I started one month ago at €100 and at the end of January the balance was just under €1000, almost a 10x result.
Later I will review the money won and lost and see look for the weaknesses and strengths of the my current betting strategy.
I started one month ago at €100 and at the end of January the balance was just under €1000, almost a 10x result.
Later I will review the money won and lost and see look for the weaknesses and strengths of the my current betting strategy.
Find these two games interesting. Think Leeds can win but sticking with the trends unless we see more.
Brentford TNHT (2-0 Half Time), 19.0 €4
City v Wolves
Wolves TNHT 100.0, €4
Score Four and win, 240, €4
Wolves -1, 44.0, €4
Four of the six games yesterday finished as draws so that meant that one of the quadrouples won at 144.0, I cashed out in the final minutes to take some risk off the table. The kitty is now at €993.
The other bets didn’t go well. Edozie started on the right, not the left for Southampton and didn’t really get into the game, having no shots on goal and was subbed early in the second half. He did have quite a few touches but the new Aston Villa left back Moreno was able to deal with him. Southampton also have not really been able to build on the success of their past few games, creating an xG of 0.67.
Lewis Hall started in left central midfield and did have a shot on goal but the xG was only 0.06 and he snatched at the shot. It looks like he is too eager with his shots and is likely trying a bit too hard, I think I’ll reduce the stakes on him a little.
Leicester also gave Brighton a game which was encouraging to see, however the HT bet did not land but it had a honest chance.
I went hunting for a bet in the three o’clock games today in the EPL but have seen marginal bets (update: now found a standout bet). So, after sensing that all six games today would be close, I decided to back draws in all six.
As outlined in the How Can I Win Money Gamling? I stated that one of the lessons I have learned over the years is to not place accumulators however here I have gone and done that. With the six games I have a mix of quadrouples on Betfair Sportsbook. In all I have placed €37 at €2 on each bet, with €1 on all six games to finish in a draw.
I also placed €10 on Mo Salah to have a shot on target in the Chelsea game at enhanced odds of 2.0.
Leicester V Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton are the form team with Brighton now less than evens to win away to Leicester. There looks to no value to me in backing Brighton as it is very common for teams to perform well but then to regress back to their average result. DeZerbi has got Brighton playing very nice attacking football, overloading in the first phase of play when playing out from their goalkeeper then playing direct passes to make the most of space in their attacking third.
Added to that Brighton are missing a few players that have played an important role in their recent form, such as central defender Levi Colwell, who adds to their attack with his option of long balls into Mitoma. Evan Ferguson is a young striker leading the line who is still raw and unproven that he is a better option to Trossard, who has just completed a move to Arsenal. Lallana is also expected to start and he is traditionally injury prone and is 34 years old so these games will be increasing hard for him to maintain his form – but it is possible – not at less than evens for value.
Brighton have also been weak defensively under DeZerbi with and xGA of over 1 in their last eight games, so Leicester likely will score at least one goal.
Chelsea have also had a bid rejected from Brighton for Moises Caicedo. He’ll no doubt be keen to join them and Chelsea usually don’t stop until they get their player. Again he might play to his normal level but there is no risk premium priced in.
Leicester by contrast may have their key player back with James Maddison returning from injury. He has not been confirmed as back just yet so I’ll wait for the teamsheet but expecting he will at least be on the substitutes bench. Dewsbury-Hall is also back for Leicester.
Leicester can win this one in my view, but they have also been out-performing their xG this season with Maddison in particular being their best player. So this is a concern. Harvey Barnes, who should fancy his chances against converted right back, Gross, have also been over performing.
Leicester to be winning 2-0 at HT, 26.0, staking €4
Southampton v Aston Villa
Nathan Jones has got some impressive results in the past few weeks to most people’s surprise. He is appreciated by the Cash Dash after Southampton helped the blog win an 88x bet, so I am following Southampton closely to see how they are progressing and if there is any more value.
Southampton in general this season have also been underperforming their xG and xA. Not a complete surprise for a team that are bottom of the league.
