Discover the best betting tips for this weekend's European football action; Aberdeen vs Hibernian, Caen vs Nimes, Labal vs St Etienne, Rennes v Troyes & Feyenoord v Go Ahead Eagles
Aberdeen v Hibernian
It was a rare setback for Aberdeen under Barry Robson last time out when going down 1-0 against Rangers at Ibrox, but they are still comfortable inside a Europa Conference League qualification place. One point behind those precious third and fourth slots are Hibernian, who only have four games left to break in, and clashes with the Old Firm duo are still to come. Aberdeen have been all-or-nothing based upon their won 17 and lost 15 approach, but they are superb at home. Hibs are on a three-game unbeaten streak, and travel to Pittodrie hoping to match their 6-0 triumph in the last head-to-head meeting.
That 6-0 game proved to be the final straw for then boss Jim Goodwin with The Dons, but they have certainly turned a corner under the stewardship of Robson. It is a remarkable eight victories in 11 for the ex-Middlesbrough midfielder, and they were enjoying a seven-match winning run prior to defeat last weekend. They love playing at home, and Hibs have only won once on their travels here in their last 13 visits.
Hibs are quite opposable away from home in general, even if they do possess the third-strongest away record in the league on paper. That isn’t saying much as they’ve still failed to win in 12 of 17 on the road, whilst Aberdeen have an excellent return of 12 wins out of 17 in front of their own fans. You can get odds-against money on a home win on the outright market, but I’ll play it slightly safer and back the hosts at -0.25 on the Asian Handicap at 5/6 with Unibet. This really should come in.
Caen v Nimes
Back-to-back defeats has officially ended any hopes of Caen playing in Ligue 1 next season, but realistically they were never going to overcome that deficit. Nimes do still have something to play for in terms of preserving their Ligue 2 status, and they have a five-point gap to bypass with only 12 left available in the campaign. Four points from their last two games has raised hopes of making the great escape, but they’ll probably need another win this weekend to make things interesting in the final few weeks.
Caen’s home record is only bettered by top two Le Havre and Bordeaux, but the fact they’ve only won five of 12 overall against teams placed 14th and below means they’re perhaps not the most reliable favourites this weekend. You just wonder how they’ll really approach it given their slim promotion hopes have now officially ended. As mentioned, that has been the case for a while now, but a common theme of goals has generally been the order of the day when they’re involved. Nine of their last 11 has featured over 2.5 goals and both teams scoring.
Nimes really need to be winning this game, so they can’t really approach this in a manner of playing for a draw. This should make for more of an open game knowing both will look to win. That is just how Caen play, whilst for Nimes they have to change their mentality. They’ve lost their past five away matches and failed to score in four of those, but their last two, both are home, finished 3-3 and 3-2, so that should give them a boost going into this one in terms of scoring goals. Over 2.5 Goals at 19/20 with QuinnBet is how I’ll play this one.
Laval v St Etienne
Our second trip to Ligue 2 revolves around a similar match to the one above where a team battling against relegation takes on an opponent in mid-table. Laval find themselves in the bottom four, but they are only a point inside these places, and therefore a win this weekend would likely propel them out of these dreaded positions. Earlier in the season, St Etienne had serious relegation worries of their own, but their form gradually improved and now they can approach these last four freely and within fear of consequence.
Two wins in three for Laval has certainly given them real belief of retaining their spot in the French second-tier. Both wins came against teams that no longer have anything to play for, but St Etienne are enjoying a very productive six-match unbeaten run away from home, so it shouldn’t be taken for granted this’ll just be a routine home win. In fact, St Etienne are favourites to win at the time of writing, despite all the motivation being for the home team, although that comes with its own pressures.
A safer approach to this one is to focus on goals, especially as this is actually a top-four game when it comes to their respective matches beating the 2.5 goal line. 11 of Laval’s 17 home matches has done exactly that, and the same can be said of St Etienne’s away battles. Laval’s last three has featured at least three goals, including BTTS in them all, so they aren’t playing within themselves and trying to nick slender wins, they are having a go. St Etienne always fall into the ‘have a go’ category, and they’ve scored in every game since losing 2-0 away to Bastia on January 31st. Goals has to be the play once more, and once more Over 2.5 Goals, especially when William Hill are offering 4/5.
Rennes v Troyes
Troyes could finally be put out of their misery this weekend and see relegation confirmed. Based upon many of their recent showings, they have been trying their best to seemingly speed up this process. They are on a 17-match winless streak in Ligue 1, and it would appear Ligue 2 is the best place for them at this moment. Their ultra-defensive style of play has not worked in the slightest and it could be a long afternoon for them at Rennes on Sunday.
Or at least it should be. Rennes are clearly the superior of the two teams, and they are the team with something to play for in relation to potentially qualifying for Europe next season. They have been trying their best to ruin those prospects however, and a run of two wins in six suggests that. Those two wins were both at home, including a 4-2 triumph over bottom side Angers; a team of a similar standard to Troyes. Only Lens have a better home record than Rennes, and the hosts really should be winning this one at an absolute canter.
The key for Rennes is scoring early enough to avoid this becoming a very awkward match for them. Troyes will show very little ambition here, but the fact they have by far the highest Expected Goals Against (xGA) in the league suggests this defensive shape doesn’t prevent them from conceding big chances. You’ll get slim odds on a home win, but we can increase that by backing Rennes at -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 41/50 with Unibet. They’ve won ten of their 17 league matches this season by two or more goals, whilst seven of those came within their nine home meetings with teams positioned in the bottom-half.
Feyenoord v Go Ahead Eagles
Barring an extra proportionate collapse, Feyenoord will be confirmed as this season’s Eredivisie champions. In all likelihood, that will be confirmed this weekend when they entertain Go Ahead Eagles at De Kuip. They could even be confirmed as league winners before kicking a ball here depending on Ajax’s result at lowly Groningen, but a Feyenoord win here would top it off. Go Ahead Eagles won’t want to rollover and make it easy for them, especially as they could still qualify for Europe themselves.
Feyenoord have been the best team this season, and by far. They’ve lost only once all season in league action, and they’ve yet to be defeated at home. Making a case for them winning this game is pretty strong, and they are priced around the 1/7 mark for them to oblige. Go Ahead Eagles aren’t the best away from home, but they’ve only really suffered one defeat we could class as ‘heavy’, and ironically that came when losing 4-1 to bottom of the table Cambuur. They can be tricky opposition, but it is still one Feyenoord will expect to beat. GOE sit 11th in the table, and Feyenoord have only dropped points in one match against teams positioned 11th or below this season.
A big reason for Feyenoord’s success is due to the firepower produced by star striker Santiago Giménez, who has netted 14 Eredivisie goals to date in his debut season for the club. He has netted 10 goals across his last 11 appearances for the club, and for us to get 11/10 on him to score alongside a home win on the Bet365 bet-builder is an absolute no-brainer.
Aberdeen v Hibernian – Aberdeen -0.25 (5/6 Unibet)
Caen v Nimes – Over 2.5 Goals (19/20 QuinnBet)
Laval v St Etienne – Over 2.5 Goals (4/5 William Hill)
Rennes v Troyes – Rennes -1.5 (41/50 Unibet)
Feyenoord v Go Ahead Eagles – Feyenoord Win and Santiago Giménez Anytime (11/10 Bet365)