Not quite as uncompetitive as the recent International football but still some, theoretically, one sided matches this evening.
I’ve just ploughed through my spreadsheets and they seem to be forecasting around 24 goals this evening. On eight matches that averages out to just under three a game, hence the headline. Most goals are expected in the Barcelona, no surprise there, and least in the BATE v Valencia match, but most are towards the higher end of the scale. Curiously this looks like a high scoring evening in League one football as well.
When I look at a match, I am trying to work out not only how many goals are likely to be scored, but how they will be allocated. I know home advantage is worth an average of 0.40 goals so once I have worked out how many goals are likely to be scored I have to allocate goals to each side. Once that is completed I can decide on how that may come about and the chain of events that could lead to one score line or another. Going back to my ‘who scores first’ post a little while ago. If I see an away team unexpectedly take the lead then I will look to favour the home team to come back into it. I’ll tend to never write off a home team unless they are playing really badly. Likewise an away team that is expected to win, can come up against stiff opposition against a partisan crowd.
So getting total goals right is generally not too difficult and I can be fairly accurate over a number of matches. Getting the allocation of goals is a little harder but is helped by the general lack of goals in a football match. Once the match is underway there is little evidence to suggest a major shift in those metrics, but underlying game play can tell you if you are likely to over or undershoot on your forecast. When that first goal goes in and the timing of it, can give you a hint at how the match is likely to play out from that point onwards. This is where you can use Soccer Mystic to give you an idea on how goals will affect your position and what to do when things don’t go in your favour.
One thing that is universal in football is the variability of results where such a small number of ‘points’ can win a game, you can’t avoid that. So if I get it wrong I get it wrong and that’s it, I play the very long term game. One thing I will not do when position taking is to reverse my position on a goal, that’s because volatility will work against you if you do that. I’ll explain in more detail at some point.
But tonight I am looking for an above average number of goals. Good luck whatever you are doing.