Given my research yesterday in what is usually a tricky league was generally very good, I'll dive in to the English Championship matches today for, I hope, more of the same. The SPL is all done and dusted bar for a couple of teams. So please only play in matches where there is something to play for.
19:45 - Aston Villa v Reading - 1.58 Aston Villa
- 1-3 and 2-1 Reading the last 2 head to heads. The market does not see that today.
Aston Villa (4th)
- 2 losses and a 0-0 last 3 matches.
- Scored in their last 8 at home.
- 4 0-0's at halftime at home (21%).
- 5/5 wins at home v 20th and lower.
- Only 2 wins in 19 matches.
- Only 1 win in 9 away.
- 7 0-0's at halftime away (37%).
- Not played 2nd-4th away - lost to 1st and beat 5th.
- Only 2 wins away v top 20.
- 18 of 23 goals scored away came 2nd half.
- A minor wobble for Aston Villa but they venture to the part of the league where they have 5/5 wins. Given Reading have only 2 wins in 19 matches, it is safe to suggest Aston Villa will not be losing today despite no win in 3. Villa have scored in their last 8 at home so expect a goal at least.
- Lay any Reading lead.
19:45 - Fulham v Leeds - 1.51 Fulham
- 4 1-1 draws and a 0-0 in recent head to heads.
- Unbeaten in 17, scoring in every one of those matches.
- 2+ goals scored in their last 6 and their last 8 at home.
- Only 2 losses at home came when Fulham did not score.
- 21 of 34 goals scored at home came 2nd half.
- Only 2 wins in 15 came at home.
- No win in 7 away.
- Conceded 2+ goals in each of their last 4 away.
- Not beaten the top 5, and have conceded 4-3-2-3 v top 6 away.
- Reading the form literally, we should expect 2-4 goals from Fulham today against a Leeds side adept at conceding that v top 6 away and also conceding 2+ goals regularly away.
- The halftime 0-0 stats are not overwhelming but logically we can assume if Fulham score 2-4 that they have a chance of getting at least one before halftime?
- You could back Fulham today if Leeds score first in anticipation of those 2/4 goals.
- Please note Fulham's strong scoring 2nd half if they have a barren first half.
19:45 - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Hull City - 1.6 Wolves
- 2-3 Wolves in the last head to head.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (1st)
- 3 consecutive wins.4 wins and a draw last 5 at home.
- 2+ goals scored in each of their last 5 at home.
- Unbeaten home and away v 17th and lower.
- Led at halftime in 12/19 at home.
Hull City (18th)
- Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss away recently.
- No draw in 9 away.
- Not beaten top 12 away.
- 11 of 16 goals scored away came 2nd half.
- Wolves should maintain their unbeaten record v 17th and lower today against a Hull side yet to beat the top 12 away from home.
- Slight niggle that Hull are winning and losing in turn away. But remember no win v top 12 away.
20:00 - Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City - 2.72 Bolton
- We all know that these odds signal a potentially tough to call match.
- 3 1-0's to Birmingham and a 0-0 last 4 head to heads.
Bolton Wanderers (20th)
- This looks a relegation six pointer, hence the odds I suppose?
- Not scored a 2nd goal in 16 matches.
- Scored in their last 8 at home.
- 3 0-0's at halftime at home (16%).
- Only 1 home loss v 13th and lower was v bottom.
- 2 consecutive wins ends a run of 7 consecutive defeats.
- 4 consecutive away defeats.
- Conceded in their last 6 away.
- Conceded 2+ goals in each of their last 4 away.
- Only 2 away wins did come v 16th and 19th.
- We must acknowledge that this is a relegation six pointer so form could be thrown out of the window.
- On a strict reading of form it seems that Bolton, who have only 1 loss v 13th and lower at home have the most compelling form season long.
- The concern is that they have not scored that 2nd goal in 16 matches which leaves them vulnerable.
ITALIAN SERIA A
17:30 - Atalanta v Sampdoria - 1.47 Atalanta
- 3-1 Sampdoria in the last head to head.
- Only 1 loss in 8 was v Juventus.
- 3 wins in 4.
- Only conceded 2 goals once in 10 and that was v Juventus.
- 6 0-0's at halftime away.
- Only 3 losses at home, 2 v top 3.
- Not beaten top 8 at home (3 score draws v 1st, 5th and 8th).
- 4 losses in 5 matches.
- 3 consecutive away losses.
- 3 losses and 2 wins away v top 8 (wins v 3rd and 8th).
- Atalanta are only conceding 2 goals v the big boys of late and although Sampdoria had an occasional reputation for goals, they may struggle to score that 2nd.
- so lay Samp if Samp score first in the hope Atalanta are as solid defensively as they have been last 10 matches.
17:30 - Genoa v Cagliari - 1.89 Genoa
- 4-1 Cagliari and 2-3 Genoa last 2 head to heads.
- 3 defeats and a 1-1 draw last 4 head to heads.
- 7 0-0's at halftime at home.
- Only 1 loss home and away v 14th and lower.
- Only scored more than 1 goal once v those teams and that was v Cagliari.
- Only 3 wins in 16 matches.
- Only 5 clean sheets.
- 5 0-0's at halftime away.
- Only 1 loss away v 11th and lower.
- Genoa tend to shut up shop v teams 14th and lower, albeit they scored more than their usual 1 goal v Cagliari last meeting.
- This is too tight for me to provide a strong angle. Both sides have relatively poor recent form.
17:30 - Udinese v Fiorentina - 2.24 Fiorentina
- Fiorentina have won the last 2 head to heads, albeit at home.
- 6 consecutive defeats.
