After what seems an eternity, normal football resumes! The internationals were a bit of a nightmare, 3 wins from 7 after France failed to beat Belarus, Italy had a man sent off and then conceded to Israel and Austria were 2-0 up and sailing before conceding. Poland also blew a 2 goal lead against the mighty Kazakhstan…which really baffled me!
Today – a duo of games from the European circuit – looking towards leagues in Finland and Portugal:
Arouca vs Benfica: Benfica -1 Goal Handicap @ 6/5 (Portuguese Primeira, 20:30 KO – NAP)
The Portuguese league is a little like most leagues around Europe – 2/3 sides in contention, the rest have no chance. Benfica, along with Porto and Lisbon, have dominated this league for years – I struggle to remember the last winner from another team other than those three!
For today, they face an Arouca side who had a decent 15/16 season and qualified for the Europa League (qualifying) but lost to Olympiakos in the most recent round. Benfica have a good record against them, and a 2/3 record so far this season with 2-0 and 3-1 wins to go with a 0-0 vs Nacional. Most recent games have been 2-0 to Benfica, 1-0 to Arouca and then a few 4-0’s to the away side – the 1-0 loss being one of those where they had all the chances but failed to convert.
This season, with Jiminez, Mitroglu and Jonas all as strikers vying for a spot in the side (the Greek bigman hit 20 in 32 league games last term!) and a lot of talent in all departments (Lindelof will get a huge move soon) and new-boys like Andrija Zivkovic, I believe they have all they need to breeze past Arouca.
SJK vs Inter Turku: SJK -1 Goal Asian Handicap @ 21/20 (Finnish Veikkausliiga, 16:30 KO)
SJK have a 75% win ratio at home this season – 9 wins in 12 games and over 20 goals scored! Inter Turku away on the other hand are pretty shocking – 7 losses in 12, 17 conceded and overall this season just one of those sides that cannot keep a clean sheet for toffee!
The home side have a good record against them – in their last 3 games, they have won 3-1, 1-0 and 2-0, and with their form in mind – a one-goal win is the least I can see happening here!
Together this pays around the 3.5/1 mark.
Best of luck!