Weekend Review 23/05/17

Highlights

English Premier League
Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough (Sunday 3pm)
Klopp ensured that his side qualified for next season’s Champions League with a nervy win over Middlesbrough, which was affected by unfolding events at Arsenal. The first half was punctuated by shots from distance and told the story of a team struggling under pressure, with Liverpool racking up 11 chances in all, eight of which had an average conversion rate of just 2%. However, Wijnaldum came up big on the stroke of half time to completely change the atmosphere and the way the second half unfolded.

Having conceded, a Middlesbrough team with nothing left to hold onto and poor motivation quickly crumbled and were 3-0 down 11 minutes after the break. From there it was plain sailing for the hosts, who secured fourth place relatively easily in the end. All in all the campaign has to be considered a success for Klopp, though it looked as though it could promise so much more around Christmas time. Efficiency and the ability to break down opponents has been their major downfall, though they were not found wanting on this particular occasion. In terms of our suggestion we ended up with a slight positive, winning the handicap but losing half on the goals line, although our Analyst Fair Score believed us to be a little fortunate. Liverpool controlled it, but probably not to the extent of a 3-0.

Suggestion: Liverpool -2.25 @ 1.80 and Over 3.25 @ 1.92
Actual Outcome: 3-0 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (-1.5)

English Premier League
Watford 0-5 Manchester City (Sunday 3pm)
This was one we had absolute conviction in after the news broke of Mazzarri’s departure from Watford, with Man City turning in some supreme attacking performances of late and still required to go for the win with Arsenal and Liverpool breathing down their necks. As soon as Kompany headed home five minutes in we were all set to chalk up a win, and the dam broke midway through the opening period with Guardiola’s side racing into a 0-4 lead by half-time having created 10 chances overall. Watford effectively gave up, as they have had the tendency to do all season when the going gets tough.

Whoever the new manager at Vicarage Road is has his work cut out for him, with Mazzarri and Sanchez Flores before him working minor miracles to have such comfortable campaigns. Motivation is key and it seems to us that a lot of the squad need a comforting arm around their shoulders. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that they started this game with Behrami and Holebas at centre-back, with 19-year-old Mason at left-back. Motivation is always key for City too, and they should have done much better than third this year.

Suggestion: Man City -1.75 @ 1.99
Actual Outcome: 0-5 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 0-4 (+1)

English Premier League
Arsenal 3-1 Everton (Sunday 3pm)
A game full of incident proved to be worth nothing, as both Liverpool and Man City won to make Arsenal’s task impossible. In an open game that got off to the best possible start with Bellerin giving the hosts the lead after just eight minutes, the most interesting event was Koscielny’s red card just six minutes later. He now misses the FA Cup Final but was not missed much here, with Arsenal going 2-0 up and dominating before Lukaku reduced the arrears near the hour mark.

Wenger also lost Gabriel to injury, which leaves him with a real headache for their date with Chelsea, but it made no real difference as Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners and could have won by a little bit more. Everton were largely abject, which was no great surprise given that they were marooned in seventh place and knew that any sort of positive result for them would have been a massive boon for city rivals Liverpool. We stayed out of this one, but missed a trick on the handicap.

Suggestion: N/A
Actual Outcome: 3-1 (N/A)
Fair Outcome: 4-1 (N/A) 

Spanish Primera Division
Malaga 0-2 Real Madrid (Sunday 7pm)
Real produced a decent enough performance to take the La Liga title, being helped on their way by a Ronaldo opener that came within two minutes of play beginning. To their credit Malaga didn’t just roll over and were a little hard done to with a two-goal defeat, at least according to our Spanish analyst, but the data shows that they probably deserved to score at least once – if not more than that. Real were happy to sit back after getting the lead, knowing that just a solitary point would be enough, but this led to Malaga having a massive 18 chances, five of which were significant. They actually out-shot Zidane’s men, showing one of the key failings of xG in its failure to account for game state and tactical approach. This game was the less interesting of the two key ones in Spain, but we were pleased to win.

