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More Champions League and Championship matches today. I will do a DRT Facebook video.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

17:55 - Valencia v Chelsea - 2.14 Chelsea

  • Ajax, Valencia and Chelsea are the 3 sides on 7 points in Group H.
  • A 74th minute Valencia winner at Chelsea. They lost to Ajax, draw 1-1 away at Lille and beat Lille at home 4-1.
  • Chelsea's only loss came v Valencia. Wins v Lille and Ajax away and 4-4 at home v Ajax.
  • Head to heads are not emphatic. Chelsea throw a spanner in the works though with an away 0-1 win v Ajax which is eminently repeatable here.
  • Slightly favour Chelsea in what might be a defensively driven match.

17:55 - Zenit St Petersburg v Lyon - 2.38 Zenit

  • Group G sees Leipzig and Lyon 1st and 2nd, with Zenit 3rd on 4 points.
  • 1-1 draw away at Lyon, 3-1 win at home v Benfica and 2 losses v Leipzig for Zenit. Zenit scored and conceded in 3/4 matches.
  • I have no angles pre-match.

20:00 - Liverpool v Napoli - 1.43 Liverpool

  • 2 matches remain in these groups. Group E sees Liverpool top on 9 points and Napoli 2nd on 8 points. A key match for these 2 in case Red Bull (on 4 points) get the win. One, or both of these sides, will drop points.
  • Liverpool's only loss came away at Napoli.
  • 4-4-2 goals scored in their last 3 matches.
  • 4-3 and 2-1 at home for Liverpool.
  • Poor winless run in all competitions for Napoli.
  • Clean sheets v Liverpool and Gent, 2-3 win v Salzburg and 1-1 v Salzburg.
  • These latter 2 results suggests that there may be problems with Napoli defensively today.
  • The market is firmly with Liverpool and who are we to disagree. A vital match to cement first place and insure against a closing Red Bull Salzburg (if RB win).

Lille v Ajax - 1.93 Ajax

  • Group H sees Lille bottom with only 1 point after 4 matches. 2 matches remain for Lille. If they win them both, they'll be on 7 points, the same 7 points Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia are on currently.
  • 3 losses and a 1-1 for Lille. 1-2 v Chelsea and 1-1 v Valencia at home. Lille are more competitive at home.
  • Ajax were comfortable 3-0 winners v Lille and Valencia but stumbled v Chelsea.
  • The market is not too confident on Ajax. Lille are tighter at home but still not win and they tend to concede when scoring so that may be an angle in today.

Genk v Red Bull Salzburg - 1.63 Red Bull

  • A tough Group E for these 2 sides but, for me, Red Bull are the side still in with a chance of a top 2 spot given that Liverpool and Napoli play each other.
  • 6-2 Red Bull in the last head to head was part of a run of 3 losses and a 0-0 for Genk.
  • Salzburg have only lost to Liverpool and Napoli and still scored 3 and 2 goals in those defeats. I think they have it in them to simply blow Genk away.

Slavia Prague v Inter - 2.24 Inter

  • Group F sees Inter Milan struggling in 3rd with Barcelona and Dortmund dominating. Inter are superb domestically and with only 3 points shy of 2nd, this match is a must win given the big 2 are playing each other.
  • 1-0-1-0 goals scored by Sparta without winning. They recently kept Barcelona to a 0-0.
  • 1-1 when they were at Inter.
  • Both teams have scored in 3 of 4 Inter Champions league matches. They beat Dortmund at home and scored 2 goals in 2 games v Dortmund.
  • Must win for Inter Milan. Can Conte pull it off? I note Slavia are very tight defensively but they tend to have only 1 goal in them.

Barcelona v Dortmund - 1.6 Barcelona

  • The top 2 in Group F and the market is firmly in Barcelona's favour here. This is music to Inter's ears if Barca can justify the odds.
  • Do you remember that Barcelona home stat in the Champions League which did provide us some confidence when Inter Milan scored first at Barca, for them to come back?
  • I will remind you. Barcelona have not lost a home match in the Champions League since 18th September 2013. Interestingly German giants Bayern were the last side to beat Barca at home.
  • Dortmund away did beat Slavia Prague and lose 2-0 v Inter Milan.
  • I personally must stick to that superb Barcelona home stat. I would love the toothed assassin, Luis Suarez to be playing. He demolished Inter with his lethal strikes.

