The South American Elephant in the Room

So by now you would have an initial feel for what the panel is about, perhaps even individual members and you will have formed an opinion on how the in-play service is working out for you.

Well I would say the feeling’s mutual, as by now after receiving a twitter alert you must’ve at least once dropped your phone in a panic, loaded up **any betting website**, scroll way down, try to guess the country of the league, mutter to yourself to reduce the stake on the bet slip, then shrug and hit place. Not to mention a loved one / friend / samaritan telling you you’re being rude at meal times.

This week we’ve seen a high success rate in familiar leagues throughout Europe – SuperSaturday comes to mind, Livingston’s mass media coverage victory against Albion in the dying embers, as well ‘that’ goal from Danilo for Udinese. Seems we are creating some memorable moments already out of games that would only get covered by Iain Dowie. But we can’t ignore some rain on the parade from a South American direction through the night. Going back to the Weekly Stats, we have countries like Brazil and Argentina scoring highly in the region compared to other countries but we’ve seen the cliché technicians can behave more like 1980’s Italians and quite content to take a bore draw. So what’s going on? Quite simply the sample of matches tracked continues to grow which will gradually hone our prediction. Remember we are covering an extremely broad span of leagues from the start and slowly we can differentiate our treatment of them.

Keep an eye out for the country’s success rate in the weekly stats and consider the statistics you like to check in priority on receiving a notification – and let us know how you get on. It’s possible to work towards more granular breakdowns within the country and league and based on feedback, weightings of stats could be tailored accordingly. We could one day see those drab Argentinian (30-team league?!) possession drills on the horizon before they’ve even put the cones down.

No surprises that I’m keeping amongst the European leagues for my Ones To Watch this week and are rather close to home:

One’s to watch:

Brighton vs Leeds (Friday 7.45 – Championship)
This near top of the table clash is being billed as a big Championship game on a Friday night. Leeds don’t start the quickest, averaging first match goal at 44 mins and the seagulls are a bit quicker at 28 mins. However, Brighton’s last match was 0-0 and I can see this one starting in a cagey manner in front of the cameras until they manage to find the net. The teams are also a bit close to each other in the table (2nd vs 4th) but both possess the quality to break through.

Swansea vs Sunderland (Saturday 3pm – Premier League)
This bottom half of the prem match-up pits 2 sides who are on the road to recovery against one another. Sunderland are faring better and better with Defoe benefitting from Anichebe’s introduction up top while Swansea, off the back of a 5 nil drubbing, will be winded and without their usual fluency. The Swans have also been level at half-time in four of their previous six home games which bodes well.

Newcastle vs Birmingham (Saturday 3pm – Championship)
What a shock to the system up at St James’s. Untouchable at the start of the season but 3 losses consecutively shows they are no longer feeling invincible. I suspect this to be a tactical display from Rafa knowing he can’t afford to concede early against a decent Brum to get the league leaders back on track. The fact that both red cards the magpies incurred from the last match have been overturned will pack them full of motivation to get the result here as well. Birmingham would’ve thought they were on a decent run being unbeaten in 4 but were turned over convincingly against Barnsley last match so expect this to sharpen focus and hold up Newcastle.


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