Weekend Review 09/05/17

Highlights 

English Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United (Sunday 4pm)
In one of the least anticipated games between Arsenal and Manchester United for a while, the home side ran out relatively comfortable winners against their rotated visitors. Mourinho was true to his word in making numerous changes to his side with a view to ensuring his side’s progression in the Europa League, with no less than eight alterations from Thursday night in all. He was always going to set up to make the game as tight as possible, hence our suggestion for an unders bet, and with an actual score of 2-0 and a fair score of 1-0 this got us off to a strong start.

It took a deflected shot from Xhaka to break the deadlock around ten minutes into the second half, and in some ways the timing of the goal was a shame because it would have been interesting to see if United might have gone for the win had it stayed 0-0 a little longer. With Liverpool dropping points at home immediately prior to kick-off the opportunity of a Champions League place through the league had opened up again, which could have caused some regrets from the visiting manager. Arsenal were not at all impressive, again.

Suggestion: Under 2.75 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 2-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-0 (+1)

English Championship
Brentford 1-3 Blackburn Rovers (Sunday 12pm)
The conclusion to the Championship season had more drama at the top than the bottom, with the outcome of the relegation battle never in too much doubt. An open game ended with a deserved win for the doomed visitors, even though Brentford had 21 chances in all – the vast majority of which were relatively poor openings where the shot was taken on too quickly. Blackburn were two-up after just 16 minutes but never looked capable of racking up the big win they needed because of the way events unfolded elsewhere.

In terms of our suggestion we got this one wrong and underestimated the motivation element, perhaps giving too much credit to Brentford as a team with little left to play for. It’s easy to say with hindsight but an overs bet was the key here, given that Blackburn were always likely to need to hunt for goals regardless of the game state or time segment. It’s League One for Blackburn next season, so at least we got our prediction of who would go down correct.

Suggestion: Brentford DNB @ 1.90
Actual Outcome: 1-3 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 1-2 (-1)

English Championship
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Ipswich Town (Sunday 12pm)
This one was much more straightforward for our suggestion, with Ipswich indeed proving to be perfect opposition for a team seeking to get a win and avoid the drop. Forest had the plum tie of the three teams left in the fight come final day and although it took them a while to get going, once they had the lead through Assombalonga’s excellent penalty they never looked like giving it up. Ipswich clearly missed McGoldrick and Lawrence in attack, but created just about enough to have deserved a goal.

Racking up the 3-0 score meant that Blackburn were given next to no chance of surviving, requiring three more goals than the three they got at Brentford to survive on goal difference. As such the job is done for Forest and a team with so much quality should be nowhere near this position again next season, though vultures will be circling.

Suggestion: Nottingham Forest -0.75 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 3-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 3-1 (+1) 

English Championship
Bristol City 0-1 Birmingham City (Sunday 12pm)
Birmingham got the job done in the end, though the Blues still have Huddersfield to thank for being in such a comfortable position coming into the final day. Even a draw would have been enough in the circumstances, which is the result our analyst believed would have been the fair outcome, though we ended up with a negative on our suggestion due to the hosts’ inability to convert their many chances into goals. This was definitely the most sedate of the three key games from England’s second flight and was another where motivation won the day, with Bristol the better footballing side but not really urgent enough in their approach. The big question now revolves around Harry Redknapp’s future, but we think he’ll stay on.

Suggestion: Bristol City DNB @ 1.97
Actual Outcome: 0-1 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (0) 

German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Hoffenheim (Saturday 2.30pm)
A fascinating tactical battle from Germany’s top flight ended with a justified one-goal victory for the hosts, which was enough for a half-win on our handicap suggestion. Hoffenheim remain a lot better than the market gives them credit for and will be fully deserving of a crack at the Champions League qualifier, with Dortmund now looking set in third. This game was notable for producing three goals from just 12 overall chances, with just half of these having an average conversion rate of 15% or above. As such, our German analyst believed the game’s true fair outcome to be 1-0.

Suggestion: Hoffenheim +1.25 @ 1.88
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 1-0 (+0.5)

French Ligue 1
Olympique Marseille 2-1 Nice (Sunday 8pm)
This was an excellent derby with two teams who still had plenty to play for, with Marseille’s deserved 2-1 win moving them ahead of Bordeaux into Europa League contention. The defeat ended Nice’s very slim title ambitions, but with Monaco winning yet again no other outcome would have made a difference anyway. This has still been another superb season for the Riviera club, but Marseille still have plenty of work to do before next year.

Suggestion: Nice +0.5 @ 2.00 and Over 2.75 @ 1.93
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (-0.5)
Fair Outcome: 2-1 (-0.5)

Ones to Follow

English Premier League
Hull City 0-2 Sunderland (Saturday 3pm)
We fell into this trap, as we’re sure so many others did as well. Interestingly, by kick-off time the line had moved to -1.25 on the hosts and our internal models began flashing value on Sunderland, with the visitors being a great bet on both the actual and fair score.

Suggestion: Hull -1 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 0-2 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (-1)

English Premier League
Swansea City 1-0 Everton (Saturday 5.30pm)
The result at Hull impacted on the outcome here significantly, which always made it a risky proposition to suggest on so far in advance of kick-off. This was never an overs game, even after Swansea opened the scoring, because an Everton opening goal was what was needed in the circumstances.

Suggestion: Over 2.5 @ 1.95
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (-1)

English Premier League
West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Friday 8pm)
New ground, same old outcome. West Ham took Chelsea’s role from last season as the rivals who killed Tottenham’s title challenge, with this still being a nightmare away trip for Spurs despite the change of scenery. The hosts were well worth the win and the unders came in quite comfortably.

Suggestion: Under 3 @ 1.91
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (+1) 

English Premier League
Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough (Monday 8pm)
Chelsea cruised to a victory that essentially sealed the title for them after Tottenham’s slip and also condemned Middlesbrough to relegation. The gulf between the two sides was clear for all to see from the outset, with the visitors bowing out with a whimper and having just a single shot.

Suggestion: Over 3 @ 1.86
Actual Outcome: 3-0 (0)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (-1)

Spanish Primera Division
Barcelona 4-1 Villarreal (Saturday 5.30pm)
We won’t dwell too much on Barcelona’s offside opener as they would have won this game either way, with their motivation through the roof and performances flowing. The three-goal margin of victory flattered them, but there are definite signs that they are a risky team to oppose at this stage.

Suggestion: Villarreal +2.5 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 4-1 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 3-1 (+1)

Spanish Primera Division
Granada 0-4 Real Madrid (Saturday 7.45pm)
Zidane produced his shadow squad again, but much like the result against Deportivo this was never in doubt from the first whistle. Granada offered next to no resistance as Real raced into a 0-4 lead in just 35 minutes and then coasted home from there, saving plenty for Wednesday night.

Suggestion: N/A
Actual Outcome: 0-4 (N/A)
Fair Outcome: 1-5 (N/A)

12 Suggestions
Actual Outcome: -2
Fair Outcome: 0

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