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The league football returns soon thankfully. We saw yesterday with the likes of Real Madrid that cup matches can, sometimes, not go to form. In-play stats rule on cup days. I have mentioned before too. First legs of cup matches are not must-wins for teams, as they have a second bite of the cherry!

16:00 - Algeria v Tunisia - 2.34 Algeria

  • Nothing much to work with in this African Cup of Nations.
  • Head to Heads? 1-0 Algeria Friendly, 1-0 Tunisia and 1-1.
  • Algeria provided great trading material in their opener as they went 1-2 down to Zimbabwe before a late face-saver 2-2.
  • Tunisia lost 0-2 v Senegal in their opener. Senegal's first goal was a penalty.

18:15 - Atletico Madrid v Eibar - 1.32 Atl Madrid

  • 3-1 and 0-2 win for Atl Madrid in the last 2 head to heads. It seems clear that Atl Madrid are the better team, but do they have cup ambitions?
  • This is the first of a 2-legged Copa Del Rey match so, as you saw when Barcelona lost 2-1 to Ath, Bilbao in the first leg, it's not game over if either team loses today.
  • Atl Madrid have lost 2 of their last 3 home Copa Del Rey matches 2-3. This suggests that they are not fully wound up for this competition.
  • 5-1-3-5-5-5 goals in total in Atl Madrid's recent home cup matches.
  • Recent wins in the Copa Del Rey for Eibar came v Sporting Gijon and Osasuna where they won in both legs.
  • Quite simply, this is the 'first half' of this Copa Del Rey 2-legger. It is not game over if a team loses.
  • On form, Atl Madrid are the better of the 2 teams as shown by 2 recent strong wins in the league.
  • Speculators might want to back over 4.5 goals in case Madrid sees another home match with 5 goals in it in the Cup.

19:00 - Senegal v Zimbabwe - 1.59 Senegal

  • No recent head to head between these 2 teams.
  • Senegal beat Tunisia 0-2 in their opener with their first goal a penalty.
  • Zimbabwe had that 2-2 draw with Algeria which was really a shock result.
  • There is a hope here that Zimbabwe will remain vulnerable if leading. For the second consecutive match, Zimbabwe meet an odds on favourite and failed to beat their first odds on opponent, when leading.

20:00 - Roma v Sampdoria - 1.43 Roma

  • 2 consecutive Roma wins 2-1 and 3-2 at home in 2016 in head to heads is a good foundation for Roma.
  • This is the Coppa Italia today so I will check overall form and form in the Coppa Italia.

Roma overall form

  • Only 2 defeats in 19 matches.
  • 16 wins, a draw and a loss in their last 18 home matches.

Roma Coppa Italia form

  • Not won in 4 cup matches when last in the cup in 2015.
  • 0-1-0-0 scored in their last 4 matches.
  • 1-0-0 scored in their last 3 home matches.

Sampdoria overall form

  • No win in 5 matches.
  • 2 consecutive 2-1 losses away.
  • Scored and conceded in 8 of their last 9 away matches.
  • Only 3 wins in 23 away matches. Not good travellers.

Sampdoria Coppa Italia form

  • No draw in 9 matches.
  • 2 3-0 wins in the Coppa in 2016 came home v Bassano Virtus and Cagliari.
  • No win in 10 away matches in 90 minutes.


  • I thought today I would research the cup matches but look at what we have found. Roma, it seems, cannot be bothered with this competition and the suggestion with their poor goal-scoring recently in the cup is that they will field a weakened team. They are vulnerable, right? But then they play a Sampdoria team with no away win in 10 cup matches.
  • Roma are excellent overall at home. Add to this, Sampdoria's scoring and conceding habit. Is this enough to lay Sampdoria if Sampdoria score first?

20:15 - Sociedad v Barcelona - 1.59 Barcelona

  • This is the first of 2 legs of the Copa Del Rey. Remember the last Copa matches for Barcelona. They lost the first match 2-1 and won the second match 3-1. This tells us that they have supreme confidence in their home form to over turn any loss today. It is certainly not over today if Barcelona lose or draw.
  • With Sociedad scoring and conceding in their last 7 Copa Del Rey matches and in 6 of their last 7 home Copa Del Rey matches, this suggests they could be vulnerable if they lead today. Barcelona are likely to score today.
  • An underwhelming match and a knowledge that Barcelona do not press the panic button if losing the first leg of a cup match, particularly when the 2nd leg is at home.

15:15 - PAOK v Levadiakos - 1.17 PAOK

  • 4 consecutive PAOK clean sheets in head to heads in the Greek Super League. Wins have only been 1-0 (twice) and 2-0 (once) in that run.

PAOK 100% stats

  • 2 home defeats by 1 goal.
  • All 5 defeats this season by 1 goal.
  • No 1-0 or 0-1 at home.

PAOK other stats

  • 3 clean sheets in their last 4 matches.
  • No draw in 10 matches.
  • Levadiakos are 2nd bottom of the league. PAOK are unbeaten v teams below them in the league. 0-0 away to 3rd bottom, 0-1 win away v 2nd bottom and 1-0 win home v bottom. Not the scorelines of a team at 1.17 odds.

Levadiakos 100% stats

  • No away win.
  • No away match with 3 goals exactly.

Levadiakos other stats

  • 6 consecutive defeats, failing to score in 5 of those matches.
  • Only 2 clean sheets.
  • Failed to score in their last 6 away matches.
  • All defeats away bar a 0-0.


  • PAOK have scored 3 goals recently at home and 3 goals is the expectation from a 1.17 shot.
  • With Levadiakos having trouble even scoring, if PAOK score, they win.
  • I would not be confident in PAOK scoring 3 goals today, 1-0 or 2-0 will suit them.
  • 3-1-3-5-1-0 goals scored by PAOK recently. 1.17 odds leads us more to the 3 or 5 goals. Do you trust PAOK enough?
  • I would expect a win to nil. 1-0, 2-0, 4-0 potentials?

17:30 - Panathinaikos v Platanias - 1.47 Panathanaikos

  • 3 consecutive Panathanaikos head to head wins ended with a 1-0 loss to Platanias earlier this year.

Panathanaikos 100% stats

  • No over 4.5 goals matches.

Panathanaikos other stats

  • 5 clean sheets in their last 6 matches.
  • Failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches.
  • 4 consecutive home clean sheets.
  • Only 1 loss v 2nd in the league at home.
  • Only conceded 1 goal v teams below them in the league at home.

Platanias 100% stats

  • No over 3.5 goals matches away.

Platanias other stats

  • 3-1-3-2 goals scored in their last 4 matches includes an unexpected 2-2 v Olympiakos.
  • No win in 6 away matches.
  • No win away v top 11 teams.
  • Not scored more than 1 goal in an away match.


  • Although Olympiakos could only manage a 2-2 draw with Platanias, I note that Platanias tend not to score more than 1 goal in an away match. This tells me to lay Platanias if Platanias score first. They have scored well recently but not away
  • I do not expect Panathanaikos to lose.