www.betfair.com is down currently so I will take any odds from www.williamhill.com. It is a very quiet coupon today. Football wise, friendlies dominate and with friendlies if you want to play, then in-play stats will be key. The problem with friendlies is that the first half and second half teams are different.
From a tennis perspective, we see some high ranking players but the time difference (USA) means if I do the research I will not be able to use it (as was the case yesterday). I will research the Austrian clay court event despite the players looking like a motley crew of journey-men. I would prefer the Nishikori's, Muguruza's and Haleps of Washington! All in all, a very quiet day.
18:00 - Sheriff v Qarabag - 2.4 Qarabag
- It's 0-0 from the first leg of this Champions League match and it is advantage Qarabag. If Qarabag score, Sheriff will need to score 2 goals.
- I would consider backing 1-1 here today because you can rest assured that Sheriff will be seeking that equaliser should they concede and Qarabag will be seeking that winning goal if Sheriff score first.
And that is it today.
There is the Audi Cup but we have seen when these major teams meet that they will put out a First XI in the first half, then peripheral players in the second half. I note Bayern Munich are 1.57 odds v Liverpool. The last time Bayern were these odds in a friendly, they lost 0-2 to Inter Milan in Singapore.
Is it worth researching the tennis today? I did all of that research yesterday but was unable to use it, as far as the USA tournaments were concerned. They started too late for the research to be of any practical use.
It is a pity as we start to see the big boys and girls put their heads above the parapet, particularly in Washington.
Jack Sock takes on Marius Copil, and remember Sock is a USA player. Hyeun Chung takes on Kyle Edmund. Edmund is the tentative favourite. This Chung goes under a lot of radars. Edmund would be layable as a first set winner. Then we have the likes of Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem, Mischa Zverev and Del Potro playing in Washington. The warm-ups to the US Open begin today it seems.
In the WTA event at Stanford, there are some 10am starts for the 2nd August, but other matches begin 21:00 and last through the night UK time.
Again, we are seeing the better ranked ladies emerge, such as Coco Vanderweghe, Alize Cornet, Garbine Muguruza and old drug-adled Maria 'give me a fix, man' Sharapova.
In Washington, the WTA event sees the elite out. Halep takes on Sloane Stephens. Our Heather is playing, Christina McHale and Sabine Lisiki are 2 other household names. Some of these matches begin provisionally at 19:00.
The ATP Kitzbuhel tournament in Austria is the only eminently tradable match but it seems the favourites don't want to win this clay court event. Recent clay court semi finalist Kuznetsov lost in 2 straigh sets to a 200-somethingth ranked player. Basilashvili retired at the beginning of the second set. I will list the matches at this Austrian event below as they are being played at workable times. I am not sure why these players are plying their trade on clay when the hard court US Open is upon us at the end of August.
Rogerio Dutra Silva v Horacio Zeballos - 1.65 Zeballos
- 69th v 84th.
- 4-1 Silva in recent head to heads all on clay and quite recent.
- Highlights for Silva recently? beating Monfils in Umag on clay. 3 of his last 4 clay court matches though were 3 setters.
- Zeballos form tough to read. It's what I was saying above. I prefer to deal with the marquee names albeit playing too late for us to trade, rather than Hungry Horacio. He recently beat Basilashvili on clay, a Basil who retired yesterday through injury.
- Tentatively lay Silva if Silva wins first set based on his 3 3 setters in 4 matches.
Santiago Giraldo v Robin Haase - 1.4 Haase
- 99th v 46th.
- No recent head to heads (last 2015).
- Giraldo has gone through qualifying to get here.
- Haase had a good clay court event at Gstaad beating the likes of Goffin, Monteiro and Olivo. He lost in 3 sets, 2 tie breakers, to Hanfmann in the semi finals.
- It looks like Haase will not be losing 2-0 today. That would be an angle.
Jiri Vesely v Yannick Hanfmann - 1.48 Vesely
- Hanfmann, 262nd in the world, reached the Final on clay in Gstaad, He did it the hard way with 4 consecutive 3 setters, each having a tie breaker.
- Jiri is twice a quarter finalist on clay, albeit playing only 2 matches in order to reach the quarters.
- Vesely is adequate on clay, having won a Prostejov Challenger tour event and , when he has lost, losing in 3 sets or 2 sets (with a tie breaker).
- At a lower level, clay looks like Hanfmann's surface. 5 clay court finals in 6 Futures events, quarter final in Munich, Final and quarters in Challenger events, then the Final in Gstaad.
- I think the first set winner is layable here. It will be more speculative laying Jiri given the market has inserted him as strong favourite but we get lower odds and Hanf has shown he can fight out 3 setters with higher ranked players.
Philipp Kohlschreiber v Facundo Bagnis - 1.71 Kohl
- 31st v 100th.
- Kohlschreiber retired in the Hamburg semi final on clay and I would be tentative about having faith in him here given what happened to Basilashvili yesterday (another recent retiree). Clay court form tough to quantify as he gets stopped by better ranked players but when meeting lower ranked opponents, he managed that semi final in Germany and a Final on clay in Casablanca.
- Bagnis lasted 2 matches on clay in Bastad and once in Gstaad. His 2 wins here have been 3 setters. If Kohl is 100% fit, then I would be laying Bagnis if Bagnis wins the first set but it requires a leap of faith that a recent retiree does not carry an injury niggle.
Jan-Lennard Struff v Tommy Haas - 1.48 Struff
- 52nd v 469th.
- Both Germans so will know each other's games.
- Struff won in 2 sets in Munich this year on clay.
- Both players are in poor recent form. 8 defeats in 10 matches for Struff and 5 consecutive defeats for Haas. Haas I think is on his Last Hurrah, which saw him beat Federer in Stuttgart.
- Both out of form so tough to have faith in either player.
Renzo Olivo v Thiago Monteiro - 1.63 Monteiro
- 88th v 80th.
- 3-1 Olivo in head to heads all in Challenger events.
- 46th and 34th has beaten Olivo recently in clay court events.
- He is the Tsonga slayer (1.06) at the French Open but showed little since.
- Monteiro went through qualifying to get here.
- 46th, 19th and 100th ranked players have beaten Monteiro recently on clay.
- Not for me I'm afraid. 2 more poorly ranked players whose form is less than readable.