From The Trading Floor - Week 25

From The Trading Floor

Join Jay and DAZN Bet’s trading team as they bring you the pick of this week’s sports bets in “From The Trading Floor”

PSV Eindhoven v Rangers – UEFA Champions League Qualifying – 20:00 – August 30

Following their 2-2 draw in Glasgow last week, the fate of which of these two teams will be appearing in the Champions League Group Stage still remains in the balance. After Wednesday’s encounter in the Netherlands we will know which club will be getting a fairly sizable financial windfall, as well as the opportunity to face the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and PSG, and which will be left heartbroken and left competing with teams such as Real Betis, Brighton, Freiburg and Rennes in the UEFA Europa League.

I mentioned last week how PSV had endured a perfect start to the season ahead of the game at Ibrox, and that made them a dangerous prospect. They lived up to their billing by twice coming from behind against Rangers in order to avoid defeat, leaving the tie delicately poised as a result.

PSV’s Luuk de Jong grabbed their second goal in the contest, his fourth goal in three appearances during the qualifying stages this season, showing that the 33-year-old Dutch forward is a potent threat ahead of the second leg on Wednesday. In fact, PSV have now scored in each of their last 23 competitive fixtures, a run that stretches all the way back to February, when they suffered a 3-0 defeat away to Sevilla in the knock-out stages of the 2022/23 Europa League, losing just once during this run.

Rangers also continue to impress following their opening day SPFL defeat to Kilmarnock, following up their draw against PSV last Tuesday with a 2-0 victory at Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday, leaving them unbeaten in 6 in all competitions.

Something clearly has to give and, unfortunately, I have to side with the Dutch team emerging victorious at the expense of the Scottish giants. Despite having only lost one of their nine previous fixtures against Wednesday’s opponents, I cannot ignore the recent goalscoring ability of the hosts. Coming from behind twice in last week’s encounter shows that they are more than determined to secure their spot amongst Europe’s elite this season, whilst surrendering a lead twice must surely be a bit of a confidence blow the Gers.

It felt like Rangers didn’t find things entirely straightforward in overcoming Servette in the previous round of qualifying and, with PSV looking like much a much sterner opposition, I can see them falling at the final hurdle when they travel to Eindhoven on Wednesday.

The hosts are pretty strong favourites to pick up a victory inside 90 minutes, and I believe there’s a fair bit of value in taking them to make things relatively comfortable by winning by a margin of at least a couple of goals. 

Traders’ Tip: PSV Eindhoven -1.5 @ 13/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £23.

 

Aberdeen v BK Hacken  – UEFA Europa League Qualifying – 19:45 – August 31

Much like Rangers, Aberdeen will also be entering the second leg of their tie against Hacken with affairs evenly balanced following a 2-2 draw last week. The Dons travelled to Sweden as fairly solid underdogs, and things seemed to be going the way of the 2022 Swedish champions who held a 2-0 lead entering the final 20 minutes, but Aberdeen staged a remarkable late comeback to snatch a draw in Gothenburg.

Things would then go from bad to worse for Hacken when experienced centre back Johan Hammer was shown a second yellow card in the closing stages of the match, leaving him unavailable for Thursday’s showdown at Pittodrie.

Surrendering that lead also seemed to have knocked a bit of confidence from Hacken domestically too, with the club also losing 4-2 away to local rivals, and relegation threatened Goteborg in the Swedish top flight at the weekend following last week’s draw, leaving them third in the table, and putting a strong dent in their challenge for the Allsvenskan title.

Whereas a draw in Sweden could be seen as a positive result for Aberdeen, their domestic form has been less than convincing up to this point of the season. They needed a late equaliser to snatch a draw at St Mirren on Sunday, just their second point of the season, whilst third tier Stirling Albion made them battle for a 2-1 victory in the League Cup a couple of weeks ago. However, they do boast a pretty strong recent record at home, their recent defeat against Celtic in the SPFL was their first loss at Pittodrie in eight matches, including an impressive 2-0 victory over Rangers back in April.