RB Leipzig v Benfica - 1.52 RB Leipzig

  • Group G sees 1st v 4th.
  • Leipzig are on 9 points, Benfica on 3 points. It is must-win territory for Benfica with 2 matches remaining.
  • Leipzig have returned to their old reliable selves at these odds of around 1.52. 2 consecutive home wins at these odds and an impressive 3-1 at the weekend.
  • Leipzig were comfortable in the 1-2 win v Benfica the last time they met. 3 wins and a loss for Leipzig. They scored 2 goals in those wins.
  • Both teams have scored in the 4 matches Benfica have played. 3 losses and a win v Lyon.
  • Both teams could score today with Leipzig not losing.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

19:45 - Middlesbrough v Barnsley - 2 Middlesbrough

  • Match outcome: Middlesbrough have won 9/12 home matches against bottom-six teams while Barnsley have lost 6/8 away matches. Middlesbrough have had W/W double results in 6/9 home matches against bottom-six teams.

Middlesbrough (21st)

  • Only 2 wins were 1-0 and came at home.
  • 4 draws in 5 matches. 2 consecutive 2-2's.
  • 5 0-0's at halftime at home (56%) but only one at full time.
  • Wins at home came v 18th and 20th.
  • 5 of 7 goals scored at home came 1st half.

Barnsley ( 24th)

  • Only 1 win came 1st match of the season.
  • Only 2 clean sheets.
  • Conceded in their last 11 matches.
  • Conceded 2+ goals in each of their last 5 matches and last 4 away.
  • Scored and conceded last 4 away.
  • Conceded 2+ goals in all bar 1 match home and away v 7th and lower.
  • 13 of 17 goals conceded away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • Oh Lordy. These 2 are achingly bad at the moment. One glimmer of hope for Boro is their 2 1-0 wins came v 18th and 20th and they play 24th, a side with only 1 win and a tendency to concede 2 goals.
  • Argument to back 0-0 pre match given the fact these 2 are bad and Boro have had 56% 0-0's at halftime at home.

Sheff Wed v Birmingham - 1.98 Sheff Wed

  • Match outcome: Sheffield Wed have won 6/8 home matches against bottom-half teams while Birmingham have lost 6/9 away matches against top-half teams. Birmingham have conceded first in 7/10 away matches against top-half teams.

Sheff Wed (9th)

  • Only 1 win in 6 was a 1-0 at home.
  • No defeat in 5 at home.
  • Only 1 match played at home v 7th to 19th.
  • Not beaten a top 17 side home and away.
  • 6 of 9 goals scored at home came 2nd half.

Birmingham (15th)

  • 2 losses and a draw last 3 matches.
  • Conceded last 5 away matches.
  • Only 2 away wins were 0-1.
  • 69% of goals conceded and 71% of goals scored away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • If Birmingham are only winning 0-1 away, lay them if they score first and cover the 0-1 insurance? right?
  • The problem is that Sheff Wed are yet to beat a top 17 side home or away BUT there is a gap in form. Only played one of 7th-19th at home.

Hull v Preston - 2.64 Hull

  • -2.5 goals: There have been -2.5 goals in 8/10 Hull City home matches against top-six teams and in 6/8 Preston away matches against middle-third teams. There have been -1.5 goals in 6/10 Hull City home matches against top-six teams.
  • 2.64 the favourite in one of the most competitive leagues in Europe? Just a quick look here.
  • 14th v 3rd in the Challenge Table. Hull are yet to meet 2nd to 6th but lost at home v 1st and 7th. Wins away v 4th and 5th intrigue as they meet 3rd at home
  • Against 10th-18th away, Preston have had 5 1-0 scorelines with only 2 wins v 13th and 15th. They meet.....drum roll please......14th today.
  • No wonder the market cannot split these 2. Hull may not be meeting the top 6 at home that often but have beaten 4th and 5th away. Preston may have a run of 1-0 scorelines away but are beating 13th and 15th 0-1 away.
  • In-play stats or not at all.

