Monday’s Football: 18/02/19

There was a lack of goals across all three games in Switzerland yesterday. The three games saw four goals and our game saw Basel win 1-0 thanks to a first half penalty.

Team news will be important for the FA Cup game at Stamford Bridge, so I’m heading to Spain for a cards bet.

Huesca vs Athletic Bilbao (20:00)

Two consecutive wins have given Huesca the faintest of hopes of survival despite remaining at the bottom and adrift by six points.

Athletic Bilbao are 14th and are four points above the drop zone, so need to start turning draws into wins. It was a good point for them last weekend against Barcelona but just one away win all season has seen them slip down the table.

The hosts have scored six in their last two games, which is more than they had netted in the previous eight games combined but more importantly for Francisco’s side is the three consecutive clean sheets.

When you’re in a relegation battle then those shutouts are crucial for a solid foundation to give you a stronger chance of winning games and that’s what they have managed of late.

Ezequiel Avila has scored three goals in his last two and could have some joy against a Bilbao side that have kept one away clean sheet all season, plus the Argentine scored in the reverse fixture, which saw the game end 2-2 with Huesca coming from 2-0 down.

However, I’m delving into a cards related market for the bet here considering Bilbao have collected the most La Liga cautions (76) while Huesca have the third-most (68).

Those cards are in keeping with the fact that these two rank second and third for fouls committed respectively.

Obviously, match booking points would be the usual route but they are priced accordingly given all the known form of these two sides, for example Over 60 Booking Points (EVS – Betfair).

With those prices not for my liking, I’ve looked to identify potential candidates for cards and one name cropped up at a fair price that is worth a small stake.

That player is Javier Galan for the hosts. The 24-year-old defender has played all 180 minutes for Huesca since joining from Cordoba last month.

In the Segunda Liga, he picked up six cautions in 17 starts and he has been cautioned in both of his La Liga starts to date.

That means the defender has been carded in six of his last nine appearances but more importantly, in each of his last four matches.

When looking more into his stats then you see that in those two matches he has averaged 3.5 tackles per game and 1.5 fouls per game. With tackle stats like that then it suggests he does ball watch and will put a foot in meaning the better chance of a card.

In a game with huge importance at the bottom end of La Liga then I’m taking this Huesca man to make it three cautions in as many starts for the basement dwellers.

Javier Galan to be Carded (7/5 – Betfair – 0.5pt)


Sunday’s Football: 17/02/19

Norwich bounced back from their midweek defeat with a 4-0 thumping of Bolton, which landed our 21/20 bet on Norwich to Win & Over 1.5 Goals.

Teemu Pukki scored early to settle any nerves and in fact, they could have had five if it wasn’t for a missed penalty.

Today’s best bet comes in Switzerland and you can probably guess the market I’m going for here.

Basel vs FC Sion (15:00)

Basel were held to a 1-1 draw here against St Gallen last Saturday but it was a point rescued in stoppage time by Samuele Campo.

Former Norwich man Ricky van Wolfwinkel missed a first half penalty for FCB and that could have altered the dynamic of the game.

FC Sion won 3-1 away at Luzern on Wednesday with two second half goals from Adryan earning them the three points.

That followed up Sunday’s 2-2 home draw with Lugano where Birama Ndoye equalised in the last minute to earn them a share of the spoils.

It’s hard to look away from goals in this contest considering Sion’s form in general for goals this campaign.

All ten of Sion’s away games this season have seen BTTS with nine of them also going Over 2.5 Goals. Their general BTTS figure this season is 15 from 20 so that 75% highlights a good scoring rate but a leaky defence.

Basel are sitting second and are currently best of the rest with Young Boys being well clear at the top by 19 points.

Martin Koller’s side have seen BTTS in 9 of 10 home games and 18 of 20 games generally this season, so once again goals are at the forefront of the mind.

6 of their 9 home games that have seen BTTS have also gone Over 2.5 Goals, which is in keeping with the Swiss Super League and not too dissimilar to Sion’s stats.

While if you look at their recent meetings then BTTS & Over 2.5 Goals has landed in four of their last five contests, including both this season that have finished 3-2 here in August and 2-1 in Sion back in December.

Adryan has four goals in his last four games for Sion and opened the scoring in the game that Basel won 2-1 in December while Basel have two players in van Wolfswinkel and Albian Ajeti level on nine goals for the season, so they’ll be having a personal duel to see who can reach double figures first.

With 6 of Sion’s last 7 games, plus 9 of their 10 away games having this outcome then it is a bet hard to ignore, especially with Basel having conceded more goals than the visitors.

If you doing multiples then there looks worse legs than the BTTS (7/10 – Coral) angle to boost the price.

Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (21/20 – Coral)

One to Note

Chaves vs Boavista (17:30) – Over 40 Booking Points (5/6 – Betfair)

Not much stood out today but this looks quite a solid angle with Portugal seemingly being a land of cards.

Boavista have collected the third-most yellow cards this season with 62 and on top of that, they’ve seen six reds.

Chaves have slightly fewer cautions with 51 and just two reds, which is quite low in comparison to some, including Boavista.

Chaves Over 40 Booking Points (home): 7-10
Boavista Over 40 Booking Points (away): 9-10

As you can see, these two teams generally see over this bar and that’s quite typical with Betfair setting it on the lower side more often than not.

Chaves average 21 booking points per home game while Boavista average 44 booking points per away.

That is some going from the visitors who are generally ill disciplined and four of their six red cards have come in away games.

Chaves sit 17th, in a relegation place, and are four points behind Boavista (14th), so this is an important game with plenty at stake at the bottom end of the table.

For me, there is enough reason to believe tensions will be high and any side that takes the lead will try to waste as much time as possible. If that’s Boavista then with them the away side, the referee usually takes action to appease the home players and supports, so that could work in our favour.

The meeting earlier in the campaign saw Chaves win 2-1 with the match seeing 70 booking points while both games last season followed a similar pattern – both draws with 60 booking points.

The visitors have two players that are interesting for cards. Forward Rafael Lopes average more fouls than anyone else on the pitch at 2.4 per game but he’s only picked up two cautions all season. He’s 4/1 for a card with Betfair, which looks alright considering those foul stats.

The other man is Neris. The Brazilian has picked up six cautions and was dismissed in the away game at Moreirense before Christmas. He averages 2.2 fouls per game and the defender looks like a man to back here at 8/5.

Saturday’s Football: 16/02/19

Yesterday summed up a poor week with both matches seeing four goals but they both saw low corner counts.

Time to dust myself down and get back on the horse with a bet in the Championship that looks too good!

Bolton vs Norwich (15:00)

Norwich slipped to a potentially damaging defeat on Wednesday when losing 3-1 at Preston but they are still second and this looks a perfect opportunity to get back on track.

As I’ve mentioned in recent weeks, Preston are going under the radar of late and have been performing to high levels, so there is no shame in losing at Deepdale.

Bolton kept their survivals hopes alive on Tuesday when putting in a battling display to defeat Birmingham 1-0 at St Andrew’s.

Callum Connolly scored his first goal for Wanderers heading home Luke Murphy’s free-kick to earn a vital three points and move them to three points off safety.

It was a huge win for Phil Parkinson’s side with that being their first one since beating Rotherham on Boxing Day here at the Macron Stadium.

However, playing this dangerous Norwich side seems a different kettle of fish and Daniel Farke will be looking for a response from his players.

The Canaries hadn’t lost an away game since August prior to Wednesday’s loss with that including some important wins at Leeds and Blackburn.

Farke did suffer a big loss when Mario Vrancic picked up an injury in last weekend’s East Anglia derby with the midfielder offering some bite and hard work in the middle of the park.

Teemu Pukki has scored as many goals as the whole Bolton side this season (21) and the Finnish forward certainly knows where the net is.

He’s has scored five of Norwich’s last eight league goals, including in each of his last three, so his threat is one that Bolton should find too strong.

The Canaries have scored the second-most goals in the league (61) but have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine.

Norwich to Win (4/6) looks a great price for those looking for multiples yet there is a bet at odds-against that looks equally as attractive.

25 of Norwich’s 32 games this season have seen a minimum of two goals and they have recorded wins in 12 of those games.

If you look at Bolton, you’ll see at least two goals conceded against teams either battling for promotion/play-off’s or in-form.

Hull put six past them, Bristol City scored twice, as did West Brom, Sheffield United and Preston, so you’d imagine that the Canaries will have some joy too.

