We’re coming into the crunch part of the season now. It’s easier to build a profile on teams because they have played close to ten domestic games, and we’re deeper into European competition.
I find the next two fixtures in the group stage of the Champions League to be very important. It’s basically a home and away tie, and the swing can be huge in the group. Look at Man United’s situation for example, two bad performances against Atalanta back-to-back and they are out, and then surely Ole has to go?
We have a couple of fascinating weeks. So, let’s get stuck in from a trading point of view.
My favourite games this week:
- Club Brugge v Man City
- Ajax v Dortmund
- Atletico Madrid v Liverpool
- Chelsea v Malmo
- Lille v Sevilla
- Man United v Atalanta
I always like to focus on the UK teams because it’s easy to keep up with their xG figures from the Premier League. I’m looking at them on a weekly basis, so no extra research is needed apart from the team they are playing. And then after that, pick another game I like the look of odds wise. Brief summary of my trading thoughts on each game…
Club Brugge v Man City – Tuesday @ 5.45pm
Fair to say Brugge have been the surprise package of this Champions League? Held PSG to a draw and then beat RB Leipzig. The xG figures say they played well too. RB Leipzig have been poor this season though, and I wouldn’t hype up that result – just look at their Bundesliga stats this season. The draw against PSG obviously raises the eyebrows though, and they deserved it too. City are going to start this game at 1.3, and I would lean towards a lay on City but I’m going to avoid it. IMO it will tick out too slowly and there is too much risk involved. I prefer to get involved early on the under 2.5 goals trade. Brugge have kept things pretty quiet and didn’t give much away against PSG and Leipzig. I know going against City is like catching a falling knife but I feel we have a lot of opportunities here to see over 2.5 goals drifting quickly without any early action. City has no reason to chase the game early here and Brugge will have XI men behind the ball. Stakes a little low because it’s City.
Ajax v Dortmund – Tuesday @ 8pm
Looking down the list on Betfair, this game catches my eyes. Ajax looks too short at 2.3 right now. I know they have been playing well this season, but so have Dortmund. To be honest, this game just screams being crazy open and goals, but that’s priced in too. I don’t see why Ajax should be so short at 2.3, and I’ll be looking for spots to get against them. I accept Dortmund haven’t been tested in the Bundesliga yet, but they are generating some nice xG figures going forward and if Ajax is going to play an open game here they will pay the price. Wouldn’t be surprised to see something like 4-4 here! If Ajax start the game well on top, I wouldn’t mind laying them if they went a goal or two up if I saw signs that play on pitch was turning.
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool – Tuesday @ 8pm
This is the tie of the night week. I have to say this is a fascinating game. Liverpool have been in peak form this season, and Atletico are slightly struggling in La Liga. A quick look at the La Liga table would suggest they are doing well, they go joint top if they win their game in hand but their xG figures show they aren’t creating much going forward. They beat Barcelona 2-0 before the International break, but Barcelona aren’t the same without Messi.
In their La Liga games this season they have finished with xG figures of 1.73, 0.93, 1.99, 1.11, 1.29, 1.79, 0.75 and 1.38. They are playing ok, but aren’t firing. Compare that to Liverpool, who are creating chances for fun. It’s always difficult to win here, and I would expect Atletico to defend as well but I reckon this is a great time to support Liverpool. Salah is on a different planet at the moment, and the market is expecting a cagey game too with unders starting odds on. The plan here is to look for spots to back Liverpool, but with two games at 8pm to focus on it’ll be around picking the right moments and focusing on one market at a time when the opportunity presents.
I’ll be back tomorrow to share my thoughts on Wednesday’s fixtures, so watch out for the next blog!
Related: Football Trading Video Course