Last Friday saw both predictions come sailing in. KABOOM! Liberec and Jihlava finished 0-0 ensuring Under 2.5 goal backers collected with plenty to spare and David Lafata broke his league duck with Sparta scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over České Budějovice – Lafata was a juicy 4/1 to open the scoring. Very nice indeed.
There were four draws last weekend, two of which were devoid of goals and entertainment. Even the 1-1 draw between Slavia and Mlada Boleslav was a frustrating match to watch as both sides redefined the phrase “a scrappy game”. Nevertheless, the league is beginning to bunch up at both ends as Sparta drew within a point of Plzeň at the top and 8th to 16th place is seperated by just FIVE points – leaving half of the league, at this stage, looking over their shoulders at the prospect Druha liga football next season.
Dukla Praha v Pribram
Every football hipsters favourite Czech team Dukla Praha kicks off the Gambrinus Liga this weekend with a home match against Příbram. My stats are heavily weighted in favour of Dukla to pick up three points, the hosts owe their current league position by swatting aside the bottom six sides, especially at home.
Dukla have collected 10 points out of 12 against Slavia, Teplice, Hradec Kralove and Banik without conceding a goal in front of their own fans. In fact they haven’t lost a single game to the bottom six home or away this season. While Příbram’s away record reads P8 W0 D2 L6.
The only slight concern would be last weekends performances and results. Dukla, by their own managers admission, played well for just 15 minutes in grinding out a 0-0 draw with Slovacko. Příbram, on the other hand, thrashed Teplice 3-1 with new signing Aziz Mashaan (from Kuwait) scoring two goals in the opening 20 minutes – the highlights are well worth a watch here.
Confidence will be high for the visitors and it’s worth keeping an eye on Mashaan; however, Dukla will be keen to get their spring season off and running and still look an excellent bet at home to see off yet another team who occupy the lower reaches of the league.
RECOMMENDATION: Dukla Praha to beat Pribram at 1.80
Zbrojovka Brno v Slavia Praha
Slavia travel to Brno without an away win since 1959. That may be a slight exaggeration but it’s probably not far off.
I was at Eden last week to watch them slug out a 1-1 draw with Mlada Boleslav, a decent point but they look a team that are in a midst of a relegation scrap. Slavia created enough chances but never looked like adding to their goal tally, the introduction of Tomas Micola, a player who actually looked confident on the ball, gave Slavia the urgency and the edge they need.
The signing of former hero Rudi Skacel has dominated the headlines in Prague this week and it could be a significant moment in Slavia’s season. Skacel, unlike Milan Baros who returned to Banik without playing for 8 months, has competitive games under his belt after a recent loan spell Dundee United.
Brno are struggling at the moment with six defeats in the last seven games but I cannot call a winner here. It’s hard to spot any value and it’s probably best to leave alone from a punting perspective. Nevertheless, it’s worth watching just to see what kind of impact Rudi Skacel will have, if he features.
RECOMMENDATION: NO BET
I will post my thoughts on Saturday/Sunday games shortly.