0-0 Twente v Helsinki tells you all you need to know about betting in friendlies. There are more friendlies today, mostly German sides wanting a competitive match after the Winter Break.


115pm – Oman v Qatar – 2.72 away – Gulf Cup and these 2 cannot be split. Being played in Bahrain I believe – a neutral venue  – so this makes it difficult to research as I would normally look at home side for the home team and away form for the away team. Qatar have only beaten Yemen in the Gulf Cup since 2007.

They lost 1-0 to Oman in 2010.In a recent friendly it was 1-1 which is the kind of scoreline these odds suggest.

Oman have only scored 1 goal in their last 4 matches. They have had only 1 defeat in the Gulf Cup since 2007. 3 consecutive 0-0’s now in the Cup, includes a 0-0 in 2013 against Bahrain.

Scraps of form to go on. Oman’s form is very good in this competition. 3 0-0’s now. What is the chance of another 0-0 today? The probability reduces with each consecutive match.  Likely to be tight but realistically there will be better opportunities down the line – oh for a Cheltenham v Everton today!!

4pm – B Munich v Schalke – 1.63 home. This is a friendly after the Winter Break and Bayern at home are always to be respected. We need to look at friendly form in isolation I feel. This match is being played in Doha so , yet again, it’s a neutral venue and so there is no distinct home advantage,.

Note that the African Cup of Nations is on this month and that could impact the team choices if these sides have African players in the squad. The management will seek to play without them surely?

This is a tricky one to call as both sides seem to take friendlies seriously. Schalke have scored and conceded in their last 3 friendlies and won 2-3 in a recent 2013 friendly.

Bayern have lost only 3 friendlies since July 2009 so that is a superb record.

Again it looks like a day for the needy or the greedy as we are betting blind in these friendlies and there is likely to be wholesale changes given the heat factor.

630pm – Malaga v Eibar – 1.37 home – Copa Del Rey and Malaga are 4th in the top flight playing 2nd in Segunda B.  Only 3 defeats in last 11 were all 1-0 losses. Lost their last match 1-0 so will not want to get entrenched in a losing run. 22nd December saw a 3-2 home win in the league against Real Madrid. Will that kind of performance be carried forward after the Winter Break?

It’s 1-1 v Eibar from the first leg. malaga’s Copa del Rey form looks suspect although they have lost in matches in which they had a strong first leg lead and they have lost predominantly against top flight opponents.

No wins in last 4 at home in the Cup includes 2 consecutive 0-1 defeats

Since April 2012 Eibar have lost only 3 matches, all 1-0’s

Only 1 win in last 7 away includes 4 1-1’s, a 0-0 and a 1-0 loss. Are Eibar good defensively and can they translate that against top flight opponents?

In the first leg, Eibar took the lead until a 90th minute Malaga goal so that infers that the defensive strengths could be translateable against the top sides.

Eibar have conceded 0-0-1-0-0-0-0-1-1- the last 2 1’s against Athletico Bilbao ( 89th minute goal) and Malaga ( 90th minute goal).

Tough to quantify Eibar’s opponents in the cup when compared with 4th in La Primera.

The vibe I get here is an Eibar side who will be tough to score against. this makes the 1.37 not that appealing although it is obvious that Malaga are in rocking good form. Malaga’s last 3 defeats have all been 1-0 so perhaps a 0-1 away win insurance bet? Eibar’s last 3 defeats since April 2012 were all 1-0 . I think unders might be a call here today. With Malaga returning from a Winter Break and Eibar set out to frustrate, a 0-0 back to lay might provide value for some 20 minutes.


745pm – Bradford v Aston Villa – 1.87 away – the run of unappealing football matches continues with this League Cup match featuring Bradford and an inconsistent Aston Villa. 7th in League 2 plays 16th in Prem.

Everton showed you the gulf between the leagues yesterday and that really is what Villa should be doing to a League 2 outfit.

