Next Tuesday and Wednesday sees the first leg matches in the 2009/10 Champions League, and it is at this stage of the competition that the psyche of the team can often change. Knowing that they are two ties away from the final of the biggest club competition in the World may affect the way that managers select their tactics and how players perform. As you will see from the data below, some teams frequently reach this stage and falter, whereas others overturn the odds to progress to the semi-final and beyond.
History reveals some surprising trends in the matches we are previewing this week, and we aim to take advantage of them. In the below tables I use the following code:
W – Win
D – Draw
L – Lose
F – Goals For
A – Goals Against
Bayern Munich v Manchester United
From this data we can see that Bayern Munich´s home form at the quarterfinal stage has been consistently good and they score goals in their home matches – although frequently letting one in. Manchester United´s historical away form has been a little more chequered, and although they only once failed to score, they too are guilty of conceding goals. Using this information, the most likely scoreline is a 2-1 victory to Bayern Munich. (Generally available @ 9/1)
Lyon v Bordeaux
Bordeaux have not reached the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League since 1988. Rather than forecast scores based on data which is over 20 years old we will use the happy coincidence that both team play in the French Liga and compare their recent head to head statistics.
Again, it would appear that the most likely score based on the last ten league matches played at Lyon (they have never met in the Cup during this period) is a 2-1 victory to Lyon. (Generally available @ 15/2)
Arsenal v Barcelona
This game is the most anticipated of next week´s matches. With the return of Thierry Henry and Barcelona having never scored more than one goal away from home, in a quarterfinal tie in the past ten years the historical data is interesting.
Arsenal have never failed to score in home matches at this level of the competition, but the Barcelona defence tend to be pretty mean, so we feel this game is most likely to end as a 1-1 draw. (Generally available @ 11/2)
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow
Unfortunately there is little statistical data to gauge the past performances of these two teams. Inter Milan have reached the quarter finals on just three occasions in the past 10 years and this is the highest stage that CSKA Moscow have ever reached.
The one game that Inter lost in the above table was that against rivals AC Milan which was abandoned due to trouble amongst the supporters. If you were to ignore that match the other two matches indicate victories with small winning margins. CSKA Moscow have not failed to score in any of their four away ties during this seasons competition (they have won two, lost one and drawn one, scoring 8 goals and conceding 10). We believe that this will be a higher scoring game, with the outcome being 3-1 to Inter (Generally available at 11/1).
Although it would be the ideal scenario if all four predictions where to be correct, experience has shown that not every game will follow mathematical probability. Therefore, we need to cover our bets in such a way that if only one of the matches complies with our forecast, we finish in profit. The most obvious bet choice would be the Lucky 15 with a bookmaker that offers double odds (or better) when one selection is correct. Unfortunately that would not be sufficient to return a profit should only the match offering the lowest odds be correct. To get around this you can compliment the Lucky 15 bet with 3x stake singles to ensure a profit.