Diary of a Pro Trader – Issue 31-32
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Diary of a Football Trader – Issues 31-32
This is a bit of a bumper issue, because it incorporates last week’s diary summary, combined with the International week. Therefore, grab a beverage, relax and enjoy the next 15-20 minutes.
In the last issue, a group of key tools were discussed in order to complete match analysis validation (the information being checked and analysed for correctness) as well as verification (does it comply with other indicators and sources of analysis).
To recap briefly, these key tools were:
- Current Team Form
- Injuries / Team News / Starting Line-ups
- Goals & Supremacy / xG / xGA
- Previous Head to Head
- Other Algorithmic Analysis Sources
The above categories form a robust tool-box of starting analysis points and indicators that then allows you to make match trading decisions with more confidence. Of course, once a trade is placed, things can always turn out differently, no matter how diligent the analysis has been. This is a given; a fact of trading life in absolutely every market, not just football. It is then down to how to manage the trade that has been placed that requires your full skill and attention; sometimes quick action, sometimes patience, but always logical thought even under pressure.
This then leads to Trade Management as the subject matter. Now, due to this being just a trading diary, the information is condensed and brief, but hopefully it still provides some snippets of useful insights and ideas in a couple of actual scenarios. The following will look at when trades turn negative, and then in a future issue we can focus on when scenarios turn out positive, and also what action to take (such as minimizing risk and exposure and using other markets to hedge for guaranteed profit).
If you’ve followed any of my previous diary issues, you will know that the main markets for my trading are: Match Odds, Goals Over / Under 2.5 and BTTS (both teams to score). The simple reason for this is that these markets are the most liquid i.e. have the most money and are less prone to sudden changes in price, which means that the spreads are tighter and trades can be closed quickly if need be. I also trade other markets frequently, such as Asian Handicap, Correct Score, Half-Time result etc. but the above are the core markets that most traders will focus on.
Trade Management: Both Teams To Score (No)
This trade selection is most useful when analysis shows that at least one of the teams are unlikely to score, preferably both. An example here is a recommendation in the match West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United (14th February). Considering that analysis showed that West Brom had scored the second least goals in the Premier League, it wasn’t expected they would score against Manchester United, a team still pushing for the title. However, the worst possible start happened, when West Brom scored in the 1st minute. Given that the market was priced expecting Manchester United to score, this made exiting the trade at this point almost negligible i.e. not even worth exiting at this stage due to the price available.
However, with time decay and West Brom now showing some resilience, it was almost half-time and still 1-0 with the potential loss reduced by around 50%. Expecting Manchester United to score in this match, the best action in this scenario is to be patient and allow the price to change before trading out for a smaller loss.
This is a similar scenario when backing under 2.5 goals and then an early goal occurs. Don’t panic, give the match and markets some time to settle rather than closing immediately for a bigger loss. If you can get the trade up to scratch (no win / no loss), then all the better.
Trade Management: Under 2.5 Goals
Eighty (80) trade recommendations have been given so far this year, and 24 of those have been for under 2.5 goals (33%). Of those 24 trades, 17 have profited (71%). So let’s look at an example where this trade has gone against expectations, the possible reasons why, and what to do in these circumstances.
The last time this trade type was recommended that ended over 2.5 goals was in the Champions League when Borussia Dortmund played Sevilla (3rd March). The trade was looking good until the 55th minute when Dortmund were awarded and scored from a penalty, making the score 1-1. At this point in the match with still at least 35 minutes to play, it would have been best to close out the trade for scratch / small loss, rather than take the risk of another goal. As it happened, another penalty was then awarded to Sevilla in the 68th minute. Sevilla then equalized in the 96th minute, resulting in 2-2. Take away the two penalties, and this would likely have been a 1-1 result and the trade profitable. Therefore, if trading under 2.5 goals, and there has been 2 goals before 70 mins, then it is best to trade out to protect capital and profits. Also, if a penalty is awarded in a match where under 2.5 goals is backed, then it is best to close the trade, because sometimes referees look to ‘even things up’ if a soft penalty has been awarded by them. Penalties are a curse when backing under 2.5 goals, so it is also worth checking the stats on the referee’s previous penalties awarded before placing a trade in this market. For example, this can be done for English competitions at whoscored.com.
