Groningen v Twente, Thursday, 5.45pm

TWENTE sit in sixth place in the Eredivisie – just one ahead of their hosts – but the points margin between the two sides is incredible with Twente a whopping 19 points in front of Groningen.

And that leaves these two sides battling it out with Utrecht and Heerenveen in the Europa League play-off – with just one continental place up for grabs.

The departure of Steve McClaren in February does not appear to have affected the stability of Twente on the pitch – and the side now managed by Alfred Schreuder (and Michel Jansen as Schreuder doesn't yet have the necessary qualifications to sit on the bench) are unbeaten in their last eight outings in the league.

Just one loss in eight clashes on the road suggests the visitors are more than capable of securing victory here and edging ahead in this two-legged tie – and 20 goals notched in eight games shows just how capable Twente are in the final third.

Hosts Groningen line up for this one without a win in three and just two wins from five on their own patch indicates the Green and White army are out of form ahead of this one.

Robert Maaskant's charges have shipped seven goals in their last three games and will be desperate to shore up their backline in order to keep themselves in this tie.

Either way the home side has placed in a much improved position compared to last campaign when they ended up 14th in the top tier.

The last time these two sides met Twente ran out comfortable 3-0 winners – and they have won five of their last six meetings with Groningen, drawing the other.

Recommended Bet

Twente @ 2.0

Milesey (Betfair)

  1. johhny5 8 years ago

    stallions 1 nil up

  2. Cammy 8 years ago

    I went for Twente as well. It seems like the departure of McClaren has tranformed the team, I reckon they should have been challenging for the league. They ended up miles ahead of Groningen in the league in points!

  3. Milesey 8 years ago

    Santa Fe trail Gremio 1-2 in their Copa Libertadores last-16 tie, goals are on the agenda when the Colombian and Brazilian outfits get their second leg underway in the early hours of Friday morning…

    You’re 1-0 up in a Copa Libertadores last-16 tie. You’re cruising. Your side has created numerous chances and, as well as taking the lead, has hit the bar. So why, why, when an opponent is chasing a bouncing ball just inside the left edge of the box, would you go flying into a challenge? There’s no immediate danger. All you have to do is stand him up. Even if he controls the ball you may be able to nick it. But you flew in, conceded a penalty and picked up a second yellow card.

    In that one moment, Cris, who had only just returned from a suspension after a red card against Fluminense in the group stage, cost Gremio an easy win over Independiente de Santa Fe.

    Eduardo Vargas – on loan from Napoli after failing to make much of an impression in Serie A following his move from Universidad de Chile – had nodded the Brazilians in front, and the only question appeared to be how many they would score. But then Cris lunged in on Jefferson Cuerte to give Gremio a wholly needless penalty and earn himself a red card.

    Omar Perez converted and Santa Fe suddenly had a lifeline. Fernando did thump in a winner with 10 minutes remaining but there is no doubt that the Colombians believe they can win.

    “It’s a difficult game,” said the Santa Fe coach Wilson Gutierez. “Gremio are a team that knows how to play. They have important players in the squad with quality. And they also come with the advantage of having won. We will attack. We have to start attacking from the start of the game and score first, since the goal ends up with the advantage for us. This is what we want at the beginning once we get onto the field.”

    Ze Roberto is likely to return and Gutierez believes that preventing he and Elano from playing is the key to preventing Gremio from finding their rhythm. “We have to put pressure on rival players and get very close to them and take their freedom,” he said. “We must make it difficult for them to play. They are two good players and cannot have the clarity of playing with the ball. They have quality, they cannot have spaces.”

    Santa Fe are top of the Colombian standings but they are not a great side for closing opponents down, having conceded 21 goals in 15 league games this season – the centre-back Carlos Valdes in particular has struggled of late. Recent form has been desperate, with just two wins in their last nine games. Not that Gremio are exactly flying. Their league season is yet to get underway but the win over Santa Fe was their first in four matches in the Libertadores and that makes this a difficult game to call. Given the likely atmosphere in Santa Fe, 2.2 on the home win is just long enough to be interesting.

    “It’s the most important game of our lives,” said Gerardo Bedoya and that spirit is likely to inspire not merely his team-mates but also the 40,000 in El Campin. Bedoya seems likely to be deployed in midfield, and it will be he and Daniel Torres who will be deputed to try to shout down Ze Roberto and Elano. The prize, should they do so, is a quarter-final against Real Garcilaso, the side only set up in 2009 who have bcei the first Peruvian side to reach the last eight since Sporting Cristal in 1997.

    Even more interesting, though, is the Over 2.5 Goals option at 2.12. Santa Fe have leaked seven goals in five games since losing in Porto Alegre and while Gremio aren’t over-attacking, nor are they that impressive at the back, particularly with the disruption caused by the suspension of Cris. That said, Sata Fe’s leading scorer, Wilder Medina, is a major injury doubt.

    Recommended Bet

    Back Over 2.5 goals at 2.12


  4. Milesey 8 years ago

    NBA Playoff Betting

    Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks

    The Indiana Pacers are on the cusp of reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004, and know a win in New York will clinch a showdown with Miami.

    The Knicks have been hopeless offensively for the majority of this series, with both Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith falling way below their high regular season standards.

    As a team, they average 88.3 points per game on 41.2% shooting, but it is difficult to envisage them not producing a better display given that their hopes are on the line.

    The Pacers defence has played a significant role in their slump, and Paul George and Roy Hibbert have been immense at protecting the paint as their ability to out-rebound their rivals has been integral to their success.

    However, it’s now “do or die” as Anthony says, and backed by a raucous MSG faithful back the Knicks to force this series into Game 6 with a confident rather than desperate performance.

    San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors

    The Spurs lead this series 3-2, but in order to book their place in the Western Conference finals they will have to do what neither team have been able to do thus far; win consecutive games.

    It is becoming slightly more apparent that the Spurs’ post-season know-how is coming to the fore, while a banged-up Golden State struggle through with niggling injuries to key players.

    Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, so devastating in the playoffs so far, had a forgettable night in Game 5 as the Spurs set up a much improved defense.

    Add to that their ability to get contributions across the roster, and San Antonio are rightly favourites to wrap this series up.

    While you can never count out the Warriors given their youthful determination and ability to heat up from beyond the arc, it may well be the end of the road for their playoff ambitions.

    Recommended Bets

    Back over 179.5 pts in Pacers-Knicks @ 1.98
    Back the Spurs to beat the Warriors @ 1.9


  5. Milesey 8 years ago


    NETHERLANDS: Eredivisie – Europa League – Play Offs

    Groningen 0-1 Twente


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