Betting Tips for Today: Late drama in Portugal as Braga host Sporting

Both Braga and Sporting will be pleased, if not overjoyed with their starts to the new Primeira Liga season.

Sitting third and fourth respectively, each side has taken 10 points from their opening four games. However, with Benfica and reigning champions Porto also getting off to fast starts, the title race in Portugal’s top tier could be another exciting heat.

888Sport make Braga their 7/5 (2.40) favourites for Monday’s clash. Meanwhile, the visitors – who have made plenty of headlines for the wrong reasons in recent months – can be backed at 33/20 (2.65) and the draw is 11/5 (3.20).

Luiz Gustavo Sporting Marseille 28072018

The odds would suggest this is a tough game to call in terms of the match result, so more value may be found elsewhere in the markets.

Given how competitive this division is, it’s understandable that neither team will want to give anything away in the early stages.

Recent head-to-head meetings have often been much more entertaining after half time and that could be an angle for punters to pick upon.

The game to be a draw at half time is 11/10 (2.10) but a better bet is taking the 27/25 (2.08) about over 1.5 second half goals with 888Sport.

Bas Dost Sporting

The last six games between these sides have seen just five first half goals but 15 scored after the break. Given that the second half has been the highest scoring in five of those – the other seeing two goals either side of the interval – backing more late drama looks a sensible selection.

This bet would have paid out in three of Braga’s first four league games so far this season and Sporting’s clash with Benfica a month ago followed a similar pattern. That contest was 0-0 at half time and finished 1-1 thanks to goals from Nani and Joao Felix.

Both teams to score in the second half is 43/20 (3.15) and that could be worth a smaller stake bet but over 1.5 goals after the break should be the main selection at 27/25 (2.08).

Betting Banner - Best BetOver 1.5 second half goals at 27/25 (2.08) for a 1pt stake with 888Sport

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Giroud: Rivals starting to work out Chelsea’s style

Olivier Giroud believes that Chelsea need to become more versatile in their approach if they are to have a successful season after being held to a scoreless draw by West Ham.

Maurizio Sarri’s side were dominant in possession on Sunday but didn’t create many clear cut chances as Manuel Pellegrini found a way to limit the Hammers’ local rivals.

Giroud started in a front three with Eden Hazard and Willian and noticed that his opponents spotted ways to stop their style of play.

Ahead of a meeting with Liverpool next weekend, he thinks that his side will have to become more flexible as teams work out solutions to Sarri’s tactics.

“I always want to take this frustration to transform it into a positive thing for the next game,” Giroud said at the London Stadium. “Now we are going to look at what went wrong in this game. Even though we didn’t do so well, we could have won the game at the end of it.

“It’s disappointing and we lost two points – West Ham were happy with this draw. We have a big game at the weekend and we want to show our strength, our character. I’m not saying it’s a tactical problem. Sometimes as players we have to recognise the best way to put them in difficulties.

“Sometimes we rushed our game and have not been patient, or maybe we did not put enough pace in our game. Now our opponents are starting to know Chelsea well so we need to bring something else. Maybe we need to give a bit more on the pitch as well.

“It’s a tough time, but this is when you see the men and we have to show stronger character and response in the next game. As a team, we didn’t succeed in finding the solution. We tried too much to play centrally and against a strong defence like that, a lot of players, it was very hard to combine, especially in the last 30 yards.

“Maybe we should have gone a bit more down the wings and put in more crosses into the box. It was a bit disappointing, we are aware of that and we will work on it. We want to bounce back as soon as possible.”

Olivier Giroud Fabianski 23.9.18

The World Cup winner refused to use fatigue following a delayed trip back from Greece, where they beat PAOK 1-0 in the Europa League on Thursday, as an excuse for the loss.

“We had a long trip and it was tiring because we had to stay there,” he said. “When we came back we had to train straight away. It’s not the best. 

“We are not hiding behind the fact we play two games in a week. We have to do more and we are aware about that.”

He has yet to score this season and cut a frustrated figure on the pitch as the front three failed to combine to create many chances against West Ham’s deep-lying defensive unit.

The 31-year-old is competing with Alvaro Morata for a starting spot but refuses to believe that he has become the club’s number one striker.

“I don’t like to say that I’m ahead of another player, that I’m in first position,” he continued. “I have a fair competition with Alvaro, I played well in the last Premier League game but I wasn’t at my best against West Ham. That’s why I was a bit frustrated and disappointed to be substituted, but the coach made his choice and you have to respect it.

“I will transform my frustration in a good way in the next game. Alvaro and myself have to score goals for the team so we need to find the net to help the team reach our targets.”

As well as a league meeting with Liverpool next weekend, the Blues will face the Anfield club away from home in the League Cup. Jurgen Klopp’s side are the last team with a perfect record after matchday six and Giroud admits that it will be a challenge to balance the squad across the two fixtures.

