So much for Greek defensive expertise. They were battered by Croatia and the 'ics. Northern Ireland got to halftime with a 0-0 but a 2nd half penalty proved their undoing. Most unfortunate. Sweden v Italy is another world cup qualifier which is tough to call. Italy have scored 0-1-1-1 in their last 4 World Cup qualifiers which means an over-emphasis on having to keep a clean sheet. The 1-1 with Macedonia shows what happens when the 'Tony Pulis-nick-a-1-0' does not work.
I have to say that today's matches are tough to get angles into. These are more 'opinion' based matches than research based matches.
Apologies for no live chat last night. France U21 was the best trade, a 0-0 at halftime. If online tonight I will look to follow those friendlies via the in-play stats. Yes, a cardinal sin to trade friendlies but I see some solid looking favourites this evening and an England side who may struggle.
The ATP Tour Finals Tennis in London begins on the 12th November 2017 and I would be keen to look to trade some of those matches, despite all of the players necessarily being the best ranked!
WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS AFRICA
17:00 - South Africa v Senegal - 2.8 Senegal
- We are entering 2-legged play offs in Africa as well as Europe.
- South Africa have scored and conceded in 7 of their last 8 World Cup qualifiers and very recently lost home and away to that huge footballing nation, erm the Cape Verde Islands.
- Recent home for for SA includes that 1-2 loss to Cape Verde and a 3-1 win v Burkino Faso.
- Senegal have more of an air of consistency about them.They are unbeaten in 7 (albeit going back to 2013) but 4 draws overtakes 3 wins.
- 2-3-2-0-2-2 goals scored in recent unbeaten matches for Senegal but it is hard to quantify the teams played as against South Africa.
- I suppose if we look at Cape Verde and Burkino, Senegal beat Cape Verde 0-2 and drew 2-2 with Burkino, the team beaten 3-1 by South Africa.
- 2-2, 2-2, 0-2 away for Senegal.
- A very difficult match for me to get any angles into. If you think South Africa will continue to score and concede then lay SA if they score first given Senegal have an attachment to scoring 2 goals.
- Apart from that, I have rarely ventured to Africa and therefore do not know the form lines.
19:30 - Algeria v Nigeria - 2.04 Algeria
WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS EUROPE
19:45 - Sweden v Italy - 2.38 Italy
- Strange to see a side like Italy not qualify automatically.
- No draw for Sweden during their campaign and only one draw for Italy.
- Losses v Netherlands, Bulgaria and France all came away from home.
- Managed to beat France at home which was the highlight of the home form.
- Despite some Italian Seria A teams having goals, goals, goals, Italy have scored 0-1-1-1 in their last 4 qualifiers. Trouble up top.
- This is dangerous as wins will have to be 1-0. If the opponent scores, you are guaranteed to drop 2 points as happened v Macedonia.
- 0-1 away v Albania for goodness sake will have Sweden shaking in their 1970's ABBA boots....not!
- 2 legs means a whole change in attitude.
- This Italy are in trouble up front and I would expect an ultra defensive display from them today which brings 0-0 into play considering they are scoring just a single goal against the likes of Albania.
- Back 0-0 pre-match? Or will we see a change in tack with a 2-legged format as opposed to the group format where they could play for 1st or 2nd.
- Sweden's defeats came away from home and note that win v France at home. Lacking Ibra who is a massive miss, they are scoring.
- I will stick with backing 0-0 and hope that it is 0-0 at halftime so I can trade out.
There are a whole raft of International Friendlies today with some rather obvious favourites.
At 12:00 Japan take on Brazil who are 1.25 favourites to win. Belgium are 1.5 shots to beat Mexico at 19:45; Germany are luke-warm 2.14 favourites to beat Eng-er-land at 19:45; Les Frogs are 1.27 to beat Wales at home - yes this is a French side who failed to score at home v Luxembourg; Portugal take on Saudi Arabia and are 1.19 shots to prevail there.
With all of these friendly matches it is the in-play stats only that I am interested in. Team news is key in all of these matches. I prefer to approach these matches via in-play stats.
Here are some quick stats for you though for some of the friendlies this evening.
12:00 - Japan v Brazil - 1.25 Brazil
- This match is being played in France.
- Brazil have won all of the last 4 meetings, scoring 3+ goals in each match.
- Brazil have won 10 of their last 15 matches without conceding.
- Japan have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 6 matches.
- It does look rather inevitable that the Japanese will concede today. 3 keeps cropping up a few times. 1-3, 0-3 opening gambits?
19:45 - Belgium v Mexico - 1.49 Belgium
- 10 wins and 3 draws for Belgium in their last 13 matches.
- Both teams have scored in 11 of Mexico's last 17 Internationals so an angle there if the Mexicans score first?
20:00 - France v Wales - 1.27 France
- Wales have lost 100% of their last five away friendlies, failing to score in 80% of their games.
- Gareth Bale does not play for Wales.
- It is a sumptuous front line for France, but then it was a sumptuous front line for France v Luxembourg and they were shut out. With Bale absent, that is Wales' get out of jail free card when goals are tough to come by.
20:00 - England v Germany - 2.14 Germany
- Delph, Sterling, Henderson, Winks, Alli, Kane are all absent for England.
- England are poorer v the better sides, particularly in friendlies where they have drawn twice and lost once v the likes of Spain, Germany and France and conceding 2 goals at least v France and Spain.
- Germany have scored 2 goals at least in 5 of their last 7 away matches.
- On form (and dare we trust form in friendlies) Germany should not be losing today.
20:45 - Portugal v Saudi Arabia - 1.19 Portugal
- No Ronaldo, Moutinho, Carvalho and Patricio for Portugal tonight. Ronaldo is the key when matches are tight.
- This friendly looks as if it will be used to check out Portugal's emerging talent and on that basis must be handled via the in-play stats.
- 10 of Portugal's last 11 matches went over 2.5 goals. 4 of Saudi Arabia's last 6 matches went over 2.5 goals.
- In the real world, Saudi Arabia should not land a blow, regardless of the experimental nature of this Portugeuse side.