World Football: Young Boys backed for narrow Saturday success

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WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) continues-off his 2019 travails with two hand-picked best bets from across the continent on Saturday.

Mattersburg v St.Polten | Saturday 24th August 2019, 16:00

Mattersburg versus St.Polten is not necessarily a game which is likely to get the pulses running this weekend on paper. The Austrian Bundesliga is not necessarily the most exciting of leagues, especially with it already being a forgone conclusion that Salzburg will again lift the crown, but there is always good betting opportunities on a weekly basis for us to get involved with.

Mattersburg fell short of making it into the Europa League qualifiers last season when being knocked out by Rapid Vienna. This came after finishing the campaign inside the relegation group, however, the flip side is they were only six-points off bottom side Wacker Innsbruck, so it wasn’t really a great season for them. They’ve started this season poorly too, losing three of four, with those defeats reading 5-0, 5-1 and 4-1. They’re not in the best shape right now.

St.Polten had quite a good year by their standards last season. They actually made it into the top Championship Group, and they were only three points off possibly having a shout at the UEFA Europa League. It wasn’t to be though, as they were ultimately well out of their depth against the stronger teams in Austrian football. Their start to this season hasn’t been a blast, drawing twice and losing the other two, the latest being a 6-0 home loss to Salzburg.

Therefore, both teams approach this Saturday’s match following heavy losses last time out. When that is the case, it can be expected both sides will revert to type and ultimately look to do a job defensively in trying to stop leaking goals. With that in mind, I anticipate this encounter being a bit tighter, especially as neither outfit are flushed with goals themselves.

You only have to look at the head-to-head record in recent times. Eight of the last ten renewals has seen the respective encounter finish Under 2.5 goals. These teams are ultimately very evenly matched and have many similarities. That is generally the case in the Austrian top flight, with Salzburg being in a league of their own, LASK Linz headlining the rest and everyone else is much of a muchness.

Combined, both teams have already conceded 27 goals in four games each, which is terrible, despite both having faced Salzburg. Confidence will be shot, especially with another lacklustre season anticipated for them both. It is also important for each to possibly win this, so there will be some nerves around and perhaps with not so many risks taken.

Under 2.5 Goals has to be the play, even more so when we can get odds of 31/25 (Marathon).

Young Boys v FC Zurich | Saturday 24th August 2019, 18:00

Young Boys set an unbelievable high standard last season when again claiming the Swiss Super League title. They finished a cool 20 points clear of Basel at the top of the table, losing only three times in the entire campaign. Their home record of 16 wins, one draw and one defeat was to the envy of the rest of the division. They’ve started this campaign pretty well, sitting top after four games, but they haven’t dished out any big wins to which they became accustomed to last season.

Zurich haven’t had the brightest of starts to their season. They find themselves positioned sixth in this ten-team league, having played a game extra than most of their rivals. They’re conceding an average of 2.00 goals per game, having won once from those five encounters. However, that win did come last time out at home to St Gallen, which could be the confidence boost they did to now put a run of results together.

The reality is that Young Boys are going to be favourites for pretty much every game they play this season, with the possible exception to Basel away. They haven’t pulled up any trees so far, despite sitting top, so the question is if they are going to reach the kind of heights they did last season. It could be that they ultimately need a run of games to find that rhythm, which has led to some closer matches to start the season. This included a home draw to promoted Servette.

Unsurprisingly, Young Boys have dominated the recent history of this particular fixture. However, they haven’t won as heavily as their dominance in this league would suggest. They did manage a 4-0 home win in August 2018, but we’d have to go back to April 2016 for the last time they won by at least a three-goal margin. In fact, only four of the last 15 meetings has seen a minimum of four goals scored overall.

With that being the case, and with Young Boys still not quite in their top level just yet, I can see this being a closer match. I still back the hosts to get the job done, especially with Basel still firmly on their tales and building an early lead in this league is so very important.

Young Boys to win and Under 3.5 Goals is a good 6/4 (Boylesports) shot that would have paid out in seven of the last 11 renewals of this fixture.

Best Bets

Mattersburg v St.Polten – Under 2.5 Goals (31/25 Marathon)

Young Boys v FC Zurich – Young Boys to win and Under 3.5 Goals (6/4 BoyleSports)

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