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It will be in-play stats led this evening. The first leg Champions League matches are all tactical. The home side wants a clean sheet, the away side wants an away goal.
The English Championship is as competitive as ever.

UEFA Champions League

20:00 - Tottenham v Man City - 1.93 Man City

  • No angles in these matches for me I'm afraid. So high profile, and the first of 2 legs will impact the tactics.
  • 4 consecutive head to head wins for Man City.

20:00 - Liverpool v Porto - 1.3 Liverpool

  • Liverpool have a great record against Porto. 4-1 win in 2007 but more recently, 0-5 away win and 0-0 home scoreline.
  • The odds look right here. I would expect Liverpool to aim for a clean sheet today.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

It's a quiet day so I thought I would research the English Championship but to be honest it's not a league I like as it is far too competitive. Were this a busy day, I would not research this league.

19:45 - Blackburn v Derby - 2.56 Derby


19:45 - Bristol City v West Brom - 2.58 Bristol City

  • I won't research the above 2 matches. 2.56+ the favourite in one of the most competitive leagues in Europe. 'I'll get me coat!'.

19:45 - Preston v Leeds - 2.16 Leeds

Preston (10th)

  • Only 2 losses in 14 matches came last 2 matches.
  • Only 4 home defeats v 2nd, 4th, 11th and 21st.
  • Only 1 home win v the top 13 came v 1st!
  • 3-0 loss to Leeds earlier this season.
  • 17 of 25 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Leeds (3rd)

  • Only 3 losses in the last 10 matches.
  • 6 wins in the last 9 matches.
  • 8 0-0's at halftime away (40%).
  • 5 wins in 6 matches away v the top 7.

Conclusions

  • Preston were in good form until 2 consecutive defeats.
  • Season long, v the top 13, only 1 win came v 1st. On this basis, they are more likely NOT to win today.
  • Leeds are in ok form. 6 wins in 9 matches.
  • Tentative nod towards Leeds today.

19:45 - Sheff Wed v Nottm Forest - 2.18 Sheff Wed

Sheff Wed (12th)

  • Only 1 loss in 13 came last match v Aston Villa.
  • 5 wins and 3 draws in the last 8 at home.
  • 7 0-0's at halftime at home (35%).
  • Unbeaten at home v 10th and lower - will that extend to 9th?
  • 2-1 loss v Forest earlier this season.
  • 18 of 25 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Nottm Forest (9th)

  • 3 losses, 3 wins, 2 draws last 8 matches. Inconsistent.
  • No win in 11 away.
  • Scored and conceded last 4.
  • Unbeaten away v 13th and higher. Do their losing away v 14th and lower!! Contrarian form.
  • Clean sheets away v 7th-13th inclusive.

Conclusions

  • Tricky match. Sheff Wed are unbeaten at home v 10th and lower. Will that extend to 9th? And Nottm Forest are unbeaten v 13th and higher.
  • Both sides on seasonal form would fancy a bite at a team in the section of the league in which their opponents find themselves!

19:45 - Swansea v Stoke - 2.16 Swansea

Swansea (13th)

  • 2 consecutive wins.
  • 5 wins in 6 at home.
  • Scored in their last 7 at home. 2+ goals scored in their last 3 home matches.
  • Superb v 8th and lower at home. Only 1 loss.
  • 1-0 loss to Stoke earlier this season.
  • 17 goals scored away last 1/2 hour of matches.

Stoke (15th)

  • Unbeaten in 9 matches. 4 consecutive 0-0's ended with a 0-1 win last away match.
  • 6 consecutive clean sheets.
  • 12 consecutive under 2.5 goals matches.
  • Only 3 away wins, all 0-1 v 1st, 6th and 16th.

Conclusions

  • Good recent form for both sides. You might want to back 0-0 pre match if this ultra defensive Stoke side turns up. 12 consecutive under 2.5 goals matches. 4 recent 0-0's.
  • I would chance backing 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1 when considering a 0-0 pre-match. All 3 scorelines tend to see the odds drop while the match is 0-0.
  • This of course assumes the Swansea who have scored in their last 7 at home and 2+ goals in their last 3 at home will be silenced by Stoke.

20:00 - Bolton v Middlesbrough - 1.91 Middlesbrough

Bolton (23rd)

  • 8 losses in their last 11 matches.
  • Only 3 wins this season.
  • Only 6 clean sheets.
  • Conceded in their last 8 matches and last 7 at home.
  • 70% of halftime scores at home either 0-0 or a 0-1 loss.
  • Only 1 win home and away v the top 16.
  • Failed to score in 10/13 matches v the top 16 at home.
  • 10 of 13 goals scored at home came 2nd half.

Middlesbrough (8th)

  • 6 consecutive defeats.
  • Failed to score in 4 of their last 5 matches.
  • 9 0-0's at halftime away (45%).
  • Unbeaten home and away v 19th and lower.

Conclusions

  • Redemption for Middlesbrough? When we look at them v 19th and lower, they are unbeaten. When we look at them v the bottom 2, we see 2-0 wins.
  • But that recent form is poor. As is Bolton's!

ENGLISH LEAGUE 1

19:45 - Sunderland v Burton - 1.83 Sunderland

  • Sunderland are a team I have latched onto this season and they proved their worth winning from behind away at Rotherham last weekend.

Sunderland (3rd)

  • Only 2 defeats all season.
  • Have come from behind in 2 of their last 3 matches, to win 2-1.
  • Failed to score only once.
  • No defeat in 19 at home.
  • 2+ goals scored in each of their last 4 at home.
  • Worst case at home would be a score draw.

Burton (10th)

  • 3 consecutive wins did come at home.
  • Only 1 loss in 8 away matches came last match.
  • Not beaten the top 8 away.
  • 2-1 win over Sunderland earlier this season.

Conclusions

  • Burton are one of only 2 teams to have beaten Sunderland this season. I cannot see the double today, despite their superb recent goal scoring. Put into context, Burton have not beaten the top 8 away.
  • Sunderland are likely to score  and have come from behind to record wins twice recently so factor that in if Burton score first.