Count how many matches feature a favourite at 2.4 or thereabouts and it relays to you how tough the market makers think tonight's matches are to decipher! I will be on Telegram from 16:00 for the Sevilla v Villareal match (another tough puzzler!) and throughout the day.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
West Brom v Leeds - 2.04 Leeds
- I am reluctant to research this match given the Big Sam Allardyce influence on West Brom. Note the 1-1 v Liverpool last match for West Brom.
- Defence v Attack. Will West Brom continue their improvement and indeed keep a lid on this notorious Leeds attack as they did to the notorious Liverpool attack?
Brighton v Arsenal - 2.4 Arsenal
- The market cannot pick these 2 apart, and as ever we ask the question 'which Arsenal turns up today?
- 16th v 15th.
- Arsenal came alive with an emphatic 3-1 home win v Chelsea, their first win since 8th November 2020. This is the 3rd match in which Arsenal have scored and conceded.
- Only 2 wins for Brighton. 3 consecutive draws for them, 2 consecutive score draws.
- No win in 7 at home for Brighton a positive for Arsenal? All Brighton defeats have come v the current top 9.Their 2 wins came away.
- 8 of 11 goals conceded at home by Brighton came 2nd half.
- Angles? Has Arteta unlocked this Arsenal side at last? Can they replicate that excellent home win v Chelsea, away from home where Arsenal, when they are not having problems, struggle traditionally. Do remember Brighton concede 2nd half if they have kept it tight first half.
Southampton v West Ham - 2.4 Southampton
- 3 2.4 the favourite matches in the Premier League, suggesting a tough-to-call coupon.
- Only 4 defeats for Southampton. No win in 3 matches.
- Loss, win, loss at home for Saints recently saw 2 defeats v Manchester City and Man Utd.
- Saints have failed to score in their last 2 matches.
- Saints have had only 1 0-0 at halftime at home.
- Saints have led at halftime in 5/7 home matches.
- All 3 losses for Saints at home came v the top 6. Saints have scored 2+ goals in all bar 1 home match.
- 7/9 goals conceded at home came 2nd half for Saints.
- West Ham at home last match were twice behind v Brighton but equalised on both occasions. They continue a record of only tending to being beaten by the established top sides, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal. The anomaly was Newcastle.
- v the top 8 away, West Ham have conceded 2-0-3-3 goals. They play 9th today (West Ham are 10th).
- In the 76th-90th minute away, West Ham have scored 5 goals and conceded 4 goals.
- Angles? Saints at home have only really been beaten by the top 6. West Ham are 10th. Similarly, West Ham only tend to lose to the 'Gang of 5' (bar Newcastle) so it is tough to find a weakness. One potential weakness is West Ham's conceding of 2-0-3-3 goals v the top 8. Saints have scored 2+ goals in all bar 1 home match. Trust this despite failing to score last 2 matches?
Burnley v Sheff Utd - 2.46 Burnley
- Still no win for Sheffield United who have conceded in all matches.
- Take away Burnley's match with Man City, and they have conceded 0-0-1-0-0-1-1 goals, losing only v Leeds latest. To keep Leeds to 1-0 is a testament to this improving defence.
- What a foundation coming into this match. I must be with Burnley here. If Sheff Utd continue to concede then 1-0 looks inevitable.
- I must share with you that 2.46 the favourite means that the market gives both sides a chance, and on that basis a 2.46 the favourite match would be the kind of a match Sheff Utd could get a win in.
20:00 - Man Utd v Wolves - 1.64 Man Utd
- 4th v 11th.
- 6 wins and 2 draws for United last 8 matches.
- Win, Draw, Win at home and their last home match saw them transfer that superb away goal scoring to Old Trafford. 6 goals v Leeds.
- 4 0-0's at halftime at home for Man Utd.
- The sudden 6 goals scored v Leeds for United was the first time United had scored more than 1 goal. Will they look to eye 2 goals again today? You'd suspect that to beat Wolves, United would require 2 goals at least.
- Only 1 win in 5 matches for Wolves did come at home v Chelsea, a 2-1. 3 defeats in 4 matches away though. They did beat Arsenal though.
- Wolves have conceded in their last 8 matches.
- 3/3 defeats away for Wolves v the top 10.
- Angles? United's effectiveness at home relies on them scoring 2+ goals for the 2nd consecutive match at home, after a run of one goal max. Wolves have a 3/3 loss record in the small sample of away matches played v the top 10. The in-play stats I think will be able to tell us if United are on the 2 goal trail today.
PORTUGUESE PRIMEIRA LIGA
18:00 - Benfica v Portimonense - 1.23 Benfica
- 2nd v 18th (bottom).
- All wins bar 2 defeats for Benfica (v Boavista and Sporting Braga).
- 4 wins in 5 matches at home for Benfica scoring 2+ goals in each match. Only 1 clean sheet for Benfica.
- Benfica have yet to play the bottom 2.
- Benfica have scored 5 goals in the last 15 minutes of home matches.
- Only 2 wins for Portimonense. 4 consecutive away defeats, 3 of those were 1-0.
- Angles? Will Benfica score 2 goals at home again? Or will Portimonense keep it to a 1-0 defeat? Benfica's losses did come pre Europa League and I will plump for the 2 goals at home again.
21:00 - Guimaraes v Porto - 1.74 Porto
- 6 wins in 8 matches for Guimaraes but their defeats are more significant, coming v Braga and Sporting Lisbon, 2 of the top 4 teams in Portugal....one of the others being Porto.
- 2 losses in 3 at home came v those 2 above named teams.
- 2 home wins for Guimaraes this season have been 1-0, in fact they have not scored more than 2 goals in a home match, so a ready angle here,
- 5 wins in 6 matches for Porto. Win, Draw, Loss, Win away does not entirely convince. Last win was a 0-1 Porto are far more emphatic at home.
- They have scored in every match this season so do note that.
- 5th v 4th today, Porto have a 2-2 away v 1st and 3-2 loss v 6th.
- Angles? Porto look decidedly ropier on the road but will they get away with it if Guimaraes keep failing to score 2 goals at home? It allows a lay of Guimaraes if leading doesn't it, that is if you can trust Porto away (their record v the top 6 away sees them ship 5 goals and score 4 goals).
17:30 - Birmingham v Derby - 2.8 Derby
- Derby have been in excellent defensive form in their last 7 matches, conceding 1-1-0-0-0-0-1 goals. They have scored 2 goals only once all season, an angle we have used in the past.
- Both sides have 5 0-0's at halftime and only once at fulltime.
- 17th v 22nd so not the sharpest tools in the box this season. Derby have lost at home v 23rd and 24th but draws v 15th to 21st home and away.
- Both sides concede the vast majority of their goals last 15 minutes of matches.
- Angles? Derby did break their one goal max pattern in a recent 2-0 will. But against another goal shy Birmingham, will they revert to one goal max? I think we could lay the first team to score today but cover the 1-0/0-1 scoreline depending on who scores first.
- Argument to back 0-0 pre match given how tight defensively Derby have been this season. Cash out at halftime if still 0-0.
- Please remember that 2.8 the favourite suggests that anything could happen!!
19:00 - Sheff Wed v Middlesbrough - 2.34 Middlesbrough
- You know the deal here. Sheff Wed have not scored that 2nd goal since the opening match of the season. On the assumption that this pattern remains today (and it is an assumption -remember Derby recently broke a similar pattern by scoring 2 goals) then our play is to lay Sheff Wed if they score first, and cover the 1-0. We have, to my recollection, profited twice from this simple angle.
Luton v Bristol City - 2.34 Luton
- Poor away from home, Luton have been far better at home with Draw, Draw, Win, Win, Draw at home.
- Luton failed to score in 4 of their last 6 matches and kept 3 clean sheets in 5 matches.
- 15th v 9th today. Luton's only 2 home losses came v 4th and 7th.
- Bristol City have 3 defeats in 4 matches.
- 3 losses in 4 matches away.
- Bristol City failed to score in those 3 recent defeats.
- 3 1-2 wins and a 2-0 loss away v 14th and lower.
- Angles? Another market suggesting these 2 are tough to split. I personally like Luton's recent form at home, and overall form at home, losing v 4th and 7th only. With Bristol City's ultra recent form showing 3 defeats in 4, Luton may take advantage. If favouring Luton, consider a 1-2 saver on Bristol City. 3 1-2 wins v 14th and lower away and they play 15th today.