I can see Norwich scoring at least twice but they rarely keep clean sheets, so Bolton could find the net, especially from a set-piece where the visitors are vulnerable.

That opens up the chance of goals and if you put together an away win with over 1.5 goals then you get a tidy looking odds-against bet.

Norwich to Win & Over 1.5 Goals (21/20 – Ladbrokes/Coral)

Football Shortlist

20+ Team Booking Points (9/5 – Sky Bet)

Bradford vs Plymouth
Cambridge vs Tranmere

These are two away sides that pick up plenty of cards on the road and the Tranmere part of this double looks particularly good.

Plymouth 20+ Booking Points (away): 11-16
Tranmere 20+ Booking Points (away): 11-15

When you see that for Tranmere and then notice that in 7 of those 11 matches they have seen 30+ too.

Micky Mellon’s side have only won once in their last nine away games and they could be left frustrated by a Cambridge side that have won four of their last five, which has pulled them away from danger.

In Cambridge’s last five home games, their opponents have clocked up a minimum of 20 booking points, so they know how to upset the visitors.

Similar to Tranmere is that Argyle pick up the majority of their cards in away matches.

9 of their last 11 trips have seen a minimum of 20 booking points, so their recent record is pretty solid and their upturn in form hasn’t seen those figures drop off at all.

Travelling to Yorkshire to face a relegation-threatened Bradford could see them leading therefore running down the clock, plus other antics.


Vitoria Guimarães vs Portimonense (18:00)

As you may know by now – the Portuguese top-flight is an excellent league for cards and this game sees one player in particular that appeals at his price.

Alhassan Wakaso averages most fouls per game than any other player in the league with 2.8 per game and he also completes a fair amount of tackles at 2.7 per game.

The defensive midfielder is known to see a card and that is reflected by the nine cautions he has seen already this season with five of those in his last eight games in all competitions.

The 27-year-old was booked in the reverse fixture and is already well on the way to overtaking his record of 13 cautions in a season, which was recorded in the 2015/16 season when he played for Rio Ave.

At 2/1 with Betfair then I’m more than willing to have an interest bet on Wakaso to be carded considering his foul and tackle statistics.

Friday’s Football: 15/02/19

There was no bet yesterday due to the Europa League being a bit of a minefield and one of my least favourite competitions to bet on.

I’ve spotted two games that have strong stats relating to corners, so I’ve decided to put them in a double with both kicking off at similar times.

Over 9 Corners (8/5 – Bet365)

Piast Gliwice vs Lech Poznan (19:30)
Sunderland vs Accrington Stanley (19:45)

The double gets underway with the Polish Ekstraklasa game between the sides sitting fifth and sixth respectively.

Both of these sides resumed their league campaigns with 2-1 defeats, so with both harbouring ambitions of playing in Europe next season, they’ll need to get back to winning ways.

Piast Gliwice Over 9 Corners (home): 8-10
Lech Poznan Over 9 Corners (away): 6-11

Piast Gliwice home games average 11.7 corners with them taking, on average, 7.1 per game. In six of their home matches so far, they’ve taken at least nine, which is some going!

Lech Poznan away matches average 10.7 corners and the visitors average 5.4 per game. At the weekend, their home game against Zaglebie Lubin saw a corner count of 20, so it’s likely we should see double figures.

Sunderland can put some pressure on their promotion rivals by winning here at the Stadium of Light against an Accrington Stanley side struggling for form.

The Black Cats are unbeaten in their last nine league games (W3, D6) but despite that Jack Ross will be concerned about how many matches they have been drawing of late.

Stanley haven’t won since Boxing Day and have failed to score in their last six league games, which is the longest drought any club has encountered this campaign.

However, it’s the corners that interest me the most.

Sunderland Over 9 Corners (home): 12-15
Accrington Stanley Over 9 Corners (away): 13-16

Those stats look pretty solid to me and despite Accrington losing 2-0 at Scunthorpe last weekend, they managed to record a count of 10 corners in a match total of 16.

Stanley’s away games average 11.9 corners and in those matches, they average 5.7 corners.

Sunderland games at the Stadium of Light average 11.2 corners and they take on average 6.1 corners per game.

