AZ Alkmaar – Roda Tips & Predictions For Today, February 4, 2018.
League: Netherlands – Eredivisie
Tip: Over 2.5 Goals
Match Result: 2:2 WON!!!
|Third-placed AZ Alkmaar welcome a struggling Roda side for this 21st round of the Eredivisie (ERE). This game looks like a complete mismatch on paper, as 14 places and 27 points separate the two sides ahead of kick-off.|
|AZ occupy the final Champions League spot, and look comfortable favourites to retain that come the end of the season as long as they don’t allow Feyenoord the chance to pounce. Spirits are high after they progressed to the semi-final of the KNVB Beker in midweek.|
|Roda are currently just one point from safety, but they will be hard pressed to get anything from this one given the contrasting form of the sides. AZ have lost just one of their last five whilst Roda have won just one in that time (ERE).|
|The hosts are enjoying a superb season and have already recorded one more victory than they did in the entirety of last season. AZ currently sit on 13 victories in comparison to last terms 12, with 14 games left to play!|
|Players to watch: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ) has been involved in 50 goals in his last 98 ERE games, with 26 goals and 24 assists – a key player for the Cheeseheads.|
|Simon Gustafson is Roda’s biggest goal threat and last popped up with a goal in Roda’s 5-1 defeat to Feyenoord. The Swede has six ERE goals for the season.|
|Stat attack: Roda have lost 11 of their last 12 away games, whilst conceding 3+ goals in each of their last three on the road (ERE).|
|AZ Alkmaar have seen over 2.5 goals scored in six of their last seven home games, they have won five of their last six here (ERE). Both teams have scored in each of the last four games here in all competitions.|
Verona – AS Roma Tips & Predictions For Today, February 4, 2018.
League: Italy – Serie A
Tip: Away Win
Bookmaker: William Hill
Match Result: 0:1 WON!!!
|Relegation worries can bring the best out of sides, especially in the second-half of the season. Fiorentina found that out against Verona during midweek in Serie A (SA). Is it the turn of Roma next?|
|The 4-1 win over Fiorentina aside, it has been a tough period for Verona, whose last win was back in mid-December, followed by four losses. They are still 19th in the league after 22 games (16pts), but are just three points adrift of Crotone in 17th.|
|The turn of the year has been disastrous for Roma, who are yet to win in 2018! In fact, their last win in SA was on December 16, after which they went six games without a win (W0, D3, L3). That meant Roma slid from being a SA title favourite to being just Europa League contenders!|
|Verona’s home form, however, must raise the hopes of the visitors. The hosts have won just twice at home all season (W2, D1, L8).|
|Roma’s away form, though, isn’t much better, as they failed to win on any of their last five trips (W0, D4, L1).|
|Key battles: On his debut, Jagos Vukovic scored against Fiorentina, but it was his defensive capabilities against Edin Dzeko that stole the show.|
|Roma can breathe easy that the January transfer window has passed and Edin Dzeko (ten goals, three assists) is still on their books despite being heavily linked with a move to Chelsea. Can he get them back on track?|
|Stat attack: Verona have not beaten Roma since October 1996 in 14 meetings (W0, D5, L9).|
|Since the turn of December, Roma has had the worst shot conversion rate in SA (6%) while Verona are fourth (20%) during this period.|
Mainz – Bayern Munich Tips & Predictions For Today, February 3, 2018.
League: Germany – Bundesliga
Tip: Away Win
Match Result: 0:2 WON!!!
|It is never a good time for a team in a relegation battle to meet one of the in-form teams in Europe at this stage of the season. Yet, this is the challenge that fifteenth-placed Mainz will face when they welcome Bayern Munich to the Opel Arena in the Bundesliga (BL) this weekend.|
|After a 2-1 defeat to rivals Borussia Monchengladbach earlier in the season, Jupp Heynckes led his Bayern side to an eleven-game winning streak – defeating teams like PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen along the way.|
|Mainz might not yet be in relegation waters, but are three points above relegation. They score an average of 1.2 goals per game and concede 1.75 per match. Additionally, 60% of Mainz’s games finish with both teams scoring and their average total goals per game is 2.95.|
|Mainz will look to exploit their home advantage and will undoubtedly defend from the off. Ahead of the match, manager Sandro Schwarz said: “During the match we will have to withstand a lot of pressure but we’re hoping to create a special atmosphere in the stadium.”|
|With Mainz failing to stem the flow of losses this season, many pundits believe that it will not be a question of whether Bayern Munich will win this match, but by how many goals!|
|Players to watch: Robert Lewandowski scored a brace in the home fixture and the league’s top goal scorer will want to capitalise on a side who’ve conceded 15 goals in ten home fixtures.|
|Yoshinori Muto is Mainz’s main outlet for goals. With six goals and two assists, the pacey striker is Mainz’s leading threat in front of goal.|
|Stat attack: Mainz have seen over 2.5 goals in 12 of their last 13 home matches against Bayern in all competitions.|
|Whilst Bayern are undefeated in 33 of their last 37 away matches, they have drawn at half-time but won at full-time in five of their last seven league matches.|
Hertha Berlin – Hoffenheim Tips & Predictions For Today, February 3, 2018.