Norwich v QPR - 1.63 Norwich
- Only 4 defeats for Norwich, 3 of which were 1-0 defeats. 5 wins in their last 6 matches saw them score 2 goals.
- 6 wins and 2 draws for Norwich at home recently.
- 2+ goals scored by Norwich at home in their last 3 matches.
- 5 0-0's at halftime at home for Norwich and only one at fulltime.
- 1st v 19th. Only 1 loss at home for Norwich was a 0-1 v Derby. Note that Norwich have conceded in the home matches v 18th and lower.
- 7 goals scored by Norwich at home came last 15 minutes of matches.
- No win in 8 matches for QPR who have 2 consecutive away 1-1 draws.
- Both teams have scored in 4 of QPR's last 5 away matches without them winning.
- 5 0-0's at halftime away for QPR, only one at fulltime. They have yet to beat the top 11 and top 18 away.
- Angles? I expect a return to winning ways for Norwich, worst case a score draw. They do concede v 18th and lower at home so watch out for that pattern and certainly feel confident in an equaliser, if QPR score first.
- Both sides have a relatively high % of 0-0's at halftime but those do end 2nd half.
Rotherham v Barnsley - 2.42 Barnsley
- How many 2.4 the favourite matches today in this competitive Championship? Here's another.
- Only 3 wins in 18 matches for Rotherham did come at home.
- 21st v 10th.Only 1 win home and away v the top 10 for Rotherham came v 9th at home.
- 73% of goals scored at home by Rotherham came first half. 90% of goals conceded at home came 2nd half.
- 5 wins in 7 matches for Barnsley.2 wins in 3 matches away.
- Barnsley's last 5 wins were 2-1.
- In fact, all bar one win for Barnsley saw them score 2 goals at least.
- Barnsley have conceded in their last 9 matches.
- Barnsley are unbeaten home and away v 16th and lower. They scored 2 goals in all of their wins v 17th and lower.
- Angles? The market cannot split these 2 - local derby perhaps the reason? Barnsley look excellent don't they v 16th and lower, tending to win and score 2 goals. Remember that Rotherham are 21st in the league. The market cannot split these 2, but Barnsley make a strong argument!
Huddersfield v Blackburn - 2.38 Blackburn
- Well fancy that! Another market suggesting that the market makers could not split the 2 sides.
- A draw and 4 consecutive home wins for Huddersfield.
- 3 consecutive home 2-0 wins.
- Huddersfield have scored in the last 9 home matches.
- 14th v 11th Huddersfield's 3 home defeats came v 1st, 9th and 13th. They lost away to 10th and 12th.
- 10/14 goals scored at home by Huddersfield came 1st half.
- Only 1 win in 6 for Blackburn.
- 2 consecutive 1-0 away defeats. All Blackburn defeats bar 1 this season came v the top 9. Do we expect an improved performance v 14th today?
- Angles? I hope you see why these 2.38 the favourite matches are so tough to decipher. We'd give Huddersfield a shout on 3 consecutive home 2-0 wins and scoring in their last 9 matches but give Blackburn a chance on the fact their losses tend to congregate around the top 9.
Wycombe v Cardiff - 1.97 Cardiff
- Only 2 wins for Wycombe all season. 4 defeats and a draw last 5 matches for them.
- Wycombe's only home win was a 1-0.
- 24th (bottom ) v 12th.Wycombe are yet to score that 2nd goal at home.
- 3 defeats in 4 matches for Cardiff who will surely eye a change in fortune today.
- 2 consecutive away wins ended with a loss v 1st in the league last away match.
- The recent 3 defeats for Cardiff came v the top 4.
- 7/10 goals scored away by Cardiff 2nd half.
- Angles? I would look on this as a chance for Cardiff to get back to points collecting ways. 3 recent defeats came v the top 4.Do remember Cardiff's 70% scoring 2nd half away if it's tight first half. And remember if Wycombe score, they are unlikely to score that 2nd goal.
