Mark Stinchcombe: “Everton are terrible and Spurs struggle against the big sides away from home, but I’m looking further afield for value this week”

16 min

Last weekend saw a glut of winners, as Chelsea, Monaco and that man Federer made it a very profitable few days for followers of this blog. Backing Chelsea proved to be an excellent bet and my bet of the weekend won easily when Monaco and Marseille knocked in four goals after just 51 minutes.

It didn’t all go to plan with my bet on under 3.0 goals in the Liverpool v West Brom game getting crushed, but Federer cruising to victory in the Australian open soothed any pains there and was a nice boost going into what looks like a tricky betting week.

I’ve had to search a bit harder for value this week, but it’s there don’t worry.

The ‘Fed-Express’ rolled to yet another Australian Open title to add to Mark’s bankroll.

Before we get onto this week’s bets, let’s deal with the loss at Anfield where my bet on under 3.0 goals pretty much over before it started! It was always going to be an uphill struggle after Liverpool opened the scoring with just minutes gone forcing West Brom to come out and play.

I’d like to say it was uncharacteristic from Liverpool to ship three 1st half goals to the side 19th in the league, but even with the addition of £75M defender Virgil van Dijk it still seemingly isn’t. If you followed my advice here from before Christmas of laying Liverpool every week then you will have had a nice couple of winners recently.

No reason to stop laying Liverpool

With the departures of Coutinho and Sturridge with no replacements, there’s no reason why this sustainable avenue isn’t going to continue for the rest of the season. As is keeping an eye on team news when it comes to Chelsea, who eased to a 3-0 win to beat the -1.0 handicap with room to spare.

I mentioned to keep an eye on the team and back them if Hazard started, and from a price of 1.50 on Thursday they collapsed into 1.37 immediately after the team news, finally going off at 1.34 come kick-off.

Even if you just wanted to trade the odds on Matchbook, tracking team news and starting line-ups is an excellent way to make money.

Mark feels no reason to abandon his strategy of laying Klopp’s Liverpool regularly.

My bet of the weekend won easily with four goals scored after just 51 minutes when Marseille entertained Monaco at the Stade Velodrome. Even without Thomas Lemar and a slightly more defensive formation from Monaco, the bet was never in trouble. And this wrapped up a very good weekend having seen Roger Federer lift his 20th Grand Slam title and 6th Australian Open title in the morning.

Marin Cilic pushed him, as he has done in previous meetings, but there was always a sense it was in the Swiss man’s hands with an 8-1 head-to-head record and extra energy in the tank having not dropped a set all week.

If you backed Federer cumulatively in the match odds in every match it would only have paid 1.88 so getting 3.10 was a nice touch.

Trying to find the value from the Premier League

Onto this weekend and while it’s good to see the return of the Premier League there’s not a lot standing out for me. There are just 8 points separating the bottom 11 in the league, and with most matches between these sides this season being tight and tense, there’s not a lot of room for manoeuvre in the market.

Brighton v West Ham, West Brom v Southampton and Crystal Palace v Newcastle all see the home sides as slight favourites, with goal lines of just 2.0, 2.0 and 2.25. Bournemouth host Stoke and they are interesting on the back of their 3-0 defeat of Chelsea, but it’s difficult to analyse too much from two games into Paul Lambert’s reign.

Huddersfield visit Old Trafford and with both sides equally capable of big wins and keeping things tight the goal line of 3.0 looks about right. Watford host Chelsea for new Watford boss Javi Gracia’s second game in charge. But with Chelsea very much Jekyll and Hyde at the minute, this is not a game I want to get involved with.

Carlos Carvahal has begun life well at Swansea and a goal line of just 2.25 tempts me into backing the overs at the King Power Stadium. But with the upset over Riyad Mahrez’s future, I would want to be sure Leicester’s best player is playing and motivated, and that is something we just don’t know.

The expected absence of Riyad Mahrez from the Leicester line up vs Swansea is enough to make Mark avoid this one.

I’m always keen to keep the lack of goals onside in Burnley home games, especially when taking on the ‘big 6’ but 3.0 seems spot on against the juggernaut that is Man City. It’s also important to note the Citizens put seven past them in the two games already this season. So another one to avoid as a betting heat.

