FRIDAY IN EUROPE: The Ultra previews ATALANTA v EMPOLI and REAL VALLADOLID v ATHLETIC BILBAO both with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


7.45pm It’s been a fantastic week around Europe with the final Last 16 second legs in the Champions League and Europa League, and we roll into another great weekend on BETDAQ Betting Exchange! Friday night football from Europe comes from Serie A and La Liga, and while we might not have the most glamorous ties, we do have two very interesting markets. We kick off the evening in Serie A with Atalanta hosting Empoli. Both sides come into this game off the back of a poor run, and I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say Atalanta are in crisis mode at the moment! They had a tough fixture last weekend against Napoli, but that meant they have only won once in their last six Serie A games. They were a little unlucky not to beat Udinese with home advantage, but they have been totally outplayed in some of their recent games. It’s unfortunate for them because Juventus getting docked 15 points opened up the top four race and this recent run for Atalanta has seen them drop out of that race. They start the weekend five points behind Roma, and they are totally heading in the wrong direction too.

Empoli are on a poor run too, and they have been slipping down the table for a while. It’s been seven games in Serie A now without a win for Empoli, but they did manage a 1-0 win away from home against Inter Milan before that run started! I think the most worrying thing about Empoli is that they have only created a bigger xG figure than they created once in that run, so it’s not like they have been playing well and getting unlucky. Empoli’s stats are pretty poor too – they have really struggled to create chances – their average xG created is only 1.0 and they have been conceding an average xG of 1.7. Atalanta come into the game as the hot odds on favourites, they are trading 1.48 at the time of writing. It’s hard to see past a home win here to be honest, but at the same time Atalanta have been on an average run and I can’t make the case that they should be shorter. The bet I like here is Under 2.5 goals at 2.26. I was very surprised to see Unders trading so high – obviously Empoli are very limited going forward, and Atalanta have been struggling recently. I can see Atalanta grinding out a tight win – I couldn’t put anyone off Both Teams Not To Score at 2.02 either.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 2.26 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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8pm We move over to La Liga to finish the evening as Real Valladolid host Athletic Bilbao! As I said above, this might not be the most glamorous La Liga tie, especially this weekend because we have El Clasico too, but we do have an interesting market. Real Valladolid have been involved in the relegation battle this season while Athletic Bilbao come into this game off the back of four games without a win. They have had to play Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in that run, but they have had a tough run since resuming their season after the World Cup. They’ve only managed two wins since the World Cup, and they came against Cadiz and Valencia who have both been in the relegation battle too. It’s an interesting market obviously because Real Valladolid have been pretty average this season, but Bilbao haven’t been putting teams away. We’re going to have some big opinions on the Bilbao price at 2.16 on either side of the book! I have to say, I am on the lay side – Real Valladolid have clearly had their issues this season, but they have been a lot more comfortable at home compared to away from home. They’ve played well in their last three home games, and they should have beaten Osasuna too as they finished the game with an xG of 2.28 in a 0-0 draw.

I wouldn’t say that Athletic Bilbao have been poor away from home. They clearly haven’t been on fire with just 13 points from 12 games, but they haven’t been reasonably solid. Over all, they definitely have the better stats compared to Real Valladolid this season, and in fairness to them they haven’t been playing poorly coming into this game either. For example last weekend they finished with a bigger xG than Barcelona and ended up losing 1-0. I can understand why Bilbao are trading 2.16, but for me that’s just ten ticks too short given the home form of Real Valladolid. I just expect a closer game than the odds suggest here, and from a value point of view I’m happy with a small lay on Bilbao. It is a worry that Bilbao won 3-0 earlier in the season when they had home advantage, but Valladolid have been playing well enough lately to suggest they can grind out a result here.

The Ultra Says:
One point lay (liability) Athletic Bilbao to beat Real Valladolid at 2.16 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

THE STRIKER Sat: Premier League Preview
DAQMAN Thurs: Newmarket NAP
DAQSTATS Thurs: Newmarket NAP
2023 Ryder Cup preview
THE ULTRA Thurs: Serie A and La Liga Preview
THE ULTRA Fri: Bundesliga and La Liga Preview
PAT HEALY: Recapping a brilliant week in Listowel
WEEK AHEAD: It’s Ryder Cup week!
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