Aston Villa really should have conceded at least three goals at home to Leeds in their last game. The xGA was 2.46. They are missing Digne and Cash in defence so Young will play right back and that will mean that Edozie will look to attack him in 1v1 situations. Looking at the heatmaps of Luiz and Kamara from the Leeds game they don’t tend to be sitting that deep and therefore offering limited support – will be interesting to see what Emery does here. Kamara more so on the Villa left hand side. McGinn is also out so Ramsey is expected to start in right midfield. Edozie has averaged 1.66 shots per 90 in his 380 minutes.
Moreno is a new signing for Villa expected to start at left back as Digne is injured, as is Matty Cash. Southampton are expected to play Lyanco in right back and Elyanounoussi on the right of midfield, so not as much of a treat on that side.
Che Adams is also expected to lead the line up front for Southampton. He showed last week with his two assists against Everton that Jones likes to use him primarily as a target man and he can then bring others into play. He was a key factor in JWP scoring two goals last week. I am wondering if Edozie can also benefit from this this week. Adams has laid-off three times to Edozie for this shots so far this season.
Samuel Edozie to have 2 shots on target, 19.0, staking, €25 – please wait for team news before placing following this bet
Ward Prowse two shots on target, 4.9, €6
Southampton Score four and win, 30.0, €4
Balance is now: €727
That means there is 14% of the bankroll in play during today’s games. That is bit too high and I should have been more disciplined before placing the Sportsbook bets. The Mo Salah bet is fine though.
Unless a bet wins early today, I do not expect to be placing any further bets on games today.
Chelsea are 10th in the Premier League after 19 games as the club undergo a transition of the ownership of Roman Abramovich to Clearlake Capital and from the management of Tuchel to Potter. Within that they have a huge number of injuries to key players such as Reese James, Fofana, Kante and Sterling. All of this has created opporunities for other players within the squad. An important part of Clearlake Capital’s strategy is development of younger players, so they have apprecaite in value. All of this has created an opportunity for Lewis Hall.
Lewis Hall is an 18-year-old Chelsea player who was recently promoted to the first team squad due to a large number of injuries in the Chelsea squad. He has impressed in training and has played four times so far, all at left back. He has been doing so well that he was picked ahead of an established left back in Marc Cucurella in the last two matches. With Potter under pressure he is valuable to him also to see Hall progressing under his management.
Hall is actually a central midfielder but has taken his opportunity at left back / left wing back. Potter has show the benefits of his flexibility and creativity with players. As they are missing James on the right and don’t have a player to replace him that can offer the same width on that side. Trevor Chalobah played last week against Palace. So for Chelsea to have options going forward they need to add width to the side and so need an attacking option on the left side.
Cucurella is the natural choice but hasn’t had a great start to this Chelsea – his key passes per 90 is 0.57, whereas Hall is currently at 1.40, which compares well to James at 1.32. Hall has shown more ability to dribble past opposition players, break the lines and get Chelsea moving.
The injuries on the left side of Chelsea’s attacking front are also a factor in who Potter selects in defence. With Sterling and Pulisic both injured they also don’t have a lot of width, so this increases the value to have an attacking option behind them who can support attacking players like Mount or Joao Felix.
Hall does tend to cut inside, rather than sitting on the touch line, but his overall attacking threat and drive as well as being quite solid in defence means he have been picked in the past two games.
Against Liverpool, Reese James and Ben Chilwell are now back in training and maybe in contention for Chelsea. As both have had many injury problems it is unlikely they will start against Liverpool and more likely they will be introduced in the second half. Chelsea have also signed a left winger Mudryk – again it will be interesting to see if Potter will put him start in against Liverpool from the start. He did this with Felix and while he was their best player he did get sent off. As he is very much a short term loan signing there would be more sense in getting full use of him.
Considering Potter started Hall against Manchester City a few games ago, he likely will start Hall against Liverpool too.
Hall has an xG of 0.33 per 90 as he has instructions from Graham Potter to get into the box in attacks and counter attacks. Hall has had good opportunities to score but hasn’t taken them. His record at youth levels is not prolific but he must have shown good finishing ability in order to be trusted to be allowed to get so far forward.