Both of these sides this season have averaged close to 6 corners per game, so that is also compelling on top of the actual stats. With Sunderland battling to earn automatic promotion and Accrington trying to ensure safety then I’m imagining this as an end-to-end encounter.

One to Note

Eibar vs Getafe (20:00)

Eibar have scored ten goals in their last four league games and will have left Sevilla disappointed having thrown away a two-goal lead with a man advantage.

Charles has four in four taking him to ten for the season and the 34-year-old has continued 2019 in the same fashion as he ended 2018, so from a goalscorers perspective, he’d be one to have on the shortlist.

However, there is a case to be argued for backing two Getafe players to be carded.

Firstly, right-back Damian Suarez starts the game averaging the most completed tackles this season at 2.7 per game.

The Uruguayan also averages 1.8 fouls per game, which is why he has been shown six yellow cards so far this term. Some bookies have him odds-on for a card yet Unibet have him at 8/5, so there is scope there to exploit the market.

The other player is an old favourite of mine – Djene Dakonam. He’s 7/5 for a card and has collected nine yellows and a red, more than anyone else on the pitch.

The defender is no-nonsense and slightly reckless, which has resulted in those cards but he completes 2 tackles per game and averages 1.6 fouls per game, which does seem low for the cards he’s picked up.

Quite interestingly, when these sides met in August the same referee was in charge (David Medie) and Dakonam was cautioned inside the opening minute.

Medie has a record with Getafe. Last season he took charge of their home win over Valencia in a game that saw 135 booking points with 11 yellows and a red.

In that game both Dakonam and Suarez were carded, so they do have a history with the whistler.

Both of those prices look fair, especially Dakonam’s considering he was dismissed twice in three days in league and cup last month.

Wednesday’s Football: 13/02/19

Swindon were 2-0 up by half-time and that saw them allow possession to Forest Green. It meant the Robins let down the corners double but Crewe did their bit.

Looking at the fixtures on today’s card then there are plenty of games where I can argue goals, so punters putting together those BTTS accas could have some joy.

I’m off to Wigan for tonight to see if Stoke can turn it around but the best bet for me has to come in the game at Griffin Park.

Brentford vs Aston Villa (19:45)

Dean Smith returns to Brentford the first time and it is on the back of Friday night’s dramatic 3-3 home draw against Sheffield United.

Villa once again highlighted their attacking qualities but they do have issues defensively, which means goals are on the cards once more.

Brentford went down to Nottingham Forest, which ended a seven-game unbeaten run despite Sergi Canos pulling a goal back late on.

Thomas Frank has managed to steady the ship with that stretch of results and it has also seen the Bees reach the FA Cup 5th Round, where they face Swansea on Sunday.

I very nearly went for BTTS & Over 2.5 Goals (10/11) looks an attractive proposition with both sides recent results, especially Brentford’s 3-1, 4-2 & 5-2 victories.

There are two markets that can be combined in this game that both sides excel in – goals and corners.

Brentford BTTS (home and away): 21-30 (70%)
Brentford BTTS (home): 10-15 (67%)

Aston Villa BTTS (home and away): 22-31 (71%)
Aston Villa BTTS (away): 9-15 (60%)

The stats look fairly good and considering both sides set up in an attacking manner hints at a repeat of the 2-2 draw these two played out back in August.

Only Ipswich and Rotherham have worse defensive records than Aston Villa, which is something Brentford can expose with Neal Maupay one of the leading marksmen in the league.

With Maupay on 17 and Tammy Abraham having 20 goals this campaign then it’s hard to look past a goal at each end.

Brentford Over 9 Corners (home and away): 20-31 (65%)
Brentford Over 9 Corners (home): 13-15 (87%)

Aston Villa Over 9 Corners (home and away): 21-31 (68%)
Aston Villa Over 9 Corners (away): 10-15 (67%)

Brentford sit third for most corners taken in the Championship and the Bees average 6.5 corners per game.

The two home games where the corner count didn’t see double figures saw exactly 9. There was a 9-0 count against Sheffield Wednesday and a 6-3 count against Stoke.

Aston Villa average 5.39 corners per game while their games in generally average 10.66 corners per game, which further enhances the stats.

Break it down to respective team averages home and away then you’ll find Brentford average 7.8 corners per game here at Griffin Park while the Villains average 5 corners per away game.

