Sunday football previews

18/01/2014 | By | Reply More

Chelsea v Man Utd (Sun, 16:00)

The first meeting between these teams this season was a drab nil-nil affair that is probably best forgotten. With Arsenal and Man City both hosting bottom-six teams this weekend Chelsea will need to win to stay within three points of the lead, while United know they cant afford to drop too many more points. So hopefully the significance of the game creates a bit more excitement.

Chelsea are in decent form having won their last four matches while United’s league form is also not bad with five wins from six games. The Blues home form is particularly strong, however, as they’ve won 16 of their last 18 at Stamford Bridge (drawing the other two) and that also includes a superb W8-D1-L0 record against top-half teams. Against them is that they’ve beaten United just once in their last six meetings, but with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie set to be missing for the champions Chelsea look good value.

Chelsea have conceded just once in their last five games and given their seven games this season against the current top eight have averaged just 1.57 goals per game we shouldn’t expect a goal-fest. Similarly United’s matches this season have averaged 2.81 goals per game but this drops to exactly two against the current top eight, with five of eight such matches having fewer than two goals. If neither of Rooney or RVP are fit then David Moyes must surely adopt a cautious approach and goals backers should go for Under 2.5 Goals.

Fernando Torres must have been given some new scoring boots for Christmas as he’s scored in both Chelsea’s league games so far in 2014 and since the start of last season he’s netted in four of the Blues’ 10 home games against top-half teams, including the last goal of the game on three occasions. The Spaniard can be backed at 2.75 to score again.

These stats are brought to your by our friends over at Football Form Labs. Check out their site and the powerful software that sits behind these comments.

 Atletico Madrid v Sevilla (Sun, 20:00)

Only Barcelona have managed to leave the Vicente Calderon with anything this season, so anything less than an Atletico win would be a major surprise. Sevilla are on a good run however, and are unbeaten in seven games, as well as losing just one of their last seven on the road.

Atletico have won eight of 10 home games against top-half non-Big Two finishers last season and teams currently occupying those spots this term but just four of the wins have been by more than one goal and it could serve to side with Sevilla on the handicap. The Andalusian’s have already travelled to seven of the current top 10 this season and have been beaten just three times, and only twice by more than one goal. Moreover, despite some terrible away form in the past couple of seasons they’ve been beaten by more than one goal in just four of 12 trips to top-six finishers. Sevilla can be backed on the Asian Handicap +1.5 at 1.86 and that looks a good price.

Over 2.5 Goals is a strong favourite in the goals markets and it’s not hard to see why. Sevilla have kept just two clean sheets in their last 26 away matches and 17 of the games have had at least three goals. This includes seven of the last nine – all of which they’ve also scored in. Furthermore, six of their last seven trips to top-six teams have had more than two strikes, with four having more than three. With Atletico being the highest scorers at home this season – above both Barcelona and Real Madrid – Over 2.5 Goals looks the way to go at 1.7.

Ajax v PSV (Sunday, 15:30)

PSV may not be title challengers as the Dutch Eredivisie returns from its Winter break but they will take no little satisfaction from the chance to stop Ajax claiming a fourth consecutive title. The injury to Georginio Wijnaldum that meant he missed the last four months was a major blow to PSV but the loan signing of Bryan Ruiz from Fulham should give them a greater attacking edge.

Ajax finished 2013 with six consecutive wins but they’ve won just one of their seven games and they have thrashed PSV in this fixture in four of the past five seasons. While PSV did beat Ajax 4-0 in their first meeting this season they have lost five of their last six away games and last season picked up just one point from their five trips to the top six. As such Ajax look the team to be backing at 1.67, particularly given they’ve won 21/25 home games post the Winter break since 2011 – with 20 wins by at least two goals.

Amazingly PSV have kept just one clean sheet on the road since the start of last season and that was 22 games ago. 22 of their 26 away matches since 2012/13 have had at least three goals and eight of the 11 games between these teams since 2008/09 have had four or more strikes. With the extra goal threat we expect from PSV in the second half of the season Over 3.5 Goals looks a decent price at 2.55.

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I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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