18th of February, Daily Double Up
Here’s my Thursday Daily Double Up, you can load it by clicking here.
Braga v Roma (Over 2.5 goals)
· Expecting a classic in Portugal as these two traditionally attacking sides clash horns this evening.
· Both clubs impressed in progressing through the Europa League group stage, withCarlos Carvalhal‘s men finishing runners-up to Leicester City and his old friend Paulo Fonseca‘s team topping Group A.
· Roma have been a thrilling watch under the stewardship of Paulo Fonseca and are encouraged to play attacking football. Their potent attack averages in excess of 2 goals scored per game in Serie A.
· The problems for them very much lie at the other end having conceded 35 times in just 22 games. Despite sitting 3rd that is the worst defensive record amongst the top 10 in Italy.
· Their games average a massive 3.73GPG on average- comfortably the highest in the entire Italian top tier. They also have a 77% success rate for over 2.5 goals, again the highest in Italy.
· Braga meanwhile were the entertainers of the Europa League in the group stages with 24 goals (14 scored, 10 conceded) featuring across their 6 group games at an average of 4 goals per game.
· They also have the 2nd highest over 2.5 goals record in the Portuguese league which is an encouraging stat.
· Statistically goals look a near guarantee in this one. Both sides are at full strength offensively and I expect over 2.5 goals shouldn’t cause too many issues in this one.
Molde v Hoffenheim (Hoffenheim 2+ goals)
· Hoffenheim make the trip to Spain as overwhelming favourites and it is hard to disagree with the bookmakers in this one and I expect the Germans to score a hatful in what I anticipate to be a high scoring affair.
· The game is being played at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal due to German restrictions preventing travel to or from countries where any new variants of COVID-19 are currently known to be present.
· This will definitely suit Hoffenheim who eliminate the home advantage for Molde with the fixture being played in Spain.
· The Germans are amongst the most impressive performing sides in the Europa League so far this season, after winning Group L with five victories and one draw from their six matches.
· Molde finished 2nd in a group which contained Arsenal and it is pretty clear they struggle against high quality opposition having been beaten 7-1 on aggregate across the two games.
· No doubt that Molde will be rusty; they haven’t played a competitive game since the Norwegian season ended back in December.
· They have only competed in a few friendlies in preparation for this one and there is little doubt they will struggle with the increased intensity that this game will bring. Fitness and sharpness is sure to have suffered given the lengthy break they have had.
· Hoffenheim have a few injuries within the squad but are a superior side to Molde and having not played a competitive game in over 2 months I suspect they will be well off the pace in this one.