I had imagined that the Hall to Score bet might turn into a miniseries; however, with James and Chilwell returning, along with Mudryk coming in, the probability of extended value is now lower.
Focusing on this game and working on the assumption that he will start at left back or left wing back, we can see that Liverpool concede 24% of their chances down their right side (Trent), a higher rate than most other sides.
Hall is currently 18.0 on Betfair to score any time against Liverpool. 18.0 means he has a probability of 5% to score. Given his xG in 257 minutes is 0.23, or 23% chance. This is the benefit of having data that is reliable that can be used to better gauge the exact opportunity. This kind of difference is very large and can be hard to find. So I am happy to be attack this with a high stake bet and again would draw on the blackjack analogy where the “deck is hot”.
The bankroll is currently at €853. I had planned to have this bet as part of a series and create a staking plan around that; however that might now change, but it doesn’t change the staking plan too much for this game. I am happy to allocate 5% of the balance towards this bet in this game.
The odds may increase closer to kick off but I am happy with:
Lewis Hall to score any time against Liverpool, 18,0, staking €40
Update: Only €18 available on Betfair which I have taken and €14 at 16.0
I placed a number of bets on Spurs against Manchester City, outlined in this post, and overall I was in profit on this game, even though City mounted a super second half comeback to win 4-2.
The 2-0 HT bet won at 55.0, while I cashed out partially at half time on the best on Spurs to win. I let the Score Four and Win bet ride, while the Spurs -1 bet wasn’t matched which I was surprised at.
Given how tight the first half was in this game where there were very few shots to then go to the other extreme of six goals in the second half, feels like a bit of a collapse from Spurs. The xG was 2.34 to 1.16, so the TNHT bet was fortunate to win, however at 55.0 there was plenty of scope for a bit of luck.
Where does this result leave the speculative view that there was simmering discontent in the City camp? At half time, after a few City mistakes, looked to validate it. However, Pep had enough of an impression to get the desired responce from his players in the second half. Pep’s post match interview called out his players for not been competitive enough, not having enough guts and even mentioned the fans were also complacment. So, this point remains simmering within City. The volatility within the games should mean that there plenty is for value but it needs to have the finger on the pulse of City.
The key to this is to get more of a understanding and feel for the City personality.
Bet Review: Crystal Palace v Man United
This game was on Wednesday and finished 1-1 and 0.41 – 1.39 on xG in favour of United. I had two bets on this game pre-match. Palace HT Draw FT 20.0, stake €4 and also Edouard to score two at 40.0, staking €4. Edouard’s xG was just 0.10 however he had a brilliant shot in the first half that DeGea tipped onto the crossbar, which was one of the saves of the season.
United had won ten games by a single goal previous to this, while also having just won against Man City and also bringing in Wout Weghorst into the line up, it struck me that Crystal Palace could give them a real game and that it would a competitive game. Palace did compete against other big six teams this season, notably the game against Chelsea at the weekend.
It is also notable that Eze was dropped as Vieira played Edouard and Mateta upfront. Olise did OK on the right, he was in and out the game but showed some cutting edge and played the ball into Edouard for his shot. In fact he had four key passes during the game and was their most creative player.
Palace play Newcastle at home on Saturday and it will be interesting to see if Vieira plays the same team for that game. Given the xG of Palace during this game, you’d have to favour Newcastle but it would be a marginal value bet.
After these midweek game, the blog’s bankroll is now at €853.
Tottenaham play Man City at 8.00 pm on Thursday evening in Premier League, with City hot favourites at 1.38 for a home win. I want to explore here the case for why City are over-rated, why Spurs are positioned to surprise them and what bets I am placing to profit from this if this scenario pans out.
City’s Status Belies Their Current Form, Chance Creation
The Haaland fear factor is real, but the truth is Manchester City are creating fewer chances than last season, and this is starting to catch up with them. Analysis by City_Tactics highlights that Man City’s expected goals is down 22% on last season, from 2.54 to 1.97. And in goals so far this season in the league they are over-performing by 5 goals, scoring 45, expecting to score 40. It just so happens that Haalands xG is also over-performing by five goals. So you can put this down to exceptional finishing but Haaland is also third in big chances missed this season so he is human, albeit a touch superhuman in his form this season.
