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Diary of a Pro Trader – Issues 56 & 57

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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 56 & 57

 

In the last issue, I mentioned about showing you an example of a low-risk strategy that can be set-up, executed and managed very easily using third-party trading software. This would otherwise be complex and time-consuming if using just the general exchange user interface. This is not using BF Bot-Manager software (that can cover multiple markets automatically) but is intended for just a single market on a single match.

After looking at this, it really would be better explained with a short screen-share video which I haven’t had time to capture this week, since we've been away for a few days and also had family come to visit us here. However, in the next few issues, it should be ready to view as part of the trading diary itself or in the members area on Football Advisor.

 

Now, to the latest edition of the TOTD matches, which covers 4th – 17th September.

 

Saturday, 4th September, 2021

 

Ukraine v France (World Cup Qualifier)

France go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.6, Ukraine at 7, with the draw at 4.2.

With Ukraine drawing all of their last 4 qualification matches, and France drawing 2 of theirs (including a 1-1 with Ukraine in their last meeting), a draw is seen as a value trade at 4.2.

France however have key players likely to miss this match, including (although not officially confirmed) Kylian Mbappe and N'Golo Kante.

We've seen some surprising results recently in WC qualifiers, including Italy drawing with Bulgaria, and Spain losing to Sweden. France also drew their last match 3 days ago against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Therefore, laying France at 1.6 makes for a decent value trade.

 

Match Odds – Lay France

 

I took a lay position on ‘France’ for £66 at a price of 1.63. With Ukraine scoring first at the end of the first-half, the trade was positive, and decided to close the trade for a £57 profit. The match finished 1-1.

 

 

Sunday, 5th September, 2021

 

Switzerland v Italy (World Cup Qualifier)

 

Italy go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.02, Switzerland at 4.4, with the draw at 3.5.

Prior to their previous match at the Euros, these sides have recorded draws in each of their last 3 meetings. Switzerland have a decent home form, and haven't lost in their last 9 matches.

Italy have drawn their last 3 matches 1-1, and the favoured scoreline for this match is also 1-1 at 7.4.

Italy currently sit top of their group in WC qualification, recording 3 wins and a draw. Switzerland are 2nd after two wins (and played 2 matches less than Italy).  With this in mind, a draw wouldn't be a bad result for either team.

Therefore, laying Italy at around 2 makes for a fair value trade, covering a Swiss home win and the draw scenarios.

 

Match Odds – Lay Italy

I took a lay position on ‘Italy’ for £50 at 1.9. As the match progressed goalless, I closed the position for a £45 profit. The match finished 1-1.

 

 

Monday, 6th September, 2021 – No Trade Day

 

Tuesday, 7th September, 2021

 

France v Finland (World Cup Qualifier)

France go in to this match as favourites, priced at just 1.22, Finland at 20, with the draw at 7.4.

This is the 3rd qualifier for France in the last week during this international break. Their previous 2 matches ended 1-1 (against Bosnia-Herzegovina at home and Ukraine away).

Finland played 1 qualifier during this time; a 1-0 win against Kazakhstan and a friendly against Wales, where it ended 0-0.

France are missing several key players here, including Mbappe and Kante. The 3 matches in a week they have played also appears to be taking its toll, with draws as mentioned above.

Finland are not known for high-scoring matches, as their last 5 matches demonstrate, with 3 matches ending 1-0 (either way), a 0-0 and 0-2 loss to Belgium in the Euros. They have also proved difficult to break-down for many teams. Combined with the amount of fixtures both sides have played in the week, fatigue may prove a factor.

Although tempted to lay France at such a low-price, today's recommendation is to back under 2.5 goals at a decent price of 2.14.

 

Under 2.5 Goals

I opened a back position on ‘under’ for £100 at 1.87.  France scored in the 25th minute, and I increased this position by laying overs for £155 at an average price of 1.66. France annoyingly scored again early in the second-half, and so I decided to exit the trade with a £60 profit. The match finished 2-0.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 8th September, 2021

 

Poland v England (World Cup Qualifier)

England go in to this match as favourites, priced at just 1.75, Poland at 6.4, with the draw at 3.65.

Poland are currently ranked by FIFA at #21, with England at #4 in world rankings.

Both teams have had successful qualification games during this international break, and have scored an abundance of goals in these matches (11 for Poland, 8 for England), although, this have been against much lower ranked sides.

Poland will have their top striker Robert Lewandowski back for this match (he missed the reverse fixture in March), which is a big plus for them.

Although this may be a tight and cagey game, especially in the first-half, there should be goals. The over 2.5 goals market is available at 2.5, whilst both teams to score ‘Yes' is 2.32.

Backing over 2.5 goals makes most appeal, especially if there is an early goal. The only concern here is that 7 of England's goals scored in the previous 2 matches came in the second-half. However, in England's last match this was due to having a much changed side, with substitutes made in the second-half. In this match, both sides will start at full strength.

