English Premier League
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (Saturday 5.30pm)
Had we known that Sanchez would be sat out for this then there’s no way we would have recommended Arsenal on the Asian Handicap, which was already something of a risk due to the possibility of Ozil being out due to illness. In the end the visitors began the game without both of their key attacking weapons, which naturally shifted the market heavily in Liverpool’s direction. The hosts did not pass up the opportunity to drive home their advantage, disrupting Arsenal with their high press and putting a weak central midfield combination under particular pressure to dominate the first half.
Wenger was forced to turn to Sanchez at the interval with his side already 2-0 down, which meant that at least our overs position was strengthened further. Indeed, in all of the league games since 2003/04 when Arsenal have conceded such an early opener on the road, 85% of games have ended Over 2.75 and they have lost 60% (again, many thanks to the excellent SOTDOC for the numbers!) The Chilean did provide the assist for Welbeck’s goal but could not inspire his teammates completely, with Liverpool gradually wrestling back control before adding a killer third right at the death.
Suggestion: Arsenal +0.5 @ 1.86 and Over 2.75 @ 1.95
Actual Outcome: 0 (3-1)
Fair Outcome: 0 (3-1)
Italian Serie A
Roma 1-2 Napoli (Saturday 2pm)
Roma passed up a huge opportunity to almost guarantee themselves the runners-up spot and continue challenging Juventus for the title, deservedly losing to Napoli in an extremely competitive and exciting game. The visitors created the better chances even though Roma had more attempts and hit the woodwork twice, Pepe Reina also being called into action to make a stunning save from Perotti in added time. Napoli belied their heavy schedule to produce an excellent team performance, though we were left ruing our decision to ignore the Over 2.75 line due to the short 1.78 price.
Indeed, the away side almost beat the total goals line themselves when Rog went clean through to be denied by Szczesny five minutes from time, which seemed to finally spark Roma into action, though the rally came too late. Ultimately, leaving Salah on the bench was a very strange choice from Spalletti, given the Egyptian’s output this season, and the hosts’ fluidity suffered as a result. They are now left trying to consolidate a top three spot in Serie A.
Suggestion: Roma -0.25 @ 1.83
Actual Outcome: -1 (1-2)
Fair Outcome: -1 (1-2)
German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund 6-2 Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday 2.30pm)
The third highlight of the week and another goal festival, showing that we are at least getting very adept at choosing the cream of the crop for you to watch every weekend! Unfortunately this was also another losing suggestion, with Dortmund scoring three in the last 13 minutes to smash the Asian Handicap when we were looking good for a half win or better. Both sides showed great attacking efficiency in this one, which made for an insane final score, but it was a tremendous game of football.
Indeed, it was actually a much more competitive derby than the final score would have us believe, but Dortmund were still deserving of a comfortable victory by the end after Leverkusen gave at 4-2, largely through exhaustion as much as anything else. Dortmund’s superior attacking unit saw them through, with Dembele and Aubameyang running the show, but Leverkusen showed a lot too.
Suggestion: Bayer Leverkusen +1.25 @ 1.83
Actual Outcome: 6-2 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 4-1 (-1)
Spanish Primera Division
Eibar 1-4 Real Madrid (Saturday 3.15pm)
It seems we got a little carried away by the absences of Bale and Ronaldo here, as Madrid produced an extremely effective and clinical performance to wipe the floor with Eibar. The hosts have had a really tough time against the leading lights of La Liga this season and that pattern continued, with the visitors racing into a 0-3 lead by the half hour and then taking their foot off the accelerator. Eibar were just far too attacking too early, leaving their defenders very exposed in the early running and never really giving themselves to hang in the game and make Real nervous. They showed something after the break and deservedly got back to 1-4, but this only served to wake Zidane’s side up again.
Suggestion: Eibar +1 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 1-4 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 1-3 (-1)
English Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Everton (Sunday 1.30pm)
Our five highlighted games this time around produced 25 goals, which makes us regret the fact we didn’t go with our normal level of overs recommendations this weekend! To round off the set Tottenham dispatched of Everton 3-2 to earn a completely deserved win that keeps them comfortable in second, finally putting paid to any top four aspirations Koeman’s side had left. Two goals in added time really did for us here, but interestingly the Fair Outcome was 2-0, as the home side controlled the game throughout without ever creating too much or giving much of anything away to Everton.
Suggestion: Under 2.75 @ 1.91
Actual Outcome: 3-2 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (+1)
Ones to Watch
French Ligue 1
Bordeaux 1-1 Olympique Lyonnais (Friday 7.45pm)
A contest between Ligue 1’s “Jekyll and Hyde” teams naturally ended up in a stalemate, but Bordeaux benefitted from a controversial goal and the visitors created enough openings to have scored two. Lyon deserved a narrow win, but there is enough of an argument for a 0-1 as a 1-2.
Suggestion: Over 2.75 @ 1.81
Actual Outcome: 1-1 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 1-2 (+0.5)
Huddersfield Town 1-3 Newcastle United (Saturday 5.30pm)
Newcastle did the business in their second huge game of the weekend, playing ugly but taking a completely justified victory over Huddersfield. The home side played some good stuff once 0-2 down but didn’t deserve to take anything here, though they certainly had Newcastle worried after Mooy’s 72nd minute penalty.
Suggestion: Newcastle DNB @ 1.88 and Over 2 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 1-3 (+2)
Fair Outcome: 1-2 (+2)
Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Wigan Athletic (Saturday 3pm)
We expected that this one would be a tight, competitive affair and so it proved, with Blackburn taking a deserved 1-0 win in the end. Under 2.25 was the best trade all day long and there was only a solitary chance of “Very Good” (~25% conversion) or better all afternoon.
Suggestion: Under 2.25 @ 1.76
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-0 (+1)
Greek Super League
PAOK 2-0 Olympiakos (Sunday 5.30pm)
Olympiakos are officially in their worst run of the season but still maintain a six point lead at the top, with Panionios only managing to draw at home to AEK on Monday evening. PAOK did what we expected of them here, continuing their superb late run for the runners-up spot.
Suggestion: PAOK DNB @ 1.75
Actual Outcome: 2-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-0 (+1)
German Bundesliga 2
Eintracht Braunschweig 1-1 Stuttgart (Monday 7.15pm)
We advised caution due to Terrode’s broken nose and though the striker ended up playing, he was inhibited due to his face mask. Still, Stuttgart started well before getting too defensive and inviting pressure, surviving one penalty before conceding the second and clinging on for the remainder with ten men.
Suggestion: Stuttgart DNB @ 1.86
Actual Outcome: 1-1 (0)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (0)
Total Actual Outcome: -1
Total Fair Outcome: +2.5