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The Champions League should be all over for Porto but Paris St Germain did rest their first team forward line at the weekend. I expect them to score today. The concern is that both teams could score which spells problems for a PSG side needing to lead 2-0 at some point in this match and take advantage of their away goal. The English Championship has a smattering of readable matches but as ever, I remind you that it is one of the most competitive leagues in Europe. I will do a Facebook live video looking back at the 'Shorties' yesterday to see how they progressed. I think you will find that helpful.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

19:45 - Paris St-G v Real Madrid - 1.91 PSG

  • 3-1 Real Madrid from the first leg of this Champions League double-header and PSG come out of that match with a precious away goal and a foundation to work with.
  • PSG rested their entire first team centre forward line at the weekend in the league and still beat ESTAC Troyes with ease.
  • Mbappe and Neymar are sidelined and much needed.
  • PSG at their very basic need a 2-0 win today. They must score first. An away goal from Real Madrid as the first goal in this match may end the tie...but this is Real Madrid who threw away the book on defending quite a few seasons ago.
  • Marcelo and Ramos were injured for Real Madrid but according to www.soccerway.com these 2 are not sidelined and are much needed defensively.
  • At about this time in 2017, PSG beat Barcelona at home 4-0 (but were spanked 6-1 in the second leg). That first leg result is a sign that PSG have the beating of the top Spanish sides. But tellingly, this PSG side has now 2 consecutive 3-1 defeats away to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the Champions League.
  • No Champions League side has beaten PSG in Paris since 2015.
  • Real Madrid scored and conceded in 8 of their last 9 away Champions League matches. They would be happy with a both teams to score scenario today of course.
  • How to play? We know Real Madrid are leaky defensively and PSG are highly likely to score. PSG need a 2-0. With an expectation of a goal from Real Madrid, we might see a 2-1 scenario at some point in the match?
  • Real Madrid to qualify might be the only reasonable trade tonight particularly if PSG score first (as they must).

19:45 - Liverpool v Porto - 1.54 Liverpool

  • Mane, Salah, Mane, Firmino, Mane in the first leg has put this Champions League tie to bed. 0-5 , 5 away goals.
  • Liverpool will not be complacent. At home in the Champions League, Liverpool are scoring 2+ goals. They can, of course, tolerate a 0-4 defeat today and still progress but I doubt that enters into Klopp's calculations.
  • The question is whether Porto have 5 goals in them. Well, since the Liverpool defeat, Porto have won 5-0 at home v Rio Ave and 1-5 away at Portimonense. I would suggest that Rio Ave and Portimonense are not quite to Liverpool's standard.
  • A recent beating of Sporting Lisbon, fellow title contenders, sees Porto come into this match with momentum.
  • A feeling, though, that throughout 2017, Porto have been out of their depth in this competition.
  • Their highlight was a 0-3 away beating of Monaco. 0-3 will not suffice tonight.
  • Do remember that Liverpool can tolerate a 0-3, 0-4 loss. If Liverpool score, as I expect them to, it will be too much for Porto. Remember Porto have scored 5 goals twice domestically since the defeat, albeit against lowly Portugeuse opponents.
  • Liverpool are highly likely to win today but can tolerate a loss.

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

19:45 - Sheff Wed v Ipswich - 2.5 Sheff Wed

  • 0-1 Sheff Wed and 2-2 in the last 2 head to heads.
  • 2.5 the fav + English Championship = unappealing match. I reluctantly research it though.

Sheff Wed (17th)

  • Only 2 wins in 19 matches.
  • 3 consecutive defeats.
  • Only 2 0-0's at home.
  • 2 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • Wins at home v 10th-15th inclusive.
  • Scored and conceded in 10/12 matches at home v 7th and lower.

Ipswich (13th)

  • Only 3 wins in 12 matches saw 2 1-0 defeats and a 2-0.
  • Scored in their last 5 away.
  • No 0-0 away.
  • Away wins v 5th, 9th, 11th, 21st, 23rd, 24th.
  • Only 1 loss in 14 matches v 15th and lower.
  • Scored and conceded in all bar 1 v 11th and lower away.

Conclusions

  • Strong both teams to score patterns for both sides and strictly on form, Ipswich are unlikely to lose given their away record v 15th and lower.

19:45 - Fulham v Sheff Utd - 1.94 Fulham

  • 4-5 Fulham last head to head . It was 2-5 to Fulham until 2 86th+ minute Sheff Utd goals.

Fulham (4th)

  • 8 consecutive home wins.
  • No defeat in 13 and in 9 at home.
  • 4 consecutive home clean sheets.
  • Scored 2+ goals in each of their last 6 home matches.
  • 6 0-0's at halftime at home (35.3%).
  • v top 9 at home, 2 wins v top 3, but draws v 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th saw both teams score.
  • 18 goals scored at home last 1/2 hour of matches.

Sheffield United (8th)

  • 3 wins in 4 matches.
  • Only 2 clean sheets since 21st October 2017.
  • Conceded in their last 13 away matches.
  • Not beaten a top 11 side away.2-2 and 1-1 v 3rd and 5th.

Conclusions

  • I think Sheffield United will concede in this match. That is an angle.
  • There is an argument for 1-1 and 2-2 pre match as score draws crop up a lot.
  • I would lay Sheff Utd if they scored first.
  • Note the very late scoring from Fulham if losing or drawing coming past the 60th minute mark.

19:45 - Norwich v Nottm Forest - 1.86 Norwich

  • 3 Norwich wins ends with a Forest 1-0 win last head to head.

