A long old session on Twitter paid off yesterday. As I left I hope you noticed Motherwell? 1-0 down and snatching a late winner - did you follow the in-play stats? Tennis wise, it was a good day. Nice to see Old Faithful, my new wife Caroline Wozniacki, and Verdasco et al fight back from a set down. It is well worth the wait and good discipline to focus on quality rather than 3-figure ranked tennis players (who are 3-figure ranked for good reason, folks!).
Good tennis trading on Twitter @drtclub. More today I hope. Tomorrow I may have to visit a dentist for root canal treatment. I am of course putting it off. Anti-biotics have got rid of the pain. So a heads-up, Thursday may be a no-go day. Champions League today and in-play stats will again be at the forefront of my mind in these first leg matches. Quality tennis continues too. See you @drtclub throughout the day. I notice some non-members creeping into my Twitter feed. I am not sure how but will do my best to weed them out as it is not fair on you.
15:00 - FC Astana v Legia Warsaw - 2.46 Astana
- Kazakhstan v Poland in the Champions League.
- Astana's only recent loss in the Champions League was v a Celtic side given 2 penalties.
- Astana's problem is in scoring. They have scored 2-1-0-2-1-1-1-1 goals. It limits options.
- 5 draws in 6 home matches in the Champions League.
- 3 consecutive wins to nil for Legia Warsaw in the Champions League (CL for short).
- Legia drew 3-3 with Real Madrid and 8-4 loss v Dortmund.
- This is as tough to call as the market suggests. I can make an argument for either side. DO note though that if Astana have trouble with scoring that 2nd goal, this suggests laying Astana if Astana scores first.
17:30 - Dynamo Kiev v Young Boys - 1.55 Kiev
- Ukraine v Switzerland. The Swiss season is just beginning so Young Boys will be ring-rusty.
- Both sides went deep into the Champions League last year. Dynamo Kiev only beat Besiktas.
- Young Boys lost 6 of 7 matches.
- Obviously this is a drop in class for both sides today. The market has sided with the home side.
- In-play stats will determine any play here. Both sides have as equally poor form in the Champions League v better sides.
17:45 - Red Bull Salzburg v Rijeka - 1.75 Red Bull
- Red Bull are unbeaten in the Champions League. They drew 1-1 with Croatians Dinamo Zagreb home and away which is a good gauge against other Croat giants Rijeka.
- Rijeka are new to the Champions League and put The New Saints in their place.
- I would back 1-1 today based solely on Red Bull's 1-1's v Croats Dinamo Zagreb. Dinamo Zagreb and Rijeka are both fairly close together on form.
18:00 - Hapoel Beer Sheva v Ludogorets - 2.32 Hapoel
- Israel v Bulgaria. Beer had a great Champions League run last year.and have a 100% home record including beating the likes of Celtic and Olympiakos.
- Ludogorets have Champions League experience and last year played the likes of Basel, PSG, Arsenal, so have an expectation for going deeper into the tournament.
- No win in 6 away for Ludogorets who, it seems, find greater strength at home.
- In-play stats will decide whether Hapoel will continue their 100% home win record. An interesting match but hard to decipher.
19:00 - Viitorul Constanta v APOEL - 2.78 Viitorul
- Immediately the market tells us they haven't got a clue about this Champions League match.
- Viitorul are new to the Champions League.
- APOEL find greater consistency at home.0-0-1-0-1 scored away recently and against poor sides such as The New Saints, and Astana although they also played Rosenborg and Copenhagen.
- Another match where in-play stats determine the play quite simply because Viitorul in this competition are a complete unknown.
19:20 - NK Maribor v Hafnarfjordur - 1.48 NK
- Slovenia v Iceland in this Champions League match and we discount the Icelanders at our cost as seen in European International competition.
- Maribor were not in the Champions League in 2016.
- 2 draws last year for Hafn v Dundalk saw Dundalk go through on away goals rules.
- I haven't got a clue here. In-play stats will confirm the market.
19:45 - Celtic v Rosenborg - 1.47 Celtic
- 2016 saw Celtic play the likes of Barcelona, Mgladbach, and Manchester City and come back with little.
- Easy wins v Linfield this term.
- Celtic failed to score at home to Mgladbach and Barcelona but, in the Norwegians, meet a team nowhere near that standard today.
