Friday 15th January 2021
In Across the Leagues today:
There’s lots to talk about today. Let’s get straight into it.
A busy weekend of football kicks off this evening, with not one but two big European derbies…
In Italy, it’s the battle of Rome, with Lazio v Roma (7.45pm, Premier Sports).
Last season’s Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile is 6/5 (2.2) to score – and I’m not arguing with that. He’s found the net in a remarkable 14 of his last 16 appearances for Lazio. Taking penalties helps, too. Five of his last 11 goals have come from the spot.
There’s also a big annual grudge match in Portugal tonight. Porto v Benfica (9pm, Free Sports) is on my radar for a decent 2/1 (3.0) Anytime Scorer price on a player we’ve been tracking this season, Darwin Nunez.
The 21-year-old Uruguayan is being touted as a January signing for a big club in the Premier League or Spain. His agent says he’s staying at Benfica until 2022. Read into that what you will…
Nunez has scored in two of his last three games, and is a top man for assists, too. With tonight’s big match acting as a potential shop window, this is a chance for Darwin to show what he can do.
Other rivalries being renewed this weekend include these three in the Premier League. The Midlands derby between Wolves & West Brom. Fulham v Chelsea in West London. And the traditional English giants headbutting in the north west…
I’m going with what you might call an ‘opinion’ bet for Liverpool v Man Utd (Sunday 4.30pm, Sky Sports). What I mean by that is, looking at the yellow card stats alone, you wouldn’t instantly pick out Sadio Mane for a booking here. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a contender…
Mane often gets ‘stuck in,’ and isn’t averse to the odd rash tackle, or a player-to-player flair up. He’s got pace to burn, but sometimes that sees him tumbling into collisions. He’ll be up against a physical defender in Aaron Wan-Bissaka on Sunday. Frustrations could show.
Two of Mane’s three yellow cards this season have come in big games, against Arsenal, and at Merseyside rivals Everton.
In the Player to be Booked market, I was expecting to see Mane at around 2/1 (3.0). He’s available at 3/1+ (4.0+) with a few firms, and that’s a green light for me.
If you fancy something more exotic, Mane for the First Booking is 14/1 with Bet365, BetVictor, Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook.
And if it’s stats you want, this nugget comes from the official Premier League website:
To go alongside that, Wan-Bissaka is the top-ranked Man Utd player for Tackles. With a total of 49, that puts him joint-4th in the league overall. Most of those must’ve been clean tackles, too, as the full back is yet to receive a single yellow card in 23 games in all comps this season.
In Spain, it’s the latest round of the Copa del Rey this weekend. This cup format sees the lower-division sides get to play at home – an underdog advantage that can only aid the possibility of shocks…
Big boys Real Madrid and Barcelona don’t play their ties until Wednesday and Thursday next week. We’ll take a look at the upset potential and prices then.
In the Scottish Premiership, as we noted in Thursday’s email, Livingston have got two winning streaks that they take to Celtic this weekend.
We did well on Hibernian for the Most Corners on Monday night, with Hibs bringing home a top price 4/1 (5.0). No chance of those odds for the home game v Kilmarnock this weekend (Saturday 3pm), with that option odds-on at 4/7 (1.57).
Top scorer Kevin Nisbet is 11/10 (2.1) to find the net again. He looked sharp at Celtic the other night, reacting smartly to a rebound to score a late equaliser for Hibernian.
Nisbet is one to keep onside right now. The last time these sides met, the 23-year-old got the only goal of the game (from the penalty spot) in a 1-0 win at Kilmarnock…
The Scottish Premiership stats on our site show that Nisbet is also top of the tree for First Goalscorer payouts this season. That option is 3/1 (4.0) this weekend. I’m happy with him as an Anytime Scorer pick here.
Last but certainly not least, we’re returning to the Win & Both Teams to Score (Win & BTTS) stats in the English Football League (EFL) this weekend…
Having gone over the stats and form on our website, these three games make the cut for me. Adding up to some very big odds for the treble:
Peterborough v MK Dons (League One)
Peterborough to Win & Both Teams to Score is 7/2 (4.5) and 10/3 (4.33).
Rochdale v Wigan (League One)
Wigan to Win & Both Teams to Score is 11/2 (6.5) and 5/1 (6.0).
Walsall v Oldham (League Two)
Oldham to Win & Both Teams to Score is 5/1 (6.0) and 19/4 (5.75).
Take your pick…
As ever, my advice with these selections is to pick & choose, however you prefer – Singles, Doubles, Trebles, and any manner of combinations…
I’m staying with the three-markets approach that has served me well so far, generating overall profits, with five payouts from 10 attempts:
Match Win treble, Both Teams to Score treble, and Win & BTTS treble.
From the analysis above, here are my picks for the weekend…
Lazio v Roma
Porto v Benfica
Liverpool v Man Utd
Hibernian v Kilmarnock
EFL: 3 games listed above
I’ll be back on Monday with a stats update.
Remember, you can view all our League, Team, Form, and Head-2-Head home v away stats by logging-in at our website.
Enjoy the football…