Weekend Review – 04/10/2016

English Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester City (Sunday 2.15pm)
Pep Guardiola lost his 100% league record at White Hart Lane, as Tottenham took a deserved 2-0 win with an accomplished performance. Mauricio Pochettino won the tactical battle with his decision to play without a natural striker, and Spurs’ high press was relentless in the opening part of the first half in particular. In truth the home side only lost their way for a ten minute spell before the interval, and after they scored their second shortly before half-time it looked a long way back for a depleted Man City side.

Our inference that City’s position as favourites looked wrong proved to be a good one, but we ended up being off in our suggestion that both teams would find the net. Indeed, with an Analyst Fair Score of 2-0 on StrataBet and only a solitary Great Chance for the hosts, it is hard to argue that three goals should have been scored despite Lamela’s missed penalty. At least the game itself was thrilling to watch, with Spurs belying the absence of Kane – again overestimated by the market – to produce their best performance of the season. This showing was one of the best at the Lane in recent memory.

Italian Serie A
Roma 2-1 Internazionale (Sunday 7.45pm)
Roma proved the bookmakers right on Sunday evening, recovering quickly from conceding a 72nd minute equaliser to take a narrow victory over Champions League rivals Inter. The home side certainly did not have it all their own way after Dzeko’s early opener, which made this a very different game to what was expected pre-match. We were leaning towards Inter +0.5 and Under 2.75 as a starting point, which really would not have given much of an exit point due to the way things unfolded.

The Under 2.75 suggestion in particular went out of the window with the early goal and our Analyst had the eventual Fair Score at 2-2, saluting a pair of excellent goalkeeping performances for keeping the score down. Inter probably just about deserved to take a point on the balance of play and will have been left very deflated by the unfortunate nature of the losing goal.

German Bundesliga 1
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Saturday 5.30pm)
We suggested that it would take a brave man to bet against Dortmund, and those who showed courage were rewarded with a Leverkusen win here. The hosts’ early goal allowed them to sit and invite the visitors on, with the key element of their performance being that they never gave up anything better than a Very Good Chance (~25% conversion). Our Analyst Fair Score had this one as a 2-1 home win, which perfectly matched the goal line set by the market ahead of kick-off.

Overall the suggestion that Dortmund were a little too wide on first glance was on the money and this was a game that extolled the virtues of our Fair Outcome table. While Leverkusen had only taken seven points from five games prior to the weekend, our belief was that their performances had been worth 11. A home win was just a slight surprise, nothing more.

French Ligue 1
Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 Saint-Etienne (Sunday 7.45pm)
Saint-Etienne’s poor finishing meant that this derby did not turn out to be as exciting as it might have been, but it was still an enthralling game to watch due to the number of important players missing for both teams. The Analyst Fair Score agreed that Lyon were deserved winners, but had the final outcome at 2-1 due to the fact that they had six chances of Very Good quality or above and the visitors had exactly half of that amount. Our view here was that the handicap of -0.75 on the home side was a little too wide and that the goal line of 2.5 looked somewhat too big. In truth both of these opinions were wrong, regardless of what actual score ended up being.

Spanish Primera Division
Valencia 0-2 Atletico Madrid (Sunday 11am)
Thankfully we were much more on target here, as Atletico took a fully deserved 0-2 win from the Nou Mestalla. Despite missing two penalties their overall chance creation numbers were just two Greats (~45%) and four Very Goods (~25), plus a smattering of poorer opportunities. Essentially what this meant was that the 0-2 scoreline was fair, which made Atletico -0.5 and Under 2.5 the smart bets. The key here was to accurately account for the immediate form of Valencia, who had only beaten promoted sides before this weekend, and not to be too worried by Atletico’s midweek game.

English Championship
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday 3pm)
Our suggestion was to start on Brighton +0.25 and Under 2.25, with the intention of getting out when things were comfortably in the green. Hooper’s consolation with virtually the last kick of the game should therefore not have been too painful, if this game was traded right. Brighton did a great job of limiting Wednesday to mainly Poor Chances (~2%), with the visitors’ only Greats coming the very last part of the contest.

Japanese J1 League
Urawa Reds 4-0 Gamba Osaka (Saturday 6.05am)
The market was confident in Urawa and at least three goals pre-match. Ultimately both the actual and fair results of 4-0 showed why this was the case.

Netherlands Eredivisie
Heerenveen 1-1 PSV (Saturday 6.45pm)
This was indeed a banana skin for PSV, with the -1 handicap proving to be far too punchy against an in-form Heerenveen. 1-1 was an extremely justified result.

United States MLS
Dallas 1-0 LA Galaxy (Sunday 2am)
Dallas just managed to beat the rather wide -0.75 handicap in a game that had big implications in the Western Conference, but they were worth the 1-0.

Austrian Bundesliga
Salzburg 0-1 Sturm Graz (Sunday 3.30pm)
The referee proved to be more of a leveller than Salzburg’s Europa League commitments, but the hosts were worth a point despite suffering two red cards.

Swedish Allsvenskan
AIK 6-0 Norrkoping (Sunday 4.30pm)
The team news was stacked against Norrkoping and it had an enormous effect, as AIK moved within three points of them in second. 6-0 was actually fair enough.

Greek Super League
Olympiakos Piraeus 3-0 AEK Athens (Sunday 6.30pm)
Brown scored early and it was a slippery slope for AEK after that. It was crucial that they kept it level until the interval and in the end 3-0 was about right.

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