This weekend's football accumulator presents a thrilling mix of matches across leagues, headlined by the Premier League giant clash between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium.
Expect a goal-fest in this early Saturday showdown, setting the tone for a weekend filled with football action. We also dive into the Bundesliga, with Freiburg looking to exploit Darmstadt's porous defense, and a promising high-scoring affair in the Frankfurt versus Stuttgart match. In League One, Bolton's form puts them as strong favorites against Exeter. From the Premier League's high stakes to Bundesliga's goal-rich battles and League One's emerging narratives, this weekend is set to be a rollercoaster for football fans and bettors alike.
Man City v Liverpool
The eye-catching game of the weekend at least in terms of stature in the Premier League sees Man City and Liverpool go head-to-head at Etihad Stadium. We all know everything there is needed to be known regards to these two clubs and whilst it is a game which promises so far, the big talking point is if the early Saturday kick-off after an international break may have a significant effect on proceedings. The fact is, we don’t know. I’m banking on goals here, and for all that players may have been away with their countries, everyone taking to the pitch this weekend will understand the importance of this one.
Liverpool are winless at this venue since April 2018, which came during their run to the UEFA Champions League Final, where they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid. You have to go all the way back to November 2015 for their last Premier League triumph in these surroundings. To reflect how long ago this was, players such as Jordon Ibe, Kolo Toure, Bacary Sagna and Martin Demichelis all took to the field in that one! City tend to have more issues when going to Anfield, but the hosts are normally good value for a home win.
I won’t be backing the home win however, or the draw or away win for that matter. The common theme when these two collide is goals and I see no reason to sway away from that again. Yes, this comes off an international break, but that can work either way and doesn’t necessarily point towards a low-scoring affair. Over the last 19 head-to-head renewals in all competitions, 15 went over 2.5 Goals, 14 saw both teams score, whilst 12 saw those two combined pay out.
I’m more than happy to plump for Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals once again in this fixture.
Freiburg v Darmstadt
The Bundesliga is also back in action after the international break and as usual goals are normally on the cards across most of the fixtures in this particular league. Games are averaging 3.61 goals in the German top flight, but bookmakers are certainly clocking onto this, meaning Over 2.5 lines from earlier in the season are being pushed up. Backing goals in Bundesliga games are quickly becoming more suitable for an accumulator than hoping for value on a single, which helps us out nicely for us especially!
Freiburg have been a little inconsistent this season, highlighted by the fact they’ve won four, drew two and lost five of their league assignments so far. In their defence, all five of those losses came against the current top-five in the division; Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart, Leipzig and Dortmund, and four were away from home. They’ve won all their games against bottom-half opposition, all being at home, too. They take on bottom-half Darmstadt this weekend; a team with the leakiest defence in the division.
Darmstadt may have shipped 32 goals, but their xGA figures are closer to 20, but I’m not one to ever think a team is necessarily unlucky to ship that number of goals desired xGA suggesting otherwise. For acca purposes, I’ll swerve the home win, but I will back Freiburg to net Over 1.5 Team Goals. They’ve achieved this in four of their five at home, and in the one they didn’t they achieved an xG of over 2.50.
The hosts really should be netting at least twice here against an opponent that is conceding an average of just under 3.00 goals per game.
Bolton v Exeter
One of the shorter prices across the weekend action in the EFL will be Bolton to get the job done at home to Exeter in League One. Ian Evatt’s side are riding high sitting third in the standings, and a five-match winning streak in league action is one big reason for that. Outside of that, they’ve lost just once in 12 in all competitions, so they are the very definition of a team in top form. Exeter, on the other hand, are not. They’ve recorded just two wins in 14, both of which came in cup competitions, meaning their last league win came during their September home victory over Cheltenham.
The difference between these two teams and clubs at present is sheer night and day, and whilst nothing can ever really surprise you in the EFL, there won’t be many backing the draw or an away win on their coupons this weekend. I am often a little worried about backing a team on a good winning run as that will inevitably end at some stage, but the only thing pointing towards backing Exeter in some capacity is only that. Bolton could potentially go top with a win, which serves as extra motivation, too.
This is a bit of a free hit for Exeter in one sense, as little is expected of them, but I never like that particular phrase as that often associates around teams struggling at the bottom of the table, and it isn’t as if they can just afford to keep losing games. Bolton have greater depth, and possessing a much stronger bench is a great insurance policy to have if things aren’t going to plan.
Again, for acca purposes, it makes sense to throw Bolton into the mix.
Frankfurt v Stuttgart
Another Bundesliga game and this is the one game that instantly jumped off the page to me in terms of expecting goals. That may surprise some people knowing Frankfurt actually sits bottom of the Over 2.5 Goals league in the top league in Germany, but that is soon surely about to change. On Saturday, they hosts Stuttgart in the evening kick-off in what is a top-seven encounter. It should be an entertaining watch, with chances at both ends.
Frankfurt saw each of their opening seven Bundesliga contests this season fail to see at least three goals in any, but their last four since then has been the opposite, including three of the four containing a minimum of four goals. The presence of Stuttgart alone means this will be an open game, and as such goals are always the first consideration. Nine of their 11 league battles has surpassed the 2.5 goal line, plus they sit second in the xG statistics across the league.
Although Stuttgart actually has a good defensive record that is also backed up by a solid xGA demographic, both teams to score has paid out in their other three meetings against top-seven clubs this season. The scores in those particular games read 5-1, 3-2 and 2-1, so that shows when facing the stronger opponent they aren’t able to be so secure defensively than when facing the likes of Union Berlin, Koln and Bochum (bottom-half teams they’ve kept clean sheets against).
Frankfurt have only faced two other clubs positioned above them in the table so far, those matches ending 3-3 and 3-1, so goals have flown when they face strong opposition, too.
Over 2.5 Goals just has to be the play. It just has to!
Saturday Accumulator Tips
- Man City v Liverpool – Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals
- Bolton to Win
- Freiburg – Over 1.5 Team Goals
- Frankfurt v Stuttgart – Over 2.5 Goals
- 7.13 (BoyleSports – with acca rewards boost)