Diary of a Football Trader – Issues 54 & 55

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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.


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Diary of a Football Trader – Issues 54 & 55


In the last issue, we looked at using additional third-party software that can be used to further enhance trade execution and management on an exchange.

If you don’t already use additional software or the advantages at their disposal, then I suggest you research and take a further look. Perhaps take a free-trial on some products, and become familiar with a different layout and additional tools that aren’t available on a typical front-end exchange (such as Betfair).

In the next issue, I’ll be showing you one example of a low-risk strategy that can be set-up, executed and managed very easily using trading software, which would otherwise be complex and time-consuming.

Now, to the latest edition of the TOTD matches, which covers August 21st – 3rd September.


Saturday, 21st August, 2021


Liverpool v Burnley (Premier League)

Liverpool go in to this match as huge favourites, priced at just 1.25, Burnley at 14.5, with the draw at 7.2.

Burnley famously ended Liverpool's long unbeaten home run earlier this year, with a 0-1 victory at Anfield. Prior to that, the sides drew 1-1 (also at Anfield).

Liverpool won their opening match last week away to newly promoted Norwich with a 0-3 win. However, Liverpool's xG for that match was just 1.79, and so it appears fortuitous they scored 3 goals.

Burnley will not play so open as Norwich did, and will typically prove difficult to break-down.

Liverpool though now have several key players back from injury. However, it would still seem that they aren't 100% match fit.

Looking at other markets, over 2.5 goals is just 1.52 to back, whilst both teams to score ‘Yes' is 2.06.

However, I don't see Burnley scoring on this occasion, since they will be mostly chasing and defending. Liverpool also have not scored more than 2 goals at home in a competitive match since December last year (4-0 against Wolves).

Therefore, against market expectations, the chosen trade is to lay over 2.5 goals at a value price of 1.52.


Over 2.5 Goals – Lay

I created a lay position on ‘over 2.5’ for £142 at an average price of 1.54. With Liverpool scoring in the 18th minute, the trade was negative. However, with the score still being just 1-0 at half-time, the position had improved. I later closed the trade in the second-half and took a £51 profit. The match finished 2-0.




Sunday, 22nd August, 2021


Southampton v Manchester United (Premier League)

Manchester United go in to this match as favourites, priced at just 1.62, Southampton at 5.9, with the draw at 4.5.

Even though Manchester United won their last meeting 9-0, Southampton did have a player sent off in the 2nd minute, and another late in the second-half. The previous 4 meetings between these sides have also seen over 2.5 goals and both teams to score in each. Manchester United have won 2 of these, and there has been 2 draws.

It's anticipated however that this match will not follow this trend, since Southampton will be determined to tighten things up in defence considerably after losing 3-1 to Everton last week (after taking the lead). Although Manchester United won their previous match against Leeds 5-1, their xG was actually just 1.64. They had 4 shots on target in the second-half, and all resulted in a goal.

Manchester United are not worth backing at the price available, especially against a determined Southampton at home. New striker Adam Armstrong was one of the best in the Championship last season, scoring 28 goals, and he's already off the mark against Everton last week. Manchester United have also conceded in all of their last 5 away matches.

Taking the above in to consideration, the trade here is to BACK both teams to score at a fair price of 1.8.


Both Teams To Score – Yes

I took a lay position on ‘No’ for £50 at 1.66. Southampton scored first in the first-half (Man Utd own goal), before Man Utd equalized later in the second, closing the position for a £49 profit.




Monday, 23rd August, 2021


West Ham United v Leicester City (Premier League)

West Ham United go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.64, Leicester at 2.94, with the draw at 3.55.

Both sides started the new season with wins; West Ham beat Newcastle 2-4 away, whilst Leicester ground out a 1-0 home win against Wolves.

However, the contrast in the underlying numbers are stark. Whilst West Ham recorded 3.01 in xG, Leicester managed just 0.67. Leicester also recorded 1.33 in xGA (expected goals against), with West Ham having 1.68.

It is evident that West Ham have goals in them from a variety of sources. But further, they are also strong defensively and conceded less goals than Leicester last season (47 against Leicester’s 50).

However, with all of the last 5 meetings between these sides seeing over 2.5 goals, this appears to be a trend set to continue today, at a decent value price of 1.88.


Over 2.5 Goals

Unfortunately, I missed this match due to other commitments, but the score finished 4-1 to West Ham.



Tuesday, 24th August, 2021


PSV v Benfica (UEFA Champions League Qualifier)

PSV go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.06, Benfica at 3.95, with the draw at 3.75.

When they played last week, PSV were more dominant, had higher possession and more shots on target than the hosts. After PSV score their first goal today, Benfica will understand that they can't afford to sit back and defend. They will also need to score.

Therefore, the selected trade is to back over 2.5 goals at 1.8.


Over 2.5 Goals

I opened a back position on ‘over’ for £50 at 1.82. With this match surprisingly finishing 0-0, a £50 loss was made.




Wednesday, 25th August, 2021


Shakhtar Donetsk v Monaco (UEFA Champions League Qualifier)

Monaco go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.34, Shakhtar at 3.35, with the draw at 3.6.

When they played last week, Shakhtar won 0-1 away. At home, Shakhtar are much stronger, and will put Monaco to the sword once again. Monaco may score here, but Shakhtar will score more.

Therefore, the selected trade is to back over 2.5 goals at 1.96.



Over 2.5 Goals

I opened a back position on ‘over’ for £100 at 1.87. The match finished 1-2 and a £95 profit was banked. ET finished 2-2.




