Ten-and-a-half weeks after it broke up for winter, the Ekstraklasa returns in a blaze of glory on Friday evening, With just fifteen rounds left for sides to chase Europe or avoid relegation, the stage is set for one if the most interesting Rounds in recent history. Here, Ryan Hubbard gives his top three betting tips for Ekstraklasa round 16.
Polonia Warszawa – Lechia Gdańsk (Friday 22, 19:45 UK (20:45 CET))
Whilst Polonia strolled through autumn playing some of the most attractive and effective team football in the Ekstraklasa, Lechia were hugely reliant on individual players to grab the goals which pulled them into sixth position. However, with a winter transfer window not as good as either side hoped, both sides now have something on common – their key goal scorers are no longer there.
Nine-goal Abdou Razack Traoré , the club’s top scorer, saw his Lechia contract expire on New Year’s Eve. Unable to agree a new deal in Gdańsk, he found his way to Turkish side Gaziantepspor, leaving Lechia short on attacking power. Whilst they have brought in Paweł Buzała from bottom club GKS Bełchatów to play alongside Ricardinho, Burkina Faso international Traoré has big boots to fill.
Meanwhile at Konwiktorska, the exodus has left Polonia very short on attacking power. With their two leading scorers in Vladimir Dvalishvili and Łukasz Teodorczyk both gone, as well as attacking fullback-cum-winger Tomasz Brzyski, it’ll be a surprise to see which Polonia side emerges from winter.
Polonia – Lechia to score under 2.5 goals is at 1.53 at Unibet.
Korona Kielce – Legia Warszawa (Saturday 23, 17:00 UK (18:00 CET))
After the winter they have had, you’d have to be a little bit silly – or maybe know something that we don’t – to bet against Legia. A number of quality signings coming through the door at Łazienkowska, one after another, and already they are beginning to hit form.
Whilst young Bartosz Bereszyński will likely not start, he has been busy hitting goals in pre-season, whilst since his very recent move from Polonia, Vladimir Dvalishvili has netted three times in two games in preparation for Spring. Alongside Danijel Ljuboja and the returning Marek Saganowski, it’s difficult to imagine a situation where Legia couldn’t score.
Add on top of that the fact that Korona’s defence shipped four in their last meeting with Legia, this game looks the most likely to see a goalfest.
Legia to beat Korona with a one-goal handicap is at 3.80 with Unibet.
GKS Bełchatów – Wisła Kraków (Sunday 24, 13:30 UK (14:30 CET))
It hasn’t been the season which Wisła fans had hoped for – languishing in the bottom half, with poor performances all around. But it hasn’t been as bad as Bełchatów’s. Sitting dead last on just six points, they look dead-certs for relegation – even with fifteen games remaining.
Whilst Wisła have lost star midfielder Maor Melikson, they still do have quality in their ranks – Łukasz Garguła, Tsvetan Genkov and the returning Patryk Małecki are strong enough for many Ekstraklasa sides.
Bełchatów have however seen a mass change in personnel, which could take a lot of time to settle. Kamil Kiereś almost seems to be preparing his side for the Pierwsza Liga already, so it is of no wonder that the Biała Gwiazda start out as favourites at the Stadion GKS.
Wisła to beat Bełchatów is at 2.00 with Unibet.
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