Every week, we will look into Europe’s top five leagues in search of straight draws.
Once again, only one draw of our selections from last week came through. Thankfully, Cologne and Werder Bremen did not completely expose me to ridicule.
We are going to try and keep trying until we get a 4/4 scoreline so help us, God. We should partake of the goodness that are draws on the Betbiga platform.
Please note: at the end of the day, everything here is a second opinion from a stranger online. So, ultimately, trust your discretion in selecting which picks to go with.
Alaves VS Cadiz (X at 3.15)
Alaves came so close to stealing a point last time out against Real Betis in La Liga, but ended up throwing away a two-goal half-time lead. In truth, it would have been unfair, as they were comprehensively outplayed by the Verdiblancos (Green & White), but football can be a weird sport sometimes.
They should, in theory, take some heart from that performance, but whether that is enough to help them to victory against visiting Cadiz is a whole other matter. Four losses on the bounce is horrible form, especially against a Cadiz side that has claimed favourable results against Barcelona and Eibar in recent weeks.
The reverse fixture ended with Cadiz winning, but it was very much an even game until Alaves had a man sent off. The visitors do have a habit of playing up or down to their opponents, and Alaves will be so keen to stop the rot that even a draw might not seem a terrible outcome for them, even accounting for their current position.
Genoa VS Udinese (X at 2.95)
Udinese has to be one of the more annoying teams to come up against in Serie A. That defence is rock solid and has frustrated some of the league’s most potent attacks, especially on the road.
This time, they travel to face Genoa, who are without a win in five and are the league’s third-lowest scorers. Form is a fickle things: it was all going so well for Davide Ballardini’s side in January and February, with results against the likes of Napoli, Atalanta and Lazio, but suddenly they cannot buy three points.
The upshot of this is that there is little to fear for Udinese here, however Le Zebrette are always better against teams that try to attack them. Faced with an opponent against whom they should take the initiative, they are a little less incisive.
Udinese won’t lose here, I’m quite convinced – they have not lost any of the last nine fixtures against Genoa. But can they actually win it? I vote no.
Stuttgart VS Hoffenheim (X at 3.75)
It’s 9th against 11th on Sunday in the Bundesliga. It is rare to find a team whose points total is so heavily skewed toward away games, but that is Stuttgart for you. On the road, there is a bit more space for the sheer pace of Silas Wamangituka and Nicolas Gonzalez to sting teams on the counter; at home, the going is a lot tougher. To wit, the Swabians have won only two games on their own patch this season.
Hoffenheim seem to have gotten the pain of their shock Europa League exit at the hands of Molde out of their system, and were good value for their win over high-flying Wolfsburg last week. This is not a fixture that will faze them: aside Stuttgart’s home record, Hoffenheim have not lost in any of their last three meetings with VfB going back to 2018.
Their last meeting produced an epic, with Stuttgart needing a 93rd-minute leveller to draw 3-3. I’m expecting another cracker here, with the points shared between these two teams.
Lens VS Metz (X at 3.40)
Three points separate these sides on the Ligue 1 table going into this week’s action.
Metz is quietly enjoying a very good season: a win here could take them as high as fifth, which would secure a UEFA Europa League place; remarkable for a side that finished in 15th last season.
Lens won’t cough it up without a fight though. Especially considering they have not lost in seven Ligue 1 games. However, four of those were draws, and they are not particularly solid at home, so they can definitely be got at.
Metz will fancy their chances of doing exactly that. They’ve lost four times on the road, but two of those came against Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, both fixtures they would have been expected to lose. What’s more, they have not lost to Lens in any of their last four meetings.
Ultimately, I think both sides will keep the status quo, and Lens can live to fight another day.