Group Multi – Futures & Predictions 2018/19
Betting tips and soccer previews and predictions
The four us are big Arsenal fans and cautiously optimistic for the most significant change the club has seen in our lives, therefore we have kicked this multi off with Gunners to make the top 4 @ $3.00.
Lyon to finish top 3 in Ligue 1 @ $1.77
With not a lot of movement by the mid table teams it looks like the top four from last season will stay the same. PSG look incredibly strong once again and with a very similar squad will more than likely walk the league. Where there has been some movement is with last season’s runners up, Monaco. Losing star players Thomas Lemar and Fabinho, as well as Moutinho, Diakhaby, Ghezzal and Meite. With all these departures Monaco have chosen to invest in youth which might take a couple of season for them to be properly competitive again. While I think they’ll still be in the top four without making any big signings they’ll struggle to compete all season.
Contrary to Monaco, Lyon have a very settled squad and have managed to hold onto captain and star attacker Nabil Fekir amidst plenty of interest from Liverpool. Young guns Houssem Aouar and Tanguy Ndombele are coming off impressive debut seasons and will be looking to have a huge impact this time round. There’s plenty of goals up top from Depay and Diaz and ultimately I think Lyon will be the ‘best of the rest’. – Yogi
Ajax to win the Eredivisie @ $2.00
Ajax will be hungry for their first title in five years and at $2.00, the odds are too good to pass up considering they have held onto their most promising youngsters while making some key additions to the squad in Tadic and Blind. Ziyech, Dolberg, de Ligt, Neres and Frenkie de Jong stand out as the top youth talents and will know that a good season here will put them in the shop front window of some of the European elites, and a bigger pay packet. One future that remains uncertain is that of Hakim Ziyech who impressed at the World Cup with Morocco and has caught the interest of Roma and Lyon, I’m even hearing murmurs of our beloved Arsenal sniffing around.
What makes this season different for the lads from Amsterdam is that Erik ten Hag has brought in Blind and Tadic, uncharacteristic big name signings for the Eredivisie who are arguably still in their prime and should really outclass their opponents week-to-week with a ton of Premier League experience under their belts. If these two can hit the ground running and a Blind – de Ligt – de Jong triangle develops, most sides will have trouble breaking them down.
Another strong point to note are the striking options at Ajax. Huntelaar with all his finishing ability and experience, against the youthful promise of Dolberg who has committed to the club and will be looking to make a name for himself on the big stage. Having two, more than competent strikers at the club will ensure they are pushing each other with some healthy competition as it’s likely ten Hag only goes for one up top.
Three lesser known players to watch, set for break out seasons:
Carel Eiting – a 19 year old defensive midfielder who has impressed in preseason and will have the chance to cement his place in the first team. A member of the Ajax academy since the age of 9, Eiting rose quickly through the ranks and at 19, has just signed a bumper new deal to keep him at the club until 2022. Known as a deep laying playmaker, Eiting has an impressive passing range. Add to this his fantastic technique, ability from set pieces and his high work rate to win the ball back and Ajax have themselves a player!
Vaclav Cerny – flashy FIFA favourite, full of pace and promise, Cerny is a 21 year old winger from the Czech Republic who had people talking when he was 17 and went on to represent the U21 national team. Since then he has been hampered with injury but if he can keep himself fully fit and Ziyech agitates for a move, we could see him getting plenty of game time.
Noussair Mazraoui – the Dutch-born Moroccan should start at right back and will be up and down the flank all day. Has played in the middle and in more advanced positions previously, where he is naturally confident on the ball. Ajax fans have lamented this from time-to-time as Mazroaui is a big fan of pulling the trigger and can often make the wrong decision. Plenty of raw talent here and ten Hag will look to get the most out of him.
