Diary of a Football Trader – Issues 52 & 53
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– All his pre match analysis
– How and Why he selected the match
– The exact markets to trade
– When to ENTER and when to EXIT
….AND.. what to do when things go positively and when things don't go to plan
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 – Issues 52 & 53
In the last issue, we looked at how match selection criteria was important, which then led to further analysis to determine, ultimately market selection and a favourable, high-value position to take.
Once you have formed a plan for the strategy / trade you are going to make, it’s then about execution. This does not just cover placing a position on an exchange, it’s also about having set limits / losses that you may want to accompany the position you are taking. This can of course all be done manually using an exchange front console, such as Betfair. Or you can alternatively simplify this process by using specialist trading software.
The main advantages of using software that connects directly to an exchange (via API), are:
- Faster price refreshes from the exchanges. This means that you are getting more up-to-date prices than if using an exchange front-end console, which can only benefit your trading. Not only that, but your staking can be set-up on your ladder, which allows placement of your desired stake with just two-clicks.
- Nearly all trading software offers a ladder display of prices. This allows you to see the market more in depth, showing where there are gaps and where the most money is sitting rather than seeing the first three back and lay prices. This allows you to make better informed decisions, since you will be able to predict when a price could move quickly, or sit for some time at the same price.
- More signals and indicators are included in specialist software, as opposed to the standard exchange produced graphs. It is possible to set-up and customize these charts which are updated in real-time and give a better indication of movement (weight of money, traded volume, Bollinger bands are all useful tools to utilize).
- One-click placement, and/or cancellation of trades. Further to this, many provide tools that allow you to set limits or a stop-loss when a trade is placed. All can be executed with just a click, so are ideal if you prefer scalping markets or set wider pricing parameters for a bigger trade movement. Trades can also be dragged and dropped simply to a different price if not yet matched, so if you think the price will move further, just drag your trade to a more beneficial price in the ladder.
- There’s also a great deal of customization available in to your set-up, so many markets and ladders can be monitored at the same time, and set-up with the information that is most important for your trades or strategies.
This is just a high-level overview on the advantages of using and learning exchange software for trade execution. It’s not a detailed review of the many products out there, since there’s already many sites detailing this – it’s just to give an insight in to what is possible. If you haven’t used this type of software before, then you can get a free trial on most of these, so you can test and experiment as to the benefits and what suits your own style better. Most also offer a testing platform, where you don’t need to use real money to experiment.
Now, to the latest edition of the TOTD matches, which covers 7th – 20th August.
Saturday, 7th August, 2021
Leicester City v Manchester City (FA Community Shield)
Manchester City go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.02, Leicester at 4.1, with the draw at 3.75.
This is the first game of the season featuring Premier League teams; a contest between winners of the league (Man City) and the FA Cup (Leicester).
These sides have had mixed pre-season matches, where Leicester have lost away to Wycombe, drawn 0-0 with Burton Albion, drawing 3-3 with QPR and lastly beating Villarreal 3-2. Manchester City have won all 3 of their matches against Blackpool, Barnsley and Preston NE, scoring 10 goals in total.
Both teams however have key players missing for this match: For Leicester it mainly affects their defence, missing Castagne, Evans, Fofana. Manchester City will be without Ederson, Foden, De Bruyne, Stones and Jesus.
With Leicester's defence conceding 5 goals in their last 2 matches, combined with Manchester City still capable of goals even without key players, this does have potential for goals at Wembley.
Therefore, the recommendation is to back over 2.5 goals at a decent price of around 1.98.
Although liquidity in this market is still only around 2k, it is expected to be over the 5k threshold closer to kick-off.
Over 2.5 Goals
I created a lay position on ‘under’ for £110 at an average price of 1.5. As time ticked-on, it was evident this wasn’t going to the high-scoring affair predicted, which is surprising. I later closed the trade and took a £50 loss. The match finished 1-0.
Sunday, 8th August, 2021
Fulham v Middlesbrough (English Championship)
Fulham go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.87, Middlesbrough at 5, with the draw at 3.7.
