Saturday Soccer Stats

09/05/2015 | By | Reply More
PREVIEW: Hull v Burnley (Sat, 15:00)

With three games remaining this is the definition of a ‘six-pointer’ as a win for either side could well prove the death blow to the other’s hopes of survival, and if Burnley lose they will definitely be down this weekend.

Hull were outplayed by Arsenal on Monday but they had won back-to-back matches prior to that and their recent home form is quite good. They’ve won three of their last six at the KC Stadium, with defeats coming against Chelsea and Arsenal, and they’ve won half their eight home games this term against teams currently in the bottom half (W4-D2-L2). Last season Hull conceded just one goal in their five home games against the other bottom-six finishers (W3-D2-L0) and six of their eight wins this season have come to nil.

Burnley are the league’s lowest scorers as, after a mid-season flurry of goals, they’ve now scored just once in their last nine games. This is a must win match for Sean Dyche’s men but they’ve won only once on the road all season and have actually been behind at half-time in their last 10 away matches. Their seven trips to teams currently in the bottom half have yielded three draws and four defeats as they’ve failed to score on five occasions.

It’s a bit risky to get too heavily involved in these end-of-season clashes as form has a habit of going out the window. However, Hull are the better side and with top-scorer Nikica Jelavic making his first appearance in almost two months on Monday they should be close to full strength. 1.95 is a decent price to back Hull at but with Danny Ings last scoring three months and 10 games ago the Win to Nil offers better value at 3.1. Hull have only scored more than two goals once in their last 46 games though so Hull to Win and Under 2.5 Goals at 3.75 looks to be the best bet.

Burnley’s last 10 matches have all had fewer than three goals with seven having fewer than two. We certainly prefer the Under 1.5 price of 3.15 to Under 2.5 at 1.67 as these games can often be played to extremes with both sides need to win meaning an early goal could lead to an open game. In fact 14 of the 31 all-bottom-six clashes in the final four home games of the season since 2009/10 have had at least four goals with nine having five or more. So as well as backing the Under 1.5 price it could pay to have a saver on Over 3.5 at 4.33 or even Over 4.5 at 9.

PREVIEW: Crystal Palace v Man Utd (Sat, 17:30)

Whilst the middle period of Man United’s season was an undoubted success, their finish to Van Gaal’s first season in charge is bearing closer resemblance to the start, where they won just three of their opening 10 games. The defeat at home to West Brom last weekend was United’s third on the bounce and created all sorts of unwanted records: it was the fourth time that United failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games, the third time they’ve lost three in a row, and the first they’ve lost three consecutive Premier League matches to nil. In a bizarre coincidence, Palace have also lost their last three games to nil, this on the back of winning four matches in a row.

It was inconceivable a few weeks ago that United may have to see off a late challenge from their bitter rivals Liverpool for fourth place so United will be hoping to return to winning ways here. They’ve won 14 of their 18 home games thus far this season, but on the road it’s been a very different story as they’ve won just five of 17 matches, losing three of their last five. Prior to the defeat at Stamford Bridge Man United had won their last six matches, including home wins over Spurs and Man City and a victory at Anfield, and while a narrow defeat at the home of the champions is understandable, the subsequent 3-0 loss at Everton and a home defeat to West Brom are hard to fathom given United’s form going into the Chelsea game.

An explanation can be found in a spell on the side-lines for Michael Carrick, who has missed all three of United’s recent defeats. Few would have thought, following the summer signings of the currently benched Di Maria and Falcao, that Carrick would be United’s most important player this season but that has certainly been the case as he is vital for United in making the transition from defence to attack. United average 2.44 points per game in the 16 matches Carrick has started this term, but this falls dramatically to 1.37 in their other 19 games, with goals scored falling by 29% and goals conceded rising by 83% without Carrick. On the road the contrast is even starker as United have only beaten struggling Newcastle in the 10 away games Carrick was injured for and all five of their away defeats this season came in games the former Spurs man missed. Van Gaal claimed that he knew his side were going to lose to Everton after seeing the warm-up, but the absence of Carrick was arguably the most significant factor.