Suggestion: Real Madrid -1.75 @ 1.81
Actual Outcome: 0-2 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 1-2 (-1)

Spanish Primera Division
Barcelona 4-2 Eibar (Sunday 7pm)
This was something of a classic and had a bit of everything, with events almost certainly impacted from the news coming in from Malaga. Eibar shocked Camp Nou by taking the lead just seven minutes in, catching the hosts with their guard down, but then impressively held on right through until the hour where they actually doubled the advantage. That’s when things got really interesting, though, with Messi and co. rallying to storm back to a stunning 4-2 win, though it was all for nought in the end due to Real’s comfortable win. This game also had one of the worst penalty awards ever seen, but for our part it never looked like being a huge win on the handicap for Enrique and his players.

Suggestion: Barcelona -3.25 @ 1.98
Actual Outcome: 4-2 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 4-2 (-1)

German Bundesliga 1
Hamburger SV 2-1 Wolfsburg (Saturday 2.30pm)
An enormous comeback win for Hamburg ensured their safety and condemned Wolfsburg to the relegation play-off. The tension was palpable throughout and it certainly impacted on the quality of football on display, with the game ultimately fortunate to go over the 2.5 goal line in the end. Hamburg always seemed to be holding something back but when they finally went for it they got the winner they needed, Waldschmidt heading home to send the home crowd crazy. Wolfsburg almost snatched a draw through Arnold after this, but Mathenia came up big with a great save to see his team through.

Suggestion: Over 2.5 @ 2.04
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (-1)

Ones to Follow

German Bundesliga 1
Hoffenheim 0-0 Augsburg (Saturday 2.30pm)
Augsburg secured safety by fighting hard to get a scoreless draw from Hoffenheim, ensuring that their hosts finished fourth instead of third at the same time. Given that Dortmund won and Wolfsburg only lost by a single goal any other outcome was highly unlikely, making the unders a resounding winner.

Suggestion: Under 3.5 @ 1.93
Actual Outcome: 0-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-0 (+1)

German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Werder Bremen (Saturday 2.30pm)
With Hoffenheim dropping points Dortmund didn’t need to win this and at times they played as if they knew a point would be enough. They trailed on two occasions but woke up to take a deserved one-goal win, which unfortunately meant that our handicap selection never looked like paying off.

Suggestion: Borussia Dortmund -2 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 4-3 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 3-2 (-1)

Italian Serie A
Chievo 3-5 Roma (Saturday 5pm)
Roma kept their noses ahead of Napoli in the runners-up race with a thrilling win over Chievo, but only just beat the -1.75 handicap. The title has now gone with Juventus making short work of Crotone, but with Genoa visiting Rome next weekend they look set to wrap up second.

Suggestion: Roma -1.75 @ 1.81
Actual Outcome: 3-5 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 2-3 (-1)

Italian Serie A
Napoli 4-1 Fiorentina (Saturday 7.45pm)
Napoli are unstoppable at the moment and comfortably beat the market line here, though all of these resounding wins look unlikely to pay off with automatic qualification for the Champions League. It goes to the last day where they’ll go to Sampdoria and where we expect another big handicap allocation.

Suggestion: Napoli -1.75 @ 1.94
Actual Outcome: 4-1 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 3-0 (+1)

French Ligue 1
Olympique Marseille 1-0 Bastia (Saturday 8pm)
The visitors bowed out of Ligue 1 with a whimper, actually deserving to lose more heavily than they did and not creating a single chance of note in a game that they had to win in order to survive. Marseille wrapped up fifth in routine fashion, but missed Payet’s creativity.

Suggestion: Over 3 @ 1.83
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (-1)

French Ligue 1
Lorient 1-1 Bordeaux (Saturday 8pm)
Lorient slipped into the relegation play-off spot and Bordeaux ended the season stuck in sixth, though they will still hope that it will be enough for Europa League qualification. 1-1 was the fair result, although either side could have won it, with the point keeping the hosts’ survival chances alive.

Suggestion: Bordeaux 0.25 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 1-1 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (+0.5)

12 Suggestions
Total Actual Outcome: +3
Total Fair Outcome: -4

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