We may have a tantalising set of fixtures to wet our taste buds but it’s a full 56 days this weekend until we’ll have our first dose of domestic action from the Premier League. Until that point we have to point our focuses elsewhere, so I’ve been scanning the fixture list from this weekend to find the Goals Galore gems:
Brazil vs Italy
Both teams to score – 5/6
We start with everyone’s favourite competition at the moment, the Confederations Cup. This is about the only thing keeping most of us occupied at the minute and tonight see’s the final stage for Group A in what was always the highlight fixture.
Brazil may have kept two clean sheets so far against Mexico and Japan, but neither of those can be considered an achievement. Both sides lack firepower and tonight comes a real test in the form of the Italians. With a 2-1 victory against Mexico and a 4-3 stunner against Japan, Italy seem to have abandoned their usual style of defensive football in exchange for a more dangerous and exciting style of play. If only we could say the same for the hosts who have been relatively disappointing so far this tournament, despite moments of pure class.
Brazil have been rocky at the back on numerous occasions so far in this tournament but neither of their previous opponents could put their chances away. With the likes of Balotelli, Giovinco and playmaker Pirlo to deal with, I expect them to concede at least one. Italy and Brazil met only a few months ago in a game which finished 2-2 and a similar scoreline tonight would be no shock with both teams pushing for top spot in the group.
Almeria vs Girona
Both teams to score – Evens
Now I’m turning my attention to the Spanish playoffs as Almeria and Girona look to secure a spot in La Liga next season by winning the 2nd leg of their playoff final. I’m surprised at the offer of Evens for this bet; sure both teams aren’t the highest scorers in the world and the first leg of the tie finished 0-1, but this is two capable teams meeting in a match which means everything and I’m expecting at least a goal a piece.
Almeria made it here with an extra time 2nd leg goal having conceded and scored in both of their legs against Las Palmas. Girona secured their spot in the final with a 3-1 home win over Alcorcon, having also scored and conceded in both of their semi-final legs. Though the last meeting only 3 days ago finished 0-1 to Almeria away from home, this doesn’t mark the end of the tie and it certainly doesn’t mark the end of the goals. Almeria have scored in all 5 meetings with Girona in their history and Girona have scored in each of their last two visits to Almeria. I see a hungry and passionate affair that’s sure to bring goals when there is so much at stake.
Kongsvinger vs Bodo/Glimt –
Both teams to score – 8/15
A more obscure fixture to polish off the treble with a Norwegian 1st Division game that looks a certainty for goals. Bodo/Glimt are top of the league and sit 10 points above 10th placed Kongsvinger, but I love these fixtures for a bit of Goals Galore. Home sides can normally capitalise on home advantage and grab a goal against big teams and that’s exactly what I’m expecting today.
A quick look at Kongsvinger’s home record this season might not convince you at first, but bear with me. Only 50% of their 6 home games have resulted in both teams finding the net but a quick analysis of their fixtures will soon sort that demon out. A clean sheet in a 4-0 win over strugglers Follo simply has to be written off due to the fact that Follo don’t know what a goal actually is.
A 0-3 loss against 2nd placed Sandefjord caught them right in the middle of a good spell of form and though it’s slightly concerning that they didn’t find a goal, I’m not too worried. For they’ve managed 2 or more goals against 3 teams above them in the league this season so far and are certainly capable on their day.
The visitors may well be top of the Norwegian First Division and they may have conceded only 1 goal in their last 5 games, but this goal came against Stabaek at home, a side not too dissimilar from our boys Kongsvinger in terms of league position and goals. They’ve kept clean sheets in each of their last 2 on the road but a 0-3 win over 11th placed Mjondalen and a 0-0 draw with 4th placed Ham Kam hardly spell achievements. Look back a bit further and you may be interested in their 2-2 draw with 3rd from bottom Vard or their 4-0 loss away at the hands of 7th placed Byrne. They are susceptible to leaking the odd goal or two and Knogsvinger are a good enough side to grab 1…or maybe even 2!