It was quite clear that the Australia side was not THE Australia side. Still for those who wanted it, a great chance for a delay-react bet as it was 0-0 until a late late Aussie 0-1 win. They were expected to win and win well, so when it’s 0-0 for a concerted period, back your initial impact and back a 1.11 shot at great value odds.

Nice to get the Dinamo Bucharest lay in at 1.32 as Turnu scored a penalty first. And therein lay another delay -react bet /trade as Dinamo restored parity and went on to win at a canter.

The Turkish match was a difficult to read as I had anticipated with Trab winning 0-4 away. Nothing in the form to hint at that.

In the battle of overs v unders, it was AGOVV’s defence which won out for unders backers as Dordrecht took until after the 70th minute to get their 2 goals. A good example in taking a position , or indeed in leaving the match alone as the goal trends for both sides were conflicting.

Indeed the draw was the angle in in the Newcastle match ( the avoidance of said draw that is) and Demba Ba yet again was the Newcastle saviour with 2 goals. The turning point was a 13th minute Wigan red card. I can do all the research in the world but I have not yet found a way to anticipate a red card. They are like goals in the impact they have, and yet again in a Premiership match they had a severe impact.

Newcastle will be happy now to end a 4 match losing streak, although the form of this 3-0 win is highly suspect given Wigan’s injury list and their sending off.

Quite clearly, Sevilla are going through a sticky patch and could not rely on past heroics at home as valladolid went on to win 1-2.

Champions League tonight and it’s all about who MUST win as the group stages close. The matches this evening are horrendous to predict – take a look at how many of the ” favourites” are priced over evens. There are so many dead rubbers that I am not even going to waste time in researching them. Look for instance tomorrow at a Chelsea side who must win, and a Juve and Shaktar side who must win. That’s what we’re talking about. Tonight most of the groups are sown up with 3rd place unable to catch 2nd place.

745pm – AC Milan v Zenit St Petersburg – 2.68 home – same odds as the Turkey game yesterday and same unpredictability? AC Milan cannot be caught by Zenit St Petersburg for 2nd spot . The onus is on Zenit to win as they are locked with Anderlecht for a Europa League spot. AC Milan have nothing to play for bar keeping a good winning groove going. Zenit have it all to play for. Again a match of little interest for me as one team do not need to win, the other would like to win.

745pm – Dinamo Zagreb v Dinamo Kiev – 2.14 away –  a total dead rubber.  Porto and PSG are through. Zagreb will not go 3rd with a win. Kiev are assured Europa League football and cannot catch 2nd.

745pm – Dortmund v Man City – 2.06 home – a dire campaign for City and the only hope is a Europa Cup place with a win away to the excellent Dortmund. Dortmund are already through, and you know from my writings on Dortmund that home advantage really is telling when you have 70,000 fanatics every home match.  Dortmund are top of the group, City are bottom. City have a derby match against United on Sunday and must have one eye on that match. Dortmund have already qualified as group winners so this is a dead rubber for them. Their coach is therefore likely to field a changed side.  Another match to gloss over as a potential minefield. Dortmund -guaranteed group winners. City-derby at weekend and Mancini less than enamoured with Europa League Thursday fixture list should he go through.

745pm – Malaga v Anderlecht – 2.06 home – malaga and Milan are through from group c, and Zenit and Anderlecht will be fighting for Europa League spot if they want it of course. Malaga are guaranteed top spot so says the CL website. It all depends on Anderlecht’s desire for Europa League football. Their manager may have given the game away in his interview when he said Anderlecht are focussing on the Belgian title as that will give them entry into the Champions League.

745pm – Montpellier v Schalke – 2.14 away – Montpellier are bottom, with nothing to play for. Top spot is up for grabs for Schalke but with Arsenal fielding a changed side, the suggestion is he is happy for 2nd . Those magic words ” dead rubber” therefore apply here too.

745pm – Olympiakos v Arsenal – 2.44 home – the last match in Group B and Schalke and arsenal are through. Schalke have 11 points, Arsenal 10, and Olympiakos 6 points. Arsenal can therefore not get caught in 2nd place.  Olympiakos have Europa League Football guaranteed and Arsenal, with a win will go top, although you suspect they will not be busting a gut . Arsene Wenger will be fielding a team of changes and this match is therefore quickly passed over and for me, if I were to have a bet in a dead rubber, I would consider advantage Oly.

745pm – Paris St-G v Porto – 2.28 home – at the risk of repeating myself, this is a dead rubber – both are through and only the nit pickers will say that 1st place is up for grabs ( however relevant or irrelevant you deem finishing 1st in a group to be).

What we might have on our side is the fact that Porto lost last match , albeit a cup match, their first defeat in god knows how long. Porto have that unbeaten mentality about them . But as I said at the start, this is a dead rubber. I am not sure of the benefits of 1st place, given all teams in the last round of 16 are there on merit.

745pm – Real Madrid v Ajax – 1.33 home – the only clear cut match this evening. Look above at the odds for the market leaders. Ronaldo and Benzema definitely play for Real but likely we will see a raft of changes from the “Special Needs” One. The onus is on Ajax to win this tie to have a chance of a Europa League spot , the final of which is held apparently at their stadium. What more incentive do you need? Ajax will go through to the Europa League with a win or if City fail to beat Dortmund.

Another match unworthy of research. The odds suggest Real as strong favourites in a match they don’t need to win, with a team likely to be completely different from their strongest line up. Ajax would like a win to go through to the europa league.


745pm – Cowdenbeath v St Johnstone – 1.54 away – Scottish Cup  – 7th in 1st division plays 6th in top flight.  Only 1 win in 11 for Cowdenbeath in all competitions. Only 1 win in 7 at home for Cowdenbeath in all competitions. Their only wins in the Scottish Cup have come against Vale of Leithen and Edinburgh University.  They lost 2-3 at home to Hibs in the Cup .

Only 1 win in 7 in all competitions for St Johnstone , a recent 1-1 draw with Celtic shows what they can do.

Only 1 defeat in last 6 aways was a 5-0 spanking by Celtic in the League Cup. St. have scored in 5 of last 6 aways.

Only Motherwell have beaten St Johnstone in 90 minutes in the Cup since 2011. St Johnstone were leading Hearts 1-0 until the 90th minute in their last Scottish Cup match, which they went on to lose in extra time.

St Johnstone have been unbeaten in 9 of 10 aways in the Cup, the Motherwell defeat the only aberration.

The only match today it seems where teams have something to play for!! Cowdenbeath obviously in poor form. St Johnstone seem good away from home in the Cup and could hold sway in a match of little appeal to me.

This is one of those days where discipline must be kept. Some will be itching to have a bet/trade in the Champions League because it’s on the telly, but those betting in dead rubbers quite frankly should not be shocked if they lose their dough. Tomorrow sees groups, E, G and H where there is something to play for .

A day to consign to history!!