Weekend Preview – 10/02/17

Highlights

English Premier League
Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday 5.30pm)
Tottenham have emerged as most people’s favourites to put up a challenge against Chelsea, but that sort of expectation means they need to be going to places like Anfield looking to win. Only recently they went to Manchester City and escaped with a 2-2 draw after being completely outplayed by Pep Guardiola’s side, and Mauricio Pochettino surely knows that his players cannot have such an off day here, despite Liverpool’s recent woes. The form of Jurgen Klopp’s men makes this a truly fascinating meeting; with it being a little shocking that Spurs are available at +0.5 for decent odds.

Vertonghen and Rose being absent for the visitors is undoubtedly playing a part in that pricing, but Lovren is a major doubt for Liverpool and Lallana has also missed some training this week too. Naturally we’re going to take the visitors at the line suggested, but we’ll also pair it with the goals because it feels like the market is purely pricing this as a “big game” with a relatively and we feel the intent for both is to go for the win. We price this one up as being closer to 3 than 2.5, looking at it from every angle.

Suggestion: Tottenham Hotspur +0.5 @ 1.77 and Over 2.5 @ 2.01

Italian Serie A
Lazio vs. Milan (Monday 7.45pm)
Serie A is at it again this week with another marquee fixture, which sees fourth-place Lazio hosting seventh-placed Milan. We’re a little far away from kick-off to be absolutely certain on all the information around this one, but our current view has Lazio at -0.5 favourites and sees a goal line of 2.75. Looking at the market the pricing is currently on Lazio -0.75 and 2.5, which means that an Overs bet becomes a possibility immediately.

There’s no way we could be tempted to back Milan in a game of this size given their recent form, especially with Lazio coming in off the back of a crazy 2-6 win at Pescara, which saw their forward line returned to full strength for the first time in a while. We think that their firepower will probably be too much for the visitors, but in the circumstances it’s not like Milan can just lie down and accept defeat and it’s not really in their approach to play too cautiously – they conceded 22 chances to Bologna last time out!

Suggestion: Over 2.5 @ 1.90

English Premier League
Swansea City vs. Leicester City (Sunday 4pm)
It’s fair to say that this game being important in the context of the relegation battle is a surprise at this relatively late stage of the season, with Leicester certainly not expected to be back in danger of the drop after their amazing title win. However, if you speculatively backed The Foxes to go down before the big kick-off in August then we doff our caps to you, because we definitely didn’t.

Both teams are effectively at full strength here and Swansea are deserving quarter-goal favourites, while the goal line is pitched at an attractive 1.84 for Over 2.25. We won’t bite at this despite believing both teams will be attempting to win, because Leicester have tightened up lately and Paul Clement seems to be doing serious work on Swansea’s shape. There are probably still enough error prone defenders in this one to make us regret a missed opportunity, however…

Suggestion: Swansea DNB @ 1.75

Netherlands Eredivisie
PSV vs. Utrecht (Sunday 3.45pm)
Can someone explain to us why PSV are almost -2 at home to a Utrecht side who are absolute full strength and haven’t been beaten by more than a one-goal margin all season? Maybe we’ll be made to look foolish by the final score, but it is key to note that PSV have only beaten this handicap twice all term at home (against 15th place Excelsior and 16th place Den Haag). Utrecht are fourth and are unbeaten in their last six on the road since a narrow 3-2 defeat to Ajax. On trends and team news we have to go for the visitors, but we’re hopeful that their finishing is a lot more clinical than it has been lately. Pairing with overs is an option…

Suggestion: Utrecht +1.75 @ 1.80

German Bundesliga 1
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday 2.30pm)
Leverkusen being below Frankfurt in February is extremely interesting, but the home side are still relatively heavy favourites here. This looks a bit off upon first viewing, but the visitors have lost Hustzi to China in the last week and are still without Fabian. This reduces a lot of their creativity and threat from midfield, which means that they are expected to play more cautiously. We don’t think they have enough goals to win this, but they are capable of frustrating a struggling Leverkusen and could get a 0-0 that sees Schmidt relieved of his responsibilities after the final whistle.

Suggestion: Under 2.5 @ 1.84

Ones to Watch

English Championship
Rotherham United vs. Blackburn Rovers (Saturday 3pm)
Rotherham aren’t down just yet but they need to be winning games like this to have any chance of surviving. Blackburn have been horrendous away from home, but have the better team news, meaning we’re going out on a bit of a limb suggesting the hosts on a plus handicap.

Suggestion: Rotherham +0.25 @ 1.83

Netherlands Eredivisie
Heerenveen vs. AZ (Sunday 1.30pm)
Last weekend we went against AZ based on their team news and this weekend we’re going to do the opposite, because Heerenveen are missing their key winger Larsson. He has been responsible for an enormous third of their home goals AND half of their home assists, making him almost indispensible.

Suggestion: AZ +0.25 @ 1.90

Portuguese Primeira Liga
Vitoria Guimaraes vs. Porto (Saturday 8.30pm)
The moneyline of +1 looks jarring at first sight, but when you delve deeper and see that Guimaraes are without top scorer Marega, key creative force Hernani AND defensive midfield lynchpin Rafael Miranda things start to make more sense. Porto are absolute full strength, so we’re happy to back them.

Suggestion: Porto -0.75 @ 1.76

Swiss Super League
Luzern vs. Young Boys (Sunday 3pm)
Switzerland has thrown up great games all season and tends to be excellent for viewing as a neutral. This contest sees second heading to third and it looks incredibly tough to split them, though Young Boys should be narrow favourites instead of Luzern. They’re unbeaten in their last six away.

Suggestion: Young Boys +0.25 @ 1.80

Greek Super League
Xanthi vs. PAOK (Sunday 3.15pm)
Fourth host third in Greece to round off this Weekend Preview, with PAOK on a five game winning streak away from home to see them as deserving favourites off a -0.5 line. That looks fair enough to us, with the goal line of 2 also offering no leverage at all.

Suggestion: N/A

*Odds accurate at time of writing

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