Diary of a Football Trader – Issue 36
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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 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 and enjoy travelling (when permitted). In his spare time, he is writing a series of books, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, and of course, trading football markets.
Diary of a Football Trader – Issue 36
This three-month exercise will be repeated again for the next quarter, so if you have any ideas about the inclusion of other investments to run in the comparison, then please leave feedback in the comments section.
Moving on, let’s now look at the analysis, matches and trades taken in the markets in this week’s issue of Football Trading.
Saturday, 17th April, 2021
Newcastle v West Ham United
West Ham go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.2, whereas Newcastle are 3.75, with the draw 3.5.
Newcastle's home form has improved of late, registering 4 wins and a draw. This is impressive, considering the wins include matches against Leicester, Leeds and Tottenham.
West Ham have equally been on a decent path that have taken them to 4th, with their only recent losses coming against the two Manchester clubs (sitting in 1st and 2nd in the league table).
My only hesitation in backing them outright, is that key players Declan Rice, Aaoron Creswell and Michel Antonio will be missing for this match. Newcastle also have a reduced defensive line, also due to injuries.
With depleted defences, this could potentially turn in to a goal fest.
Therefore, over 2.5 goals is favoured for this Saturday lunch-time fixture.
Over 2.5 Goals
I took a lay position on under 2.5 just after the start for £50 at 1.89. A moment later I increased this position at 1.8, and then at various increments as the price continued to fall. As the match continued, my position was £150 at an average lay price of 1.74. Shortly after, Newcastle were 2-0 up and the trade in a decent position. In the 73rd minute West Ham scored, and the trade was closed, banking £147 profit. The match eventually finished 3-2, with West Ham down to ten men.
Sunday, 18th April, 2021
Leicester City v Southampton (FA Cup, semi-final)
Leicester go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.93, whereas Southampton are 4.5, with the draw 3.75.
Looking at other markets of interest, BTTS – ‘Yes' is 1.83, and over 2.5 goals is better at 1.96. Realistically though, these prices come with caveats that also bring risk. Those being, will Southampton score against Leicester (in their last match they didn't)? If not, will Leicester score 3 or more goals to make over 2.5 profitable? Possibly not.
Therefore, for this trade recommendation we are going for a straight back on Leicester at a decent price of 1.93. Leicester have a superior team, which in itself is evident in both league positions (3rd and 14th). It is also noted that Jamie Vardy has scored in all 3 of his last appearances at Wembley… so maybe this run is set to continue.
Match Odds – Leicester City
Early before kick-off, I took a back position on ‘Leicester’ at 1.93 for £200. With Leicester scoring in the 55th minute, I closed the trade to reduce any risk of Southampton equalizing. This reduced profit, but still banked an £86 profit and ensured zero-risk for the remainder of the match.
Monday, 19th April, 2021
Leeds United v Liverpool
Liverpool go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.71, whereas Leeds are 4.9, with the draw 4.6.
Liverpool are likely to approach this match with more caution then they did in the reverse fixture in September last year, which they won 4-3. A win here would see them move in to 4th position, and they'll be very conscious of this since they were recently eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid, with the Anfield match ending 0-0. Liverpool were unable to score, and Real Madrid didn't need to score to guarantee progression to the semi-finals.
To get back in to the CL qualification places, Liverpool do need to score, whilst also nullifying another Los Blancos team.
Whilst anticipating a Liverpool win here, the price is not compelling enough for a TOTD recommendation, being just over 1.7.
Looking at other markets of interest, BTTS – ‘No' is 2.48, and under 2.5 goals is better still at 2.66.
However, with Liverpool conceding in just 1 of their last 5 away matches (against Real Madrid), the BTTS ‘No' market holds strong appeal and is favoured. Further to this, Raphinha for Leeds looks doubtful, and he will be missed by the Leeds attack should he not start.
Backing ‘No' therefore offers decent value for this match from a trading perspective at 2.48. Predictology are also highlighting this selection as high-value at 2.34.
BTTS – No
Before kick-off I took a back position on No for £119 at an average of 2.51. After Liverpool scored, I began coming out of the trade in increments to reduce risk. Midway through the second-half I fully closed the position for a £74 profit. Leeds did actually score late in the match (87 min), and so a reduced point-win was recorded. However, it does go to show two things:
- Profit can still be made from a trade (even if the outcome is not what was initially expected), through trade management.
- Always close a trade before full-time if there is a risk that a late goal could spoil a decent profit position. This applies mainly to match odds, Under 2.5 and BTTS ‘No’.
