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It is a tough coupon today for me. Rangers and Real Madrid are the 2 standouts but Real Madrid meet an Espanyol side with a 1-1 v Barcelona and 1-0 v Atl Madrid at home!
The first English Championship match makes little appeal. 2 strugglers struggling. Hearts v Kilmarnock sees 2 inform teams square up. Hearts tend to keep clean sheets at home but Kilmarnock have recently (albeit at home) beaten the top 2 Scottish sides Celtic and Rangers. Rangers meet St Johnstone. Both teams scored 3 goals against the other this season in wins. That clears that up then!! Strictly on form, St Johnstone at home v top teams have tend to struggle. As I already referenced, Real Madrid are back and scoring 2 goals. Will that continue today? Espanyol can keep it tight at home. 1-1 v Barca and 1-0 win v Atl Madrid.
Will we see Swansea bounce back from an unexpected thrashing by Brighton. That ended the strong momentum under new manager.
I was up late last night so may be up late tonight. And if so, I'll tweet @drtclub It is a tough set of matches but in-play stats will play their part.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

19:45 - Hull v Barnsley - 2.02 Hull

  • 0-1 Hull in the last head to head.

Hull (20th)

  • 2 wins in 3 matches.
  • Only 3 wins in 20 matches though.
  • No defeat in 6 at home.
  • 5 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • Unbeaten at home v 18th and lower.
  • 61% of goals scored at home came 2nd half.

Bolton (19th)

  • Only 2 wins in 18 matches.
  • Only 1 0-0 away.
  • 3 of 4 away wins v bottom 3.
  • 17 of 24 goals conceded away came 1st half.

Conclusions

  • Not a match to dwell on. 2 strugglers whose best form seems to be against fellow strugglers.

20:00 - Reading v Sheffield United - 2.44 Sheffield United

  • 2-1 Sheffield United in the last head to head.
  • 2.44 the favourite tells us that the Championship may be worth avoiding today.

Reading (18th)

  • Only 1 win in 13 matches.
  • 2 consecutive score draws.
  • Only 5 clean sheets.
  • No win in 6 at home.
  • Conceded in their last 6 and last 6 at home.
  • Only 1 0-0 at home.
  • Unbeaten at home v 2nd - 5th; losses at home v 6th-14th inclusive.
  • 65% of goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Sheffield United (8th)

  • 2 wins in 3 matches.
  • Only 1 win in 7 away.
  • Conceded in their last 12 away.
  • No away 0-0.
  • Only 2 0-0's at halftime away.
  • 4 wins and a 1-0 loss away v 17th and lower.
  • 63% of goals scored away came 1st half.
  • 61% of goals conceded away came 1st half.

Conclusions

  • Even though this match makes little appeal on paper, there is an argument for laying the 0-0 in the halftime score market. Look at United's scoring and conceding 1st half away.
  • That's the strongest angle. United like meeting 17th and lower away and tend to win. Reading threaten. Unbeaten v 2nd - 5th at home but losses, without scoring mostly, at home v 6th-14th. Which Reading turns up today?

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE

19:45 - Hearts v Kilmarnock - 2.26 Hearts

  • 0-0 and 0-1 Hearts, and 1-2 Kilmarnock in the last 3 head to heads.

Hearts (5th)

  • Only 2 losses in 15 matches came v Celtic and Rangers.
  • 1-1-0-0-0-0-1-0 conceded at home recently.
  • No defeat in 9 at home thanks to that strong defensive bent.
  • 8 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • 6 of 8 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.
  • 2 losses at home came v 2nd and .....7th placed Kilmarnock.

Kilmarnock (6th)

  • Only 2 losses in 14 matches came v Aberdeen (3rd in the league).
  • 3 wins in 4 matches.
  • Beat Celtic and Rangers, albeit at home, recently.
  • Scored in their last 12 and last 5 away.
  • Only 1 0-0 away.
  • Only 2 0-0's at halftime away.
  • Scored and conceded in all aways v top 6, 4 1-1 draws, a 3-1 loss v Aberdeen and a 1-2 win v Hearts.

Conclusions

  • At the moment, it's an evening to take off. This match looks too tight to call. Only 2 losses in 15 plays only 2 losses in 14 matches. Both sides only losing to top 3 teams and Kilmarnock intriguingly actually beating 1st and 2nd in the league...albeit at home.
  • Hearts have been excellent at home, 5 clean sheets in 6 at home. Kilmarnock though tend to score and concede v top 5 away.
  • As I say, I can make an argument for both teams this evening, both in excellent recent form.

