Red hot Sanchez hits goalscoring form

While Arsenal fans hadn’t started doubting Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean’s first hat-trick for the club couldn’t have come at a better time.


Without a goal to his name yet this season, Sanchez opened his account for the campaign with a sizeable deposit, hitting three goals in Arsenal’s impressive 5-2 victory over Leicester City, and then followed that up with a brace against Manchester United. Currently on five league goals for the season, Sanchez has seen his odds of finishing as the league’s top scorer shorten to 10/1 with some bookmakers when this article was produced.


Having made an electric start to life in London following his switch to the Gunners from Barcelona last summer, Sanchez’s goalscoring slipped off somewhat during the second half of last season, and the striker had gone eight games without scoring before his hat-trick against Leicester. Despite failing to continue his early season form in front of goal throughout the entire campaign, the forward still managed to finish his first year in English football with 25 goals to his name, helping the club win the FA Cup for a second successive season.


Now back among the goals, Arsenal fans will be hoping Sanchez can play a major role in the club challenging for this season’s Premier League title. While Manchester City might still be many punters’ favourites this season, currently 10/11 with betfair and other major bookmakers, Arsenal are very much in this year’s title race and Sanchez rediscovering his scoring boots certainly strengthens their case.



CC  by  Ronnie Macdonald 


While Sanchez isn’t Arsenal’s only goalscoring threat, the fact is that, when he is in form, Arsenal are a much more dangerous team than when the Chile international is firing on all cylinders. Olivier Giroud has certainly done well over the past three seasons, starting this campaign in solid form with three goals from his opening seven league appearances, and Theo Walcott continues to stake his claim for a role up front, scoring the opening goal against Leicester. But it’s Sanchez who could hold the key this year.




As well as his goalscoring, Sanchez also has a big role to play in terms of assists, setting up his team-mates on 12 occasions last season and proving just how important he is to Arsenal from an offensive point of view. If he can get close to 20 goals and 10 assists again – with the likes of Giroud and Walcott weighing in with 10-plus goals apiece, there is no doubt that Arsenal could well push the likes of City much harder than they have managed over the past few seasons – possibly even all the way through to May.


Priced at 4/11 for a top-two finish in the league, Arsenal fans might not be satisfied with that this year, especially with Sanchez in this sort of form.

Using Football Stats to Achieve a 100% Success Rate (Guest Article)


licence by  nasmac  Caption: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney

There might not be any certainties in life, but when it comes to betting on soccer you can get pretty close to perfection if you learn how to hedge your bets. Knowing the game well enough to understand the odds being presented to you by a betting exchange is a vital skill. However, once you’ve figured the perennial performers and eternal losers in soccer leagues you’re betting on, the process of picking a winner becomes a lot easier.

Of course, when it comes to soccer betting, the dynamics of a game are constantly changing and that means you need to stay on top of the numbers. Through a combination of general knowledge about the game and analysis of the hard facts (i.e. numerical data), you can improve your expected value (EV) enough that making a profit is easy.

It’s All About EV

In fact, improving your EV is the only thing you should be concerned about as a soccer gambler. Knowing that you’re able to make the best decisions in every situation is the sole aim for any professional gambler because they know that once they’ve made a +EV bet, the money will follow. While this doesn’t mean you’ll win every single soccer bet you place, it does mean you’ll make an overall profit if all your bets are +EV.

Thanks to the rise of modern betting apps and computer software, it’s now possible to make a guaranteed profit betting on soccer. By taking away the laborious task of running the numbers, crunching the data and coming to a conclusion, online betting apps have made it possible for punters to always make +EV bets.

Going Green

One such method that’s become possible through a combination of betting exchanges and modern technology is “greening up“. Used to describe the process of simultaneously betting on both sides of a soccer fixture to ensure a profit, this technique has only really been possible in the last few years thanks to online sports betting exchanges such as betfair.

In a nutshell, greening up takes advantage of the movement of odds within a sports betting exchange. If you’re able to identify a team that you think will win a match and, importantly, one that’s odds won’t drift (get worse) then you’re able to “green up”. Basically, you want the odds to shorten for the team you’ve picked to win.

If this happens, then you can back the other side of the bet (lay against the team) and secure a guaranteed profit thanks to the difference in returns between the two bets. For example, let’s say you backed Manchester United at the start of the week to beat QPR on Saturday. Given that it’s a relatively early bet you managed to stake £10 at 4/1 (5.00) on United winning the game.

Using Numbers to Your Advantage

At this point you believe United’s odds will shorten, so you look to make a lay bet. However, you need to know how much you need to stake. When it comes to greening up, it’s good to back high and lay low. So let’s assume you want to lay at odds of 3/2 (2.50). To quickly work out how much you need to stake on your lay bet, you can simply take the return if your backed bet wins (in this case £50) and divide it by the lay odds. However, if this is too much like hard work then you can use an online calculator.

Plugging in these numbers, you’d need to place a lay bet of £28 in order to achieve an £18 profit on this bet. Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. Although there may be some commission to pay on winning bets, it’s possible to use your knowledge of soccer, take some stats and crunch some numbers in order to lock up a profit regardless of how a team performs on the pitch.

Chelsea’s Unbeaten Run in Context

Chelsea’s defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday may have seen their quest to become ‘invincibles’ and go the length of the Premier League season unbeaten come to an end but their achievement should not be underestimated. In starting the season in such fine form the Blues have opened up a three point cushion at the top of the table and, despite Saturday’s defeat, they will still be confident of winning the league for the first time since 2009/10.  A quick look at the odds would suggest that most punters still fancy the Blues too, with Betfair offering 1/2 and, if you stake £10 now, you could earn £30 of free bets.


Image by: In Mou We Trust 


We all know that Arsenal were the last team to be crowned ‘invincibles’ in 2003/04 and that they went on to win the league that year by 11 points from Chelsea but, after 15 games they were actually in a worse position than Chelsea are now. Despite not having lost, Arsenal were second in the table after 15 games, one point behind Chelsea, and they had only amassed 35 points. Chelsea are currently sitting on 36 points.

No Repeat for Arsene

Since the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003/04 two teams (other than Chelsea this season) have managed to start the campaign with a run of 14 unbeaten Premier League matches. In 2007/08 Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were at it again, this time managing to go on a 15 game unbeaten run before, like Mourinho’s side, coming unstuck in the North East, losing 2-1 at Middlesboro. That season the Gunners tailed off, eventually finishing third behind Manchester United and Chelsea.

Everything to Play For

If Jose Mourinho is looking for inspiration he would do well to avoid looking back at Arsenal’s 2007/08 decline and should, instead focus on a more recent season. In 2011/12 Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City went 14 games unbeaten before a 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge. Unlike Arsene Wenger’s team, however, City were able to recover and eventually won the Premier League on goal difference from Manchester United. Whilst Mourinho will certainly be hoping that this season is not as tight a finish, he should take comfort in City’s achievement and remind his players that although the record may have gone, they still have everything to play for.


As It Stands: Who Are The Favourites And Do The Stats Back Them Up?


Are the stats in favour of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea?

cc by  Ronnie Macdonald 

It’s still relatively early days in the Premier League but, as we run up to Christmas, we can take a lot from some of the performances so far. We might be just about a third of the way through, however, a lot of what the teams are already telling us could dictate positions after 38 matches.

As with any league in football, things can quickly change. The Premier League isn’t known as one of the most exciting in the world due to constant one-horse or two-horse races. There is always competition for the top, be it from the old guard or a new team trying to break into the English elite.

As we’ve seen so far, many of the bigger clubs are already asserting themselves but surprise packages – such as Southampton, West Ham and Swansea – are also vying for top-four places. Whether they can maintain or improve their form into the murky depths of the season remains to be seen, whereas we know the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, for example, can use their strength in depth when push comes to shove.

Top-spot holders Chelsea are firm favourites and the obvious choice. Don’t just listen to me though, the betting tips that can be found at betting.betfair agree. They’re 3/10 on, with closest rivals and current title holders City way back at 9/2. United are at 20/1, Arsenal at 49/1 and the odds get more and more distant from there.

Looking at the current league, will the biggest scorers get the chance to run away with it or will those with a tight ship be able to come good in the New Year?



