Athletic Bilbao aims first win over Real Madrid in 4 years

bilbaoSome milestones seem impossible to hit but teams such as Real Madrid do it frequently so you have to give them credit. This year, they are trying not only to win the championship but also to win 10 consecutive games without conceding a goal. They are just one step away from this objective, with more than 10 consecutive victories, but in each of the last 9 games they kept a clean sheet.

They didn’t face Atletico Madrid or Barcelona over the span though and they didn’t even lock horns with Real Sociedad for what that matters. This is why it is only natural for punters to think twice before backing them at full stakes to win at Bilbao without conceding a goal. Their opponents are in excellent form and both teams played midweek in Copa del Rey, so fatigue is affecting both of them just as much.

Add to this the fact that Bilbao is one of the most offensive teams in the league and it should become obvious why they are not to be underestimated. To put things into perspective, they were the only team to have defeated Barcelona this season away from home and the visitors couldn’t even consider themselves unlucky. The hosts dominated the match and winning it was a just result, so they will probably employ the same strategy against Real Madrid.

This has been a surprising weekend in Primera Division to say the least, with Barcelona suffering the first defeat at Nou Camp. Atletico Madrid has a good chance to get on top, but they also face a tough opponent as Real Sociedad had a week off after their Copa del Rey opponents declined to play this Thursday. As for Real Madrid, they are in for a tough match in Bilbao where the local team enjoys extraordinary support from its fans and the stadium is expected to be packed with them.

The game can easily go either way so it makes perfect sense for punters who are hell-bent to bet on this game to back the hosts in one way or the other. The best odds are obviously for a double chance wager, but a Draw no Bet type of bet will also trigger ice returns. Last but not least. Risk-averse players can easily wager on the hosts not to lose by two goals on more at odds of almost 1.70.

90 minutes of siege when Real Madrid visits Sevilla

betis sevillaReal Madrid remains within striking distance and in the unlikely event that neither Atletico Madrid nor Barcelona win tonight, they could be tied for the lead. Tonight they won’t have home pitch advantage and will travel to meet a team that caused them plenty of headaches in the past, but they are still big favorites to win. The reasoning is simple, as they sit on the 3rd place and face a team that hit rock-bottom two months ago, but there are a couple of more arguments in favor of backing the visitors.

They have just two players missing due to injuries and their defense is impeccable, so there is no reason to worry about the hosts actually capitalizing on their advantage. Real Madrid is undefeated in more than three months and have recently extended its winning streak in all competitions, to 7 in a row. They pack quite a punch offensively and a quick glance at the head to head results will only reinforce the conviction that they are going to win again in Sevilla.

The odds for an away victory are dismal and risk-averse punters will have to choose between backing them at better odds to cover the spread or settle for odds that have no value. It is not worth the risk and the fact that Betis is bound to defend with two thick lines is going to further complicate the visitors’ mission of winning by 3 goals or more. This is why those who are hell-bent on betting on this match should contemplate the possibility of wagering on the number of goals.

There is no consensus about what type of wager would be more appropriate, as the hosts are not going to try anything funny but defend for 90 minutes. Some consider that Betis will suffer a meltdown and the 3.5 goals line will be crossed, but we think that punters should bet on the exact opposite. Check out this link http://tipsteracademy.com/#!tips/football/spain/liga-bbva/2014/01/19/betis-sevilla-vs-real-madrid to get a better picture about what tipsters are waiting from this game and make an informed decision.

Sunderland seeks to amplify Aston Villa’s misery

sunderlandThere is no better time for Sunderland to face Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light than this afternoon, as the visiting team is in awful form. They lost 4/5 games and scored a single goal over the span, being lucky to avoid defeat at Swansea. Add to this the fact that they have four injured players, including Clark, Okore, and Bennett and it is easy to see why the hosts are credited with the first chance by bookmakers.

Both teams are in dire need of points and that’s why this is not the time to wager on an indecisive result, even though the odds for such an outcome are alluring. Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar are uncertain for tonight as they will have to go through some fitness test, but at least the hosts are very likely to have striker Fabio Borini fit to play. He will pair up with Fletcher and the two of them pack quite a punch, something that sounds worrisome for the ailing Aston Villa.

