Club Brugge v PSG
A few weeks ago we opposed goals in Paris Saint Germain’s visit to Galatasaray and it paid dividends with the French capital club running out narrow 1-0 winners. I’m inclined to get against another strangely large goal line as they make the much shorter 180 mile trip North to Bruges.
Remarkably the Belgian outfit managed to get themselves 2-0 up at the Bernabeu in matchday 2 only to be pegged back to 2-2 by the time of the final whistle. Nevertheless, the Blau-Zwart came back with an unexpected point and are therefore yet to lose in this tournament after a 0-0 stalemate with Gala on the opening gameweek.
Phillipe Clement’s charges remain unbeaten in all competitions this season and can really make a game of this clash. It’s an athletic team, full of energy and they can get about the pitch. Even though key men from last season in Danjuma, Wesley and Marvellous Nakamba have made the switch to the premier league, they continued their decent form.
Les Parisiens top the table with two wins from two and are in a fantastic position already due to the other big gun, Real Madrid, failing to convince thus far. A 3-0 win over the Galacticos in a star-studded encounter was deserved and it was an impressive clean sheet more than anything. Thomas Tuchel was a canny operator in the transfer market with the moneybags club focusing on defensive recruits to bolster their generally top heavy side. Now there’s a great deal of balance and stability at the Parc Des Princes, something we haven’t been able to say for a few years.
With the likes of Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera coming in they have a good shield infront of the defence. Tuchel is usually known for his attacking philosophy but that alteration to a more measured and pragmatic approach has ultimately been a large contributing factor to their strong start to the season. In 12 games in all competitions so far they have won 10, what’s more, all of those 9 wins have been ‘to nil’.
9 of their 12 games have seen 3 goals or fewer and with the absence of Neymar, who picked up another injury on international duty, a large portion of their goal threat is removed. With that in mind I’ll gladly gobble up the 1.780 on under 3 goals on the asian lines. This bet would see us take a full stakes win should fewer than 3 goals be scored but throws in the caveat that if exactly 3 goals are scored then the bet is voided and stakes returned, the only way we would lose money is if 4 or more goals be scored.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 3.00 goals at 1.780
Shakhtar Donetsk v Dinamo Zagreb
I’m loving the look of group C this season, it’s a really intriguing battle for second place between Shakhtar, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta. The Ukranians went down 3-0 at home to Man City on matchday 1, a result that didn’t surprise many. They then went to Italy to take on Atalanta and they came back with a vital 3 points courtesy of a last gasp Manor Solomon strike as they picked off the attacking La Dea outfit on the break. The woodwork was hit twice in that game and Josip Ilicic missed a penalty. We put up over 2.5 as a strong selection and although it only copped due to a last minute strike the data told us it was more than fair with an expected goals output of 4.23 been posted.
In that game against City and expected goals figure of 3.29 was accrued so that deservedly broke the 2.5 line as well and I’m keen to take that approach as Zagreb make the trip North-East. The Croatian champions surprised many with a 4-0 demolition of an impressive Atalanta side on opening day, they outperformed their data on that occasion but their xG for figure of 2.52 is still seriously impressive. Somehow Atalanta failed to score but the Italians produced an xG output of 1.79 themselves so there are holes in this defences.
They were under the cosh against Pep Guardiola’s side last time out and were fortunate just to concede the two goals as the Modri gave up an xG of 3.73. If their opponents were more clinical in front of goal it could’ve been a lot worse.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in three of the four combined UCL games between this pair and an average of 3.9 expected goals per game has represented just how open and expansive this group is. I expected it to be a group with plenty of goalmouth action and that’s certainly the case, the bookies have not really pushed out the lines though and the 1.850 on over 2.5 has to be a play again here.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.850
Olympiakos v Bayern Munich
I don’t think any of us could believe our eyes when Bayern Munich took Spurs to town a few weeks ago. It was a tale of classic Germany efficiency from the Bavarians, scoring 7 from an expected goals of just 1.24. Ruthless.
That kind of scenario happens once every blue moon and although it was a frighteningly good lesson in finishing, I’m going to rule it as an outlier due to it’s simply unsustainable nature. In fact, Die Roten lost the xG battle so it was a freak result, it sounds daft but on another day Spurs would’ve won that game.
I’m still yet to be convinced that Nico Kovac is the man for the job at FC Hollywood. They lost their last game before the international break at home against an under-strength Hoffenheim side and they have a tricky looking trip to Piraeus to take on a robust Olympiakos team. Erythrolefki have won 5 and drawn 1 in the Greek Super League this season, conceding just twice in that run. They’ve got a job on their hands to at least get third place and drop into the Europa League, something that teams in countries with lesser footballing pedigree value highly, after going down 3-1 in Belgrade against Crvena Zvedza.
It was a pretty non-descript first half in that game but they were 1-0 up at the break, however a sending off in the 57th minute gave the impetus to Red Star who took advantage to win 3-1. That means this game grows in importance and I wouldn’t be massively surprised if they caused a few problems for the German Champions.
Bayern have 6 points out of 6 and a need for a win from their point of view isn’t necessarily essential, Spurs found it tough going in the atmospheric Karaiskakis Stadium and I think they’ll give their visitors a stern test. The underlying shot data in that game with Spurs concluded that a draw was a fair result and I hope they can be competitive once again on Tuesday night. We can back ‘The Legend’ at 1.830 with a +1.5 start on the asian handicap and I think that’s worth a punt. We profit if the hosts avoid defeat or lose by a single goal.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Olympiakos +1.50 at 1.830
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