 

 

Over 2.5 Goals

I opened a back position on ‘over’ for £25 at 2.5. This was then increased incrementally, laying unders for £175 at average price of 1.2. The match finished 1-1 after England took the lead, and then a late equalizer from Poland, creating a £60 loss.

 

 

Thursday, 9th September, 2021 – No Trade Day

 

Friday, 10th September, 2021

 

Birmingham v Derby (English Championship)

Birmingham go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2, Derby at 4.7, with the draw at 3.35.

In their 5 Championship games so far this season, Birmingham have recorded 2 wins, but both have been away.  Their 2 home games have resulted in a loss and a draw (against Bournemouth and Stoke).  Derby sit 2 points below them in the table, having recorded 1 win, 3 draws and a loss.

Looking at xG per match for these teams, Birmingham have recorded 1, whilst Derby are better on 1.25. Correspondingly, xGA is 1.2 for Birmingham, with Derby slightly better on 1.15.

This appears to be a tight, low-scoring match. Looking at the under 2.5 goals market, the price to back is just 1.63, so isn't suitable for a trade recommendation.

However, in previous meetings (24), Derby have won 10 – twice as many as Birmingham on 5, and there's been 9 draws. Derby have also drawn 3 of their 5 matches played, and another draw here looks likely.

Therefore, the value trade favoured is to lay Birmingham at around 2.

 

Match Odds – Lay Birmingham

I wasn’t able to trade this match but it finished 2-0 to Birmingham, for a 3-point loss.

 

 

Saturday, 11th September, 2021

 

Crystal Palace v Tottenham (Premier League)

Tottenham go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.08, Crystal Palace at 4.3, with the draw at 3.45.

Crystal Palace have seen quite a few changes in this new season.  Not only have they appointed Patrick Viera as manager, they have improved their defence by signing Marc Guehi (Chelsea) and Joachim Anderson (Lyon). Conor Gallagher was signed on loan (Chelsea) whom scored twice in the 2-2 draw against West Ham. Up front they have signed Odsonne Edouard from Celtic (scored 57 goals in 94 appearances).

Tottenham will be without the Argentinians Sanchez, Romero and Lo Celso due to having to quarantine. They may also be missing Sessegnon, Bergwijn and Son due to injury.

Therefore, the trade favoured for this match is to lay Tottenham at around 2.08. This price could drop further nearer to kick-off as Tottenham gain support to win.

 

Match Odds – Lay Tottenham

Before kick-off, I opened a lay position on ‘Tottenham’ for £50 at 2.1. Crystal Palace scored first in 76th minute via a penalty, and then followed up with two more shortly afterwards, creating a £54 profit.

 

 

 

Sunday, 12th September, 2021

 

Leeds United v Liverpool (Premier League)

Liverpool go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.73, Leeds at 4.9, with the draw at 4.4.

Leeds have started the new campaign under par, having not recorded a win so far. Liverpool have started strongly with 2 wins and a draw against Chelsea, which statistically they should have won, recording 24 shots to 10 man Chelsea's 6.

So far this season 3 matches in, Leeds have recorded a 3.06 xG, whilst Liverpool have one of the league’s highest at 6.51. On the xGA front, Leeds are on 5.21 and Liverpool just 2.6.

It's difficult to look past a Liverpool win here, and the price is surprisingly good, although not quite good enough for a recommendation.

Therefore, the trade favoured for this match is to back both teams to score ‘No' at a decent 2.6.

 

Both Teams To Score – No

I opened a lay position on ‘Yes’ for £50 at 1.63 (just £31.5 liability). With the matching ending 0-3, a £49 profit was banked.

 

 

Monday, 13th September, 2021

 

Everton v Burnley (Premier League)

 

Everton go in to this match as favourites, priced at 1.75, Burnley at 6, with the draw at 3.8.

Everton have started the new campaign solidly under new manager Rafa Benitez, having recorded 2 wins and a draw so far. Burnley have started much how last season went, with 2 losses and a draw, and struggling to score goals (as 2 goals in their last 5 matches proves).

After 3 matches, Everton have recorded a 5.79 xG, whilst Burnley have 4.2. On the xGA front, Everton have the second lowest in the league with just 2.25, with Burnley on 5.85.

Everton's xGA numbers are not surprising, given the defensive tendencies of Benitez.

It's difficult to look past an Everton win here, and the price is surprisingly good, although not quite good enough for a recommendation.

Therefore, the trade favoured for this match is to back both teams to score ‘No' at a fair price 1.85. This scenario has also occurred in 3 of the last 5 meetings between these sides.

 

Both Teams To Score – No

Before kick-off, I opened a back position on ‘No’ for £50 at 1.85. With the match ending 3-1, a £50 loss was made.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 14th September, 2021

 

Barcelona v Bayern Munich (UEFA Champions League)

Bayern go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.06, Barcelona at 3.6, with the draw at 4.1.

