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Elite football returns this weekend, bar I suppose our Finnish friends. I will research HJK as they dominate the league. Although matches such as Derby's, Leganes, and Lille's are tough to evaluate, we do see elite teams from elite leagues today. The likes of PSG, Celtic, Sporting Lisbon and Benfica are very reliable. It is much like the tennis. World Number 1 Pliskova was backable at 12.5 in play when on the brink, and won. There are plenty of elite teams from elite leagues this weekend but a warning to you. The Champions League is being played next week so the likes of Celtic, PSG and Benfica will have this in the back of their minds. Sometimes we see shock results. Witness Chelsea's form last season in the league prior to a Champions League match (particularly under Mourinho).
Indeed Celtic meet PSG on Tuesday. I will be tweeting this evening from 18:00. Tomorrow my Dad arrives at the airport at 13:15. I hope he can clear immigration by the start of the German Bundesliga! I will have a word with the pilot!


16:30 - VPS v HJK Helsinki - 1.67 HJK

  • 3-0, 0-0, 2-1 VPS in the last 3 visits of HJK. This may not be as straightforward as we think from the market.
  • This is 6th v 1st.
  • There have been -2.5 goals in 7/10 VPS Vaasa home matches and in 6/8 HJK Helsinki away matches against top-half teams.
  • HJK Helsinki have drawn 7/13 away matches against top-half teams.


  • No win in 7 matches. 3 losses in their last 4 matches.
  • Conceded in their last 5 home matches.
  • Only 1 0-0 at home.
  • VPS beat HJK 2-1 this season but that was the only win v top 4 teams this season.


  • Only 2 defeats and we know that one was v today's opponents on their patch.
  • 5 clean sheets in 6 matches.
  • No defeat in 9 away.
  • Scored in their last 6 away matches.
  • 7 0-1 wins at halftime away.
  • 19 of 26 goals scored away came 2nd half.


  • I thought I would research HJK who tend to be reliable but what is with their record at VPS?
  • Rather like Napoli v Atalanta (where Atalanta did the double but Napoli got their revenge), will HJK get their revenge today?
  • Only 2 losses all season and 5 clean sheets in 6 matches suggests HJK may be tougher to score against today.
  • Look at HJK scoring away. If they have not scored 1st half, they should score 2nd half.
  • The value is to lay HJK if HJK score first given their record v VPS at VPS but the season form suggests HJK should avenge their defeat.


19:45 - Derby v Hull - 2.06 Derby

  • Derby have won 11/18 home matches.
  • Top-half relegated teams have had -2.5 goals in 55% of away matches against middle-third teams since 2012-13.
  • Identical form from these 2, 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw.
  • All bar one over 2.5 goals match for Hull.
  • It is far too early, honestly, for me to find any trading angles into this match.


20:00 - Leganes v Getafe - 2.1 Leganes

  • No head to heads.
  • There have been -2.5 goals in 12/16 Leganes home matches and they have drawn the first half in 6/10 home matches.
  • Bottom-half promoted teams have conceded first in 66% of away matches against top-six teams since 2012-13.
  • 2 1-0 wins for Leganes saw both goals scored in the 20th-30th minute mark.
  • 0-0 and 0-1 for Getafe this season.
  • 2 defences in good nick, albeit after only 2 matches.
  • No strong angles bar the under 2.5 goals trend.


19:30 - Hamburg v RB Leipzig - 1.92 RB

  • 0-4 RB and 0-3 Hamburg in last year's head to heads.
  • There have been +2.5 goals in 6/8 Hamburg SV home matches against top-half teams and in 7/10 RB Leipzig away matches.
  • RB Leipzig have scored first in 10/17 away matches.
  • 2 wins for Hamburg this season.
  • A loss and a win for RB who were entitled to win as they liked v Freiburg.
  • The head to heads last year muddle matters. The away side won and won convincingly.