19:45 - St Johnstone v Rangers - 1.55 Rangers

  • 1-3 St Johnstone last head to head bucked the usual trend of Rangers winning head to heads.

St Johnstone (8th)

  • Only 2 wins in 10 matches, one was v Rangers.
  • Failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches.
  • 0-0 v Celtic recently suggests St Johnstone could be tough to beat today.
  • Only 2 0-0's at home.
  • 3 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • Not beaten a top 5 team at home. Failed to score v top 3 at home.

Rangers (2nd)

  • 5 wins in their last 6 matches.
  • Scored 2+ goals in 5 of their last 6 matches.
  • Failed to score in only 4 matches.
  • Unbeaten at halftime away. 6 0-1 leads at halftime.
  • 19 of 32 goals scored away came 1st half.
  • Led at halftime away in 10/14.
  • Only 1 loss away v top 8. Beat St J. 0-3 the last time they visited St J.

Conclusions

  • Interestingly both sides have comprehensive wins over the other this season.
  • Rangers are on a solid 2+ goal scoring pattern and that may see them right today so I would lay St J. if they led today.
  • There is an argument for laying the 0-0 in the halftime score market. 19 goals scored away 1st half by Rangers who led in a whopping 10/14 away matches at halftime.

SPANISH LA LIGA

19:00 - Espanyol v Real Madrid - 1.47 Real Madrid

  • 3 consecutive 2-0 wins for Real Madrid in head to heads.

Espanyol (15th)

  • 4 consecutive draws, 1 v Barcelona, a 1-1.
  • 3 score draws in 4 matches.
  • No win in 4 at home.
  • Only 1 0-0 at home.
  • 6 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • 1-1 v Barcelona, 1-0 v Atl Madrid at home.

Real Madrid (3rd)

  • 6 wins and a 2-2 last 7 matches.
  • Scored 2+ in those 7 matches - a return from a poor end 2017/beginning 2018.
  • 3-2-3-4-3-3-1 goals before halftime in recent matches.
  • Scored and conceded last 5 away.
  • Unbeaten v 11th and lower.
  • 2+ goals scored in 11 of 12 matches v 13th and lower.

Conclusions

  • Real Madrid are 2 matches away from a Champions League match. They should not be putting out a weakened side today.
  • Here we have defence v attack. Espanyol have done superbly v the top 2 at home with a 1-1 and 1-0 win. The 1 -0 win was care of an 88th minute goal.
  • Real Madrid have scored 2 goals at least in each of their last 7 matches so there is a hope that they can breach any bus parked by Espanyol.
  • I would be keen to lay the 0-0 halftime score market in a Real match but 6 0-0's at halftime at home for Espanyol is too high a %.
  • Do prepare for the possibility of a 10 man Espanyol defence and even an Espanyol goal (Real have conceded in their last 5 away). But do expect Real Madrid NOT to lose.

20:30 - Girona v Celta De Vigo - 2.44 Girona

  • 3-3 the last time these 2 met.
  • 2.44 the favourite suggests a tough-to-call match.

Girona (10th)

  • 2 defeats in 3 came away from home.
  • 4 consecutive home wins to nil.
  • Scored in their last 8 at home.
  • Scored 2+ goals in each of their last 3 home.
  • No 0-0 at home.
  • Only 2 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • v teams above them, they have only played the top 6, beating Real Madrid.
  • Wins at home have tended to come v teams below them in the league.

Celta Vigo (8th)

  • Lost their last 2 away.
  • Conceded 2 goals at least in 4 consecutive matches. That ended last match.
  • No 0-0 away.
  • No 0-0 at halftime away.
  • Beat Eibar 0-4 but that was the only away win v teams 11th and higher.
  • Only 1 away draw v Barcelona.

Conclusions

  • Both sides tend to avoid 0-0 so that is a good starting point.
  • Apart from that, nothing strong for me. Yes, Girona are scoring 2 goals regularly but tend only to beat teams below them in the league.
  • Strictly on form, we could see Girona score 2 goals today at least which suggests a lay of Celta Vigo if Celta score first but I am clutching at straws here.

ENGLISH F.A.CUP

20:05 - Swansea v Sheffield Wednesday - 1.82 Swansea

  • 0-0 from the first FA Cup meeting between these 2 teams.
  • Swansea's last 2 home FA Cup matches saw a 2-1 win v Wolves and 8-1 win v Notts County.
  • Sheffield Wednesday away in the FA Cup had 3 losses and a 0-0.
  • Little to work with.
  • Swansea are transformed under their new manager, albeit they were savaged in a 4-1 loss away at Brighton latest.
  • I will enter this match expecting Swansea not to lose but this is a match without stats to work with.