I realise the above summary is brief, and I would like to be able to share more information in the future to further your trading profitability. This is actually now carefully being considered, in order to provide a structured course for like-minded individuals to begin to trade full-time, earn money and inspire others.
To do anything properly and to your best ability, it takes study, guidance, learning from mistakes, testing and practice. This is true for any occupation, whether it be for an electrician, plumber, barber, architect, financial advisor, doctor or whatever. It is the same path; study, exams and practical work in order to become qualified and successful. Why should Football Trading be any different in order to become knowledgeable, skilled and able to produce a monthly income? After all, isn’t that just what all professionals study for and want to achieve – an income from their learned skills and qualifications?
For instance, and to put this in to perspective:
- Would you let an untrained barber cut your hair? (if you answer yes, then you can stop reading right now).
- Would you have an unqualified electrician carry out work in your home?
- Would you take financial investment advice from someone that had no qualifications or experience in this area?
Therefore, why put your trading faith and bank balance in to the hands of someone that is not quite sure what they are doing? I am not for a moment suggesting that Trade of the Day is the answer here. It’s advocating that a structured course of study will definitely help to make you more qualified in order to carry out match analysis, market trading decisions and trade management with confidence and success. This scenario is succinctly described by Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
At the time of writing, Trade of the Day recommendations have produced over a 116% return on capital so far this year. But this is like being handed a fish on a daily basis. I personally would much prefer to create something that teaches others to fish for themselves, to become experienced, and are then able to teach others as well. To generate a whole fleet of professional football traders would bring me much more satisfaction than simply handing out fish.
As stated, this concept of learning and education for football trading is under growing consideration, and being a subscriber of Football Advisor you will be the first to know of future developments on this matter.
Now let’s review the trade recommendations made these last two weeks, looking at how a matches and market were selected, and how the analysis fared.
Saturday, 13th March, 2021
Fulham v Manchester City
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.39, Fulham at 10, with the draw at 5.3.
Interestingly, Manchester City's back price has been traded earlier at a low of 1.26, and has since climbed to a high of 1.41. Conversely, Fulham's has traded at 14, before dropping to its current low.
Although Manchester City have conceded the lowest number of goals so far in the Premier League (21), they have conceded in 3 of their last 4 matches (against Southampton, Wolves and West Ham).
Although not prolific scorers, Fulham should approach this game with more confidence having beaten Liverpool in their last match, played very well and fully deserved the win. I can also see them scoring here, even though their xG for this match is just 0.69.
The both teams to score ‘Yes' market is 2.24 to back, whilst the over 2.5 goals market is 1.89. Predictology are also highlighting the BTTS ‘Yes' selection as high-value at 2.13.
I took a back position on Yes at 234 for £50. As the match progressed, I began to increase the exposure on this trade by laying No. However, although not from a lack of determination from Fulham, City were too good defensively and this resulted in a £73 loss.
Sunday, 14th March, 2021
Manchester United v West Ham United
Manchester United go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.93, West Ham at 4.7, with the draw at 3.65.
In this instance, the back price on West Ham looks very appealing at this price, because:
– Manchester United last played on Thursday in the Europa League, where they were fortunate to come away with a 1-1 draw against AC Milan.
– West Ham last played on Monday (where they defeated Leeds 2-0), and therefore have 3 more days rest over Manchester United.
– Looking at the expected line-ups for Manchester United, they could be without strikers Rashford, Martial and Cavani due to injury.
– West Ham leads the league in shots taken from inside the six-yard box because Souček and Antonio are excellent at getting into these key positions.
– Unfortunately, West Ham will be illegible to play Lingard because the loanee cannot play against his parent club. However, he does seem to have settled well with his new team and will no doubt be able to share useful player information with the group.
– The same can be said for West Ham manager, David Moyes, that has also previously managed many of the Manchester United players during his spell there.
Before kick-off, I took a back price on ‘West Ham at average odds of 4.7 for £205. This was later increased by laying Manchester United at average odds of 1.34 for £255. Now, this game was tight and West Ham manager David Moyes set the team up more defensive than attacking. It was anticipated that he was looking to not concede and then score on the break. This would have been fine had it happened this way, but West Ham ended up scoring an own goal and the score resulted in 1-0 at the end, de-banking £292.
