Vityaz Podolsk - Red Star Kunlun predictions and free betting tips [04/10/2023]
Continental Hockey League regular tournament 2023/2024. The solo match of Wednesday, kicking off at 16:00 GMT, will be in Balashikha, where Vityaz will play host to Kunlun Red Star, currently based in Mytischi.
The worst team in the league, it's no shocker that Vityaz has finally decided to change their head coach in preparation for this match. Aleksandr Zavyalov was dismissed, with Aleksey Tertyshny temporarily appointed to carry out the duties. Although a second seasonal victory was scored not long ago, the management didn’t wait following a defeat at the hands of CSKA with a score of 1:9 and sacked the head coach. What else to do when, after the first month, you have only five points from 13 matches and zero victory during the regular time?
Yes, Vityaz did have two shootout victories and an overtime loss to Ak Bars, but the other 10 defeats look bad. The goal difference is just horrific - the worst in the league. Vityaz has the lowest score in the league, only 20 goals, while having conceded 50 goals, which is the second-worst total in the league, less than Neftekhimik, difference of -30. Whether anything will change with the arrival of the new coach is a big question. Aleksey Tertyshny was remembered for dull games and 2:1 victories during his previous KHL coaching tenure.
Kunlun Red Star
The Chinese team, to many's surprise, actually had a decent start to the season. Four victories in five matches let them top the Western Conference. However, afterwards they started facing injuries and other problems. In their past five games, Kunlun's only victory was a shootout win. This slump can be attributed to the injuries plaguing the team's roster, causing defensive players to take the spot of forwards in the fourth chain. Currently, Kunlun has accumulated 13 points in 15 games, with three wins within regulation, as many outside of it, and a single game leading to a loss with one point; the remaining eight games were all defeats for Kunlun.
As for the goal difference, Kunlun is second-worst in the Western conference, conceding a total of 44 goals while scoring just 33, leaving them with a difference of -7. The biggest news recently was the signing of Teemu Pulkkinen, one of the KHL's highest-paid players. It will be interesting to see how he'll perform.
Vityaz and Kunlun have played 24 matches against each other. Vityaz has the advantage, with 14 victories over Kunlun's 10.
After the change of the head coach, bookmakers put more faith in Vityaz, giving 2.26 odds on their victory, compared to 2.90 on a Kunlun win. It makes good sense to back Vityaz: They've got a new coach, so new spirits and emotions, and they're up against a not-so-strong team, so they might just be able to snatch a victory in regulation.
If you're uneasy, as I am, about backing a team victory in this match, consider betting on a TO (4.5) at 1.84. Yes, neither team is particularly high-scoring, but both concede a lot, so in a head-to-head there's a fair chance of seeing at least five goals.