Michael Lintorn looks at how to profit after kick-off in Chievo v Roma, Liverpool v Blackburn and Atletico Madrid v Valencia…
Chievo v Roma
Live on ESPN
Match Odds: Chievo 5.39/2, Roma 1.8810/11, The Draw 3.55/2
It is rare when a team is underperforming that the coach goes out of his way to draw attention to it, yet Roma coach Rudi Garcia did precisely that last month in diagnosing his squad as suffering from “acute draw-it is”. They have done nothing to cure the ailment since.
Seven of the Giallorossi’s last eight Serie A fixtures have been drawn, including five of the last seven by the same 1-1 scoreline.
It doesn’t matter whether they are facing the elite (Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina) or strugglers (Empoli, Parma, Verona). It doesn’t matter if they take the lead (Verona) or fall behind (their other five score draws). It doesn’t even matter if they trail with ten men (Juventus) – they always find a way to draw.
So back the draw as soon as one club goes ahead, especially if it is Roma as the odds will get much bigger than the 3.55/2 available pre-match. Helpfully, Chievo have tied five of their last 11 as hosts.
Liverpool v Blackburn
Live on BT Sport 1
Match Odds: Liverpool 1.330/100, Blackburn 13.012/1, The Draw 6.25/1
As soon as the FA Cup quarter-final draw was made, Liverpool started to believe that it is their turn to lift a trophy that was last theirs in 2006. They received a home tie with a Championship side while main foes Man United and Arsenal got each other. Now, we will see if all truly is as cushy as it seems.
There is a killer in-play trend for this encounter too. Strike the Reds’ 0-0 fourth-round draw with Bolton from the records and not only have all six FA Cup games involving these clubs this season featured both teams scoring, every opening goal has been equalised too.
How do you cash in on this? It couldn’t be simpler: as soon as one of the pair has made it 1-0, you back the other in the next goal market.
Atletico Madrid v Valencia
Live on Sky Sports 5
Match Odds: Atletico Madrid 1.715/7, Valencia 5.95/1, The Draw 4.03/1
Atletico Madrid have been presented one final chance to insert themselves into this La Liga title race by Real Madrid’s defeat to Athletic Bilbao, but will be offered no support from Valencia, who are just a point behind the champions and eight shy of Real, harbouring their own top-three ambitions.
The best in-play advice for this contest is to back whoever scores first to prevail. Prior to last week’s 0-0 with Sevilla, Atletico had gone 20 games without a La Liga draw and whichever side broke the deadlock in 12 of the final 13 matches in that sequence went on to triumph.
There hasn’t been a win from behind in any of the most recent 11 clashes between Atletico and Valencia either, and when the latter took a sixth-minute lead in the Mestalla showdown, it was a launching pad for assuming a 3-0 advantage by the 13th minute in what was ultimately a 3-1 win.