4x Return on Arsenal -1 v Brighton

Brighton are missing their two most important players today, with MacAllister expected to be unavailable after the World Cup win while Moises Caicedo is suspended.

Their expected replacements could be Gross and Gilmore who are quite different type of players. Brighton generally have a flexible squad with the group have a strong idea about what is needed by the manager in each position. However, they are weaker players that the ones who they are replacing and up against a strong Arsenal team who are creating so many chances each game, averaging and expectation of two goals a game in the their last six matches.

Chances are being created all across their attack with Odegaard (2.34 key pass per 90), Sake (2.33), Martinelli (1.68) and Nketiah (1.29). They are slightly over performing their xG but as they are on form this is not that unexpected. I also loved the way Nketiah rolled his marker against West Ham. Brighton will also look to mark him tightly.

Stake: 14 on Arsenal -1 at 4.1 on Betfair

Also a second bet on Eddie Nketiah to score a hat-trick. Stake 4 (of 270) at odds of 72.0 on Betfair. With Arsenal having the potential to create so many chances for him today and that he should likely play the majority of the game and is on bit of form it looks like a possiblity.

Bet Preview: 24X Return on Ait-Nouri to Score

This bet is for Rayan Ait-Nouri to score anytime in the game against Manchester United today at 12.30 and follows the same line of thinking as the bet last week where he scored against Everton at a return of 22x.

In that game he started as a substitute and came on at 60 minutes. They then changed to a 5-3-2 on 70 minutes. With the threat United have on the wings with Rashford and Anthony, Wolves might prefer to play 5-3-2.

Dalot is expected to be injured, so the right side of United’s team should be Wan Bissaka and Anthony. Anthony will not defend that well so RAN (Rayan Ait Nouri) will have space going forward. Wan Bissaka is strong defending in one v one situations so it might be that there is a break down the right again or he gets played in by Nunes or Neves.

Ait-Nouri has now scored in both of Julen Lopetagui’s games as Wolves manager, so I would not be surprised if he starts this game as both the manager and the player’s confidence will have increased. Lopetegui could play 5-3-2, have Wolves sit deeper, let United have the ball and then look to counter. Or he may play with a back four, go with Bueno at left back and play Ait-Nouri ahead of him to give him more cover. In this situation, we might increase the stake as he is further forward and now on form but for now it is a stake of 8. Best to wait until 11.30 am this mornign for teams to be confirmed.

Stake: 8 (of 296) placed at 24.0 on Betfair

If he doesn’t not start and doesn’t not play then the bet stake will be returned.

Bet Review: During the West Ham Brentford game, I backed the draw for a stake of 4 at 27.0 with about 15 minutes to go. The game finished 0-2 to Brentford and the bet lost. West Ham had plenty of the ball and shots but not good quality shots.

In hindsight should have kept the powder dry.

110x Mahrez Hat-Trick?

Leeds play Manchester City tonight, which is just kicking off. After reviewing team news and the probable outcome (a Big City win), I have decided to take the odds on a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick.

Leeds can leak goals, this is well known. With no Tyler Adams in midfield they have changed formation to a 4-3-3. These are two red flags (missing key defensive player and change of formation). They have also started Greenwood in midfield and Ngonto upfront. Until recently they were not playing to first team standard but have recently broken through. This is another bit of a red flag.

Haaland is the obvious source of goals, but at 1.67, 3.2, and 10 for 1, 2, or 3 goals, it’s too short. Attention on Haaland might mean space for others. If Leeds continue their pressing game, this will mean space for players like Mahrez to run into.

Staking 5 points (of 307) at 110 on a Mahrez hat-trick.

Bet Review: Riyad Mahrez played well against Forest creating the most chances in the game (6) and his shot lead to the opening goal when it was parried by the keeper and Rodri finished. He only had two shots in the game so from that point of view he wasn’t close to a scoring three goals. That said, Jack Grealish, who was playing on the left wing had at least three clear goal scoring chances, some of which were created by Riyad Mahrez. If Grealish had been supplying Mahrez, he might well have got closer to scoring three goals. If this game was played a hundred times, he would have scored a hat trick a number of times, so judgeument was OK on this bet.

Bet Review: Man United v Notts Forest

Ten Hag’s side played in his style and delivered a solid, consistent performance, completely in line with their previous run of games. He has to be credited with building this consistency. He also performed well tactically by playing Luke Shaw in central defense.

