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Little to excite today. It may be coincidence but there are a lot of Nations League matches which look defensively-led.

UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE

14:00 - England v Croatia - 1.87 England

  • 1-1 last head to head saw England score first.
  • England lost to Spain and beat Spain again in the NL. 0-0 away at Croatia.
  • Croatia lost and beat Spain and 0-0 v England.
  • This looks like an under 2.5 goals match. Back 0-0 pre-match and hope for a tight defensive match?

17:00 - Northern Ireland v  Austria - 2.5 Austria

  • The market cannot split these 2.
  • 34th v 24th in the rankings.
  • 3/3 defeats for N.I. in the NL. 1-0 away at Austria - a 71st minute goal.
  • N.I.'s only goal came at home - a 90th minute goal.
  • 1-0 loss away to Bosnia, 1-0 win home v N.I. and 0-0 at home v Bosnia for Austria.
  • For me, Austria are slightly the better team. This does look like a highly defensively led match. Back 0-0 pre-match and cash out if 0-0 at halftime? 0-1 end result?

17:00 - San Marino v Belarus - 1.08 Belarus

  • San Marino are yet to score in the NL. 5-0 v Belarus last time.
  • 5/5 clean sheets for Belarus. 0-3, 0-5 possible correct scores for me.
  • Do expect a goal at least before halftime and if none appears by 20th minute you can create value backing 0-1, 0-2 in the halftime score market.

17:00 - Moldova v Luxembourg - 2.42 Moldova

  • 171st v 84th in the FIFA rankings.
  • Moldova lost 4-0 v Luxembourg but since then have kept 4 consecutive clean sheets in the NL.
  • Moldova have 2 consecutive home clean sheets v Belarus and San Marino. Belarus are ranked 78th just as a way of gauging them against Luxembourg.
  • Luxembourg beat Moldova and San Marino home and away. Wins to nil. They lost to Belarus.
  • On collateral form, Moldova could be defensively tighter at home and engineer another 0-0 v a top 85 side?

19:45 kick-offs

Hungary v  Finland - 2.34 Hungary

  • Hungary lost 1-0 to Finland in the NL - a 7th minute goal.
  • 2 1-0 losses and a 3-3 away for Hungary in the NL.
  • 4 wins for the Finns, 3 were 1-0. 1-0 loss v Greece.
  • On this basis, Finland look set up to keep a clean sheet and try and nick a goal.
  • If the Finns score first, the match will either end 0-1 or 1-1 it seems as they have scored 2 goals in an NL match only once. Take a chance and lay them if they score first?
  • 55th v 56th in the rankings. Very well matched sides.

Greece v Estonia - 1.36 Greece

  • Greece's 3 wins have been 1-0.Losses came away v Hungary and Finland.
  • 2 consecutive 1-0 home wins for the Greeks.
  • 3 1-0 losses and a 2-0 loss for Estonia and then suddenly a 3-3 v Hungary.
  • 1-0 looks an obvious call.

Switzerland v Belgium - 2.22 Belgium

  • 8th v 1st in the rankings.
  • It seems as if Belgium simply have too much fire-power for their NL opponents, scoring 2 goals at least in 3 wins.
  • 2-1 Belgium win in the last head to head. The goals came 2nd half. The Swiss are likely to be stronger defensively at home and this could be a 2nd half 0-1, 0-2, 1-2 match.bLukaku and Batshuayi are the main goal scorers for Belgium if you want a play in the scorer markets. I would back correct scores favouring Belgium if 0-0 at halftime.

FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL

19:45 - Spain v Bosnia - 1.26 Spain

  • Spain look as if they take friendlies seriously. Only 1 loss in 11 friendlies. Prior to that run, they lost 1-0 to Georgia.
  • 5 draws in those 11 friendlies though for Spain suggests they do not want to lose, but may leave opponents open to score.
  • Spain have scored and conceded in 5 of their last 6 friendlies. Only 2 wins when both teams scored.
  • Only 2 wins in 5 home friendlies for Spain v Costa Rica and Argentina. Score draws v Colombia and Switzerland at home.
  • 9th v 32nd in the rankings.
  • 7 clean sheets in 9 matches in all competitions for Bosnia catches the eye.
  • 5 clean sheets in 7 friendlies for Bosnia. 3 0-0's in their last 4 friendlies. Bosnia lost 3-1 to Spain in a 2016 friendly.
  • 2 0-0's in 3 aways for Bosnia v Senegal and Turkey.
  • Spain have the fire power to punish Bosnia. But in friendlies Spain tend to concede. The value? Lay Spain if Spain score first and hope Both teams score and Bosnia's defence is as robust as it has been in recent friendlies.

