More World Cup qualifiers Europe tomorrow. A quieter day football wise today. Tennis grass begins today in Stuttgart, Nottingham, Ricoh Open and there are some matches which catch the eye. The big guns are conspicuous by their absence so we are dealing with mid-ranked players and Challenger/peripheral tour players. I will be tweeting if online, for the tennis matches which interest.
17:45 - Iran v Uzbekistan - 1.58 Iran
- 1st v 3rd in Group A of this world cup qualifier Asia Group.
- Iran have yet to concede but 4 of their 5 wins were 1-0 only. It is precarious.
- 2-0, 1-0, 1-0 at home.
- No draw for Uzbekistan - 3 of their 4 wins were 1-0 and 2 of their 3 defeats were 1-0.
- Is this a match to back 0-0 pre-match as it looks like it will be a highly defensive affair.
- I would suggest a 1-0 or 2-0 Iran win today.
- Lay the late draw.
18:00 - Norway U21 v Kosovo U21 - 1.19 Norway U21
- This is the U21 Euro Championship.
- Kosovo U21 are a new breed of minnow and likely to incur multiple losses.
- Kosovo lost 1-0 to Ireland in their sole Euro match.
- 3 wins in 4 for Norway includes wins over Swiss, Kazakhstan and Serbia.
- 0-0-1-0 scored by Kosovo in their recorded internationals.
- We should expect a Norwegian win today, likely to nil. The Irish took until the 56th minute so note that if 0-0 at halftime and do expect a 2nd half goal.
19:00 - Albania U21 v Estonia U21 - 1.79 Albania U21
- Hardly 2 of the most compelling footballing countries.
- Estonia U21 have 5 consecutive defeats in their Euro campaign. When they did score, they lost 2-1.
- Albanias wins v Leichtenstein and Hungary hardly suggests ultra reliable form.
- 2 consecutive away defeats now v Greece and Israel.
- Not a match I will likely trade. I may be interested in an Estonia U21 lead as they have lost 2-1 when they have scored. That suggests laying Estonia if Estonia lead.
The Grass Court Tournaments begin in the run up to the big one in Wimbledon. Roger Federer makes his return to Stuttgart after taking the clay court season to rest up. I will take a look at a few matches which catch my eye as potential trading vehicles.
Steve Johnson v Max Marterer - 1.18 Steve
- 25th v 132nd and a suspicion Max is a German.
- Max is predominantly a Challenger tour player so his form is hard to quantify against an ATP tour player.
- SJ reached the Final in Houston, quarters in Geneva and round of 32 in the French Open losing to Dominic Thiem.
- He tends to win a set if conceding a set so Max should not be winning 2-0 today.
- Expect an SJ win but lay Max if Max wins the first set.
Malek Jaziri v Mischa Zverev - 1.34 Mischa
- 67th v 35th and outside of the top 20, this for me is a tight rankings match.
- Mischa is German and that counts for a lot in his home country.
- Most recently, these 2 met in the Australian Open in 2017, a 4 setter and that suggests that Jaziri can be layed if Jaziri wins the first set .
- Mischa lost in the Final in Geneva to Wawrinka and was terrible in the French Open, going out in the Round of 128.
- 3 consecutive 3 set matches for Jaziri underlines the fact he should not be winning 2-0.
Florian Mayer v Jeremy Chardy - 1.86 Mayer
- 47th v 70th.
- The market cannot really split these 2.
- Head to heads most recently in 2014. 3-0 wins for Chardy.
- Mayer had an exceptional grass court run up to Wimbledon last year, and if I remember rightly, he gave Roger Federer the run around.
- In Stuttgart last year, Mayer lost to Federer in 2 tie breakers in the quarter finals and he also reached the Final and won the title in Halle.
- Alas the poor Sod met Thiem in the First Round in Wimbledon! Doh!
- I cannot read Chardys form. He has been mixing up ATP events with Challenger tour events.He only played Queens last year in the run up to Wimbledon.
- Happy memories for Mayer in Germany last year on grass will have me hoping he can replicate that superb pre-Wimbledon run and it leads me to want to lay Chardy if Chardys odds shorten reasonably in play. Definitely lay Chardy if Chardy wins first set. Slight concern? 3-0 Chardy in head to heads.
Stephane Robert v Bernard Tomic - 1.18 Tomic
- 92nd v 41st.
- Robert is 37 years old and that may be the reason Tomic is so short in the odds. Tomic certainly is not a reliable player in my eyes. Far too inconsistent.
- Still a full schedule on the ATP tour for Robert but he tends to lose quickly in tournaments. 5 first round defeats in his last 6 tournaments.
- Tomic has gone out in his first round in the last 3 tournaments.In Madrid and Rome, he lost in 3 sets. In France he lost to Thiem.
- 1.18 I would not be backing Tomic. But then both he and Robert are in poor form. I would lay Tomic at 1.19 and hope his inconsistency helps the odds rise.
Marcos Baghdatis v Kohlschreiber - 1.39 Kohl
- 60th v 31st.
- Kohlscreiber is a German in Germany.
- Baggy has won the last 3 head to heads, albeit from 2007 2010 and 2014.
- 3 tie breakers in his last 3 matches for Baggy so he can stay with a player at least for a set. 6 consecutive defeats now though.
- Kohl lost to Zeballos, Dimitrov and Kyrgios recently. Zeballos we know had an excellent French Open.
- He has also had 3 tie breakers in his last 3 matches.
- Baggy is a falling star now but will always be competitive. Not sure of any strong angles, bar laying Baggy if Baggy wins first set. He is likely to get a set on a tie breaker.
Rus v Babos - 1.22 Babos
- 184th v 30th.
- Rus plays on the peripheral tours.
- 7 defeats in her last 8 for Babos on main tour events.She has met the likes of Kerber, Baczsinsky and Cornet recently and lost to them. As expected I feel.
- Not a match I have much of an opinion on. I do not know Babos too well and her recent form, albeit in far better company than Rus, is poor.
Jelena Jankovic v Krejsova - 1.26 Jelena
- 55th v 285th. Krejsova must be poor is Jelena is a 1.26 favourite. I am guessing it is based more on the rankings differential.
- Krejsova got through qualifying to get here. She is another player on the peripheral tour.
- Jankovic exited first round of the French Open to a 134th ranked player.
- Again I suppose this research shows you that we are better served by a focus on better ranked players with better recent form. Jelena should logically win but she is totally unreliable at the moment. No harm I suppose laying Jelena if she wins first set. Odds will be very short and Krejsova might offer the usual 2nd set resistance.
Hsieh v Kucova - 1.38 Hsieh
- 101 v 94th. We should remember Hsieh from the French Open.
- Kucova won a 2016 head to head in 3 sets.
- Hsieh beat Johanna Konta in the French Open, quite a scalp and all of her 3 French Open matches were 3 setters.
- This tells me that Kucova is to be layed if winning the first set. Hsieh has some fight against better players.
- 8 defeats in 9 for Kucova is poor recent form. She is unable to get out of the first round in her last 5 tournaments.
- I am with Hsieh today if she can translate her clay form to grass.