Seduced by big names in a Mickey Mouse competition! Lesson learned. The English League Cup is to be trodden warily. Southampton trounced (in hindsight, priority Premier League return) as were Millwall. Preston nearly pulled off a 0-2 to 3-2 - goal disallowed. Exeter did save my blushes. Standout stats but that's the thing. Stats could be good but are these sides up for it? Champions League first legs today and Norwegian Obos Ligaen. I will do a review/preview video. First legs are tough to nail as the match is not over with a small defeat. The Obos Ligaen is, well, the Obos Ligaen. Fear not, big names, elite leagues, pervade from Friday onwards. Looking forward to a live chat webinar with you at a new destination. More to follow...
UEFA Champions League
19:00 - Panathinaikos v Marseille - 2.10 Marseille
- One of the big names appears this early. Marseille. Marseille were knocked out by Spurs last time.
19:30 - Slovan Bratislava v Maccabi Haifa - 2.30 Maccabi Haifa
- Slovakia v Israel.
- This will be Slovan's 5th match this campaign, getting past Swift and Zrinjski. This is a step up.5th match too for Haifa who, remember, have played the likes of Benfica, PSG, Juventus, the inference is that they'll expect to go deeper in this competition.
19:45 - Klaksvik v Molde - 1.70 Molde
- Molde impressed me 2nd leg v HJK Helskinki. Their stats were emphatic. I would expect them to get through over 2 legs. They came alive in their home leg.
19:45 - Rangers v Servette - 1.50 Rangers
- Kilmarnock 1, Rangers 0 and Servette conceding first to a newly promoted side. Now it makes sense, these opening-day wobbles. The Champions League an obvious concern for both teams.
- Rangers met the likes of Ajax, Liverpool and Napoli last year so there will be expectation of at least the group stages.
- Servette's 3rd only match in the competition. They got past Genk in extra time with 2 draws.
UEFA Europa Conference League
18:00 - AEK Larnaca v Maccabi Tel Aviv - 2.50 AEK Larnaca
- Both teams scored in AEK's first 2 legged match. Maccabi won without conceding v Petrocub. The market hasn't got a clue.
19:00 - Gent v Pogon Szczecin - 1.40 Gent
- 10 goals v 8 goals scored in these 2 teams' last 2 legged matches. Wow!
- Pogon are Polish. The market emphatic here.
17:00 - Vaasa PS v Seinajoen - 2.25 SJK
VPS - 5th
- 6 consecutive wins, 3 at home.
- 2+ goals scored last 4 and last 3 at home.
- 5/7 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.
- 2-1 loss last head-to-head.
SJK - 3rd
- Only 2 defeats.
- Scored and conceded in 5 of their last 6 matches.
- No defeat in 8 away.
- Scored and conceded last 3 away.
- Unbeaten away.
- Not conceded a 2nd goal away.
- SJK clearly favoured for me, unbeaten away, tough to score 2 against but they do score and concede.
- BUT...6 consecutive wins for VPS is clear momentum, hence the 2.25 quote which tells us that neither side can be readily discounted.
- Very interesting match. Remember VPS's 2nd half scoring rate.
17:00 - Asane v Mjondalen - 2.20 Asane
Asane - 15th
- Only 1 win.
- 3 draws and a loss last 4.
- No win in 4 and in 7 at home.
- 0-0 last head-to-head.
- Not played 9th-14th at home.
Mjondalen - 9th
- 3-0 win last match after a 3-0 loss the match before. Welcome to the World of Mjondalen.
- 3 consecutive away wins ended in defeat last away.
- No draw in 7 away.
- v 8th and lower away, wins v 8th, 10th, 14th and 16th. Scored and conceded in 3 of those matches.
- 9/11 goals scored away 2nd half.
- 6 goals scored last 15 mins away.
- Asane's profile is terrible. Gap in form though so we are not sure how they'll get on at home v 9th.
- Mjondalen could score and concede and do score 75th minute+.
17:00 - Fredrikstad v Bryne - 1.70 Fred
Fred - 1st
- Scored last 10 and last 5 at home.
- Scored first in 6/8 at home and led at halftime in 5/8 at home.
- 0-0 last head-to-head.
Bryne - 12th
- 3 wins in 4 matches.
- 4 losses and a win last 5 away.
- No draw in 8 and in 5 away.
- Scored last 5 and last 2 away.
- 2+ goals conceded away v top 13.
- Fred must be favoured until the unbeaten streak ends. Bryne could concede at least 2 goals.
17:00 - Hodd v Sandnes Ulf - 2.40 Hodd
- I don't like this league at the best of times, so 2.4 the favourite will get short shrift.
17:00 - Moss v KFUM Oslo - 2.40 Moss
17:00 - Ranheim v Kongsvinger - 2.20 Kongs
Ranheim - 10th
- 5 consecutive losses.
- 2 consecutive home losses.
- No draw in 9 and in 7 at home.
- Failed to score last 3.
- Conceded last 7.
- 3-0 loss last head-to-head.
- Did beat 3rd 2-0.
Kongsvinger - 2nd
- Shock 1-3 loss last match. A losing trade.
- No defeat in 4 away.
- Scored last 9.
- 6/9 goals scored away 2nd half.
- I was worried with that loss latest for Kongsvinger. Came from absolutely nowhere. Yes they did score one of their opponents goals for them. This is a chance for the Kong to get back to winning ways v a Ranheim in woeful form.
- Lay any late draw.
17:00 - Raufoss v Jerv - 2.25 Raufoss
Raufoss - 12th
- 2 consecutive home wins.
- 3 wins in 4.
- Scored first 5/7 home.
- 1-0 loss last head-to-head.
- Only played 1 of 6th-14th at home.
Jerv - 8th
- 2 consecutive away losses.
- Scored last 8.
- Scored and conceded last 4.
- Not led at halftime in an away match.
- Unbeaten home and away v 11th and lower.
- 19/25 goals scored away 2nd half.
- A feeling Raufoss should score first today if you want to use that as a trading angle. They are scoring 3 goals regularly of late but there is that damn gap in form - only played 1 of 6th-14th at home.
17:00 - Sogndal v Kristiansund - 2.25 Sogndal
Sogndal - 3rd
- 3 consecutive wins.
- 4 wins and a loss last 5 at home.
- Scored first in 6/7 at home.
- 2-1 loss last head-to-head.
- All 6 home goals conceded 2nd half.
Kristiansund - 4th
- Impressive in-play stats in their 1-1 latest at home. So much so I expected a goal before halftime and they obliged.
- No win in 5 away though.
- Conceded last 7 away.
- 2+ goals scored last 2 away.
- Not played top 3 away but did lose to 5th and 6th.
- 63%+ of away goals came 2nd half.
- A top 4 clash could see a tight one. But Kris have no win in 5 away and did lose to 5th and 6th so that will need improving on.
- 2nd half goals likely.
17:00 - Start v Skeid - 1.67 Start
Start - 6th
- 3 consecutive home wins.
- 2+ goals scored last 5 at home.
- Scored last 15.
- 1-4 win last head-to-head.
- 100% over 2.5 goals at home.
- 14/19 goals scored at home 2nd half.
Skeid - 16th
- Only 2 wins.
- No win in 5 away.
- Not beaten a top 9 side.
- As obvious as the market suggests. Over 2.5 goals at home for Start suggests that they can score 2 goals at least today. They are strong 2nd half scorers as well.