Barcelona go in to this match changed and depleted of their main offensive unit, due to both injury (Aguero, Dembele, Fati and possibly Braithwaite) and departure (Griezmann and Messi).

Bayern on the other hand have limited injury concerns and will look to field a strong side for this match.

In the last 5 meetings between these sides, Bayern have won 4, with Barcelona winning 1. In this match, again it’s difficult to see past a convincing Bayern win when they have scored 22 goals in their last 5 away matches.

Therefore, the value trade favoured is to back Bayern at 2.06.

 

Match Odds – Bayern Munich

Before kick-off, I opened a back position on ‘Bayern’ for £100 at 2.06. With Bayern 0-2 up in the second-half and their back price just 1.04, I closed the trade for a £98 profit.

 

 

Wednesday, 15th September, 2021

 

Sheriff Tiraspol v Shakhtar Donetsk (UEFA Champions League)

Shakhtar go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.02, Sheriff at 4.5, with the draw at 3.5.

Moldovian / Transnistria side Sheriff Tiraspol are ranked #57 in Europe. Shakhtar are currently the #1 side in Ukraine and are ranked #34 in Europe, and an experienced Champions League team. Just last December they beat Real Madrid 2-0 and held Inter Milan to a goalless draw.

In their Champions League qualification matches, Sheriff averaged 2 goals per home game. Shakhtar are also well equipped to score, having scored 10 goals in their last 5 away matches. They also are unbeaten in 8 of their last 11 Champions League matches.

Therefore, the value trade favoured is to back over 2.5 goals at around 2.42.

 

Over 2.5 Goals

I took a back position on ‘over’ for £55 at 2.4. With Sheriff scoring in the 16th minute, this trade was in a decent profit position. Expectations were now for goals to be more forth-coming. However, this didn’t happen until the 62nd minute. Still with 30 minutes still to play, a 3rd seemed likely. This didn’t materialize though, creating a £55 loss.

 

 

Thursday, 16th September, 2021

 

Dinamo Zagreb v West Ham United (UEFA Europa League)

 

West Ham go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.02, Dinamo Zagreb at 4.2, with the draw at 3.7.

Dinamo Zagreb are ranked #51, and currently sit top of the Croatian first division – a league that is ranked # 18 out of 55 in Europe by UEFA. West Ham are ranked #23 and are currently 8th in the English Premier League, which is ranked the #1 league in Europe.

Dinamo Zagreb have more European experience going in to this match, however they have met English Premier League opposition 15 times before and lost 11, drawn 2 and won 2.

 

Looking at projected xG for this match, Dinamo Zagreb are on 1.14, whilst West Ham are 2.14 (3.18 total).

Therefore, the value trade favoured is to back over 2.5 goals at around 2.06.

 

Over 2.5 Goals

I took an opening back position on ‘over’ for £75 at 2.18. Again, like yesterday, a goal was scored at a decent point for this trade (25 mins) and a second early in the in the second-half. With the match finishing 0-2 to West Ham, a £75 loss was made on this trade.

 

 

 

Friday, 17th September, 2021

 

Newcastle United v Leeds United (Premier League)

 

Leeds go in to this match as favourites, priced at 2.34, Newcastle at 3.25, with the draw at 3.75.

Both teams have started the new Premier League season disappointingly, with neither registering a win. This will potentially make this match and tighter and cagier affair than anticipated. Both teams have also registered fairly low xG, with Newcastle being slightly better on 4.12, against Leeds 3.71 (from 4 matches played so far).

Newcastle also have some injury concerns around their top-scorer (Callum Wilson).

Therefore, the favoured recommendation, against market sentiment, is to back under 2.5 goals at a high-value price of 2.44.

 

Under 2.5 Goals

I took an opening back position on ‘under’ for £100 at 2.44. An early goal was then scored in just the 13th minute, putting the trade into negative territory. An equalizer was then scored just before half-time, putting further pressure on this position. I increased this position, by laying ‘over’ at 1.37.  This can be a higher risk strategy, but as time ticks on, the price quickly moves. I then closed this trade when the price hit 1.57, and a £105 profit was banked.

 

 

Conclusion

Again, this period has covered a variety of matches in different leagues, UEFA competitions and FIFA World Cup qualifiers (being an International break in the first week).

The international break again has caused some disruption, with two ‘no trade days’. It’s also more difficult when leagues are still in their early stages, and a more cautious approach is best taken.

Overall, this period covered in these Diary Issues, produced 11.49 points profit:

 

 

At the end of this trading period, Trade of The Day from the start of the year has now delivered 23.32% return on investment (ROI) and over 309% return on capital (ROC).

 

 

Looking ahead, we get back to normal league matches and mid-week UEFA competitions, now that this international break is over.

 

Stay safe, and stay profitable

 

Pro Trader

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