Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday's matches

Dear followers,

as announced on Facebook page, I am publishing my opinion on some of Sunday's matches, including Nice AH 0 and Las Palmas AH -0,5, which were on my list for official picks, but after analysis and dropped odds I decided that I won't publish them as official picks.

Ligue 1
Toulouse - Nice
This match with prediction on Nice Asian handicap 0 (means exactly the same as draw no bet, so if match finishes with draw, stake is returned) was on my list on Wednesday, but odds were higher than 2,00. Now odds dropped bellow 1,85 and the "price" is almost 5% lower, so for me pick on Nice is not valuable anymore and I will skip it.


Let me explain why was I tempted to take Nice AH 0. With odds above 2, I was willing to risk stake of 3 units, because in my opinion Favre proved his guys, that they are excellent. They have confidence, and even if players are not well known as a world-class stars, they feel as they are. They are competing with PSG and Monaco to win the league! They lost only two matches (Monaco 3, PSG 4), but they played draw 5 times more than two other competitors and that's why they are 4 points behind. But still, we need to consider also the other fact and that's that they have 18 points more than Lyon! They have really strong midfield, which can take possession to each team in the league, they have exceptional players in offensive part of the team, and I believe that they will have same problems as Monaco at the end of the season, because it will be tough to hold all those players. I need to mention also that they had a lot of injury problems, they were pretty affected by African cup of nations, they are without key striker and key midfielder right now, but they are still on a winning road. Toulouse is tricky team, specially with winter signing Delort, but they will suffer in midfield for sure. They will hardly keep the possession, and except some counters, Nice will be the strongest team, the team in control of the ball, and team with more created chances. 

Toulouse have all important players available. Defender Michelin, Akpa Akpro and Veskovac are on injury list, but none of them played visible role in this season.

Nice as mentioned will miss Cyprien, Plea and Obaddi.


St. Etienne - Rennes
St. Etienne will miss Pogba, Soderlund, M'Bengue, Monnet-Paquet are all injured, while Roux, Tannane and Dabo were sent to reserve squad!
Rennes will miss Diakhaby, Danzé, Amalfitano.

Even if this match wasn't on my list, I need to admit that after seeing who will miss the match for home team, St. Etienne under 1,25 goals at price 1,97 looks pretty solid for me!


La Liga
Las Palmas - Deportivo Alaves


Prediction on the list was Las Palmas AH -0,5 (Remember that all rules of Asian handicaps are explained here! Still decent odds here, but what bothers me here is that Viera felt discomfort after the training and he isn't included in the squad against Alaves. In my opinion, he is key figure of this Canarian team with 7 goals and 7 assists in this season, with 85% passing accuracy. Besides him, defensive midfielder Vicente Gomez will miss the match as well, with same reasons, so Setien will miss two important midfielders in his team. Buildup will be different for sure, and even if Boateng is back after suspension, I won't let myself to underestimate Alaves. Only five teams conceded less goals than them, and even if they scored only 31 goals in 32 matches, they are tough opponent, especially for those mid-table teams and it's not a coincidence that they are on 11th spot. Lots of people thought that they will have hard time to stay in the league with this squad, but they proved everyone wrong. Attack of Las Palmas will be strong, but without connection with midfield, it will be tough to score easily. Halilović might jump into Viera role, but I don't know what can we expect from him as he is far from consistent player. Their central defender Bigas is in amazing form, so I could count on him as well, but all in all, I decided that odds are not high enough for me to put the match as official pick. 


Premier league
Burnley - Manchester United


As many of you know, I tried to hold my hands away from this league, as predict it from my point of view (My way of analysing matches is explained here), there are too many unpredicted things. There is much more physical duels, much more aerial duels, much more situations where winning second/third.. balls are deciding the winner, etc. But on Wednesday (that's the day, when I am writing down matches which I will analyse by the way), I found two bets valuable here. First was Asian handicap +1 on Burnley, while second was under 2,5. Then Thursday came and Manchester United won after overtime and lost their key player Zlatan Ibrahimović due to injury, and I knew that I am already too late with pick. Odds dropped, from 1,9 to 1,68 so there is no value anymore, even though Burnley have shown that they are strong team, especially at home where Tottenham is the only team who won in 2017.

Burnley will miss midfielder Marney and defender Kevin Long, while striker Vokes and midfielder Arfield are questionable.

Manchester United will miss striker Ibrahimović, midfielder Juan Mata and defenders Phil Jones, Smalling and Marcos Rojo.


La Liga
Real Madrid - Barcelona


I received few questions about the match, and my response is to stay away from this match. Lots of people are expecting huge win of Real Madrid, but even if ways of both clubs right now looks like Real Madrid is raising, while Barcelona is drowning, this is El Clasico and everything can happen. There are more and more questions above the Catalan's leaderboard, it's obvious that they are in bad relations with players, while connection between the coach and all the players is under question mark from winter in season 2014/15 but Barcelona won "tripleta" in this season, and everything somehow stayed calm. It's getting more and more obvious that all the problems, started in second part of 2014/15 season are still there, and that they are escalating. Enrique will leave after season, Barcelona's style of football is totally unrecognisable, also behaviour during transfer windows are far from normal, but all in all, we need to admit that this Real Madrid isn't on their highest level neither. Bale is back, which probably means that we'll see famous trio Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale in attack, but let's be honest. It's obvious that this trio isn't performing as well as they should. Bale isn't in best shape after coming back after injury, while Benzema has poor season as well. He scored only 9 goals  and added 4 assists in his 24 appearances in this season which is far from enough for Real's number 9. On the other side we have very predictable Barcelona. Mainly dangerous on left flank, while right flank they are not dangerous at all. Today, they will be without Neymar, which means that they won't be as predictable. No one knows how will lineup of Barcelona looks like, who will be in role of Neymar, if there will be anyone? Will Enrique change formation? Give different roles to his players? Even if he didn't convinced me at all in his time as Barcelona coach, he won't have problems with motivation here, as players are motivated by themselves when it comes for big matches as this one will be. I wrote a lot about both teams in "my point of view on Champions league posts", being exactly correct about what could we expect from Barcelona against Juventus, so I won't repeat myself. In my opinion, this match can go in either way, but it's true that Real Madrid is little favourite. Is it big enough to stake on them? That's your decision, I am staying away from this match.

Zidane will miss defenders Varane and Pepe.
Enrique will miss Mathieu, vidal, Rafinha and suspended Neymar, while Arda is questionable.

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