13th of February, 7/1 Saturday Accumulator
My Saturday 7/1 acca! >LOAD IT HERE<
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Torino v Genoa (Over 1.5 goals)
· Both sides have seen their respective fortunes turnaround following the appointment of new managers in recent weeks. Torino appointed Davide Nicola and saw his side fightback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 away at Atalanta last weekend.
· Scoring goals has never been the issue for Torino who have notched 32 times this season- the most of any side in the bottom half of the table. Defensively is where the issues lie and their 41 goals concede is only better than bottom of the league Crotone in the entire division.
· A potent attack and a leaky defence make them the ideal selection for the goals market. Torino have seen 2 or more goals scored in 86% of their league fixtures this campaign. Their fixtures also average 3.48GPG, the 3rd highest in Serie A.
· Their front line is very impressive with skipper Andrea Belotti one of the best marksmen in the division. His goal against Atalanta last week saw his tally rise to 11 for the season.
· Genoa have also had a transformation since the recent appointment of Davide Ballardini at the back end of last year. The visitors are now well clear of the Serie A relegation zone following four wins from five.
· A large portion of thanks can also go to top goalscorer Mattia Destro who since the appointment of Ballardini has rediscovered his goalscoring touch. He has scored 8 in his last 9 and is tip-top form just now.
· The visitors are also very consistent in the over 1.5 goals market with this selection landing in 13 of their last 15 fixtures.
Leverkusen v Mainz (Leverkusen win)
· Top 4 chasing Leverkusen host a struggling Mainz this afternoon knowing a win could take them back in to the Champions League qualification places.
· Mainz remain 2nd bottom despite a slight upturn in form in recent weeks. Mainz appointed Bo Svensson back in January who seems to have settled the ship somewhat.
· Remains the case however they are struggling and have accumulated just 13 points from their 20 Bundesliga games this season.
· Defensively is where the major issues lie. They have conceded a mammoth 40 goals this season, only bottom of the league Schalke have concede more.
· This defensive vulnerability is something Leverkusen will look to expose and their forwards will be full of confidence following their 5-2 humbling of Stuttgart last weekend.
· The hosts have a few injuries to contend with but many are long-term and there are not many changes expected from the team which beat Stuttgart last weekend.
· Mainz make the trip without Robert Quaison due to a knee injury. The Swedish international has been a big player for them creatively this season and will be a big miss.
· With Leverkusen now looking back in their stride following their impressive win against Stuttgart last weekend I expect they should be able to brush aside a relatively poor Mainz outfit this afternoon.
Sevilla v Huesca (Sevilla win)
· Sevilla continue to go from strength to strength under the skilled stewardship of Julian Lopetegui. His career as Sevilla manager culminated in Europa League success last year; they’ve continued their progression this year.
· They dispatched of Barcelona fairly comfortably in midweek in their 2-0 semi-final Copa del Rey victory. This was only the first leg however so they haven’t reached the final just yet.
· This did however continue their fine winning run which now stretched to an incredible 9 straight games in all competitions.
· The hosts mean defence is a large reason behind their recent run. They have now gone a mammoth 618 minutes without conceding a goal and you fancy he may get another shut out this afternoon.
· Today they face bottom of the league Huesca who look destined for the drop unless their results turnaround in the not too distant future.
· They struggle to score goals and other than Getafe have the least potent attack in the entirety of La Liga. Not ideal when facing one of the tightest backlines in the division.
· Other than Lucas Ocampos and Jesus Navas there are no high-profile absentees for the hosts. Given the respective form of the two sides and the obvious gulf in quality I don’t foresee too many issues for the hosts in this one.
Altach v Rapid Vienna (Rapid win)
· Rapid made it 5 league wins on the spin with their 1-0 over Wolfsberger in midweek to continue their charge up the Austrian Bundesliga.
· It has been a league that has been very much dominated by RB Salzburg in recent years but this season Rapid appears to have built a team capable of at least challenging them for the title.
· Key attacker Taxiarchis Fountas will return from a 4-game suspension for the visitors which is a huge boost. He recently received the award for ‘Best Greek footballer abroad’ for 2020. Since joining Rapid in the summer of 2019, Fountas has already netted 29 times.
· The hosts are in quite the opposite situation having lost 8 of their last 10 competitive games. This run has seen them plummet to the bottom of the league having accumulated just 11 points from their 16 league games.
· Rapid boss Dietmar Kuhbauer has warned his side against complanecy. He said “It won’t be as easy as many believe; we have to ensure we are ready”.
· Key players Dejan Ljubicic and Max Hoffman who have been injured recently also made the trip with the Rapid squad. It is thought they won’t be fit enough to start but could be involved from the bench.
· Rapid are flying at the moment and know they must win in order to stay on the tails of the league leaders Salzburg. I don’t foresee them slipping up this afternoon against bottom of the league Altach.
Napoli v Juventus (over 1.5 goals)
· Huge game in Serie A this afternoon as title-chasing Juventus travel to out form Napoli looking to continue their magnificent recent form.
· There have been calls for the sacking/resignation of Napoli boss Genaro Gattuso with his side eliminated from the Coppa Italia and down in 6th in Serie A.
· Juve meanwhile seemed to have turned a corner in 2021 and are up to 3rd after 3 consecutive Serie A wins.
· The visitors are as consistent as can be when it comes to over 1.5 goals with all 20 of their Serie A seeing 2 goals or more this season.
· Napoli are not too far behind with a 90% success rate and given the attacking players that both sides possess I don’t see this one lacking goals.
· Ronaldo is tipped to lead the line and the Portuguese took his tally to 23 with a well taken volley in their 2-0 win over Roma last weekend. He is averaging a goal every 91 minutes so far this season.
· He will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing a Napoli side who are without 4 key defenders. Diego Demme, Kostas Manolas, Elseid Hysaj and Kalidou Koulibaly are all unavailable for this one.
· Luckily the hosts are stacked with attacking talent and the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Hirving Lozano and Victor Osimhen are all fit for selection here. Can’t see a couple of goals being a problem in Naples this afternoon.
Lyon v Montpellier (Lyon win)
· We round the acca off in France as we head to Lyon where I anticipate another home win for title chasing Lyon. A win would take them back to the top, at least for 24 hours with Lille not playing until Sunday.
· Lyon have won their last five games in all competitions, scoring 16 goals in the process. Memphis Depay has been at his brilliant best, netting twice in Lyon’s 3-0 win over Strasbourg last weekend.
· They followed that up with a thoroughly impressive 5-1 win at home to Ajaccio in midweek to safely seal their passage through to the last 32 of the Coupe De France.
· In Menphis Depay (13), Karl Toko Ekambi (11) and Tino Kadewere (9), Lyon possesses one of the best attacking lines in the division. All three are fit and available and expected to start once more this evening.
· In-fact they have a near full strength squad full stop, centre-back Jason Denayer is the only first-team absentee of any notable importance.
· Montpellier continue to be inconsistent and although have had a slight upturn in form in recent weeks they remain 11th in Ligue 1 which illustrates what a mediocre league campaign they have had thus far.
· They are particularly poor away from home and have gone 4 games without a win on the road. They are also without a clean sheet in 12 away which isn’t a promising stat when you are playing a team as good offensively as Lyon are.
· The first choice CB’s combine for an age of 78 and I expect an electric Lyon frontline to cause them endless problems in what I expect to be a high-scoring home victory tonight.
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