After his video experiment last week, editor Ryan Hubbard is back at his keyboard for this week’s betting preview. With his top bets of the weekend, covering the Ekstraklasa and Pierwsza Liga, we’re hoping for a return to form after a couple of lower league shocks last week.
Polonia Warszawa – Śląsk Wrocław (Saturday 13 April, 14:45 UK)
Failing to pick up a point since their away victory at Lech Poznań back in Matchday 17, Polonia Warszawa have had a torrid time recently. Four successive losses – against Widzew, Jagiellonia, Wisła, and in the derby against Legia – have only lowered morale further, with more reports of owner Ireneusz Król’s impending bankruptcy and the lack of payment to players already causing problems.
Meanwhile champions Śląsk finally returned to form last weekend against fellow European hopefuls Górnik Zabrze; although they did it the hard way, with a late winner after going behind in the first half.
Whilst Śląsk boss Stanislav Levy has a full squad to pick from, his opposite number Piotr Stokowiec will be without impressive midfielder Tomasz Hołota, after he picked up a suspension after accruing four yellow cards.
Although problems at Polonia seem to be mounting, bookmakers are surprisingly making them slight favourites for the game. That is why I think Śląsk are good value at 2.80 with Bet365 to pick up the victory. If you’d prefer to play it a bit safer, you can take a Double Chance on Śląsk and the draw at 1.55.
Piast Gliwice – Lech Poznań (Monday 15 April, 17:30 UK)
30th September 2012. The last time – and only time this season – that Lech Poznań failed to pick up three points in an away game in the Ekstraklasa. That game, a 2-0 defeat to Lechia Gdańsk came just a week before the Kolejorz stuck four past their Matchday 22 opponents Piast Gliwice.
Last week’s 4-2 win over Lechia – only their third home win of the campaign – was Lech’s fourth win from six games in Spring, and saw them consolidate their place in second position, seven points ahead of third-placed Śląsk.
Piast meanwhile, have not done too badly themselves in Spring. With eleven points from their six games, they find themselves sitting up in fifth place – a fantastic effort so far for Marcin Brosz’s men, who were promoted from the Pierwsza Liga in the summer.
But their start to Spring still hasn’t been as good as in Autumn, when they won four of their opening six games, picking up twelve points. However it was the 4-0 defeat in Poznań which kick-started a run of four games without picking up a single point.
Both sides are not suffering from any new injury doubts, although Piast will be missing defender Mateusz Matras, who picked up his fourth yellow in last week’s 2-1 win over Wisła.
Having previously met on six occasions, Lech are still undefeated against Piast – winning five and drawing one. Lech are priced at a generous 2.25 with both Unibet and Bet365 to make it six wins from seven, though if you’d prefer to cut the risk on your accumulator, a Double Chance on Lech and the draw is available at 1.33.
Miedź Legnica – Polonia Bytom (Saturday 13 April, 15:00 UK)
Of their four Spring Round games so far, three draws and a 5-1 hammering by Zawisza Bydgoszcz have left Miedź Legnica struggling to replicate their autumn form, which had seen them head into winter in fifth place – having only been promoted from the Druga Liga in the summer. But Saturday’s hosting of Silesian club Polonia Bytom at the Stadion Orła Białego represents their best chance of three points this season.
Bytom have lost a staggering 16 of their 21 games of their Pierwsza Liga campaign so far – eleven of them by at least two goals. Six of their last seven road trips have also resulted in a long trip back to upper Silesia having shipped three-or-more goals. Whilst their sole victory of their dismal campaign surprisingly came just a few weeks ago against second-placed Flota Świnoujście, Flota themselves have been struggling of late, managing just one draw in their last six league games.
To say that Bytom are relegation-threatened would be an understatement – they sit dead last in the league, sixteen points from safety. With just thirteen games left, it looks as though they are set to suffer their third successive relegation (they were relegated to the Druga Liga last season, but given a place back in the second tier after Ruch Radzionków withdrew).
You can back Miedź Legnica for the win at 1.25 with Bet365, whilst an Asian Handicap bet on Miedź at -1.5 can be backed at 1.70. Eight of Polonia Bytom’s last nine games have gone Over 2.5 goals – Bet365 are offering this game to do the same at 1.72.
If you like your Trebles, wins for Miedź, Śląsk and Lech will earn you £78.70 for a £10 bet.