MJP POST MATCH ANALYSIS

SPORTPESA MEGA JACKPOT POST-MATCH ANALYSIS – THE BREAKDOWN

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Watford v Burnley

Our 1st Pick: X

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 1-2

In a weekend of great comebacks, this definitely ranks among the best. It had it all, from the fastest goal scored from the bench in the English premier league so far this season, to leaping headers. Burnley’s high-flying manager, Sean Dyche said that talks of the Europa League “might not be such a joke now” after his team fought back from a goal down to beat Watford with two goals in three astounding minutes.

“We have to find different ways to win and we did it with two set-pieces. They’ve been singing that chant about going on a European tour for ages – it started as a joke and now it’s like, ‘Hello! It might not be such a joke’.” He went on to say.

The visitors’ revival was sparked off courtesy of a goal from substitute Sam Vokes, who scored 22 seconds after coming on, making it the fastest goal by a substitute this season, and Jack Cork, whose header was confirmed by goal-line technology, securing a fourth consecutive top-flight win for Burnley for the first time since 1968 in the process.

The result left Burnley on course for the Europa League. They closed the gap on sixth-placed Arsenal to two points and pulled six clear of Leicester in eighth prior to Arsenal’s thrilling comeback against Southampton. Watford, who had gone ahead just after the hour mark through Roberto Pereyra, dropped a place to 12th despite dominating possession and creating more clear-cut scoring opportunities at Vicarage Road. However, despite this latest setback, following heavy defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Liverpool and being pegged back in the final minute against Bournemouth last week, the Hornets are still well placed for a best top-flight finish for 31 years.

We had gone for a draw as our 1st pick as despite Watford’s exemplary home record, Burnley, who have had a fairy tale season would have to much in their tank. This also explains our double chance option as the 2nd pick as we felt the visitors had a good chance to win and it proved to be the winning pick.

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Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

Our 1st Pick: 2

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 2-2

Talk about a topsy-turvy match and the clash between relegation battling Palace and Bournemouth comes to mind. Bournemouth edged what was largely a quiet first half on the south coast in terms of chances created, but Palace went ahead two minutes into the second half thanks to a sumptuous Luka Milivojevic free-kick. However, King’s fellow substitute Lys Mousset equalized with a calm finish from the edge of the area 18 minutes later.

Star-player, Zaha then put the visitors back in front with 15 minutes left with a wonderful individual effort and Palace looked to be heading for a crucial three points in their quest for survival. This wasn’t to be though as they were denied late on when yet another substitute Josh King, poked home at the back post from a corner and levelled it for Bournemouth ensuring that a point was all both teams got by the final whistle. King’s late leveler meant that the Cherries have now won a league-high 18 points from losing positions and continued a remarkable run which has seen them score a goal in the 89th minute or later in each of their last seven league games. A truly remarkable fete that deserves every accolade that’s thrown at them at the moment.

Hodgson, the Eagles manager, will hope that his side find a ruthless streak as they enter the run-in or they will be left looking over their shoulders on what could have been.

Despite the cherries home advantage, we went for an away win as our 1st choice as we felt that the visitors had more to play for and this proved true right till the 89th minute. However, we went for a draw as our 2nd pick just in case the cherries maintained their late goal scoring form which they duly did, thereby making our 2nd pick the correct one.

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West Brom v Swansea

Our 1st Pick: X

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 1-1

This was as controversial a match as they come with Swansea manager, Carlos Carvalhal going as far as stating that the baggies goal should not have stood and that the referee, Roger East made a big mistake in awarding Jay Rodriguez’s opener at the Hawthorns. His counterpart, West Brom caretaker manager Darren Moore on the other hand praised the “first class” response of his players as they ended their eight-game losing streak following their hard-fought draw against the Swans.

“I’m really delighted even though we couldn’t hang on for the win,” said Moore, who is in now in charge after the Baggies parted company with Alan Pardew earlier this month.

The Baggies were kept out by a stellar display from visiting Polish goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski, who denied West Brom’s top scorers, Rodriguez and Chris Brunt – before Rodriguez eventually put them ahead when he poked in Salomon Rondon’s cheeky flick-on. Chelsea’s on-loan striker Abraham, was in place to pull the visitors level when he rose above marker Jake Livermore to head in a Sam Clucas corner with only 15 minutes left on the clock.

