And so the Curse of the Champions League begins. I do hope you layed both Bayern and Monaco as they led. Monaco went on to win. Bayern led 2-0 and drew 2-2. On an ordinary league weekend Bayern would have won with ease. So, note your Champions League contenders today, wait to see if they take the lead, and lay them. The Bayern lay more than made up for the Monaco loss. This "curse of the Champions League" is becoming more apparent this year.
I cannot practically do a live chat this evening as I have a midday flight (my time) back home. I will be back with regular live chats from Monday onwards.
12:30 - West Ham v Tottenham (Champions League) - 1.65 Tottenham
- This research is done before the result of the 23rd September is known. The work load is so great I have to start early.
- Please note that this is a London derby and sometimes these derbies do not go with the form. Tottenham are also away from the curse of Wemb-er-ley.
- The home team has won the last 4 head to heads. West Ham have won 1-0 in the last 2 home head to heads.
- Only 1 win for West Ham came in their sole home match of the season v Huddersfield.
- Losses v Man Utd and Southampton came away from home, but serve as a template for what we should expect from another top 10 team in Tottenham.
- 2 away wins to nil for Tottenham see them happy to be away from Wemb-er-ley where it is all going Pete Tong. Loss and 2 draws at home has pretty much ended any title challenge for Spurs.
- I do think they will find some solace away. beware West Ham have bucked the odds twice with 1-0 home wins. 5 goals in 2 matches for Tottenham away does suggest that they may be tough to keep off the score sheet.
- I would buck the head to head trend today and expect Tottenham not to lose this match. This brings in a lay of West Ham if West Ham scores first. No strong first half goal stats.
15:00 - Burnley v Huddersfield - 2.22 Burnley
- No head to heads.
- I still maintain that Burnley are living off the mistakes of others. Liverpool should have buried them but they are missing Mane who would have nailed Burnley, and some.
- The win v Chelsea was v 9 men. The draw with Tottenham was a lucky late goal.
- It is obvious that Burnley, outside of the big boys, are a strong defensive unit. 1-1-0-1 conceded in their last 4 matches.
- Only 1 defeat for Huddersfield came away at West Ham in West Hams first home match.
- 1-0-0-1 scored by Huddersfield last 4 matches. Are they being found out slowly?
- I would have to favour Burnley not to lose today. They look more robust but I read nothing into the win and 2 draws v the top 5 sides. As I say, down more to profligacy in front of goal by the big boys.
15:00 - Everton (Europa League on Thursday) v Bournemouth - 1.69 Everton
- 2 consecutive Everton home wins in head to heads saw both teams score.
- I can hear them now. " Why the fecking feck did we sell Lukaku?"
- 1-1-0-0-0 scored by Everton to date. Their usual robustness in defence has disappeared in 3 defeats to nil, albeit v the big boys Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd.
- Bournemouth only scored 1 goal in their first 4 matches, losing all 4 matches. They beat Brighton 2-1.
- Is Wayne Rooney really an adequate replacement for Lukaku? He has scored twice but not a peep in 3 matches.
- Everton are poor currently and lightweight up top. I would consider backing 0-0 pre match here with a few to trade out at halftime if 0-0 then. Why? No goal in 3 and Bournemouth no goal away yet.
15:00 - Man City (Champions League) v C Palace - 1.16 Man City
- 3 1-0 defeats in 4 matches. No goals scored. De Boer sacked. Woy Hodgson weturns to management to wesurrect Palace.
- He may have to wait for the first win. If City are scoring 9 goals in 2 matches when quoted at odds of 1.48, then my goodness, they should annihilate this Palace side.
- Do remember that we may see a weaction fwom Woy and the Boys. Ordinarily City should be scoring 3+ goals today and score before halftime. Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market especially if 0-0 after 20 minutes.
15:00 - Southampton v Man Utd (Champions League) - 1.81 Man Utd
- 0-0 the last time these 2 met.
- Man Utd play CSKA Moscow away from home on the 27th September in the Champions League.
- United drew their last away match prior to a Champions League match.
- 0-3-0-0-1 scored by a spluttering Southampton.They lost their last home match 0-2 to Watford.
- 0-0-0-2-0 conceded and 4-4-2-2-4- scored by United. The only aberration was pre Champions League 2-2 away at Stoke.