Norwich (14th)

  • Only 1 loss in 11 matches.
  • 3 consecutive draws.
  • 1-2-1-1-1-0 scored recently. Concerns that a single goal could leave them vulnerable.
  • 7 0-1 defeats at halftime at home and 5 0-0's.
  • Only 1 home loss v 11th and lower.
  • 13 of 17 goals scored at home 2nd half.

Nottm Forest (15th)

  • Unbeaten in 4 matches.
  • Wins away v 1st, 10th, 16th, 20th and 24th.

Conclusions

  • Tough to read Nottingham Forest.
  • Norwich are not scoring that 2nd goal in recent matches.
  • I feel obligated to research the English Championship despite not wanting to. These are the only major league matches aside from the Champions League.

19:45 - Cardiff v Barnsley - 1.63 Cardiff

  • 0-0 and 0-1 Cardiff in the last 2 head to heads.

Cardiff (2nd)

  • 6 wins and 2 draws last 8 matches.
  • 3 consecutive 1-0 wins.
  • No draw in 10 at home.
  • 6 0-0's at halftime at home (35%).
  • Unbeaten at home v 10th and lower.
  • Conceded 2 goals at home only once.

Barnsley (21st)

  • Only 2 wins in 19 matches.
  • Only 1 0-0 away.
  • Not beaten a top 10 side.
  • All defeats away v top 8.
  • 17 of 25 goals conceded away came 1st half.

Conclusions

  • This looks one of the more readable Championship matches today. I expect a Cardiff win, scoring 2/3 goals at home.
  • Cardiff do not tend to concede 2 goals at home so lay Barnsley if Barnsley scores first.

19:45 - Burton v Brentford - 1.86 Brentford

  • 1-1 last head to head.

Burton (23rd)

  • Only 2 wins in 11 matches.
  • Failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches.
  • No win in 13 at home.
  • 7 0-0's at halftime at home (41.2%).
  • Only 2 home wins.
  • Scored 2 goals only once at home v top 19.

Brentford (10th)

  • 2 wins to nil in the last 3 matches.
  • No draw in 7 away.
  • Only 1 0-0 away.
  • 4 wins to nil away v 18th and lower.

Conclusions

  • I would side with Brentford today. They have a good win record v 18th and lower away from home.
  • Burton tend not to score 2 goals in home matches. I would lay Burton if Burton scored first.

19:45 - Reading v Bolton - 1.87 Reading

  • 2-2 last head to head.

Reading (18th)

  • Only 1 win in 14 matches.
  • Conceded 2-2-1-3-3 goals in their last 5 matches.
  • No win in 7 at home.
  • 3+ goals conceded at home last 3 home matches.
  • Unbeaten at home v 15th-21st inclusive.
  • Only 3 home wins.
  • 16 of 26 goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Bolton (19th)

  • Failed to score in 3 of their last 5 matches.
  • 2 clean sheets in 3 matches.
  • Failed to score in 5 of their last 6 away matches.
  • Only 1 away win v 8th.

Conclusions

  • I thought I would research this as it is a match featuring a home favourite but these 2 are bottom 6 and bottom 6 for a reason.
  • I note Bolton have scored 2 goals a couple of times away without winning and with Reading conceding heavily and consistently of late, I would take on a Bolton 0-2 lead.
  • Apart from that, these are 2 very iffy sides. Bolton remember have failed to score in 5 of their last 6 away matches which may be the strongest reason that Reading are favourites.

19:45 - Sunderland v Aston Villa - 2.14 Aston Villa

  • 2-1 Aston Villa in an earlier head to head.

Sunderland (24th)

  • 3-2-3-2-1-3-1 conceded recently.
  • No win in 7.
  • Conceded in their last 7 matches.
  • Conceded 2+ goals in their last 3 at home.
  • No 0-0 at home.
  • Did beat 4th placed Fulham but that was the only home win v 19th and lower.

Aston Villa (3rd)

  • Only 1 loss in 10 matches.
  • 4 wins and a loss in 5 away matches.
  • No draw in 7 away.
  • 7 0-0's at halftime away (41.2%).
  • Unbeaten home and away v 19th and lower.
  • 3 clean sheets v bottom 4 away.

Conclusions

  • I fear Sunderland may be vulnerable to conceding 2/3 goals today and in that case, continue Aston Villa's unbeaten run v 19th and lower.
  • No surprise to see a 0-0 at halftime but if goals are expected it would not surprise to see Villa break through first half.
  • Sunderland did beat Fulham 1-0 but that is not the norm at home and I feel they are layable if scoring first.

19:45 - Birmingham v Middlesbrough - 2.08 Middlesbrough

  • 2-0 Middlesbrough in the last head to head.

Birmingham (22nd)

  • 5 consecutive defeats, failing to score in 4 matches.
  • No draw in 7 matches and in 10 at home.
  • 2 0-0's at home.
  • 7 0-0's at halftime at home (41.2%).
  • 4 of 6 home wins were 1-0 -that may not be enough today.
  • 65% of goals conceded at home came 2nd half.

Middlesbrough (7th)

  • 3 goals scored in their last 3 matches.
  • 2 recent 1-0 away defeats (see above Birmingham).
  • Only 1 0-0 away.
  • 7 1-0 defeats at halftime away (41.2%).
  • Solid v 16th and lower - 11 wins and 3 draws, scoring 2+ goals in all aways v 16th and lower.
  • 18 of 26 goals scored away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • I am not sure why Middlesbrough are the wrong side of evens today. On form, they should be scoring 2/3 goals today and not losing.
  • Birmingham wins at home tend to be 1-0. Yes Boro lost 1-0 in 2 recent away matches but those were v 2nd and 14th.
  • Note Boro's very strong 2nd half scoring if they are losing or drawing at halftime.