It was a really poor goal to conceded and ended up undoing all of Albion’s good work in a matter of seconds following a lapse in concentration. The Baggies did try to drag themselves back from that blow in the final few minutes, but neither team managed to create much more of note. Albion are without a doubt destined for the Championship, that much is certain, but at least this performance suggests that under Moore, they will go down fighting.

Following the change in management, we felt that the hosts were set to stop the rot with a draw which was our 1st pick. We did place a double chance as our 2nd pick as we still felt that the hosts were set to cause an upset under new management. Our 1st pick proved to be the winning one.

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Reading v Preston

Our 1st Pick: 2

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 1-0

On the so-called unlucky thirteenth attempt, the Royals won their first Saturday home game of the season. It may have been an ugly and uncultured display, but the hosts held on to their one goal lead to secure a vital three points and restore their five-point gap to the drop-zone. The home side put out a dogged and determined performance throughout, a trademark of Paul Clement’s rejuvenated Royals.

The game was as feisty as they come. Preston were extremely physical in their challenges but the hosts matched their enthusiasm every step of the way. Cynical slide tackles from Darnell Fisher and Ben Davies riled the home crowd and soon proved to be the Lilywhites’ undoing. Liam Kelly floated a free-kick into the penalty area following another cynical foul, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson flicked his header to the far post, where Mo Barrow was left completely unmarked to nod home what proved to be the match winner and the impressive Gambian’s tenth goal of the season.

The second half was pretty similar with Preston probing and the hosts standing firm. Bodin was unlucky not to level at the far post and substitute Sean Maguire headed against the crossbar. Despite the mounting pressure, the home side didn’t look nervy at all – but rather compact, relaxed and well-drilled. Tiago Ilori and Liam Moore were outstanding, winning the majority of their aerial battles and launching themselves fearlessly into blocks and tackles. The back four took few risks, only passing out of defense when safe and were not afraid to pick out row Z when a proper clearance was required. Consequently, they caused very few of their own problems.

All in all, Reading looked largely united again – both on and off the pitch. The fans were back behind the team and the players are responded in kind, with a performance characterized by the guts and courage of successful Reading teams of yester years. The Victory kept Reading 19th and restored their five-point cushion above the bottom three, while Preston’s fourth defeat in five dropped them to 11th, six points outside the play-off places.

We had gone for an away win as our 1st pick as we felt that Preston’s quest for a play-off berth would prove to be incentive enough and a draw as our 2nd pick but none proved true as the new Reading manager seems to have rallied his troops and they duly pulled a truly gutsy performance.

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Bristol Rovers v Charlton

Our 1st Pick: 2

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 1-1

The Injury-hit Bristol Rovers produced a battling display to hold promotion-chasing Charlton to a draw at the Memorial Stadium. The hosts took a 21st-minute lead following an error by Charlton skipper Jason Pearce, whose header back to goalkeeper Ben Amos lacked sufficient pace and Kyle Bennett nipped in to take full advantage by shooting home from close range.

Just before half-time, the scores were level as Ben Reeves neatly exchanged passes with Sullay Kaikai on the edge of the box and saw his shot brush the leg of defender Lee Brown to beat the dive of Sam Slocombe. The Rovers goalkeeper had earlier on made a brilliant 36th-minute save to keep out a curling right-footed effort from Nicky Ajose and repeated his heroics on 53 minutes to keep out a similar effort from Reeves.

Already without half-a-dozen injured players, the hosts lost midfielder Liam Sercombe on 24 minutes and had to move captain Tom Lockyer forward from central defense. They however fought on valiantly to earn a point against their high-flying opponents.

We had an away win as our 1st pick based on the visitor’s promotion ambitions and Bristol’s long injury list. However, we placed a draw as our 2nd pick as we felt the hosts would play for pride and this proved to be the winning pick.

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Millwall v Bristol City

Our 1st Pick: 1

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 2-0

Top notch strikes from Jed Wallace and Steve Morison sealed victory for the Lions, it could have been one of those cricket score matches were it not for City’s heroic defending and top-class goalkeeping from Frank Fielding. However, City’s play-off fight continues despite the confidence draining 2-0 defeat to Millwall at the Den.

Half chances fell to the Robins but the home side’s exemplary finishing meant they would secure the maximum points and leapfrog Saturday’s visitors in the Sky Bet Championship as both teams were locked level on 62 points heading into this one, with City sitting in seventh-place on goals scored alone. The atmosphere which followed kick-off was electric to set up a fast pace in the early exchanges with the home fans acting as the 12th man in full voice.

the first-half blow came when Jed Wallace’s top corner strike left Fielding with no chance. Ben Marshall had picked out his teammate on the left-hand side and the winger’s curling effort picked out the far corner of the goal to break the deadlock and sent the home fans into a frenzy. Despite trying to rally a response, City couldn’t muster a serious effort in their search for an equalizer although Jamie Paterson tried his luck from distance, firing low and wide of Jordan Archer’s goal.

