Who needs football anyway? Murray lost the first set and Federer lost the first 2 sets and the match. Great lay to back trades for those able to follow the matches.

Federer could have also been backed 2-0 down in sets, as he won the vital 3rd almost inevitably! KEY MOMENTS REMEMBER!

Anyway back to the footy today and the smattering of internationals on offer.

1120am – Japan v U.A.E. – 1.25 home – only 2 defeats in last 26 for Japan in all competitions were 2 1-0 defeats against Korea and Uzbekistan.

2 consecutive 1-1 draws is a sequence the japanese are priced to end today.

unbeaten in their last 9 friendlies, and only 2 draws and 6 clean sheets is quite impressive.

7 wins and a draw at home in last 8 home friendlies.

No draw for UAE in last 10 matches in all competitions,losing 6 and winning last 3 consecutive matches against Uzbekistan, Palestine and Lebanon.

LDDDLLLL in most recent away fixtures, and in those 4 defeats, UAE did score.

WWDWWLWW in friendlies for UAE but the quality of opposition is questionable. Most eyecatching was the 0-0 draw with Australia which I suppose UAE would seek to replicate today.

Only 1 win in the last 12 away for UAE was via an 89th minute winner against the might of Moldova. A lot of these matches were played a few years ago so how strongly can we take this form ?

0-0 seems to be the best UAE can hope for. Japan have been adept at keeping clean sheets at home, and although UAE have scored in their last 4 defeats, a possibility Japan could win to nil. 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 possible scorelines. I’d avoid the 1-1 as Japan would not like a 3rd consecutive 1-1.

3pm – Russia U21 v Poland U21 – 1.54 home – only 3 draws in 40  matches for Russia immediately offers us an angle in. Last 2 draws were 0-0.

5 clean sheets in last 6 for Russia. Russia’s last 4 defeats came without them scoring.

Russia’s last loss at home came 8 matches ago in 2008. 5 clean sheets in last 8 at home.  2 0-0’s at home in last 3 so perhaps 0-0 could be an insurance bet.

Poland are a lot less consistent,  6 defeats, 3 wins and a draw in last 10. Wins have come against Albania twice and Moldova. 16 of Poland’s last 17 matches  have seen over 1.5 goals.

Russia won the last head to head recently 2-0.

Angles in? Likely a lay of the draw will be the obvious way in here given Russia’s record.

3pm – Spartak Nalchik v Torpedo Moscow – 1.64 home

4pm – Azerbaijan U21 v England U21 – 1.17 away – Endland’s young lions are expected to score 3/4 minimum and possibly win to nil in this important under 21 European Championship match. September 2011 saw a 6-0 home win for Eng-er-land. Only 3 wins for Azer since 2004 , and 2 of those were recently against Iceland suggests Azer are more likely not to win than win today.

Do note that Azerbaijan have only lost one of their last 4 in the UEFA u21 championship, albeit those 2 wins v Iceland and a draw with belgium.

Only 2 defeats in the last 13 for England and both 2-1 v Czechs and Belgium ( Azer recently drew 2-2 with Belgium – how important is that?)

In the Czech match, they won with an 89th and 90th minute goal. In the Belgium match, Belgium won with a 90th minute goal. England are likely to be good trades if anything else to back to lay. Staying in the trade might result in a late surprise ( and perhaps we can lay England at extremely short odds in the 89th minute just for a laugh!!)

In their last 3 away matches, England have scored in the 12th, 15th, 49th, 4th, 8th, and 14th minutes. Expect therefore early fireworks if this 1.17 quote is any indication? First goal odds 0-10 minutes and 11-20 minutes could be backed if the odds are high enough.

halftime/fulltime will bump up the odds.

CONCERNS? What to make of Azerbaijan’s only single loss in last 4, and 2-2 draw with a Belgium side which beat England, albeit with that late late goal?  Head to heads from September 2011 might be the deciding factor? ( 6-0)

It is in potential shocks that we get the paydays, so can we easily dismiss Azerbaijan’s encouraging recent results and remember they have only won 3 since 2004!!!