- This is the reason I feel that United are relatively high odds for this encounter v a less than impressive Southampton.
- So watch out for the Curse of the Champions League but do not expect Man Utd to lose to match. They may well draw, but not lose.
15:00 - Stoke v Chelsea (Champions League) - 1.64 Chelsea
- 4-2 and 1-2 Chelsea in the last 2 head to heads.
- Stoke took a point off Man Utd in a similar match recently. Chelsea, like United, have an upcoming Champions League match.
- Chelsea, like United, are away to Stoke.
- 1-0 v Arsenal and 2-2 v Man Utd so far for Stoke at home. That Arsenal win was their only win.
- 1-1-2-1 scored in their last 4 matches. They may need 2 goals in order to win today.
- Chelsea look good. They were down to 9 man in their loss to Burnley. The 0-0 v Arsenal was a case of a faltering Arsenal ensuring they did not lose.
- Chelsea were one of those rare sides who actually won a pre-Champions League match recently. They have 2 1-2 away results so should feel confident in what should be a tough match for them.
- I would lay any very late draw today. I did say v Man Utd that Stoke rarely score 2 goals. They did though score 2 goals v a pre Champions League United.
- Chelsea do tend to give a goal away and I would lay Chelsea were they to score first today. That would offer us a short odds lay about a pre Champions League side.
- This is likely to be a hard fought and tight contest.
15:00 - Swansea v Watford - 2.44 Swansea
- 1-0 Swansea, 0-0 and 1-0 Watford in the last 3 head to heads. The head to heads suggest that this could go any of 3 ways.
- Swansea have failed to score in 4 of 5 matches. Where they scored, they beat a really poor Palace side.
- Watford in contrast were unbeaten until a spanking by Manchester City.
- Bar Liverpool and Man City, Watford kept 3 clean sheets.
- Although it is a tight match and head to heads are very tight, we could see another 1-0/0-1 today and I would slightly favour Watford today.
- There are no strong angles. The match could easily be 0-0 given Swansea have failed to score in 4 matches.
17:30 - Leicester v Liverpool (Champions League) - 1.97 Liverpool
- The home side has won the last 6 head to heads. I would not read anything into the 2-0 Leicester League Cup win.
- 4-0-2-2-1 goals conceded by Leicester. Ordinarily, I would see them conceding 2 goals at least v Liverpool, but we have the pre-Champions League factor for Liverpool.
- Leicester did score in defeat to a Chelsea pre-Champions League side.
- Liverpool lost 5-0 to Man City in their last pre-Champions League match. That was the only match in which Liverpool failed to score.
- I will follow the pattern Leicester showed at home to Chelsea i.e. lay Liverpool if Liverpool score first. I feel Leicester have a goal in them.
- Strictly on form, Leicester tend to concede 2 goals at least v the marquee clubs. The problem is we have that acursed "curse of the Champions League" which tends to turn the best of sides into Sunday League Pub teams.
14:30 - RB Leipzig (Champions League) v Eintracht Frankfurt - 1.75 Leipzig
- 3-0 Leipzig and 2-2 in the last 2 head to heads.
- 0-4-2-2-0 goals scored by RB this season. They were not adversely affected by their last pre Champions League league match.
- 4 and 2 goals scored at home this season but they conceded 1 and 2 goals.
- 0-0-1-1-1 scored by Frankfurt this season may not be enough against an inform RB.
- 21, 13, 21, 22 minutes the first goals for Frankfurt last 4 matches. Coincidence? Lay the 0-0 in the halftime market on the 20th minute mark if you think this pattern may continue.
- On bare form RB should feel confident of a win if a) they continue scoring 2+ at home b) Frank continue to score 1 goal maximum at home and c) the curse of the Champions League does not rear its head.
14:30 - Hoffenheim (Champions League) v Schalke - 2.3 Hoffenheim
- 2-1 Hoff and 1-1 in the last 2 head to heads.
- Hoff are unbeaten this season and in 4 consecutive matches they have seen a goal before halftime.
- 2 wins and a draw at home for the Hoff.
- Both teams have scored in 3 of Hoffs last 4 matches.
- No draw for Schalke this season sees losses to Bayern and Hannover.
- Uth is the main man for the Hoff. If he is rested, then Hoff will be weakened.
- I do think the Hoff will score.and must favour them today.
