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As per yesterday, it's English Championship and the Champions League. It is a really tough English Championship coupon today.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

17:55 kick-offs

Atletico Madrid v Monaco - 1.2 Atl Madrid

  • Monaco scored first in the earlier encounter which Madrid won 1-2. Atl Madrid impress at home beating Club Brugge and the very impressive Dortmund. The latter is a solid yardstick.
  • Monaco are having a poor season and a poor run in the CL. 3 losses and a 1-1 draw v Club Brugge who themselves are way out of their depth in the CL. No redeeming qualities for Monaco should suggest Atl Madrid continue that solid home form in the CL.

Lokomotiv v Galatasaray - 2.48 Lokomotiv

  • 2.48 the favourite. You know my views on these matches.
  • Lokomotiv are yet to score a point in this Group D. Galatasary are clinging on but are 4 points adrift of Schalke and 6 of Porto. Porto and Schalke meet. If Galatasary win today and Porto take points off Schalke, this group will not be dead for Gala.
  • 4/4 defeats for Lokomotiv who have scored in the last 2 defeats. 3-0 emphatic Gala win when these 2 last met.
  • Gala's only win came v Lokomotiv. 0-0 at home v Schalke the other points. 2/2 losses away without scoring. That may be the reason the market is in 2 minds.
  • The motivation is with Galatasary who must end a scoreless losing away sequence. Solace from the 3-0 home win enough for us to side with them?

20:00 kick-offs

PSV v Barcelona - 1.52 Barcelona

  • Big struggles for PSV with 1 point in Group B. Barcelona have 10 points.
  • Barcelona look safe but if Tottenham beat Inter Milan then they will have the Spuds breathing down their necks. This evening's match is really a must win.
  • 3 losses and a 2-2 v Tottenham for PSV sees them able to score in all bar the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona.
  • 1-2 and 2-2 at home suggests too a real boost to performance. They scored first v both Inter Milan and Tottenham so let's hope for more of the same today as, remember, they failed to win.
  • 3 wins and a 1-1 draw v Inter Milan for Barcelona. 2-4 and 1-1 away. I do think there is a chance both teams will score today with PSV unable to get the win.

Dortmund v Club Brugge - 1.33 Dortmund

  • Dortmund are Mr. Reliable this season. Likely Bundesliga champions, and unstoppable.
  • Group A is dominated by Dortmund and Atl Madrid on 9 points so every match is a must-win. Ditto for Club Brugge some 5 points shy of these 2.
  • 3 wins and a loss v Atl Madrid for Dortmund. 0-1 only away v Club Brugge, the market expects goals like the 7-0 in 2 home CL matches for Dortmund this campaign.
  • Club Brugge's only win was v Monaco who are in very poor form. Club Brugge are tight at home but 3-1 loss to Atl Madrid should be mirrored by Dortmund (possible clean sheet though).

Porto v Schalke - 1.88 Porto

  • Both sides are top of Group D and the winner will go a long way towards qualification, taking points of the nearest rival.
  • A 1-1 draw with Schalke was followed by 3 wins for Porto.
  • Schalke scored first in that match and Porto's goal was a penalty.
  • Bar Lokomotiv, Porto struggled to score that 2nd goal v Schalke and Galatasary (1-0 win).
  • 1-1 and 3 clean sheets Schalke. Remember that the only goal Schalke have conceded has been a penalty. This suggests that Schalke will be lining up a very defensive display today and a hope to nick a 0-1. On that basis, I would slightly favour Schalke and lay Porto if Porto scores first given that Schalke are so solid defensively that they should not concede a 2nd goal.

Paris St-G v Liverpool - 2.16 PSG

  • Liverpool are poor away in the CL. This Group C is absolutely wide open. Every team has a chance of qualification. Every match becomes a must win.
  • PSG are uncharacteristically poor this CL campaign. 3-2 loss to Liverpool; 6-1 win v Red Star; 2-2 home draw v Napoli; 1-1 away v Napoli.
  • Both teams have now scored in the last 8 CL matches.
  • PSG are therefore vulnerable. But as to Liverpool?
  • Liverpool are Jekyll and Hyde. At home, 3-2 v PSG and 4-0 v Red Star. Away? 1-0 loss v Napoli and 2-0 v Red Star.
  • That's 4/4 away defeats in the CL now for Liverpool.
  • This is THE match to watch this evening. Liverpool have failed to score in the last 2 away CL matches.
  • I cannot fathom this hugely important match. Will it be a tight nervy 'final -like' affair? Or will both teams score as per usual? Winner could take all!