City’s style the writer argues with supporting data hasn’t changed as they still take a very slow and careful approach to build up attacks. However, in past seasons they used Jesus or Sterling or Foden as a False 9, meaning they would not play up front against the central defenders, but would come deep into midfield. This extra player in midfield meant City can control the opponent more, as they can keep the ball by using the extra person.
This season Haaland has been playing as a 9 and hasn’t been dropping into midfield. This change and Haaland being the focal point or star man, seems to have put a few noses out of joint within the squad. There is little to base this on apart from the form of some of City’s other players. Foden is a huge talent but has been dropped by Pep in the past few months, after starting the season on fire. Foden did look a little put out by Haaland in the first few games, choosing to shot rather than pass, something Haaland wasn’t happy about. Foden then had a relatively poor World Cup and he might lay a portion of this blame at Pep for not playing him consistently. When Foden has played in the past two games he hasn’t made an impact and was subbed.
Julien Alvarez is a second player who can’t be happy. He is a very different player to Haaland but Pep doesn’t seem to want to play them together. Alvarez has just won the World Cup with Argentina and has to be pushing Pep to see why he is not starting games regularly. It often takes players at least one season to learn Guardiola’s methods so it there might not be a short term fix here.
There was speculation that Bernardo Silva wanted to move to Barcalona during the summer, which didn’t materialise, but it was suggested that it was Silva’s desire to play for Barca, although he is a complete professional and would still give 100% at City if the transfer didn’t happen. His numbers are down too this season with his xA per 90 at 0.14 compared to 0.21 last year.
Kevin DeBruyne’s numbers are fantastic so far this season and he has been the main player feeding Haaland for his goals. However, his form has dipped since the World Cup although his numbers are still good. I can imagine he might have some post World Cup hangover after Belgium didn’t perform and he didn’t perform for them either. It was also confirmed by Guardiola that DeBruyne took Tuesday off this week for personal reasons. He is available for the game: it’ll be interesting to see how his mood is.
City’s defence conceded 26 goals last season or 0.68 per game, this has risen to a goal a game so far this year and this is inline with their expected goals against, so they are playing to their form. They have had injuries in defence but I was amazed at how Akanji switched off for Manchester United’s second goal in their derby defeat last weekend. That is not the kind of defence that gives you trust. They have also conceded in eight of their last eleven games.
The Manchestere City captain, Ilkay Gundogan, numbers are also back on last season, averaging 0.47 xG last season, compared with 0.36 xG this season. Gundogan was also quoted recently as saying that “something feels off” about the team this season.
City’s form is unusually bad for them. This time last year they were in a run of 12 consecutive league wins. Now they have lost two in their last five and three in their last seven including the league cup game. In the past two games they have also registered one shot on target. Crazy for City.
Guardiola mentioned that complacency can be part of the problem saying that bad performances can happen. This can happen but are some of the players becoming a bit tired of Pep and his obsessive need for control, when some of them, just want to play, like Grealish? Grealish has also stated that adapting to City’s requirements has been harder than he thought.
Teams like Newcastle, Arsenal and to a lesser extent Man United are enjoying upward momentum and this can be bring many unexpected positives when morale is high. Likewise when things are not going well and more issues arise and you fall into negative momentum. Liverpool, Chelsea are examples of this this year and I am wondering if there is some negativity behind the scenes at City?
Can Spurs Take Their Chance?
Antonio Conte got the better of Pep last season, beating City twice and scoring four goals in total against them.
Spurs own form has been very strange this season with their style of football not yet working for them. Many supporters find it a very hard watch and the mood seems to be changing around support for Conte.