Tuesday, 20th April, 2021
Chelsea v Brighton
Chelsea go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.65, whereas Brighton are 6.9, with the draw 4.
Chelsea have conceded in just 1 of their last 5 home matches. Brighton although a decent playing team, have difficulty actually scoring. How they will do this against one of the most solid defences in the Premier League, or perhaps Europe, it's not looking likely.
Looking at other markets, under 2.5 goals is 1.81, whilst both teams to score ‘No' is 1.8. Considering Chelsea recently played against Manchester City in the FA Cup, and kept a clean sheet against the league's top scorers, it's difficult to make a case for Brighton scoring here.
Therefore, BTTS ‘No' is favoured for a trade recommendation.
BTTS – No
Before kick-off I took a back position on ‘No’ £93 at 1.82. As the match wore on goalless into the second-half, I closed the trade to bank a £54 profit. This was a relatively early close, with still the score at 0-0, but it ensured profit was taken with both teams having chances. In the end, the match finished 0-0.
Wednesday, 21st April, 2021
Aston Villa v Manchester City
Manchester City go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.41, whereas Aston Villa are 9.6, with the draw 5.2.
It's been a tumultuous week in the world of European football, with the rise (and now eventual fall) of the European Super League, which I'm sure you will know all about.
Liverpool played Sunday after the news broke, which they went on to draw with Leeds. Chelsea played yesterday, and also drew (0-0) with Brighton. The Chelsea players looked lethargic, or possibly distracted, or possibly embarrassed. Or perhaps all of these.
Even without Jack Grealish, I believe that Aston Villa could take something from this game, whether it be a 1-0, 0-0 or a 1-1 (potentially).
Aston Villa are 3rd in the clean-sheets league, just behind Man City and Chelsea. They are also 3rd in least goals conceded on 33, just behind Chelsea (31).
Manchester City were kept out against Chelsea at the weekend in the FA Cup semi-final. Arguably, Manchester City's most creative player (Kevin De Bruyne) is also now out injured following that match.
Therefore, under 2.5 goals looks a favourable proposition for a trade recommendation at 2.24.
Under 2.5 Goals
I took a back position on under for £212 at an average of 2.25. This trade started with the worst possible start with Aston Villa scoring in the 1st minute. After that, it was difficult to get out of since the market was expecting Man City to come back from this set back and win the match. I wrote this off for a £231 loss, whilst trading the under 3.5 and 4.5 goals markets to reduce the loss. The match finished 1-2.
Thursday, 22nd April, 2021
Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion
West Brom have been picking up of late and scoring goals, including five against Chelsea. It was expected they would carry on their fight for survival, and put at least one goal past Leicester. Therefore, BTTS ‘Yes’ was selected at a decent price of 2.
BTTS – Yes
Backing Yes offers decent value for this match from a trading perspective at 2. I took a back position on Yes at an average of 2.27 for £85. However, as Leicester proceeded to put 3 past West Brom, there was no reply, which resulted in a £87 loss.
Friday, 23rd April, 2021
Arsenal v Everton
Arsenal go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.14, whereas Everton are 3.95, with the draw 3.55.
These two teams are sitting in 8th and 9th in the table. A win for Arsenal would see these positions reversed. Everton haven't been scoring many goals of late (just 4 in their last 5 matches). But also they haven't been conceding many either (just 2 in their last 4 away matches).
Arsenal have scored just 2 goals in their last 4 home matches.
This is likely to be a tight and cagey match, with both teams looking not to lose as their priority.
Therefore, this shouldn't be a high-scoring match and under 2.5 goals looks a good value call at 1.9.
Under 2.5 Goals
I took a back position on under at an average of 1.93 for £165. As the match progressed goalless into the second-half, I began to come out of the trade to reduce risk. In the end, the match finished 0-1 to Everton, and £86 profit was banked.
Again, it’s been a busy week of matches, covering the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions, with high-quality matches and high-market liquidity every day.
Overall, the recommendations for this week produced 8.18 points profit, whilst also averaging 2.04 in the trade prices recommended.
Low-Light of the Week
From a trading perspective, it has to be Manchester City (who have the best defence in the Premier League) conceding a goal in the very first minute in their match against Aston Villa.
High-Light of the Week
Leeds United getting a 1-1 draw against Liverpool, with also the BTTS ‘No’ selection creating a profitable outcome. This was mainly due to the high-price of 2.48 being taken at the start, and then trading out as the match progressed over time.
Enjoy the matches this coming week, stay safe, and stay profitable. The next instalment of the Trading Diary will be back next week.
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.