Weekend Review – 31/01/17

Highlights

French Ligue 1
PSG 1-1 Monaco (Sunday 8pm)
After 92 minutes of play we were staring down the barrel of a -1, as PSG led 1-0 in what had been a very tight and keenly fought contest. Then up stepped Bernado Silva to score from outside of the box, sending the Stratagem office wild as Monaco covered the handicap with seconds to spare. Ultimately this was never an “overs” game and we were wide of the mark to assume it would be, as both teams displayed enormous respect for each other and never committed too much forward. Interestingly it was Monaco who edged things in terms of key entries and chances, but 1-1 was a fair result in the end.

It took a relatively soft penalty to open things up, with Sidibe pushing Draxler clumsily to give Cavani the chance to score from the cross. In terms of the wider picture this keeps Monaco more than on track for a remarkable season, with PSG still failing to do the business when the big occasions roll around. They were not helped by team news here and the big market move towards them in the run to kick-off was hard to fathom, with Monaco starting off a crazy +1.25 mark.

Recommendation: Monaco +1 @ 1.80 and Over 2.75 @ 1.89
Actual Outcome: 0 (1-1)
Fair Outcome: 0 (1-1)

German Bundesliga 1
RB Leipzig 2-1 Hoffenheim (Saturday 2.30pm)
The big game in Germany this weekend was between the two surprise packages of the season, with third-placed Hoffenheim finally suffering defeat at the 18th time of asking to second-placed Leipzig, despite taking the lead. It was difficult to deny the home side the victory, with their calmness and professionalism once behind allowing them to wrestle back control of the contest before they equalised 20 minutes after Amiri’s excellent opening goal from a lovely team move.

In the end we got away from this with a push, though the Analyst Fair Score had Leipzig as deserving a 3-1 win here, by virtue of them creating three Great Chances and three Very Good Chances, in addition to a few others. Their key entries outnumbered Hoffenheim’s by almost three-to-one, showing their real intent to keep going for goals even after taking the lead. It would be remiss to ignore the role the red card played here, though, as Hoffenheim had done a good job in nullifying chance creation until Wagner was sent off on the hour mark.

Recommendation: Hoffenheim +1 @ 1.73
Actual Outcome: 0 (2-1)
Fair Outcome: -1 (3-1)

Italian Serie A
Torino 1-1 Atalanta (Sunday 11.30am)
This was our big killer of the weekend, with things looking completely rosy after 16 minutes when Iago Falque gave Torino the lead after a high intensity start to the contest. However, from that point on the hosts really seemed stuck for how to approach things and Atalanta took control, with the introduction of the returning Kessie at half-time paying big dividends as he dominated the game from midfield and drove his side forward at every opportunity.

Still, the visitors wasted good countering opportunities time and time again on a poor pitch, with Petagna particularly frustrating to watch (although he did score the equaliser). However, Kurtic was the main villain with a couple of bad misses from inside the box. Ultimately our Analyst Fair Score had this one at 1-2 Atalanta, which is very difficult to argue with, but in actuality we ended up with 1-1 and a full loss.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 @ 2.01
Actual Outcome: 0 (1-1)
Fair Outcome: +1 (1-2)

Spanish Primera Division
Espanyol 3-1 Sevilla (Sunday 3.15pm)
This one went much more to plan, although it was aided by a red card for Sevilla’s Pareja inside just two minutes, which handily gave Espanyol a penalty as well… Sevilla actually got back to parity relatively quickly, but fell behind in first half stoppage time before Espanyol killed them off 20 minutes from the end. With an Actual Score of 3-1 and a Fair Score of 2-1 this was never really in doubt, but it would have been interesting to see how much different a game we could have had without the sending off. Sevilla have now fallen back into third behind Barcelona, while Sanchez Flores continues to do good work at Espanyol without really getting the blood flowing with his style of play.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 @ 1.95
Actual Outcome: +1 (3-1)
Fair Outcome: +1 (2-1)

French Ligue 1
Nice 3-1 Guingamp (Sunday 2pm)
Nice had a lot of doubts heading into this one, but in the end Cardinale, Seri and Eysseric all made it, which meant we did the right thing by steering away from our lean of Guingamp +0.5. The final score should have been closer than it was in the end, with Guingamp showing good heart in the second half when fighting back from 2-0 to make a game of it, but there was no doubt that Nice deserved the win. They returned to joint-top with Monaco, who drew away to PSG, and created more daylight back to Lyon in fourth.

Recommendation: N/A
Actual Outcome: N/A (3-1)
Fair Outcome: N/A (2-1)

Ones to Watch

Italian Serie A
Sampdoria 3-2 Roma (Sunday 2pm)
Roma have been playing with fire for a few weeks now and there is an unprofessional air about their general performances. It was only a matter of time until they got badly caught out, and while Sampdoria didn’t really deserve to win it they more than covered the +1 handicap.

Recommendation: Sampdoria +1 @ 1.70
Actual Outcome: +1 (3-2)
Fair Outcome: +1 (2-2)

English Championship
Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Burton Albion (Saturday 3pm)
We were close to backing Burton at +0.5 here and really should have stayed true to our gut feeling, with the team news being a big swing in their favour and the line always looking wide. QPR didn’t wake up until it was too late, with 1-2 a fair result.

Recommendation: N/A
Actual Outcome: N/A (1-2)
Fair Outcome: N/A (1-2)

Scottish Premiership
Celtic 4-0 Hearts (Sunday 1pm)
The home side put real gloss on this result in the last 13 minutes, having led since the half hour mark when unexpected inclusion McGregor opened the scoring. Hearts were always hanging in there up until it went 2-0, but seemed demoralised by that goal and duly fell apart thereafter.

Recommendation: Hearts +1.75 @ 1.90
Actual Outcome: -1 (4-0)
Fair Outcome: -1 (3-0)

German Bundesliga 2
Wurzburger Kickers 1-1 Eintracht Braunschweig (Saturday 12pm)
Braunschweig equalised in added time to rob us of a +1 in this game, but although Wurzburger were much the better side for the majority of the contest they became too passive late on and almost invited the goal. Chance creation was very evenly split, but it wasn’t a classic.

Recommendation: Wurzburger Kickers DNB @ 1.99
Actual Outcome: 0 (1-1)
Fair Outcome: 0 (1-1)

Greek Super League
Xanthi 0-0 AEK Athens (Saturday 5.30pm)
Things looked good for this recommendation when AEK had a man sent off inside of ten minutes, but while Xanthi edged chance creation from that point on they were never able to create enough to have deserved the win, despite having more than double the key entries of the visitors.

Recommendation: Xanthi DNB @ 2.01
Actual Outcome: 0 (0-0)
Fair Outcome: 0 (0-0)

9 Recommendations
Total Actual Outcome: +1
Total Fair Outcome: +1

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