgium take the domestic cup too seriously, so we’ll pass that one over. One fact we do like about Charleroi is that they really have made their home a fortress. They’re unbeaten in their last seven at home in all competitions, winning six of those, and the other was a draw against league leaders Club Brugge. Furthermore, they haven’t conceded a home goal since October!
Only Charleroi and Club Brugge have conceded under 20 goals in this league so far, and it therefore places a huge advantage in their column just for when they score. Only three times in their last 18 overall have they conceded two or more goals in a game, so if they do manage to score twice then there is a very, very good chance they’re winning.
Waregem are looking to put a run together themselves after their 5-0 win over Waasland-Beveren ended their four match league losing run. They’re a streaky team who are more than capable of putting wins together. The main reason for that is because they don’t draw that many at all, so they give their all to win and whilst it sometimes works, it can work against them. They’ve drew one game since September!
Charleroi are the team to side with here, and Waregem has actually lost on each of their previous seven trips to this ground, and conceded two or more goals every time. Charleroi to win and Over 1.5 Goals is the best 11/10 (Coral) shot you will find in a long, long time.
Las Palmas v Cadiz | Saturday 8th February 2020, 17:15
The Spanish second-tier really is a funny old league and that doesn’t look like changing any time soon. We mentioned above about a streaky team and this weekend we see another streaky kind of game in Spain. Cadiz do sit at the top of the table on 49 points, yet it is just one win in their last seven in all competitions. Las Palmas are seven without a win, but are only three points off the play-off spots.
Cadiz are a team I have been paying relatively close attention to in recent times and have watched a decent amount of their games. They are typically one of those sides that will generally see a lot of the ball and create a few chances, and that hasn’t really changed despite their poor run of form. What I’m getting at is that they’re finding a way to not win at the moment, and it is why we shouldn’t have maximum faith in them.
Las Palmas are another side I watch from time-to-time but they’ve just completely gone off the boil at the moment. They were on a fairly decent run not so long ago but have all of a sudden lost that winning feeling.
Without a doubt the main reason for this, and is highlighted frequently in the local press, is the departure of star forward Jonathan Viera. He is their spark without a shadow of a doubt, but has returned to the Chinese Super League to leave the Spanish club in a bit of a pickle.
Generally the only time I have backed Las Palmas is purely because of Viera, as he is certainly too good for this level of football. He stands out when playing in China, too, and for whatever you say about the level of football in that country, he is certainly a key player and a talisman to those around him. Therefore, we have to fade Las Palmas to a degree, too.
We have too out of form teams in need of a lift this weekend and I most definitely would not be shocked to see this end in a draw. It is a drawing league as I’ve said many times before, and that wouldn’t be a terrible score for either here.
I will sway towards a different play however and that is Cadiz Double Chance and Under 3.5 Goals at 3/4 (Betway). I just think this is a safer call than the draw. Of 52 games combined this season, only 10 has seen a minimum of four goals scored in games involving these two in league action.
We’ll just keep Cadiz onside as they’re top for a reason, and Las Palmas really are a different team without Viera and don’t want to touch them without him.