World Football: Wretched road-trippers to suffer in Rotterdam


WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) continues his quest for global value with a selection of hand-picked best bets from across the planet on Saturday.

Hajduk Split v Gorica | Saturday 22nd February 2020, 14:00

We’re taking our first trip to the Croatian league for a while and Saturday’s match-up between Hajduk Split and Gorica is one which certainly catches the eye. Whilst it once again looks as though Dinamo Zagreb have wrapped up yet another league title, considering they hold a 12-point league at the top, Hajduk Split are the team in second and have been going well this season.

That is until last weekend when they slipped to a 2-1 away loss to Slaven Belupo, but it is worth bearing in mind that they did lead that game 1-0 and a red card late in the first half would eventually prove too much of a handicap to overcome. They’ll therefore be eager to get back onto the pitch and put things right.

Gorica certainly haven’t shone since returning from the winter break, having failed to score in any of their last three, although that does include two fairly creditable draws against Rijeka and Osijek, who are both in the top four. Whilst they don’t have an excellent away record, it is still the fourth-best in the division, and so they’re capable of causing a shock on their day.

One thing Split have done successfully this season is make their Stadion Poljud base something of a fortress. They have W10-D0-L1 of their home league games, and that loss was 4-0 against Rijeka, although it was only 1-0 until the latter stages.

Ten of Hadjuk's 12 wins have been at home, and 30 of their 41 points. They’ve lost just once at home in the league since March 2019. It can’t really be emphasised how strong they are at home.

Two of Gorica’s three away wins came to teams currently in the bottom-three, and whilst they won away in Rijeka back in October, that did come against 10-men. The fact of the matter is that they have a W8-D7-L7 record this season, which highlights how inconsistent they are. They’re certainly not one to gain much confidence on, especially now they’re suddenly struggling for goals.

I expected Hajduk to be much, much shorter than the price they are. That is still to our gain as it allows us to take advantage of this extra value. Rather than just a straight home win, we’ll throw in Over 1.5 Goals into the picture, too.

Hajduk Split to Win and Over 1.5 Goals is a 17/20 (Betway) shot, and I am most surprised by the generous price. The hosts should win, and only eight of 44 league games these two have played combined this season failed to contain at least two goals.

Feyenoord v Fortuna Sittard | Saturday 22nd February 2020, 18:45

There is a pretty clear mismatch in the Dutch Eredivisie this weekend when Feyenoord takes on Fortuna Sittard in Rotterdam on Saturday night.

Feyenoord may sit third in the table, but overcoming a 10-point gap to league leaders Ajax may prove too much. Still, they’re top of the table in terms of the form guide, having achieved six straight league victories.

Sittard are their opposition on this occasion, and it is actually a team Feyenoord has had a few issues with of late. Of the last five head-to-head encounters, Sittard has won two of those and also forced extra time in a cup match. Feyenoord therefore will know that they cannot afford to take them lightly, but at the same time they know if they play well, they should win well.

Sittard are involved in a relegation battle, which is to be expected. They’ve only lost once in their last four, but this wasn’t the toughest run of matches and if anything they’ll possibly be slightly disappointing not to have another win to their name. The concern for them is that they’re away on Saturday, and they have the joint-worst away record in the league. They’re yet to win on the road, and even last season they only won twice on their travels.

On the flip side, Feyenoord are going great guns at their historic De Kuip. They’re unbeaten here in all competitions since last September, and have defeated the likes of PSV and Porto here in the current campaign.

Under the stewardship of veteran Dick Advocaat, the 15-time league champions have gained real momentum, and to the point where they have an outside shot at winning the title. They remain in the domestic cup, but are out of the Europa League, so they don’t have too many distractions holding them back.

They’ve been scoring plenty of goals of late, too. Eight of their 11 Eredivisie clashes at home has contained Over 2.5 Goals, and in five of their last six at home overall they’ve managed to score at least two goals. Furthermore, they’ve been winning at half-time on seven occasions at home, as well, and they’re unbeaten when leading at the interval this season, and on ten occasions.

Sittard have conceded five to Ajax, four to AZ, five to PSV, seven combined to Vitesse and six to Utrecht this season. They clearly struggle against the top sides in the league, especially this season. Also, Feyenoord has scored at least three goals in nine of the 14 clashes with current bottom-half opponents.

This game cries out bet-builder, and Feyenoord/Feyenoord HT/FT and Over 2 Goals is an attractive 1/1 (Bet365) shot for us to get involved with.

Best Bets

Hajduk Split v Gorica – Hajduk Split to Win and Over 1.5 Goals (17/20 Betway)

Feyenoord v Fortuna Sittard – Feyenoord/Feyenoord HT/FT & Over 2 Goals (1/1 Bet365)

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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