Seattle Sounders v FC Dallas

Saturday, 3am

The MLS play-offs are very much in full swing and we have a winner takes all clash between Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas in the early hours of this weekend that could go either way. A place in the quarter finals against Los Angeles FC is up for grabs as we enter the business end of the season in the United States. This season, a new best-of-three format has been introduced for this stage of the competition, and one win each for Seattle and Dallas means they’ll faceoff for the third time in over a week to determine who progress.

It was a simple case of Seattle comfortably winning the first meeting 2-0 at home, whilst Dallas bounced back with a 3-1 home success six days later. Aggregate scoring is not in play here, so it is simply a matter who wins on the day by any score. Any leg that ends in a draw would go to penalties, and of course that is a possibility here. The pressure has been on each side in the opening two clashes, Seattle to win at home first up and then Dallas to purely stay in the tie. The dynamic will be a little different here as there are no second chances after this one. With home field advantage, Seattle are rightfully favourites.

The loss in Dallas was Seattle’s first defeat since going down 2-0 at home to Atlanta United back in August, which was only their second home deficit since the start of June. It is certainly a tough place to go and it is the destination where Dallas have not emerged with a victory since February 2019. Seattle may be going well, but Dallas have been too. Losing the opening clash of this play-off was also their first defeat since August, whilst only five away wins this season proves it’ll be a tough, but not impossible task, for them to progress out of this tie this weekend.
Seattle is a club that is used to excelling at this stage of the season. They have reached four of the last seven MLS Cup finals and it is their significant edge of experience why I fancy them to progress to the next stage. Like most teams in MLS, you always think there is a vulnerability about the away side, and that applies to Dallas here. Leg one of our fourfold is on the home win.

St Gallen v Winterthur

Saturday, 5pm

If you are looking for your football fix in terms of seeing goals flying in then the Swiss Super League should become an interest of yours! The league average of goals per game is over 3.00, meaning each and every game has a good chance of delivering the goods. This weekend, St Gallen versus Winterthur is certainly one clash that is likely to tip the entertaining value off the scale. This meeting presents two of the top-three scorers in the division, with hosts St Gallen deemed relatively short odds to emerge with maximum points.

That is understandable merely by taking a quick glance at the league standings 13 games into the campaign. St Gallen sits third in the table, only one point behind usual league leaders Young Boys. Winterthur are firmly in mid-table, and whilst scoring goals isn’t a problem they do have big issues keeping it out of their own net. They possess the worst defensive record in the division, but they have conceded seven goals more than their xGA number suggests, but it is still a figure worsened by FC Basel.

Flip over to the offensive statistics, and St Gallen and Winterthur are also amongst the top-three for xG demographics. They are also in the top-three in the Swiss top flight for number of shots on goal. The hosts heavily outnumber their opponents for touches in the penalty area, whilst the away side are well in advance of St Gallen in terms of shots faced. Pretty much everything is pointing towards a home win here, but these two teams met only very recently on October 22nd, with Winterthur emerging 2-1 winners on the day. I’d rather play it a little safer and stick with a goals approach for this game to form the second part of our acca.

Over 2.5 Goals isn’t the biggest of price but it’ll help boost our overall price a little and above all it is a selection I’d fully expect to come through. Only three Winterthur clashes all season haven’t surpassed this selection, whilst every St Gallen home game has done so.

FC Twente v NEC Nijmegen

Saturday, 7pm

FC Twente have been going well in Eredivisie for a good while now. They’ve enjoyed back-to-back top five finishes in the Dutch top flight and 11 games into this season they find themselves comfortably inside the top-four. A strong defensive record, where they have shipped only eight goals, is one obvious reason for that. It is just one defeat to their name so far, and they’ll expect that to also be the case come full time this weekend following their home clash with NEC Nijmegen.

NEC are very much a mid-table sort of team at this level. They won promotion out of the second division a few years ago and they’ve done well to establish at this higher level. The challenge now is to try and break into the next bracket, which is to see them consistently challenge for a place in Europe. In this 18-team league, eight clubs will have a shot at the end of the season to do exactly that. Consistency has been a problem for a club like NEC this season, who only have two wins to their name, both of which came at home. They face a challenging trip to De Grolsch Veste on Saturday evening, where the hosts have a 100% record here this season.

When did Twente last lose an Eredivisie home game? May 2022. That is kind of all you really need to know in terms of how much of a fortress this place really is. Feyenoord and Ajax have already both been there this season and left pointless. You’d suspect NEC will also fall into that same category this weekend. They will need the perfect performance and hope the home team drastically under-performs or maybe receives a red card.

You won’t get rich backing the home win as a single but for acca purposes it makes sense. There is the obvious worry that this immense home run will of course end at some point, but I’d like to think it won’t be on Saturday. Twente are just relentless in front of their own supporters and their style of play swarms the opposition, who generally don’t have the answers in reply.

SV Wehen v FC Kaiserslautern

Sunday, 12.30pm

Hopefully the acca has ran until Sunday and here is where I have a very confident selection from the German 2. Bundesliga encounter between SV Wehen and FC Kaiserslautern. Any bettor will no doubt already be more than aware of certain teams across the globe who are ‘good for goals’ and Kaiserslautern are certainly one of them. Their league clashes this season are averaging just below 4.00 goals per game, and although their last game featured only two that was only the second time this season a league game did not feature at least three goals.

Wehen are the opposition this weekend, but there is a bit of a difference when their games are concerned compared to Kaiserslautern. The clear difference is in the amount of goals their matches contain. On average, Wehen’s are just over 2.00 goals per game, roughly half of what the away team are regularly used to. However, they head into this encounter on the back of an impressive 3-1 away victory at Fortuna Dusseldorf, which made it three wins in succession, but also ended a mini-run of games which did not defeat the 2.5 goal line. Perhaps on the back of three wins and scoring three goals in a game they may look to be a bit bolder in their approach, especially playing at home and facing a side that doesn’t really do clean sheets.

In fact, Kaiserslautern have kept zero league clean sheets all season, and with ten of their 12 battles witnessing both team scoring, you’d like to think we’ll definitely see two goals in this one. Wehen themselves have only failed to score on two occasions, so although they have a low goals average in their games it doesn’t necessarily mean it is because of a very defensive approach. It fact, they are actually ranked 5th in the league for xG, with Kaiserslautern top of that particular statistic.

I would be frankly shocked if this game did not contain Over 2.5 Goals.

Accumulator Tips

  • Seattle Sounders
  • St Gallen v Winterthur Over 2.5 Goals
  • FC Twente
  • SV Wehen v FC Kaiserslautern Over 2.5
  • 5.20 (SBK)
1 Comment
  1. Kesilo 5 months ago

    3 out of 4 are very good!!👏👏👏Keep up the excellent write ups and analysis. Thank you.

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