Since Alan Pardew took over at Palace their record has surprisingly been stronger away than at home: they’ve won five of their seven away games under Pardew (PPG 2.14), but just three of their eight at home (PPG 1.25). It is however worth noting that two of those home wins came over Man City and Spurs, whilst their five away wins have all been against sides currently ninth or lower, suggesting their away fixtures since Pardew took charge have been somewhat lenient. Much like United, Chelsea were responsible for one of Palace’s three consecutive defeats, but they will have been disappointed to have lost home games to Hull and West Brom. Two home wins out of three against top-six sides under Pardew will give Palace confidence, however, as will the fact that they have no significant injury concerns going into this game.

The same cannot be said of United, with Evans, Shaw, Rojo all doubts to miss the trip to London and Van Gaal confirmed in his press conference this morning that Carrick is out for the rest of the season. With his in mind, backing Palace at 2.05  +0.5 on the Asian Handicap looks appealing, especially given United’s struggles on the road this season and in particular without Carrick. Furthermore, since all three of Palace’s home games against top-six sides under Pardew had at least three goals, as have five of Man United’s last seven matches, Over 2.5 goals at odds against looks a good price, with 2.15 available. 

PREVIEW: Chelsea v Liverpool (Sun, 16:00)

Chelsea did a guard of honour for Liverpool at Anfield in 1966 and on Sunday Chelsea finally get their own back as they’ll be clapped on by Steven Gerrard et al. It’s been 10 years since Gerrard declined Jose Mourinho’s advances and no doubt it’ll cross his mind that had he joined his trophy cabinet would have been much fuller. This match marks Gerrard’s 40th appearance against Chelsea. He’s scored just one goal in the 39 so far – a consolation in a 4-1 defeat in 2005.

Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Palace last weekend secured the Premier League title that has seemed their destiny since Diego Costa started so brightly in August. The Blues have been branded boring in recent weeks but they remain the second highest scorers in the league. Without Costa spearheading their attack they look a bit toothless. This will be the fifth game in a row that Didier Drogba has played as the front-man in Costa and Loic Remy’s absence. Chelsea have won all four games but three of the victories have been 1-0. Chelsea are unbeaten in the 12 games that Costa has missed this term – W9-D3-L0 – but the games tend to be tighter without the Spaniard. Seven of the 12 have had Under 2.5 Goals and six have been level at the break.

This fixture is huge for the visitors. Liverpool traded at 70 on Betfair for a top-four finish a few weeks ago but with Man Utd, Spurs and Southampton all losing last weekend Brendan Rodgers side find themselves just four points off a Champions League spot with three games to go. Man Utd are in pole position for that spot but the Red Devils are in terrible form. With a tricky fixture against Arsenal next week for Man Utd a positive result here for Liverpool could have a seismic effect on the race for fourth.

Mourinho has given his Chelsea players four days off this week but he’s also been keen to stress that he takes every Premier League game seriously. In his two spells at Chelsea, Mourinho’s home record reads: W75-D20-L1. A record no other manager gets near to. Even with the league wrapped up the 4.00 on an away win looks terribly short and we wouldn’t put anyone off a Chelsea-Draw Double Chance at 1.33. 

Daniel Sturridge remains out with a groin injury and this match could offer a rare chance for Rickie Lambert to start for Liverpool as Mario Balotelli is also carrying a knock. Seven of Liverpool’s first eight away games this season featured at least three goals but since then their games have been dull affairs as eight of their last nine on the road have had Under 2.5 Goals (six Under 1.5 Goals). Chelsea have the best defensive record in the league this year and they’ll be confident of another clean sheet here. Both teams have scored in just six of Chelsea’s 17 home games and six of Liverpool’s away games this season. Under 2.5 Goals at 1.80 appeals but Both Teams Not To Score at 2.05 is the stronger selection.

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

Tags: , ,

Category: Football trading strategies

About the Author ()

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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.