18:00 - Lille v Bordeaux - 2.68 Lille

  • 0-1 Lille and 2-3 Bordeaux in the last 2 head to heads.
  • Lille have drawn the first half in 6/10 home matches against top-six teams while there have been -2.5 goals in 6/9 Bordeaux away matches against middle-third teams.
  • Bordeaux have drawn 10/17 away matches.
  • The market suggests this is too tough to call.
  • Bordeaux look the team to side with, scoring 2 goals at least in their 4 matches this season.
  • 2-2 and 3-3 away for Bordeaux so they could be set up specifically away in a manner which suggests goals.
  • 3-0 v Nantes and 0-2 v Caen for Lille this season at home. Little to garner from that information.
  • 4 matches is too small a sample but I personally would hold Bordeaux to their 2 goal pattern and therefore lay any 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 Lille lead.
  • Bordeaux has not yet had a 0-0 at halftime.

19:45 - Metz v Paris St-G - 1.14 PSG

  • 2-3 PSG last time they visited Metz saw a Desmond and a late PSG winner.
  • Paris St-G have won 10/11 away matches against bottom-six teams and they have had W/W double results in 8/11 away matches.
  • Metz have lost 6/8 home matches against top-six teams.
  • Metz have scored only once so a possible win to nil is on the cards. 1.14 odds suggests 3/4 goals minimum from PSG. 3-6-3 scored in their last 3 matches suggests that capability.
  • 0-3, 0-4, 1-4 possible correct scores for me,and I would be keen to back these especially if we see a concerted period of 0-0.
  • PSG's last first half goal was a penalty and their 3 goals away v Guingamp came 2nd half. Better still if 0-0 at halftime as we will get juicy odds for these correct scores in a season where the big guns like a late late show.


19:45 - Hamilton v Celtic - 1.28 Celtic

  • 0-3 and 2-0 Celtic in the last 2 head to heads is our template for today.
  • Celtic have won 8/8 away matches against top-half teams and they have had W/W double results in 8/10 away matches.
  • There have been -2.5 goals in 7/10 Hamilton Ac home matches.
  • Aberdeen top the SPL after a draw between Celtic and St Johnstone.0-1 and 0-2 away for Celtic suggests a need for that clean sheet.
  • Hamilton lost 2-0 to Aberdeen and that infers that they may struggle v the big 2 or 3 this season.
  • 3-0 v Dundee at home followed by 3 goals away at Hibs and 2-2 v Kilmarnock. Hamilton have an eye for goal but will they be given opportunities?
  • The expectation is for a Celtic win to nil today in line with Hamilton's loss to Aberdeen and the head to heads. 0-2 the safer option. I have liked Hamilton's scoring but are they just going to find the top 3 too difficult?


19:00 - Feirense v Sporting Lisbon - 1.45 Sporting Lisbon

  • 2-1 Sporting and 2-1 Feirense in the last 2 head to heads.
  • Feirense have conceded first in 7/10 home matches while Sporting CP have won 8/10 away matches.
  • There have been +2.5 goals in 10/10 Sporting CP away matches against top-six teams.
  • Sporting has conceded only 1 goal this season in 4 wins. That conceded goal came in the 85th minute.
  • Is Sporting sporting a new defensive strength?
  • 2 draws and 2 wins for Feirense. Feirense have not met Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Porto so their good start to the season needs a context.
  • Sporting have gone to town in the first half of their last 2 matches with 5 goals before halftime.
  • Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.

21:00 - Benfica v Portimonense - 1.18 Benfica

  • These 2 have not met since 2011. Portimonense are newly promoted and we should have a degree of caution about newly qualified teams. We have the "unknown factor".
  • Benfica have won 10/11 home matches and they have had W/W double results in 8/10 home matches.
  • Bottom-six promoted teams have conceded first in 60% of away matches against Big Three teams since 2012-13.
  • 3 wins and a 1-1 for Benfica this season. 8 goals scored in 2 matches at home for Benfica. 1.18 odds suggests 3/4 goals from Benfica at their best.
  • A win to start the season and then 3 defeats for Portimonense.A 2-1 loss to Braga for Portimonense is a gauge to today's likely result.
  • We should expect 3+ goals for Benfica.