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“We want to win every single game,” Giroud affirmed. “The coach will obviously make some changes, but we have many players with quality and we have a good team. We want to be strong and show them that it won’t be easy for them at Anfield.

“Maybe they will make changes too. We want to keep the confidence high and come back to London with good momentum and start again a winning run. It would be the best preparation for the Premier League game to win.

“We need to show character after the West Ham game. But there is nothing better to play the team at the top of the league. It will be a good game, a good test.”

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‘Morata misses unbelievable chances’ – Giroud backed by Chelsea legend to provide Hazard support

Alvaro Morata may find himself stuck behind Olivier Giroud in the Chelsea pecking order, says Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, with the out-of-sorts Spanish striker missing “some unbelievable chances”.

The Blues invested heavily when bringing the former Real Madrid and Juventus forward to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2017, with a club-record fee required to secure his services.

Morata did deliver 15 goals during his debut campaign, but he struggled for consistency and has been unable to rediscover his spark this term after opting against cutting short his stay in west London.

Opportunities have come his way in 2018-19, but the 25-year-old has often fluffed his lines and now faces fierce competition from World Cup winner Giroud for the right to support Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s attacking unit.

Blues legend Harris told Love Sport Radio of that selection battle: “[Giroud] seems to link up better with Eden Hazard.

“The other lad Morata is desperate for goals. He’s had some good opportunities and missed them, and when sometimes when the luck is going with you, you can mishit a shot and it goes in.

“This fella seems to miss some unbelievable chances and I just feel he’s lacking in a bit of confidence at the moment. The one that seems to be thriving with Eden Hazard is Giroud.”

With Giroud, Hazard and Willian leading from the front, Chelsea have enjoyed a positive start to the new season.

A 0-0 draw with London rivals West Ham on Sunday brought a six-game winning streak to a close, but the club are moving in the right direction under Maurizio Sarri.

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea

“I think if Chelsea finish in the top four and make the Champions League, that would be quite a good season because you’ve got a new manager coming in,” said Harris.

“No disrespect but if you ask the club or the players if they would like to play in the Champions League or this Europa – and the same with the supporters – I’m sure they would plump for the Champions League.

“If they do manage that, that would be a good start for the manager.”

Sarri has been quick to play down Chelsea’s title credentials this season, with the Italian claiming that it will take at least a year for him to get fully adjusted.

Harris hopes the Italian will be given the time he needs to deliver sustained success, with a revolving door policy when it comes to managerial appointments having done the Blues few favours over recent years.

He said: “When you look at the track record over the last 10 years, they only seem to stay a couple of seasons and then they seem to fall out and leave.

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“It would be nice for Sarri to do a stint and win a few things for the club.

“I think that, without being disrespectful to him, a lot of the Chelsea supporters wouldn’t have known who Sarri was until he came here. So obviously he’s on trial as much as one or two of the players he’s brought in.

“He seems to have bought wisely at the moment and things seem to be going ever so well for him.”

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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

Wolves welcome Leicester City to Molineux in an all-Premier League EFL Cup third round tie on Tuesday night.

Claude Puel’s team came out on top when these teams met at King Power Stadium in the Premier League last month, but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will fancy their chances of taking revenge on the Foxes on this occasion.

Latest odds

Wolves are unbeaten in three matches at home so far this season and the hosts can be backed at 5/4 (2.25) with 888Sport to win inside 90 minutes, while the same firm go 23/10 (3.30) that the game remains level at the end of 90 minutes.

The Foxes are chalked up as a 43/20 (2.15) chance to claim their second victory of the season over Santo’s newly-promoted side.

Kelechi Iheanacho Leicester City 2018-19

Team news

Both sides are expected to ring the changes with Premier League points taking priority over League Cup progression , so Adama Traore, Leo Bonatini and Leander Dendoncker are amongst the likely starters for Wolves.

Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and James Maddison may all be rested. Kelechi Iheanacho will hope to spearhead the Foxes’ attack, while Danny Ward and Shinji Okazaki could also come in for the visitors.

Visitors’ fine record

Leicester are unbeaten inside 90 minutes in their last 11 League Cup matches away from home, scoring at least four goals in six of their last seven away wins in this competition and 888Sport go 15/8 (2.88) that Puel’s team score more than one goal.

Solid hosts?

Wolves Leicester graphic

Wolves, though, have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five League Cup ties and the men from Molineux have conceded just one goal in their last four matches in all competitions.

As such, 888Sport go 29/10 (3.90) that Wolves win to nil, while the odds compilers offer 2/1 (3.0) that the Foxes fail to find the net.

Prediction

Neither side is likely to be anywhere near full-strength, but there is still plenty of potential for an exciting League Cup clash when these teams meet.

The 49/50 (1.95) quote from 888Sport, therefore, for at least three goals to be scored may represent real value for punters ahead of Tuesday’s tussle.

Betting Banner - Best BetOver 2.5 goals at 49/50 (1.95) for a 1pt stake with 888Sport

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