This has the hallmarks of an exciting and pulsating game with plenty of action at both ends, so this double looks fairly solid on the back of everything we know about both sides.

Both Teams to Score & Over 9 Corners (7/5 – Bet365 Bet Builder)

One to Note

BTTS Double (8/5 – Bet365)

Brentford vs Aston Villa
Tottenham vs Borussia Dortmund

If you agree with the first leg in the Championship with the stats above then you have to expect a similar outcome at Wembley in the Champions League.

Five of Spurs’ six group matches saw both teams finding the net and despite Harry Kane and Dele Alli’s absences the likes of Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son offer credible threats as both have shown in the league.

Dortmund only conceded two goals in their group games with those coming away to Atletico Madrid. However, at the weekend they threw away a 3-0 lead at home to Hoffenheim to drop points in their bid to win the Bundesliga.

Spurs and Dortmund have plenty of recent history having met in the Europa League back in 2016, which saw the German side win 2-1 at White Hart Lane and last season, in this competition, both games saw BTTS with Spurs triumphant in both with Son scoring in each tie.

Both teams scoring in both of these matches look a shoo-in, so this double is something I’m quite keen on too.

Tuesday’s Football: 12/02/19

Raul Jimenez did his part for the double but Ruben Neves’ only effort went high and wide. The Portuguese midfielder did pop up in areas around the edge of the box but the ball never fell his way.

The game in Portugal saw the Over 40 Booking Points (5/6) in a game that saw another red card in the league despite it being a bland goalless draw.

Despite the return of the Champions League, it is the Football League that holds more appeal for me.

5+ Corners Double (5/4 – Sky Bet)

Crewe vs Carlisle
Swindon vs Forest Green

These are two of the better sides in League 2 for corners and it’s hard to get past this double at above EVS considering their form in this market.

Swindon average 6 corners per game while Crewe average 5.84 a game, so instantly we see numbers meeting the total required.

Crewe 5+ Corners (home): 11-15
Swindon 5+ Corners (home): 11-15

Crewe were held to a 3-3 draw at Macclesfield on Saturday in a dramatic game and it saw Alex rack up 13 corners as they pushed for the three points.

David Artell’s side average 5.7 corners per game at Gresty Road, so the Railwaymen do look fairly solid, especially when three of the times this bet has failed they’ve only been one off.

Swindon have only lost once in their last five games and won 3-2 at MK Dons on Saturday with Michael Doughty scoring twice.

It was a game that saw the Robins notch ten corners (as did MK Dons) and here at the County Ground, they average 6.9 corners per game, so 6+ Swindon Corners (10/11) could well appeal to some.

When looking at recent form then this bet has won in 9-10 Swindon’s recent league games while it’s 5-6 for Crewe since the start of 2019.

David Artell’s side were dealt a body blow in that draw with Macclesfield but they are unbeaten in five and have already beaten MK Dons and Colchester in this run.

A victory here for Crewe would still give them a very slight possibility of reaching the play-off’s, so we could see the Railwaymen go all out for three points, which should see these corners tally up.

Swindon also need points and despite no wins in their last four home games, they have taken 9, 8, 8 & 7 corners in those games, so if they fall behind, expect a response with attacking play to win corners.

All in all, I’m quite keen on this double with both sides having a 73% success rate with this bet in front of their home crowd.

Football Shortlist

Man United vs PSG (20:00)

It’s the bet in-play offer on Bet365 and my pre-match bet has gone on Man United to Win & BTTS (3/1).

That bet comes with obvious reasoning. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come in and taken the shackles off these United players, which has seen them flourish.

Paul Pogba looks revitalised while Anthony Martial has added the final ball to his game to add another threat to this Red Devils side.

It’s ten wins from 11 under the Norwegian and the fact they’ve been free-flowing, plus creating chances, you have to feel that they should get the better of a weakened PSG side.

Thomas Tuchel is without a number of key players, especially forwards with Neymar and Edinson Cavani both out.

However, there is a concern that United will always give their opposition a chance and with Kylian Mbappe lining up against them then he could well take it.

Mbappe has scored 13 Champions League goals and nine of them have come in away games, plus he won’t be one to get caught in the moment at the ‘Theatre of Dreams.’