Kane’s role in the team has changed – opposite to City and Haaland – Conte is now using Kane more as a forward and less so in dropping deep to get attacking going. Kane has been scoring goals so he hasn’t suffered. Other players around him in particular Son, seem to be struggling to adapt to this change. There is also some sugguestion that he doesn’t play well with some of the wingbacks like Perisic, as they can crowd each other out.
Richarlison has been used on the right when his best position might be on the left and his form has been patchy and he has also been injured, along with Kulusevski.
Spurs form against the teams above them this season has been poor, however looking at the xG of those games, they were all closer than the scoreline suggested. Against Arsenal at the weekend where they lost 2-0 it was 1.71 to 2.04, in favour of Arsenal; they were also the better team against Newcastle and Liverpool on xG.
Spurs are overperforming their xG this season by three goals it must be said with Kane overperforming the most. This is a concern.
It is likely that if these City problems are substantive, they will still churn out a credible performance. It is unlikely that they would collapse, however it can be small mistakes that can be punished very severely in the Premier League, so I will be speculating on a Spurs win and a win by more than one goal.
The majority of Spurs goals come in the second half, so a bet that stands out is City HT Spurs FT at 80.0, particularly as the majority of City’s goals conceded have come in the second half (6 vs 12).
I feel there is an opportunity here for Spurs to get a win and perhaps comfortably, but that is based on them capitalising on City mistakes, rather than their own brilliance. Given the odds available on Spurs at 9.2 on Betfair for an away win I think this is worth attacking as a large stake bet.
It is a touch speculative but often with these kinds of bets you do not have a lot to work on and have to be able to trust your judgment.
I am setting aside 12% of the bankroll (€75) for this bet.
City Half Time Spurs Full Time, 80.0 – Stake €20
Any Other Away Win, 120.0, Stake €8
2-0 HT, 55.0, Stake €4
Spurs -1, 28.0, €13
Spurs to Win, 9.2, Stake €20
What Does It Mean to Be Relegated?
The definition of relegation is finishing in the bottom three of the Premier League and then having to play football in the second tier of English football, but it is the economic impact of this that is devastating for football clubs.
Relegation from the Premier League is estimated to cost clubs £170 million. The average turnover in the Premier League is around £200 million, but in the Championship, it is only £20 million. So relegation has a catastrophic effect. There are payments for relegated clubs, known as ‘parachute payments’ to make the impact softer, this can add 30 million pounds a year, but they are only given for a few years.
There are also huge structural problems for clubs to fix when they get relegated as they have to find a way to lower their costs as their income has been drastically reduced. The main cost for clubs are player salaries. The average salary of a Premier League player is £60k a week, while in The Championship it is closer to £4k a week. It can also take years to get some players off the books because other clubs can not see value in their wages. This can set clubs back years. Leeds United themselves took about twenty years to recover from the last time they were relegated.
The local economy also benefits estimated to be around £70 million. The city of Leeds probably benefits less as they have high attendences even when in The Championship.
Consequently, there is huge pressure on clubs to avoid relegation from the Premier League and it is a large part of the reason why the clubs management sack managers who go on a bad run of performances, as even though they are a good manager they need a quick fix to turn things around.
That is how Jesse Marsch got the Leeds United job, as Marcelo Bielsa was fired in February last year after a poor run of results, despite getting Leeds promoted and performing well in the Premier League for the previous two seasons. Bielsa liked to work with small number of players, but had a bad run with injuries to key players and form suffered.
It is now crunch time for clubs to decide if they need to sack their manager and organise a quick fix. In some cases, the manager has lost the confidence or respect of the key players in the dressing room. Leeds narrowly avoided relegation on the final game last season, but now with the majority of the team available they still facing another tough fight to stay in the league, so the question is…
Can Leeds avoid relegation this year?
Leeds main problem is that all other teams around them have improved on last year, so they will need to improve as they only avoided relegation on the last game of the season and a number of their winning goals in the last ten games involved injury time goals to earn them crucial points. With the players now listening to Marsch for a year, they will be implementing more tactics from his playbook, so will this work? I am not so sure.
