Oh joy, the day begins with the turkish league reserve matches.  It’s worse than having a season ticket to watch Stoke City. It’s under 21 International day today . The u21 matches are illiquid as I write so the odds are an approximation . These are all friendly international so a wealth warning there if participating.

530pm – Portugal U21 v Sweden U21 – 1.44 home – interesting head to heads, see Portugal win 3 and Sweden win 2 matches ago 0-2. I can only work from www.futbol24.com as these matches are not featured at my favoured research site www.soccerway.com.

So we are restricted to last 12 matches. Pork and Cheese have only lost 2 of last 12 overall 0-1 to Ukraine and 2-1 to Russia.Portugal have failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches. Should we be concerned? They did score 3 against Sweden last time the 2 teams met.

I don’t know whether this match is on neutral ground or not so it’s difficult to gauge whether we should be looking at home. form.If so, then 8 unders in last 12 home matches and only lost 1 of last 12.

7 defeats, 4 wins and a draw for Swedes in last 12 sees them in poor form. Only the 1 draw suggests they avoid draws and tend more to loss. In 6 of those defeats the Swedes conceded at least 2 goals.

Wins v Ukraine, Finland and Malta( twice). 5 defeats and a draw in last 6 away ( if indeed this is an away match).

Have scored a maximum of 1 goal in 11/12 aways.

7pm – England U21 v Romania U21 – 1.33 home. This is a solid england team psycho has put together. England defo playing at home and not tasted defeat since November 2011. A solid team with established Premiership stars.  Last met in 2010 and shared a 0-0.

11 wins out of last 12 ( could be more) for England. 7 consecutive clean sheets now too. 6 consecutive clean sheets at home.

5 wins in last 6 for romania v Slovakia, Sweden, Latvia,Cyprus, Moldova. The latter 2 hardly earth shattering form.

They have won 4 of their last 5 aways but again note the “strength” of opposition.

I think this could be a good night for England. Do note England’s ability to keep a clean sheet. It might signal a correct score to nil with home advantage.

730pm – Spain U21 v Norway U21 – 1.2 home – 1-1 last time these 2 met in 2009.10 wins and 2 draws in last 12 for Spanish. Note they have conceded 1 goal in each of last 3 matches.They had 8 consecutive clean sheets before that.

Unbeaten last 12 at home with 6 consecutive wins all to nil and all scoring 2 bare minimum. Norway’s recent defeats have come v England ( 1-0), France ( 1-0 ) and Turkey ( 2-0) so therein is an ability to keep it tight against the better U21 teams?

That said, in last 3 matches, they had a 2-4 win vHolland and a 5-3 win over France – goal laden affairs. IF you fear a Spain slip up today, perhaps a neutral over 3.5 goals bet might give some run for our money. All Norway draws in last 12 were 2-2 with infers that laying the draw may be a good trading position ( there will be fluctuations in the odds).

WLWLWL recently away, the wins all overs seeing both teams score and the defeats all unders, seeing losses to nil.

This is a Jekyll and Hyde Norwegian team, hard to read. On the one hand they smash 4 against Holland, 5 against France, and on the other, lose tamely 1-0 to England and France. Which Norway turns up? The one that can give Spain a game and hopefully include a few goals, or the one who fail to score and narrowly lose? Tough to call.

730pm  sees a rather intriguing match between Drogheda and Trabzonspor. I would have the away team any day of the week. The match is very illiquid alas. This is a friendly. Trab are having a good season domestically, and Irish Domestic Football is one level up from Sunday League. This match is very much on, and looks to be sponsored by Turkish Airlines. The only way Trab would get to the exciting metropolis of, erm, Drogheda.

This match does not take part in Hunky Dory Park! it takes place in Dublin and is a PR exercise between the North of Ireland and Turkey. ordinarily Drogs would get spanked to high heaven.

Trab friendlies though have largely been drab under 2.5 goals affairs although they will not meet a team weaker than the Drogs.

All recent away friendlies have been 0-0, 0-1, or 1-1 for Trab Drogs have scored 2/3 recently in the league at home, and although they are not technically playing at home today, they are playing in their home country.

Trab’s next match is on 31st March so they might field a first XI.

Too many imponderables of course for serious trading. I look forward to seeing how the market evolves in this clash of the, erm, titans.

730pm – Brazil v Italy – 2.16 home. The Harlem Globetrotters of Football are wheeled out to showcase the World Cup in Brazil. Nice price too at first glance! – Friendly alert here. Not researching, this will be 0-0 for a while as italy test out their defensive solidity then some Brazilian forward with the most ridiculous haircut since Chris Waddle’s mullet will get a 1-0 Brazil win. The cameraman will undoubtedly close up on a Brazilian starlette with a fine pair up front and we will all leave happy.

this friendly is taking place in geneva so neutral venue.

Italy have conceded in 8 of their last 9 matches in all competitions. So much for that strong defence you associate with italy.

LLLLLD for Italy in their most recent friendlies might betray their attitudes to these kick abouts, or they might signal a sticky patch for the International side.

They have scored and conceded in last3

Brazil lost their last match 2-1 v England.

Like Italy, Brazil have scored and conceded in their last 3 matches.

14 wins and 2 defeats in friendlies ended recently with a DLL 2-1 defeats to Argies and England.

That’s the stats I have. Team news of course of extreme importance. Note Brazil have lost 2 on the trot but only sporadically since 2010. What chance they lose 3 on the trot after their 2-1 friendly defeats to Argies and Eng-er-land.? I would bet against this happening with Brazil effectively representing the World Cup!!

You may find a lay of Italy therefore the pre match way in. I would hope Italy score first for any DRT involvement.


So there we  have it, a set of friendlies and most unappetising they are too. Still there are some morsels to grab onto, most particularly England nippers ability to win and keep clean sheets and a possibility we can lay the draw in the Port v Sweden match? Don’t get carried away though with International U21 friendlies and a Brazil v Italy friendly.