Friday, April 12, 2013

The Eagles have not quite landed, but are hovering !

I have not posted much on the blog, Twitter or website this week, but have sent out a few freebie previews
by email and everyone in the database will have got to see the Galatasaray preview ( reproduced in the post below).  Also, 276 of you were sent the preview directly below on February Europa League outright bet on Benfica at 26.0 +... there was 29.0 available, now, eight weeks later they are facing Fenerbahce in the semi-final and trading at 2.75 !

Nine football previews this week so far, seven winners, one push and one loss , today, I have previewed six matches for subscribers, four today and two for the Saturday morning J-League matches... I am a busy boy !

As I have told you many times before, I work hard so that subscribers do not have to, that is what they pay the big bucks for ( 7 euros for the Friday-Sunday previews !!!!!!). Give yourself a Spring treat.

Good Luck.

Europa League: (Written February 14th)

The last ten runnings of the Europa League/ UEFA Cup have seen seven winners from the Iberian Peninsula, five Spanish winners and two Portugese, they also supplied four losing finalists between them and all four semi finalists last year, the other three winners came from Eastern Europe, with two Russian winners and one from the Ukraine.
The Eastern teams are at a disadvantage early, coming off their winter break, but once we are in mid/late March, the pendulum swings the other way and they are fresher and at their peak, when others are beginning to tire.

This says as much about how these countries view the competition than anything else, they always show it respect and want to do well. Italian teams have a terrible record and since it was renamed the Europa League, only one has got past the Round of 32 and they lost in the Round of 16.

There are three Serie A teams left in the competition, Lazio, Napoli and Inter, but all have other major objectives for the season and I would offer a word of caution about all of them, not to say that they cannot win/ progress, just that I doubt that they are overly bothered.

The final is in Amsterdam this year and we can expect Ajax to be very motivated, but they might well have to see off Chelsea in the round of 16..

Atletico Madrid and Levante are the only two Spanish teams remaining and are drawn to face each other in the Round of 16, Atletico are looking to win for the third time in four years and given their league position, 12 points behind Barcelona and 11 clear of the fourth placed team, they already look assured of a Champions League spot for next season and I see no reason why they will not again be fully focused and this looks a decent draw for them, they have to be favourites IMO and 8.0 is a perfectly fair price, although a little skinny for my liking in a 32 runner race.

Despite facing a difficult tie with Bayer Leverkusen and going toe to toe with Porto for the domestic title, Benfica keep catching my eye at 29.0 in the outright market, they would play either Dynamo Kiev or Bordeaux next and I would favour them to beat either. They are unbeaten domestically, 14-4-0 and were a little hard done by in the Champions League. They look committed to this and all the big guns have travelled and they do have some very impressive weapons ....

Benfica: Artur Moraes, Paulo Lopes ,Bruno Varela, Melgarejo, Maxi Pereira, Luisinho, Luisão, Garay, Roderick Miranda , Jardel , André Almeida, Ola John, Enzo Perez, Salvio, Matic, Nicolás Gaitán, Urreta , André Gomes, Rodrigo, Lima, Cardozo.

They can field a starting eleven full of internationals and have a very nice mixture of experience and exciting young talent. Garay, Perez and Gaitan were all in the Argentine squad for the recent friendly in Stockholm, Salvio was in the squad for the previous international and is the youngest of the quartet. They have the class to go deep in this if they wish and the squad they have taken to Germany looks a statement of intent.
Leverkusen host Augsburg on Saturday afternoon, what is it with the Bundesliga ? Give them an extra day for goodness sake ! They are going to make some rotation between the two games of course, boss Sami Hyypiä admitted that and also that "a couple of our players have slight problems", refusing to give fiurther details. Almost four thousand visiting supporters have tickets for the game, which will make for a very good atmosphere, if pushed, I like the visitors with the handicap start, but must admit that +0.25 ball at sub 2.0 is not my favourite quote and if we are taking the outright anyway, I am happy to stick with that. 1 unit Benfica to win Europa League outright 26.0 + , there is bigger in a place or two.

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