ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Brighton v Everton - 2.26 Everton
- Festive fun with Everton at least. 3-1 loss, 2-6 loss, 1-5 win. That's 5 matches now where both teams have scored and Everton won only once.
- No win in 4 for Brighton who did impress at home in the 1-1 v Arsenal.
- That's 4 consecutive home matches with both teams scoring.
- Brighton have scored in their last 9 at home.
- They have a very impressive home record. Lost only to 2nd and 4th 1-2.V top 11, they do have a scoring problem. 1-1-1-3-1-1-1 goals scored. That requires good defending.
- Everton's losses are generally v the top 10. They play 13th today. Everton scored 2 goals at least in 4 unbeaten away v 7th and lower.
- Brighton did keep Arsenal (2 goal average away) to a single goal and will need to be as solid today against 2+ goals a game away Everton (v 12th and lower).
- I could see both teams score today and the Everton 2nd goal will be scored or Brighton's defence will ensure that, yet again v top 11, they keep a side to a single goal.
- It does suggest laying the first team to score a goal.
Fulham v Huddersfield - 2.18 Fulham
- This must be a 3 pointer for these sides.
- These are the bottom 2.
- Only 2 wins for both of these sides. The better Xmas has been had by Fulham with 2/2 draws. 6 consecutive defeats Huddersfield.
- 1-0 Huddersfield last time these 2 met this season.
- I cannot trust the bottom 2. Can you? Huddersfield have been a good side for laying the 0-0 in the halftime score market.
Leicester v Cardiff - 1.58 Leicester
- You will recall I mentioned Leicester's solid defence of late under their new manager. Well, they have used this solid defence to dispatch of not only Chelsea, but Manchester City.
- I'll repeat that Leicester defensive run. They have conceded 1-0-0-1-0-1-2 (Spurs)-1-0-1 (Man City) recently. What a great foundation for a positive result.
- 1-2-0 goals scored away recently by Cardiff. Their 4 wins came at home. It would be a shock for me were Cardiff to land a blow if this Leicester defence clicks into Xmas gear yet again.
- 100% defeats away for Cardiff v the top 12 suggests that they will most likely lose today.
- I wouldn't offer a pre-halftime scoring angle given Cardiff's recent 0-0 v Palace away, a Palace also inflicting goals v Man City.
Tottenham v Wolverhampton - 1.4 Tottenham
- The boys from Tottingham are having a great Xmas. A mince pie fuelled 11 goals in 2 matches for Spurs. 5 wins in 6 at home. Only beaten by Man City.
- That was the only match in which Tottenham failed to score in.
- No draw in 19 matches for Spurs.
- They have scored 6 goals in 2 matches before halftime. Will that continue today? Still only 1 home match played v 5th-15th. So slight gap in form (Wolves are 11th).
- A tough Xmas for Wolves. 0-2 loss v Liverpool and 1-1 v Fulham.
- Both teams have scored in the last 4 away matches for Wolves.
- 1-1 away v 6th and 6th for Wolves does suggest competitiveness. But they are yet to meet the top 4 away.
- Will Wolves be as sturdy away as they were v Arsenal and Man Utd? You do feel that if Spurs continue this form, they'll be simply outscoring Wolves. Attack v defence.
- Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market if you think Spurs average of 3 goals before halftime last 2 matches can continue. I'd give it some breathing space in case this Wolves side are defensively strong early on.
Watford v Newcastle - 1.86 Watford
- 2 wins and a loss v Chelsea for Watford this Xmas. They have conceded 2 goals at least in 6 of their last 7 matches. A concern for Watford but maybe not today against a poor scoring Newcastle.
- Only 4 clean sheets for Watford.
- 9 consecutive over 2.5 goals matches for Watford at home. Will that continue today?
- Watford have an excellent record at home v 13th and lower. 100% wins. 2+ goals scored.
- 0-1-1-1-0-0 scored by Newcastle latest. They need a Shearer or a Sumo (Mickey Quinn) up front).
- Newcastle did beat Watford 1-0 at home earlier this season but their only away wins are v the bottom 3.
- This does all point to frustration for Newcastle who look layable if scoring first today (will they score a 2nd goal?). Watford must feel confident with 100% wins v 13th and lower at home.