- We must hope that Hoffenheim are not negatively affected by the Champions League.
- Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market if you think the current 4 match Hoff mattern will continue.
14:30 - Werder Bremen v Freiburg - 1.75 Werder Bremen
- Both teams have scored in 4 of the last 5 head to heads.
- Neither team has won a match this season.
- Werder are known for scoring and conceding and have done so in their last 3 matches.
- Freiburg have conceded 4 goals in each of their last 2 away matches.
- Werder have seen a goal before halftime in their last 3 matches.
- You should know Werders usual patterns. A goal before halftime and both teams scoring. Will it continue today?
- Take a chance and lay any late draw and hope that the winless run will end for one of the teams.
14:30 - Mainz 05 v Hertha BSC (Europa League) - 2.26 Mainz
- Draw, Hertha, Mainz in the last 3 head to heads.
- 4 defeats and a home win v Leverkusen sees Mainz in poor form.
- Hertha have only lost to Dortmund this season. Both teams have scored in the last 3 head to heads, 2 1-1 draws and a win.
- I am not sure why Mainz are the favourite on season long form.
- On season long form, Mainz are layable if scoring first. They only time they scored first this season, they lost the match.
14:30 - Stuttgart v Augsburg - 2.16 Stuttgart
- The last head to head was in April 2016.
- No draw for Stuttgart this season. 2 consecutive 1-0 home wins.
- All defeats in Stuttgart's 3 away matches.
- Only 1 loss for Augsburg. A draw and 3 consecutive wins.
- Both sides have scored in each of their last 4 matches.
- There has not been a 0-0 at halftime yet in an Augsburg match.
- An interesting match given Stuttgart are winning at home, albeit only 1-0.
- No angles for me I'm afraid. If you think Augburg can continue to avoid the 0-0 at halftime, lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.
17:30 - Borussia Dortmund (Champions League) v Mgladbach - 1.44 Dortmund
- 4-4-4-5-5 total goals in the last 5 head to heads.
- Dortmund have won the last 4 head to heads, scoring 3 goals at least.
- Dortmund failed to score only once and that was in a pre-Champions League match and against 10 men. Will they have a hiccup today?
- Dortmund are yet to concede this season in 4 other wins.
- 2 consecutive 2-2 away draws for Mgladbach. 2-0-2-2 scored by Mgladbach in their last 4 matches.
- Will Dortmund stutter pre Champions League again?
- I would lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market based only on the expectation for goals and on Mgladbach having 2 2-2 draws away.
- Which Dortmund turns up today? The excellent winners without conceding, or the pre Champions League side which cannot score v 10 men?
ITALIAN SERIA A
14:00 - Roma (Champions League) v Udinese - 1.28 Roma
- 5 consecutive head to head wins for Roma. If they are unaffected by the Champions League, they should win.
- No draw for either side this season.
- 3 wins to nil for Roma is encouraging. Their only loss was v Inter Milan who are stronger this year.
- Udinese have scored and conceded in 4 defeats. Their sole win was v Genoa.
- Neither side has yet to see a 0-0 at halftime so lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.
- Do please remember the possible impact of the Champions League upon Roma. Their last 2 wins came v promoted sides so may skew the form.
17:00 - Spal v Napoli (Champions League) - 1.25 Napoli
- Spal have conceded 2 goals in each of their last 4 matches. 3 consecutive 2-0 defeats.
- All wins for Napoli who have scored 3 goals at least.
- Expect a Napoli win. They were not adversely affected in their last pre-Champions League match.
- Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.
19:45 - Juventus (Champions League) v Torino - 1.42 Juventus
- A Turin derby and a Juventus playing pre Champions League. It could be a messy one for Juventus.
- Both teams have scored in the last 3 head to heads with Juventus remaining unbeaten.
- Both sides are unbeaten this season. Juventus have won all matches and have not conceded in 3 wins at home.
- Torino have 3 wins and 2 draws. A draw and 2 wins away saw both teams score in the last 2 matches.
- Juventus were unaffected in their domestic league match pre Champions League.
- I would not be surprised were Torino to score and if Torino scored first, lay them.
- Expectation really is for Juventus not to lose but there is an argument for a wobble 1) pre Champions League 2) derby where both teams have tended to score.
SPANISH PRIMERA LIGA
12:00 - Atletico Madrid (Champions League) v Sevilla (Champions League) - 1.64 Atl
- 2 Champions League sides.