The Champions League places are in perfect order of goals scored. Riding high are Chelsea with 30, City with 27 and Southampton and United joint with 24. Eleventh-place Everton are an anomaly with 23 goals putting them joint-fifth with West Ham in the ‘goals for’ stakes. But typically goals mean points.

Diego Costa

Chelsea’s Diego Costa scores goals for fun

ccby  cfcunofficial

City’s Sergio Aguero leads the individual stats with a stunning 12 goals so far and he is closely followed by Chelsea’s Diego Costa with 11. The top-two teams have the top-two finishers and again that shows the correlation between finding the net and league success.


Keeping them out

Third-place Southampton have kept themselves in the running by not conceding many up until a 3-0 drubbing by City last weekend. In 13 games, they haven’t yet reached double figures in goals against, with only nine getting past their defence and first-choice goalkeeper Fraser Forster. This is indicative of how they’ve played and how deserving they are of the spot. Top-place Chelsea have conceded 11, with second-place City conceding 13.

Oddly, neither the first-place nor second-place teams feature in the top three for clean sheets. Southampton’s Forster rides high with seven in the league, meaning he has conceded in less than half of his matches so far. Swansea are holding on to a decent spot with six clean sheets. The fractured nature of clean sheets shows that while defence is key, it is goalscoring that is the main player in 2014.

Chelsea are scoring in abundance and keeping their goals against tally down low. Though it’s not always a clean sheet, they can rely on their firepower to deliver when they need it to get them out of trouble. An uninspiring performance recently against Sunderland shouldn’t change things too much. What they’re doing is working and the smart money would be on the London side this year. It just so happens that the numbers agree.

The Scottish football stat that proves competition there is dead

It has gone somewhat unnoticed and under the radar this week but a quick check of the Scottish Premiership table reveals a couple of surprising names at the top.

Celtic, surely?  I hear you ask. Well, no. Sitting pretty in first place after 12 games are, in fact, Dundee United. A point behind in second is, of course, Celtic… Got to be, right? Well, er, actually, wrong again.

The mighty Hamilton are in second place with Celtic having to settle for third at the moment.

Now, before you think I’m going to be making a case for a shock winner of the title north of the border this season and talk enthusiastically about the demise of the Hoops, I’ll stop you right there.

Yes the table has an unfamiliar look about it and, yes, things have not quite gone as well as Celtic boss Ronny Deila would have liked so far in 2014-15 but this is no time for either the Terrors or the Accies to start celebrating finally breaking the Old Firm SPL monopoly because, sadly, unromantically and simply put, it aint gonna happen. It’s a safe verdict that a quick check of the Scottish football betting odds will back up.

So, that damning statistic that hopefully drew you in in the headline is this:

No other club, apart from Rangers or Celtic, has triumphed overall in the Scottish top flight since 1985.

That’s 29 years. Twenty-nine. A whole generation has grown up, probably got married, bought a house and is now worried about some unwelcome grey hairs as they approach their third decade since someone other than the big two from Glasgow came out on top. Aberdeen’s victory back then came during what must surely be looked back upon as a ‘golden age’ for Scottish football with the Dons also securing the title the year before, while United had won it in 1983.

However, since then, nothing. Nothing for Motherwell, Hibs, Hearts or even Inverness Caledonian Thistle to get overly excited about because, as most football fans know, the title ‘race’ in Scotland has been contested by just two horses since then and, since Rangers’ recent demise in 2012 due to financial problems, only one.

Celtic are that far ahead of the rest of the pack – both on and off the pitch – that they will eventually go on to win the title, probably in April, by a margin in excess of 10 points. And they will achieve this without ever really needing to be at their best with a squad full of some journeymen European players, a sprinkling of genuine young talent and a smattering of experienced old heads who know what it takes to see off the ‘challenge’ of other clubs to finish top. Namely, not an awful lot.

Yes, football is unpredictable at times. Celtic may even lose 1-0 at home to St Johnstone, Partick or St Mirren in January and for a brief moment other clubs might fancy their chances. Then reality will bite and normal service will be resumed.

Because normal service in Scotland means that only either Celtic and Rangers ever win the title nowadays. That damning stat proves it. Dundee United and Hamilton might be enjoying their week in the top spots but even they know it won’t last.