Fulham go in to this match seemingly under prepared, with only one match being played for pre-season. They also have a new manager, and many players have moved on since they were relegated at the end of the Premier League season last.
Middlesbrough under their manager Neil Warnock look highly more prepared and capable of causing an upset here. They have had 5 away pre-season matches and scored 14 goals in the process. In fact, a Middlesbrough win here looks highly credible. But to reduce risk in case of a draw, opposing Fulham is slightly more appealing.
Therefore, the recommendation is to lay Fulham at a decent price of around 1.86.
Match Odds – Lay Fulham
I took a lay position on ‘Fulham’ for £200 at an average price of 1.73. Fulham scored first in the first-half, before Middlesbrough equalized later in the second. When this happened, I then immediately closed the trade for a £150 profit.
Monday, 9th August, 2021 – No Trade Day
Tuesday, 10th August, 2021
Midtjylland v PSV (UEFA Champions League Qualifier)
PSV go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2, Midtjylland at 3.85, with the draw at 4.1.
Being the second-leg of this tie, with PSV having a 3-0 lead, you'd think that they may sit back and play out for a draw. But no, this is not the PSV way. They will still go out and want to win this game, and convincingly. Midtjylland will have to come out and try and score to get anything, and so this will leave them open to an attack-minded team. Although it's just 3 matches played in the qualifiers for PSV, they have averaged 3.33 goals per match.
The over 2.5 goals market is where I would normally go for this match, but the price is too low at just 1.62.
Instead, the recommendation is to back PSV at a very decent price of around 2.
Match Odds – Back PSV
I took a back position on ‘PSV’ for £170 at an average price of 2.18. PSV left it late, but scored first and I closed the trade by laying PSV at just 1.02 for a £190 profit.
Wednesday, 11th August, 2021 – No Trade Day
Thursday, 12th August, 2021
St Johnstone v Galatasaray (UEFA Europa League Qualifier)
Galatasaray go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.2, St Johnstone at 4.1, with the draw at 3.3.
The first leg of this tie in Istanbul resulted in a red-card for the home team, and they played the remaining second half with 10 men. However, they were still pushing for a winner until the final whistle. St Johnstone scored from a penalty.
St Johnstone will be the more defensive of the sides, but Galatasaray should have enough quality to come through this tie with a win in normal time. I'd also be very surprised if St Johnstone manage to score – they've scored just 3 goals in their last 5 home matches.
The recommendation is to back Galatasaray at a very decent price of around 2.2.
Match Odds – Back PSV
I took a back position on ‘Galatasaray’ for £180 at an average price of 2.23. Galatasaray scored first, but soon after St Johnstone equalized. Galatasaray went on to score twice more and I closed the trade by laying Galatasaray at just 1.03 for a £205 profit. The match finished 2-4.
Friday, 13th August, 2021
Borussia M’gladbach v Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)
Bayern Munich go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.73, Borussia Monchengladbach at 4.8, with the draw at 4.5.
This is the first game of the German Bundesliga season. It's between two of their best teams. Neither will want to lose, and this will be prioritised. Bayern Munich played 4 pre-season matches, and didn't win any. They also have a new manager, and are perhaps getting used to a new system and his ways, although their team was not regular starters.
Looking at the prices for match odds, the home side looks more preferable.
However, against market expectations, the recommendation is to back under 2.5 goals at a very decent price of around 3.15.
Under 2.5 Goals
Before kick-off, I took a lay position on ‘over 2.5 goals’ for £200 at 1.47. Borussia M’gladbach scored first, and Bayern Munich equalized 30 minutes later. The match finished 1-1, and £196 profit was banked.
Saturday, 14th August, 2021
Norwich v Liverpool (Premier League)
Liverpool go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.44, Norwich at 8.2, with the draw at 5.3.
This is the first game for both teams at the start of the new Premier League season. Norwich are newly promoted, and here they have a tricky opening match hosting Liverpool. In Norwich's last pre-season match last week, they lost 3-0 to Newcastle.