- 0-0-0-0-1-1 goals conceded by Atl Madrid in recent head to heads.
- Both sides are unbeaten this season. 3 wins in 4 now for Atl Madrid.
- A draw and 4 wns for Sevilla. 4 consecutive clean sheets for Sevilla.
- Atl Madrid managed a 0-0 last time they played pre Champions League.
- Sevilla won easily pre Champions League.
- This match is too tough for me to call. And we have the "curse of the Champions League" to contend with.
15:15 - Alaves v Real Madrid (Champions League) - 1.19 Real Madrid
- In 7 head to heads, Real Madrid have scored 3 goals at least.
- Alaves have failed to score this season in 5 defeats.
- 3-2-1-3-0 goals scored by Real Madrid in their 5 matches this season. 2 draws and a loss in 4 matches for Real Madrid is crisis time really for a club like this. Their league ambitions could be over.
- In their last pre-Champions league match, they drew 1-1 with Levante.
- Real Madrid simply must win this match today or Zidane could actually get the sack. 3 goals normally expected of Real Madrid against this opposition. They could not score though against Betis, even with the stars up front. Crisis at Real? It must end today despite the potential Champions League distraction.
17:30 - Malaga v Athletic Bilbao - 2.54 Ath Bilbao
- Not a market which entices me towards this match.
- All defeats so far for Malaga. Malaga have failed to score in 4 matches this season.
- A draw, 2 wins and 2 defeats for Bilbao this season. They lost to Las Palmas and Atl Madrid.
- If Malaga cannot even score surely it is advantage Bilbao today? If Malaga score, and score first, are they really likely to score 2 goals after not scoring in 4 matches?
- I will lay Malaga if Malaga score first.
19:45 - Girona v Barcelona (Champions League) - 1.26 Barcelona
- 5 from 5 to date for a Barcelona side who were not affected by their last pre-Champions League match.
- Girona have failed to score in 3 matches now. They are likely to set up ultra defensively.
- Expect a Barcelona win but don't be surprised if Girona are tough to score against.
- Take note of any Barcelona pre-Champions League team changes. They made multiple changes v Espanyol.
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
12:00 - Rangers v Celtic (Champions League) - 1.75 Celtic
- Celtic have won 4 of the last 5 head to heads.
- A re-building job for Rangers who look like they are getting stronger with each season back in the SPL.
- 2-2-0-3-4-2 goals scored by Rangers though. They are in good goal scoring form.Their only loss was 2-3 v Hibs when Rangers actually had a man sent off.
- Celtic did win their last pre-Champions League match in the SPL.
- Ordinarily I would be confident about Celtic not losing this Old Firm Derby. I would enter this match with that hope and react if Rangers were to score or even lead 2-0 (noting their goals scoring this season).
15:00 - Kilmarnock v Dundee - 2.52 Kilmarnock
- An immediately off-putting match odds market.
- 1-1 and 0-1 Dundee in the last 2 head to heads.
- No win yet for Killie although you could argue it is a tough opening facing the likes of St Johnstone, Hearts, Celtic and Aberdeen.
- 2-1-2-2 conceded by Killie at home means trouble if they cannot score 2 goals at home.
- Only once did they manage that in a 2-2 draw with Hamilton.
- Dundee have had a poor start but beat St Johnstone 3-2 last match to record their first win.
- Neither side has kept a clean sheet.
- 2 poor teams who it is hard to get a handle on yet. There are better candidates to trade.
15:00 - Ross Co v Hibernian - 1.91 Hibernian
- No recent head to heads. Hibs are newly promoted.
- Only 1 win for Ross County this season.
- 1-2-2-3-1-4 goals conceded by Ross this season. I do think they are in trouble again today.
- 3-3-1-1-1-2 goals scored by Hibs this season. Only 1 loss.
- 3 consecutive score draws for Hibs. Is this a sequence to end? If you think so, lay the late score draw (if there is one).
- Both teams have scored in all Hibs matches. I would certainly be keener to lay Ross if Ross scored first today. Ross have scored a goal in their 3 home matches.
- I would take a chance and lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.
15:00 - St Johnstone v Hamilton - 1.96 St Johnstone
- 1 win each for both sides in the 2017 head to heads.
