Saturday Soccer Stats

02/05/2015 | By | Reply More
PREVIEW: Spurs v Man City (Sun, 16:00)

Spurs salvaged a draw at Southampton last weekend to maintain their sixth position in the standings and they remain hopeful of finishing fifth after Liverpool’s midweek loss at Hull. Man City, meanwhile, are back up to second following their rather lucky win over Aston Villa. Of course Villa are in good form and did recently end Spurs’ 10 match unbeaten streak at home.

Spurs started the season poorly at White Hart Lane, losing four of their first six games, but have responded well with wins over Chelsea and Arsenal here in the second half of the season. They’ve not been making things easy for themselves though as they’ve kept just two clean sheets in their last 13 home games and, home or away, Burnley are the only side to fail to score against them in their last 11 matches.

Spurs know better than most teams that City have the potential to expose defensive failings, having conceded 26 times in their last seven meetings. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see the goal-line set at 3.0 and in Spurs’ 15 matches this season against the current top half 12 have had at least three goals with five having four or more.

City have lost their last four away matches and could easily have lost against Villa despite going 2-0 up early in the second half. Consistency seems to be a problem for them at the moment as while Sergio Aguero has now scored in three consecutive matches their defence looks very shaky. That is highlighted by the fact both teams have scored in seven of their last eight away matches and they’ve failed to score in just one of their last 23 away games.

Five of City’s seven trips to the top eight last season finished with at least three goals and six saw both teams find the net while this term has seen four out of five trips to the current top eight have both teams score and the same amount have at least three goals. These 12 games have resulted in four wins, four draws and four defeats for City and all three results look very possible here. However, with City having failed to win in the capital this season (W0-D3-L2) it’s hard to justify their price of 2.1 and 
the Spurs-Draw Double Chance looks the better way to go in the match outcome markets at 1.86.

Aguero and Kane are the league’s two highest scorers and it looks very much like attacks will be on top here. So if you do fancy one side over the other then there looks to be greater value backing them to win with both teams scoring rather than taking the straight win. We could easily see a highly entertaining end-to-end clash here and 
so the high-scoring score-draws look to offer some value to correct score punters. More conservatively, our best bet for this match has to be the Over 3.0 Goals at 1.95.

We also can’t ignore the 2.0 on Sergio Aguero to score anytime. The Argentine striker has netted in 16 of his 23 starts against top-half teams since the start of last season, including in nine of 13 matches on the road. Against his cumbersome compatriot Fazio he should get plenty of chances to improve that record.

PREVIEW: Sevilla v Real Madrid (Sat, 19:00)

The La Liga title race looks set to go down to the wire with Barcelona currently holding a two point lead over their Clasico rivals with four games to go. This fixture, together with the visit of Valencia to the Bernabeu next weekend look to be the toughest of Real’s remaining assignments and should they win both of these games then the match-up between Atletico and Barca in the penultimate week of the season could be pivotal in determining the destination of the La Liga title this season.

Whilst the title is a two horse race, the competition for the last Champions League spot also looks to be between two sides in Valencia and Sevilla, with Atletico having a six point lead in third. All of this could of course become academic should Sevilla win the Europa League and thus achieve Champions League qualification by that means, but their attention will surely be fixed on this fixture rather than the semi-final against Fiorentina on Thursday.  

Sevilla are the only side in La Liga with an unbeaten home record this season, that has seen them win 12 of their 17 home games, and if we look back to last season then they’ve now only lost one of their last 26 at home. Three of their five draws this season came against Barcelona, Atlético, and Valencia, and should they avoid defeat against Real Madrid then they should go on and finish the season unbeaten at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium with all the top sides having already visited. A large part of Sevilla’s success at home has been built upon a solid defence that has conceded just nine goals in 17 home games, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process. Despite being two goals down to Barcelona after half an hour, Sevilla battled back admirably to claim a 2-2 draw. Their unbeaten home record is clearly something that Unai Emery and his side are incredibly proud of and they will certainly fight to not relinquish it against Ancelotti’s side on Saturday evening.

