With many of Europe’s major leagues now done and dusted, our attention turns to some of the lower ranked leagues across the world.
In fact, many seem to believe that there is more value in the lower divisions, so let’s put that rumour to the test!
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Saturday 1 August
Japan J.League 1
Gamba Osaka 49/20
Kawasaki Frontale 9/10
Fireworks are certainly expected when two of Japan’s heavy hitters take to the stage this Saturday. Kawasaki Frontale lead the standings, winning six of their seven matches, while Gamba Osaka sit one place below them with five wins from seven games. The hosts are riding a four-match win streak, while Kawasaki Frontale are on a run of six successive victories in the league. With both teams known for their attacking quality, Both Teams to Score looks the way to go at 5/10.
The Scottish Premiership gets underway this weekend with Rangers looking to kick-start their campaign off on a high when they travel to Aberdeen. The hosts finished last season in fourth spot, 22 points behind Rangers. Aberdeen drew 2-2 at home to Rangers last campaign, and got smashed 5-0 at Ibrox. This looks like another goal fest here, back Over 2.5 Goals at 13/20.
Irish Premier Division
Shamrock Rovers 3/10
Finn Harps 10/1
Shamrock Rovers will be looking to stretch their lead at the top of the Irish Division when they host Finn Harps on Saturday evening. Rovers have been excellent before the restart, winning all five of their opening games as the club continue to push for their first title in nine years. Finn Harps have a game in hand, but from their four ties played, the Harps have already lost twice. Shamrock scored a staggering 15 goals in five matches before the restart and should continue where they left off before the break. Back the home win and include in all multiples.
Belgium Beker Van Belgie
Club Brugge 13/20
Royal Antwerp 39/10
Belgian heavyweights, Club Brugge and Royal Antwerp, will do battle in the final of the Beker van Belgie this Saturday. Club Brugge were awarded the league title after the Belgian Pro League was cut short. They’re also the record 11-time holders of this cup competition. Antwerp finished fourth in the league and beat Club Brugge last term, albeit on home soil where they went the entire campaign unbeaten. On neutral territory, I expect Club Brugge to win this one.
Saturday night sees a massive showdown where the two runners-up in the league, Rijeka and Lokomotiva, do battle in the Croatian Cup. Rijeka ended their campaign off with a run of four successive wins, while Lokomotiva ended their season on a nine-game unbeaten run. The last time these two sides met, they played out to a 2-2 draw at the home of Rijeka. Once again, Both Teams to Score seems the way to go at 7/10.
Sunday 2 August
Korean Republic K-League Classic
Busan I’Park 32/10
Ulsan Hyundai 15/20
Busan I’Park dropped down to seventh in the Korean K-League last weekend after they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Daegu FC. They now return to their home turf where they have won just one of their seven encounters. Ulsan Hyundai come off the back of winning 5-1 in their last away trip which took their win-streak to four in a row in the division. The visitors also sit on top of the league, winning 10 of their 13 matches played, scoring 32 times. Ulsan Hyundai are a banker here at 15/20.
Belarus Vysshaya League
Torpedo Zhodino 34/10
BATE Borisov 7/10
Torpedo Zhodino will return to their home stadium where they face the daunting task of hosting title-chasing BATE Borisov. The home side have won just one of their last four games at their turf. BATE Borisov, on the other hand, have won six of their last seven matches, keeping back-to-back clean sheets. The away win looks to be the best way to go here at 7/10.
Bulgaria Super Cup
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 5/1
Bulgarian giants, Ludogorets, will have the chance to flex their muscles again in the Super Cup final when they take on Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Ludogorets are the current holders of this tournament and have won it a joint-record four times. To make matters worse, this game will be played at the Ludogorets Arena which is also the home of the Eagles. Another telling factor is that these sides met in this tournament last year with Ludogorets winning the Super Cup 2-0. At 9/20, expect the same outcome here.
MULTIPLE @ 38/1
Gamba Osaka vs Kawasaki Frontale BTTS 5/10
Aberdeen vs Rangers Over 2.5 Goals 13/20
Shamrock Rovers Win 3/10
Club Brugge Win 13/20
Rijeka vs Lokomotiva BTTS 7/10
Ulsan Hyundai Win 15/20
BATE Borisov Win 7/10
Ludogorets Win 9/20