Thursday’s encounter definitely feels pretty much in the balance as a result, and the odds on offer also struggle in terms of separating the two sides.

As reigning domestic champions for the first time in their history, Hacken certainly need to be given their due respect. However, being within touching distance of the Europa League group stages is foreign territory for the Swedish outfit who have never previously qualified for the group phases of a European competition.

Aberdeen also haven’t managed to make it past the qualifying stages since their UEFA Cup exploits 15 years ago, but they have shown themselves to be a reasonably strong outfit when playing at home during previous European qualifying campaigns. In the nineteen continental games played at Pittodrie since the start of the 2014/15 season, they have lost just three times, showing that they are more than capable of raising their game for the big occasions.

A European adventure for the Dons certainly feels long overdue, and I will certainly be rooting for them booking their spot in the draw for Europa League following Thursday’s encounter. Much like PSV, they have shown the will to fight back and put the tie in the balance, let’s hope that they can now finish the job with a victory in front of their home supporters.

Traders’ Tip: Aberdeen To Win @ 7/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £24.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters – NRL – 11:00 – September 1

After 26 weeks of jostling for position, the final week of the regular season of the NRL is upon us. The Brisbane Broncos, Penrith Panthers, New Zealand Warriors, Melbourne Storm & Newcastle Knights have already secured their spot in next month’s finals series, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are almost guaranteed of their spot courtesy of a far superior points difference to the chasing pack, whilst seven teams already know that their season will come to a close this weekend.

This leaves four teams battling for the remaining couple of finals series spots, two of which face each other on Friday morning when the South Sydney Rabbitohs welcome their city rivals the Sydney Roosters to the Accor Stadium.

Despite both teams being level on points, The Rabbitohs currently hold pole position ahead of the encounter by virtue of their own vastly superior points difference, victory should be enough to see them through as a result. Whilst the Roosters will need to hope either the Canberra Raiders or North Queensland Cowboys lose later in the weekend in order to avoid coming up short in the event of a victory. The loser of this encounter will be eliminated regardless of other results.

So, how do you go about separating two teams who have never been more than 4 points apart on the ladder all season?

Let’s start by pointing out that South Sydney’s recent form has been pretty poor, they have won just three of their last nine matches, in contrast to the Rabbitohs, who have surged in to contention on the back of five wins from six.

When you also look at the Rabbitoh’s home record this season, it doesn’t really make for much better reading either, the bottom club Wests Tigers are the only team to pick up less points in their designated home matches all season, and their most recent home match, a 26-14 victory over St. George Illawarra, was their first home success in seven attempts.

The Roosters themselves have been fairly indifferent on the road, with four wins from eleven this season, but they do at least boast much better recent form, having won three of their last five away from home.

With so much at stake, and two Sydney based teams involved, it certainly feels like this one is very much in the balance. The Rabbitohs are the slight favourites, but I have a feeling that this really could go either way.

The Roosters did run out marginal 20-18 victors when the two teams faced in the reverse fixture in mid-March, and two points could easily be the kind of margin of victory once more. Siding with the Roosters as the underdogs makes a lot of sense to me in what effectively feels like a 50/50 encounter.

Traders’ Tip: Sydney Roosters To Win @ 21/20. A £10 bet at these odds could return £20.50.

Sheffield United v Everton – Premier League – 12:30 – September 2 

We are just three weeks in to the 2023/24 Premier League season and the table is already starting to form into a reasonably expected state. Manchester City are the only team who enter the weekend with a 100% record after picking up three wins to start their campaign, whilst Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham are all close behind with seven points.

Brentford are the only other team who enter this weekend unbeaten, however, it’s at the bottom of the table where I’ll be focusing my attention on Saturday.

Sheffield United host Everton at Bramhall Lane at lunchtime and, for one of these teams at least, that will mean an unwanted losing run will finally come to an end.

The hosts were promoted from the Championship last season, alongside Burnley and Luton, and all three clubs are yet to pick up a point in the top flight this season. However, Sheffield United are the team that has come closest to getting off the mark having conceded late goals against both Nottingham Forest and Manchester City over the last couple of weeks to ultimately leave those matches empty handed.