Preston v Coventry - 2.32 Preston
20:00 - Stoke v Nottm Forest - 2.56 Stoke
SPANISH LA LIGA
16:00 - Sevilla v Villarreal - 2.18 Sevilla
- Only 1 loss in 7 matches for Sevilla was a 0-1 home loss to Real Madrid. 5 of Sevilla's 7 wins were 1-0 this season so they therefore need a strong defence if this pattern is set to continue.
- 1-0-1-4-0-1 goals scored at home by Sevilla.
- Sevilla have scored in their last 3 home matches.
- 6th v 4th. v the top 7 at home, Sevilla have just one 0-1 loss v 2nd placed Real Madrid. 3/4 defeats for Sevilla were 1-0.
- Only 1 loss for Villareal came v Barcelona. 5 draws in 6 matches sees Villareal not taking advantage of not losing. 4 of those recent draws were 1-1 draws.
- All Villareal wins this season have come v 12th and lower. Advantage Sevilla?
- 75% of goals scored and conceded by Villareal away came 1st half.
- Angles? If Sevilla win, it tends to be 1-0. If Sevilla lose, it tends to be 1-0. If Villareal draw, it tends to be 1-1! 3 potential score lines. Villareal have scored first in 3 of their last 4 away matches, and conceded next. A possible pattern to follow today?
18:15 - Barcelona v Eibar - 1.39 Barcelona
- A 4 match winning run at home for Barcelona ended with a 2-2 v a Valencia side who tend to turn up when facing Barcelona. 3 wins in 4 matches too and at last Barcelona are showing their potential, having scored 2+ goals too in their last 3 matches.
- Barcelona have scored in their last 8 home matches.
- 5th v 17th, 0-3 away win and 4-0 home win for Barcelona v 18th and lower.
- Eibar's 3 wins this season have come away from home. 2 draws and 2 losses last 4 matches.
- 1-3 home loss v Real Madrid recently might be the template for Barcelona today.
- Eibar have scored in their last 7 away matches.
- Both teams have scored in Eibar's 3 matches v the top 4.
- Angles? Barcelona's revival should be set to continue, particularly with their scoring 2 goals in each of their last 3 matches. Both teams do score in Eibar matches v the top 4 but without Eibar winning. Watch for that pattern today. 60% of Barcelona home goals scored came 1st half.
Levante v Betis - 2.5 Levante
- 2.5 the favourite - an unappealing betting market.
- Only 1 loss in 9 matches for Levante was a 1-0 loss v Barcelona. They have conceded 1-1-1-1-1-0-1-1-1 goals maximum recently. This opens up an angle for us.
- 6 1-1 scorelines recently.
- 3 1-1 draws and a 3-0 and 2-1 at home recently.
- 15th v 9th. Levante's only home loss came v 2nd placed Real Madrid.
- Only 6 wins for Betis, 5 of which were to nil.
- 4 defeats in 5 away for Betis.
- 5 wins and a loss for Betis v 13th and lower home and away.
- Angles? Now we know why this is 2.5 the favourite. It was all looking rosey for Levante, only beaten by Real Madrid at home and only beaten by Barcelona in their last 9 matches. But then, when Betis win, they tend to win v 13th and lower, and to nil! Which bit of form are you more taken with? I personally like Levante's defensive strength, not conceding that 2nd goal. If it comes into play, it may restrict Betis to a single goal maximum today.
Cadiz v Valladolid - 2.92 Valladolid
BELGIAN JULIPER LEAGUE
19:45 - Eupen v Zulte-Waregem - 2.04 Eupen
- Only 4 defeats for Eupen wo did lose their last match.
- Draw, Win, Draw at home saw both teams score.
- Both teams have scored in Eupen's last 6 home matches.
- No 0-0 at halftime at home for Eupen. 3/4 Eupen defeats this season came v the top 2. It is 13th v 12th today.
- 8/11 goals conceded at home by Eupen came 2nd half.
- 3 wins, a draw and a loss last 5 matches for Zulte-Waregem. 3 consecutive away wins.
- Only 1 0-0 at halftime away.
- 3 wins and a draw away for Zulte v 10th and lower.
- Angles? A tough match to pick a winner. Eupen tend to lose only to the top 2. Zulte are on a 3 consecutive away win sequence and tend to win away v 10th and lower. On that basis, ultra recent form is with Zulte.
- Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.