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Hollantilainen nimimerkki Dahli Uefa-Cupin hollantilaisjoukkueista:
Ajax is definitely the pick of the day. The odd is okay, their form is brilliant, their motivation is higher then ever. Last sunday they totally outplayed Vitesse, the result was 3-0, but it could have been 6 or 7. They got 36 shots, with 25 on goal or something. Part of the second half was vs 10 man, but it was during the whole game like that. Huntelaar finally scored, twice actually and he could have scored 2 more at least. Stam and Gabri are leading the team with their experience, Sneijder plays really well and even Rosales and Babel are taking up to a higher constant level.
It has been like that every game up to now, except for the away match vs NAC. It was also the same play versus Kopenhagen for the Champions League, but somehow Ajax didn't score from 14 chances and Kopehnagen was able to score from 1,5 chance twice.
Start is doing well in their league, they beaten Lillestrom last weekend. From what I have read, they are a playing team like Ajax and not a passive team if you know what I mean. So that should be in Ajax advantage and Ajax is just a couple of levels higher then Start.
I think we will see a motivated Ajax to get revanche for the elimination in the Champions League and to continue their good run and form. Odds around 1.60 are good, the handicap of -1 could be interesting as well. There are no important injuries for Ajax, except for Perez.
Other Dutch teams information:
FC Groningen: they played a very bad first half vs Heracles on sunday, but a decent one in the second half. At home, they are quite strong, away from home they are not half as strong as they could be. Their squad is decent, last year they were fifth, a totally suprise. And up to now they seem to be doing quite okay and probably will play for the places around 6th. This will be their first European fixture since years and I don't really what to expect. I don't think they will win and probably hope for a low score, like 0-0, 1-0, 1-1. I don't know much about Partizan, so I wouldn't recommend a bet for this match.
Feyenoord: Got their first win on sunday vs Sparta: 4-1. A good, deserved win you would say, but they were very very lucky. They played really bad, Sparta was playing better and they absolutely should have had a penalty at 1-2. Play goes on and for a dive Feyenoord do gets the penalty kick. 1-3 and then it was over, 1-4 in the final minute. They played 442 for the first time, but their is still no structure at all. What also counts is that they play vs PSV on sunday, big game for both sides. Again, I don't really know the opposite team, so I wouldn't really know a bet for this match again.
SC Heerenveen: a loss in the weekend vs Excelsior, the same as Groningen actually. Strong at home, not good in away matches. Their attack is quite strong, but their defence lacks a bit quality. I don't think they will get a positive result in their away match in Portugal.
AZ: 3 games played, 9 points. Haven't been in trouble yet at all. Strong squad, talented players and a very experienced and motivated trainer Van Gaal. They should be winning this match, but I am kinda suprised by the odds. From what I have heard, the Turkish opponent is a bit the AZ from Turkey. Young talented squad that now is upcomming in the Turkish league. So I am kinda worried about that, maybe someone from Turkey could clear this up?
Norjalaisista joukkueista nimimerkki Ringabell:
Molde won yesterday against poor Viking.Importnant midf Hoseth got an injury to his knee and not sure if he are ready for the first leg with rangers.If Rangers travel with best squad they should have a good chance for glory because Molde is one of the worse teams in tippeligaen.Rangers clearly the better team so 2.10 looks very tasty but first need some team news
Start will not play at their own ground but ar Åråsen were Lillestrøm play their home games so there won`t be a great home advantage for Start.But they won at home yesterday vs Lillestrøm so form is good.Anyway if Ajax travel with best squad it will be very difficult for Start.Prizes pretty much as expected.
Red Star go into Thursday's clash against Liberec with completely new team.A bunch of (key) players left the club in the last 12 months: Pantelic, Zigic, gk Stojkovic, Lukovic, M.Dudic, Jankovic, Kovacevic(captain), Draman, Mladenovic,...Key defender Milan Bisevac has also signed for French side Lens, but he'll leave the club in January.