Pogba to become world’s best midfielder

Paul Pogba has used the World Cup in Brazil as opportunity to shine on the global stage and establish himself as one of the most talented young players in the sport.

The Juventus midfielder will be hoping to help his side win the competition for only the second time in their history, in which they are now just single figures to do so with Betfair.

In two years’ time France will host Euro 2016, and along with Pogba, should be at their peak. The 21-year old may possibly be the best midfielder in the world, if he continues to improve. Les Bleus could be a good bet to win that tournament in their own back yard, especially if they go all the way in Brazil as their odds will shorten with Betfair.

There have been comparisons with Pogba and his French compatriot Patrick Vieira due their height, however, the Juventus man is much better player with the ball at his feet.

After the World Cup, the Frenchman will have to make a big decision about his future as there are a number of clubs queuing up to put an offer on the table for his services. One of those interesting parties is thought to be Chelsea who won’t be put off by his £50 million price tag.

A move to the Blues would see him to return to England as he spent four years at Manchester United as a youngster. Limited first-team opportunities under Sir Alex Fergusons forced him out of Old Trafford, a decision the former United boss must regret, even to this day.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is in the process of rebuilding a team at Stamford Bridge after their trophyless season last year. He has already added Cesc Fabregas to his squad but he won’t be afraid to spend more cash if he believed Pogba was interested in the move as it would be a smart investment for his club.

Juventus will be playing Champions League football next campaign where they can be backed with Betfair so a move is not necessary for Pogba to play at the highest level. A lot will depend on whether he fancies another shot at the Premier League or if he is currently happy in Italy. Mourinho has a good record of improving younger players so he may see the opportunity as a way of developing under the Portuguese coach.

No quick fix for Sunderland problems – Poyet (Guest Article)

The Unibet mobile betting news has reported that Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has warned the club’s fans they need to be patient but has assured them they will be happy in the long run.

Poyet took over from Paolo Di Canio in October after the eccentric Italian was sacked for overseeing a poor start to the season. The Black Cats lost four of their first five games to sit bottom of the Premier League.

Poyet watched Sunderland lose 4-0 at Swansea in his first game in charge, a result which left them stranded on one point eight games in.Gus Poyet

The Uruguayan quickly endeared himself to the Sunderland faithful with wins over bitter rivals Newcastle and Manchester City. However, his side continue to struggle away from home.

Poyet is trying to introduce a new way of playing, with an emphasis on retaining possession. He insisted Sunderland’s problems would not disappear overnight.

“We need everyone’s patience because the players are playing a different way,” the former Brighton manager said.

“I want the team to learn to be calmer, to pass the ball better. It is going to take time to get this way of football going but trust me, the fans will like it in the end.”

Sunderland ultimately picked up in August where they left off last term, when they finished just a place above the relegation zone.

Poyet aimed a dig at his predecessors, the likes of Steve Bruce and Martin O’Neill.

“Whatever style has been used here for the last two years has not worked well because the club has just done enough to not be relegated,” he added.

“I know the fans want us to come out flying and score in the first five minutes of the game, but that is not going to happen. We have the players here to pass the ball and retain possession and that is what I am wanting them to do.”

Stats Prove Sneijder’s Influence on Teams

Why Wesley Sneijder hasn’t already been snapped up by a big Premier League club is a real surprise, for his figures show the Dutchman as one of the most influential top-class midfielders in Europe right now.

The 29-year-old, a popular character with fans having a punt at betfair, is determined to leave Galatasaray this summer and is flirting with both Chelsea and Manchester City, yet neither club have got their act together and put a genuine bid in.

This may be to do with Sneijder’s ridiculous wage demands – thought to be over £150,000 a week – but his purchase value is so low that shouldn’t really be a problem for these two big-spending outfits.

Despite a nightmare finish to his stint at Inter, Sneijder has rekindled his career at Galatasaray and helped the club win the Turkish Super Lig this summer, scoring four in 16. Betting fans know of his influence in the midfield, for Galatasaray won 69% of their games Sneijder appeared in and just 54% when he didn’t.

From his four appearances in the Champions League for Gala, Sneijder earned a goal and averaged just under two shots on target per game – not a bad yield against a sturdy Schalke back four and Real Madrid’s worldly talents.

Yet it is on the international front that Sneijder really impresses. He impressed football punters and won the midfielder of the year prize at the 2010 World Cup, having scored five goals in seven games, including that magnificent brace against Brazil.

It was Holland’s brash tactics that centred on containing Spain before hitting Arjen Robben on the break that hampered his performance in the World Cup final.

If Chelsea sell Juan Mata this summer, then Jose Mourinho needs an adequate replacement and, although Sneijder has little sell-on value, he will give the Blues three solid years in their attacking unit.

City, meanwhile, are less likely to go for him when you consider their bolstered midfield but big changes could come in at Eastlands if Manuel Pellegrini gets his own way.

BTTS (Guest Article)

Jonny Grossmark offered me the chance to feature one of his articles and like a tv with a broken volume control I could not turn it down.


Goals Galore betting has become very popular in recent years and the bookmakers have been quick to offer the general public the ability to bet on an individual game (BTTS) Both Teams to Score or in a minimum of 3 matches were the the slogan is ;

“when both teams score it is goals galore”

You can even do a lucky dip with  a fixed price for the 3 correct at 3/1 and 4 correct at 11/2 and 5 correct at 10/1 and 6 correct at 16/1 moving up to 15 correct at 1350/1 so if you simply backed 3 matches to end BTTS YES then this bookmaker would pay you £4 back with £3 being your net profit.

On line Betting tipsters who are not directly associated with the bookmakers but either charge for their “tips’ or are paid by the bookmakers to promote them are now trying to also cash in on what has become a very popular bet with the general public.

As an example i found  a free tipping site with a Betfred goals galore logo with the offer to back 4 matches at 8/1 with Betfred to all score. In the four games offered six of the teams did score and Aston Villa and Northampton were the two teams to not score.

The key is whether 8/1 is a fair price for having to predict all 8 teams to score in four games and to make this analysis easier to understand I have looked at BTTS in the EPL 2008-2009 to the current date so we can look at individual teams and work out what price is required just to break even.

The BetFred advert says meet Dave who has won at 12/1 as he backed 4 teams to score on the Betfred enhanced coupon which means that the odds were increased.

What is of great interest is the profile of Dave who is a white male and about 28 years old who wears glasses and the perception would be that he is well educated and probably went to University.

When betfred looked for someone to be the face of their campaign, they would have done a lot of market research and discovered that people who bet on line are drawn to the idea that they  could become a “winner” and they aspire to be like Dave who is well educated and by inference must live in a nice house and obviously has a great job and is a winner in life as he has just had a 12/1 winner backing goals galore and this must be sensible behaviour.

With the increased turnover in people betting on the internet as a result of all the media coverage which has extended to the use of twitter and facebook to trigger “bet stimulation” I would think it would be a good time to regulate the industry to make sure that all advisory services provide their profit and loss for the whole season so that people can make an informed opinion and we must also recognise that past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

BTTS YES betting has become so popular that over the last few months the bookmakers have had to cut the prices because there has been very little betting on BTTS No and this has resulted in a one sided book so the bookmakers do not want to be left in this position so have no choice but to cut the price of BTTS YES.

My question is why is the bet so popular and do people make long term profits from this bet?

Firstly the majority of people bet on an event to happen such as goals or a team to win and this would explain why so few people back a game to end in a draw. The mindset in the majority of people is to follow a perceived trend which is generally triggered by media coverage. What is of great concern is that the majority of people who are betting on BTTS YES are only looking on a game by game basis so if their BTTS bet wins then the “tipster” who advised that bet will reinforce that the bet is a good bet and if it loses it turns into an unlucky bet that was a value bet.

If we look at Arsenal v Manchester City then a number of people backed BTTS Yes because the most high profile advisory service advised the bet.

If you backed BTTS in this game then you lost the bet as the final score was Arsenal 0 Man City 2 and i am wondering how much research went into advising the bet?

We can use predictive modeling to give an expectation of the goals that both teams will score using shot on target data and goal to shot on target expectation.

In this game my predictive model had both teams scoring around 1.6 goals each in the game so on the surface the bet looks like a good idea but you will not believe what the price was as some bookmakers were going as low as 1.53 so they have the belief that there is around a 65% chance that both teams would have scored.

