Champions League First Leg matches dominate the coupon. The Scottish League Cup is on today and is purely in-play stats. As regards the tennis, the quality of players vastly improves today (thank ye tennis gods!). The ATP Atalanta Open and WTA Gstaad sees the kind of players I feel confident with. I have researched a lot more tennis than published here. I have left out matches where I cannot get that 'trading angle'. I will tweet throughout the day when I find a good trade, tennis and football, so see you @drtclub.
18:00 - Slavia Prague v BATE Borisov - 1.48 Slavia
- Czech v Belarus. This is a first leg Champions League match.
- Slavia Prague last appeared in the Champions League in 2009. They are yet to win a Champions League match.
- BATE have the greater experience in the Champions League yet Slavia Prague are the strong favourites. If we go back to 2015, BATE drew v Leverkusen and Roma.
- I do feel that Slavia's odds are too short here. I feel backing BATE at 9.6 appealing. They have ready experience in the Champions League and if we delve down, we see good results v strong European sides.
- Do remember that away goals count so this will affect the tactics in this match.
18:00 - Qarabag Fk v Sheriff Tiraspol - 1.57 Qarabag
- Azerbaijan v Moldova. First Leg Champions League match.
- Qarabag are unbeaten in 7 Champions League matches.
- At home they have conceded 0-1-0-0-0-1-0 goals. Good stuff albeit as ever it is hard to quantify their opponents as against today's.
- Only 1 win in 6 Champions League matches for Sheriff.
- I am with the market here today. Qarabag are highly unlikely to concede 2 goals so lay Sheriff if Sheriff score first.
- Qarabag look good at this level of the Champions League.
18:30 - AEK Athens v CSKA Moscow - 2.76 CSKA
- AEK Athens were last in the Champions League in 2007.We really have nothing to work with in this first leg Champions League match.
- CSKA Moscow have not won a Champions League match from 2015, and 2016. CSKA actually have met some solid sides such as Monaco, Tottenham, PSV, Bayer Leverkusen.
- CSKA Moscow are better at home. 2 consecutive 1-1 draws v Monaco v Bayer Leverkusen.
- Away from home, CSKA has been poor. I do feel though that they continuously meet far better teams than AEK Athens. I do think CSKA will be very competitive at home.
- The market cannot split the teams. I think CSKA will show something today against an AEK with relatively little experience in this competition.
18:30 - FCSB v Plzen - 2.38 FC
- Romania v Czechs in this Champions League First leg match.
- In 2016, FCSB were unbeaten v Czech side Sparta Prague. Enough to suggest they will be competitive here?
- FCSB tend to score at home. They did fail to score v Manchester City.
- Another tough to call match. In-play stats for me.
19:00 - Vardar Skopje v FC Copenhagen - 1.84 FC
- Macedonia v Denmark in this first leg Champions League match.
- Vardar has scored and conceded in 5 of their last 6 Champions League matches.
- This year they drew and beat Malmo. They meet another Scandinavian side today.
- Vardar beat Malmo 3-1 at home last round. Good stuff.
- FC Copenhagen tend to meet the big boys in the Champions League. Last year they met the likes of Porto, Club Brugge, Leicester.
- FC Copenhagen looked good defensively with 0-0's at home v Leicester and Porto.
- Away from home, only 1 loss in 7 matches for FC in the Champions League.
- I would be with FC Copenhagen today as being competitive. They seem destined to go deeper into the competition.
- Another in-play stats match, given Vardar were so emphatic at home v Malmo, but a feeling FC Copenhagen play better sides and are competitive against these better sides in this competition.
19:45 - Partizan Belgrade v Olympiakos - 2.6 Oly
- Serbia v Greece in this Champions League first leg match.
- No Champions League matches for Partizan in 2016.
- Olympiakos usually play the big boys in the Champions League. In 2015, they played Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb so it was a real shock last year to be knocked out by Hapoel Beer Sheva.
- Olympiakos traditionally have a poor away record in the Champions League albeit in 2015 they beat Arsenal 2-3 and Dinamo Zagreb 0-1.
- As tough to call as the betting market tells us. Olympiakos have lost their dominance in Greece, as seen by results in the Super League and are not fancied today either. In-play stats will reveal all.
ATP Hamburg - clay
Jiri Vesely v Fernando Verdasco - 1.6 Verdasco
- 58th v 36th.
- No head to heads.
- You know my feelings on Verdasco. He is a thorn in the side of better ranked players and I think he is a reliable player if fully fit.
- Verdasco reached the semi finals on clay in Bastad.
- Vesely was a clay court tournament winner in the Prostejov Challenger.
- I cannot see Fernando losing 2-0. I would back Verdasco at 2.00 or higher.
Rogerio Dutra Silva v Aljaz Bedene - 1.41 Bedene
- 69th v 68th in the rankings.
- The most recent head to head was 2016 and Bedene won in 2 straight sets.
- Bedene lost to 38th ranked on clay last match. He has though been competitive. French Open - 4 sets, 4 sets; s-Hertogenbosch - 3 sets, 2 sets, 3 sets ; Wimbledon - 5 sets, 4 sets, 3 sets (7-6 and 7-5); Umag - 3 sets, 2 sets loss.
- On that basis I think Bedene will fight back if he loses the first set.
- Silva recently beat Monfils on grass.
Karen Khachanov v Rudolf Molleker - 1.07 Karen
- You know how I rate Karen so a real hope Rudolf gets some boost from home support.
Nikoloz Basilashvili v David Ferrer - 1.32 Ferrer
- You know my feelings on David Ferrer. A 100% player if fully fit so clearly I am with David throughout this match.
Andrey Kuznetsov v Pablo Cuevas - 1.81 Pablo
- 87th v 26th.
