Saturday Column – The Footy and The Horses
This weekend sees a series of international qualifiers and more than a few pointless friendlies. I often find that when this happens, bookmakers tend to include matches from obscure leagues that they wouldn’t otherwise touch. You will unquestionably read a variety of predictions for international matches. Personally, I seldom go near them but each to their own!
1 – German Regional Cup
There are dozens of German regional cup games, called the Landespokal, on over the weekend. A lack of ‘major’ European league action means there could be more of these matches in-play than usual. Ideally, you will find a few games featuring teams from the sixth-tier or lower against sides in the fourth-tier, although high-level fifth-tier sides will also suffice.
There is little information on the likely in-play games, although I note that sixth tier Empor Berlin face fourth tier Lichtenberg at 1 pm on Saturday. The away side beat an eighth-tier side 7-0 in the last round. Empor lost 4-0 to a fifth-tier team last season, so there is likely to be a gap in quality there. The Berlin section of this competition saw numerous double-figure scores in round one; perhaps there will be a few more in-play this weekend?
2 – French U19 League (Again)
The games mentioned last week didn’t quite fit the bill in terms of results, although Quevilly proved their unpredictability again with a stunning 5-2 triumph over Lens. Those on the overs goal markets filled their boots. Quevilly plays Boulogne away at 2 pm Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled for the goal markets should they pop up.
Other games of interest are Toulon vs. Ajaccio, Guingamp vs. Laval, and Montceau vs. Paris FC. Guingamp has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season with 14 goals for, and none against in two matches so far. All of the above matches take place at 2 pm on Sunday.
3 – Other Leagues of Interest
Hopefully, the bookies will slip up and include a few mismatches that they fail to properly handicap. Sadly, we won’t get the dreadful Balvu team in Latvia’s second division in play! We might get lucky and find Grobina vs Tukums at 1 pm on Saturday, though. Tukums don’t score many away from home but did have a 7-1 win away to Auda last month.
Women’s football occasionally comes to the fore on international weekends, and as usual, there is potentially a lot of choose from. Saturday sees the Belgian women’s cup which is certain to have its share of mismatches. There are also German women’s cup games this weekend. In general, matches between female teams from different leagues has huge potential for utter carnage given the enormous disparity in quality.
The French women’s league has just begun as well. Predictably, PSG and Lyon have opened their accounts with heavy wins; 7-0 and 6-0 respectively. Lyon plays away to newly-promoted Stade De Reims, so another big win is on the cards at 3:30 pm on Saturday. PSG play away to Metz at the same time, although they only beat them 3-1 last season in the corresponding fixture!
1 – It's on! Gordon Elliott confirms Grand National as main target for Tiger Roll
Tiger Roll will be targeted at the Randox Health Grand National after Gordon Elliott confirmed the two-time Aintree hero will bid to become the first horse to win the £1 million race for a third consecutive year.
After becoming the first horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals since Red Rum in April, the line from Tiger Roll's owners Gigginstown House Stud had been the nine-year-old was unlikely to return to Aintree to bid for a historic third consecutive National in a row.
2 – Richard Fahey guide to his Saturday team
Sporting Life's star columnist, Richard Fahey has runners at Thirsk, Haydock, Ascot, and Wolverhampton today.
3 – The Stats
John Gosden is our man for today's stats section. He's showing an impressive 33% strike rate for the last two weeks, a 17% strike rate for the course at Ascot and an RTF of 74%.
He's got four runners for today, as follows –
13:35 – Cherokee Trail
14:10 – Anastarsia
15:20 – She's Got You
15:55 – Travel On
I'll be backing them all. Anything short will be a win only bet and anything over 6/1 will be an each-way bet.
We'll be back next week with more insights into the footy and the horse's world and let us know what you're backing in the comments 🙂
Patrick & Eddie for the Football Advisor
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