On the subject of Ancelotti, there was talk of his job being under threat after his side went through a spell of winning only three of seven games, including a loss at the Nou Camp and an embarrassing 4-0 away defeat at the hands of their Madrid neighbours. But since the Clasico defeat, Real have turned things around, winning six league games in a row and finally cracking the code that is Diego Simeone’s Atletico side, winning at the eighth attempt against them this season and knocking them out of the Champions League. Real haven’t drawn an away match this season, winning twelve and losing five and it’s of particular interest that three of those defeats came to Barcelona, Atletico, and Valencia, the three other sides that make up the current top four along with Real themselves. Indeed, it was a similar case last season where Real failed to beat any of the top-six away, losing to Barcelona and Sevilla. Also of note is the fact that seven of these eight games across the last two seasons had more than two goals. 

The resolve that Sevilla showed against Barcelona to come back and draw was also evident when they won from behind at home against Zenit in the Europa League, scoring twice in the last 20 minutes to win 2-1, proving yet again that the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium is one of the hardest places to win at for an away side. What’s more Real will be without Modric and Benzema and there is also an injury doubt over influential midfielder Toni Kroos, and with the Champions League semi-
final against Juventus on Tuesday, Ancelotti could choose not to risk him. 

Given Real’s struggles on the road against the top sides both this season and last, backing Sevilla at 1.85 +0.5 on the Asian Handicap looks appealing, but the handicap line was +1.0 at the same price when they hosted Barca a few weeks ago so the markets have clearly cottoned on to their quality and the value has probably gone. Whilst Real’s away games against the top teams in La Liga tend to have goals, as previously noted, Over 2.5 Goals at 1.6 looks a little skinny here. Instead, 
should Real score first, as Barcelona and Zenit did in recent trips to Sevilla, we’d advise laying them at a short price; Real scored first at Valencia this season as well as at Sevilla, Atletico, and Bilbao last season but didn’t go on to win any of these games. 

PREVIEW: Leicester v Newcastle (Sat, 12:45)

Sir Alex Ferguson would have been proud of Nigel Pearson’s, now infamous, outburst in the press conference following his side’s 3-1 midweek defeat to Champions elect Chelsea. The Leicester boss shrewdly diverted all attention away from his team’s second half capitulation. While Foxes fans will surely be disappointed at chucking away a half-time lead they wouldn’t have expected much from the fixture. However this game against struggling Newcastle is a great opportunity to continue their hot streak of form. In their five games following a thrilling 4-3 loss at White Hart Lane, Leicester have won as many games as they had in the previous 29. Their opponents, meanwhile, have lost all of their last seven league games. There have been 17 instances of a Premier League team going into an away game on a seven-game losing streak and 11 have had their woes extended while just three broke the duck with a victory.

Newcastle’s away form this season has been poor under both Alan Pardew and John Carver. The only sides to pick up fewer away points than The Magpies are the current bottom-two, QPR and Burnley, and they’ve often being comfortably beaten on the road. Newcastle have lost seven of their last nine away matches and, worryingly, six of the defeats have been by two clear goals. A comprehensive home win looks unlikely here though as Leicester have only once this season scored more than twice at home and that came in the freak 5-3 victory over Man Utd back in September.

Leicester have hosted seven teams currently in the bottom-half and five of the matches have had fewer than three goals. Newcastle haven’t scored an away goal since mid-February and with so much at stake for the home side you’d expect Pearson to try and keep it as tight as possible. At a bigger price than the home win, 
Under 2.5 Goals at 2.00 is the standout selection here.

It’s difficult to imagine how Carver could have done a worse job as Newcastle boss but his sorry tenure has been marred by injury troubles. He’s once again without the services of midfield battler Chiek Tiote here and striker Papsse Cisse. It’s no shock that Newcastle’s goals have dried up in Cisse’s absence. The Senegalese forward serves the last game of his seven game suspension here. No other Newcastle player has score more than six  goals this season while Cisse has 11 despite only starting 10 matches. 
In his absence and with Leicester in the best form of their seasons the 3.50 available on Leicester to win to nil is too big ignore.

Player Analysis:

Sunderland v Southampton
Morgan Schneiderlin, Midfielder, Southampton

Schneiderlin has been ruled out for the rest of the season and Southampton have lost six of the 11 matches he’s missed this season and nine of their 19 games without him since 2013/14.
Southampton have lost three of their last four away matches and Sunderland are 4.5 to take a vital three points.

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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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