The hosts doubled their lead just seven minutes into the second half when Gregory’s back-heel picked out his on-rushing teammate, who calmly slotted the ball into the top left corner, beyond the fully stretched Fielding. City survived a scare almost immediately as the home side looked to put the match to bed with a 3rd goal. Wallace intercepted a Josh Brownhill pass and ran deeply and purposefully into the visiting side’s half. He then picked out Gregory whose shot on the turn was blocked by Bryan, while Morison’s rebound was also blocked and Fielding’s heroics kept out George Saville’s effort before the referee awarded a City free kick that brought the carnage to a stop and gave the visitors a much-needed breather.

We placed a home win as our 1st choice simply based on the head to head record between these two while a draw was our second pick. Needless to say, our 1st pick once again proved to be the winning one.

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Rochdale v Portsmouth

Our 1st Pick: 2

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 3-3

This was another pulsating match that had yet another memorable come back or rather several comebacks in what was arguably, a strong contender for match of the weekend if you can bring yourself to forget the thrilling Manchester derby. Matt Done’s injury-time own goal proved to be what denied Rochdale the chance to move out of the unenviable League One relegation zone as Portsmouth came from behind not once nor twice but three times to snatch a draw.

The hosts first went ahead as early as the 13th minute when Brad Inman rifled a low drive across Pompey goalkeeper Luke McGee only for Portsmouth to equalize 13 minutes later when Jamal Lowe raced forward on the counter-attack and cut the ball back to leave Brett Pitman with an easy finish. The home side regained the lead with a well worked goal in the 56th minute with Inman and Done combining to tee up Humphrys, who curled a finish wide of McGee. However, once again the visitors drew level via Pitman who turned in at the near post after McNulty’s hashed attempt to clear his lines from a free-kick.

Dale’s third and what was thought to be the match winner came in the 72nd minute when Inman crossed for Calvin Andrew to nod the ball down for an easy Henderson tap in. Pompey however refused to go down quietly into the dying of the light and pulled level for a 3rd time when Done, under pressure in a packed penalty area, headed into his own net in stoppage time. A truly nail-biting clash came to a close and sharing of points was probably the fair outcome given the grand scheme of things.

We had gone for an away win as our 1st pick based purely on current form status and a double chance as our 2nd pick but the draw meant we were slightly off in this one thanks mainly due to the stoppage time own goal.

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Oxford Utd v Oldham

Our 1st Pick: X

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result:  0-0

This was a rather cagey affair and there were few scoring chances in what can only be described as a truly nervy encounter at the Kassam Stadium. The barren stalemate meant that Karl Robinson is still looking for his first win since taking over at Oxford United four games ago.

Notably though, the home side had a serious let-off when Todd Kane appeared to push Wilfried Moimbe in the back with the Oldham player running into the danger area, but the referee let it go. Oxford had another effort blocked right on the line in the second half when Rob Dickie’s header was stopped before a mad scramble ended with Wes Thomas hooking a shot over.

The fact that the first save for either goalkeeper came five minutes from time when Latics’ Johny Placide held a drive from Ryan Ledson really says it all when it comes to this particular match.

We had a draw as our 1st pick on this purely based on past records and it turned out to be a correct prediction.

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AFC Wimbledon v Scunthorpe

Our 1st Pick: 2

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 1-1

An early goal and a really late equalizer would be the best way to describe this encounter. Star player, Lee Novak snatched a late equalizer for Scunthorpe to seal a draw at AFC Wimbledon leaving many home fans with a bitter taste in their mouths.

The Dons had drawn first blood after just four minutes as Scunthorpe failed to clear a corner and Will Nightingale rose highest to expertly head in Harry Forrester’s dangerous in-swinging left-wing cross. The visitors enjoyed a commendable spell of possession but failed to create any clear-cut chances.

Both sides started the second half slowly, with Jordan Clarke’s weak shot saved easily by George Long. However, with just five minutes left on the clock, Duane Holmes burst down the left and Novak converted his low cross from close range to level with their first real chance of the game.

