The Daily Acca: Lens to triumph in Ligue Two

Goals to flow in League Two

Bet 1: Back Over 2.5 Goals in Mansfield v Lincoln @ 11/10 – KO 19:45 GMT

This is a top of the table League Two clash that sees leaders, Lincoln, travel to fourth placed, Mansfield. The visitors are five points clear at the top, and with three earning automatic promotion, they look set to be playing in the third tier next season.

The hosts can move into third with a draw this evening, and this is their game in hand over the MK Dons. They couldn’t have asked for a much tougher fixture, but at least they are at home.

I’m going for plenty of goals in this match tonight as Mansfield have seen three of their last five on this ground see over 2.5 backers collect. They have been in great form in front of their own fans as it’s five wins in a row at the One Call Stadium.

Lincoln are unbeaten in seven on their travels, and five of their last eight away from home have seen this selection land. They scored two goals or more themselves in six of their last seven, and they will be aiming for another win here to solidify their place at the top.

Lens to pick-up rare away win

Bet 2: Lens @ 19/20 – KO 19:45 GMT

Lens don’t have the greatest of away records but they have a great opportunity to turn that around tonight as they travel to Ajaccio.

The hosts are down in 16th place in Ligue Two and haven’t won a game since a 1-0 win at Lorient on January 18th. They haven’t been victorious at home since November 9th, and their previous win to that was at the end of August. This season they are operating at a 50% loss rate at home.

Lens are fifth, but as mentioned, their record on the road isn’t great. They have won five times away from home this term, but it’s just one in their last eight. Their overall recent form has been good though, taking 13 points from a possible 18, and I fancy them to move into third place thig evening with a win.

Goals at a premium in Argentina

Bet 3: Back Under 1.5 Goals in Banfield v Godoy Cruz @ 7/4 – KO 22:00 GMT

We conclude in Argentina for a Superliga clash between 15th and 14th that I think will have very few goals.

Banfield’s matches may well be averaging 2.27 goals each time this season, but eight of their 22 have still ended with one goal or fewer, and in their last 10 home outings, they have only netted more than once on one occasion. At the other end they did keep four clean sheets during that period, and they only conceded more than once on two occasions.

Godoy Cruz come into this fixture having had three 0-0’s from their last four games in all competitions. Their last two in this division were goalless, and nine of their 22 this year have seen this selection land. Away from home they have failed to find the net in their last three in the league.

Source: BetFair French

    

Champions League Quarter-Finals: Don’t write off the outsiders

Pep Guardiola arms outstretched 1280.jpg

Of last year’s final four only Liverpool remain. The holders, Real Madrid, are out and Europe will have a new ruler for the first time since 2015. The question is: will the Spanish continue to reign? The Exchange makes Barcelona third favourites @ [4.7].

It’s been six years since a team from another country lifted the most coveted trophy in club football. Unlike then (when Bayern beat Dortmund in an all-German final) the winner will not hail from the Bundesliga. The chances are they will be English instead. The Premier League has four teams in the last eight for the first time in a decade. It’s about time when you consider the financial disparity between it and Europe’s other top leagues.

City favourites but Spurs disrespected by the market

The market has priced Manchester City the shortest @ [3.45]. They are the competition’s top scorers and are still on course for a historic quadruple. As in the Carabao and FA Cups, the draw has been favourable up until now. With the exception of the Lyon games, City have yet to be tested in encounters with Hoffenheim, Shakhtar and Schalke.

Given a choice of which English team they’d like to play, Spurs would perhaps have been their preference even though Mauricio Pochettino was the first coach to inflict defeat on Pep Guardiola at City. Of all the Champions League quarter-finalists Spurs have the longest odds to qualify @ [5.1], which seems a little disrespectful despite their poor recent run of results against City.

Guardiola may have won this competition twice before but the last time was in 2011. His supreme Bayern team never went further than the semi-finals. The curve-ball here could be a potential Manchester derby in the FA Cup just days before the first leg against Spurs, which will end up being held at the new White Hart Lane.

Barca and United will not lack belief

United meanwhile received the toughest draw of the lot and one that will see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer return to the Camp Nou, the place where he entered into legend. As with Juventus, they will believe impossible is nothing after completing an improbable comeback in the round of 16.

Barca play Atletico the weekend before the first leg at Old Trafford and would have preferred softer preparation ahead of their visit to Salford. The Catalans have gone out at this stage in each of the last three seasons and have had to watch rivals Madrid bring the trophy hope to parade before their fans. Can Lionel Messi ensure Barça invert the trend? United are trading @ [3.4] to make the semis and [24] to emulate the successes of ’68,’99 and 2008 when they last were crowned champions of Europe.