It's difficult to see Norwich getting anything in their opening match, against a strong Liverpool side that will dominate possession.
Therefore, the recommendation is to back both teams to score ‘No', at a decent price of around 2.16.
Both Teams To Score – No
I opened a back position on ‘No’ for £100 at average odds of 2.13. Liverpool scored in the first-half, before following up with two more goals in the second. I then closed the trade to reduce risk for a £94 profit. The match finished 0-3.
Sunday, 15th August, 2021
Newcastle United v West Ham United (Premier League)
West Ham go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.32, Newcastle at 3.4, with the draw at 3.6.
This is the first game for both teams at the start of the new Premier League season. It is tempting to back West Ham in the match odds market, however they don't have a good record against Newcastle and have not beaten them in the last 5 attempts.
Newcastle however are without their 2 first-choice goal-keepers, and West Ham have been showing goal-scoring form. Also, in 3 of their last 4 meetings there has been over 2.5 goals scored.
Therefore, the recommendation is to back over 2.5 goals at a fair price of around 1.94 (Betfair Exchange).
Over 2.5 Goals
I opened a back position before kick-off on overs for £50 at 1.96. The strategy here was then to increase this position as the price moved-up. However, with Newcastle scoring in just the 5th minute, this was no longer possible. In the end, the match finished 2-4 and £47 profit was banked.
Monday, 16th August, 2021
Villarreal v Granada (La Liga)
Villarreal go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.64, Granada at 6.8, with the draw at 4.1.
This is the first game for both teams at the start of the new La Liga season. With Villarreal failing to win in all of their last 5 matches, the above price looks too short and so other markets are considered.
Also, the previous encounters of this fixture resulted in a 2-2 and 4-4 draws (in Feb 21 and Aug 19, respectively).
Therefore, the recommendation is to back both teams to score at a decent price of around 2.14 (Betfair Exchange).
Both Teams To Score – Yes
I opened a back position on ‘Yes’ for £76 at 2.51. With this match not achieving much for either team in 90 minutes, it ended 0-0 for a £76 loss.
Tuesday, 17th August, 2021
Monaco v Shakhtar Donetsk (UEFA Champions League Qualifier)
Monaco go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.73, Shakhtar at 5.6, with the draw at 4.
To get to this stage in the UEFA CL Qualifiers, Monaco (ranked # 41 in Europe) beat Sparta Prague (ranked # 60) home and away. However, they have a trickier task here against Shakhtar, ranked # 37. It doesn't help Monaco that they've also got off to a disappointing start in their domestic league, whereas Shakhtar have won 3 of their last 4 league matches.
Looking at other markets, both teams to score ‘yes' is 1.78, with over 2.5 goals at 1.8, with under at 2.18 (although liquidity in these markets is still low). It is tempting to back an outright Shakhtar win at 5.6. However, the risk here is that they play out for a draw.
Therefore, the recommendation is to lay Monaco at a decent price of around 1.73 (Betfair Exchange).
Match Odds – Lay Monaco
I took a lay position on Monaco for £100 at an average price of 1.71. When Shakhtar scored midway through the first-half, I closed the trade soon after for a £97 profit.
Wednesday, 18th August, 2021
Malmo v Ludogorets (UEFA Champions League Qualifier)
Swedish Champions Malmo (ranked # 94 in Europe) go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2, Ludogorets (#67) at 4.5, with the draw at 3.5.
To get to this stage in the UEFA CL Qualifiers, Malmo last beat Scottish Champions Rangers (# 30) 2-1 both home and away. Ludogorets saw off Olympiakos (#32), beating them on penalties in the 2nd leg.
With Malmo's current decent home scoring form, it is tempting to back them in the outright market. However, Ludogorets are well capable of scoring here, having scored in 4 of their last 5 away matches. Malmo have also conceded in their last 3 home matches.