Leeds are very inconsisent and can’t play well for a full game. Their good results are the result of ‘bursts’ of energy, but as we move into the second half of the season opposition teams will try to weather these periods of the game then take their chances. Analysing their results in the league so far:
3 points agasint Wolves — Lage now sacked, Lopetegui has them playing better
1 point against Southampton — Hasenhuttl now sacked (from RB school), Jones has them playing better – also let a two goal lead slip late in the game.
3 points against Chelsea — Tuchel now sacked, Potter is doing worse but still likely to improve in my book
0 points away to Brighton — DeZerbi has improved them again after Potter left
1 point at home to Everton — Everton will soon sack Lampard you’d have imagine
0 points away to Brentford — Let in 5 goals, Brentford’s direct approach really cut Leeds open in this game
1 point at home to Villa — Gerrard now sacked, Emery an upgrade
0 points away to Palace — Viera still in charge – possible to pick up points against them in the home game
0 points at home to Arsenal — played well against Arsenal but didn’t get a result
0 points away to Leicester — Rogers still in charge but now playing poorly, possible to pick up points off in home game
0 points at home to Fulham — Fulham have gone from strength to strength, but possible to pick up points off in away game
3 points away to Liverpool — Marsch’s best result of the season
3 points at home to Bournemouth — back to back wins for Leeds, like to get points off Bournemouth again
0 points away to Spurs — Spurs should be just as tough in second game as they compete for Champions League and also have injured players back
0 points at home to Man City — Well beaton here
1 point away to Newcastle — lucky to get a point
1 point at home to West Ham — Season hasn’t gone to plan so far for Moynes
0 points away to Aston Villa — But Leeds were the better side
That totals to 17 points after 18 games. They will, most likely, need to get 20 points in the next 20 games to avoid relegation. To do that they will need to play better and that means scoring more goals.
The four games since the World Cup have not shown much improvement despite Jesse Marsch having five weeks with the players to further get his tactics across and refine them. The Villa game did show signs but is that any different that the signs in the Arsenal or Liverpool games? The real test will be in the up coming games against Forest, Everton and Southampton – that said I can see them taking points off Manchester United, considering how well they have done against some of the other big six teams.
Rather than refine them, there are reports in The Athletic that senior players are in disagreemnet with Marsch and by the sounds of it are losing or have lost confidence in his methods. Going by the photo used I’m guessing that Bamford is one of those players. Frustration might be heightened by recent signings meaning more competition for Bamford as well as frustration that Marsch footballing style is likely to mean it increases his risk of injury.
They have scored 25 goals, with ten of them coming from Rodrigo. He has been over-performing though and would only be expected to score 7 of those chances.
The other side is that Patrick Bamford has been under-performing so if he can get fit and stay fit he can fire Leeds to safety. The only issue is that he missed the majority of last season through injury and missed much of this season as well. He has 400 minutes and was expected to score 5 goals, but he actually only scored one. Perhaps this was bad luck which can turn to good luck in the second half of the season.
Next is Summerville with 4 goals, which he scored in four games in a row but again his xG is 2. Also those games were really open with Leeds conceding eleven goals. He is also now injured for a month.
Luis Sinistera has two goals and looks to be real attacking threat for Leeds, but again he has missed the majority of the season with injury and when he has played he has only averaged 51 minutes in his 9 appearances. This suggests that he is carrying an injury and was being managed, however he has not played now since the defeat to Fulham on October 23rd.
Unfortunately, Brenden Aaronson hasn’t been able to contribute as many goals as might have been hoped after he scored against Chelsea. He has averaged 1.39 shots per game, but after 18 games he should only expect to have two goals. He is also Marsch most picked forward player and is a key part of Marsch identity in terms of representing his footballing philosophy of high press, direct football. If Marsch drops him, even though at 22 he might need a rest, he might feel that it is an admission that his tactics are ineffective.
Jack Harrison has the highest assists for Leeds this seaon with four. He had started as first choice in the left attacking position and made three assists in the first six games from this position. Since then he has been dropped and when he has played he has been played out of position with his Sinistera, Summerville and now Ngonto playing in this position.
