Cracovia Krakow vs Korona Kielce
Competition: Poland Ekstraklasa
Date: 4 December 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
“Both teams to score” (1.75) and “over 2.5 goals” (2.00) were my two tips last weekend when Cracovia hosted Lechia Gdansk, both came good, but the second one shouldn’t have. Cracovia did an awesome job reacting to Lechia’s opener in the 64th minute, they equalized in less than ten minutes (fantastic Piątek header), they kept pushing for a second goal, they were absolutely dominant in the last half hour, but their winner in the seventh minute of added time was… fake. Hernandez went down inside the box not because he got fouled by Lukasik, but simply because he waited long enough for sliding Lukasik to touch him (with the ball already gone). The moment he felt the contact he went down, the ref and his closest assistant didn’t say anything, but about half a minute later, when the ball went out, the referee was called to go see on a screen what had happened, and amazingly, incredibly, unbelievably, he showed the penalty spot!! Lechia’s players couldn’t believe it, mostly Lukasik, but… Piątek didn’t miss from the penalty spot, 2-1, big win for Cracovia, who now sit 12th in the table, their best position in weeks and weeks (more like… months, possibly since the start of the season).
Korona Kielce had kept a clean sheet in five consecutive matches (including a Cup one, at Zaglebie Lubin), and in seven of their last eight, but less than two minutes into the game against Legia Warsaw last weekend, they… realized for good that Legia are unlike any other team they had faced the previous two months (excluding Gornik Zabrze). Perfect counterattack, 0-1 for Legia, and a major character test for the hosts. Did they pass it? They sure did, with flying colours. Missed chance, another missed chance, another one, until the dying minutes of the first half, when they… exploded, scoring twice in a matter of three minutes (spotless finish by Soriano, and… opportunistic tap-in by Kallaste). Legia’s equalizer early in the second half put Korona again to the test. Again, they got A+, no matter if their winning goal was offside (in the build-up). All in all, Korona were better, more threatening, and absolutely fearless, grabbing three points to close the gap to the top to just three points (behind Gornik, and two points behind second-placed Legia). Midweek, despite playing without key players, they beat Zaglebie Lubin again, 2-0, in the return leg of their Poland Cup quarterfinal. They qualified for the semis, matches that are going to be held in spring.
Previous five matches:
Cracovia Krakow vs Lechia Gdansk 2-1
Piast Gliwice vs Cracovia Krakow 1-0
Zaglebie Lubin vs Cracovia Krakow 1-2
Cracovia Krakow vs Nieciecza 1-1
Sandecja Nowy Sacz vs Cracovia Krakow 1-1
Korona Kielce vs Zaglebie Lubin 2-0
Korona Kielce vs Legia Warsaw 3-2
Zaglebie Lubin vs Korona Kielce 0-0
Korona Kielce vs Slask Wroclaw 3-0
Lechia Gdansk vs Korona Kielce 0-5
Cracovia’s next game is at Lech Poznan, next Sunday. A day earlier, Korona will have hosted Arka Gdynia (both Poland Ekstraklasa matches).
Cracovia Krakow vs Korona Kielce: Head to head Stats
Last season, Cracovia threw a 6-0 party at home against Korona. Before that, they had won one and drawn in three home games versus the Kielce side. Three of the last five matches between these two in Krakow went over 2.5 goals.
Cracovia Krakow vs Korona Kielce: Prediction
Cracovia are considered slight favourites(!!!) to win this game, but personally, having been to all their home games since the start of the season, having watched all their away games on TV, and having followed most of Korona’s games as well (less from the stand, more on TV), I will be indescribably surprised if Cracovia win this game, despite their very good run lately (three wins, three draws, just one defeat). Deep down, I expect Korona not just to avoid losing, but to win the game, and the match to have at least three goals.
Cracovia Krakow vs Korona Kielce: Betting Tips
Korona’s double chance at 1.53 is one of those bets that, to me, look 95% probable to come good. As previously mentioned, deep down I expect Korona to win the game (2.75), and that to happen in 90 minutes that will have at least three goals, a combination (Korona win and over 2.5 combined goals) that pays 4.50(!). Over 2.5 alone, at 1.95, is a more… conservative approach, if you don’t share my trust in Korona.