20th of March, Weekender Challenge Bet 1
I’m starting a new Weekender challenge, it’ll get underway on Saturday afternoon. You can load the bet by clicking here, but I recommend giving my research below a read before deciding whether or not you want to get on.
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Bayern Munich v Stuttgart (Over 2.5 goals)
· After the thrills of Cheltenham this week it is back to our bread and butter this weekend and of course that means another weekender! The last two have been pretty successful, completing one and getting through to bet 3 on the other. Let’s try and complete another one this weekend shall we?
· We begin in Germany where it is back to Bundesliga action now for Bayern Munich following their convincing 6-2 aggregate victory over Lazio in midweek saw them through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. After an inconsistent spell around Christmas, Bayern seem to be back to their very best and have won each of their last 5 going in to today scoring 18 goals in the process. Stuttgart are also having a fantastic campaign and re-established themselves perfectly in the Bundesliga following promotion from the German 2nd tier last season. They currently sit 8th and are still very much in the mix for a top 6 finish this season.
Bayern Munich have seen over 2.5 goals feature in 21 of their 25 Bundesliga matches this season. The best record in the division.
Stuttgart games are consistently full of goals. Their fixtures average 3.36GPG, only league leaders Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have games featuring more goals in the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich have scored in all 25 of their league matches this season. They are the only team in Germany to have been able to do that.
Stuttgart have only failed to score in 3 of their 25 league games this season (12%). They certainly have the offensive quality to trouble Bayern tomorrow afternoon.
· With 71 goals scored in 24 matches, Bayern is currently averaging 2.96 goals per game which is a higher average than last season’s 2.94 average. If they continue to move this statistic to a higher average, then it will be a historic Bundesliga campaign.
· A lot of thanks can lie on the shoulders of Robert Lewandowski for this impressive scoring rate. The Polish captain s on 32 league goals for the campaign, and has found the target in each of his last 15 top-flight matches in a row. The record haul in a season is 40 scored by the legendary Gerd Muller in 1971/1972, Lewandowski looks certain to beat that.
· The hosts look to be at more or less full strength with the players missing through injury nothing more than fringe players. The likes of Lewandowski, Coman, Gnabry, Sane and Muller are all reportedly available for selection.
· While not as prolific as Lewandowski, Stuttgart have a prolific striker of their own within their ranks. Austrian striker Sasa Kalajdzic has scored in each of his last 7 Bundesliga games. In-fact Only Lewandowski has scored more goals (10) since the turn of the year than Kalajdzic (seven).
· Stuttgart perform far better away from home than they do at home. 21 of their 36 points accumulated have come on their travels and they have also scored on average 2 goals per game when playing away this season.
· Bayern have also conceded in each of their last 9 league games at the Allianz Arena and Stuttgart certainly have the firepower to trouble them. Expect goals to come in the truckload in this one this afternoon.
Norwich v Blackburn (Norwich win)
· To the Championship next where title favourites Norwich will be looking to make it 10 successive wins in the league as they host a struggling Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road. Daniel Farke and his men look untouchable at the moment and with a squad of that quality it is no real surprise. They have opened up a 10 point lead now at the top of the Championship and reality are just a few wins away from promotion, they will certainly be viewing today as a must-win. Blackburn meanwhile sit 15th and realistically have very little to play for. Both playoffs and relegation is highly unlikely from here and their season is very much in danger of petering out.
Norwich are 16 games unbeaten at Carrow Road having not lost on home soil since October last year.
Blackburn sit 2nd bottom in the form table over the past 12 games having accumulated just 9 points from a possible 36. Only Preston have worse form in the Championship.
Norwich in that same time period have accumulated 29 points which highlights the sheer difference in both form and quality between the two sides.
Blackburn have scored just 3 times in their last 5 games. Despite being prolific earlier in the season they are really struggling for goals at the moment.
· 9 straight league wins with just 3 goals conceded in a quite scintillating run for the canaries. They quite simply look a cut above the rest at this level and Farke has certainly reaped the rewards for keeping much of the squad together which was relegated from the Premier League last season.
· Norwich have only lost one home game this season and are unbeaten in their last 16 matches at Carrow Road, where they have conceded just nine times in 18 games. Only Watford have a better home record in the entire division.
· They come in to this one on the back of a comfortable 2-0 away win at Nottingham Forest in midweek. They are also set to welcome back Emi Buendia who missed the Forest win due to the birth of his child. He is for me the best player in the division and his return would mean Norwich will be at more or less full strength this afternoon.
· Blackburn are really struggling at the moment and come in to the game having won just one of their 11 matches and appear to be struggling with motivation at the moment. Following a fine start to the season they have really faded in recent months and many of their players already look to be on their holidays.
· Reports suggest that Tony Mowbray is under increasing pressure and many Blackburn fans are calling for him to be sacked such has been the dip in form and performances in recent months.
· They certainly won’t relish their visit to Carrow Road and it is difficult to see past a comfortable home win here as Norwich stroll towards the Championship title.