Sunday, February 19, 2012

SUNDAY .....

Way off the mark with the two blog posts yesterday, I have/am looking at seven events today, so have a little leeway to put a couple up on the site , so hopefully we can get the blog back on track....


We have discussed the Eredivisie outright market twice this season, both posts are reproduced below and in each we were firmly in the PSV camp. I have seen little to change my mind since. The Eindhoven club are now odds on across the board to win the title and Ajax, already eight points off the pace and having lost four in a row in all competitions, look to be out of the equation. AZ look their biggest rival in the title race and PSV can put some pressure on them, ahead of a tricky trip to Utrecht, by winning this late morning kick off.

They are coming off a 2-1 win at Trabzonspor in the Europa League on Thursday, that was a very convincing performance and they were worthy of a much greater margin of victory and never really troubled by the Turkish side. PSV kept all their stars in the transfer window as expected and have plenty of strength in depth in all positions and competition for places. Zakaria Labyad suffered a groin injury and not join his team-mates for the trip to Turkey, but trained Thursday and Friday in Eindhoven after an MRI scan did not show any abnormalities. Georginio Wijnaldum started on the bench and came on after 78 minutes in Trabzon, he is likely to be ready to start today and it was a sign that no one wants to miss out, as places are not easy to get back, that he chose to travel in midweek.

Groningen have lost their last three with a 1-9 goal difference and are desperate to get back on track, but the hosts are missing several key players today and have had big disruptions to their training schedule and seem low on confidence. The two clubs played the reverse fixture at the end of November, with PSV running out 6-1 winners, with the first five goals coming inside 55 minutes, that was a big deal for the Eindhoven club, coming against an opponent they struggled to see off last season and I expect them to follow up today, with a little style. 1.5 units PSV Eindhoven -0.75 1.80 asian line.

Back later.

written 29/12
We originally looked at the Eredivisie outright market in early October, that post is reproduced below in blue type and re-reading that, would probably be a good place to start. PSV have since closed the gap to AZ at the top of the table to just a single point, with FC Twente and Ajax a further four points adrift and Feyenoord six behind the team from Eindhoven.

PSV are now trading at a best priced 2.625, so any of you that got on following the original write up, has got a good value bet.If you missed out, I still feel the current quote is still too high and it seems sure to trade an awful lot lower in the coming month or two. PSV restart after the Winter Break with matches against Utrecht, Vitesse, Heracles and de Graaf, three are in the bottom half of the table and even allowing for Vitesse, they have an average placing of 12th in Eredivisie. They is a very comfortable programme in the opening month and fixtures that PSV have averaged 2.42 points per game from in the last decade. During this sequence AZ host Ajax and the Amsterdam giants also travel to Feyenoord,both fixtures where the points have tended to be shared around.

Looking at the longer term fixtures, PSV have already travelled to AZ, Twente and Feyenoord and whilst they still have to visit the Amsterdam Arena in late March, the other three contenders all have to to come to the Philips Stadion, where PSV have yet to taste defeat this season and have lost only twice in the league in 35 months ( 46 starts). All five named players in the original preview are in a settled PSV team now, Matavez, Toivanen and Wijnaldum scored the five goals between them in the 5-1 road win at Heerenveen immediately before the break and incredibly, all five were on the scoresheet in the 6-1 recent thumping of Groningen, so all are clearly contributing to a very strong offensive line up. They look sure to get stronger in the second half of the season, if anyone finishes above them, they will be champions, but it is hard for me to see beyond PSV for the title and if you are not already on and don't object to tying your funds up for several months then I make them a 2 unit bet @ 2.625 general quote, I anticipate that you could trade out for a profit shortly in any case, as you now could with the "original bet".Several players are being actively courted by EPL clubs, namely Erik Pieters, Jetro Willems and Martens, but Willems is only a "baby", Martens only joined in the off season and any moves for them would surely be more likely in the summer and the club have stated ( as they all do) that nobody is for sale.

I would like to discuss the outright betting market in Eredivisie, where I am far from certain that the oddsmakers have the correct favourite. Ajax are circa 2.25 across the board to follow up last year's win, but no team has retained the title since PSV won four in a row between 2004-5 and 2007-08, with AZ , Twente and Ajax winning one each since then, they are and remain the "big 4" and whilst Feyenoord look set for a better season than last campaign's woeful 10th place finish, they have a lot of ground to make up and have not troubled the top three places in over half a decade.

AZ lead the way at present with a four point lead over Twente and PSV, with the favourites a further two points adrift. Therefore, Ajax already have ground to make up on all three and their road form is a real worry, it almost cost them the title last season, especially when a defeat at Den Haag late in the season, left matters out of their own hands. Incredibly, they have now fallen behind in each of their last NINE Eredivisie road starts and there are only so many times that you can play that get out of jail free card ! After the international break, they host the leaders, so at least one of them is going to drop points and follow that up with another home start, when Feyenoord visit the capital. Either side of those matches are two Champions League meetings with Dinamo Zagreb, where six points for Ajax would put them back firmly into contention to qualify, with Lyon and Real Madrid also playing a double header in the next two rounds of games, the Amsterdam giants are far from out of things and they will surely be firmly focused on these upcoming games.

It really is PSV's turn for the title and they spent big in the summer to give themselves the best chance possible to win back the Championship. They spent close to 30m euros in transfer fees to sign Tim Matavz from Groningen, Georginio Wijnaldum of Feyenoord and the Utrech pair of Dries Mertens and Kevin Strootman. Mertens hit the ground running and has scored 11 in just 8 starts, Matavz was a little slower off the mark, as were a number of the new signings, but he also has six goals now and with Ola Toivanen also adding five, it is clear that this group and Wijnaldum scored 14 last season, are going to more than make up for the loss of last season's top scorer Balazs Dzsudzsak , PSV have spent the huge fee they received for him ( and more) wisely and look a much better squad this season IMO.

They are scoring freely with 20 in their last five starts alone and seem very unlikely to get sidetracked much in the Europa League, where one more win with four games to play is likely to take them close to qualification and they will be focused on their next two league starts, where they play two teams against whom they have fantastic records, firstly hosting Utrecht ( 10-0-0 in the last decade) and then traveling to Vitesse where they are 6-4-0, having won on five of their last seven visits. They have already hosted Ajax this season and had to settle for a share of the points in a 2-2 draw, but there were plenty of positives to take from that, they led twice and had good chances to extend their lead and have clearly improved since then. Ajax are unplayable domestically on a real going day, but concede too easily against even the weakest Eredivisie sides and are a little too willing to go toe to toe and shoot it out, sometimes you have to grind out a result. I do not think AZ and Twente have the class of either, or the staying power over 34 matches to win the title this year. I make PSV a narrow favourite and feel that at 3.25 + they are a very solid bet. I cannot put this in red type, as the top quotes are not avaiilable to all ( 3.75 V Chandler/ Blue Square..... 3.50 Corals/ Boyle/ Sky) , if there were similar quotes for big liquidity across the board they would be a maximum ( 2 unit) bet for me

Good Luck.

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