With July over, we now go into August. July wasn’t amazing – 2 doubles of around 4/1 -5.5/1, but three accumulators that were just a goal off, with the unpredictability with leagues starting and european qualifying being a bit iffy – not pleased with the results, but when teams on 11 game winning runs against their opposition losing 3-0 thanks to a red card…it’s anomalies that we simply can’t predict!
I’m going to kick off August with a BTTS acca in the Champions League – all four games were high scoring in the first leg, so I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t spill over into the 2nd:
Red Star Belgrade vs Ludogorets: BTTS @ 8/11 (Tuesday, 1930 KO)
This was one I considered last time out, but bottled. It ended 2-2, and with both being respective champions of their leagues, both will really want to hit the Champions League group stage! For the most, both are relatively unknown and were not really challenged in winning the titles they did last season, at the end of the regular season stage in Serbia – Red Star won it by around 30 points!
Ludogorets featured in last season’s Champions League, drawing with Liverpool and facing Real Madrid. Both are clearly good attacking teams, and with the home side this time having two away goals, Ludogorets know they have to score potentially at least twice. A 1-1 draw would see them exit.
Steaua Bucharest vs Sparta Prague: BTTS @ 10/11 (Wednesday, 1845 KO)
Both played on the weekend, and both conceded to poor sides. Sparta more worryingly, 2 to Slovacko, who you could maybe compare in English terms to someone like West Brom or even Hull, while Sparta are a Man Utd/Chelsea. They were 3-0 up, so it shows they are vulnerable. Steaua beat Viitorul 3-1 away, so a good result for them.
First leg was a 1-1 draw, but really should have been more goals. Both have lost players over the summer, but have replaced well. There are three key players going forward for Sparta – Fatai, a pacey winger, Lafata – a hitman, big target, but equally 60 odd goals in under 100 games. Dockal is a creative midfielder that I like, 18 goals in around 70 games and plenty of experience. Steaua are a bit more youth based now – a few left as mentioned, with Stanciu still the main man. Looking at a lot of their other forward options – plenty of younger players looking to prove themselves.
I fancy another 1-1, and potentially extra time.
Monaco vs Fenerbache: BTTS @ 5/6 (Wednesday, 1945 KO)
This looks a very interesting one on paper! It ended 2-1 to Fenerbache, who had been pretty disappointing at times last season – finishing a distant 2nd to Besiktas, and even then in the last 7 seasons have won the title twice and finished runners up the other 5 times. They have signed some solid players – Van Der Wiel from PSG, Skrtel from Liverpool, Neustadter from Schalke and Chahecouche from Sivasspor – who had scored around 50 goals in 120 games – an excellent addition! Add them to the likes of RVP, Topal, Fernando and captain Simon Kjaer and they have a much more solid base of players.
Monaco have just about rid themselves of the ‘rich boys’ tag that so many had assosciated them with. The Russian owner stopped pumping in the money, and is running them more sensibly now. Still, they have signed Kamil Glik from Torino, and posses the likes of Moutinho, Falcao, Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar. They have an away goal, and for me it should help open the game up as Fenerbache lead, but know they are vulnerable. An early goal would be good as that always opens things up!
Anderlecht vs Rostov: BTTS @ 5/6 (Wednesday, 1945 KO)
This was the other game that ended 2-2 in the first leg, a game I thought would be fairly low scoring since Rostov were defensively very good last season, where they nearly did a ‘Leicester’ and beat CSKA to the title, but just failed at the last hurdle. Anderlecht seem to have defensive issues, and have done since Chancel Mbemba left last summer. Having watched them numerous times since then, they are much worse off and have not found a replacement quite as good as him.
Offensively excellent – Acheampong is a real threat from the wing, Okaka up front is a good finisher, while the likes of Defour, Andy Najar and young sensation Youri Tielemans add weight to the argument that they can outscore most in their league. As for Rostov – bar Cristian Noboa, I actually don’t know any other members of their squad. It’s a small one – 19 players at the moment, but clearly there is quality. Not many high scorers, the most from last season was about 12 – but they usually don’t concede many, though tomorrow it’s a case of they need to as Anderlecht have the away goals!
The bet pays around 10/1 as an accumulator.
On another note – our Premier League fantasy football (league) is up and running again – feel free to join, we are offering £100 in prizes for 1st-5th again, and with free entry it’s a league worth being in!
Best of luck