- I suppose the 3-2 win v Malmo in 2015 is the nearest gauge we can have to Rosenborg.
- But Rosenborg's struggles v Dundalk may betray their poor level 1-1 away and 1-1 at home (going through extra time).
- Last year in the Champions League away, Rosenborg lost 3-2 to Norrkoping, 3-0 to APOEL and drew 1-1 with Dundalk.
- It is that Dundalk form I think which sees Celtic as worthy favourites. Celtic tend to huff and puff before eventually scoring so no surprise if a prolonged 0-0.
Jose Hernandez-Fernande v Aljaz Bedene - 1.08 Bedene
- 244th v 68th.
- No head to heads.
- In 5 of his last 6 matches, Bedene has either had a tie breaker or dropped a set at least.
- Jose we know little to nothing about based on his playing primarily in Challenger events. Expect the Brit Bedene to win in 2, but I remind you that sub 1.1 shots should really be layed at the off as a 'Yazz' Trade - the only way is up.
Nikoloz Basilashvili v David Ferrer - 1.36 Ferrer
- You know my feelings on David Ferrer. A 100% player if fully fit so clearly I am with David throughout this match.
Florian Mayer v Andrey Kuznetsov - 1.49 Kuznetsov
- 47th v 87th and Mayer is a German in Germany.
- No head to heads.
- Mayer does not seem as proficient on clay as he is on grass.
- Kuznetsov reached the semi finals at Bastad and beat solid yard stick Schwartzmann in 2 straight sets.
- Mayer may very well nick a set with home support but I would lay Mayer if he did so. His clay form is a million miles away from his grass court form.
ATP ATLANTA OPEN - hard
Tommy Paul v Malek Jaziri - 1.69 Jaziri
- 396th v 67th.
- No head to heads.
- Interesting that given the rankings, Jaziri's odds are not shorter.
- Tommy Paul is a USA player playing in the USA. Will he get a booster?
- Tommy Paul's form looks inconsistent. One week he failed to get out of qualifying for a Challenger event, next week he reaches the semi finals on clay in a Challenger event.
- I like his win v Hyeon Chung who I note was solid on grass.
- 3 consecutive 3 setters for Tommy Paul here in Atlanta.
- In 5 of 6 matches, Jaziri has dropped a set at least.
- 4 consecutive hard court 3 setters for Jaziri.
- I would be keener to lay Paul if Paul wins the first set. I would look at laying the first set winner but would wait for a game or two second set.
Quentin Halys v Gilles Muller - 1.28 Muller
- If this was grass, Gilles Muller would go to the head of the class!
- 129th v 28th.
- No tournaments for Muller since an excellent Wimbledon.
- Halys already has 2 hard court events and has gone through qualifying to get here. 2 7-6 sets and 2 7-5 sets in his last 2 matches does suggest vulnerability, or at least not cruising to victory.
- Muller's hard court form is tough to quantify because he never seems to get a run. Lost to Milos Raonic in the Australian Open, Kohlschreiber in Dubai, Nishikori in Indian Wells, and Berdych in Miami. Sights are lowered for Muller today. Is that enough to side with him. As I say, no contest if this was grass.
Donald Young v Lukas Lacko - 1.47 Young
- 44th v 103rd and remember Donald is an American at an American event. We tend to see players boosted.
- Head to Heads from 2012.
- Poor old Donald does not get a break. Recent defeats v Chung, Ferrer, Cilic, Djokovic, and Nadal meant for a stunted grass court season.
- Reasonable hard court form. Semi finals Delray Beach, round of 16 Indian Wells, and round of 16 Miami, Donald is expected to go a bit deeper here in the US again, albeit it is round of 16 already v Lacko.
- Lacko has been largely a Challenger tour player on hard.
- Faith in the Donald not losing 2-0?
Vasek Pospisil v John Isner - 1.43 Isner
- 112th v 24th.
- 2 very familiar names.
- Isner is 2-0 post 2015 head to heads.
- We got the obligatory tie breakers of course.
- Decent enough grass court season for Vasek.
- He won the Busan Challenger on hard recently and beat Andy Murray on hard at Indian Wells.
- Big John won the Newport event on grass last match and remember is an American in an American tournament.
