Inadequate research yesterday because I am limited by time in newsletter weekend. Still there were some glimmers from the research , such as Bayern ending a 1-1 sequence to win 2-0, Man City keeping up their scoring record, and quite amazingly a team has scored 3 goals in a Stoke match -something happened to Stoke pre Christmas and post Christmas. Did Tony Pulis ask Santa for goals in Stoke matches?

Norwich’s capitulation was not foreseen, and Dortmund smashing 5 and not conceding at 1.75 must have been the bet of the day for anyone with a De Lorean and a Flux Capacitor.

The Barcelona match was a perfect example of trading ( if you fancied Barca, back them then trade out at 0-2 up. It also shows the power of the red card. This is something we cannot really fore see or prepare for. It resulted in defeat.

Porto won 2-0 but pacos were tough to beat, keeping them out til the 47th minute, ideal for the 0-0 back to lay trade I advised.

12pm – Peterhead v Rangers- 1.29 away – Rangers have had a tendency to be a little shaky on their away trips. 2-0  win for Rangers last time out and follows a pattern for Peterhead that when they lose points, it’s in tightish games.

A recent home run of 12 unbeaten for Peterhead ended with a 0-1 loss to Montrose care of a 3rd minute goal. So it seems that was a little “out of the blue” and perhaps not characteristic of what Peterhead are really capable of.

Rangers are unbeaten in 13 with only 1 draw in that run, care of an 87th minute own goal of all things.

Rangers have conceded in 4 of last 5 aways. They have won last 6 aways.

Peterhead are certainly not in for a spanking if the form is anything to go by. Rangers took til nearly halftime to break them at home, so away you’d expect a more resilient Rangers.

Another 0-2 could be on the cards you suspect

130pm – Ajax v Feyenoord – 1.69 home – Feyenoord have not been beaten in the last 3 head to heads so this may not be as clear cut as the odds suggest.Only one defeat for Ajax all season and neither side has had a defeat in their last 7 matches. In those 7 matches each, 6 wins and a draw each.

Ajax have beaten 1st and 2nd at home and are playing 4th today. 2-2 the last time these 2 met at Feyenoord.

Loss for Ajax v 5th and draw with 6th – so which way will it swing for Ajax?

This is a match directly after a Xmas break and we have seen how dodgy these are as betting mediums. Ajax have only failed to score in 2 and Feyenoord in 3 all season so expectation is for both sides to score as they have in recent head to heads.

Ajax have only conceded 5 goals at home , all coming either side of the halftime break. An early goal is likely to come from Ajax.

Indeed Ajax have scored first in 8 of 9 home matches. Interesting that Feyenoord’s only away defeats were v 1st, 2nd and 5th, all without scoring.

As I say, post Xmas break matches are minefields as far as I can see. Goal trends between these 2 are incongruous 33% overs for Ajax, 67% ofor Feyenoord.

A feeling Feyenoord find the top echelons too tough away but that said, have an unbeaten record against Ajax

No comfortable angles in for me.

130pm – Chelsea v Arsenal – 1.96 home – these Clashes of the Titans can be unpredictable, more so in light of the African Cup of Nations absentee list for both sides, and post transfer market. To be fair, looking at the likely team news at the Racing Post, and both teams are not weakened. I thought Chelsea would miss Demba Ba but that is not the case.

For me arsenal have tended to fall foul of the big 3 , generally speaking. Only 1 win in last 7 home matches for Chelsea sees the locals getting restless .No change at home v City and United. Arsenal are worse, 3 defeats and a 1-1 draw home and away to top 3.

a recent 2-2 at home for Chelsea  Saints was poor, they were 2-0 up,. It was such a good peformance from the Saints that it cost Atkins his job!

Arsenal away have really focussed on defending, conceding 2 goals only v United and Reading ( latterly scoring 5 as well)> Will a faltering Chelsea at home have the wherewithall to score 2 today? They are unlikely to get more.

Chelsea’s goal trends are skewed by the 80 win against VIlla

Chelsea’s fortunes may change if Demba Ba is given the nod over serial underperformer still getting paid thousands for being shite Torres ( no I’m not bitter) .

It’s going to be a cracker no doubt, but a head scratcher. We see an Arsenal side consistently getting little change from United, Chelsea and City. We have a chelsea side unable to beat City and United at home, who under Benitez cannot win at home ( only 1 win in last 7).

Historically I would be opposing Arsenal. In a tough day, this is another match where angles in are really difficult.

2pm – AC Milan v Bologna – 1.47 home – only 2 defeats in 12 for Milan and 4 defeats at home, 3 were 0-1 and 2 were interestingly enough against 13th and 15th. They play 14th today!!!

Post Xmas sees a 2-1 win and a 0-0 draw for Milan and a 2-0 loss and 4-0 win for Bologna. Bologna have not had a draw away this season and Milan have not drawn at home – you know what that means – yes draw knowing my luck!!

A curious set of results for Bologna away. 7 of their 8 defeats came to nil and were either 1-0, or 2-0. Only 1 defeat saw them score, that was a 2-1 away defeat v Juve. They have 2 wins, both 2-3 against 3rd and 6th so , playing 7th today, there is a chance that they could put up a show.

Only once at home has a team scored more than 1 goal against milan.

The key stat to take out of this match is the lack of a home draw and the lack of an away draw. Will this wholesale avoidance of the draw continue?

3pm – Ghana v DR Congo – 1.55 home – one of the powerhouses in the ACN, surely this match will be the first to produce a goal in this competition?

315pm – Olympiakos v Giannina – 1.18 home – you know the drill , generally 3/4 goals and a possible win to nil.

4pm – Tottenham v Man Utd – 2.5 away – the 2-3 win for Spurs at Old Trafford saw United affected by the International Break and following Champions League commitments. It was not a true reflection at all. 

5pm – Anderlecht v Zulte-Waregem – 1.45 home – you read about the outstanding Anderlecht home record the other day.

5pm – Fenerbahce v Elazigspor – 1.38 home

6pm – Atl Madrid v Levante – 1.33 home

6pm – Braga v Setubal – 1.38 home

6pm – Mali v Niger – 1.6 home

 

STANDOUT STATS OF THE DAY

AC Milan have not had a draw at home this season and Bologna have not had a draw away from home this season.