Saturday’s Weekly Column – Football and Horses
We are coming to the end of the summer league focus already as major European leagues are close to beginning. The Community Shield is on this weekend as are the English lower leagues. The bookies will be rubbing their hands at the unpredictability of it all, but Football Advisor will try to continue its tradition of helping punters navigate the minefield.
1 – Bremen’s Back!
The Oberliga Bremen that is. This particular league has been a haven for goals in the last few seasons with specific team’s worth mentioning. The trouble is that bookies have cottoned on to this league’s potential, but hopefully, they won’t get their ‘eye in’ for a few weeks.
Bremer SV is a team that often frustrates me, but on Saturday at 1 pm, they play Brinkumer away. The home side scored 75 and conceded 79 in 30 games last season while Bremer scored 115 and only conceded 12. A failed promotion playoff game means Bremer remain in the league this season. Be wary because last season’s fixtures finished 4-1 and 2-1 in Bremer’s favour, but there could be goals.
Last season, Geestemuende were the kings of goals; they scored 101 and conceded 92 in 30 games; an average of almost 6.5 goals per game! On Sunday at 10 am, they play Oberneuland, a side that scored 139 and conceded just 18 last season. In the corresponding fixture last season, Oberneuland won 4-2 and also won their home game 9-0!
2 – Shield Your Profits
A lot of punters will make bookies happy this weekend by betting on the glorified friendly match between Man City and Liverpool on Sunday. One would expect an open game since the only thing at stake is the Community Shield. However, recent games haven’t sent the world alight with only two of the previous six having 3+ goals.
Interestingly, the 2017 match between Arsenal and Chelsea is the only draw (Chelsea won on penalties) since 2009. Liverpool’s stars have only returned from a long-overdue break this week, while City has played a couple of weak Asian sides in their last two matches.
One suspects that City’s added squad depth, plus Guardiola’s perfectionism, will result in a victory for the Premier League champions inside the 90 minutes. City is 1.90 to win the match in 90, although you may get closer to Evens on the Exchange. Liverpool’s main men, Salah and Firmino, likely won’t play more than 60 minutes, and Mane won’t feature at all, so it is hard to see beyond City.
3 – The English Football League Returns
The Championship, League 1, and League 2 make their respective returns this weekend. Trying to find winners early doors is about as easy as hitting the bullseye on a dartboard blindfolded! In League 2 for example, no team is available at odds of shorter than 1.80 to win! In the championship, Brentford are the shortest odds side to win at 1.72! (Odds come from Bet365).
Trying to make sense of the opening day is hard work. On the first day of 2018/19, 8 of the 9 Saturday matches saw both teams scoring; only QPR failed to score out of 18 teams! The total goals scored in the 9 games was 32! However, on the first Saturday of the 2017/18 season, only 12 of the 18 sides scored with just 3 of the 9 games having both teams scoring. The total number of goals was just 14!
Looking at individual games, Brentford vs. Birmingham could have potential. Last season, Brentford’s 23 home games had 73 goals, while Birmingham’s 23 away games had 67 goals. As such, over 2.5 goals at 1.90 and over 3.5 goals at 3.40 seem like decent value bets. You may also be tempted by the Bees to score 2+ at 1.80 or even 3+ at 3.50.
1. It's Not All Doom And Gloom On The High Street
The last couple of weeks have been tough for the high-street bookie. The reduction in stakes for the FOBT's have seen the forclosure of a few outlets and many more planned. However, it's not all doom and gloom, with Boylesports announcing that they've bought 13 shops in the Midlands. They also plan to expand, with a plan to open 100 more within the next 12 months.
2. History Made For Hijab-Wearing Jockey
Young Khadijah Mellah, only 18, made history at Goodwood on Thursday, by winning the Magnolia Cup. The race, now in its seventh year, is a charitable race for the Wellbeing of Woman.
Paving the way for woman who are leaders in business, sport, fashion and media, the charitable race raises awareness and money for the charity that provides research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment across the breadth of female reproductive and gynaecological health, including pregnancy & childbirth, gynaecological cancers, and overlooked areas like endometriosis and the menopause has helped save thousands of lives and ensure a better start for many babies.
3. The Stats
It's all about Mark Johnston today, at Goodwood. He's showing a steady 16% strike rate at the course and an impressive 18% over the last two weeks. His horses are running to around 60% of their form and he's got a few “live” ones for today. I'll be backing them all –