Red Star: Randjelovic - Basta, Bisevac, Gueye, Perovic - Georgiev, Milovanovic(cap), Castillo, Trisovic (Milijas) - Djokic, Ailton
Btw, these two sides met each other in pre-season friendly.Red Star won 3:0!Different circumstances though...
Basta, Milovanovic, Perovic, Milijas, Bisevac, Trisovic are all Serbia U21 players(some of them, like Trisovic, Basta and Bisevac, are in the national team), so they know each other very well.There should be no problems I believe.Ecuador international Segundo Alejandro Castillo should be a good replacement for captain Kovacevic who signed for Lens a week ago.Ailton is always special story, a little bit unpredictable, but it seems he's picked up some good form and should definitely make a great partnership with last season's top scorer Djokic(20 goals)!Two very simliar players...
The bench doesn't look so bad either, with new signing, former Brazil U20 player Ely Tadeu(Vasco da Gama), Japan international Suzuki, former S&M U21 star Purovic, who was just awesome last season, hitting a number of important goals, against Sporting Braga, AS Roma and so on...There's also Trajkovic who was expected to be a new star and a true leader of this team, but he's in big downtrend period in the last 12 months!All in all, Liberec are definitely favourites in the first leg and I believe they won't lose this one, but it's all about value and Red Star ain't a bad side, so...As mentioned, Red Star completely outplayed and trashed Liberec in pre-season friendly, but Zigic, who was on the scoresheet twice, left the club as well as some other top players, so this could be a different story.One thing is pretty sure.Red Star will play much faster football from now on.With the likes of Djokic and Ailton up front and Serbian national team player Trisovic and Bulgarian national team player Georgiev on the wings, there should be much more options...It would be a real shame not to mention Milovanovic and especially Milijas who are capable of scoring some cracking goals.Most of Milijas' goals are a real piece to watch!
Red Star: Randjelovic - Pantic, Bisevac, Tutoric, Perovic - Georgiev, Milovanovic, Castillo, Trisovic (Milijas) - Djokic, Ailton
Key defensive midfielder(used to play as a right back these days) Dusan Basta will miss the match through injury!
Standard - Celta Vigo
First of all, I'm a fan of the home team. So those who think I'm biased, can stop reading now.
I don't think that my team can take the 3 points from this match. On the contrary...
The facts are ...
1. Standard has a new team and altough won against Lierse in our competition (which was very weak) is still searching for its automatisms. Our defence is still weak, specially our left back so I really fear Vigo's counterattack's.
2. We have 2 suspensions : Fellaini, our athletic youngster who has obtained a place in the team, therefore important AND former striker from Sporting Lisbon, Sa Pinto, the 'Lion' who brought our attack fire and experience and at the same time some serinity.
3. We have always difficulties with Spanish teams (we got beaten by Athletic Bilboa 2 years ago with 1-7). The team we have now is only 1 or 2 players better in comparison with that year. Spanish teams play very technical and at the same time organised football.
We missed the Champions League to a hair against Steaua Bucarest and I even (also our manager) estimate this opponent as much stronger as Steaua.
Lokomotiv Moscow – Zulte-Waregem:
Zulte-Waregem hasn’t got the good form of last season anymore. The strikers they bought haven’t got the same profile as Salou (striker who could keep the ball with him and then pass it to the upcoming midfielders), so the coach had to change their way of playing. This is causing more problems then planned.
Zulte-Waregem gained 4 points out of 15 this season, and last weekend they lost at home with 1-2 against Cercle (one of the worst teams in the league).There are also some missings in the team: Dindeleux(defender who would take place on the bench anyway, but I find him better then Leleu, who is getting too slow), D’Haemers, Meert and Van Nieuwenhuyze (three midfielders, normally in the starting 11) and Roussel (good striker, but has some fysical problems).
Muslin, the coach of Lokomotiv knows the Belgian competition and Zulte-Waregem from last season, when he was half a season coach for Lokeren.
Lokomotiv played some Belgian teams in the previous years, but never lost:
Sep 24, 02: Club Brugge – Lokomotiv: 0-0
Nov 13, 02: Lokomotiv – Club Brugge: 2-0
Oct 24, 2001: Anderlecht – Lokomotiv: 1-5
Sep 11, 2001: Lokomotiv – Anderlecht: 1-1
Both Anderlecht and Club Brugge are better teams then Zulte-Waregem.