Liverpool well placed to repeat last year’s final appearance

One imagines Liverpool will await the winner of that tie after drawing Porto in the knock-outs for a second season in a row. The Reds wiped the floor with them this time last year, triumphing 5-0 at the Dragāo to render to the second leg at Anfield a formality. For all the debate about where their priorities should lie, last year’s runners’ up have a great shot at returning to the final and it’s curious to see them fourth favourites to do just that @ [2.62]. Barça are shorter @ [2.4] and you can understand why when Messi keeps delivering. But Liverpool are the better collective and it would be fascinating to see Alisson and Virgil van Dijk against the GOAT.

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Ronaldo can’t rescue Juve all the time

Which brings us to the Argentine’s rival for that status; Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus. The potential for him to meet Messi in the final for the first time since 2009 remains and would represent a dream come true for UEFA and broadcasters worldwide. Ronaldo’s performance against Atleti showed, in his words, “why Juventus signed me.” The Old Lady’s vice-president Pavel Nedved said they were neither happy nor unhappy with drawing Ajax in the last eight.

Ajax’s own magnificent comeback at the Bernabeu serves as a warning. Erik Ten Hag’s talented side want this journey to last as long as possible because they know that at the end of it the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt are leaving Amsterdam. It’s a trap-game and Juventus will have to play better at the Johan Cruyff Arena than they did at the Wanda. Priced @ [4.6], the second favourites should be OK and will likely have wrapped up the Scudetto by the time Ajax visit Turin for the second leg. But one of the trends of the Champions League in recent years is the presence of an outsider, an upstart in the final four. It’s enough to think of Monaco and Roma. This year it could be Spurs and it could be Ajax who are [4.1] to qualify.

The Champions League feels wide open. The NBA markets itself as the place where the amazing happens but the same applies to this competition and the quarter-finals can’t come quick enough.

Source: Betfair Champions League

    

Football Bet of the Day: Boredom in Bavaria

We’re kicking off the week in Germany, but as Kevin Hatchard warns, don’t expect to have fun.

“Furth have failed to score in seven of their last eight away games, and Jahn Regensburg haven’t scored more than twice in a league home match this term.”

Back Under 2.5 Goals at [2.3]

Second-tier yawnfest on the cards

Jahn Regensburg v Greuther Furth
Monday 18 March, 19:30
Live on BT Sport 1

Polish pain for our pal Tobias yesterday, as Zaglebie Lubin played out a goalless draw with Arka Gdynia. He still made a profit for the week though, so he can enjoy his time off, perhaps by visiting Lubin’s zoo or town hall (that’s literally all I could find on the tourist site).

We’ll start our week in Bavaria, because promotion-chasing Jahn Regensburg are in action against Greuther Furth, with the home stretch of the Bundesliga 2 season coming into sharp focus.

Jahn Regensburg, who have previously been coached by current Stuttgart boss Markus Weinzierl and ex-Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich, are having a strong season under Achim Beierlorzer. He is a former RB Leipzig coach, and after leading Regensburg to an incredibly impressive top-five finish last term, he has them in the mix again.

However, Jahn’s home form is patchy to say the least. They beat northern giants Hamburg 2-1 last month, but they have only won two of their last eight league outings at the Continental Arena. They have collected more points on their travels than they have at home. Goalscoring on home turf has been a thorny issue – Jahn have only scored multiple goals in three of their last 11 home games, and they haven’t scored three goals in a home game since April.

Greuther Furth are only six points above the bottom three, and their problem on the road is that they simply don’t score enough goals. They have found the net a pitiful eight times in 13 away games, and they have drawn a blank in seven of their last eight away matches in the second tier.

With Jahn misfiring at home, and Furth dreadful in attack on their travels, I’ll back Under 2.5 Goals here at [2.3].

2019 P/L

Points Staked: 35
Points Returned: 27.32
P/L: -7.68 points

Source: Betfair German

    

Football Bet of the Day: Boredom in Bavaria

We’re kicking off the week in Germany, but as Kevin Hatchard warns, don’t expect to have fun.

“Furth have failed to score in seven of their last eight away games, and Jahn Regensburg haven’t scored more than twice in a league home match this term.”

Back Under 2.5 Goals at [2.3]

Second-tier yawnfest on the cards

Jahn Regensburg v Greuther Furth
Monday 18 March, 19:30
Live on BT Sport 1

Polish pain for our pal Tobias yesterday, as Zaglebie Lubin played out a goalless draw with Arka Gdynia. He still made a profit for the week though, so he can enjoy his time off, perhaps by visiting Lubin’s zoo or town hall (that’s literally all I could find on the tourist site).

