It is almost inevitable isn’t it? And also a cracking way to back Man City at huge odds or lay Spud at near evens.  City go a goal down at home, Dzeko comes on and scores winner. It’s about as original as an Eastender’s snorystoryline.

Chelsea, with better buys post transfer, ended the losing sequence at home against Liverpool, and a 1-1 draw was perhaps inevitable.

The inconsistency highlighted re Newcastle and WEst Ham surfaced as the geordies went down 0-1 to a , yes you guessed, Nolan goal. One of the old boys came back to haunt.

Real Madrid did find it difficult against Levante , taking until the 84th minute to nail a winner.

Today is littered with reserve matches and under 21’s as well as obscure leagues. I am sure there are one or 2 matches of interest. Please note that normally these are not the kind of matches I would touch with a Norris McWhirter verified longest bargepole in the world. It is a quiet day and practice is always welcome.

130pm – Ural v Spartak Nalchik – 1.54 home – Russia FNL League is not one I target regularly but this is a quiet day and the 1.54 is worthy of investigation.  Only 1 head to heads of relevance saw a 3-2 home win for Nalchik care of an 80th minute penalty with Ural scoring in the 90th minute.

The tables seem to be turned now with Ural strong favs.

Ural are 2nd and Spar are 7th , some 11 points adrift.

Only 1 defeat for Ural in 13 was a 3-2 away defeat. 8 wins and a 1-1 draw in last 9.  7 Ural clean sheets in their last 8 matches – defence is their bedrock at the moment.

U nbeaten in 12 matches at home. 6 consecutive wins at home without conceding a goal.

Only 2 defeats in last 10 for Spartak have come in last 3 matches and both away without scoring a goal.  They had a run of 6 clean sheets which was ended by these 2 consecutive away defeats  and a 3-2 home win v Shinnik.

Only 1 win in last 7 aways was courtesy of a 66th minute goal.  They have failed to score in 5 of the last 6.

with the FNL league, we don’t have indepth stats to look at such as goals etc, and I am only using www.soccerway.com. First thing to note. The price of Ural at home today is the same price as Chelsea at home yesterday – Chelsea scored first and Liverpool equalised.

What is immediately apparent is the clean sheets for Ural at home as against the inability to score of Spartak away from home.

This points to a potential win to nil for the home side , worse case a 0-0. Spartak did go 6 without conceding themselves but recently have conceded in their last 3 matches.

Advantage home side in what looks like a defence driven match today , favouring perhaps a 0-0 back to lay in the hope defences dominate.  Value seekers might want to look at a correct score to nil, starting point 2-0?

530pm – Kerkira v Panathinaikos – 1.84 away

HEAD TO HEADS

08.01.2012 D1 Panathinaikos 1-0 AO Kerkyra
28.08.2011 D1 AO Kerkyra 0-2 Panathinaikos
20.03.2011 D1 Panathinaikos 2-1 AO Kerkyra
28.11.2010 D1 AO Kerkyra 0-2 Panathinaikos
02.09.2009 CF AO Kerkyra 0-1 Panathinaikos
13.05.2007 D1 Panathinaikos 2-2 AO Kerkyra
Clean sheets in 4 of the last 5 matches for Pana is certainly not reflected in cautious away odds. These signal a tight match, potential 1-1, or a win with the home team potentially scoring. Pana have won 0-2 in last 2 aways at Kerkyra.
LEAGUE POSITION – 11th v 8th. Pana are way off the pace this year, hence the higher than usual odds.  Only 2 points separates these 2 . Pana are 16 points away from their usual cohorts Olympiakos. As you will see, Pana are being suffocated by the sheer number of draws.
HOME TEAM – -past fixtures, forthcoming fixtures and likely team – Kerkyra
RECENT HOME FORM – LDWD – have failed to score against current 2nd and 5th at home. Did beat 6th 2-1.
RECENT FORM OVERALL – LLDLWDWDD – unbeaten in 5 but 3 draws are unwelcome points dropped.
GOAL TRENDS – 25% overs at home – remember though only 4 matches makes for weak trends.
STREAKS – no defeat in 5.
AWAY TEAM – past fixtures -forthcoming fixtures and likely team – Panathaniakos – I looked at the transfers to see if that was the reason for under par this season, and there were no major transfers out.
RECENT AWAY FORM – WLWD – the loss was a 1-0 and the draw a 2-2. The 2-2 could be a sign that Pana are close to turning these score draws into wins, but for a little defensive tweaking.
RECENT OVERALL FORM – WDLDDWDDW – the 1-0 win lately was only 1 of 3 clean sheets this season. 4 out of 5 draws were score draws. All draws have come in the group 4th -10th inclusive in the league. Kerkyra are 11th. Wins have exclusively come against current bottom 3 sides.  Sole loss 1-0 was against 13th.
Where on earth do Kerkyra fit in here? Looks like potential low scoring draw, 1-0, 0-1 perhaps? Pana are strong but they are not converting draws into wins , resulting in 10 dropped points rather than 5 points gained. That is the reason for gap between them and Oly. Where these were wins last year, they are draws this year.
GOAL TRENDS – 50/50 overs away and 22% overs overall , explained by the 1-1 draws.
STREAKS – undefeated in 6 matches. Have scored in last 4.
CONCLUSION/NOTES/STANDOUT STATS – Pana killed by draws this season are playing a team with 3 draws in last 4. The goal trend looks typically greek ( caution advised though as the sample if weak – only 4 matches) Pana’s clean sheet lately and 2-2 draw before that, for me signal potential shoots of recovery. 1.83 relates a tight match today with the potential for both teams to score and any win to be by a single goal.
Pana would dearly love to repeat their consecutive 0-2 wins at Kerkyra. I cannot see them losing, but might instigate a home 1-0 insurance bet incase.  Unders the call? Pana not to lose – they have only lost 1 all season and that was a 1-0.