The only threat is PSV but if ten Hag pushes this talented group to play to their potential then you may as well hand the title to them now. With a baron run and players likely to push for bigger moves after this season, 2018/19 will want to be made a memorable one and for $2.00, I’d be biting the bookies hand off to take that. – Big Show
Barcelona to win La Liga @ $1.80
I wanted to try and find something a little left of field to fit in with the French and Dutch leagues but I just can’t get past the value here. Let’s start with the competitors, Real Madrid have all but said they are focusing on rebuilding this year. This has partly been a decision by Perez but his hand has also been forced with Kovacic, Isco and Asensio coming into their prime years and demanding increased playing time. This begs the question… does Perez run players like Modric and Ronaldo into the ground hoping to win one more trophy? Most likely the Champions League, sacrifice key young players and potentially lose these stars for little to no sell-on. Well with the sale of Ronaldo, Perez has shown his hand, now whilst these players are great, the La Liga season is long and it’s underestimated how many points Ronaldo has won Madrid over the past few seasons. Madrid are only linked to Courtois, who rather than being a current upgrade on Navas, is another player who is being pursued for his long-term value to the Spanish capital.
Then there’s Atletico Madrid. I mean I have to be honest, they probably deserve to be shorter than $10 already coming in from $15. Plain and simple they have bought very well, bringing in Lemar and Martins as attacking options. I don’t think Atletico has the depth to go the distance in both competitions and I have doubts how quickly these new attacking players will fit into the Atleti high pressing system.
Barcelona are the favourites and for good reason, they have a solid CB pairing in Umtiti and Pique. It will be a different Barca this year with Vidal being brought in, is a very different style of player to Inesta and Paulinho. A midfield of Busquets, Rakatic and Vidal with Arther and the Barca juniors providing depth is a match with Real’s for the best in the league. Something that will set Barcelona apart this year is a bunch of signings who are now in their second year. Coutinho and Dembele will be better after their first season in Spain. I’m predicting a huge season for Dembele who started to look good last season before an injury set-back. I think it will be Barca and Atletico as 1 and 2, but these title races are won in February as teams endeavor to go deep into the Champions League and it will be Barcelona’s ability to bring in fresh world class talent during the congested schedule that will pull them away. Barcelona by 4 points. – Conservative Dave
Porto to win the Primeira Liga @ $2.10
Porto finally broke Benfica’s dominance last season by winning the Championship and I can only see it happening again.
Last year Porto were a force to be reckoned with. They won 28 games out of 34 and only lost twice. They were averaging 2.4 goals a game and this was mainly down to the big Senegalese, Aboubakar and his fellow Zulu tribesman, Moussa Marega. Between the two of them they banged in 37 goals in the league and generally made themselves a handful, especially with Yacin Brahimi whipping them in for the big men. Their fearsome front line are ably supported by the young trio of Octavio, Carona and Soares. These three will be looking to challenge the more established stars this season.
This transfer season hasn’t been a hive of activity yet for Porto. They’ve brought in Waris from Lorient to give them some additional fire power, but the majority of their investments have come to cover the right back position. They lost both Dalot and Pereira who were their two main right backs last season. But the sneaky Portuguese have once again done what they do best, they’ve pilfered the Campeonato Brasileiro Séria A for two new fullbacks. They’ve also dipped into the Ligue 1 for a further right back to ensure that they have enough cover. What Porto have done best in this off season is keeping the vultures away from their main men. Their midfield is unchanged and their younger lads have had another season to boost their confidence. They’ve done extremely well to keep Alex Telles who contributed a massive 13 assists last season from left back.
Benfica will be their main threat for the title, but just one look through their squad shows clear deficiencies in their line up and they’re once again relying on an ageing Jonas to provide the goals. Their other great rival has managed to absolutely fuck themselves by not protecting their player when their ultras decided to hand out a good old thrashing. Sporting will not be a threat this season.
All in all, Porto haven’t lost any players which they haven’t ably replaced. They’ve kept their starting midfield and forwards. This should be a fairly comfortable season for Sérgio Conceiç