Nottingham Forest and Steve Cooper delivered very little in contrast. He has not made up much ground in building a high performing team based on this result.

All in all, the odds were so high that this still was a value bet and something I would bet on again. That said I should not have bet as much on this in hindsight. I also placed 4 points of Aurier to score any time at 48.0.

Next game preview will be Leeds v Man City later today.

Preview: Man United to Lose to Nottingham Forest


Nottingham Forest to be leading 2-0 at HT. 10 points (of 339) placed at 70.0 on Betfair.

Notthingham Forest to win -1. 10 points (of 329) placed at 32.0 on Betfair

Taiwo Awoniyi to score 2 (or more). 4 points (of 319) placed at 55.0 on Betfair

Taiwo Awoniyi to score 3 (or more). 4 points (of 315) placed at 270.0 on Betfair.

Reasoning Preview

On paper, this should be a simple win for Manchester United, and it has been priced as such, with United winning at 1.35. That is based on United’s record since losing to Manchester City (6-3). They have played two games a week and have gotten results. If we look at their xG in the past six games, they were expected to score 11 but only scored 9. While they were expected to concede six, they did concede six.

On the other side, Nottingham Forest have only scored 11 goals this season in 15 games and only one away goal, and even that was away to Everton in August. So they have been conceding goals and not scoring them, and that is why the markets have priced them as high as they have.

The one factor that is a big unknown is how much things will change as a result of the World Cup break. Forest were mocked for signing so many new players in the summer. As a result, it was always going to take Steve Cooper time to find the right formation and time to express to them his methods and how he needed them to play. In my book, Steve Cooper is a real coach. Looking at what he did in many new signings last season, he was able to mould them into a team that got promoted. The five week break now has given them a second pre-season, so they potentially can use this time to work on their play and catch up on other teams. This has not been priced into the odds.

In the League Cup game away to Blackburn last week, they had 27 attempts on goal, scoring 4. All three of their forwards scored. Cooper appears to be moving forward as a result of this. He also rested Morgan Gibbs-White, who is their main offensive threat, so that he would be fit for this game. That is the reasoning for a value bet on the potential of Nottingham Forest.

The potential for Man United to return to their games of conceding a lot of goals has also increased as they are expected to be without Maguire (late test), Varane and Martinez (rested after World Cup). At the back, there is also some doubt about Dalot. Sancho is not in the right mental state to play. I am assuming he is disappointed with missing out on the World Cup with England and also falling down the pecking order with United. Ronaldo also voiced his discontent about what was going on at United and has since left.

This might mean that it creates space for other players to play such as Rashford and Fernandez. However the odds of them doing this is priced in as expecting them to play better. United also stuggle to score goals with Rashford (4) being their topscorer.

All in all, there is a reaonable chance Notts Forest can start well and play better than Man United expect. United’s defence might also start slowly as they won’t have played together that much. Forest won’t get the 20 or so shots on goal tonight, but they may get 10 to 12, and that might be enough to score two goals. The goals can come from anywhere on the forward line, but I have decided to back their main striker in Awoniyi who is also potenially on penalities.

Bet Review: Ait-Nouri Scores

Rayan Ait-Nouri scored against Everton to return at odds of 22.0 to put the #cashdash into profit.

Ait-Nouri didn’t start the game and when the was introduced around 60 minutes he was in left back. On 70 minutes he was moved to left wing back. In this position he was able to get forward and had positioned himself well for a chance late in the game but it didn’t materialise.

Then on a counter-attack in injury-time, he raced forward to get into the box and was able to meet a cross from Traore in the ideal spot, six yards from goal, where he was able to finish, while under pressure from a defender.

Bet Review: Lay Brighton at 1.03 in play to lose €3 (win €100). This bet lose as the game finished 1-3. Southampton have made late comebacks earlier this season (against Leeds at home) and it was possible that if they got a second Brighton might lose their nerve and they would then get a third. In the end, they had plenty of shots, but no more goals. This lost the #cashdash 3 points.

It will be interesting to watch how Southampton evolve under their new manger. If they can create like they did in this game, they will be opportunities to back them in forthcoming games.

22X On Ait-Nouri to Score Anytime Against Everton

Wolves play away to Everton on Boxing Day with a new manger in Julen Lopetegui looking to improve their results.

In his first game in charge in the League Cup this week they won 2-0 at home to Gillingham. They showed many of their existing issues: controlling the game but not threatening to score.

Lopetegui brought Rayan Ait-Nouri on in the second half and played him on the left wing. This was an unusual position for him as in the vast majority of his games for the old manger (Bruno Large) he played in left wing back or left back, before being dropped.

He is a much more attacking minded player and at 21 years old it could be that, as has been done in the past (e.g Gareth Bale), to play young attaching players in defence to give them experience before playing them higher up the pitch.

Ait-Nouri has only scored three goals for Wolves in nearly sixty games, so his price to score against is inline with this record. He is 22.0 to score against Everton. However, that is the price as a left back. If he plays in left wing like he did in midweek his chances of scoring should be similar to someone in the position like Daniel Podence (6.0).

Ait-Nouri also scored from that position in midweek and you can see from his run after he won the ball that he was given the freedom by the manager to get into the penalty box to score. He did this and also scored.

Everton have been conceding a lot of chances in recent times losing on expected goals in their last six games.

It will be difficult to know how sharp Everton players are after the break, but in general Frank Lampard has a lot to prove as a manager and so until he proves he can build a team that can play and defend I will be betting agains them.

12 points (of 92) on Ait Nouri to score anytime at 22.0 on Betfair. This is a large amount to stake on this bet as it is not known if he will start the game, or play in that position, but from what I saw in midweek, and know of the player and that Wolves need to change things up dramatically if they are to improve, this looks a likely scenario.

Bet Review: Man United v Burnley

I decided to place a bet on Burnley to be winning 2-0 at HT (55.0 Betfair)
and also to be winning at HT and FT (17.5 Betfair) for €4 each as I thought it
was likely that Burnley would show the ambition and motivation to play (as
Company is their manager and these are likely his characteristics) and that
they might catch Man United cold as they had been playing regularly and
winning, while the United line-up was going to be a mix of players who went to
the WC and players who didn’t and that those players might take time to get
their match’s sharpness back.

In the end, United won 2-0. Both sides are similar number of chances but the
Players who played in the World Cup scored the goals and made the difference.

We are learning more about Ten Hag style of play and he is showing to me
that he is a cautious manager who values stability and lowrisk-taking.

It is also interesting to evaluate the mood of the team now that Ronaldo has left.
This will likely give some players more freedom to play. Rashford looked like
he is realising the chance to step up. Meanwhile, the opposite might be the
case of Sancho, whose career is starting to stagnate. It will be also
interesting to see if Ten Hag gives Fernandes more freedom to get into the box
and score. United are going to be short on goal threats, so he and Rashford
will need to contribute.

2022 Fifa World Cup Preview

Bets: Argentina to win 2-0, 16.5 (Betfair)

Stake: 4 points


France had conceded in each game before the Morocco game, with an expected goals against of:

1.7 v Poland; 2.0 v England; 0.9 v Morroco = 4.6 xGA, but they actually conceded 2 goals.

Their main goal scorer is Mbappe who has scored 5 and has an XG of 3.4. In Ligue 1 last year, he scored 28 goals compared with an Xg of 26.4, so he did marginally better but only marginally. He might play best in big games, but most likely he has been slightly overperforming.

Griezeman has been quietly influencing games, with the main attention being taken by Mbappe. He has three assists (xA of 3.54). His role has got more exposure after his impressive run to initiate the opening goal against Morocco and his superb assist for Giroud in the quarter final against England.

Deschamps has also managed the selection, tactics and subs very well in each game. There have been no situations where they were not in comfortable control of the game (excluding the loss to Tunisa as they had already qualified).

Something that has also come out of the semi-final is that the Moroccan starting lineup had at least six players carrying a knock or injury; three of them initially named in the team either did not start or were subbed before the second half began. Despite this, once Morocco switched back to their back four, they started creating a lot more chances.

Argentina will likely replicate the tactics of Morocco and England to create changes and to stop Mbappe. Griezeman and Messi have free roles, so it will be interesting to see how both side adapt.

For me, Messi is playing more freely than in past finals, and Alvarez is on form. The French are extremely tournament-savvy, and it will be a close game. However, I’m colling it as Argentina -1 within 90 minutes.

Update: Final score in normal time was 2-2. I cashed out to cover the stake of €4 in the second half so no profit or loss on this game. Screenshot to follow.