Tuesday 16th February 2021
In Across the Leagues today:
Sometimes, a player can lead us on a merry dance…
Last month, for example, I flagged up Sadio Mane as yellow-card potential for Liverpool v Man Utd in the Premier League. Mane played the whole game, but didn’t get booked.
Seven days later, Liverpool went to Man Utd in the FA Cup. Mane came off the bench in the 62nd minute - and got booked straight away.
Or how about last week. On Tuesday, Charlie Wyke was an Anytime Scorer pick for Sunderland’s trip to Shrewsbury. He got an assist that night, but didn’t find the net…
On Saturday, Sunderland beat Doncaster, 4-1 - and Wyke scored all four goals.
Sod’s Law? Perhaps. But I say being in the right ballpark is a good thing. Finding winners in football matches is not an exact science. Having players like Mane and Wyke on the radar and in the notebook is a good thing. There will be plenty of other days to profit from them.
For Mane, how about this evening…
The Champions League returns tonight, with the start of the knockout rounds.
In the last two seasons, this stage of the competition has been the scene for two of our biggest ever wins. With Tottenham (v Ajax) and PSG (v Atalanta) pulling out a pair of 25/1+ turnarounds in the Half Time/ Full Time market.
That’s the kind of anything-can-happen angle we’ll be looking at in the upcoming 2nd Leg matches - when survival in the competition is really on the line.
For today’s opening 1st Leg games, we’re easing ourselves in, with two players to follow...
8pm - BT Sport
This is an exciting one, although neither club is having a top-notch season so far, by their own high standards...
Barcelona won 5 out of 6 in the Group stage, though. And, while the La Liga title race sees Ronald Koeman’s side 11 points off the top, they have stepped things up lately, with 7 league wins in a row.
Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has landed Anytime Scorer bets in 9 of his last 14 appearances in all competitions, bagging a total of 12 goals in that spell. Messi is priced at 4/5 (1.8) to score again tonight…
In recent weeks we’ve talked about ‘backing the best.’ This important Champions League match represents a good time to get behind Messi. He takes penalties, too. Barcelona scored via a penalty in 5 out of 6 matches in the Group stage.
PSG have won 6 out of 7 in Ligue 1, but the champions are still a point behind Lille in the 2020/21 French title race. Their biggest name, Neymar, is out injured tonight. In his absence, Kylian Mbappe and Moise Kean are the most likely scorers for the visitors.
The Parisians don’t have fond memories of recent trips to Barcelona. Beaten 6-1, 2-0, and 3-1 in this competition at the Camp Nou.
Barca are around 17/20 (1.85) to win tonight. And 5/6 (1.83) To Qualify over the two legs. That’s the overall result that we’re looking for, with Barcelona (and Real Madrid) in the book as Each Way picks in the Champions League Outright Winner market this season. You can catch up on that pre-season analysis here.
8pm - BT Sport
This one looks hard to get involved with in terms of the Match Result. Leipzig are around 2/1 (3.0) to win. Liverpool are 13/10 (2.3) favourites.
Leipzig have won 4 in a row in all comps, and 7 of their last 10. The German side won 3 out of 3 at home in the Group stage, including victories over PSG and Man Utd. Except this one won’t be at ‘home.’ Due to coronavirus travel restrictions in Germany, this match is being held in Budapest, Hungary.
Liverpool have lost 3 in a row, and 5 of their last 7.
As alluded to above, I’m focusing on that man Sadio Mane:
Anytime Scorer odds of 21/10 (3.1) are a bit bigger than what you’ll see week to week for Mane. For example, he’s as short as 10/11 (1.91) to find the net v Everton in the Premier League this coming weekend.
And the Senegalese forward catches the eye at 7/2 (4.5) To Be Booked, too. As discussed ahead of the Man Utd game last month, Mane is often the man for the big occasion for Liverpool. Be that in front of goal in a positive sense, or being a little over-exuberant in the tackle.
As well as the Champions League tonight, there’s also a batch of fixtures taking place in the English Football League (EFL)...
To view all our League, Team, and Player stats for the Championship, League One & League Two. Covering everything from Form, Goals, and Scorers, to Corners and Cards. Log-in to your members-only website at:
Hard times for the Cobblers...
One thing to look out for in League One tonight is, when will Northampton Town score again?
The Cobblers have won just one of their last 12 league games, and have recently parted ways with manager Keith Curle.
During that ugly run, Northampton have failed to score in 9 of the 12 games. They haven’t found the net at all in any of their last 5. With that spell made up of two 0-0 draws, two 2-0 losses, and a 1-0 defeat…
I wouldn't be surprised to see another score-line like that in tonight’s trip to Ipswich.
And if it’s Champions League stats that you’re after, then check out our Historical Champions League Stats Report here. Packed with bet-specific stats for the usual suspects in this competition, going back several seasons in areas such as Corners, Cards, and Goals.
From the analysis above, here are my picks for today...
Barcelona v PSG
RB Leipzig v Liverpool
I’ll be back tomorrow with previews & picks for Wednesday’s Champions League games, Porto v Juventus and Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund.
Enjoy the football…