- He reached the final here last year but since then has had his hard court activity curtailed by early losses to the likes of Raonic, Edmund, both Zverevs, Johnson, Monfils and victor in Atalanta last year Kyrgios.
- A feeling big John will be competitive today but may be made to work hard. Likely we see a tie breaker and with that potential is the potential to back Big John at bigger odds. Let's hope he remembers what he did here last year.
ATP Gstaad - clay
Paolo Lorenzi v Marco Chiudinelli - 1.2 Paolo
- 38th v 183rd.
- Marco is a Swiss player in Switzerland and we do see occasional home players play above their rankings.
- Lorenzi has won the last 2 head to heads in 2016 albeit in 5 sets Davis Cup matches.
- Lorenzi on clay has reached 2 consecutive finals.
- Only 1 win in 13 matches for Marco. I acknowledge he is playing at a local event but he is in very poor form. I would be very keen to lay Marco if he wins the first set and looks like winning the second set as well.
Thiago Monteiro v Robin Haase - 1.48 Haase
- 80th v 46th.
- 1-0 Haase at this tournament last year.
- Monteiro does not win simply. 4 setters at Wimbledon, losing tie breaker in a clay Challenger, thru on retirement then lose in 3 in Bastad, and won in 3 v Dolgopolov here.
- On grass, a glimpse of ability from Haase in beating Ferrer and Thiem.
- Haase has lost twice recently as sub 1.5 odds favourite.
- An interesting match. Can we lay the first set winner? Slight favour on Haase.
Gleb Sakharov v Roberto Bautista Agut - 1.08 Agut
- 229th v 18th.
- Qualifiers to get here for Gleb and he meets a player halted on clay by the likes of Zverev, Karlovic, Djokovic, and Nadal
- I normally advocate laying sub 1.1 shots. Lay Agut if you may.
Daniel Brands v Ernests Gulbis - 1.51 Gulbis
- 208th v 169th.
- No recent head to head.
- Brands went through qualifying to get here. 2 tie breakers last match.
- Gulbis has taken the likes of Del Potro, Djokovic, and Khachanov to tie breakers (albeit losing) suggesting a fighting spirit.
- No form lines really for either player as they tend to lose to better ranked players early in clay court events.
- On the face of it, it seems we can lay brands if Brands wins the first set.
WTA Bastad - clay
Katerina Siniakova v Arantxa Rus - 1.55 Siniakova
- 38th v 184th.
- No head to heads.
- 7 of Siniakova's last 9 clay court matches have seen 3 sets , one of the other 2 had a first set tie breaker.
- This suggests Siniakova should be adept at equalising if 1-0 down sets.
- Rus has plenty of clay court tennis under the belt post-Wimbledon albeit at 25K and 60K events.
Elizaveta Kulichkova v Anastasija Sevastova - 1.3 D Sevastova
- 224th v 26th.
- No head to heads.
- Getting to know Sevastova each week.
- Kulinchova is a player who tends to have to battle qualifiers to reach tournaments.She did not get out of qualifiers at Wimbledon.
- She beat 88th ranked first round here at Bastad in 3 sets.
- Good grass season for Sevastova halted by Heather at Wimbledon.
- She has gone 26 clay court events without a 3 setter. This suggests the first set winner wins the match?
WTA Nanchang - Hard
Kristyna Pliskova v Su Jeong Jang - 1.35 Pliskova
- 57th v 142nd.
- No head to heads.
- Poor grass court season for Pliskova. Since then a final in an $80,000 event on clay.
- A hard court form which tends to be slilted by early round defeats.
- Semi final, Final, quarter final for Jang on hard albeit in 60K and 25K events.
- Muddling match for me. I researched as I saw that surname Pliskova.
Su-Wei Hsieh v Eri Hozumi - 1.44 Hsieh
- Stick with a familiar name in Hsieh.
- 101st v 211th and I have mentioned caution regarding triple figure ranked players.
- 2 emphatic 2015 head to head Hsieh wins.
- 2 consecutive 3 setters for Eri suggests she will be vulnerable if winning the first set.
- Noticeably on hard, Hsieh has not lost to an Asian contender in recent tournaments.
- She was same odds yesterday and the 2nd set went to a tie breaker so might be leverage in a short odds lay of Hsieh late on.
- Hosumi alas is a complete unknown.