- I do like St Johnstone this season. I did lay Dundee as they led St Johnstone last match. St J did score 2 goals but lost 3-2 alas.
- St J have drawn with Celtic and Hibernian and have 3 other wins under their belts. The Dundee match was the first match where St J conceded more than 1 goal in a match.
- Hamilton have interestingly lost to the big boys such as Celtic and Aberdeen (not unexpected) and Hearts. Hamilton did beat Hibs and Dundee FC (the team who beat St J.).
- Both teams have scored in Hamilton's last 4 matches.
- I will do what I did with the last St J. match and that is to lay their opponents if their opponents take the lead. It was unfortunate to see St J. score 2 goals without at least drawing.
- Both sides have seen only 1 0-0 at halftime.
16:00 - Partick v Hearts - 2.28 Hearts
- 2-0 Partick and 2-2 last 2 head to heads. Will Partick continue to score 2 goals against Hearts?
- Partick scored 3 and 2 goals against Aberdeen and Rangers and managed to lose one and draw the other!
- Partick kept Celtic to a 0-1 win.
- 1-1-0-1-0-2 goals scored by Hearts. Yes they managed to score 2 goals in a match and won that. Scoring just the one goal does mean an over reliance on defence.
- Partick are yet to have a 0-0 at halftime.
- I would watch out for a Partick lead here today. It is likely to be capitulated though! So even a 2-0 Partick lead I would still be laying them given their loss and draw after scoring 3 and 2 goals.
- That is my main angle today. There have been 2 2-2 scorelines during matches in Partick's last 3 matches. If you want to back 2-2 pre-match you might have a tradable scoreline in-play if Partick continue to score 2 at least without winning.
17:30 - Willem II v Heerenveen - 2.12 Heerenveen
- The home side has tended to remain unbeaten in head to heads.
- 4 defeats and 1 win for Willem II came last match.
- They have conceded in all matches and conceded 2 goals or more in their opening 4 matches.
- No 0-0 at halftime for Willem II saw 2-4-1-4 goals before halftime in recent matches.
- Heerenveen are unbeaten starting their season with 2 score draws and now 3 wins. One win was particularly eyecatching 2-0 at home v PSV.
- Heerenveen have naturally scored in every match.
- Despite the head to head pattern seeing the home side remain unbeaten I would have to side with Heerenveen during this match given their more robust start to the season.
- I would certainly expect them to score if they are losing or if the match is 0-0 at halftime.
- I would lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market given the 11 goals in 4 matches before halftime in Willem II matches.
18:45 - Feyenoord (Champions League) v Breda - 1.17 Feyenoord
- 4 Feyenoord wins and a 1-1 draw in the last 5 head to heads.
- 4 wins and a 1-0 loss to PSV for Feyenoord. Good season to date. The match with PSV could have gone to either side.
- Breda have scored and conceded in all matches and only won one match.
- This suggests laying Breda if Breda scores first. In fact, back 3-1 and any other home score if Breda score first.
- 1.17 odds suggests 3/4 goals for Feyenoord today.
- Feyenoord are yet to have a 0-0 at halftime this season so lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market.
18:45 - Heracles v Roda JC - 1.67 Heracles
- Both teams have scored in 15 of the last 17 head to heads. 2 consecutive score draws now.
- Roda have lost all matches this season, hence the reason the market is warm towards Heracles.
- 2 goals minimum conceded by Heracles this season in their defeats.
- Both teams have scored in all of Heracles matches. They have scored 2 goals at least in their 3 home matches.
- Lay the 0-0 in the halftime market. Neither side has had a 0-0 at halftime.
- Heracles may yet concede but on form are unlikely to lose. That seems a ready angle if Roda continue to concede their 2 goals.
19:45 - ADO Den Haag v Sparta Rotterdam - 2.2 ADO
- 0-0 and 2 ADO 1-0 wins in the last 3 head to heads.
- Only 1 win for ADO this season but an improvement last 2 matches. A win and a draw with Ajax seeing both teams score.
- Only 1 win for Sparta was a 1-0 v Twente. 0-1-2-1-0 goals scored by Sparta this season.
- In the 10 games total, only 1 0-0 at halftime. Is that something to work with? Lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market. I do fear though that this might be a 1-0 match so goals are not necessarily flowing.
- A match lower down on the food chain as far as trading is concerned. There are far betting candidates today.