League: Germany – Bundesliga
Match Result: 1:1 WON!!!
|Separated by just one point, two mid-table Bundesliga (BL) stalwarts meet with hopes of attaining their first 2018 league win. Hoffenheim are in ninth place in the table, four points off European qualification, while Hertha Berlin sit in eleventh place.|
|In 2018 so far, Hertha Berlin have two draws against Bremen and Dortmund with one defeat against Stuttgart. Hoffenheim have defeats against Munich and Leverkusen and one draw against Bremen.|
|Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann has been struggling to turnaround their form since taking over at Rhein-Neckar-Arena. With only four points from their last four games and nine goals conceded in the last two games, fans are decrying their team’s inability to defend corners and maintain a lead.|
|In their previous six meetings, Hoffenheim have won four, drawn one, with Hertha Berlin winning one. In addition, Hertha Berlin will be missing injured first-choice keeper Rune Jarstein, with Thomas Kraft covering the sticks – however, he has only played two games in two seasons for Hertha and has conceded five goals.|
|Hoffenheim have conceded ten goals this season owing to set-pieces – in comparison, the entire last season they conceded only nine. Could this be Hertha Berlin’s key to success?|
|Players to watch: Davie Selke scored the only goal for Hertha in 2018 with just two shots on goal. Having had a good start to the 17/18 campaign, the tall forward may cause further dead-ball problems for Hoffenheim.|
|Fiery and unpredictable Mark Uth occupies joint fourth-place in the top scorers list with ten goals.|
|Stat attack: Berlin aren’t playing well at home right now and have conceded at least one goal in 90% of their home games.|
|On the other hand, Hoffenheim have scored in 80% of their away games, but with only a third of their 27 points gained away, they are not renowned for holding onto a lead.|
Strasbourg – Bordeaux Tips & Predictions For Today, February 3, 2018.
League: France – Ligue 1
Match Result: 0:2 LOST
|Ahead of this round 24 match, Strasbourg will try to increase the distance between themselves and the relegation zone, while Bordeaux will be hoping to secure their place in the top-half of the Ligue 1 (L1) table.|
|In 46 previous meetings at home (L1), Strasbourg have a balanced record against the Girondins of: W13, D23, L10 (57 goals scored / 51 goals conceded).|
|After two straight home victories against Dijon in the league (3-2) and Lille in the Coupe de France (2-1), Strasbourg finally lost at Lille (2-1) in L1 last Sunday. Following this bad result, Thierry Laurey’s side have slipped down into the lower-half of the L1 standings and sit in 12th place.|
|After a recent improvement in form, Bordeaux have climbed up into ninth place. They come into this game after a superb 3-1 win at home against second-placed Lyon. However, the question on everyone’s lips will be, ‘Can Bordeaux make it three wins in three against Strasbourg?’|
|Players to watch: Bordeaux striker Malcom is in outstanding form this season with eight goals and five assists so far. With two goals and one assist, he has been directly involved in 50% of Bordeaux’s last six goals in L1.|
|Malcom will go head-to-head with 26-year-old Cape Verdean striker Joia Nuno Da Costa who has four goals and one assist in L1. However, he has not scored in his last seven L1 matches!|
|Stat attack: Strasbourg have lost only one of their last 12 home clashes against their upcoming opponents in L1 (W3, D8, L1). They have seen under 2.5 goals (total) in their last seven home matches against Bordeaux in all competitions.|
|Bordeaux have seen under 2.5 goals (total) in six of their last seven away L1 games. Gustavo Poyet’s men have lost only one of their last seven away games against a promoted team in the league (W4, D2, L1).|
Nice – Toulouse Tips & Predictions For Today, February 3, 2018.