What these two teams have in common is that both of them struggle at home, which is in fact the only reason for why punters might be reluctant to back the hosts at full stakes. Sunderland didn’t win this matchup in the last two years, despite the fact that they faced Aston Villa four times, but before that they won three consecutive games. Each time they prevailed by 1-0, an outcome that has excellent odds for those who are credit the hosts despite their recent home struggles.

The visitors have a slightly better midfield, with players completing over 75% of their tackles, but their contribution to the offensive phase remains minimal. The bookies are favoring the home side to prevail, but given the fact that the odds are inching closer to even value, punters should make up their minds quickly. If they are to go against the trend and bet on Aston Villa to cause a major upset, they shouldn’t wait any longer as the odds are expected to drop.

By contrast, Sunderland fans should fund their online accounts and wait for the kickoff as there is a very good chance to enjoy boosted odds as the start draws near. Most previews for this fixture suggest that the players to watch tonight are Ki Sung-Yeung and Fabian Delph, with both of them also having surprisingly high odds to score.

Levante in danger of losing six in a row

levanteEven the worst losing streaks eventually end, so it comes as no surprise that some punters are inclined to trust Levante to win tonight over Elche. The hosts are mired in a five games losing streak and found it virtually impossible to score goals, with a single ball sent into the net over the span. The upside is that their defensive is playing much better than before and they rarely concede more than one goal per match, yet this is nothing more than a pale consolation for the team heading towards the relegation area.

Two weeks ago, they lost to Getafe in a match that was flat and unassuming from the first minute to the final whistle. As the visiting team, Levante made no effort to take the lead in the first half and even more surprising was the fact that once the hosts scored in the 79th minute, they didn’t react in any way. This has been the story in many of their recent defeats and they need to change something soon before they finally hit rock bottom and will be forced to fight an uphill battle to avoid relegation.

Not even a cup match against a team playing in the third league helped them improve their record and once again Levante conceded a goal late in the game. This brings their losing streak to five in a row and against a stringy team such as Elche, it is very likely that the downswing will continue. To make matters worse, the hosts will be playing without four of their key players and their already ineffective offense will suffer the most.

The visitors are missing Manu and Lomban but they’ve been playing without them for a couple of months now and have plenty of alternatives to replace them. The main concern for Elche is to stay focused until the final whistle, as two of the most recent three defeats were the result of a goal scored in the final minute of overtime. Villareal has been the executioner in both cases and Elche can’t afford to drop points after fighting for one and a half hours.

This is unlikely to happen tonight as they face a toothless opponent, with a shattered morale and this presents punters with multiple betting opportunities. The easiest way to handle this fixture is by betting on Elche not to lose at odds of 1.70 with most bookmakers.

Ajax set to double down on recent win

4footballAjax secured a narrow margin victory over Celtic in the previous round, but they were not particularly convincing against the Scottish team. They are now left with no choice but to win one of the last three games, if they are to advance to the next stage of the Champions League. This plan is a bit far-fetched, because the team from the Netherlands will be facing Barcelona at home this round, while the final fixture pits them against AC Milan in Italy.

A more reasonable scenario is for them to finish third and in order to play in Europa League next spring, they can’t afford to be losing both remaining games. It all depends on whether Celtic finds the strength of causing a major upset, an unlikely scenario as well. One week ago both teams had the same chance, but now Celtic are trailing. For the time being Ajax has the tall order of finding a way to shut down Barcelona, one of the most powerful teams in the world. http://www.4football.net/ajax-tries-to-capitalize-on-celtics-road-games-woes/.

The good news for the hosts is that they have greatly stepped-up their defensive efforts and conceded a single goal in the last six games, in all competitions. A narrow margin defeat to Vitesse was the only one to score their otherwise flawless record and they now hope to extend the winning streak against the Spanish giant. Securing the objective depends on their ability to block the corridors for Barcelona’s fast and incredibly talented strikers, something that is made easier by the fact that Messi will be missing.

The visiting team has all but secured qualification and it is most unlikely that AC Milan will find a way of offsetting the five point deficit. As a result, they are more concerned about avoiding injuries and consolidating their position in Primera Division. Barcelona will be playing games every three days in the next three weeks, which means that they have to rest key players whenever the stakes are low.

This match is a prime example and that’s why punters should refrain from backing the visiting team, especially with bookmakers underpricing them greatly. Depending on bankroll, willingness to take chances and desired profits, punters can take the double chance wager or back Ajax with the cover of +1.5 goals handicap. Even if Barcelona wins in Amsterdam, they will probably earn a narrow margin victory that will still make the aforementioned bet a winner.

Ajax tries to capitalize on Celtic’s road games woes

It’s been a while since Celtic advanced from the group stage in the Champions League and the reason for their lack of success is a subpar performance away from home. While everything seems possible when Celtic plays in Glasgow, on the road, they are yet to win a game and this campaign is so far every bit as disappointing as the previous ones. Much to their credit, the Scottish team won the home game against Ajax weeks ago and came painfully close of drawing the match is played with Barcelona and AC Milan.

Tonight they will be traveling to Amsterdam without their captain, as Scott Brown is suspended for this fixture and joins Georgios Samaras and Mikael Lustig on the bench. The two players are yet to shake off injuries and even though they travel to the Netherlands for this match, it is uncertain whether they will be used from the first minute. The same goes for Kris Commons and Beram Kayal who are definitely on the land, but not completely recovered, therefore coach Neil Lennon might use him only the second half.

It is self-evident if the hosts lose the game tonight, they have no chance whatsoever to advance to the next stage as they have earned just one point in three games so far. The last rounds will see them traveling to AC Milan while entertaining Barcelona at Amsterdam arena, in matches that will see the Dutch side starting with the second chance. The good news is that Celtic is among the worst traveling teams in the Champions League and Ajax has an excellent opportunity of collecting all three points.

The visitors are wary of what awaits for them it Amsterdam and will focus mostly on bolstering their defenses, while trying to surprise the hosts on counterattack. The strategy worked brilliantly in the first leg and if Samaras returns to fitness, the visiting team could record a rare victory on the road. Punters would be better off taking any chances tonight especially with the odds for a home victory revolving around even value. This is a do or die situation for Ajax and given the fact that they play at home and have no injury concerns, they should be able to win their first match in Group H.

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Football betting

Don’t follow your guts, go with the stats

To sum all gudies and tips, is that you need to look at stats rather then following your guts when it comes to choosing a winning team in football betting. Look at statistics and the history between the teams, find out if all the best players are in the starting eleven and of course the last games that they played. A big and great team can be in a bad shape and have low moral while the other team can play with great confident and high moral. There are lots of things to keep in mind and it’s your job to find these things and to make a conclusion of it.

Betis and the home pitch (dis)advantage

betisAll it takes is to check out the recent results of Betis Sevilla, a team that used to dominate opponents when having home pitch advantage to realize that something is terribly wrong. The Spanish team has overextended, and its efforts of advancing in the European competitions while winning games in the domestic championship are backfiring. Even though the season has just begun, Betis is finding it difficult to keep up with the mounting pressure and recent results are disappointing to say the least.

They drew the only game played in Europa League against the worst team in their group and won a single game in Primera Division in more than a month. It would be easy to blame these results on the numerous injuries that Betis had to cope with, but the truth is that pretty much the same players were sidelined each game. They did just fine in the first month after the championship resumed, but somehow found it impossible to take advantage of those games played at home.

This is why punters should pay attention to this game Betis plays against Elche, an opponent of a different caliber but much more ambitious and organized. The small team is trying to avoid relegation and spend another season in the Spanish top flight and so far they are doing a great job. Nine points in eight games is hardly a remarkable performance, but given the fact that they played against Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, these results are above expectations.

Speaking of which, they were eventually defeated by the multiple Spanish champions, but Real Madrid had to settle for a narrow margin victory. Elche plays a defensive football with a backline made of five players and a single striker, Coro being the one preferred by coach Escriba for the job. They will stick to the same starting formation tonight when they travel to Sevilla and would gladly settle for a draw if the hosts presented them with such an opportunity.

