FRIDAY IN EUROPE: The Ultra previews the matches between SCHALKE v HERTHA BERLIN and SPEZIA v LAZIO both with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


7.30pm After what has been a blockbuster week around Europe with the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League and Europa League, we return to domestic action on BETDAQ Betting Exchange for Friday night football. It might not be as glamorous as the week we’ve had, but we do have two interesting markets from the Bundesliga and Serie A. We kick off the evening in the Bundesliga with a huge relegation battle as Schalke host Hertha Berlin. With Stuttgart winning last weekend that moved them into the relegation playoff spot – that leaves these two sitting in the relegation zone. Schalke sit bottom of the table, but there’s only a point between them. Stuttgart are only one point ahead of Hertha Berlin, and because Stuttgart beat Bochum last weekend that drags Bochum into the mix for the time being. Hertha are four points behind Bochum with Schalke five. You only have to look at the table to see how important this game is – I would suggest one of these will definitely go down this season, and the other is probably looking at a relegation playoff spot at best to be honest – the stakes couldn’t be any higher!

We have a reasonably open market here. As you would expect with home advantage, Schalke are the favourites. They are trading 2.44 at the time of writing with Hertha Berlin 3.25 and the draw is 3.4. Schalke will be happy to have home advantage in such a big game – although ironically both sides sit bottom of the table at home and away here. Schalke have only managed 13 points at home and that puts them bottom, while Hertha Berlin have only managed five points away from home all season. On balance, you’d have to say being away from home is a bigger negative for Hertha! Obviously both sides have been playing average football this season, and the stats reflect that. They actually have very similar under-lining numbers. Schalke are conceding an average xG of 1.6 this season with Hertha’s figure at 1.5, while they both average 1.2 going forward. I feel we’ll get a low quality but intense and cagey affair here with so much on the line. Both are clearly limited going forward, and Under 2.5 goals jumps off the page here at 1.82. I know the Bundesliga is a high scoring league, but this is one game that screams Unders in my opinion.

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.82 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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7.45pm Next we move over to Serie A to finish the evening as Spezia host Lazio. We have an interesting market here with Lazio the odds on favourites. They are currently trading 1.79 with Spezia 5.6 and the draw is 3.75. Spezia are sitting just outside the relegation zone at the start of the weekend, but they have a four point cushion on Verona sitting in 18th. The bottom two are adrift, and to be honest it looked like the bottom three were a drift but Verona and Spezia have got closer in recent weeks. This is a game that Lazio should really be winning, but their performances this season haven’t been as good as their results. For example, they are creating an average xG of 1.2 going forward, but their actual goals scored is an average of 1.6. They have the same difference at the back as well, their average xG conceded is 1.2 but their actual average is 0.7. That’s a huge difference at both ends of the pitch, but you have to give them massive credit – they have been grinding out results when the others around them have dropped points, and now they have a five point average over Roma in third and then a six point advantage over AC Milan in fourth. Champions League football is at their fingertips, but there’s a lot of work to be done. They need to finish the season strongly, and improve their performances too. A good guide would be the xG table which puts them in 11th – that is probably the biggest difference between actual points and xG points in Europe!

Despite Spezia sitting down towards the bottom of the table, they have been getting results lately. They’ve only been beaten once in their last six Serie A games, however they has come with luck more so than skill. For example, they beat Inter Milan 2-1 here but conceded an xG of 3.51 and created less than 1.0 themselves! They have definitely been more comfortable at home this season though, and this should be a reasonably test for Lazio. I feel the 1.79 is a fair price on Lazio, they beat Spezia 4-0 earlier in the season with home advantage but it’s hard to be too confident on them given their under-lining numbers. They don’t create a huge amount, and Spezia could easily cause them problems putting XI men behind the ball. I feel the best option here is to stay out of the match odds market, Under 2.5 goals is trading 1.79 and that looks a very nice option here. I expect Lazio to grind out another win, but it won’t be pretty and I don’t see a lot of goals here. The Under 2.5 goals double might be worth a bet tonight from the two games too!

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.79 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

DAQMAN Sat: Newmarket NAP
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THE STRIKER Sat: Premier League Preview
THE ULTRA Sat: European Football Preview
THE ULTRA Sun: European Football Preview
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PAT HEALY: Recapping a brilliant week in Listowel
WEEK AHEAD: Champions League & Rugby World Cup
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