Saturday Soccer Stats

29/11/2014 | By | Reply More

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PREVIEW: Southampton v Man City (Sun, 13:30)

Southampton have confounded the critics this season to sit a scarcely believable second after 12 games. Man City, in contrast, have largely disappointed their fans in their attempts to defend the title. However, they kept their Champions League hopes alive in midweek and will now be targeting three points here to remain within sight of Chelsea.

No one is expecting Southampton to maintain their current position for the rest of the season but their next three games – Arsenal and Man Utd follow this match – could decide whether they challenge for a top-four finish. Looking at the Saints results so far they have faced just two of the seven teams that finished above them last season and that is where they’ve suffered both their defeats. Last season their record against the top seven was W2-D4-L8 home and away, as they conceded exactly two goals per game. This term they’ve relied heavily on the best defensive record in the league with three of their wins coming by 1-0 scores, but their defence is unlikely to have such an easy time against Sergio Aguero.

City’s away form this season has been inconsistent as they’ve won by two clear goals on three occasions but failed to win the other three matches. However, they have scored at least twice in five of those six games. They also have a tendency to raise their games against the better teams and have won six of their last 10 trips to top-half sides. Furthermore, they were unbeaten at the teams that finished 4th-10th last season with four wins in seven games.

City’s last 12 trips to top-half teams have all had at least two goals – they’ve scored at least twice themselves in eight of the last 10 – and eight have had at least three goals in total. Half of Southampton’s last 12 home games when they’ve conceded have had at least four goals and nine have had three or more so Over 2.5 Goals looks a good price at 1.89.

The main reason goals look likely here is the form of Sergio Aguero who has scored in five of City’s six away games this season and has scored 11 goals in his 10 starts against top-six teams since the start of last season. At 2.62 to score anytime the Argentine striker is worth supporting here.

Last season City started this fixture as 1.7 favourites and given the potential in their squad they look great value at 2.4. Furthermore, 10 of their 13 away wins since the start of last season have been by more than one goal and 10 have been after leading at half-time so the 4.75 to beat the -1.5 handicap is definitely worth a punt.

PREVIEW: Valencia v Barcelona (Sun, 20:00)

It took Real Madrid some time last season to get the best out of the Bale/Ronaldo/Benzema combination but when they did they were an irresistible force. We could well be saying the same of Suarez/Messi/Neymar by the end of the season. Suarez may have taken until his sixth game to find his first goal for Barcelona but he’s provided assists and the front three have scored eight goals in Barca’s last two games. Messi, of course, has netted six of them as he’s become the top scorer in both Champions League and La Liga history.

This could be a terrible time for Valencia to play the Catalan giants and their own form is also on a downward spiral right now. They’ve suffered shock defeats at Deportivo and Levante in recent weeks and were held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao in their last home game to end their 100% home record. Valencia’s early season form was suggesting a return to their years of being the third best side in Spain but they now more closely resemble the side that finished eighth last term. They lost both home games against the Big Two by 3-2 scores last season and since 2009/10 have gone W0-D3-L7 when hosting the two La Liga giants, despite being better than the current side in many of those years.

Barcelona suffered a negative reaction to the Clasico defeat but looked back to their best as they dismantled Sevilla last weekend. Messi’s return to top form no doubt helped and they’ve won 10 of 16 trips to top-half non-Big Two finishers in the past two seasons, including four wins by at least three goals. The handicap line has been placed at -1.0 for this game and Barcelona should get your stake back for you at the very least, so we’d back Barcelona on the Asian Handicap -1.0 at 1.92.

Over-goals is another good looking bet in this encounter. Six of Valencia’s last seven home games against the Big Two have had at least four goals with five having five or more strikes. Barca may have scored plenty of goals in their last couple of games but they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four Liga matches. Remarkably, just over half their away games since the start of last season (13/25) have had fewer than three goals but half their eight trips to top-half non-Big Two finishers last term had at least four goals and 12/16 such matches in the past two seasons have had at least three strikes.

Furthermore, since the start of last season Messi and Neymar have started just 12 of 25 away games together and seven have had at least four goals compared to just three of the other 13 matches. With the Barca frontline beginning to fire it should pay to back Over 3.0 Goals at 1.85.

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Category: Football trading strategies

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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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