Bookmakers are clearly overpricing Elche and expect Betis to return to his winning ways, even though there are no clear indicators that this would happen anytime soon. Until they return to fitness and can assemble the best 11 for home games, the fans are more likely to turn against them than to support Betis regardless of outcome. A safer way to tackle this match is by backing the visitors to cover a wider spread and a +1 handicap could also come in handy.

Sweden is just one step from World Cup 2014

Austria Sweden WCup SoccerSweden has a three points advantage over Austria ahead of this second to last game in the group stage, but they are not yet sure of finishing second. They have home pitch advantage and a good squad, but they can’t simply wait for the visitors to give up, because they have no intention of doing so. In the final round, they will be playing at home against Germany in a game that can truly go either way, with the visitors being slight favorites to prevail despite the fact that they have already secured qualification.

By contrast, Austria has two player game that is mostly a training as they travel to Faeroe Islands a team that lost all games so far and is unlikely to pose any problems. In the first leg played in Wien, the hosts prevailed by two goals to one and this means that if this match ends in a draw, Austria will advance to the next stage if the two teams finish with the same number of points. In a nutshell, this is a decisive game for Sweden and if they fail to win it is entirely their fault and they will have no excuses if qualification is lost in the final round.

Having said this, Sweden is still the overwhelming favorite to make the playoffs for the World Cup, but they need to play with a sense of urgency. The two players that they need to contain are David Alaba and Marc Janko with both of them scoring in Austria and expected to feature upfront. Another thing that the hosts should focus on is toning down their aggressiveness as they’ve committed an unreasonably high number of tacklings that got their players booked.

http://www.uefa.com/worldcup/season=2014/matches/round=2000294/match=2008599/prematch/preview/index.html has an unbiased preview of this match for those who want to bet on the outcome. Bookies are generally cautious when it comes to decisive games and that’s why most of them offer odds of 1.70 for Sweden to prevail at home, which makes the decision a bit difficult.

A quick glance at the head-to-head record will reveal the fact that both teams won 5/7 games at home and this is a strong argument in favor of backing the hosts. Risk-averse players should stay away from the handicap market, because although the odds for Sweden to win by two goals or more are tempting, this game is likely to be decided by the odd goal.

Alluring odds for Getafe’s victory over Celta Vigo

getafeThe gap separating Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid from the rest of the teams only becomes obvious when these three face an in-form opponent. The most recent example was offered by Real Madrid who made short work of in-form Getafe, scoring four goals against their city rivals. Not only their opponents were clearly outplayed, but they didn’t even attempt to take the initiative and focused almost exclusively on avoiding a lopsided defeat.

That’s exactly what happened and now Getafe needs to learn from its mistakes and field an aggressive starting formation against Celta Vigo. Their goal should be to replicate Real Madrid’s performance, by taking the initiative early on and sending a hail of balls at their opponents’ net. They certainly have plenty of options in the attack and would be right to use Nolito and Fernandez alongside Fedor, who is their most prolific scorer and a certain starter.

These three players have a great synergy and whenever they are introduced from the very beginning, they create opportunities out of thin air. It is easy to understand how that coach was facing a predicament when playing against their more famous city neighbors and unfortunately chose to play it safe. If Getafe is to win tonight they will need to take the visitors by surprise and don’t allow them to dig in and establish defensive positions as they do when playing away from home.

Celta Vigo won the vast majority of its points at home, but on the road were surprisingly precise and denied their opponents a chance to score. They don’t have too many capable strikers, but Charles is a noteworthy exception and a regular regardless of what team they face. It is certain that he will be the only one threatening Getafe’s net but it is less certain that he will have any success when a gap will appear between him and the midfielders.

The two teams are equally matched and in the past split most of the points, but statistics are less important tonight when the hosts are hungry for victory. It is most unlikely that Celta Vigo will deflect all the shots sent at their net and punters would be wise to back the hosts to prevail. This game will probably look very much like the one lost by Celta Vigo to Athletic Bilbao two weeks ago, although we shouldn’t hold our breaths for another scoring festival.