In terms of Everton, they are the only other team who are yet to pick up a point. In fact, the Toffees are the only club who haven’t scored a goal in the Premier League this campaign as they endure their worst ever start to a Premier League season.

You have to go all the way back to the start of the 1998/99 season to find the last time Everton failed to score in their opening three league games although, on that occasion, they did begin the season with a goalless draw against Aston Villa.

The biggest question is how have Everton not scored? The Toffees have had 47 shots on goal, 23 of which have been on target, yet they’ve still not managed to register a single goal. They did have a goal disallowed for offside in their most recent 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves last weekend, and it currently feels like it’s just a matter of time before they finally break the deadlock.

The transfer window closes on Friday and it will be interesting to see if Everton do manage to bring in a goalscorer to strengthen their attacking ranks, however, there’s been more than enough to suggest that they should be able to finally get themselves something at Bramhall Lane on Saturday, regardless of any late transfer activity.

Sheffield United, in contrast, have simply been more clinical in front of goal, scoring twice so far this season despite only registering six shots on target, and I feel like they won’t maintain such a high conversion rate over the duration of the season. The Blades have signed 21-year-old forward Cameron Archer from Aston Villa in recent days, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can hit the ground running for his new club.

Surely Everton have to start picking up points sooner rather than later, they are a club that I thought would be well clear of any sort of relegation battle this time around and Saturday could be the perfect chance for them to start making moves in the right direction. I’ve seen more than enough to suggest that they can win games, they’ve just lacked the clinical edge, hopefully this weekend will see them finally put things right by grabbing a first victory of the season.

Traders’ Tip: Everton To Win @ 11/8. A £10 bet at these odds could return £23.75.

 

Wakefield Trinity v St Helens – Super League – 15:00 – September 3

Unlike the NRL, there’s four rounds of regular season action in the Super League, and there’s also plenty still to play for at both ends of the table.

Catalans are only club currently secured of a spot in the Play-offs, however, both Wigan and St Helens are within a point of qualifying, and will book their own place in the top six if any of the Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils or Hull KR lose this weekend.

Wakefield cannot finish outside of the bottom two, however, the battle is on between themselves and Castleford Tigers to avoid relegation to the Championship. Trinity currently sit two points adrift of the Tigers, and time is quickly running out for them to overhaul the deficit to their West Yorkshire rivals.

This Sunday provides a chance for them to hopefully keep their ambitions of playing in next season’s Super League alive when they host the previously mentioned St. Helens.

However, Wakefield have been woeful for the majority of the season, four wins in six between mid-June and the end of July gave them some hope of pulling off a miracle, but their 28-12 defeat at home to Castleford two weeks ago has certainly put a significant dent in their hopes of survival. Their last three games have all been losses, with the Trinity conceding a total of 90 points, whilst only scoring 16 themselves in the process.

St Helens, who have won the last four Super League Grand Finals, began the season with just 5 wins from their opening 10 games. A poor return by their standard, however, they have continued to go from strength to strength as the season has progressed, winning 11 of their 13 Super League games since then, including each of their last five.

As a result, this looks to be a tale of two completely contrasting sides. Wakefield have both the worst scoring and defensive record in the League, whilst St Helens are the best team defensively, having conceded almost half the number of points in comparison to Sunday’s opponents. The likelihood is that they’ll have a play-off spot secured before this fixture takes place, but they’ll be keen to push for a top 2 finish, which guarantees a much easier passage to the Grand Final in October.

I can’t really see anything other than a convincing victory for the Saints here, Wakefield seem to have fallen back to their hapless ways, whilst St Helens look like a squad determined to close the regular season in flying form. I expect the visitors to win by a very handy margin as a result, and I don’t see the 11.5 point handicap being enough.

Traders’ Tip: St Helens -11.5 @ 9/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £19.

 

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £510.63.

 

*Odds correct at the time of publishing. Available to UK residents (excluding Northern Ireland) aged 18+ only. T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org

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