QPR v Nottm Forest - 2.34 QPR

  • +3.5 goals: There have been +3.5 goals in 7/10 QPR home matches and +2.5 goals in 11/14 QPR home matches. Nottm Forest have drawn the first half in 7/10 away matches against middle-third teams.

QPR (12th)

  • No win in 5 matches.
  • No clean sheet.
  • Failed to score in only 4 matches.
  • Conceded 2+ goals in each of their last 9 and last 6 at home.
  • All defeats home and away v the top 8 - 2+ goals conceded.
  • 12 of 18 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Nottm Forest (6th)

  • 2 wins and a 0-0 last 3 matches.
  • Only 1 away loss was a 1-0.
  • Failed to score in only 2 matches.
  • Conceded 2 goals only once away v 23rd.
  • 8 of 11 goals scored away came 2nd half.

 Conclusions

  • QPR look likely to concede at some point. Nottm Forest, on form, look as if they can keep sides from scoring 2 goals away so it all points to Forest not losing if conceding - they have failed to score in only 2 matches.
  • Strong 2nd half scoring patterns so watch out if 0-0 at halftime.

Blackburn v Brentford - 2.44 Brentford

  • 1st half outcome: Blackburn have drawn the first half in 13/18 home matches against top-half teams while there have been -2.5 goals in 6/10 Brentford away matches. There have been -2.5 goals in 6/8 Blackburn home matches against top-half teams.

Blackburn (17th)

  • 2 consecutive home wins.
  • Failed to score in only 3 matches.
  • Scored and conceded last 5 at home.
  • Conceded last 10 matches.
  • Only one home match played v a top 8 side and that was a 1-1 v 6th.
  • Failed to score only once at home.
  • 7 of 10 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Brentford (8th)

  • 5 wins in 6 matches.
  • 3-3-3-0-3-1 goals scored recently.
  • 3-0-3-3-3 goals scored away recently.
  • 3/3 wins away v the bottom 4 and play the bottom 8 today away.

Conclusions

  • Gap in form for Blackburn v the top 8 so that is a negative. On current form, Brentford are buzzing bees. 3-0-3-3-3 goals scored away recently, 3-3-3-0-3-1 goals scored in all matches recently.
  • On that form, we'd side with Brentford not to lose but remember, 2.44 the favourite suggests the market has its reservations about picking a favourite.
  • Note that Blackburn tend to concede 2nd half if they have not conceded first half.

20:00 - West Brom v Bristol City - 1.64 West Brom

  • +2.5 goals: There have been +2.5 goals in 7/9 WBA home matches against top-half teams and +3.5 goals in 6/9 WBA such matches. Bristol City have drawn the first half in 7/10 away matches against top-six teams.

West Brom (1st)

  • Only 1 loss.
  • That was the only match they failed to score in.
  • 3 consecutive wins.
  • Scored and conceded last 8 at home.
  • Scored 2+ goals in each of their last 6 matches at home.
  • Not met the top 8 at home.
  • Only loss came away v 2nd.
  • 6 goals scored at home last 15 mins of matches.

Bristol City (7th)

  • Only 2 losses.
  • 3 draws in 4 matches.
  • Failed to score in only 2 matches.
  • Only loss came away v 22nd.
  • 1-3 loss at home v 2nd, 3-3 draw away v 3rd.
  • 10 of 13 goals conceded away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • Bristol City have conceded 3 goals on 2 occasions v the top 3. A worry? Only 1 loss plays only 2 losses so this will be a test for West Brom.
  • There is a gap in form which clouds this. West Brom have not played top 8 at home so their solid form needs that context.
  • West Brom have scored late goals so factor that in if a draw or loss late on for them.