17:30 - Liverpool v Arsenal - 1.51 Liverpool
- Arsenal's 2 goals a game average away from home has dried up v less illustrious opponents Brighton this Christmas.
- 8 clean sheets in 12 matches for Liverpool.
- Both teams have scored in 11 of the last 12 Arsenal matches.
- Arsenal have conceded 1 (1-1 v Liverpool earlier), 2 (home v Spurs), 2 (home v Man City), 3 (away v Chelsea), 2 (away v Man Utd).
- This looks a good game for a 2-1 correct score trading angle IF we assume Arsenal score and concede again, Liverpool's strong defence maybe restricting Arsenal to 1 goal max, and Arsenal conceding 2 goals at least again v the big teams.
ITALIAN SERIA A
11:30 - Juventus v Sampdoria - 1.25 Juventus
- Top 5 opponents for Juventus may not stop the Old Lady today.
- A solid 2-2 v Atalanta saw Juventus red carded v an Atalanta solid at home. 2-1 down, it took a late substitution and the appearance of Ronny to do more heroics and retain that unbeaten run.
- That ended a run of 6 consecutive clean sheets for Juventus.
- 2 0-0's at halftime at home for Juve (22%).
- 100% wins home and away v the top 6 for Juventus. 5 clean sheets in 6.
- 4 wins in 5 for Sampdoria who have scored 2+ goals in 5 consecutive matches.
- They are worryingly defensively frail away. They have conceded 3-4-1-2-2 goals in recent aways.
Chievo v Frosinone - 2.34 Chievo
- Chievo are yet to win. A promising run of 6 draws ended with a loss v Sampdoria.
- Only 1 win for Frosinone. 2 consecutive draws. 3 clean sheets v only 4 clean sheets.
- 3 consecutive home score draws for Chievo.
- Chievo have conceded in their last 7 matches at home.
- Not a match to dwell upon. Bottom 2 in this league. It may be a match to lay the draw. If ever these sides were to record a win, it is most likely to come v a fellow struggler.
Empoli v Inter - 1.58 Inter
- A good, if lucky (Napoli red card) Inter win at home last match.
- 3 consecutive losses for Empoli ended a run of 3 wins in 4. A recent 2-4 loss to Sampdoria ended a 3 match winning run at home.
- Empoli have not had a 0-0 at halftime since 21st September.
- Empoli have conceded 2 goals at least in 9 of their last 11 matches.
- 3/3 defeats at home for Empoli v the top 5.
- Inter Milan look good. Only losses since 22nd September for Inter came v Juventus and Atalanta. No win in 4 away though.
- 6 wins in 7 for Inter v 13th and lower home and away. They did beat 15th and 18th away.
- 8 of 10 goals conceded away by Inter came 2nd half.
- Empoli do win v 12th and lower at home but tend to lose v the top 5. Inter have no win in 4 away and may be vulnerable but have a good record v 13th and lower home and away (6 wins in 7). Empoli are 16th.
- I would lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market but Inter have been struggling to score that 2nd goal in recent (unbeaten) matches. Favour Inter but acknowledge that away they are more vulnerable.
Genoa v Fiorentina - 2.78 Fiorentina
- The market suggests a too tough to call match.
- I note that the last 2 Genoa matches saw a goal 45th minute. You might want to lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market very late on - 40th minute+ - if 0-0 late on.
- Only 1 win in 12 for Genoa came last home match, a 3-1 v Atalanta.
- Both teams scored in 11 of 13 matches for Genoa, and remember they have only that one win.
- Genoa have scored in their last 9 matches at home.
- All Genoa defeats came v 13th and higher home and away. Fiorentina are 10th.
- Both teams have scored in 10 of 11 matches for Genoa v 12th and higher.
- Only 2 losses in 10 matches for Fiorentina came v Juventus and Parma. 2 wins in 3 matches.
- 4 losses away ended with a 0-1 win v Milan, a red carded Milan.
- Fiorentina have lost only one match home and away v 5th and lower, and meet 14th today.
- 4/4 draws away though for Fiorentina v 8th and lower.
- Do remember the market cannot split these 2 and normally signals an unreadable match.
- On season long form, Fiorentina should not lose.
- Do lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market 40th minute if still 0-0.