I don’t know wether Lokomotiv is missing some important players, but the difference in quality and the fact that Lokomotiv is in the winning mood(they won their last 4 games) and Zulte-Waregem has been far from impressive this season and is missing some important players makes me go for a Lokomotiv-win. Zulte-Waregem has also no European experience.
Wisla Krakow - Iraklis
I hear that Wisla is quite decent, I watched them against Pao last year and I think they are strong favourites for this one. They seem strong at least at home and should get a win here.
Iraklis has only managed to disqualify one team in his entire history in European competition and that was a really great one (div.2 french Geugnon that was a finalist in the cup and won european qualification some years ago).
Iraklis has shown quite poor during the first weeks of greek championship also and even managed to concede 3 goals from boring, boring Paok. Amateur defending at dead-ball situations, even if the Polish can not score, Iraklis will help them do it.
They will probably work on their weaknesses in the weeks to come but overall I see a clear home win (2-0 CS) for Wisla.
The Atromitos vs Sevilla game will be played in neutral stadium
Trabzonspor - Osasuna will be played without supporters due to home side's ban.Experienced manager Ziya Dogan takes the care of Trabzon few days ago and had a excellent start with 3-2 win Vs Besiktas yesterday thanks to Gokdeniz who made 3 assists.Trabzon will miss Yattara due to injury.I`ll write a long preview later but under looks solid for now.Ziya Dogan is known with his defensive tactics.
Interested if anyone could fill me in on the standard of the side Feyenoord are up against?
Reason im asking is i have watched their first 2 league games on tv recently and they look a far shadow of the side they have been known to be.
No real striker upfront with cover man Van Hooijdonk who was expected just to be on the bench having to play regularly at the moment.
The side are lacking any sort of quality and this was shown with them beating thumped 3-0 away to Groningan and then drawing 0-0 at home with Heracles which is games they should be running away with.
They did win 4-1 last time out but again it was up against poor opposition.
Also the defence looked like they were lacking any mobility and with a bit of pace upfront against them they are there for the taking imo.
Well, about the team of Lokomotiv Sofia, facing Feyenord in Thursday...
Loko had some terrible seasons in Bulgaria and in the last one they managed to finish 4th in the league and qualify for the Uefa cup - they haven't since 1996 as I can remember. Some good players and a good coach for domestic standarts, they eliminated weak teams from Macedonia and Israel in the previous legs. By the way they are at the top of the table now with CSKA, 5 wins in a row, but against poor opponents. Now I understand from Kiko how weak Feyenord looked, but anyway I'll take them, there's a huge difference in classes. I expect the odds for them to decrease till Thursday.
Taking Feyenord -2AH looks good, Lokomotiv could easy receive 3-4 goals there.
Legia Warsaw - Austria Vienna.
Austria Vienna this year is definitely NOT Austria Vienna from last year.
This year in league they did not win even one match. They drew 5, and lost 3. Goals difference: 3:7....
The last place in the table. A catastrophe, when we compare it with last season results, when Austria won the league.
What happened with Austria? Polish player in Austria Vienna, Sebastian Mila, said in interview that sponsor of Austria, Frank Stronach withdrew from supporting the team and Austria`s budget this year, after they lost Champions League qualifications with Benfica, is down from 32 millions Euro to 19 millions.
They sold the best players, two basic midfielders: Libor Sionko i Sasza Papac (both to Glasgow Rangers) and Sigurd Rushfeldt. Mila said: "now we play awfull soccer, weak, just disaster".
Other Polish player, in Strum Graz, Szamotulski said: "it is not a big surprise that Austria plays badly this season, they sold more that half of players from the first team".
Legia this year does not play good soccer neither. Although we did not sell players, the opposite: we bought the new ones, amongst them: Brasilians - Junior, Elton, good defender Herbert Dick (what a name (he should change it into some nickname or what ?