Napoli v Crvena Zvezda - 1.17 Napoli

  • See above. Napoli and Red Star are also bang in there in Group C.
  • Napoli are the kind of odds we saw at the weekend domestically. A match ending................0-0.
  • 3 draws and a 1-0 win at home v Liverpool for Napoli this campaign. 0-0 v Red Star away. They were hugely unlucky not to beat PSG who drew with a 90th minute goal and whose first goal was a penalty.
  • Napoli must re-discover their scoring touch. 0-1-2-1. They have scored in the last 3 matches.
  • 0-1-0-2 goals scored by Red Star. Where on earth did that 2-0 win v Liverpool come from?
  • Napoli's odds suggest 3+ goals. Their odds at the weekend suggested 3+ goals and that ended 0-0. Was that pre-Champions League distractions?
  • The value is in a lay of Napoli given that all 4 teams in this group are in with a shout! Red Star may be extra motivated...

Tottenham v Inter - 1.77 Tottenham

  • Winner could take all today. Tottenham need to win more than Inter Milan. If Tottenham win, they will be on 7 points along with Inter Milan and then Barcelona on 10 points.
  • A nice confidence booster v Chelsea at the weekend for Tottehnham. Inter had a rather routine win v Frosinone.
  • 2-1 loss to Inter, 2-4 loss to Barcelona, 2-2 v PSV and 2-1 win v PSV. Both teams are scoring in Tottenham matches and for me they do not look like viable CL contenders just yet. They have scored 2 goals in each of their 2 home CL matches.
  • Inter have scored and conceded in 3/4 without losing. 2 2-1 wins and a 1-1. A loss away v Barcelona.
  • I cannot have Tottenham at 1.77 odds. Both teams are likely to score today and note Inter are unbeaten when both teams score.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP - 19:45 kick-offs

4 matches with a favourite at 2.4 odds or higher.

Aston Villa v Nottm Forest - 1.96 Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa won last year's head to heads.

Aston Villa (8th)

  • 3 consecutive wins.
  • 3 consecutive home wins.
  • Failed to score only once.
  • Scored in their last 9 at home.
  • Not played a top 9 team at home.
  • 9 of 12 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Nottingham Forest (7th)

  • Only 2 losses.
  • 4 clean sheets in their last 5 matches.
  • 3 wins in 4 away.
  • 3 consecutive 0-0's at halftime.
  • Failed to score in only 2 matches.
  • No defeat in 6 away.only 1 away loss v 15th.

Conclusions

  • Slight gap in form Villa. Not played the top 9 so we do not know how they'll get on today. Nothing to gauge by. I like Forest's form. They may go unbeaten but alas the lack of top 9 home form for Villa muddles the form.

Ipswich v Bristol City - 2.42 Bristol City

  • Bristol City won the last 2 head to heads.

Ipswich (24th)

  • Only 1 win for Ipswich.
  • Only 1 clean sheet.
  • No win in 6 matches and in 9 at home.
  • Conceded in their last 9 matches.
  • 4/4 draws at home v 11th and lower.
  • Only scored 2 goals once at home.
  • 9 of 12 goals conceded at home came 1st half.

Bristol City (14th)

  • Only 2 wins in 11 matches.
  • 4 consecutive defeats.
  • Only 1 win in 6 away matches.
  • Failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches.
  • 5 0-0's at halftime away.
  • Not beaten a team 17th and lower away.
  • 3-2 and 2-2 away v 20th and lower.

Conclusions

  • Bristol City have really gone off the boil and they play an Ipswich team off the boil since day one.
  • Lay Ipswich if they score first based on scoring 2 goals in a home match only once.Note the Bristol City 3-2 and 2-2 away v 20th and lower. Goal fest?

Swansea v West Brom - 2.74 West Brom

  • 1-0 Swansea and 1-1 last 2 head to heads in the Premier League.