For me, that is the pre-match bet and depending on how the game is playing out is how to go in-play. I am expecting goals, so it might be worth looking at scorers or something along the lines of Over 1.5 Second Half Goals.


West Brom vs Nottingham Forest (20:00) – 30+ Forest Booking Points (11/10)

West Brom can strengthen their promotion claims with a victory over Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.

After Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Stoke, the Baggies sit fourth and three points would be most welcome with Sheffield United hosting Middlesbrough tomorrow.

With Martin O’Neill now in charge of Forest then you imagine that they’ll set up defensively in a bid to keep things tight and possibly nick it on the break or from a set piece.

A win here would help them reduce the gap on the play-offs, so that does help the case for them doing anything possible to not fall behind in this one.

No side in the Championship have collected more yellow cards than Forest (75), which is an average of 2.42 per game and they’ve collected joint-most red cards on four.

This bet has landed in 11 of 15 away league games and at Reading, they had two men sent-off while Yohan Benalouane was dismissed in their defeat at Birmingham in their last away game.

That means Forest average 34.67 booking points per away game and with their defenders having to keep tabs on the likes of Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez, Kieran Gibbs and Josh Murphy then the cards are expected to come out of Lee Mason’s pocket.

Monday’s Football: 11/02/19

The winning continued yesterday as Rennes beat St Etienne 3-0 in a game that saw 14 corners to land our bet at 13/10.

There was another winner with the game in Switzerland finishing 2-1 to Xamax for the BTTS & Over 2.5 Goals angle at 20/23.

I’m going for something a bit bigger tonight in the Premier League offering at Molineux.

Wolves vs Newcastle (20:00)

Wolves are sitting pretty in seventh and are currently ‘best of the rest’ behind the usual top six candidates.

Nuno Espirito Santo took the opportunity to take his side to Marbella on a warm weather training camp at the end of last week, which he called “no holiday.”

Newcastle have had a frosty relationship with the owner Mike Ashley but the fans will have been happy to see him opening his wallet to buy Miguel Almiron and the Paraguayan could make his debut.

The threat of relegation still lingers with the Magpies sitting outside the drop zone on goal difference, so Rafael Benitez’s side needs to start picking up the points.

Wolves have won their last three league matches and have scored ten goals across that trio of games, so they will be a potent threat to this Newcastle side. Over 1.5 Wolves Goals (EVS – Bet365) does look appealing on their recent performances alone.

Benitez has set-up his team to frustrate on a number of occasions this season and he very nearly saw his side get a point at Wembley against Spurs if it wasn’t for Heung-Min Son’s 83rd-minute strike.

With the way Newcastle could sit in and try to keep a rigid shape to stifle then I’ve been trying to identify potential markets of interest in this one.

The ‘shots on target’ market is definitely the way to go here with Wolves averaging 12.7 shots per game and the fact they’ll see plenty of the ball given they’re on their own turf.

Raul Jimenez averages 3 shots per game while Ruben Neves averages 2.4 shots per game, so those two instantly make appeal.

Looking at recent games then Jimenez has had two shots against Leicester and Everton, while he had six against West Ham; he scored three goals across those two games.

Portuguese midfield Neves scored from the spot against Everton in his only shot of the game, while in the home games against West Ham and Leicester he had seven shots.

In the reverse fixture, Neves had two shots with one on target and the other blocked. Jimenez came off the bench in that one and hit the woodwork and had one effort testing Martin Dubravka.

There has already been some movement on this bet that features both of the above players but it still looks to be very good considering as singles they are priced up at 1/4 and EVS.

Raul Jimenez 1+ Shot on Target & Ruben Neves 1+ Shot on Target (15/8 – Betfair)

One to Note

Vitoria Setubal vs Belenenses – Over 40 Booking Points (5/6 – Betfair)

Quite simply the statistics look very good for this one and here they are:

  • 7-9 for Setubal home
  • 7-9 for Belenenses away
  • Setubal home games average 82 booking points per game
  • Setubal average 37 booking points per home game
  • Belenenses away games average 54 booking points per game
  • Belenenses average 25 booking points per away game

5/6 on the evidence of those stats looks good to me, especially with Setubal sitting fifth for yellow cards and they top the foul count with an average of 20.9 per game.