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The Champions League sees away goals count. Given Sevilla kept Man Utd quiet first round, Man Utd must ensure a clean sheet today. Roma have a precious away goal. Shaktar's recent loss to Napoli away could be a good sign for another Italian side today. In the English Championship I would be more inclined to focus on the 'shorties'.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

19:45 - Man Utd v Sevilla - 1.64 Man Utd

  • It is advantage Sevilla really in keeping Man Utd from scoring an away goal in the first leg of this Champions League match.
  • If Sevilla score, Man Utd must score 2 goals to go through.
  • The first goalscorer today is therefore significant.
  • 2-0-2-3-2 goals scored recently by Man Utd (the 0 was v Sevilla).
  • Man Utd's only home loss since 24th September 2016 came v Man City recently. This is typical of a Mourinho managed side. Earlier in his career he went 8 years without a home defeat.
  • Sevilla's home loss to Valencia I suggest had this game in mind. Sevilla have scored and conceded in 5 of their last 6 away matches.
  • 3 consecutive draws in the Champions League for Sevilla, 2 were score draws and of course a score draw does for Sevilla today.
  • 2-2 v Liverpool in September 2017 away for Sevilla is again ideal for them to replicate today.
  • Man Utd must win today or draw 0-0 and look to get it in extra time.
  • Score draw or 0-1 does for Sevilla. First goal crucial.

19:45 - Roma v Shakhtar - 1.74 Roma

  • A 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk first leg win is recoverable for a Roma side who scored that important away goal.
  • Quite simply here, Roma must score and score first. Their ideal is a 1-0 win as they will go through on away goals.
  • Shakhtar simply need a 0-0 in order to quality. If Shakhtar score first, Roma will need 2 goals in order to qualify.
  • Only 2 wins in 7 at home for Roma is a concern. 2 consecutive home wins in the Champions League for Roma came v Chelsea and Qarabag so they have recent winning form.
  • 6 consecutive wins for Shakhtar in all competitions, 3 consecutive away wins.
  • 4 wins in 5 matches in the Champions League for Shakhtar. Importantly they lost to Napoli away 3-0 so that may be a positive for Roma today.
  • Only 1 win in 7 away for Shakhtar again suggests potential away weaknesses today.
  • On the basis that Shakhtar lost convincingly v Napoli away from home, I would look to take on Shakhtar today. Remember ideally Roma must score first and then will go through with a 1-0. I think they will eye 2 goals today as insurance should Shakhtar score an away goal.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

19:45 - Aston Villa v QPR - 1.71 Aston Villa

  • 0-1, 1-0, 1-2 Aston Villa in the last 3 head to heads.

Aston Villa (3rd)

  • Only 1 loss in 12 matches.
  • Unbeaten in 10 at home.
  • Scored in their last 7 at home.
  • Only 1 home loss.

QPR (16th)

  • Only 3 wins in 9 matches came at home.
  • 2-0, 2-1, 2-1 last 3 away.
  • 10 defeats and a 0-0 away v top 15 teams.

Conclusions

  • Strictly on form, we are with the market and Aston Villa. Best case for QPR seems to be a 0-0. Aston Villa should score though and in doing so secure a positive result.
  • 2-0, 2-1 look the most recurring scorelines. If QPR score first (and they have 2 consecutive 2-1 defeats) they are layable.

19:45 - Barnsley v Norwich - 2.48 Norwich

  • A basic look at this match. 2.48 the favourite does not appeal.
  • Only 2 wins for Barnsley since 18th November came away from home.
  • Only 1 win for Barnsley home and away v top 14 sides.
  • Only 2 losses in 13 matches for Norwich should really see them favourites and stronger favourites.
  • 0-2 v 22nd and 0-0 away v 23rd sees Norwich playing 21st today.
  • On recent form I would side with Norwich but I remind you 2.48 the favourite in a competitive English Championship does not make for an appealing medium.

19:45 - Brentford v Cardiff - 2.3 Brentford

  • 2-0 2-1 Cardiff last 2 head to heads.

Brentford (11th)

  • Only 1 loss in 16 matches at home.
  • Unbeaten at home v top 13.
  • Failed to score v top 2 this season.
  • 67% of goals scored at home came 2nd half.

Cardiff (2nd)

  • 8 wins and 2 draws last 10 matches.
  • 6 consecutive wins.
  • 9 0-0's at halftime away (52.9%).
  • All losses bar 2 came away.
  • 8 goals scored last 15 mins away.

Conclusions

  • Tough to call. Brentford unbeaten v top 13 at home, yet to score v top 2 but scoring and conceding without defeat v 3rd - 8th at home.
  • Cardiff are more vulnerable away from home, quite clearly so will be more vulnerable.
  • I would note the high % of 0-0's Cardiff at halftime so take on the 2nd half 0-0.
  • If Brentford continue to fail to score v top 2 then obviously this is Cardiff's for the taking.
  • If 0-0 late on (75th minute), back Cardiff based on their very late goals away.

19:45 - Ipswich v Hull - 2.8 Ipswich

  • 2.8 the favourite makes this match immediately unappealing.
  • Strictly on a reading of the Challenge Table Ipswich have only 1 loss v 8th and lower at home.They had a 2-2 with Hull earlier this season.
  • Hull have yet to beat the top 14 teams away from home.
  • Again I am left scratching my head as to why Ipswich are not strong favourites.
  • I must acknowledge that there is always a reason behind the market's non commital odds but I cannot find it! I would be with the home side on season long home form.

19:45 - Sheff Utd v Burton - 1.49 Sheff utd

  • 1-3 Sheffield United last head to head.

Sheff Utd (9th)

  • Last 3 defeats came away from home.
  • 2 consecutive home 2-1 wins.
  • Failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches.
  • 3 0-0's at halftime at home (17.6% of matches).
  • Only 2 home defeats v teams below them in the league were 0-1.

Burton (23rd)

  • Failed to score in 5 of their last 6 matches.
  • 3-2 v Aston Villa and 1-2 v Barnsley last 2 matches.
  • 8 0-0's at halftime away (47.1%).
  • Only 2 wins home and away v 16th and higher.
  • 17 of 26 goals conceded away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • Burton broke a pattern by scoring away v a top 7 side. That's 2 consecutive aways scoring a goal so this won't be as comfortable as usual for Sheff Utd.
  • Sheff Utfd have an excellent record v teams below them and I cannot see Burton pulling off a 0-1 so would lay them if they scored first.
  • Note Burton concede a huge amount 2nd half so take them on if they lead at halftime or a 0-0 draw.

19:45 - Wolves v Reading - 1.4 Wolves

  • 0-2 Wolves the last time these 2 met.

Wolves (1st)

  • 2 consecutive away defeats v top 6 sides but only 2 losses all season at home.
  • Only 1 0-0 at home.
  • 7 wins and 2 0-0's v teams 17th and lower.
  • 73% of goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Reading (19th)

  • Scored and conceded last 6.
  • 4 score draws in 5.
  • Only 5 clean sheets all season.
  • 7 0-0's at halftime away.
  • Not played top 4 away but beat 5th 2-4.
  • Conceded 2 goals away v 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th.
  • 17 of 21 goals conceded away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • Wolves do have the odd errant loss in them (shock recently at home v Nottm forest) but should eye a positive today.
  • Reading have yet to meet top 4 but conceded 2 goals v 5th-10th away and that is a suggestion they are more likely to concede 2 goals today.
  • On that basis we are with Wolves even if Reading score first (and statistically if Reading score, they are likely to score 2nd half).