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20:00 - Man City v Liverpool - 2.08 Man City

  • This match is a must-win for Man City who must gain 3 points and ensure Liverpool do not take even one point. A Man City win today sees them within 4 points of Liverpool.
  • The only 0-0 for both sides this season was in the corresponding fixture on the 7th October.
  • That must be the first starting point, surely? Back 0-0 pre-match and hope the cat-and-mouse plays out.
  • Man City have scored and conceded in 9 of their last 10 matches. Clearly a defensive issue. Their sole 3 losses of the season came in a cluster within the last 5 matches and against the most unlikeliest of teams in Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester. The Leicester match is a reminder that stubborn defensive sides may get rewarded.
  • City's 100% win record at home ended v Palace last match, a 2-3.
  • Only 2 matches saw the lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market not come in, for City.
  • City have played only 1 of the top 9 at home so have not necessarily been tested at home. So that puts a perspective on the 100% win record at home prior to Palace.
  • Liverpool only start faltering v the top 5. By faltering, I mean 3 draws in 5 matches. Liverpool have scored and conceded away v all of the top 7 sides they have played and remember, they have yet to lose.
  • 4 of 5 Liverpool away goals conceded have come 2nd half so pay attention to that stat, particularly if Liverpool lead at halftime. Remember their scoring and conceding pattern away v top 5.
  • Liverpool are extremely strong finishers. 12 goals last 1/2 hour away means they are not out of any match if losing come the hour mark.
  • It's a mouth-watering clash but I tend to bow out of these high profile clashes from a trading perspective. The proverbial 'best on the day'.
  • If you were to play, what does the form say? 0-0 again? ......but both teams score in Liverpool aways v the top 5. Remember City not played top 10 enough this season so will be tested more than previous home matches. If Liverpool concede away (as they do v top 5), it comes 2nd half. Remember City have scored and conceded in 9 of their last 10 matches.


20:30 - Villareal v Real Madrid - 1.88 Real Madrid

  • Bit of a gap since the last match on 16th December.
  • Villareal conceded 2 goals at least in 6 of their last 9 matches last year. They did score 2 goals in 4 of their last 5 matches.
  • Villareal have conceded in their last 10 matches.
  • 6 0-0's at halftime at home - 75% for Villareal.
  • Villareal only played one of the top 5 at home, a 1-1 v Atl Madrid.
  • 86% of goals scored and 80% of goals conceded by Villareal at home came 2nd half.
  • Real, for all their woes, have 5 wins in 6 matches end of 2018.3 consecutive clean sheet wins is pleasing.
  • 3 of their 5 defeats away came v the top 5.1-1 and 0-1 away v the bottom 4 (where Villareal are).
  • 73% of their away goals came 2nd half.
  • Villareal's recent 2 goals a game needs a context. They are yet to score 2 goals v the top 5. Real Madrid would take a 0-1 as they managed in 2018's last matches and v bottom 4 away.
  • It could be a 2nd half match this one. Look at the strong goals patterns 2nd half. I am certainly with Real Madrid on seasonal form but do acknowledge that unhealthily long break.


18:00 - Sporting Lisbon v Belenenses - 1.33 Sporting

  • 3-4 Sporting last head to head.
  • 6 wins in 7 matches for Sporting Lisbon.They lost their last match away.
  • 100% home wins.
  • Failed to score only twice.
  • Sporting have scored 2 goals at least in each of their last 5 home matches.
  • They are yet to meet the top 10 at home, and Belenenses are 6th.
  • 5 0-0's at halftime away for Belenenses puts me off any first half play.
  • They have only 2 losses, v Braga and Porto, 2-3 and 0-3, so conceding 3 goals v the big boys.
  • Unbeaten in 8 matches though, they are in good nick.
  • They are yet to meet the top 5 away, Sporting are 4th.
  • 7 of their 8 goals scored away came 2nd half.
  • If Belenenses are conceding 3 goals with home advantage v the top sides, they may struggle against this free scoring Sporting side, looking to rub Benfica's noses in in after they scored both of Portimonense's goals last night and were red carded.
  • The problem I have is that Sporting are yet to meet the top 10 at home so their 100% home win record needs that context. We can only hope for a replication of last head to head 3-4. It is possible with Sporting scoring 2 goals regularly and Belenenses, albeit at home, taking Porto to a 2-3. I am with Sporting but acknowledge we have no top 10 form at home for them.
  • 5 0-0's away at halftime for Belenenses so I wouldn't be surprised with a 0-0 at halftime.

20:15 - Aves v Porto - 1.4 Porto

  • 15th place v 1st place.
  • Another league coming back from a break.
  • 3 defeats last 4 for Aves. They scored and conceded last 7 matches.
  • Only the one clean sheet. 2-1-2-2-3-2-4 goals in total before halftime for Aves matches end of 2018.
  • They are yet to play the top 4 at home.
  • All wins bar 2 for Porto this season. Ended 2018 with 7 consecutive wins. No draw this season.
  • All clean sheet wins for Porto v 12th and lower.
  • 3 0-0's at halftime away is quite a high 50%.
  • It looks an obvious away win, potentially to nil (if you want a correct score to nil play). Both sides ended 2018 averaging 2+ goals in total before halftime but note Porto 50% away 0-0 at halftime and their clean sheet wins v 12th and lower might scupper laying the 0-0 in the halftime score market. But there's no ignoring Aves 2-1-2-2-3-2-4 total goals before halftime back end of 2018!