Sevilla v Espanyol Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Sat 20th August By @J_RKeith

Sevilla v Espanyol – Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium at 21:15 live on Sky Sports 3

The La Liga officially kicks off this weekend, and after their defeats in both cup finals Sevilla will want to put that behind them and start the new campaign with a win as they host Espanyol at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Saturday night.

Sevilla haven’t had the greatest starts to their first year under Jorge Sampaoli having already lost the UEFA Super Cup Final to Real Madrid in extra-time, before also losing the Spanish Super Cup to Barcelona 5-0 over two legs.
But one positive for the club is that they will be competing in the Champions League yet again after their third consecutive win of the Europa League Final against Liverpool.

Pre-season seemed to go well however, winning all of their club friendlies, and in the transfer market they managed to capture Franco Vasquez, Joaquin Correra and Ganso for a combined total of £31 million. Meanwhile, in the other direction Kevin Gameiro, Fernando Llorente and Grzegorz Krychowiak all departed the Spanish outfit.

Four players are out injured for Sevilla, including Michael Krohn-Dehli who faces five months out with a fractured kneecap, while Sebastian Cristoforo is the only player banned for the opening match of La Liga.

From what I saw of this team against Real Madrid in the Super Cup was a side who dominated possession and were unlucky not to win, and if they play like that against this Espanyol side we may be looking at three points on the opening day.

 

Quique-Sanchez-Flores

Quique Sanchez Flores

Their opponents finished last season 13th in La Liga and five points off the bottom three, so they did what any other club would do and sacked their manager. Now Quique Sanchez Flores, the former Watford manager, is in charge of helping this club climb higher up the table.

Pre-season seemed to go well for the Spaniard having not lost a single game, while in their last friendly before their campaign kicks off they drew with Italian Champions Juventus 2-2 in Turin; Gerard Moreno scoring the second with Victor Sanchez being sent off.

In the transfer window six players have left the club on free transfers, but Flores has helped bring in seven players including Jose Antonio Reyes from Sevilla and Martin Demichelis from Manchester City on free transfers; spending under £7 million in total.

There are no suspensions or injuries for Espanyol, and this is a dream scenario for the new manager considering he can take advantage of a fully fit squad to take on a morally drained Sevilla side.

The last time these two clubs met Espanyol won 1-0 at home; Felipe Caicedo scoring the goal. However, Sevilla have won their last three meetings at home, and the visitors have not won at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium since 2011.

Looking at a Sevilla win for this one. Their unbeaten home record against Espanyol speaks for itself, and with both clubs under the transition of a new manager Sevilla have had a better test and may go into this match more prepared than their rivals.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Sevilla -0.75 @ 1.90 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith.

 

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Astra Giurgiu v West Ham Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Thurs 18th August by @tashason21

Astra Giurgiu v West Ham – Marin Anastasovici Stadium, Giurgiu at 19:15 live on BT Sport 2 

On Thursday evening, West Ham travel to Romania to take on Astra Giurgiu in a Europa League play-off.

This is not the first time these sides have faced each other in this competition and in August last year, Astra Giurgiu came out 2-1 winners, knocking the Hammers out of the Europa League, despite West Ham taking an early lead through Lanzini. Budescu scored a brace, which subsequently landed his side the victory on that occasion.

On Monday, the Hammers faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their first Premier League game of the season and lost 2-1 as a result of a late winner scored by Diego Costa. Chelsea opened the scoring through Eden Hazard, who confidently netted a penalty after Antonio brought down Oscar inside the box. James Collins equalised however with an unbelievable strike, although West Ham failed to hold on and their London rivals took all 3 points.

Last season West Ham finished 7th in the Premier League table on 62 points after a great season under Slaven Bilić and they’ve continued to strengthen their squad this transfer window, with the likes of Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Andre Ayew (Swansea) and Gökhan Töre (loaned from Beşiktaş) all joining the Hammers.

 

Sofiane Feghouli

Sofiane Feghouli

In the last round of this competition, West Ham secured a 4-2 aggregate win over Slovenian side NK Domzale, which included an impressive 3-0 home victory which saw Kouyate score a brace and Feghouli find the net.

As for Astra Giurgiu, they’re currently 9th in the Romanian Liga 1 table after 4 games, having lost 2, drawn 1 and won 1.

Their only win, which ended up being a decisive 3-1 league victory, came last Saturday against bottom of the table ACS Poli Timişoara, with Săpunaru scoring a brace and Niculae netting the other goal

Both sides will want to get off to the best possible start in this first leg, with the return leg being held at West Ham’s new stadium on August 25th.

As for the result of this Europa League clash, West Ham are the clear favourites to win this tie, although I am not convinced they’ll win by more than a single goal margin and therefore I think there is better value on the overs market and I recommend backing over 2.5 goals at 2.09.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.09 with Pinnacle 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @tashason21.

 

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Villarreal v Monaco Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Wed 17th August By @J_RKeith

Villarreal v Monaco – Camp El Madrigal at 19:45 live on BT Sport 2 Extra

Two sides who have always been there abouts in the Champions League, as once-upon-a-time semi-finalists Villarreal take on 2004 runners-up AS Monaco at the Camp El Madrigal on Wednesday night.

Villarreal have not yet played a competitive match of their new campaign under their new manager Fran Escriba, while in pre-season they have only won three of their nine friendlies. Their last match finishing in a 3-2 defeat away to Leganes adding to two more losses to both Porto and Deportivo La Coruna.

In the Champions League, Villarreal have only won one of their last ten in this competition, losing six games on the bounce, while at home they have failed to win their last three. It gets worse though, considering Escriba’s team has failed to score in these three matches.

In the transfer market, the Yellow Submarine have lost two key players in Eric Bailly and Denis Suarez, while Escriba has helped bring in midfielder Roberto Soriano and Nicola Sansone for a combined total of £22 million. Other signings include winger Denis Cheryshev from Real Madrid and Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato from Corinthians.

It’s not looking good in terms of injuries though for Villarreal, as Roberto Soldado is out until February. Johnathan Dos Santos is also sideliend. Victor Ruiz is suspended and Christian Espinoza is at the Olympics.

 

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Fran Escriba

AS Monaco kicked off their new season on the weekend with a 2-2 draw at home to Guingamp; Fabinho and Bernardo Silva scoring the goals to put the French club tenth in Ligue 1. Yet, in pre-season they have only won three of their last eight.

This will be AS Monaco’s second Champions League play-off match having previously beaten Turkish outfit Fenerbache over two legs 4-3; losing the first leg 2-1 before winning 3-1 at home with Valere Germain scoring a brace.
However, last season the Red and Whites crashed out at this stage of the competition losing over two legs to Valencia 4-3 on aggregate, this includes a 3-1 defeat in Spain.

In the transfer market, the French outfit have been busy strengthening their back-line by signing full-backs Djibril Sidibe and Benjamin Mendy as well as centre-back Kamil Glik for a combined total of £33 million.
Good news for Leonardo Jardim is that Radamel Falcao has returned from his loan spell at Chelsea and he’s managed to keep hold of Joao Moutinho for another season.

Three players sit out injured for Monaco including goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis who is recovering from a rib injury, while Radamel Falcao is also ruled out.

These two sides have never faced each other, yet against clubs based in host countries Villarreal have never lost to a French team in a European competition winning two and drawing two. AS Monaco has won six and lost eight in 18 meetings against Spanish clubs.

I’m expecting a tight game, but I can see Monaco snatching something from this match mainly because Villarreal haven’t played a competitive game yet this season and they have lost key players whilst getting a new manager.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: AS Monaco +0.5 @ 1.90 with Betvictor

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith.

 

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