715pm – St Pauli v Bochum – 1.67 home

HEAD TO HEADS

12.02.2012 D2 St. Pauli 2-1 VfL Bochum
12.08.2011 D2 VfL Bochum 1-2 St. Pauli
25.10.2005 Cup St. Pauli 4-0 VfL Bochum

2-1 wins for St Pauli twice now . In both wins, Bochum scored first – so delay-react-traders at the ready !

LEAGUE POSITION – 11th v 14th – both teams way off the pace
HOME TEAM – -past fixtures, forthcoming fixtures and likely team – St  Pauli
RECENT HOME FORM – DWLDW – if this sequence continues it will be L today. Sole loss was a 0-1 against 8th. Wins have come against 15th and 18th 3-2 and 2-1 , which mirror the tightness of head to heads ( playing 14th today).
RECENT FORM OVERALL – DDLWDLLLDDWW – unbeaten in 4 and 2 welcome wins on the trot against 7th away and 15th at home. Score draws against 9th and 10th. St Pauli are not losing to teams above them recently and are playing a team below them today.
GOAL TRENDS – 60% overs at home , and no clean sheets ( this is mirrored in today’s quote too – the potential to concede).  2-1-3-2- scored by St Pauli last 4 matches a sign for their season to kick off today with another 2 goals minimum? Conceding in 6 consecutive matches ended with a 0-2 away win latest against 7th. This could be a confidence booster returned home today.
STREAKS – have conceded in last 5 at home. No defeat in 4 overall. Have scored in last 4 overall.
AWAY TEAM – past fixtures -forthcoming fixtures and likely team – Bochum
RECENT AWAY FORM – LWDLL – where St Pauli are improving, Bochum are not. Hammerings against 1st and 13th ( conceding 3 and 6) and now meeting a St Pauli with 2 goals in 3 of last 4 matches. Sole win away was a 0-1 v 3rd bottom and 0-0 draw was against 2nd bottom. Bochum could be vulnerable.
RECENT OVERALL FORM – WLLWDDLDLLLD – poor winless sequence might see Bochum 2nd best today. Alarmingly, they have conceded 2-1-3-2-6-2 in recent matches, and this following a promising run of 3 clean sheets  ( albeit 2 against bottom 3 sides).  All defeats bar one have come against current top 9.
GOAL TRENDS – 60% overs away from home, down more to the amounts conceded than scored. 0.40 scored on average away.
STREAKS – 8 without a win. Have conceded in last 6
CONCLUSION/NOTES/STANDOUT STATS – for me St Pauli seem to be clicking into gear, unbeaten in 4 now and scoring 2 goals in 3 of those 4 matches. Contrast that with a Bochum side with no win in 8, and conceding  3-4-6 against teams away from home. Only positive results against bottom 3 sides.
Advantage St Pauli for me and a chance to score 2+ again today . Bochum are conceding 2 minimum with alarming regularity. Perhaps this is the angle in.