Swansea (10th)

  • No draw in 7 matches.
  • 2 wins in 3 home matches.
  • Scored in their last 5 at home.
  • Losses at home v 1st, 14th, 24th. 1-4 loss v 1st and 2-2 v 3rd at home.
  • 8 of 11 goals conceded at home came 1st half.

West Brom (4th)

  • 2 consecutive wins ends a run of no win in 4 matches.
  • Only 1 clean sheet.
  • Failed to score in only 3 matches.
  • Conceded in their last 9 matches and last 9 away.
  • Losses away v 2nd, 17th and 23rd were 1-0 defeats.
  • Scored and conceded in all bar 1 match v 16th and higher home and away.
  • 10 of 13 goals scored at home came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • I think both teams could score today. Both teams have scored in all bar 1 of West Brom's matches v 16th and higher home and away. Note Swans concede 1st half. Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market? But then West Brom have scored 10/13 away goals 2nd half. If both teams are assumed to score, then West Brom should not lose today (3 away losses were 1-0).

Wigan v Blackburn - 2.58 Wigan

Wigan (17th)

  • Only 1 win  in 9 matches.
  • Only 1 home loss came v Leeds last match.
  • 5 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • 0-0-2-0-0-1 goals conceded at home v 10th and lower.
  • Scored first in 7/9 at home.

Blackburn (11th)

  • Scored and conceded in 5 of their last 6 matches.
  • Scored and conceded in 4 of their last 5 away matches.
  • Failed to score in only 3 matches.
  • Scored in their last 7 and last 5 away.
  • Losses away v 10th, 14th and 16th.
  • 10 goals conceded away last 30 minutes of matches.
  • 8 of 11 goals scored away came 1st half.

Conclusions

  • I favour Wigan here. Good defensive displays v 10th and lower, only 1 home loss v Leeds.
  • I would lay Blackburn if Blackburn scored first. They score and concede, yet again though it is another toughie in the English Championship.

Millwall v Birmingham - 2.28 Millwall

  • 3 consecutive Millwall wins in head to heads.

Millwall (21st)

  • 2 losses and a draw last 3 matches.
  • 3 home wins and a draw last 4 home matches.
  • Only 2 clean sheets.
  • Scored in their last 9 at home.
  • Scored and conceded in all bar 1 home match.
  • Losses at home v 5th and 10th.
  • 100% over 1.5 goals at home.
  • 10 of 16 goals scored at home came 2nd half.
  • 7 goals conceded at home last 15 minutes.

Birmingham (12th)

  • 2 consecutive away defeats.
  • 3-3-4 goals conceded last 3 matches.
  • Scored in their last 10 matches.
  • Scored and conceded in their last 5 matches.
  • Only 1 loss home and away v 9th and lower came v 22nd away.
  • 9 of 13 goals conceded away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • 21st in the league are favourites. They are scoring at home but Millwall cannot keep a clean sheet at home. Expect both teams to score today?
  • If Millwall lead by a goal late on (75th minute+), lay them as they concede heavily late on at home.
  • Other than that, I do not have a favoured side here. I suppose Birmingham, only 1 loss home and away v 9th and lower may see them not lose?

20:00 - Stoke v Derby - 2.48 Stoke

  • No recent head to heads.

Stoke City (13th)

  • 4 draws and a win last 5 matches. Leaking points.
  • Only 1 loss in 9 matches.
  • 3 clean sheets in 4 matches.
  • 2 0-0's last 3 matches.
  • Only played one of the top 8 at home so a gap in form.

Derby County (6th)

  • Only 1 loss in 8 matches.
  • 5 over 2.5 goals matches last 6.
  • Conceded in their last 10 matches and last 9 away.
  • Only played one match v 5th-17th away.

Conclusions

  • Gaps in form for both teams in what is a tough English Championship coupon today. Sometimes, we simply have to take it on the chin that it's very hard to get a good trading angle in a number of matches.
  • 3 clean sheets in 4 for Stoke plays 5 over 2.5 goals matches in 6 for Derby.
  • Both sides have only that single loss in 8/9 matches so are in good nick.
  • I bow out unless the in-play stats reveal.