- Conceded 2 goals in each of those matches.
- No 0-0.
- Only 2 0-0's at halftime at home.
- Beat 7th and 9th at home.
- No 0-0 this season.
- 4 consecutive wins.
- Inconsistent form away, did beat 10th, 11th, 14th, and losses 15th and 18th.
- Unbeaten home and away v 10th-14th.
- On very, very recent form we are with Fiorentina here but they are inconsistent away, BUT they are unbeaten home and away v 10th-14th.
- It was looking so good for Udinese manager but 5 consecutive losses, conceding 2 goals, spells trouble.
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
19:45 - Ross Co v Partick - 2.52 Ross Co
- Just a cursory nod towards the SPL today as the league looks to be wrapped up.
- 1-1 and 2-0 Partick last 2 head to heads.
- This is a match between the bottom 2.
- Ross County cannot escape from the bottom 2, what with only 2 matches remaining this season and them 7 points from safety.
- Ross County have only 2 losses at home v 5th and lower.
- Partick need 2 wins out of their 2 remaining matches and a hope Dundee United lose in order to escape their predicament.
- 5 losses and a 0-0 last 6 does not augur well.
- Partick have only 1 away win.
- I think this is a match worth leaving alone. The onus is with Partick. Will Ross down tools mentally, knowing they cannot change their fate?
19:45 - Hibernian v Hamilton - 1.45 Hibernian
- 1-1 the last time these 2 met.
- Hibs must win their remaining 2 matches and Rangers and Aberdeen both lose their remaining matches in order to get 2nd spot.
- Rangers have played a match more than Hibs so this match today is a must win.
- A point from their last 2 matches will assure Diddy David Hamilton SPL survival.
- Hibs lost 1-3 at home to Hamilton earlier this season.One of only 2 losses at home outside of the top 3.
- Hibs scored and conceded in 7/8 home matches v 7th and lower losing only 2 matches.
- Hibs have scored 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches.
- Hibs failed to score in only 3 matches.
- Hamilton's only 2 wins this year came at home.
- 3 losses to nil and a draw in their 4 recent aways.
- Hamilton have surprised away with a win v Rangers, Hibs, Motherwell and Dundee.
- The momentum of recent form is with Hibs today and if they continue their 2 goal haul, Hamilton will not be winning, even if leading. Motivation is more with Hibs than Hamilton. Hibs know they have a game in hand over Rangers and can close the gap to 1 point with 1 to play with a win today.
19:45 - Motherwell v Aberdeen - 2.1 Aberdeen
- There is plenty to keep Aberdeen occupied.A win or a draw takes them 2nd with a game to play. Motherwell actually helped Aberdeen out by drawing with Rangers 2-2.
- Motherwell are safe from relegation and will gain little with 2 wins.
- At home, Motherwell have kept Celtic to 0-0 and Rangers to 2-2 (after leading 2-0).
- They have 8 0-0's at halftime at home so a 0-0 would not surprise at halftime.
- Motherwell have only 1 win v the top 4, that was away to Aberdeen. Draw, Draw, Loss, Draw, Loss at home v top 3 this season.
- Aberdeen have tended to congregate their losses v top 10 . They are unbeaten away from home v 5th and lower.
- For me I would suspect best case for Motherwell would be a 3rd consecutive draw at home v the top 3. If Motherwell lead 1-0 or 2-0, lay them. We saw that Rangers comeback last match and with Aberdeen motivated to snatch 2nd spot, you can be assured of a motivated response from Aberdeen.
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
19:45 - Juventus v Real Madrid - 2.64 Real Madrid
- A mouth-watering encounter best enjoyed by watching and not playing. This is a high stakes first leg where Juventus will be looking to keep a clean sheet and Real Madrid will be looking to score.
- Juventus drew at home 2-2 v Tottenham in their last home match.
- They beat Tottenham 1-2 away. Juventus would take that scenario today. note Juventus led 2-0 v Tottenham in that match where they drew 2-2.
- 0-0 v Barcelona in November 2017 at home would be something Juventus would cherish this evening with that away goal rule in place.
- June 2017 saw Juventus lose 1-4 to Real Madrid.
- 4 consecutive wins for Real Madrid in the Champions League saw them score and concede in home and away wins v PSG. Note the majority of goals scored in those 2 legs were 2nd half goals. If 0-0 at halftime today, take on that 2nd half 0-0.
- Real Madrid lost 3-1 away to Tottenham in the Champions League in November 2017.
- This is far too tough to call. Do you see an angle here? The only angle I see is to take on any 0-0 you see at the start of the 2nd half.
19:45 - Sevilla v Bayern Munich - 1.66 Bayern Munich
- Under-estimate Sevilla at your peril. Ask Jose!
- Sevilla have kept Liverpool to 3-3 and Man Utd to 0-0 at home. They proceded to beat Man Utd away 1-2.
- 2-2-3-2-3-0 scored by Sevilla at home in the Champions League lately.
- 6 consecutive wins for Bayern Munich in the Champions League but only 1 match there, v PSG, saw them playing any of the cream of European football (apologies Celtic and Besiktas fans!).
- Bayern have conceded in 4 of their last 5 matches today. They'd be happy to concede today as long as they score a precious away goal.
- Back in 2016 was the last time Bayern met a Spanish side away in the Champions League. 2 1-0 defeats to Atl Madrid.
- With Bayern conceding in their last 3 aways, Sevilla may get on the scoresheet today albeit without necessarily winning.
- Again, it is so hard to nail down a trading angle in these matches given the away goal and the fact the teams have that second leg to address any concerns from this first leg.