Spanish Primera Division
Atletico Madrid 0-3 Real Madrid (Saturday 7.45pm)
The biggest game of the weekend saw Real heading to city rivals Atletico on a plus 0.25 Asian Handicap, which they easily beat with a 3-0 win courtesy of a Ronaldo hat-trick. The Ballon d’Or favourite grabbed all of the headlines with his deflected free-kick, penalty and finally counter-attacking treble, with Real’s relatively early goal meaning that the entire game was played to their strengths. As soon as Atletico fell behind it looked a long way back for them, despite Griezmann passing fit in time to feature from the start.
Our recommendation of taking the visitors at the 0.25 mark paid out without too much fuss in the end, as Atletico’s only chance of note came in stoppage time when the game was already over. Indeed, Ronaldo and company are looking imperious at this relatively early stage of the season and with the Fair Score registering this as a 0-2 for Real it means they are now boasting a perfect “Fair” record over the last six outings. Barcelona continue to stutter, while it seems their big rivals have managed to successfully navigate a tricky period of injuries and unavailability, so there could be merit at backing them for the title.
Recommendation: Real Madrid +0.25
German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Bayern Munchen (Saturday 5.30pm)
Dortmund reduced the gap between themselves and their visitors to three points with a completely deserved 1-0 win, which was built on incredible defensive efficiency. Another plus 0.25 recommendation in a big derby game proved successful thanks to Tuchel’s side allowing an enormous 48 key entries but never conceding a chance with a higher than 15% conversion rate. At the other end of the pitch the made the better openings throughout and were almost worth a 2-0 on the Fair Score, which shows just how good a performance this was.
This fixture’s propensity for an unders game also continued, as we had noted pre-match that seven of the last ten meetings between the two had resulted in less than 2.5 goals. This extended that run and was also a good indicator for how the corners market links with inefficiency in attack, as Bayern racked up nine corners from their 48 key entries to Dortmund’s three. Remember that if a team are not scoring but applying a lot of pressure, they are usually generating flag kicks.
Recommendation: Borussia Dortmund +0.25
English Premier League
Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal (Saturday 12.30pm)
The hosts were left feeling hard done by after Giroud’s late equaliser off the bench here, with United having edged the contest throughout in terms of momentum. A closer look at the numbers shows that this was actually a much more balanced game than it appeared to be on first sight, however, with Arsenal making the two best opportunities of the contest from significantly fewer key entries.
We had liked the away team on the DNB line pre-match but were a little bit fortunate to escape with a push, because the balance of the side looked wrong from the outset. In future we are going to be watching carefully for a lack of a creative element in Wenger’s engine room and particularly for when El Nenny is paired with Coquelin. The better selection here would have been Ramsey in midfield with Coquelin, Sanchez wide left and Giroud leading the line.
Recommendation: Arsenal DNB
Italian Serie A
Milan 2-2 Internazionale (Sunday 7.45pm)
This was another big derby game where the line was incredibly tight pre-match and our suggestion of taking on Milan at DNB looked to be an unlucky push in the circumstances of Inter’s last minute equaliser. However, when evaluating the deeper metrics in the game the case was actually that Inter were fully deserving of the draw, if not the win!
A disclaimer here is that they were forced to be aggressive due to being in a -1 game state for a large portion of the play, but the fact remains that they created twice as many Great Chances (~40% conversion) as Milan and four Very Good Chances (~25%) to the hosts’ zero. Really, anything less than a point would have been an injustice.
Recommendation: Milan DNB
Turkish Super Lig
Fenerbahce 2-0 Galatasaray (Sunday 5pm)
Galatasaray have now gone an enormous 18 years without victory in this fixture and they can have few complaints at this result, with Fenerbahce deserved winners. 2-0 may have flattered the home team a little bit, but the fact remains that Gala managed just 11 key entries and a paltry three Poor Chances (~2% conversion) in the entire game. Fener were so strong as a team that they gave next to nothing away, only conceding a solitary corner, while managing to create just enough at the other end to get the three points and the bragging rights for another year.
Ones to Watch
English Premier League
Southampton 0-0 Liverpool (Saturday 3pm)
The -0.25 on Liverpool looked attractive, but Southampton’s ability to grind out results meant we stopped short of making any kind of recommendation here. In the end the visitors were worthy of a 0-1, but a 0-0 was fair enough.
German Bundesliga 1
Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 RB Leipzig (Friday 7.30pm)
Our feeling for an over 2.5 game paid off handsomely and deservedly here, but the real story is that Leipzig again confounded the critics with a huge victory. However, it can’t be forgotten that Leverkusen missed a penalty at 2-1.
Recommendation: Over 2.5
Leeds United 0-2 Newcastle United (Sunday 1.15pm)
A gift from Green helped Newcastle to a relatively comfortably win, with the suggestion to back them at -0.25 a very solid one. Leeds had them worried at 1-0 but the game was not as close as Garry Monk claimed.
Recommendation: Newcastle United -0.25
German Bundesliga 2
Union Berlin 1-1 Stuttgart (Sunday 12.30pm)
This was a pulsating game to watch and could have gone either way, though Union took it 2-1 on Fair Score thanks to their better chance creation over the course of the game. In actuality we got a fortunate push.
Recommendation: Stuttgart DNB
Salzburg 2-1 Rapid Wien (Sunday 3.30pm)
Another fortunate push for our recommendations here, with Rapid Wien pulling a goal back in added time after being very much second best throughout against the title favourites. Team news made little difference as Salzburg dominated en route to victory.
Recommendation: Rapid Wien +1
Total Outcome: +4 (8 recommendations)