Diary Of A Football Trader – Issue 20
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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 specialised 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.
Diary of a Football Trader – Issue 20
It has been another week of ‘Tales of the Unexpected (results)’ in the English Premier League. In no particular order and with no disrespect to any of the teams involved, here are my top 5 match results that stand-out as ‘unexpected’ this week:
- Liverpool failing to win against Fulham
- Arsenal losing at home to Burnley
- 0-0 in the Manchester Derby (last time this occurred was over 5 years ago)
- Chelsea losing two away games successively, against Everton and Wolves
- Manchester City failing to beat West Bromwich at home
And there are others. And this was all in the space of one week of Premier League action.
Saturday, 12th December, 2020
Summary of Market Trading
Everton v Chelsea
With Chelsea being impressive so far, having both one of the lowest goals conceded as well as the second highest goals scored in the league, Chelsea to win away to Everton (without a win in their last 2 games) looked a decent call.
I took a back position on ‘Chelsea’ before kick-off for £80 at 1.73. Everton got off to a quick start, and were looking threatening. 22 minutes in, Everton are awarded and score from a penalty. At this point, I increase my position by laying Everton for a further £80 at average odds of 2.36. However, no further goals were scored in this match, resulting in a £188 loss.
Sunday, 13th December, 2020
Crystal Palace v Tottenham
With Tottenham conceding the least goals in the league whilst also scoring one of the most, as well as winning 4 of the last 5 meetings between the two sides, Tottenham’s back price to win looked good value.
With all analysis and indicators pointing to a Tottenham away win, I took a back position on them at 1.86 for £100. In the 23rd minute, Tottenham score and the trade is in profit. However, with Tottenham defending resolutely when required, the position is left to run further. Later in the second-half with the score still 0-1, I come out of the trade by 20%. Later on, expecting Tottenham to maintain or increase their lead, I take a small position laying the draw at 1.4. However, in the last 10 minutes of the match, Crystal Palace score. Tottenham rallied and looked like scoring again, but they didn’t achieve this, creating a £90 loss on this market.
Over / Under 2.5
With all analysis pointing to a low-scoring encounter, before kick-off I took a back position on unders at 1.95 for £100. I then began to trade this out slightly to lower the risk of further goals in the second-half. With the match ending 1-1, this market produced £49 profit.
Monday, 14th December, 2020
No Trade Day
Tuesday, 15th December, 2020
Tonight there’s two mid-week Premier League fixtures taking place. Manchester City are hosting West Brom, whilst Wolves are home to Chelsea.
Wolves v Chelsea
Prior to their weekend away loss to Everton, Chelsea had one of the strongest away records in the league. They’d also beaten Wolves in 4 of their last 6 meetings. Expecting a strong reaction from Chelsea, they looked good value to take a back position on.
I took a back position on Chelsea before the start for £50 at 1.7, later increasing this further at 1.95. With Chelsea scoring in the 49th minute, it appeared business as usual had resumed and the trade although showing profit, was left to run. However, Wolves equalized mid-way through the second-half. Expecting Chelsea now to dig deep and score a winner, this was now left to run further. However, against expectations, Wolves scored a late winner, creating a £65 loss.
Wednesday, 16th December, 2020
A further 6 Premier League matches are taking place today. The match I have selected for following and a Trade of the Day recommendation is:
Arsenal v Southampton
Almost surprisingly given their recent woeful (Premier League) form, Arsenal go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.34. This price holds appeal on this market, because looking at the league table from a broader trading perspective, Southampton (4th) would be near the top of a ‘league bollinger band’, and Arsenal (15th) would be towards the bottom. When this situation occurs, it is expected that positions would begin to revert back to the mean (average).
There has also been so many unexpected results, defying analysis and form recently that an Arsenal win here should not be as unexpected as form suggests. Another peculiar aspect uncovered whilst researching this match, is that Southampton haven't won a Premier League game on a Wednesday in their last 21 attempts. Arsenal however, have only lost one of their last 21 when played on a Wednesday. Now, I am not basing a match prediction on this, but I do believe it is now time for Arsenal to turn the corner, and get a home win.
