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Five men on the hit-list tonight...

Wednesday 9th December 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Champions League Group stage finale…
  • Championship high-flyers in action…
  • Anytime Scorers…

Five men on the hit-list tonight…

A smidge of polish might have worn off the ol’ crystal ball last night. But it’s all good…

In the EFL, our Tuesday-night 62/1 Win & Both Teams to Score contenders weren’t a million miles away:

Millwall 1 QPR 1
Watford 2 Rotherham 0
Grimsby 0 Newport 2

And in the Champions League, if you watched the Man Utd game, then you’ll have seen it was certainly the kind of match that could’ve produced another big 25/1 comeback…

We anticipated that ‘only needing a draw’ wasn’t going to be a straightforward situation for Man Utd in Germany. The Premier League side went 2-0 down after just 13 minutes…

RB Leipzig ended up winning 3-2 (from 3-0 up), qualifying for the Last 16 – and knocking out Man Utd in the process.

For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, the problem of being slow starters continues:

  • Man Utd have now gone a goal (or 2) behind, during the first half, in 7 of their last 9 away games in all competitions

In the book…

We’re having plenty of joy hunting in some exciting areas.

It’s price that we’re interested in, rather than attempting to ‘win’ every day.

After recent selections clicked at odds including 13/1, 15/1, and 25/1, the big picture is very rosy for us.

We’ll be looking to go again in the Win & BTTS markets very soon. The next fixture list I’m targeting for that will likely be in the EFL this coming weekend.

Talking of the big picture. If you’re following my ante post picks this season, the Champions League book currently contains these Each Way contenders:

Outright Winner
Real Madrid @ 12/1 – currently 2nd in Group B
Barcelona @ 14/1 – qualified in 2nd place from Group G

Top Goalscorer
Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) @ 33/1 – 4 goals so far
Raheem Sterling (Man City) @ 20/1 – 1 goal
Duvan Zapata (Atalanta) @ 33/1 – 3 goals

It’s a big night in terms of keeping some of those alive in the competition:

In Group B, all four teams have the chance to qualify. Going into this evening’s final round of games, the blunt way to describe the situation for the two sides that we’re interested in, Real Madrid and Inter Milan (for Lukaku), is that they need to win.

You can get a good summary of all the various Group/ qualification permutations here.

The optimistic view is that both are at home, and priced up as favourites. Madrid are 4/6 (1.67) to beat Borussia Monchengladbach. Inter are 3/10 (1.3) to beat Shakhtar Donetsk, with Lukaku priced around 4/7 (1.57) to score.

The Real Madrid game has the potential to ignite into a goal-fest…

  • Over 2.5 Goals and Over 3.5 Goals has paid out in all 5 of Borussia Monchengladbach’s Champions League games

Real have had 3 out of 5 Group games over both those Total Goals lines, too. Including a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture at ‘Gladbach.

The bookies have Over 2.5 Goals as a general 1/2 (1.5) shot today, with the higher Over 3.5 option at 13/10 (2.3).

In Group D, where the action kicks off at 5.55pm, Atalanta are away at Ajax. A draw would take the Italian side through to the Last 16. Ajax need to win. Atalanta striker Zapata is 13/10 (2.3) to find the net, and end a 7-game goal-drought in all competitions.

Champions League – Scorers notebook…

Tuesday’s pointers included Ciro Immobile, who found the net for the 9th straight game for Lazio. And Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored two penalties for Juventus.

Aside from Lukaku & co mentioned above, here are three players to watch out for in front of goal in the Champions League tonight…

Bayern Munich v Lokomotiv Moscow:

Bayern are already through, and qualified as Group A winners. If the Germans rest players tonight, then the teenager that we mentioned in this week’s Monday Report might get some more game-time…

  • The bookies are taking no chances with Jamal Musiala today. In the Anytime Scorer market, the 17-year-old is around 8/5 (2.6) in general, and as short as 21/20 (2.05). If he’s gets the chance to play, Musiala is one to look for out for

Olympiakos v Porto:

Porto are already through in 2nd place, so this is a dead rubber for the Portuguese side. Olympiakos are competing with Marseille (who go to 1st place Man City) for 3rd place in Group C, with the reward being a place in the Europa League. That’s a valid incentive for the Greek club.