DUTCH EERSTE DIVISIE

11:15 - MVV Maastricht v Roda JC - 2.7 MVV

  • Last head to heads in play offs in May 2017.

MVV (14th)

  • Only 1 win in 7 matches.
  • Only 1 home win.
  • Conceded 2+ goals in each of their last 3 home matches.
  • All 4 home defeats came v top 4 but only 2 matches at home played v 5th-20th.

Roda (9th)

  • Failed to score only twice.
  • Unbeaten in 4 matches.
  • 2 away defeats came v 2nd and 5th.
  • Unbeaten home and away v 11th and lower.

Conclusions

  • Soccerstats is playing with my mind...man! Where has their halftime score stats got to? Disappeared.
  • From the remaining stats, I would be with Roda not to lose today. They are highly likely to score so note that if 1-0 or 0-0. MVV are suddenly conceding 2 goals regularly.

13:30 - Telstar v Den Bosch - 2.44 Den Bosch

  • 3-2 Telstar and 3-2 Den Bosch in the last 2 head to heads.

Telstar (13th)

  • No draw this season.
  • Only 2 clean sheets.
  • Scored and conceded in 4 of their last 5 matches.
  • 6 consecutive over 2.5 goals matches.
  • Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss at home . Consistently inconsistent.
  • Strange home form. Wins v 2nd and 4th.Losses v 5th, 10th and 14th.

FC Den Bosch (3rd)

  • 7 consecutive wins.
  • Failed to score only once.
  • 4 clean sheets in the last 6 matches.
  • Only loss v 1st in the league. 5 wins away, 4 were with clean sheets.

Conclusions

  • If Telstar's home pattern continues, it's a win! Simple!
  • Their home form is strange. beating top 4, losing to double figure sides. If they are beating top 4, well they play 3rd today.
  • Den Bosch's 4 clean sheets in 6 matches tells me they may be difficult to score 2 goals against so lay Telstar if Telstar scores first.

13:30 - Twente v Go Ahead Eagles - 2.16 Twente

  • Twente are newly relegated.

Twente (5th)

  • Only 3 defeats.
  • Failed to score only once.
  • 5 wins in 7 matches at home.
  • Only 4 under 2.5 goals matches.
  • 2 losses v 4th and 11th at home.
  • 2 losses 2-1, came v top 4 home and away.

Go Ahead Eagles (2nd)

  • Only 2 losses came away.
  • Scored in every match.
  • Not played top 5 away - gap in form.
  • Scored and conceded in 5/6 away matches.

Conclusions

  • 2 form sides makes this tough to call, including the fact that Go Ahead have yet to play the top 5 away - how do we know how they fare v the top 5 form sides? We don't.
  • Both teams tend to score. I could see a 2-1/1-2 here based more on Twente's matches v the top 4 home and away.

15:45 - NEC Nijmegen v Sparta Rotterdam - 2.54 Sparta

  • The market cannot split these teams.
  • Last head to head February 2017.

NEC (9th)

  • 4 losses in 6 matches.
  • Only 2 clean sheets.
  • Conceded in their last 5 at home.
  • No 0-0.
  • With Sparta top of the league, NEC have yet to meet the top 8.They have scored and conceded at home v top 8 with 3 score draws so may score today without the win.

Sparta (1st)

  • Only lost first match of the season.
  • Failed to score only once.
  • Scored in their last 7 matches.
  • Not beaten top 9 away....that is the reason for the odds!

Conclusions

  • There is always a reason behind non-commital market odds. I was wondering what it was and it seems the reason is that Sparta, away from home, have not beaten top 9 teams. With NEC scoring and conceding without winning, it seems a score draw is best case for the home side. I will enter the match on that basis, and lay any NEC lead in play. Sparta, despite their relatively poor run away v top 9, have only one loss all season.