- Note the both teams to score record for Genoa.
Lazio v Torino - 1.77 Lazio
- Only 5 defeats all season for Lazio. Only 2 home defeats came v Napoli and Inter Milan.
- 2 consecutive wins over Xmas.
- They failed to score in only 3 matches.
- Lazio scored and conceded last 4 at home. They have not beaten the top 6 at home and play 8th today. 100% win record at home v 10th and lower. No mans land v 7th-9th at home.
- Torino have been inconsistent and that does not make for a good trading side. But away from home they are unbeaten.4 draws in 5 away.
- 5 0-0's at halftime away for Torino so do not be surprised with a 0-0 at halftime. 2-2 v 3rd and 1-4 v 5th suggests they will not fear 4th. 7 away draws may suggest laying Torino if they score first.
Parma v Roma - 1.78 Roma
- Only 1 loss in 7 matches at home for Parma. 2 consecutive home draw.
- Only 1 win in 5 matches for Parma came v red carded Fiorentina where Parma were extremely lucky. They were totally out-played.
- Parma have a good home record. 3 draws and a win last 4 home matches. Only 2 home defeats v Juventus and Lazio.
- Only 2 defeats at home for Parma v the top 4. They have not met 5th-10th at home yet. Roma are 7th.
- 6 of 8 goals conceded at home by Parma came 2nd half.
- Only 3 losses in 13 matches for Roma, the last 2 came away v Udinese and Juventus 1-0.
- No win in 5 away for Roma.Only 3 clean sheets for Roma.
- Only 2 0-0's at halftime for Roma.
- Roma have conceded in their last 10 matches. They have only 2 wins away, v 8th and 16th.
- Roma's odds look too short given their poor record away and Parma's strong record at home.
- I would consider backing 0-0 pre match and hoping if Parma concede, that it will be 2nd half again.
- The value is in laying Roma if they score first considering they have conceded in their last 10 away matches.
Sassuolo v Atalanta - 2.18 Atalanta
- 11th v 9th. This could be well-matched.
- We have 2 sides who, since 21st October have lost only twice (Sassuolo) and 3 timed (Atalanta).
- Although Sassuolo have only 1 loss at home, they are on a 5 match draw run at home.
- Sassuolo have also scored and conceded in all bar 2 at home.
- Atalanta are worryingly poor away from home. No win away v top 16 teams. They conceded at least 2 goals v those top 16 sides.
- Only away wins for Atalanta have come v 17th and lower.
- Both teams could score today.I think both teams are in good enough form to have an equal chance. On that basis, laying Atalanta if they score first is an angle.
Udinese v Cagliari - 2.56 Udinese
- Another match making little trading appeal if 2.56 odds are anything to go by.
- Only 3 wins plays only 4 wins.
- Both teams have scored in Cagliari's last 5 away matches.
- No win in 7 away for Cagliari.
- Udinese have only met 1 of the teams 10th and lower at home and meet 13th today. There is a gap in form there.
- No strong patterns here pre-match so I'll react to the in-play stats.
17:00 - Napoli v Bologna - 1.28 Napoli
- Only 3 defeats for Napoli who did lose away v Inter Milan, albeit red card affected for Napoli.
- That's 3 consecutive 1-0 scorelines, 2 wins and that loss.
- Napoli are unbeaten at home.
- Napoli have been 0-1 down at halftime twice but remain unbeaten at home so note that today.
- Bologna are bottom 3. 3/3 clean sheets for Napoli v the bottom 4 this season.
- 6/7 clean sheets for Napoli at home v 10th and lower.
- Bologna are yet to win away. 3/3 defeats v top 4 suggests that remains - they failed to score.
- Expectation is for a Napoli clean sheet win, based on the form. Nothing about Bologna suggests a shock result. Should they score first, they are layable.
19:30 - Milan v SPAL - 1.52 Milan
- The Italian Arthur Daley team, Milan. Can they be trusted?
- 3 0-0's and a 0-1 loss for Milan recently. They have failed to score in 4 matches.
- Similar form for SPAL. 1-1, 0-0, 1-0 loss, 0-0.
- Milan are unbeaten v 11th home and away and play 15th.
- They have won 2-1, 2-1, 3-1 v 12th and lower at home.
