The European soccer season is now in full swing there are tons of matches that will go under the radar both from betting and entertainment perspectives, in this week’s Value soccer Matches of the Week we’ll be looking at some hidden gems in the EPL, Bundesliga and Serie A.
English Premier League: Norwich City vs. Southampton (Carrow Road) – Saturday August 31, 2013
The first match worth looking at in terms of value is between two of the more attractive styles within the Premier League, Southampton looks to bounce back after salvaging a point late in a 1-1 draw against Sunderland when they play a Norwich City side at Carrow Road that lost to a 10-man Hull City.
The main aspect of this match has to be the coaching styles of the Saints Mauricio Pochettino and the Canaries Chris Hughton, both coaches lean heavily on ball movement and rely on the “best defense is a good offense” strategy. Both sides have League Cup ties to concern themselves with midweek but will be looking to its main forwards to make an impression on the game, Norwich will look to its new signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel while Southampton will try to form a partnership with main forward Ricky Lambert and its new signing Daniel Osvaldo. Both of these sides are looking to finish comfortably in the top half of the table and make an outside challenge for a European Place, with the commitment both have made in the transfer market barring any long term injuries there is no reason why they can’t make a significant push up the standings.
This should be a very entertaining match and features two forwards pegged to be amongst the leading scorers in the league, I’m leaning towards Southampton in this one as they’ve looked confident going forward and through the likes of Victor Wanyama, Gaston Ramirez and Adam Lallana they have an advantage in in the midfield.
Prediction: Southampton ML (+140)
German Bundesliga: Schalke 04 vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Veltins-Arena) – Saturday August 31, 2013
The next match on the list worth looking at is a German Bundesliga clash that sees a struggling Schalke 04 host an in form Bayer Leverkusen at the Veltins-Arena.
The beginning of the season has gone from bad to worse for coach Jens Keller and the Royal Blues, not only have they opened the season with two defeats at the hands of a 4-0 hammering from VfL Wolfsburg and a 2-1 away defeat to Hannover 96 but have also lost its leading goal threat in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for up to a month with a thigh injury, have a tough UEFA Champions League Playoff return leg with Greek side POAK after a 1-1 first leg draw and will be without defenders Benedikt Howedes and Christian Fuchs to red card suspensions. Leverkusen on the other hand have started the season on fire with wins over Freiburg, Stuttgart and Gladbach, coach Sami Hyppia is getting the best out of his attacking trio of Stefan Kiessling, Sidney Sam and Heung-Min Son while seeing young goalkeeper Bernd Leno continue to grow into one of Germany’s best.
I think getting Leverkusen at these odds is an outright steal even as the visiting side, Schalke are an absolute mess at the moment and with two defenders missing due to suspension and its leading forward injured this one could get ugly.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen ML (+125)
Italian Serie A: Udinese vs. Parma (Stadio Friuli) – Sunday September 1, 2013
The last match of the week we’ll be looking at takes place in the Italian Serie A between two sides looking to rebound from disappointments last week and record a first victory of the season, these are two sides that have good attacking options and are under managers with good pedigree in Udinese’s Francesco Guidolin and Parma’s Roberto Donadoni.
The main storyline surrounding this match is the battle between two of Italy’s best forwards in Antonio Di Natale for Udinese and Antonio Cassano for Parma, both have a strong track record within Serie A and even in their 30’s they are capable of taking over a game. Udinese are a team that have to constantly sell its top players to Europe’s best teams but always seem to bounce back and compete for a European place, although last season was much the same case and the club are currently in UEFA Europa League competition it has become increasingly more challenging to continue this trend and this might finally be the year of a big drop off. In Parma’s case the squad is fairly talented and have the tools to make a significant push up the table from its 10th place finish last season, it might be a lot to ask for them to push the likes of Fiorentina, Lazio or Inter for the majority of the season but keeping pace is certainly possible.
I like the OVER in this match, both sides have solid attacking talent and although Roberto Donadoni sides tend to focus on defending first Udinese should force them out of that shell.
Prediction: OVER 2.5 (+110)
That’s it for the Value Soccer Matches of the Week, until next week sit back, relax and enjoy the games!