Our League Scouts have pulled together some of the best betting tips across all the football being played this Saturday.
We head to Scandinavia, with the Finnish Veikkausliiga and the Swedish Allsvenskan giving us the best bets to kickstart July off. Honka and HJK battle it out with the early kick-off and KuPS look to extend their lead at the top of the table as they take on Lahti.
We also have best bets in South America, where Bolivia’s League Cup is providing a week’s respite from the dramatic league season.
We have you covered with the best bets today for leagues across the continent, and to take advantage of these you can sign up to Betfair via the offer below. Sign up to Betfair, deposit £5 on any game and get £20 in free bets:
Saturday’s Best Bets
Honka v HJK
As their season continues to (very) slowly improve, it took a late goal from Luis Ortiz to edge Honka past the impotent VPS on Tuesday evening. It wasn’t a great performance from Honka, but they did enough to remain in contention for more European football next season. With a Conference League qualifier and a Suomen Cup quarter-final coming up, the squad isn’t looking particularly deep and winger Edmund Arko-Mensah is still away with Ghana at the U23 AFCON. However, Roman Eremenko is looking more at home and continues to create chances and will relish the opportunity to pull strings against an under-performing HJK and is overdue a goal from all the shots he’s been taking.
HJK started the midweek Klassiko at Haka well, with a finely worked goal from Santeri Hostikka – quickly followed by an early withdrawal for Aapo Halme (his first start in two months) and his replacement Joona Toivio received a second red card of the season before half time. The match ended 1-1 and HJK missed a golden opportunity to go top as SJK and KuPS both unexpectedly lost at home. Despite the gradual return of players from injury, results and performances aren’t getting much better and HJK coach Toni Koskela continues to look insecure in his role despite past glories. With Toivio out again, the defence doesn’t seem secure and will face a stiff test from Honka.
Honka edged Klubi on penalties in a recent cup tie, not always the best indicator but HJK seem to be waiting for Europe to wake them up every July and it may be just the right time to catch them.
Kristiansund v Hodd
Kristiansund are only fourth in the OBOS table but there is a case to be made that they are the best side in the division. KBK, who were relegated from the Eliteserien still possess a high quality squad for this level of Norwegian football and must be one of the favourites to go straight back up.
They lost a couple of decent players such as Amidou Diop and Faris Moumbagna but retained a strong group and added some decent signings such as top scorer Benjamin Stokke. Kristiansund have a lot of attacking firepower and netted 23 goals in 13 games. They have the best average xG per match of any team (1.75) and the only real aspect which is letting them down is a lack of clean sheets.
This match against Hødd is a fixture they will expect to win comfortably. Hødd are a newly promoted team who started back life in the OBOS fairly solid but are now on a poor run. Just 1 win in their last 9 games have stalled their progress and they’ve failed to keep any clean sheets during this period.
Hødd have some of the worst metrics in the league. They have an xGA average of 1.55 per match which only Skied can topple. Offensively, they are the only team who average less than 1.00 xG per 90 mins. If they maintain these sorts of statistics then they will be heavily embroiled in a relegation scrap.
The question is exactly how to attack this match from a betting perspective. Kristiansund are 1.36 to win which feels like a good value despite the odds being short. There is realistically a big gulf in class between these two teams and for those feeling braver than taking the hosts on a -1 handicap at 2.30 could be worth a go.
Hødd have only lost a single match by more than a one goal margin, although their metrics would suggest those numbers will increase soon. Taking Kristiansund to win straight on the nose looks the best and safest pick for Saturday in the OBOS Ligaen.
Malmö FF v IK Sirius
Malmö’s charge towards the title is in good shape – they look stronger than ever and have begun the season at a roaring pace. Only four points dropped in 12 games is almost unheard of in Sweden’s top division, where teams at the top tend to stumble from time to time.
However, there is still a real title race, with both Elfsborg and Häcken hot on their heels, two and three points behind respectively.
Losing Anders Christiansen for the rest of the season was undoubtedly a blow, but they have moved quickly to secure the exciting Sebastian Jörgensen, who has shown both his goalscoring prowess and a creative touch over the last couple of seasons in Denmark. There is an abundance of attacking talent in this squad and a defensive solidity to match, too. With 31 goals to date, they can be confident of outscoring any opponent, whether they manage to keep a clean sheet or not.
Sirius’s season started off in an abysmal fashion, not winning any of their first nine matches. With one under their belt, another two quickly followed, although the opposition was not the strongest. Despite this, the three wins on the trot have lifted them out of the relegation zone into 11th place, with a comfortable looking 7-point cushion over IFK Göteborg in the relegation playoff spot.
The main improvement is their defence, only conceding one goal in these three victories. For the most part though, their matches are open and exciting, as evidenced by an average of 2.75 goals per game.
Similarly, the majority of Malmö’s matches are spectacles with plenty of goals – only 3 times in 12 games have less than three goals been scored. Malmö will look to carry on their march towards the title and it does not look like Sirius will be able to stop them, even if they manage to get on the scoresheet.
Lahti v KuPS
For most of the last decade, Lahti have been the dictionary definition of mid-table mediocrity, barely leaving seventh place. But things have taken a downturn in the last two seasons, as the squad seems to be just thrown together with a handful of academy players fast-tracked to join them. After a very small upturn on hiring the experienced Mikko Mannila last summer, results got worse again before needing a last-minute winner in the relegation play-off against TPS.
Better teams will lose at KTP, but the performance was insipid and only losing 2-0 was a result, while Arian Kabashi will miss this fixture with a totting-up suspension. The return of several players for second spells with the club gives plenty of credence to the expression never go back, while the development of Samuel Pasanen appears to have stalled to merely substitute appearances – his invitation to train with Ajax feels a long time ago.
Losing at home to IFK Mariehamn on Tuesday was not on the agenda for a KuPS side looking confident at the top of the table. Since the early season managerial change, the only dropped points were a very narrow defeat to SJK but otherwise, things were looking very good. The best teams have off days, while KuPS did create plenty but conceding a daft penalty in the first half was the decisive action and it ended 0-1.
When KuPS hosted Lahti in May, the match was similarly one-sided, yet they won comfortably, which every form book suggests should happen again this weekend before Cup and Europe return to mind.
Nacional Potosi v Always Ready
This game promises much as two in form sides turn away from their league campaigns to focus on the League Cup. Nacional were on fire last weekend, putting six past a distracted The Strongest side more focused on their international fate, while Always beat Blooming in their fifth win in six games, and they seem to be ominously clicking into gear and climbing up the table at a critical time of the season.
While history does not speak of many goals between these two with an average of 2.2 in the last five, their most recent form speaks otherwise, Nacional have an average of 5 in the same number of games (a goal tally of 25) while Always have a more conservative tally of 2.2 (11 in five).
Nacional have in form Prost, the Argentine striker who seems to be doing no wrong this season, whilst Always’ Romero has hit a sudden goal drought of two games after scoring 12 in 14 so far this season, but we should expect normal service to resume sooner rather than later.
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Written by an Andy verified content writer
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