These are my basic Pre Match Notes for the three matches I am following "in running" today.
There are no selections, just a few thoughts and stats to help us find some trading opportunities. I will be at one of the games personally and will update all three games by email at half time, hopefully within a minute of two of the first half ending. With my thoughts and notes on the opening 45 minutes and giving any selections for the second half.
For those of you just reading the blog, they might have some interest and even help a little if you are betting "in play" yourself ( all "team news" is confirmed btw, not speculation) .....
CHELSEA - SWANSEA CITY
Saturday Opening Line: -1.75 ball 1.82-2.13
3 goal line : over 1.94 under 1.96
Movement: Chelsea into 1.76 and the over goal shaved slightly.
Team News : No starting place for Drogba or Lampard, Anelka, Torres and Mata are the front 3.
Chelsea played around 75 minutes with ten men against Fulham in the Carling Cup in midweek, but will be pleased to have progressed under those circumstances and having rested a large number of players. They will take heart from the performance if not the result at Old Trafford last week, where they were moral victors to many neutral viewers. They will be without Alex and Sturridge today, but Didier Drogba is available and will be looking for a starting place in Andre Villas-Boas' preferred 4-3-3 formation.
City will have enjoyed their free midweek, which has enabled them to bask in not only their first EPL win, but also goals in a 3-0 defeat of WBA last weekend. Goals are going to be a problem for them this season, key player Scott Sinclair for example is well know to the Blues and was deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, Leroy Lita is not a striker that will raise terror in the hearts of many EPL defences. Having said that, the Swans retain possession well and after a thumping at Eastlands on the opening day, have defended very well. Even in that loss at City they held out for 57 minutes and also for 40 minutes at the Emirates, with three clean sheets in their other starts. Given that 10 of Chelsea's 13 goals have come in the second half and the average time of their first goal is the 53rd minute, we may have to wait for the action to start today.
COVENTRY CITY - READING
Saturday Opening Line: +0.25 ball 1.91-2.01
2.25 goal line: over 1.91 under 1.99
Movement: Royals supported into 1.93 and the over goal line clipped slightly.
Team News: Kebe failed a late test and misses out for Reading ( not even on bench) Federici, Mills, Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce; Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Le Fondre, Church.... subs McCarthy, Gunnarsson,Robson - Kanu, Howard, Manset
Both teams have started the season poorly and only two Championship points separate the tho clubs, but I have few doubts that Reading are the stronger squad and better team. City are coming off a 3-0 loss at Ipswich Town on Monday, in what their coach deemed their worst performance of the season, as it came infront of the television cameras, the players might come out like wounded animals this afternoon. However, there is a good chance these two will cancel each other out early doors, both have identical 0-5-2 first half records and with Reading unbeaten in four visits here ( with three draws), there is a very good chance that one second half goal will decide this one. Plenty of classy options for the Royals going forward and with City short of options, especially in midfield, I fancy the visitors, but let's see how the opening 45 minutes pans out.
WEST HAM UNITED - PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Saturday Opening Line: - 1 ball 2.05 - 1.87
3 goal line: over 1.80 under 2.11
Movement: very minimal line movement here.
Team News: Winston Reid in for James Tomkins, Rowe replaces Tomlin for Posh....
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Reid, Faye, McCartney, Noble, Lansbury Nolan, Faubert, Taylor, Cole
Subs: Boffin, Tomkins, Bentley, Baldock, Carew
Hosts have the best squad in the Championship, but the level of expectation is so great at Upton Park, that they are probably happier and we have seen the best of them, on the road so far this season. A 4-3 win at home to Portsmouth a fortnight ago, would have done little to steady any home nerves as they were outplayed by Pompey for very long periods and we saw their potential shortcomings at Hull City last week. West Ham are 4-3-0 in the first half, Post have lost four opening 45 minute periods, but have claimed four points from losing positions. Hammers games have averaged 1.86 goals in the second half and this is a match where one goal is unlikely to prove decisive. Posh have had a Championship high 119 attempts on goal, with a huge 67.3% of these on target, easily another division best. If they continue at that level, they are clearly going to win more than they lose and this match might not be so cut and dried as it looks on paper.... let's see.