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An ugly night in the Championship...

Wednesday 4th November 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Champions League match-day 3…
  • Picks & analysis for tonight…
  • Lazio at 9/2…

An ugly night in the Championship…

Tuesday night was a contrasting one in terms of the Total Goals results…

High goals in Europe…

Seven of the eight Champions League games went Over 2.5 Goals. With three of them also going both Over 3.5 and Over 4.5 Goals.

That included a 5-0 win for Liverpool at Atalanta. We knew all about the goals form going into that one…

While Over 2.5 Goals and Over 3.5 Goals, as mentioned in yesterday’s analysis, were both odds-on (and both paid out). I went for much more aggressive prices – as is my approach.

Odds of 22/1 and 25/1 didn’t deliver anything in the Half Time/ Full Time market this time. But at those odds, we don’t need many good nights to make it all worthwhile in the long run. The way Atalanta and Liverpool play, those sides will provide us with plenty more opportunities to go after massive prices by anticipating rollercoaster score-lines, I’m sure.

The same goes for yesterday’s 94/1 treble in the Win & Both Teams to Score market in the Football League. One winner a year at those odds would do me. That’s the playing field we’re on when we strap up our boots at those kinds of big prices.

Low goals in the Championship…

In stark contrast to the Tuesday-night goal-fests in the Champions League, four of the six Championship matches went Under 2.5 Goals. With six of the 12 teams in action failing to score at all…

Looking at the season-to-date form displaying on our website, we could see a couple more low-scoring encounters in the English second tier this evening:

  • Watford v Stoke – 8 out of 9 Watford games have gone Under 2.5 Goals. All 4 of Stoke’s away games have also gone Under 2.5

Watford have won four games this season, and three of them have paid out on the 1-0 Correct Score.

Stoke’s results on the road have been a mixed bag so far, with a 0-0 draw and 2-0 defeat either side of 0-1 and 0-2 away wins.

When the Hornets and the Potters were both in the Premier League, the last four meetings between these clubs produced score-lines of 0-0, 0-1, 2-0, 0-1. Both clubs are on their fifth different manager since the last meeting in 2018 though, so read into that what you will.

Nottingham Forest v Coventry could also be an ugly one in the Championship tonight…

The formbook certainly isn’t pretty. Forest have managed just one victory from 10 attempts in all competitions this season – and are yet to win at home. All but one of those 10 games have gone Under 2.5 Goals.

Coventry go into this with the momentum – if you can all it that – having won 3-2 against the previously unbeaten Reading last weekend. Prior to that big result, the Sky Blues were six matches without a win, and had failed to score in four of them.

Add in a ‘cold Wednesday night in an empty stadium’ factor to all that, and there’s a decent case for a 7/5 (2.4) double on Under 2.5 Goals in those two Championship matches this evening.

Champions League picks & analysis…

In the Champions League, if you’re happy to take short prices on the big boys, then Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both odds-on in the Anytime Scorer markets today…

Messi is just 2/5 (1.4) at best to score for Barcelona v Dynamo Kiev. Ronaldo is 8/13 (1.62) to find the net for Juventus at Ferencvaros.

  • We’re on both Barcelona (14/1) and Real Madrid (12/1) in the Outright Winner market. Madrid had an important 3-2 win v Inter Milan last night. Barca have won 2 out of 2 in their Group so far. You can view my original reasoning for those picks in last month’s Champions League preview here

Six of the eight matches on Wednesday’s UEFA card feature an odds-on favourite in the Match Result betting. A six-fold acca on Barcelona, Juventus, Man Utd, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Sevilla to all win pay just about 4/1, if you’re lucky.

Always on the lookout for something tastier and more off-the-beaten path than that, one underdog that could outperform their price today are Lazio at Zenit St Petersburg…

Zenit v Lazio, 5.55pm…

Lazio have been ravaged by coronavirus, with several players missing due to self-isolation rules, even when posting negative tests. But… we’ve seen Shakhtar Donetsk punch above their weight in similar circumstances recently – going to Real Madrid and winning 3-2. And in the last couple of weeks, Lazio have dug in and continued to get results, while having to juggle their squad.

The Italian side pulled off a dramatic 4-3 away win in Seria A at the weekend, drew 1-1 at Club Brugge in the Champions League last week, and won their two home games before that.

Zenit themselves have got some starting XI names missing, too. Including midfielder Malcom, and forward Sardar Azmoun. The Russian side have lost both their Champions League matches so far, while Lazio are joint-top of Group F.

At home, Zenit have found the net in all seven outings in all comps this season.

Lazio aren’t as freewheeling as Atalanta, but nevertheless six of their last seven games in all comps have paid out on Both Teams to Score, and four of their last five have gone Over 2.5 Goals. Those goals options are both odds-on for today’s match (5.55pm kick off).

Lazio started the day above 2/1 for the away win, although that price has come in a little as the day has progressed.

The Italian side have won three of their last four games, and Win & Both Teams to Score has delivered in all three of those victories. With no clean sheets in their last seven games, if Lazio are to get the away win here, then it may well be coupled with goals at both ends. That option is my pick at 9/2 and 4/1.

Today’s picks

Here’s a summary of the standout bets highlighted in today’s analysis…

Championship:

Watford v Stoke (7pm)
Nottingham Forest v Coventry (7.45pm)

  • DOUBLE: Under 2.5 Goals @ 7/5 (2.4) with Bet365, Betway, 13/10 (2.3) in general 

Champions League:

Zenit v Lazio (5.55pm)

  • Lazio to Win & Both Teams to Score @ 9/2 (5.5) with Bet365, William Hill, 4/1+ (5.0+) in general

I’ll be back tomorrow with a preview for Europa League match-day three.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues