28/02 – 15/2 Sunday Accumulator
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You can’t say I don’t put the effort into my bets either. I’ve written up over 1000+ words of research to go with this acca.
📚 Please read my research below before deciding whether you want to place it or not:
Monaco v Brest (Over 2.5 goals)
· We begin in wonderful Monaco for a lunchtime kick off in Ligue 1 where I am expecting goals as high-flying Monaco host an entertaining Brest outfit.
· Following their impressive win last weekend over reigning champions PSG, Monaco have proven they are capable of a genuine title challenge this season.
· They will however have to work on their leaky defence if they want to maintain a challenge. The 37 goals they have shipped means they have the leakiest defence of any side in the top 8.
· Luckily more often than not their wonderful attacking options bail their defence out and they have a habit of outscoring teams. Only PSG have scored more than the 54 goals they have notched this season.
· A potent attack and a leaky defence makes Monaco an obvious choice for goals then and I really fancy a bucket load today. Monaco games average the most in the whole of Ligue 1 (3.50) and their over 2.5 goals percentage is the highest in France too (81%).
· The likelihood of goals only increases when you bring Brest in to the occasion. Out of the 16 teams below the title-chasing quartet, only Montpellier HSC (43) have scored more than Brest (39).
· They proved just what an attacking threat they can be in their 3-2 home defeat to Lyon last weekend. They pushed the league leaders all the way and going forwards look an exceptional side.
· They have a 73% over 2.5 goals success rate (2nd best in Ligue 1) and I struggle to see how there won’t be goals this afternoon!
PSV v Ajax (Over 2.5 goals)
· Next up is the Eredivisie which is filled with quality looking fixtures today. AZ Alkmaar v Feyenoord is also on the Dutch schedule but I will be focusing on the big one, PSV v Ajax as 2nd host 1st in Holland.
· These two Dutch giants almost always produce the good when providing goals and entertainment and I am expecting much of the same today.
· The reverse fixture was an enthralling 2-1 win for Ajax who look to be running away with the Dutch title yet again and PSV boss Roger Schmidt has acknowledged are the better team this season.
· Both sides are absolutely stacked with attacking talent and Dutch sources suggest that all the big attacking players are fit for this one.
· Ajax have the likes of Dusan Tadic, David Neres and of course Sebastien Haller in attack. Haller has been superb since signing in January and has already contributed 5 goals and 5 assists in just 8 appearances.
· PSV meanwhile have Mario Gotze, Eran Zahavi and Donyell Malen in their ranks. Malen continues to excel in attack for Eindhoven and has 30 goal contributions already this campaign (22 goals, 8 assists).
· Given the attacking talent in both sides it is of little surprise to see them as the two top scoring teams in the division. Ajax have scored a quite ridiculous 72 goals in just 22 games at an average of well over 3 goals scored per match.
· Both sides are very consistent for delivering goals and both average 75%+ in terms of over 2.5 goals success rate in the league. Expect this one to be a real classic and hope plenty of goals are on the menu.
Spurs v Burnley (Spurs win)
· Back to more familiar territory next as we head to North London where Spurs host Burnley and I think the hosts look cracking value to secure a win against the relegation strugglers.
· I will acknowledge that form isn’t great for Spurs domestically of late but following an 8-1 aggregate win over Wolfsberger in the Europa league and a much-improved display last weekend against West Ham I really see them winning today.
· The squad is back to more or less full capacity with Giovani Lo Celso the only confirmed absentee this afternoon. Both Kane & Son were rested on Thursday so will come back in to the starting 11 fresh and raring to go.
· Gareth Bale meanwhile has looked much more himself in recent performances and having been rested on Thursday it looks almost certain he will be handed a start here. A front three of Kane, Son and Bale is something I can’t see Burnley being able to deal with.
· The Clarets were extremely disappointing last weekend and could only draw 0-0 at home to a poor West Brom side despite the Baggies having 10 men for two thirds of the game.
· Scoring goals is a problem that has existed for Burnley the entire season and their 18 goals scored makes them the league’s 2nd lowest scorers. Only bottom of the league Sheffield United have scored less.
· Worth also mentioning that Burnley are extremely poor on the road and have one of the worst away records in the division.
· They make the trip to London without some important players including Ashley Barnes and Johann Gudmundsson who miss out through injury. Erik Pieters and Robbie Brady are also doubts for the game.
Luzern v Young Boys (Young Boys Draw No bet)
· Next stop on our Sunday trip around Europe is Switzerland where I expect league leaders Young Boys to do the business as they travel to midtable Luzern.
· Young Boys showed the rest of Europe just what a good team they are with their 6-3 aggregate win over Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday night to seal a shock qualification to the last 16 of the Europa League.
· They should no longer be considered just the best team in Switzerland but a side that is capable of competing in Europe too and their performance on Thursday was of the highest quality.
· Such is their dominance in their native Switzerland, they are already 18 points clear of 2nd placed Basel despite just 21 league games having been played.
· They also welcome back top scorer Jean-Pierre Nsame who missed the Leverkusen win through suspension. Nsame had already scored 19 goals and six assists in 26 games and is expected to lead the line once more this afternoon.
· Luzern have put in some decent performances but results continue to be poor. The 1-1 draw with bottom of the league Vaduz in midweek pretty much sums up where they are at the moment.
· They were looking all set for a vital win over relegation rivals Vaduz only to concede an equaliser deep into injury-time. Hardly ideal preparation when getting ready to fact the best team in Switzerland.
· Young Boys are yet to lose on the road this season and I expect them to pick up another victory this afternoon and at the very least avoid defeat here.
Lille v Strasbourg (Lille win)
· We finish the day where we started it, back in France and I expect high-flying Lille will be able to get the job done this afternoon as they host 16th placed Strasbourg this afternoon.
· Having been eliminated from the Europa League on Thursday night by Ajax, Lille can now turn their full attentions to Ligue 1 which actually might suit them. They have a genuine chance at the title this year and are currently sitting pretty at the summit.
· The hosts boast 58 points from 26 matches this term, and the last 14 teams to have accrued such an impressive tally at this stage have gone on to be crowned champions of France which is a sign of what a fine season it has been for Lille thus far.
· Lille have conceded a league-low 7 goals on home-soil and I struggle to see Strasbourg causing them too many problems from an attacking sense here.
· They have also lost just one of their last 16 Ligue 1 games (W12, D3, L1) and the dream is well and truly alive for a first French title since 2011.
· Strasbourg meanwhile have won just one of their last 6 league games (D3, L2) as they edge ever closer to the relegation places. Just 6 points separate them from the relegation places going in to this round of fixtures.
· Burak Yimaz is the only real notable absentee for the hosts but Jonathan David is more than a good enough replacement. The Candian international has 5 goals in his last 7 Lille appearances.
· Expect the league leaders to do the business this afternoon and keep their place at the top of Ligue 1.
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