So the dust has settled on the ‘S’ derby and the Sparta squad have enjoyed a trip to see the mayor and collect a giant key to the city for their efforts. It was a predictable result in all fairness as Sparta proved to be far too slick.
On a positive note for Slavia fans it landed the banker double of the week after Dortmund came back from the dead!
Mark Smith (@play_waved_on) April 09, 2013
Here are a few EARLY thoughts on this weekend’s action, two games in particular stand out from a value perspective.
České Budějovice v Jablonec
The home side are in free fall and look destined for relegation. They are five points from safety and haven’t won a game since a 2-1 victory over Slavia Praha way back in early November.
Their problem is scoring goals, they have mustered just 17 goals all season and scored just two in their last nine games.
However, the home fans will hope the tide will turn against a Jablonec side that conceded five last time out against Dukla. But they shouldn’t count their chickens just yet as the 5-1 score line doesn’t tell the story of the game.
Jablonec were reduced to 10 men with the score at 1-1 as Brazilian right back Rossi was given his marching orders for giving away a penalty. Then, to add insult to injury, two late goals for Dukla put the gloss on a performance that barely merited a 5-1 win.
But the visitors, despite the departure of David Lafata to Sparta, are a much more cohesive unit than Budějovice and need to get back to winning ways to tighten their grip on third place and the final European spot. They have picked up 19 points from 33 away from home and I expect them to collect another three points when they visit Budějovice.
Fortuna offer an excellent odds against price of 2.05 on the away win, it’s a very fair price as most international bookies go odds on. Anything over Evens is a gift, snap it up before it shortens.
Recommendation: Jablonec to win at 2.05 with Fortuna.
Viktoria Plzeň v Příbram
Příbram have surprised me since returning to action after the winter break. They are unbeaten in four games and have dragged themselves three points clear of the relegation zone. I had earmarked them down for relegation but back-to-back 1-0 away wins against Slovacko and České Budějovice have proved a welcome boost.
Nevertheless, a visit to The Doosan Arena is a never a fun day out for the visiting XI, especially the goalkeeper who can be guaranteed a busy afternoon.
Sparta Prague are breathing heavily down the neck of Viktoria Plzeň and the host’s are top of the league be virtue of goal difference (just two goals). You sense Sparta have the momentum heading into the final stretch and Pavel Vrba’s side will need to remedy this quickly if want to hang onto top spot.
Both sides will aware of the goal difference situation and Plzeň are more than capable of racking up a cricket score if required – last season’s corresponding fixture was 5-0 to the hosts.
Initially I was tempted to back Plzeň with a handicap but the over/under goals market represents better value as Příbram have scored 10 goals in their last five games and can contribute to a high scoring game.
The hosts have no distractions of Europe or the Pohár České pošty so let’s be brave and back a goal fest.
Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals at 2.90 with Sporting Bet.
*and a small side bet on Plzeň to win 4-1 at a massive price of 21.00 with the same firm.