Monday, 15th March, 2021
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool
Liverpool go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.74, Wolves at 5.7, with the draw at 3.95.
In technical trading terms, Liverpool now look to be edging back to the mean after dipping down to the low of their bolinger band. In other words, they've hit the lowest they are likely to go during this period and will now start to move on up. In fact, they have won 4 of their last 5 away matches, but it has been home form that has contributed to their slump.
Mid-week in the Champions League, they had central midfielder Fabinho back in his favoured position, and a positive result ensued.
Therefore, an away win for Liverpool is anticipated.
I took a back position on Liverpool for £350 at average odds of 1.76. When Liverpool scored just before half-time, the trade was closed to bank £130 profit.
Tuesday, 16th March, 2021
Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach (UEFA Champions League)
Manchester City go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.27, M'gladbach at 13.5, with the draw at 6.8.
M'gladbach are in a poor run of form, having lost their last 5 matches whilst also failing to score in 3 of them. Again, it must be noted that Manchester City have conceded the least goals in the Premier League, and also have a strong record of not conceding in the Champions League.
Looking at markets to profit from this match, the Manchester City -1.5 goals appeals. However, the price is just 1.77, and looking for more value, the both teams to score market ‘No' is currently trading at a slightly better 1.81.
BTTS – No
I took a back position on ‘No’ for £175 at average odds of 1.86. As the match progressed and M’gladbach had still not scored I began to come out of the position, and in the end the market was closed for a £90 profit.
Wednesday, 17th March, 2021
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid (UEFA Champions League)
From analysis, this looked like a tight game with maybe just a goal either way. Therefore, BTTS ‘No’ was favoured as a market selection.
BTTS – No
I took a back position at average odds of 1.84 for £100. As the match progressed with just Chelsea scoring in the first-half, I began to exit the trade to reduce risk and protect potential profits. In the end, this market was exited for an £80 profit.
Thursday, 18th March, 2021
AC Milan v Manchester United
Manchester United go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.28, AC Milan at 3.45, with the draw at 3.6.
Looking at other markets, both teams to score ‘Yes' is currently trading at 1.77, whilst over 2.5 goals is 1.98.
The first leg of this tie saw 2 early Milan goals ruled out. However, this does show they will be keen to attack and possibly be more fortunate. With this match tightly poised, both teams to score does look very probable. However, the price on over 2.5 goals is more appealing and also seems as probable, given that key players for both teams should be available for this fixture.
Over 2.5 Goals
I took a back position on ‘Over’ at odds of 2 for £100. As the match progressed, it was disappointing to see this wasn’t the attacking spectacle expected. I then began to reduce my exposure by backing under 2.5 goals, and in the end settled for a £60 loss.
Friday, 19th March, 2021
Fulham v Leeds United
Fulham go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.64, Leeds at 2.92, with the draw at 3.5.
Interestingly, both of these teams have seen both to score ‘No' in their last 5 matches. Both teams are also on a goal draught, having scored just one goal combined in their last 3 matches. Yes, that's right. Both of these team’s goals combined in their last three matches have scored just 1 goal (Fulham against Liverpool on 7th March). Leeds have not scored a single goal in their last 3 matches.
BTTS No, is currently at a decent 2.1, whereas under 2.5 goals is 1.86.
This had the potential makings of a tight low-scoring affair. Therefore, the higher-value position of BTTS ‘No’ at 2.1 was favoured.
BTTS – No
Before kick-off I took a lay position on ‘Yes’ at 1.83 for £125. Unfortunately, and against analysis and expectations, Leeds scored in the first-half and Fulham equalized less than ten minutes later, creating a £104 loss.
Saturday, 20th March, 2021
Everton v Manchester City
Manchester City go in to this match as clear favourites, currently priced at 1.33, Everton at 11, with the draw at 6.
It's difficult to look past a Manchester City win here, but the price does not appeal for a trade recommendation. Instead, other markets are looked at that could provide higher-value.
BTTS No, is currently at 1.81, whereas under 2.5 goals is 2.34.
Considering that Manchester City have not conceded a goal in their last 3 away matches, this should be more of the same, where Manchester City take a lead early on, and then proceed to pass the ball around in their own half. Therefore, under 2.5 goals at the price appeals.
Under 2.5 Goals
Before kick-off I took a back position on under at 2.38 for £100. The match played out as expected, and it was still 0-0 until the 84th minute when Manchester City scored. However, the trade was already closed and £100 profit banked.
Sunday, 21st March, 2021
West Ham United v Arsenal
Arsenal surprisingly go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.46, West Ham at 3.2, with the draw at 3.5.
On the face of the game, positions in the league table and form, West Ham should be favourites to win here. Not to mention that Arsenal played on Thursday night, whilst West Ham have had more recuperation and preparation time.
I am tempted to recommend backing West Ham for this match, but it depends on how manager David Moyes sets the team up. Last week we saw a defensive set-up against Manchester United, which ultimately failed due to an own-goal (and without Lingard being legible to play). Therefore, other markets are considered:
BTTS Yes, is currently at 1.83, whereas over 2.5 goals is 1.92.
Considering that Arsenal have scored in 4 of their last 5 away matches, and that West Ham have scored in all of their last 5 home matches, both teams to score looks good value.
BTTS – Yes
Before kick-off I took a back position on Yes at 1.85 for £100. West Ham scored in the 15th minute, and then followed up with another two goals before half-time. Arsenal equalized just before the break and £83 profit was banked.
Just in case you were wondering, I did actually back West Ham at 3.22 and traded out at 2-0 for a £222 profit.
Monday, 22nd March, 2021 – No Trade Day
Tuesday, 23rd March, 2021 – No Trade Day
Wednesday, 24th March, 2021
Belgium v Wales (2022 World Cup Qualifier)
Belgium unsurprisingly go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at just 1.38, Wales at 10.5, with the draw at 5.4.
With the likes of De Bruyne, Tielemens and Lukaku all likely to start here, it's difficult to see past a convincing Belgium win including a fair amount of goals.
BTTS ‘Yes', is tempting, which is currently at a decent 2.38, whereas over 2.5 goals is 1.98.
Considering that Belgium are an open attacking team, it's difficult seeing Wales keeping them out, even though they've kept 4 clean sheets in their last 5 away games. However, against a strong team such as Belgium (ranked #1 in the World), this won't be a dull match and so goals are expected, possibly from both teams.
Over 2.5 Goals
Before kick-off I took a back position on over at 2.1 for £50. There wasn’t a lot more to do here, with the third goal being scored in the 28th minute, creating a £54 profit.
Thursday, 25th March, 2021
Hungary v Poland (2022 World Cup Qualifier)
Poland go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at just 2.16, Hungary at 4.1, with the draw at 3.3.
Hungary have a strong recent record, having not lost in their last 5 matches. With both teams looking capable of creating chances and scoring, the market that appeals most is both teams to score at a decent price of 2.
BTTS – Yes
Before kick-off I took a lay position on ‘No’ at 1.98 for £50. Hungary scored early in the 6th minute, which was nice. Poland scored their first goal in the 60th minute, and the trade was closed for a £49 profit. The match went on to finish 3-3.
Friday, 26th March, 2021 – No Trade Day
Football Trading Diary – Conclusion
It’s been a bumper last two weeks of matches, with Premier League games, selections from the UEFA European competitions as well as World Cup Qualification matches.
Also, I am happy to report that the average price of trades recommended is still way over 2, which is very beneficial for decent bank growth and compounding. This means that as your bank grows, so does your stake which then in turn helps to grow you starting bank. If you are following a staking plan based on bank size, don’t forget to increase your stake as your bank grows to maximize growth.
Overall, the recommendations this for the last two weeks produced over 10 points profit, which included three no trade days due to the International break. I hope this goes to show, that following the same principles of analysis, market selection and then trade management can be applied to all matches.
And currently, the return on a starting balance at the beginning of the year is over 116%.
Next week we are again looking at International World Cup qualification games, so I imagine it will be similar to last week, before we move in to normal service in the National and UEFA Leagues.
Enjoy the matches this coming week, stay safe, and stay profitable.
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.