Olympiakos’ French-Moroccan striker Youseff El Arabi could be the man for the occasion here…

The 33-year-old missed most of November with coronavirus, but hit a hat-trick in a 4-1 home win in the Greek league on Saturday. In fact, that was his second treble in his last 4 home appearances.

Overall, El Arabi has landed Anytime Scorer bets in 4 out of 7 home apps for Olympiakos this season (3 x First Goalscorer). Last season, he scored in 6 out of 10 matches across the Champions League & Europa League.

I like El Arabi at 13/8 (2.63) and 6/4 (2.5) in the Anytime Scorer market today.

RB Salzburg v Atletico Madrid:

Salzburg need to win to qualify. Atletico need a point to go through. The Austrian side haven’t kept a Clean Sheet in any of their last 17 European matches, and Atletico’s record £113 million signing Joao Felix could haunt them again here…

Felix scored a brace in Atletico’s 3-2 win in the reverse match in Spain. The classy 21-year-old is increasingly being touted as Portugal’s long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Joao Felix has landed Anytime Scorer bets in 5 of his last 9 starts for club & country. With Salzburg needing to win, but vulnerable at the back, Felix is one to follow at around 13/8 (2.63) here.

Championship high-flyers…

The three top scorers in the Championship are all in action this evening. And all three men are on eye-catching runs at the moment:

  • Brentford v Derby – Ivan Toney has 14 league goals from 16 starts. He’s scored in 4 games in a row for Brentford, and in 7 of his last 9. Anytime Scorer price tonight: 11/10 (2.1) Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook, 5/6 (1.83) in general
  • Bristol City v Blackburn – Adam Armstrong is joint-top with Toney, with 14 goals from 15 starts. The Blackburn striker has scored in 3 of his last 4 games, and in 6 of his last 9. He’s 6/5 (2.2) and 11/10 (2.1) to score again tonight
  • Reading v Birmingham – Lucas Joao is 3rd in the Championship chart, with 11 goals from 15 appearances (14 starts). The 27-year-old from Portugal has scored in 5 league games in a row for Reading, and in a remarkable 9 of his last 11. Bet365 are a best price 13/8 (2.63) tonight, with 6/5+ (2.2+) in general

The League Stats ‘Scorers’ page on our website shows that as well as being the top scorers in the Championship this season, these three men are also the top-ranked for Anytime Scorer payouts:

Championship Anytime Scorers

As well as the prolific goal-scoring form of Toney, Armstrong & Joao for their respective sides. This evening’s opponents all have question marks by their Championship form:

Derby’s 1-0 win at Millwall last Saturday was their first win in 12 games.

Bristol City have only won one of their last 6 home games in the league.

Birmingham’s 1-0 win at Bristol City last weekend was their first win in 7 games.

Take your pick…

A Brentford, Blackburn & Reading win treble pays 6/1 this evening. I’m most interested in the Anytime Scorers though, with larger odds available, and recent track records that can’t be ignored.

As ever, I’ve presented my thoughts & findings, and it’s all there for you to take your pick with any options that do it for you.

Working through the permutations, at the prices quoted above, the most productive play in my opinion is to take Toney, Armstrong & Joao in a Trixie (3 Doubles and a Treble).

The Treble is worth 9/1 and 8/1. And the full house is worth a potential 20+ points return, to level 1-pt stakes. Which, if successful, would work out more profitable than taking all three men as Singles alongside a standalone Treble.

Today’s picks

From the analysis above, here are my picks for this evening…

Champions League, 8pm:

Olympiakos v Porto

  • Anytime Scorer: Youseff El Arabi @ 13/8 with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 6/4 Skybet, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral

RB Salzburg v Atletico Madrid

  • Anytime Scorer: Joao Felix @ 13/8 with Skybet, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral, 6/4 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Betway, Boylesports, Betfred

Championship, 7.45pm:

Brentford v Derby
Bristol City v Blackburn
Reading v Birmingham

  • TRIXIE. Anytime Scorer: Ivan Toney, Adam Armstrong & Lucas Joao – best price with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook (9/1 the Treble). Then: Skybet, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral (8/1 the Treble)

I’ll be back tomorrow, when we’ll be running the rule over the final round of Group games in the Europa League.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues