Diary Of A Football Trader – Issue 4

Diary Of A Pro Football Trader – Issue 4



Welcome to the latest edition of “Diary Of A Pro Trader”, you can read Issue 1 here.

At his request, we have to keep is identity a secret, but here is what we can tell you about our new Pro Trader


ProTrader started his career and fascination with the financial markets as an Index Analyst at FTSE.  He has since consulted for 15 years for some of the top Financial Institutions and Investment Banks in the world, where he specialized in financial instruments, pricing data, trading platforms and risk management solutions.  He first started trading sports markets in early 2000, after the introduction and discovery of Betfair. He now trades the financial markets whilst working on entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on sports trading apps and e-commerce. He lives with his wife and young daughter between their homes of London, Sardinia, Odessa and Sochi.  In his spare time, he is writing a book, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, learning Russian and of course, trading football markets.


Each week, ProTrader will be sharing his trading exploits and insights from his previous weeks trading and, if we're lucky, from time to time he'll also be giving a few pointers on upcoming trades that he'll be targeting.

This is something new for us but we are sure you are going to enjoy and benefit from ProTrader's insights.

So please do show your love and appreciation in the comments (plus any questions and suggestions), so that both Football Advisor and ProTrader know this is something you want to keep seeing in the future.


Without further ado, I'll hand over to Pro Trader.


Saturday, 29th August, 2020

Today it’s the Community Shield, the traditional opening match at Wembley, between the Premier League title winners and the F.A. Cup winners: Liverpool v Arsenal.  These teams most recently faced each other on 15th July in the Premier League, where Arsenal came out on top, 2-1. Again, much like many recent matches traded, this is a cup game at a neutral venue.  Whenever this type of game is on, one should always approach them with more caution. However, I think that the Wembley stadium in London should favour Arsenal more than Liverpool.  Other stats around this match and key observations include:

  • Arsenal have won seven of their last nine Community Shield appearances, including each of the last three in a row.
  • Excluding league games, Liverpool have won just one of their last seven matches at Wembley (D3 L3) and remain winless since a 2-1 victory against Everton in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final (D2 L2 since).
  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last 12 matches at Wembley (W9 D2)
  • Aubameyang has scored a brace in each of his last two appearances at Wembley for Arsenal (vs Man City & Chelsea)

(Source: BBC Sport)

Following more in-depth analysis, the markets that I will be looking at targeting are:

  • Match Odds (laying Liverpool from the start, or shortly afterwards)
  • BTTS – Yes
  • Anytime Goal-scorer – Aubameyang (however, this market would be non-tradeable following kick-off)
  • Correct Score – 1-1, 2-1, 3-1 (Arsenal)


Summary of Market Trading

Due to unforeseen events, I was only able to join this match until 30 mins in to the game, without placing any trades prior to kick-off.  The score was already 1-0 Arsenal (courtesy of Aubameyang, which I also had not backed). However, I was unperturbed and decided to see what I could make of it.



I didn’t open a position in this market, since the goal had already made the price drop considerably.

Match Odds

My original game plan was to lay Liverpool at the beginning, and then either close the trade (depending on what happened). But I had to review this strategy, so instead I layed Arsenal at 1.8, feeling that Liverpool would equalize. This occurred as anticipated, so I then closed this trade and opened a back position on the draw at 1.91.  With the non-urgency showing from either teams, I let this trade run and a draw did indeed materialize, and a £125 profit was made on this market.


Correct Score

The correct score market isn’t something I would primarily look to trade on.  I mostly use it to hedge other positions that I have, and where more capital is at stake. For instance, if I have a back position on under 2.5 goals and the score is 1-1, I would then perhaps back 2-1 and 1-2 in the correct score market to hedge this, but still ensure any outcome produces profit (or minimizes risk).

However, yesterday before the match I did think that the score would be 1-1, 2-1, 3-1 Arsenal, and they were backed accordingly. In the end, this market produced around £9 profit from small stakes.


 Additional Market Traded – To Lift the Trophy

At the final whistle, and knowing this match will go straight to penalties, I checked the ‘to lift the trophy’ market.  Why were Liverpool so low at 1.75, in what is essentially is a 50/50 situation?  Anyway, there is no explanation for this large discrepancy in prices, so I lay Liverpool for £50 at 1.75. They then lost the shoot-out and a further £50 was banked.



Although the match was joined later than planned, it was still able to produce profit simply by adjusting the game plan slightly.  Of course, laying Liverpool at the start would have produced greater rewards, but turning that around and still producing £184 profit was ok for this singular, cup-game match, where just about anything can happen.

The ‘to lift the trophy’ position was slightly risky, but then the price was way out of kilter.  Anything can happen in these situations, so I stand by my judgement of laying Liverpool at 1.75 to lift the shield.


Sunday, 30th August, 2020

There’s a few matches taking place today, but the match I’ve targeted for trading on is Brest v Marseille in French Ligue 1.  Although I have stated previously that I don’t enjoy trading matches in this league due to my inexperience with the teams and players, I believe to do so would bring two things:

  • A good trading opportunity (from my analysis)
  • Help to improve my knowledge and understanding of the French Lique 1 teams

There’s one other useful point to make: If you can trade a football match, an equity, a currency, a commodity, then you can basically trade anything, in any market.  The premise remains the same with each, and in the simplest terms, it is to buy low, sell high.  You can see this basic concept every day, wherever you go.  Everything is a trade.  The market trader buys tomatoes for a certain price, then sells to you at a higher price. You don’t have to buy at this price, maybe next door they are selling cheaper.  This is how you discover value. Once you understand that every aspect of your life is a trade, you will become a better trader, whether it’s football, fx, commodities, going shopping or even dating (more on that later).

With this in mind, I begin to trade a football match between two teams that I’m not familiar with and have no interest in.  But sometimes this is the best way.


Summary of Market Trading

Match Odds

From my analysis, I was expecting a Marseille win.  I backed them at the beginning for £150 at 2.32, then again when their price rose to 2.42 for a further £50.  Just before half-time and with Marseille leading 2-0, I closed the trades for £182 profit.


Over/Under 2.5

I layed under 2.5 just after kick-off at 1.5 for £100.  I believed this was a very good price considering the attacking threat of Marseille. As the game finished 2-3, no further trades were necessary and it banked a £100 profit.


Correct Score

Once the game was 2-1 to Marseille, I believed they would score another to secure the win.  I backed 3-1 Marseille in the correct score market, and following another goal from them, I closed the trades to bank £42 profit. The match actually ended 2-3, but I had already closed all trades to ensure profit was secured.



This match had no appeal to me in terms of viewing pleasure.  If I wasn’t trading the game, I would not have watched it.  But sometimes, being removed from what you are doing gives you the freedom and unbiased attitude that is needed for trading. You don’t have any preconceptions or biases based on prior experience or subconscious preferences. In essence, this match was traded purely on data; from what has come before.  I also realise this can be risky, and as we are told frequently, ‘past performance does not guarantee any future returns’.  In the case of this match, it produced £324 return, all based on historical match data.



Monday, 31st August, 2020 – Tuesday, 1st September, 2020

Being that there aren’t any decent competitive matches taking place at the moment allows me to focus more on other projects and ventures that I am currently working on, or are in the pipe-line.

One example of this is a Sports Betting App, that is based upon a strategy that I regularly use via automated Betfair software.  I have found that many different strategies can be developed and fine-tuned this way, which then brings me to the conclusion that they would themselves prove successful and popular if they can be packaged as an app that more mainstream betting users could access and benefit from.

As with any new product or service launch, one of the first steps after coming up with an idea or concept is market research.  This is to ascertain whether your product or service actually has a ‘market’.

The graph below displays the results of a survey on the proportion of people within different age groups who gamble online on a monthly basis in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2016 to 2018. As of June 2020, it was found that 29.3 percent of respondents between the age of 35 and 44 years stated that they took part in a form of online gambling in the past four weeks. This age group had the highest proportion of people who gamble online. The age groups rank very similar to one another when taking a look at the age groups of gambling in general.


In summary, it is actually quite surprising the high proportion of the UK population (nearly 30%) that regularly use on-line bookmakers.  However, I imagine that the percentage of these that actually incorporate a specific strategy, use additional software, or are familiar with automated selection and betting based on algorithms is very small.

The question is, are mainstream users of traditional bookmakers ready to advance their betting with apps, third-party software and more comprehensive data analysis?


Wednesday, 2nd September, 2020

Tomorrow is the start of the UEFA Nations League.  For those unfamiliar with this International ‘competition’, it is basically the International friendly games that are played during a year, but re-packaged in more of a tournament structure.

The countries are divided in to 4 ‘Leagues’ A-D, with each containing 4 pots.  Each pot contains 4 teams (except League D).  The first round of matches are being shoe-horned in to the late finish of European leagues, Europa and Champions League final rounds, and before the re-start of the European footballing leagues. Anyway, if you would like to read about this format, more information can be found here –


From a purely trading perspective, there are several issues with operating on these type of matches.  Firstly, it’s not strictly a competitive competition, so you can’t be sure how teams will approach matches.  The leagues proper start mostly in the next week or so (France Ligue 1 has already started).  For this reason, we may see certain players not featuring for their respective countries, due to club concerns and injury claims.  Secondly, if players featured recently in the Champions League final, they also will not be featuring in this round of matches.

Thirdly, some of the matches are between countries that haven’t played each other previously, or at least recently (last 3 years).  This makes using historical data to analyze matches ineffective.

Looking at the scheduled matches, I will take a ‘wait and see’ approach, especially on the first games tomorrow to see how it appears the countries and players will be approaching this ‘competition’.



Thursday, 3rd September, 2020

Today it’s the start of the UEFA Nations League (re-packaged International friendlies).  I was interested to see how these 10 matches would be played out before deciding whether to participate in trading any potential games.


Summary of First Matches

From a trading perspective, I mostly take positions in the following markets:

  • Match Odds
  • Goals over/under 2.5
  • BTTS

A high-level summary of the 10 games played yesterday, with focus on these markets follows:

  • 5 of 10 games were draws
  • 2 of the 5 draws were 0-0
  • 7 of the 10 games were under 2.5 goals
  • 75% of goals were scored in the second half (15)

In general, it does appear that the matches played so far were generally not competitive.  Obviously, I haven’t watched them all, but with half of the games played ending in draws, it does indeed point to this.


Tomorrow’s UEFA Nations Matches

There are a further 8 matches being played tomorrow.  The match that I will watch and potentially trade is Netherlands v Poland. However, Poland will be without talisman and their best player Robert Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker was allowed to miss the games in order to rest following the Champions League final.

However, Poland still have a host of good players, including former Ajax striker Arkaduisz Milik who is likely to start up front.

From an initial trading strategy, I will be looking at conservatively targeting the following markets:

  • Match Odds – Netherlands to win
  • BTTS – Yes


Friday, 4th September, 2020

Today is another selection of the UEFA Nations League games (International friendlies, re-branded).The selection available to choose from, and their respective results following full-time are below.

As I stated yesterday, from the 10 games played, 5 ended in draws. Tonight’s results are a slight improvement, with just 3 ending in draws.  However, 6 of the 8 games played tonight had under 2.5 goals.  Again, this backs up my theory that this is not a competitive ‘competition’, and that perhaps teams are simply going through the motions, rather than playing their best football.  Italy (ranked 13th in the world) drawing with Bosnia-Herzgovina (ranked 49th in the world) is again an example of this.

The match I decided to watch and potentially trade was Netherlands v Poland.  I imagined this would be the most exciting game to watch… how wrong I was.


Summary of Market Trading

Match Odds

I looked at the price on Netherlands before kick-off, and it was trading at just below 1.5.  Now, for an uncompetitive competition, this did not appeal, so I decided to wait and see how the match progressed.

Graph shows back price of Netherlands prior to start


Netherlands had most of the possession in the first half and looked most likely to score, so at half-time with the score 0-0, I took a £100 back position on the Netherlands at the much improved price of 1.78.  Around 10 minutes later, their price had increased to 1.95, so I increased my position by a further £50.  In the 61st minute, Netherlands score courtesy of Bergwijn.  I close the trades almost instantly to produce just over £80 profit.



I opened a lay position of ‘no’ in this market just after kick-off for 1.72 for £50.  When it really appeared this was going to be a dreaded dull-fest, I closed the position for a £17 loss.

Correct Score Market

Once it was clear this was not going to be a high-scoring match, I decided to move in to the correct score market. Once it was 1-0 I backed this score line for 3.5.  I then traded it out for £15 profit when I imagined that another goal might be scored! I also traded the 2-1 score market, but nothing eventful come of this.


A very dull match, and it is clear already that the teams and players are not taking this seriously, are fatigued, or both.  It produced £78 profit, but I think to back under 2.5 goals is predominantly the way forward with matches in this ‘competition’.  Maybe things will improve, and I will be watching and possibly trading on Iceland v England tomorrow.


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  • Lucas

    Thanks for those it is very helpful ! Does he have a twitter?


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