One further aspect to consider, is that Arsenal are used to playing matches in quick succession, being in the Europa League. Southampton are not, and I expect this will play to Arsenal's favour.
Before kick-off, I took a back position on Arsenal at 2.34 for £80. With Southampton scoring in the 18th minute, this position was now in negative territory. With the end of the first-half approaching, I decided to close the trade for a £43 loss.
As part of the Trade of the Day, a hedge recommendation was given on backing the 1-1 score-line. I also backed the 2-1 scenario, before trading both of these out for £46 profit.
Over / Under 2.5
Just after kick-off, I backed unders at 1.79 for £30, and a short while later (after the first goal) increased this by laying overs at 1.5. Towards the latter stages, with the score 1-1, I traded these positions out for a £32 profit.
Thursday, 17th December, 2020
There’s a further two Premier League fixtures taking place today, including Aston Villa v Burnley. However, the main match I have decided to follow for TOTD is:
Sheffield United v Manchester United
Over / Under 2.5
Backing Overs at 1.85 looked a decent trade entry price considering the statistics on this match. Predictology were also highlighting over 3.5 goals as a high-value position to take at 2.99.
However, the over 2.5 market appealed more for a trade recommendation, being more tradeable (liquid, meaning more money on the market) and involved less risk.
Before kick-off, I took a back position on overs for £100 at 1.86. With Sheffield United scoring in the 5th minute, this position was already showing a profit. 20 minutes later, Manchester United equalize, and then on the 33rd minute score a second, closing this market for an £82 profit.
Friday, 18th December, 2020
Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund
This match looked a decent proposition from a trading perspective: Both teams are capable of scoring and conceding plenty of goals.
Borussia Dortmund were favourites for this match, priced at 1.81. This seems good value, but with Union Berlin recording 3 draws in their last 4 home games, this causes a concern. The BTTS Yes market also appealed, although was trading at 1.71.
My analysis pointed to a tight match here but with goals. In that respect calling an outright winner was difficult, and so the over 2.5 market looked better value being a few ticks higher at 1.77.
Over / Under 2.5
Before kick-off, I took a back position at 1.76 for £100. Although there were chances in the first-half, it went in to the break 0-0. I was still confident in this position, yet the price on under 2.5 had dropped considerably and so increased my position, by now laying unders at 1.35 for £25.
In the second-half, Union Berlin scored in the 57th minute. In my TOTD recommendation, I did stipulate that the trade should be closed if it was still 0-0 by the 55th minute. Hopefully, no-one closed their position at this exact point, since Union Berlin were on the attack, which led to a corner, which led to the first goal.
Less than 3 minutes later, Dortmund equalize (great goal by Moukoko), before Union Berlin score the winner, closing this market for a £96 profit.
This was a hedge trade given with the above TOTD. With the score still 1-1 later in the second-half, this position looked like it may save the stake of the above trade. However, with Union Berlin scoring the third goal, this position created a not unwelcome £12 loss.
As stated at the beginning, this was another week of the unexpected. Putting faith in Chelsea on two occasions was fruitless, creating a 6.5 point loss just from their involvement in two matches. There were of course other unexpected scenarios, but fortunately they weren’t involved in any other Trade of the Day recommendations. The Tottenham trade could also have been traded out for a decent profit late in the game, although here it is recorded as a 4.5 point loss.
The summary chart of this week’s Trade of Day recommendations is shown below, showing just over a 5 point loss.
This weekend, all top European Leagues will again be in action, including four Premier League matches taking place tomorrow, another four Sunday and a further two on Monday. They are all at staggered times as well, so if you’re in lock-down, there’s a great opportunity to actively watch and trade 10 matches! Just remember to conduct good analysis, stick with your entry and exit points and remain disciplined. And last but not least, expect the unexpected.
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. In his spare time, he is writing a series of books soon to be published, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, learning Russian and of course, trading football markets.