Still the machine which seemed to be fantastic (many wins with top France teams during the summer preparations to season), it does not work porperly. YET. I hope that YET.
The first sign of good matches was the last match at home, in league with Gornik. After 10 minutes we led 2:0, in 60` we led 3:0, it should be 5:0 or 6:0, but in the last 15 minutes we lost two goals and final result was 3:2. But the machine started playing good soccer, at least at home. Then came the bad match with last team in league, away, when we played 60 minutes with one player more (red card for rivals) and only drew 1:1.
But still, in Warsaw, on the home ground, with really fantastic audience, Legia is dangerous.
We still don`t know if the basic Legia`s defender, Choto, will be ready for this match (injury, he did not play lately), I hope he will be ready, I heard that he was already ready for previous league Legia`s match but the coach wanted to keep him healthy for Austria`s match, he is really important for our defence, without him, our defence is just weak.
My bet is based on the poority of nowadays team of Austria Vienna and hope that finally all those new, Brasilian and other, signings of Legia will play a good match.
We have really good players, and the machine must finally play good soccer. I hope (please read carefully: HOPE) that it will be on Wednesday in Warsaw.
Please take into account that I am Legia`s fan, but I really tried to be coolheaded while placing this bet. Hence medium stake.
Heads up for Panathinaikos game in Patra cause food poisoning(propably from catering food that players had after the Saturdays match win vs Xanthi)had 6 players admited to the hospital(bench striker Mantzios, regular keeper Galinovic,regular backs Adonson and Nilson,regular devensive half Biscan and regular and most valuable player in the last 3 matches midfielder Ivanschitz).Mantzios, Nilson and Adonson were discharged from the hospital but only the first 2 managed to have light afternoon training.Ivanschitz raised fiever and he is not likely to play in Thursdays match vs Metalourg .For Biscan's place in the midfield Tziolis and Adric have equal shot(my opinion is that Adric will be the one who will play),veteran player Goumas will fill in for Adonson and finally for the left midfield spot Papadopoulos(great striker,fast and familiar with the wingers position)or Romero(who is in good shape)are the most likable choices for Hans Backe.
More info on the subject tommorow but dont be alarmed(all those who want to play Panathinaikos at 1.20 odds anyway!!!)cause Panathinaikos this year even though he hasnt shown any kind of good form will still win the match cause he has the solutions that are needed for this kind of European match(the kind that the opponents team sucks big time and is truly truly a big nothing in Europe-remember people its not Metalurg Donetsk but Metalurg Zaporisa).
Partizan Belgrade - Groningen
*Partizan is team with problems... They are in problems from last year and controversal lost at home against Maccabi Petach Tikva (there's some rumours that match was fixed).
*Their fans "Grobari" are against the board and against the president of Partizan.
*There's no winning spirit among players... Defender Nisa Saveljic and few more players were penalised few weeks ago because some confrontation with the board.
*Last two matches in domestic league they lost... First they lost away in Novi Sad, where Vojvodina beat them 1:0 and then they lost at home against OFK Beograd with the same result (0:1).
*Players were very nervous, they even managed to get two red cards at the end of the game, because they were obviously frustrated because second lost in the row.
*In this last match fans again shouted that board should go away from the club... Simply, there's much "bad vibrations" in the Partizan and IMO that they don't have much chances in UEFA cup in these circumstances.
- on the other side, we have Groningen... team from Holland that is currently in 3. position in domestic league, right behind AZ Alkmaar and Ajax. They've played 3 games and have 2 wins and 1 draw with GD 6:2
- Holland league is much stronger than Serbian
- Groningen have good form, better team spirit and IMO better players than Partizan (and ofcourse, they are better priced players)
I think it would be even match and because of better odds I took Groningen in this match.
Just to add some info about match Partizan - Groningen:
Partizan will definitely be without Branimir Bajic (two yellow cards) and maybe without Tomic and Djordjevic (injuries) because they are not 100% fit.
"Grobari" (fans of Partizan) told that they will boycott this match too.
Meanwhile, coach of Partizan Jesic told to press that "everything except victory is catastrophe for Partizan".