- Clearly though we have a 'Rangers-like' side in Milan who simply cannot score. Is this the change?
- It looks like a back of 0-0 pre match might have legs....unless the 2+ goal Milan of 12th and lower at home turns up today.
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
12:30 - Rangers v Celtic - 2.12 Celtic
- The Old Firm derby and Rangers have that cloud hanging over them. They cannot consistently score that 2nd goal. They managed an 88th minute winner 2nd goal v St Mirren but at 1-0 at home to Hibs, that inability to score 2 saw them pegged back late on, and us profit.
- Celtic were vulnerable away to Hibs recently, losing 2-0. I must favour Celtic today I think if Rangers continue to fail to consolidate any lead.
15:00 kick offs
Hamilton v Motherwell - 2.48 Motherwell
- 10th v 9th in the SPL.
- Only 4 wins for Hamilton. 4 defeats and a draw last 5 matches for Hamilton. They failed to score in 6 of their last 8 matches.
- Hamilton wins have come v 9th and 11th so if they are to win, then likely v fellow bottom 4 sides.
- Similarly, Motherwell have had 3 wins, 2 away, v 11th and 12th.
- A match in which both teams will be eyeing this as winnable. A watching brief given the seasonal struggles.
Dundee v St Johnstone - 2.14 St. Johnstone
- Dundee have only beaten Hamilton this season. Earlier this season St Johnstone won 1-0.
- As I said in St Johnstone's last match v St Mirren, they are the form side. And they are the form side in this match. It is strange to see St Johnstone at such high relative odds.
- 100% wins for St Johnstone away v 7th and lower. Dundee are 12th. 4 of the 5 wins away were 0-1. This might be tight but certainly Dundee should not be winning this match.
Kilmarnock v St Mirren - 1.53 Kilmarnock
- Kilmarnock will fancy their chances today. They play a bottom 2 side. 5 wins and a 1-1 at home v 6th and lower. They have conceded 2 goals only once so if St Mirren score first, lay them.
- Only big teams Celtic and Aberdeen have managed to score 2+ goals v Kilmarnock so look for that signature defensive strength today.
- 3-2-3 goals scored in recent home matches. Note 0-0 last home match so Killie can be trusted for a 2nd half goal blitz.
- Only 2 wins for St Mirren all season. 100% defeats, conceding 2-4 goals away v top 7 for St Mirren. Kilmarnock are 3rd.
- Expect a Killie win. Expect a Killie equaliser if conceding first.
Livingston v Aberdeen - 2.44 Aberdeen
- A great home record for Livingston. 3 consecutive home wins. 5 of 6 defeats for Livingston came away from home.
- 13 of 18 goals scored at home by Livingston came 2nd half.8 goals scored last 15 minutes of home matches.
- With Aberdeen in 4th, Livingston have not conceded a goal at home v the top 5.
- A couple of 0-0's though at home.
- 8 wins in 12 matches for Aberdeen. Recent losses v Motherwell, St. Johnstone, and Celtic in an exciting 3-4.
- Only 2 away wins for Aberdeen v the top 9 came against 2nd and 3rd. They meet 7th. They drew 1-1 v 6th and 8th away.
- Back 0-0 pre match? If Livingston continue to keep a clean sheet v top 5 we might get a run for our money, particularly with 2 Livingston 0-0's v top 3 at home.
Hibernian v Hearts - 2.08 Hibs
- A touch or draw-itis for Hibs after that impressive 2-0 win v Celtic. 2 consecutive 1-1 draws and they took advantage of Rangers inability to score a 2nd goal latest.
- 4 draws in 5 at home for Hibs sees them leaking points without losing.
- Only 1 home loss for Hibs. Win, Draw, Win, Draw at home for Hibs v the top 4 leaves me a little concerned with a lack of strong patterns.
- In all 3 matches at home in which Hibs conceded 2 goals, they did not lose.
- The recent Hearts win v Hamilton latest was wholly expected. 4 defeats in 5 away saw them fail to score in those 4 defeats.
- Hearts have conceded 2+ goals in 6 of their last 7 matches away.
- Hearts did beat Kilmarnock away but that is the only win v 7th and lower.
- A concern for Hearts that they may concede 2 goals today, so they look opposable, particularly if scoring first.