Despite the intense late pressure from the visitors as they pushed for a winner, Wimbledon held on to make it four games unbeaten although they remain just a point from safety in 20th while Scunthorpe are now winless in 10 matches leading them to fall down to 9th with just a point separating them from the highly coveted play-off spot.

We had an away win as our 1st pick simply based on the fact that the visitors were playing for a play-off spot. However, based on their head to head records, we placed a draw as our 2nd pick and it proved to be the winning thanks largely to the late equaliser.

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Gillingham v Doncaster Rovers

Our 1st Pick: X

Our 2nd Pick: 2

Result: 0-0

Nothing frustrates football enthusiasts as much as a barren draw and this proved to be one of those matches that are quickly forgotten, as both teams held on to a rather lacklustre goalless stalemate in the highly anticipated English league one match.

Folk hero, Conor Wilkinson missed the hosts’ best chances to snatch victory but, on a more positive note, the point earned ended a run of three successive defeats. The striker came the closest for the hosts, who are now winless at home in four games, when he headed on to the roof of the net from Bradley Garmston’s cross. The 23-year-old had the hard work by dispossessing Rovers goalkeeper Marko Marosi but was inexplicably unable to fire into the empty net from a difficult angle in and around the 35th minute.

We had a draw as our 1st pick in this one based on both teams’ current form and this proved to be an accurate prediction.

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Plymouth v Peterborough

Our 1st Pick: 1

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 2-1

They should really call last week the comeback week as this involved yet another stunning comeback between two play-off rivals. Plymouth playmaker Graham Carey proved to be the hero in this particular story when he expertly tucked away a stoppage-time penalty winner as Argyle came back from 1-0 down to beat League One play-off rivals Peterborough United at Home Park.

The Posh went ahead when top-scorer, Jack Marriott took his tally to 26 goals with a superb 10th-minute finish as he pounced on a bouncing through ball to cheekily lob stand-in goalkeeper Kyle Letheren. However, the hosts’ best move of the first half resulted in their equalizer. They went on a sweeping move down the left wing and skipper Gary Sawyer’s pinpoint cross to the near post was headed into the far corner – past goalkeeper Conor O’Malley – by their target man Ryan Taylor.

The match took a turn for the worse for the visitors as they were reduced to 10 men in the 75th-minute when right back Liam Shephard was shown a straight red card for violent conduct. At the very death, the visitors, who were already down to 10 men, had Steven Taylor dismissed for a second bookable offence as he tried delaying Carey’s spot-kick which was awarded for a foul on full-back Oscar. The last gasp winner meant that Plymouths’ hopes of a play-off spot are very much alive.

We had a home win as our 1st pick based on the head to head record between these two teams as well as the home ground advantage factor. As draws are a rarity when these two meet, we had a double chance as our 2nd pick and ended up with 2 winning predictions.

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Celta Vigo v Sevilla

Our 1st Pick: 2

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 4-0

In form Spanish striker Iago Aspas was the star of the show as he scored a memorable hattrick to condemn Sevilla to a battering defeat. Coming into this one off the back of a narrow defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in their champions league crunch tie, Sevilla must have been in two minds with the return match only a few days away and it really showed.

They say that when it comes to football matches, one should only focus on the match ahead but the visitors must have ignored the script. Celta Vigo drew first blood in and around the 38th minute via an Arana own goal after a spell of immense pressure. The went into the break on the ascendancy and pretty much picked up from they left off in the second half. Aspas came to life in a spell binding 21 minutes in which he scored 3 goals to send the home crowd into a frenzy. Sevilla just weren’t in the races and the hosts went for the jugular with aplomb.

With their resilient show against the German giants in mind, we had gone for an away as our 1st choice. However, as most coaches tend to rest key players in between champions league matches, we had a draw as our 2nd Pick. The Iago Aspas effect is one we definitely shouldn’t have over-looked.

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AZ Alkmaar v PSV Eindhoven

Our 1st Pick: 1

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 2-3

Just when you thought we were done with comebacks, the Dutch decided to take us on anther wild one. Arguably two of the best in the Dutch league clashed over the weekend and it was definitely a serious contender for match of the weekend as they went at it tooth and nail.

As is always the case when two giants meet, they spent the entire 1st half sizing each other up with the occasional close shaves here and there but both held their own to head into the brake level and goalless. This was to be one of those game of two halves kind of matches as there was a total of 5 goals by the time the game came to a close. The hosts broke the deadlock via two rapid fire goals by Wout Weghorst in the 53’ and 61’ respectively sending the home faithful into delirium. This could be easily described as poking the hornets nest as the visitors and champions in waiting came to life in a flurry of 5 minutes to score 3 goals between the 71’ and 76’ effectively silencing the home crowd. It went from bad to worse for the hosts as Ron Vlaar was sent of in the 89’ to be a close to what was truly a scintillating match of football.