League: France – Ligue 1
Tip: Over 1.5 Goals
Match Result: 0:1 LOST
|Nice will try to close the gap to the European qualification places in this game. Meanwhile, Toulouse are in a struggle at the wrong end of the Ligue 1 (L1) table, but a win here could propel them out of the red zone.|
|In 20 previous meetings at Allianz Riviera in their L1 history, Nice have won 11, Toulouse have won five and the other four games were drawn. In the reverse fixture, Nice beat their hosts (2-1) thanks to Bassem Srarfi’s dramatic goal in additional time (90+1’ min).|
|On a good run of three games without a loss in L1 (W2, D1 L0), Nice finally lost against all odds at bottom-of-the-league Metz last weekend (2-1). Following this bad performance, the Aiglons slipped to sixth in the L1 standings.|
|After five straight games without a win (W0, D1, L4), Toulouse managed a good win at home against Troyes (1-0) last Saturday. Despite these three points, Mickaël Debève’s men still sit 19th in the table and are desperately looking for another win to lift their spirits.|
|Players to watch: Nice’s best player so far this season has been Mario Balotelli who has 13 goals in L1. The 27-year-old Italian further highlighted his recent form by finding the net 11 times in his last 12 matches in all competitions.|
|He will go head-to-head with 24-year-old French striker Alessane Plea. With five goals and three assists, he has been directly involved in 38% of Toulouse’s 21 goals.|
|Stat attack: Nice are on a run of four straight home wins in L1, keeping a clean sheet in their last three. They have not conceded a single draw in their last 12 matches at home in all competitions (W7, D0, L5).|
|Toulouse are on a run of eight straight away loses in all competitions. With 24 goals conceded in 12 away L1 matches so far, Toulouse have the worst away defence in the league. No other club have received more yellow cards than Toulouse so far this season (63).|
Real Sociedad – Deportivo La Coruna Tips & Predictions For Today, February 2, 2018.
League: Spain – LaLiga Santander
Tip: Over 2.5 Goals
Match Result: 5:0 WON!!!
|Real Sociedad will be looking to end their alarming four-game losing streak in La Liga (LL) when they take on Deportivo La Coruna at the Anoeta Stadium. It’s a massive game with three crucial points at stake for two of the league’s most out-of-form sides right now.|
|Last week’s 4-2 loss away to Villarreal has left Eusebio Sacristan’s job as Real Sociedad boss hanging by a thin thread, which will most likely be cut if his side fail to beat Deportivo. Real Sociedad currently sit in 15th place on 23 points (W6, D5, L10, GD -4) and are the only team who are yet to pick up their first points this year (W0, D0, L4). It’s their longest losing streak in LL since the 2010/11 season.|
|Third-from-bottom Deportivo are winless in their last six LL outings (W0, D2, L4) and make the trip to San Sebastian having won just once away from home so far this season (W1, D3, L6). A victory over Real Sociedad would see Cristobal Parralo’s side move — at least temporarily — up to 16th in the table.|
|You have to go all the way back to the 2006/07 season to find the last time Deportivo recorded a win away at Real Sociedad in the top-flight. Real Sociedad won the reverse fixture 4-2 in September but haven’t won both league matches since 2005/06.|
|Players to watch: Following Iñigo Martinez’s controversial move to rivals Athletic Club, Raul Navas looks set to start at centre-back for Real Sociedad along with Diego Llorente.|
|Despite having made just ten starts, striker Florin Andone is Deportivo’s top scorer in LL this campaign with six goals to his name.|
|Stat attack: Real Sociedad have dropped a staggering 14 points from winning positions this campaign, with losses to Getafe, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Celta Vigo.|
|None of the previous 35 top-flight meetings between the sides at the Anoeta has ended goalless.|
Marseille – Metz Tips & Predictions For Today, February 2, 2018.
League: France – Ligue 1
Tip: Home Win
Match Result: 6:3 WON!!!
|A win for Marseille could see them rise to second place in the Ligue 1 (L1) standings, whilst Metz are struggling at the wrong end of the table and currently sit in 20th.|
|In 51 previous meetings at the Stade Velodrome, Marseille have won 38, Metz have won six and the other seven games were drawn. With both teams populating opposite ends of the table, anything other than a home win, will be seen as the shock result of this round.|
|Marseille have started the second-half of the Championship with three comfortable wins and all without conceding – Rennes (3-0 away), Strasbourg (2-0) and Caen (2-0 away). However, they come into this game after their first draw of 2018 – albeit a decent 2-2 draw against L1 Champions Monaco at home last Sunday.|
|Despite being defeated 3-1 on the road by Monaco, Metz pushed on to win at home last Saturday, defeating Nice 2-1. Currently on a good run of form, Frédéric Hantz and his team will probably be vengeful after being trounced 3-0 at home by their hosts back in November 2017.|
|With Marseille’s goal record a little over double of Metz’s (47/20), fans and pundits are enthusiastic about a top-notch home performance – with Marseille fans predicting a possible goal-rush.|
|Players to watch: With ten goals and ten assists, Marseille’s French international midfielder Florian Thauvin has been directly involved in 42% of his team’s 47 goals.|
|Metz’s best player so far this season has been Nolan Roux who has nine goals and one assist – with five coming in his last five games.|
|Stat attack: Marseille are undefeated in 17 of their last 18 L1 matches (W12, D5, L1), scoring at least two goals in each of their last five. Rudi Garcia’s men have the highest average of shots per home match in the league (17.7).|
|With 39 goals conceded in 23 matches so far, Metz have the joint second-worst defence in the League. They have seen over 3.5 goals scored in three of their last four away L1 games and are on a run of six straight defeats.|