I admit it: I went too hard and too far last week.
Not the win for Athletic Bilbao; that looked like a pretty good call. Calling a Sergio Aguero goal wasn’t bad either, but I definitely should have been a tad cautious going for the Under 2.5 when Inter Milan played the bottom team in Serie A, Sampdoria.
Yet, backing Barry Town to win or draw @3.30 was an absolute masterstroke. Indeed, if you had put some money only on a Barry Town win, you’d be incredibly rich right now. So here’s to taking more risks. And if you still have some of that Barry Town money left, here are some good value picks to stake on this weekend.
Osasuna vs Villarreal: Over 2.5 @ 2.00
It’s criminal for a punter to not take advantage of the burst of goals in Villarreal games so far this season. The Yellow Submarines are topscorers [18 goals] in La Liga, have the joint-fourth worst
Even history backs an over 2.5 game. Villarreal themselves have scored over 2.5 goals in each of the last four meetings between both sides. Admittedly, two of these games were over five years ago. But you get the point…
However, for some reason, the bookies have decided to offer as much as 2.00 for [at least] a three-goal game. The fear of Osasuna is real. Los Rojillos have seen only one game with three goals this season – their 2-2 draw against Barcelona – and have one of the worst offences in La Liga so far.
So what’s going to give?
While you are at it, there’s a really tempting 2.30 for Villarreal themselves to score at least two goals. That’s something they’ve achieved in five of their seven league games this season.
Torino vs Napoli: Over 2.5 @1.67
Like Villarreal, Napoli love goals a lot too. But unlike Osasuna, Torino haven’t been bad themselves when it comes to being involved in goals.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli have been involved in the most goals in Serie A this season [25 goals], they have the joint-best offence in the league [15 goals scored], and their 10 goals conceded places them in the top six for goals conceded so far.
Dating back to last season, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of Torino’s last 10 home games in Serie A. They do love a goal feast at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.
Napoli have bested their opponents in their recent fixtures too, winning the last four meetings at Sunday’s ground while scoring at least two goals in each of the games.
You get a decent 2.27 for a Napoli win + Over 1.5, and that doesn’t look bad at all too.
Schalke 04 vs Cologne: Schalke 04 win + Over 1.5 @1.68
David Wagner’s Schalke 04 side have been one of the surprise packages of the Budesliga this season. The Royal Blues currently sit fourth in the table, just one point behind league leaders and defending champions Bayern Munich.
Two weeks ago, I called the win + over 1.5 combo @2.05 in their 2-1 win over Mainz, and I’m going for a similar call again as they host second from bottom, Cologne.
Cologne have lost five games this season [one win], but haven’t had a single draw. Their losses have been heavy too, especially in the last two games, where they conceded four each against Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin.
Then there’s Schalke; Wins in their last four games, with all of their last five seeing at least three goals. Cologne could really be blown apart here…
Barcelona vs Sevilla: Both Teams To Score @1.62
Despite the best efforts of the Marc-Andre ter Stegen – who’s been incredible to say the least – Barcelona have kept just one clean sheet in their seven La Liga games the season. With Messi fully back and Luis Suarez back in form, Barcelona don’t seem to have any problems upfront. But it is in defence that they are set to build the desired solidity.
Sevilla on the other hand have scored in all but one of their games in La Liga this season. They have looked good under Julien Lopetegui, and were particularly impressive in their 3-2 win over Real Sociedad last weekend.
Games between these two sides tend to produce a lot of goals; though Sevilla have been on the receiving end mostly, they have played their part too, scoring in four of the last five.
I’m not expecting either side to hold back at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening, and if their midweek engagements have any effect, then we could see yet another rush of goals.
Livingston vs Celtic: Over 2.5 @1.54
Livingston have lost their last 3 matches in the league; their last four in all competitions. They are facing the best team in the league coming off very poor form.
Celtic meanwhile are undefeated in their last 23 matches against Livingston in all competitions and have won their last five at the Almondvale Stadium.
A lot point towards a Celtic win, but you don’t get much for that – an unflattering 1.27. But you can get a good 1.54 for over 2.5.
And that’s not a bad punt either as there have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Livingston’s last 6 games. Celtic themselves are no slouch when it comes to scoring, as they boast the best attack  in the league so far this season.
Bonus: Liverpool vs Leicester City – Liverpool win or draw @1.09
Liverpool can inch closer to the Premier League record for most consecutive wins by grabbing their 17th straight when Leicester visit Anfield Saturday afternoon.
Leicester City have been in great form this season; currently in third place, and just two points behind last season’s champions Manchester City. So if ever there was a team to halt Liverpool’s run…
But what Leicester City may not be able to stop is Liverpool’s unbeaten run at home in the Premier League. It’s now at 41, and considering that the Foxes haven’t done it in their last eight attempts, this seems like the perfect ‘banker’.