Marsch has relied on one formation this season, with 91% of minutes being played with 4-2-3-1 and while many teams in the league like to play a consistent formation that works for them, Leeds are very limited even within this formation as they only have a few players who play well in this system and only one player can play wide left at a time!
Where are the assists going to come from if the front three behind Rodrigo are: Ngonto-Harrison-Aaronson? The key pass numbers per 90 for these three players are: 1- 2.3 – 1.68. Most clubs would typically have full backs that make supporting or over-lapping runs but Struijk is a centre back playing left back and so doesn’t tend to be that effective attacking even though he does get high up the pitch – his key passes per 90 is 0.66. Kristenson on the right hand side was known for his attacking returns for RB Salzburg but doesn’t tend to get that far forward to provide width on the right – his key passes per 90 is 0.47. With Ayling now being selected at right back, it does look like he is crossing the halfway line to provide more options on the right. This will help to create space for others up front. It will also leave more space in behind him and his pass completion rate is only 70% so far, so a pass is likely to lead to a counter-attack.
Tyler Adams has been the best thing about Leeds this season. He has quietly put in consistently good performances averaging 4.2 tackles per game and 1.4 interceptions. It is vital that he maintains his performances and keep himself fit. He also has one of the highest pass completion rates in the side at 83%.
His partner in the double pivot is Roca who for me is a passenger in the side. Adams averages 55 passes per game, while Roca who is known for his passing is only making 39 per game. Key passes are 0.85, while Adams are again higher at 1.31. Roca though has been undroppable playing in 18 games.
The defence is a flat back four with Koch and Llorente being the first choice until the Brentford game where they let in five goals, where Cooper then came in to partner Koch. Llorente has been responsible for two errors which have led to goals; Cooper though has one error leading to a goal so far. The defence is shaky and has not improved that much on last season where they let in15 shots per game; this seaon Marsch’s side is averaging 13.7.
Illan Meslier is alongside Adams one of their best players this season. At 21 he must be one of the best young goalkeepers in world football. He has improved on his performances last season and has been assured in nets for Leeds. He is fifth in most saves this season. His numbers of saves are down on last year but that is probably because the defence have improved slightly. He has claimed an average of one cross a game, compared with last year where he would only claim two every three games, demonstrating his own growing confidence.
Leeds have signed two players in the January transfer window which I imagine they are doing to support the team in the short term as well as in the years ahead. Rutter is a promising young forward signed from German side Hoffenheim while Wober is a reasonably experienced central defender which will offer competition to Cooper and Koch. He will need at least six games to get used to Premier League football and putting him in at this point in the season is high risk. Particularly as the next six games for Leeds could make or break their season as they play:
I’d also like to see Marsch try a 4-3-3 with a midfield of Harrison-Adams-Aaronson and a front three of Ngnonto-Rodrigo-Sinistera (when fit). Bamford of course will get in ahead of Rodrigo most of the time when fit too. That would mean two of their best left midfielders can play and brings Aaronson deeper, taking the creativity pressure off him and allows the team to benefit more from his work rate.
With the 49ers ownership being on the bring of a takeover at Leeds it may also make the situation even more tense this year. If they can stay up then the takeover is much more straight-forward, whereas if they do not the the 49ers might look to renegotiate and it will ultimately effect decision-making within the club and the culture of this paralysis can feed into the players and the performances on the pitch.
Leeds are an injury to Meslier/Koch/Adams/Rodrigo away from relegation. If they can stay fit and get eight to ten points from these next six games, I think they can survive; if not, I think they will finish seventeenth. However, there are 2.2 injuries on average in a Premier League game, so the chances are high that at least one will get injured, at least for a short time.
They do not create enough in open play and their high press is too sporadic to be effective. Marsch hasn’t been proven at this level and failed in the Bundesliga so he’ll have to show that he can make the right decisons in the next six games in particular. For me he lacks authority but seems to be personable; however it is hard to see this style of play sustaining for the longer term. He seems very close to the management having come through the Red Bull Group so they will likely stick with him until the end of the season, especially having backed him further in this transfer window.