730pm   – Lens v Caen – 2.7 home

HEAD TO HEADS

07.08.2012 LC SM Caen 2-1 RC Lens
07.05.2011 D1 SM Caen 1-1 RC Lens
22.01.2011 D1 RC Lens 2-0 SM Caen
10.02.2008 D1 SM Caen 1-4 RC Lens
28.11.2007 D1 RC Lens 1-1 SM Caen
23.03.2007 CF SM Caen 4-0 RC Lens
 Lens unbeaten in 2 most recent Ligue 2 head to heads.
LEAGUE POSITION – 9th v 4th  -A Caen win will almost inevitably take them top on goal difference.  The top 6 are divided by only 3 points.
HOME TEAM – -past fixtures, forthcoming fixtures and likely team – Lens
RECENT HOME FORM – DWDLLWD – defeats at home against 1st and 5th, and playing 4th today. Conceded 3 and 4. Why on earth are Lens favs today  and Caen not lower in the odds? Draws at home all score draws against mid table and 2 1-0 wins have come against 16th and 17th
RECENT FORM OVERALL – DDWDDLDLLWWDW – 3 wins in last 4 against bottom 7 sides only. All defeats this season against top 5 sides. The league form reads lose against top 5, draw against 7th-13th and win against 14th, 16th, 17th 20th.
GOAL TRENDS – 57% overs at home
STREAKS – 4 overall without defeat and have scored in those 4.
AWAY TEAM – past fixtures -forthcoming fixtures and likely team – Caen
RECENT AWAY FORM – DLWDWWW – only 1 loss away was a 1-0 v 4th from bottom near the beginning of the season.  Have only conceded 1 goal in last 3 away wins. Wins v 3rd, 10th, 12th and 18th.
RECENT OVERALL FORM – DWLWWDLWLWLWW – the LW sequence has ended with 2 wins. The last 3 wins came without conceding.  The only draws this season have come against the bottom 2. Last 3 defeats have come at home.
GOAL TRENDS – 43% overs away from home inconclusive. 3 clean sheets in last 4 matches.
STREAKS – 7 overall without a draw. Have scoredin last 5 away. 2 match clean sheet record.
CONCLUSION/NOTES/STANDOUT STATS – the match odds must hide something that the form has not uncovered. Caen look in decent nick, away at least where they have won 4 of last 5. At home they are losing.  All defeats for Lens this season have come against top 5 sides. All wins against teams 14th and lower, so why are they favourites today?
The draw could be avoided today. Caen and Lens last draw was a 2-2 this season which suggests that traders can get some exit points during the match even if it might end in adraw.
For me, advantage Caen here at decent odds. I must say though that the match odds are suspiciously out of kilter with the form and so might hide some Ligue 2 news I am not privy to.  A win for Caen by 2 goals sees them top of the league.

745pm – AFC Wimbledon v York City – 2.5 home – the FA Cup and 2 teams I know nowt about. Apparently these are 2 League 2 sides and Wimbledon are unbeaten in last 2 meetings 1-1 and 0-3.

Wimbledon are thoroughly inconsistent in the league. This is echoed in the Fa Cup. Recent form of DDLDWLD – losses against Stevenage and Bradford. Apart from those, an ability to keep things tight at the back.

Wimbledon are yet to score in their last 3 home FA Cup matches. A 0-2 defeat sandwiched inbetween 2 0-0 scorelines.

Only 1 loss in last 7 for York was a 0-3 loss to today’s opponents. Expect a direct reaction to this defensively . We have seen this time and again that teams drubbed recently by the same opponents as today’s tend to react positively in defence.

The scoreline might be flattering as 2 goals came in the 80th and 84th minutes and smack of York switching off in the last 10 minutes.  One of the goals was a penalty.

York have kept clean sheets away in 3 of last 4 in the league.  In the FA Cup, 2 defeats to Bolton and Wrexham came away and a 1-1 home draw to AFC Wimbledon with 2 2nd half goals  York actually scored first on that occasion.

A headscratcher this one. I would favour a reaction from York city to their recent 0-3 spanking in the league to AFC, so we might see York as tough to score against as they were in the FA Cup draw. 2nd half goals again could be likely?

These 2 have met twice in recent succession with a 1-1 and a 0-3. One was tight, the other not so. What will it be tonight? A match for me which is as appealing as a night with Edwina Currie.