4pm – Georgia U21 v Estonia U21 – 1.52 home

4pm – Italy U21 v Liechtenstein U21 – 1.04 home – should equate to goals, goals, goals in order to bump up the odds. This is not a friendly so Italy should make sure. Italy have scored 2 in 7 of their last 8 matches. They beat Leichtenstein 2-7 last time out and went a goal behind. It would be joyous if that would happen again as we can back Italy at slightly higher odds. Likely to be  as convincing as last time.

3-3-6-3-7-4-2-4 conceded by Liechtenstein in most recent defeats. Expect 3/4 goals minimum today?

6pm – Sweden v China – 1.31 home – if I recall, Sweden have a superb home record. Where Sweden play, goals seem to follow. Here are the over/under 2.5 goals record in recent matches ( O for over, U for under)  O-O-O-O-U-U-U-O-O-O-O-O-U-O

2 of those unders featured 2 goals.

Only England and Brazil have beaten Sweden at home since June 2009.  Sweden have scored 2-5-3-3-2-2-2-0( v Brazil) in recent home matches.

Only 3 draws in the last 29 friendlies, so they’re competitively fought.  Only 3 defeats since 2010 for Swedes in friendlies and 2 of them were away from home.

5 of Sweden’s last 7 home friendly defeats came because they did not score, ergo if you expect them to score tonight, then they should not lose.

Only 4 defeats in last 20 for China, but they have been playing the likes of Laos, and Vietnam. They lost 1-0 to Iraq twice, and most recently in a friendly only lost 1-0 to an 84th minute Spanish winner ( but remember that Spain have a complacent attitude to friendlies suggesting they experiment).

REcent Chinese wins have come against Singapore, Kuwait, Jordan and Vietnam.

Since 1996, China have only won 3 away friendlies, 0-1 v Jordan, 0-1 v france ( 2010 ), 2-3 v Iraq.

Chinese don’t tend to get spanked andhave only lost 1 friendly, 1-0 v Spain in their last 15.

Sweden might be kept barren for a spell in this match. I would look to delay entry. I would also wait for team news. Ibra, if selected, could have a happy time up front for the Swedes.  6 clean sheets in last 9 for China in friendlies ( albeit a number of home matches) might signal resistance, but their away friendly record is very poor.


630pm – Lebanon v Australia – 1.41 away – likely Australia will struggle here as they tend to do internationally and this end up as a hard fought 0-1. LLLDLDL for Lebanon of late.  Lebanon have not won their last 4 at home against Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Uzbekistan.  Only 1 win in last 9 friendlies for Lebanon at home. Last 3 wins for Lebanon have all been 1-0’s so maybe that could be an insurance bet today as 1.41 for Australia belies a slight lack of confidence in an easy Aussie win.

Australia have not won their last 4, 2-0 away defeat to Denmark and 3-1 away loss to Scotland in friendlies, and 2 draws in World Cup qualifiers.

Last 2 friendlies saw the 2 losses mentioned above. Have conceded in 6 of last 7 friendlies.

This is likely to be another dullfest with Aussies likely to score and win 0-1, 0-2, 1-2.  4 of aussies last 5 wins have been 1-2 so I included it here.


630pm – Switzerland U21 v Spain U21 – 1.76 away

630pm – Ukraine U21 v Malta U21 – 1.08 home – only 1 loss in last 7 for Ukraine was a 1-0  away to Lithuania. Ukraine have won their last 3 2-0, 6-0, 2-0   at home so with 1.08 you’d expect Ukraine to win to nil in another home match.  Malta have failed to score in 3 of their last 4 matches which helps persuade us towards a win to nil?

Away, though, malta have scored in 2 of their last 3, against Lithuania and Slovenia.


745pm – Scotland U21 v Luxembourg U21 – 1.09 home – knee jerk? I would not be a Scottish backer at 1.09. They are hardly international powerhouses.