If we look historically at games involving Arsenal at Home to Man City in the EPL, we see that the last 5 games have now ended BTTS NO so that would not have inspired any confidence in backing a 1.53 shot even though each game is a seperate entity.

There are in running factors that will impede goal expectation.

1. Heavy rain will reduce the expectation of goals.

2. A Red card will impede goal expectation to the team with 10 men

3. Lack of motivation can reduce the expectation of a goal.

4. Inability to have the strength of shot to consider expectation of a goal. When QPR played Spurs for  example they never looked like scoring and the data shows that they had no shots on target.

5. Early home goal to a superior side. When a team like Man UTD score an early home goal then a team like West Ham will look to limit the damage. In the game this season West Ham had only one shot on goal and spent most of the game trying to stop Manchester United from adding to the goal scored by Van Persie after 1 minute.

There are in running factors that will increase goal expectation during a game.

1. An early away goal is known to increase goal expectation for the home side so very welcome if you do back BTTS YES.

2. Light showers have the ability to make the ball move faster and allows for quicker circulation of possession.

3. A red card to the superior side allowing for increased expectation of a goal to the inferior side.

4. The ability of a team such as Manchester United and Everton to “fightback” when conceding the first goal


If we look at the data for Arsenal at home in the last 4 completed seasons they have an average of 50% BTTS YES so just to break even you would need to take a price of EVENS and against Manchester City the price was 1.53 so I am hoping that you can build a picture that in this game the price was terrible value even if the bet won.

Everton may have had BTTS YES in sixteen of their last 18 games but there is no evidence to suggest more goals are being scored in the EPL and that the distribution of goals is evenly balanced.

If you look at the graphs you will see in the last four completed seasons the price that you needed to have taken just to break even.

My conclusion is simple which is that BTTS YES is an invention by the bookmakers as they make money from it, They have cut prices as there has been an increased interest and their marketing has worked as well as the fact that advisory(fee charging) sites and free sites have promoted the BTTS as well. Bookmakers have cut prices to increase their margin and not because they are losing money on the BTTS bets. If a bookmaker receives many more bets on an outcome then they have to cut the price as they would like a balanced book. A bookmaker does not gamble and if 10 000 people back BTTS YES in the Arsenal v Manchester City game then they will reduce their liability by backing BTTS YES as well or inducing people to back BTTS NO by increasing the price to give a more balanced book.

People are known to conform and this may explain why the majority of people lose when betting and I think the figure is 95% and I am aware that bookmakers expect clients to lose 11% of their volume of bets so if over your life time you bet £50 000 they look for you to lose around £5500 with many people losing rather more.

Personally I would not be in a hurry to be like Dave or Ray and I advise you to do your own research before you “trigger” a bet. Do not assume that your advisory service has done all the data analysis although I acknowledge that there are some free tipping services and advisory services that offer a level of service that is to a very high standard but if they do not post their profit and loss on their website for this season then I personally would be concerned about their ability to produce long term profits. If you consider joining a service then ask them to supply you with their bets for the season and the profit and loss to get an indication of the style of bets and the bottom line which is will they make you long term profits?

image002 image004image006

“We’ll score when we want… we’re Man Utd…. but not two before half time”

Wigan v WBA

Given the two side’s respective home and away records, I’m more than happy to take on Wigan.

  • Wigan one won game at home this season, back in August against QPR.
  • WBA won six away games this season,
  • WBA only lost 2 of last 8 away games, winning four of those

5 point WBA plus +0.25 Asian Handicap @ 7/10 with 188bet
3 points WBA Drawn no bet @ 1/1 with Coral / Ladbrokes / Paddy Power

Wolves v Man Utd

Since the sacking of Mick McCarthy Wolves have been quite frankly awful, the 2-2 draw at Newcastle already feels like a long way away whilst Man Utd will surely now be fully focused on the league after their exit from the Europa League. We missed the 2nd half goals last week but I think the best way to get on United is to back 1-0 at Half time.

  • 8 of 14 United away games they have been leading 1-0 at Half time
  • United been ahead at Half time 10 of 14 away games

5 points United 1-0 at Half time @ 13/5 with Coral
3 points United Half Time / Full Time @ 10/11 General