Therefore, the recommendation is to back both teams to score at decent price of around 2.02 (Betfair Exchange). Liquidity in the market is not fully developed, but it is expected to be at a decent level closer to kick-off.
Both Teams To Score – Yes
I took a lay position on ‘No’ for £25 at 1.92. I then increased this position during in-play by backing ‘Yes’ at 2.35. With Paderborn scoring in the first-half, the trade was in an ok position. However, when it appeared that Ludogorets were struggling to score, I closed the trade for £45 loss. The match ended 2-0.
Thursday, 19th August, 2021
Pacos Ferriera v Tottenham (UEFA Europa Conference League Qualifier)
Tottenham go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.77, Pacos Ferreira at 5.4, with the draw at 3.9.
UEFA rank the Portuguese Primeira Liga as the 6th best in Europe. This is higher than Netherlands (7), Belgium (9) and Scotland (11). Therefore, to finish 5th in this league is a big achievement for a relatively small club. This will make Pacos Ferreira more determined to progress in this tournament.
Tottenham on the other hand are likely to see this as a Thursday night distraction from their main focus of the Premier League. In fact, new manager (Nuno Espirito Santo) has already stated that none of the players that played against Manchester City at the weekend will feature here. The team will therefore be much changed and may struggle against a hungry Portuguese team on their own soil.
Therefore, the recommendation is to LAY Tottenham at decent price of around 1.77 (Betfair Exchange). Liquidity in the market is good with 30k matched already.
Match Odds – Lay Tottenham
I took a lay position on Tottenham for £105 at average odds of 1.73. When Pacos Ferreira scored, I closed the trade for a £79 profit.
Friday, 20th August, 2021
RB Leipzig v Stuttgart (UEFA Champions League Qualifier)
RB Leipzig go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.44, Stuttgart at 8, with the draw at 5.4.
These sides started their campaign last week, with vastly different fortunes. Whilst Leipzig lost 1-0 away to Mainz, Stuttgart beat newly promoted Greuther Fürth at home 5-1.
Looking at other markets, over 2.5 goals is just 1.55 to back, whilst both teams to score ‘Yes' is 1.78.
However, the last 5 meetings between these sides have seen both teams to score just once, and over 2.5 goals also just once (Bundesliga). RB Leipzig also had the strongest defence last season, conceding the fewest goals, and having the lowest xGA (0.86).
Therefore, against market expectations, the recommendation is to BACK under 2.5 goals at a value price of 2.78 (Betfair Exchange). Liquidity in the market is good with almost 5k matched already.
Under 2.5 Goals
I took a lay position on over 2.5 goals at 1.57 average odds for £130. This trade was in profit until the 36th minute when RB Leipzig scored. They then followed up with another 8 minutes later, and then again 7 minutes in to the second-half. Full-time ended 4-0, and a £74 loss was made.
This period has covered a variety of match in different leagues, including the Premier League, the Championship, Bundesliga, La Liga as well as all UEFA European competitions.
Overall, this period covered in these Diary Issues (including two no trade days), produced 18.85 points profit:
At the end of this trading period, Trade of The Day recommendations have produced from the start of the year 22.47% return on investment (ROI) and over 276% return on capital (ROC).
Looking ahead, we have all the major European leagues in action, as well as mid-week UEFA competitions. Hopefully, this will result in more winning trades and more solid profits banked.
One last thing, if you are a following member of Trade of the Day, don't forget to adjust your staking in accordance to your bank. This is best done at the end of each week, to make sure you are maximising the profit potential from compounding. Just to briefly recap with an example below:
Start Bank = £500
Bank Points = 50
1 point = £10 (bank / bank points)
3 points = £30
Then, if after the first week 10 points profit are made, then this would be:
Bank = £600
Bank Points = 50
1 point = £12 (bank / bank points)
3 points = £36
Then, if after the second week 10 points profit are made, then this would be:
Bank = £720
Bank Points = 50
1 point = £14.4 (bank / bank points)
3 points = £43.2
And so on…
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.