Based on the form of the visitors, we went for a home win as our 1st pick as well as a double chance as our 2nd as we felt that a draw was out of the cards and both proved to be true.

 

Amiens v Caen

Our 1st Pick: 1

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 3-0

This was as one sided an affair as they come with the hosts running riot against their less fancied opponents. Caen have been poor on the road in the French league and they were really up against it as they faced an Amiens team that have been in fine form at home.

The hosts went ahead as early as the 20’ via Bakaye Dibassy and didn’t look back since.  10 minutes later, Serge Gakpe made it 2 nil and effectively killed off what little confidence that still existed in terms of mounting a comeback. Amiens went into the break on a comfortable lead with the visitors looking jaded and bereft of ideas. Pape Moussa Konate made it 3 nil early on in the second half and it was pretty much over as a contest right there and then as the hosts held on to secure a memorable win and the much needed 3 points.

We went for a home win as our 1st pick simply due to the outstanding home record and abysmal away record of Caen. We did give the visitors an outside chance with a double chance a our 2nd pick and both picks proved true.

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Sampdoria v Genoa

Our 1st Pick: X

Our 2nd Pick: 12

Result: 0-0

This feisty Italian derby promised so much on paper yet delivered zero goals on the pitch. Granted, Pandev did score for the visitors but the linesman correctly flagged him offside to the grunts of the rowdy visiting supporters.

Sampdoria fans were in full voice with flares in hand as they tried to spur their team to victory but it just wasn’t to be as both sides cancelled each other out. The only chances recorded in this particular match were mostly long-range shots that never really troubled either keeper. There were a few penalty shouts by the hosts as players went tumbling down following the feintest of touches, but the referee was having none of it. Genoa had yet another goal correctly ruled out for offside again as the match was brought to a close. The draw can be deemed as a fair result as neither team really did enough to warrant the maximum points.

We had gone for a draw as our 1st pick as in derbies, teams tend to cancel each other out with a lot of pride and bragging rights at stake, this proved to be the correct prediction.

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Verona v Cagliari

Our 1st Pick: 1

Our 2nd Pick: X

Result: 1-0

Don’t let the score-line fool you as this match could have had 3 or 4 goals were it not for some exemplary goalkeeping heroics on both ends of the pitch. The home side did secure the much needed 3 points thanks to a penalty in the 39th minute that was converted by their skipper, Romulo.

VAR was in the spotlight on this one as the referee took time out to watch the replay following handball shouts from Verona players. A few seconds later the referee pointed to the spot and despite the keeper getting a hand on Romulo’s spot-kick, it was just too powerful and forced its way in to the back of the net. The hosts did go 2 nil up mid-way through the second half, but once again VAR technology came into play and helped the officials spot an offside player involved in the build up to the goal. Despite a late flurry of chances by Cagliari, the hosts held on by the skin of their teeth to secure maximum points.

We had gone for a home win as our 1st choice based on head to head records and it proved to be accurate.

 

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Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim      

Our 1st Pick: X

Our 2nd Pick: 1

Result: 1-1

Hoffenheim had only lost one of their last eight Bundesliga matches and were in good domestic form since crashing out of the Europa League heading into this one. They sat only three points behind Frankfurt and could have overtaken them had they won on the day. However, the hosts were on a 5-match home winning streak heading into this one thus setting us up for a mouthwatering encounter, on paper at least

It proved to be a competitive game between two outsiders hoping to challenge for a Champions League spot. The chances came far and in between as the teams cancelled each other out effectively. They headed into the break goalless but this was soon rectified as the hosts pulled in front via their star man, Luka Jovic. The joy was short-lived though, only 7 minutes later, former Arsenal Player Serge Gnabry found the back of the net to pull the visitors level and proved to be the match point as it ended 1 all.

We had gone for a draw as our 1st pick as we felt that was the best possible outcome when two in-form teams met and it proved to be true.

 

That’s it following another weekend of scintillating sportpesa megajackpot matches. We scored a high of 10/17 on our 1st picks and are really looking forward to going two or three matches better in this week’s sportpesa megajackpot predictions. As ever, visit www.multibet.co.kefor informative as well as in depth sports betting tips and picks.