- Kuznetsov won the Wimbledon head to head in 2016.
- Odds were similar and it was a 5 setter.
- Kuznetsov was a semi finalist on clay at Bastad. Cuevas lost twice to Dominic Thiem on clay - semi final in Madrid and round of 32 at Roma.
- I get the feeling this is a 'lay the first set winner' as these 2 look good on clay.
Carlos Berlocq v Federico Delbonis - 1.46 Delbonis
- 62nd v 98th.
- Head to heads from 2012.
- Although Delbonis is predominantly a Challenger player, he is a consistent clay court player and reached 3 consecutive Challenger Clay Finals.
- 7 defeats in 9 for better ranked Berlocq.
- I am with the market today despite Delbonis playing in Challenger tour events predominantly.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas v Leonardo Mayer - 1.44 Vinolas
- 19th v 131st.
- All head to heads have been on clay 4-2 to Vinolas.
- Ramos-Vinolas is very competitive in his matches. I would be keen to back Albert if Mayer wins the first set.
- Mayer has been busy on clay, a finalist in the Bastad Challenger losing in the round of 32 to Dolgopolov in Bastad, and he went through qualifiers as a loser in the qualifier final.
ATP Gstaad - Clay
Santiago Giraldo v Joao Sousa - 1.52 Sousa
- 99th v 37th.
- 3-0 Giraldo until a 2016 Australian Open win for Sousa. Note Giraldo won on clay.
- Giraldo retired in his last event.
- 11 defeats in 12 for Sousa.
- If Giraldo is fit, I would back Giraldo if Giraldo loses the first set purely on the basis that Sousa is a multiple 3 setter player.
Paolo Lorenzi v Marco Chiudinelli - 1.2 Paolo
- 38th v 183rd.
- Marco is a Swiss player in Switzerland and we do see occasional home players play above their rankings.
- Lorenzi has won the last 2 head to heads in 2016 albeit in 5 sets Davis Cup matches.
- Lorenzi on clay has reached 2 consecutive finals.
- Only 1 win in 13 matches for Marco. I acknowledge he is playing at a local event but he is in very poor form. I would be very keen to lay Marco if he wins the first set and looks like winning the second set as well.
Dusan Lajovic v Dustin Brown - 1.71 Dusan
- 79th v 75th.
- A 5 setter at Wimbledon between these 2 saw Dustin 1.1 favourite.
- Dusan retired in his last event. I always look unfavourably on that.
- Dusan did win the Bastad Challenger.
- Dustin lost 7 of his last 8 clay court matches.
- I would lay Dustin if Dustin wins the first set.
ATP Atalanta Open - Hard
Marcos Baghdatis v Kyle Edmund - 1.53 Kyle
- 60th v 42nd. Marcos' rankings are on the way up, Kyle's are on the way down.
- No head to heads.
- Baggy retired in Stuttgart and Antalya. Questionable fitness.
- On hard this year, Baggy reached the semi finals in Auckland, and bumped into Rafa in the Australian Open.
- Kyle had a poor grass court season. 5 consecutive hard court defeats for Kyle.
- I am not sure of Kyle's effectiveness on hard court. Put into context though, he lost some of those matches v Djokovic, Querrey and Raonic.
- I would look to lay Baggy if Baggy wins the first set based on his waning and possible injury concerns.
Reilly Opelka v Malek Jaziri - 1.77 Opelka
- 164th v 67th.
- 2 very recent head to heads shared between the players. Jaziri was favourite in both head to head matches.
- 5 losses in 6 for Opelka albeit on grass.
- Opelka did not get out of qualifiers in the French Open.
- Gatineau challenger semi finals for Jaziri on hard courts, saw 3 3 setters which suggests for me laying Jaziri if Jaziri wins the first set.
- He was playing 3 figure ranked players.
Donald Young v Tim Smyczek - 1.5 Donald Young
- 44th v 195th
- 2 USA players at Atalanta.
- Donald Young has been favourite in the last 6 head to heads and his record as favourite is Win, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Win.
- I would lay Donald on this basis if Donald wins the first set.
WTA Bastad - clay
Carla Suárez Navarro v Jasmine Paolini - 1.12 Navarro
- 25th v 189th.
- Semi finals on clay for Carla at Bucharest. Her opponent is a Challenger tour player so a relative unknown. Carla is reliable and we are unlikely to see a trade.
Caroline Wozniacki v Pauline Parmentier - 1.2 Wozza
- 11th v 64th.
- 2-0 head to heads for Wozza.
- Since Wimbledon no clay court events for Wozza; Parmentier reached a clay semi final in a Challenger event, and a quarter final in Bucharest.
- Quarter Finals for Wozza in the French Open tells us she is adept on grass. Provided Wozza is injury free she is a streetfighter and must be backed if in a corner. She has provided some great value odds especially at Wimbledon.
Aleksandra Krunic v Cornelia Lister - 1.15 Krunic
- 117th v 603rd.
- No head to heads.
- Lister went through qualifiers to get here.
- She failed to qualify in her last 2 events.
- Krunic was beaten by Bertens on clay but is generally a Challenger player like Lister.A finalist on clay and grass on the Challenger tour.
- Faith in the market and rankings?
Jiaqi Kang v Jelena Jankovic - 1.14 Jelena
- 412th v 55th.
- 8 defeats in 9 matches. I would lay Jelena at 1.15 here. She may be jet lagged. She is playing a Chinese unknown and really is on my blacklist as unreliable.
Ying-Ying Duan v Arina Rodionova - 1.51 Duan
- 60th v 198th.
- 2016 head to heads saw Duan win in 3 sets.
- On head to heads (hard) I will lay Arina if Arina wins the first set (and she did in the last 2 hard court head to heads).