They are 4.7 on Betfair to be relegated which implies a 21% chance. Unfortunately for Leeds fan I think there is some value in that price based on what we’ve seen so far this season.
Let’s see how this goes.
Lewis Hall missed a great chance to score against Palace, which was his only shot of the game. The xG was 0.24 but looking at it in real time, it looked easier to score than miss. His odds were 16.0 which is closer to 6% so it looks like a profitable bet assuming he can continue to get shots on goal in the box.
Chelsea’s next four games are Liverpool, Fulham, West Ham and Southampton so assuming his xG of 0.22 (or 22%) any odds over 5.0 is a profitable bet. With odds available of 16.0 there is a 11 point difference. Now the challenge is to decide what is the appropiate staking plan for this bet, so that we minimise the loses but maximise the return.
With the bankroll of €631 today, and I am not sure how much exactly to allocate but €160 feels about right. It is very aggressive but I am OK with it given the probability of a win. That is €40 per game. The chance of a win is 88% and given the opponents it is probably higher. Of course, it could be 1000% and still not win, but long term it is the right move.
One mistake I made in this Chelsea game was not having a staking plan. In the end, I had €16 on Hall, €10 on -1, €4 on Mount and €4 on Ziyech, totalling €32. I should only have had a bet on Hall. I need to be more disciplined and follow my own hard learned advice.
Chelsea had an xG of 2.13 compared to Palance’s 0.84, and so they did not fully deserve the two goal win. Mount had two shots (xG 0.05) while Ziyech had three shots (xG 0.09). These were panic bets after I thought I missed the opportunity on Hall as his odds were 4.1 after teams where announced.
Newcastle: I also placed €10 on Newcastle -1 during the game while scoreless at odds of 5.0 as they were dominating the match. The xG after I placed bet was 1.3 so Newcastle just didn’t have enough. It finished 1.96 to 0.99 but Newcastle were in complete control until they gave away a penalty which Fulham missed in bizarre circumstances. Isak got the goal in the final minutes to give them a vital win. He will likely be crucial to them in the second half of the season. Wilson had 7 shots and an xG of 0.65 but didn’t manage to score.
Arsenal: I laid Arsenal at 1.11 to lose €4 at halftime, thinking that Spurs might do their usual second half – they were much improved as their first half xG was 0.43 while their second half xG was 1.28, however they couldn’t actually score.
The fund is now at €631 and a clear staking plan is needed for each bet.
After Chelsea had an xG of 2.4 against Fulham and won on xG in three of their last four home games, losing to Manchester City, they can continue that today with a strong win against Crystal Palace.
Chelsea obviously have a huge injury list and are in turmoil but thankfully we can look to the xG to see what is really happening in their recent games.
Lewis Hall is a young player that Graham Potter has decided to play due to injuries to Chilwell and the form of Cucurella. He has played 177 minutes in the past three games and has an xG per 90 of 0.21, or 6.0 in betting odds. He is currently priced at 16.0 on Betfair.
Against Man City in the league he came on for Cucurella on 68 minutes and had shot on goal from inside the box.
In Crystal Palace’s last game agasint Spurs, Matt Doherty, their right wing back had four shots from inside the box. Ivan Perisic, their left wing back, had none but tended to keep close to the wing to help give them width, while Doherty was allowed to get into the box.
Crystal Palace have quite a settle side with Patrick Viera knowing his best team, however his system using those players is not working that well as they are not creating enough chances and then are not converting those chances well enough. In their past seven games they have averaged less than one expected goal per game. That includes games against Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, Fulham, Southampton, West Ham and Everton. And they have an XGA of 1.42.
When the teams are announced I will look for value in player to score markets as I am expecting Chelsea to score two or three goals and win 2-0 or 3-1.
Chelsea -1, 3.6, Stake €10
Lewis Hall to score any time. 16.0. Stake 16.
Mount to score two or more, 28.0, stake 4
Ziyeck to score two or more, 29.0, stake 4
Chelsea score four and win, 17.0, stake 4
Chelsea have drifted to nearly even money in the win market, this is too high for my money.