We’ll start our week in Bavaria, because promotion-chasing Jahn Regensburg are in action against Greuther Furth, with the home stretch of the Bundesliga 2 season coming into sharp focus.

Jahn Regensburg, who have previously been coached by current Stuttgart boss Markus Weinzierl and ex-Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich, are having a strong season under Achim Beierlorzer. He is a former RB Leipzig coach, and after leading Regensburg to an incredibly impressive top-five finish last term, he has them in the mix again.

However, Jahn’s home form is patchy to say the least. They beat northern giants Hamburg 2-1 last month, but they have only won two of their last eight league outings at the Continental Arena. They have collected more points on their travels than they have at home. Goalscoring on home turf has been a thorny issue – Jahn have only scored multiple goals in three of their last 11 home games, and they haven’t scored three goals in a home game since April.

Greuther Furth are only six points above the bottom three, and their problem on the road is that they simply don’t score enough goals. They have found the net a pitiful eight times in 13 away games, and they have drawn a blank in seven of their last eight away matches in the second tier.

With Jahn misfiring at home, and Furth dreadful in attack on their travels, I’ll back Under 2.5 Goals here at [2.3].

2019 P/L

Points Staked: 35
Points Returned: 27.32
P/L: -7.68 points

Source: BetFair Tips

    

Euro 2020 Qualifiers Betting: Germany attempt to move on from dreadful 2018

At this point in the season, most European coaches and fans alike feel the same about international football – that it’s an unwelcome distraction, interrupting the real business of the culmination of club seasons all across the continent. With domestic title races poised and both the Champions League and Europa League reaching the last eight, it’s not hard to understand the sense of intrusion that some have.

Such is the routine of feeling this at this time of year that it’s easy to overlook how international football has changed in Europe. The Nations League was an overwhelming positive reshuffle of the international calendar, particularly for supporters sick to the back teeth of half-paced friendlies. It continued the positive mood created by a thoroughly enjoyable 2018 World Cup.

Having said that, the tournament in Russia wasn’t a great experience for everyone. Germany, who became the fourth holders in five tournaments to fail in their defence of the trophy in the group stage, are still struggling to deal with the fallout from not just what went wrong, but the manner in which it went wrong.

A fresh start?

This week, then, represents a new start for Joachim Löw and company as the new, streamlined qualifiers for Euro 2020 get underway. After playing Serbia in a friendly in Wolfsburg on Wednesday – Germany are big favourites at [1.41], with the draw at [4.7] – the real business begins on Sunday night when Germany travel to face the Netherlands in the first match of their Euro 2020 campaign.

The venue and the opposition are significant. Germany’s last trip to Amsterdam was just five months ago, and they were humiliated 3-0 on their way to relegation from their inaugural Nations League participation. It was a fitting end to an awful year for Löw’s team, in which they lost an unprecedented six of their 13 matches. After a decent opening to the Nations League, in a goalless yet entertaining draw with France, the defeat to the Dutch was confirmation that cracks were simply being papered over.

Given that, it’s not hard to understand why Löw felt drastic action was needed to begin to turn things around – and, perhaps, to save his job. Two weeks ago, the coach and DfB general manager Oliver Bierhoff made a visit to Bayern Munich’s training centre to tell veterans Mats Hummels, Jérôme Boateng and Thomas Müller that they would no longer be considered for selection.

That the coach wants to move on is fair enough, and for all their sterling service Hummels and Boateng in particular don’t present an overwhelming case for retention. Such a sweeping gesture, though, is fraught with risk, and it’s difficult to argue that the trio deserved what amounted to a public sacking after their roles in past successes, and in particular the 2014 World Cup triumph.

In his desperation to put distance between himself and the failures of 2018, Löw has created a situation – angering Bayern, the country’s preeminent club, putting pressure on new picks like Lukas Klostermann and Niklas Stark, plus leaving the Bayern three as shadows in the background. If he should have to call them back having publicly closed the door on them, it will be beyond embarrassment.

Excelling at the Euros

The early betting on a Euro 2020 winner has Germany as fourth favourites at [8.4] – joint with England – which tells us that the market feels there is a considerable way back to be made for Löw and company. Finishing in the group’s top two should be straightforward, but the manner matters right now. A result in Amsterdam would go a way to beginning that process, but another defeat would cast doubt over whether Löw is the right man to lead the rebuild.

Source: BetFair Tips