Only 3 defeats in 90 minutes for Bradford in their last 18 in all competitions sees them in reasonable form, albeit weighing up that form against a PRemiership side is a different matter. Only 3 defeats at home in 20 and 2 were 1-0. Lost their last home match 2-4 and scored 2 penalties only so were well beaten by Rochdale.

Only 1 defeat in last 8 in the Cup and Bradford have an uncanny habit of taking matches into extra time. They have taken 6 of their last 8 League Cup matches to extra time, including beating Wigan and Arsenal in extra time or on penalties.

All 5 matches at home in the League cup have gone to extra time.

Aston Villa recently beat Norwich, albeit at home, 2-1 in the FA Cup and Darren Bent got a goal. I think he might play this evening and be highly motivated to score given the way he has been ignored of late.

Villa nearly beat Swansea away lately after a 15 goals conceded in 3 matches Christmas-horribilis.

Villa’s last 4 defeats away have come when not scoring and against Spurs, Fulham, Man City and Chelsea. I would stick my neck out here and say that Bradford are no Chelsea/City!

September saw Villa beat City in the cup, in fact Villa have only 3 defeats in their last 15 cup matches and have scored 3-2-3-4 in their last 4 matches. Research can sometimes highlight teams who take this cup seriously as against teams ( Arsenal?) who don’t. Quite clearly, Villa are let loose in this competition and are scoring plenty of goals.

DWW in last 3 away matches in the Cup .

It seems to me, then, that  Villa are up for the Cup in no uncertain terms and having scored 2 agianst City, 3 against Swindon and 4 against Norwich, and having nearly beaten Swansea and beaten Ipswich at home in the FA Cup, they should put up a good performance today. I think this is a 2 legged affair so realistically there is no need to win tonight. Still Villa look solid enough favourites, albeit against a Bradford side who, in their world,  have been solid and have an uncanny ability to take League cup matches into extra time ( this will be a potential bet for the 2nd leg so take note).

I would not readily oppose Villa this evening and I hope they play a team akin to the FA Cup team and let loose with their goals as they have against the likes of City and Norwich of late.  It could be a positive night for Villa as long as LAmbert and Butler choose a strong Villa side.

830pm – Valencia v Osasuna – 1.55 home – Valencia are unbeaten in 2012 in head to wins, winning the last 3 without conceding.

osasuna are bottom and you feel their priority would be Primera Liga survival above any cup run?

5 wins and a 1-0 loss for Valenica in their last 6. . A very impressive long unbeaten home run ended with consecutive defeats to Sociedad and Vallecano but then Val won their next against Getafe.

Since 2011 in the Cup, only Villareal, Barcelona and Sevilla have beaten Valencia. and those were all away matches. Only 2 defeats at home in the Cup since 2006.

Valencia are 0-2 up from the first leg of the Cup and that was part of a 2 consecutive match meeting where valencia won 0-1 and 0-2 away from home. They obviously have the edge over Osasuna.

There is a concern tonight that Valencia only need avoid a 2-0 defeat or higher and they will progress. If they score a goal, it will make Osasuna’s life difficult. This therefore is not a must win for Valencia and the general rule is that must wins rarely win.

Osasuna have been quite competitive in 2nd legs recently after they have lost the first leg, 1-2 v Barcelona and a 2-0 home win v Gijon to overturn a first leg 1-0.

Do note the valencia away goals came in the 48th and 90th minutes so Osasuna could play a defensive game and look to nick a goal or 2.

this match I suppose sums up a day where there are no clear cut value angles in. it’s like a Jennifer Lopez-a-like meeting – there are a lot of butts. Bayern are normally strong, but it is a friendly. Valencia have beaten Osasuna twice on the trot, but this is not a must win. Villa re really good in the league cup BUT Bradford have an uncanny ability to take premiership teams into extra time.

Oh how I wish for an Everton Cheltenham match today!