Everton are terrible and were very fortunate to beat Leicester, but that is more than reflected in Arsenal’s odds of 1.33. They were 1.57 v Crystal Palace recently, and ut with the acquisitions of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, as well as Ozil signing a new contract, I’m happy these prices aren’t far wrong.

Finally, the game of the weekend is Liverpool v Tottenham, and some might be surprised at Liverpool’s odds of 2.11 but Spurs seem to have a problem playing away against the big sides under Pochettino. I thought there may be a case for backing over 2.75 goals but I made the odds spot on. So it seems we have to look a bit further afield for our bets this weekend.

I’m looking abroad for this weekend’s bets

So it’s to the continent this weekend with two bets that really stood out. After visiting Marseille last weekend, Monaco return to the Stade Louis II for another huge match with the visit of second place Lyon. Monaco’s games have now seen 77 goals in 23 matches this season (3.35 per game) and Lyon’s have also seen 77 goals (3.35 per game), yet the market has a goal expectancy of only 3.15.

Lyon lost the spine of their team in Lacazette, Tolisso, Gonalons, and Mammana last summer, but have done a fantastic job of coping. They brought in clever signings in Mariano Diaz from Real Madrid who’s hit the ground running with 13 goals in 22 games, as well as Bertrand Traore from Chelsea.

Lyon have a great youth setup and continue to invest in the development of players. Nineteen-year-old Houssem Aouar has broken into the first team pushing Memphis Depay for a place, while youngsters Lucas Tousart and Maxwell Cornet are continuing to develop and Nabil Fekir is on his way to becoming an absolute superstar.

Last week I mentioned the shot data for Marseille and Monaco was not too dissimilar to PSG’s, and the same goes for Lyon. 16 of their matches this season have seen over 2.5 goals (70%). Since Bruno Genesio took over Lyon in December 2015, he’s revitalised them and in the five meetings between the teams there have been 24 goals at a whopping 4.8 per-game.

It’s no surprise the route I’m going down here again. I spoke about Monaco at length last week so I won’t cover old ground again but it’s now 15 Ligue 1 games that have seen over 2.5 goals (65%). And I will be having a bet on over 2.75 goals at around 1.80 here.

Monday night is Italian night in my house

Monday night is where I’m going for my other game and it’s off to Rome and the Stadio Olimpico to be precise, where Lazio entertain Genoa. Simone Inzaghi has been doing a fantastic job since taking over at Lazio in April 2016 and last season he guided them to fifth, finishing above the two Milan giants.

This season they won the Super Cup, defeating Juventus, and sit third in the table having scored the most goals. They’ve also topped their Europa League group and are into another Coppa Italia semi-final. Genoa on the other hand have been struggling since losing manager Gian Piero Gasperini to Atalanta in the summer of 2016.

Genoa finished 16th last season, just four points above the drop, and this season they’re 15th only four points above the relegation zone. Davide Bellardini replaced Ivan Juric in November and while he’s only had four defeats in 11 this is more due to a soft set of fixtures. I’m not holding out much hope for him long-term having been sacked twice by Palermo (yes twice).

Genoa’s problem is scoring goals, which is going to be a bit of an issue when they are facing the most prolific team in the league. They’ve managed just 16 goals in 24 games and when you look at this game is seem like a clear case of attack versus defence. As a result, the price (1.54) looks really, really good.

There are just six points splitting 13th to 19th in Serie A and Lazio’s average price in their five home matches to these teams is just 1.31. In midweek without Immobile (who came back from a minor injury last night), they were still 1.54 v Udinese, who are doing pretty well under Massimo Oddo.

All in all, there seems to be far too much emphasis on Genoa defensively, so backing Lazio at the odds is my bet of the weekend. I’d recommend two points on them at -1.0 at close to evens. Let’s hope it’s another profitable weekend.

Recommended bets:

  • Over 2.75 goals Monaco v Lyon ~1.80 – 1 point
  • Lazio -1.0 ~1.93 – 2.0 points