Thursday, 26th August, 2021


Legia Warsaw v Slavia Prague (UEFA Europa League Qualifier)

Slavia Prague go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.24, Legia Warsaw at 3.45, with the draw at 3.65.

When they played last week, they drew 2-2, with all 4 goals being scored in the first-half.

This will be a much tighter, cagier game than the first leg since neither side will want to take too much risk and lose the match. Therefore, the under 2.5 goals market looks fair value to back at 2.04.


Under 2.5 Goals

I wasn’t able to trade this match due to some technical issues, but it finished 2-1 to Legia Warsaw.


Friday, 27th August, 2021


Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim (Bundesliga)

Dortmund go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.48, Hoffenheim at 7, with the draw at 5.3.

Dortmund actually don't have a good record against Hoffenheim – they have won just once in 7 previous meetings. In fact, the last 3 times this fixture has been played, Dortmund have failed to win, Hoffenheim have won 1 and there has been 2 draws.  These 3 matches have also seen over 3.5 goals.

Dortmund come in to this match with a few defensive injuries, which could again produce a high-scoring match. Hoffenheim have also seen over 3.5 goals in 4 of their last 5 matches.

Ideally, I'd prefer to back over 2.5 goals, but the price is too low at just 1.38. Therefore, the over 3.5 goals market is looked at for higher value.


Over 3.5 Goals

I still wasn’t able to trade due to yesterday’s technical issues, but it finished 3-2 to Dortmund.


Saturday, 28th August, 2021


Liverpool v Chelsea (Premier League)

Liverpool go in to this match as slight favourites, priced at 2.7, Chelsea at 2.96, with the draw at 3.4.

This is a match where both teams may prioritize not losing. As such, it should be a cagey and tight affair between these sides, with a draw representing decent value at 3.4. It should also be noted that the favourite score-line on the exchange is 1-1 at 7.2.

Therefore, backing the draw is the favoured trade in the match odds market at a decent price.


Match Odds – Draw

I opened a back position on ‘draw’ for £70 at 3.41. Chelsea scored in the 22nd minute, before having a player sent-off and giving away a penalty just before half-time. At this point, I traded out a portion to reduce risk. However, with the match ending 1-1, an £87 profit was made.




Sunday, 29th August, 2021


Burnley v Leeds United (Premier League)

Leeds go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.28, Burnley at 3.45, with the draw at 3.65.

Last season, Burnley conceded the 6th most goals and scored the 18th lowest in the Premier league. Leeds actually finished last season with 12 clean sheets – the same as Liverpool. Leeds also won both their matches against Burnley last season to nil.

Therefore, both teams to score ‘No' is favoured at a decent trading price of around 2.48.


Both Teams To Score – No

I was matched on ‘No’ for £34 at 2.48. In the 61st minute, Burnley scored, and believing that Leeds would probably equalize, closed the trade for a £20 profit. Leeds however did score in the 86th minute and the match finished 1-1.




Monday, 30th August, 2021 – No Trade Day

Tuesday, 31st August, 2021 – No Trade Day


Wednesday, 1st September, 2021


Norway v Netherlands (World Cup Qualifier)

Netherlands go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.91, Norway at 4.4, with the draw at 3.95.

The price on Netherlands appears to be decent. They are ranked 12th in the World rankings, compared to Norway who are 43rd.

Although going back some time, Norway have not beaten Netherlands in their last 6 meetings.

With the Netherlands seeing over 2.5 goals in 4 of their last 5 away matches, this market is looked at. However, the price is just 1.79.

Therefore, backing Netherlands at 1.91 makes for a higher value trade.


Match Odds – Netherlands

I took a lay position on ‘Netherlands’ for £55 at 1.92. The first-half ended 0-0, and as time ticked on in the second, I was still of the belief that Netherlands would find a late breakthrough. However, it ended 0-0 for a £55 loss.



Thursday, 2nd September, 2021


Hungary v England (World Cup Qualifier)

England go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.45, Hungary at 9.4, with the draw at 4.8.

England are currently ranked 4th in the world by FIFA, with Hungary 37th. All stats and evidence also point to an England win, but the price is not acceptable for a trade recommendation.

Looking at other markets, over 2.5 goals is 2.2, which seems to be the best value option considering England will be keen to assert a positive response after the Euro final loss on penalties. Lessons should have been learned, and that trying to sit on a 1-0 or 2-0 lead is risky.

Hungary are also capable of scoring, as evidenced where they scored against France and put 2 past Germany in the recent Euros tournament.

Therefore, backing over 2.5 goals at 2.2 seems a decent value trade for this match.


Over 2.5 Goals

I took an opening back position on ‘over’ for £50 at 2.2. As the match went on goalless, I increased my position by laying ‘under’ at various intervals. In the end, England scored four goals in the second-half and a £181 profit was banked.



Friday, 20th August, 2021 – No Trade Day



Again, this period has covered a variety of matches in different leagues, UEFA competitions and FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The international break as usual has caused some disruption, with three ‘no trade days’ reported in the last week.

Overall, this period covered in these Diary Issues, produced 13.83 points profit:



At the end of this trading period, Trade of The Day recommendations have produced from the start of the year 22.83% return on investment (ROI) and over 286% return on capital (ROC).



Looking ahead, we have the continuation of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers before all the major European leagues resume again (some starting on Friday 10th September). From there it will be a busy weekend of fixtures, before going in to the mid-week UEFA Champions League and Europa League group matches, followed by a Friday Premier League match between Newcastle and Leeds (8pm kick-off).


Stay safe, and stay profitable,


Pro Trader

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