It was a so-so way for our European football accumulator tips to end last week with two landing and three missing the mark in typical end-of-season unpredictability.
The Championship play-off final takes place this Saturday, with the Premier League jackpot awaiting the winners. Otherwise we take a trip to the Americas for the rest of this week’s acca tips.
Soon we will have some rather tasty World Cup fixtures to sink our teeth into!
|Aston Villa vs Fulham||Aston Villa/Draw Double Chance||4/6|
|Toronto vs FC Dallas||Dallas +1.50 Asian Handicap||2/5|
|LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes||San Jose +1.75 Asian Handicap||4/11|
|Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake||Seattle to Win||8/13|
|New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union||NYRB -0.50 Asian Handicap||4/7|
|Five-Fold Acca Odds||6.75/1|
Aston Villa vs Fulham: Aston Villa/Draw Double Chance
We’re not quite sure why Aston Villa are as long as 23/10 to win their Championship play-off final against Fulham.
It’s curious, possibly even baffling, for the Villains to be such a long price. They only finished five points behind Fulham during the regulation season, and their squad is packed with players who can boast big game experience: the likes of John Terry, James Chester, Mile Jedinak and Birkir Bjarnason have all played in huge matches for their countries.
Don’t forget, these play-off matches are one-offs, and with so much at stake it really is about who handles the pressure better. Fulham are a young and relatively inexperienced side, and you wonder how well they will cope with the pressure of knowing there is about £60 million at stake here as well as the professional pride of playing in the Premier League.
The Villa players have been there and done it, factor in their boss Steve Bruce’s excellent play-off record – two wins and counting in these finals – and that experience should be enough to see them home.
Toronto vs FC Dallas: Dallas +1.50 Asian Handicap
One of the MLS’ most fallow attacks (Toronto) takes on one of the division’s best defences (Dallas) this week.
It would be fair to say the Canadians rely rather heavily on the goals and inspiration of Sebastian Giovinco, but the Italian hasn’t quite delivered so far this term and has just two to his name. The injury to Jozy Altidore hasn’t helped, and he will miss another fortnight or so.
By contrast Dallas have scored 13 of their 16 goals from open play this term – a high percentage is always a sign of quality compared to a side that relies on set pieces or ‘luck’ (penalties, own goals), and they have shipped just seven times in open play.
Toronto will be without first choice keeper Alex Bono, who is with the USA national team, and could also be without the injured pair of Nicolas Hasler and Ashtone Morgan.
LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes: San Jose +1.75 Asian Handicap
LA Galaxy have scored 15 goals this term and five of those have come from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Giovani Dos Santos; the former who is suspended for slapping Michael Petrasso upside the bonce last time out, and the latter through injury.
They had lost four on the spin, conceding eleven goals, prior to their stodgy 1-0 win over Montreal, and the suggestion is that all isn’t well inside the Galaxy camp.
San Jose’s main problems are defensive – they simply concede too many goals – but the absence of Ibra and Dos Santos will certainly help their cause. They have taken more points on the road than they have at home, and their goals scored tally of 18 is comfortably among the upper echelons of MLS.
In Danny Hoesen, they also possess one of the league’s deadliest strikers.
Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Seattle to Win
It has been quite the fall from grace for Seattle, last season’s MLS Cup finalists, and they find themselves at the wrong end of the table this term following a spate of injuries and head coach Brian Schmetzer’s defence-first tactics.
The absence of the prodigious Jordan Morris and top scorer Will Bruin haven’t aided the Sounders’ cause, but there have been signs in the wins over Minnesota and Toronto that they are finding their feet.
Real Salt Lake are abject on the road – 0-4, 0-2, 1-3 and 1-4 being their most recent results away from home – and this week winger Albert Rusnak, away on international duty with Slovakia, spoke of his frustration at the club. “I’m actually happy I’m going to get out of here for a minute because there’s a lot that’s going on off the field, and the people to speak to about that are probably the higher up people in the club,” he said. All is not well at RSL.
New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union: NYRB -0.50 Asian Handicap
In New York Red Bulls we have a side with one of the most potent forward lines in MLS combined with one of the best defences….go figure!
RB have scored 18 times from open play this term – only their city rivals have more – and yet defensively they have only shipped five in open play; defending set pieces has been their main achilles heel with five conceded from these, but we certainly don’t factor much weight to that as smart punters.
Philly’s away form – W1 D0 L4 – tells its own story, as does the fact they have scored just twice in 450 minutes of football on the road. New York have scored two or more goals in five of their last six, so they have the firepower to clear this handicap mark.