Monday, 25 June 2012

Mən yalnız İngilis anlamaq

I've, perhaps thankfully, missed out on trading the last two quarter final matches. I was out with my good lady wife on Saturday and in the pub with a raucous crowd watching the England match last night. I suppose it's all been said already, but by the time England went out, I was a little past caring. Their match play was so negative, dull and infuriating that I almost wanted them to lose by that stage.

I've had a couple of (loosely related) comments on my blog over the last couple of days. After my Greece entry, I received this kind comment:

Anonymous22 June 2012 21:52
fuck you...ELLAS YIA PANTA!!!

Yes, thank you. In case any of you were wondering, the second part means "Greece Forever". As for the first part... erm... well it's all Greek to me I'm afraid

My second comment, on the same entry, was this:

Raymond25 June 2012 19:23
Hi there,

Nice blog. Ben je nederlands? Zie de blogspot extensie op .nl ??
Lijkt me tof om eens te sparren over trading.
Gr R.

For those of you not from Raymond's neck of the woods, the translation is:

Are you Dutch? See the blogspot extension. nl? Seems cool to have a chat over trading.

I'm not too sure what Raymond is referring to. As far as I know, my web address is If he is seeing a .nl extension then I don't know why that should be. Anyway, sorry to disappoint you Raymond but I'm English. Thanks for the comment though. At least you didn't swear at me.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what my post title is on about, I thought that seeing as I've had to resort to using Google Translate, I would translate my title into Azerbaijani. Translate it yourself if you want.


Friday, 22 June 2012

Greece Leave the Euro Twice

They left the first time tonight (thankfully) and will probably leave the Euro (currency-wise) later in the summer. Despite the raft of goals, my trading was all straightforward tonight, which is just the way I like it.

Just a quick post tonight, as I have to go and pick my daughter up from a party. I will be posting some (hopefully) more interesting posts when the Euros finish in July:

Football: £90.47 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £90.47


Football Showing 1 - 6 of 6 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Germany v Greece : Over/Under 6.5 Goals 22-Jun-12 19:45  22-Jun-12 21:42  7.47
Football / Germany v Greece : Over/Under 5.5 Goals 22-Jun-12 19:45  22-Jun-12 21:34  24.28
Football / Germany v Greece : Correct Score 22-Jun-12 19:45  22-Jun-12 21:20  15.15
Football / Germany v Greece : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 22-Jun-12 19:45  22-Jun-12 21:14  1.81
Football / Germany v Greece : Over/Under 2.5 goals 22-Jun-12 19:45  22-Jun-12 21:07  12.05
Football / Germany v Greece : Half Time Score 22-Jun-12 19:45  22-Jun-12 20:34  29.71

Thursday, 21 June 2012

It's Mega!

I don't know if anyone else has entered Betfair's Megaminute competition, but it's one of the few offers of theirs that I bother participating in. I'm betting on the event anyway, so it's effectively free entry and is well worth a punt. If you're not familiar with the competition, you just have to guess the minute the first goal will be scored. It's a bit of a stab in the dark, but as I say, there's nothing to be lost.

Betfair have run this regularly during the normal Premiership season, offering £1,000 (or a share of it) for any correct guesses. I managed to win £50 from it a while back (see below), but during the Euros they've upped the prize pot to £5,000. I'd say this is well worth it. If 20 people guess correctly (as happened when I won it), then that's still £250 if you're one of them. If you want to enter for tomorrow's match, this is the link.

15:29 13339184 2010-12-28
978-XXS003-CRM-MegaMinute villavtottenham ADJ43 - - - 50.00 
My winning guess


On the actual betting front, all much ado about nothing, I'm afraid. Yesterday I traded out of my lay dutch of the winners market as the downside was too uncomfortable. So that's a £16 loss, but that's okay. I also had a fun bet on a GG at Ascot yesterday. It lost. Then I had a small test bet that I duly forgot about in this evening's quarter final in the half-time score market, so I lost £18 there too.

The only actual proper trading I did was on the full-time correct score market, where I managed to pick-up just over £50. So a stunningly dull tenner profit today, which was hardly worth bothering about. Apologies for the extreme dullness of it all.

Football: £34.98 | Horse Racing: -£24.25 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £10.73


Football Showing 1 - 4 of 4 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Czech Republic v Portugal : Correct Score 21-Jun-12 19:45  21-Jun-12 21:39  51.72
Football / Czech Republic v Portugal : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 21-Jun-12 19:45  21-Jun-12 21:38  5.33
Football / Euro 2012 : Winner 2012 08-Jun-12 17:00  21-Jun-12 21:37  -3.47
Football / Czech Republic v Portugal : Half Time Score 21-Jun-12 19:45  21-Jun-12 20:32  -18.60

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Let The Overreactions Begin

Well, England have won a match of Association Football this evening, so I suppose it's only right and proper that we now all stand up in our living rooms, dressed smartly in our St. George's underpants, snap out a crisp and efficient salute and boldly declare England to be the greatest football team ever to grace this small and wonderful orb that we fondly call The Earth!

Yes, bipolar nation that we are, let's all flip from morbid depression at our bleak and dire prospects as a footballing nation to absolute cast-iron certainty that we're going to lift the European Championship trophy on 1st July. We only have to beat Italy, Germany and one other top team in the final. Piece of piss.

I sound rather heartless and negative, but of course I want us to do well. There'll be no one more delighted than me if we do somehow manage to progress to the final. But perhaps just a small amount of calm and perspective along the way might just be a good thing. What do you think?


I'm back in my hotel again tonight, and so after having my fingers burnt a little bit last week, I traded the England match using a low-impact, low-risk trading methods. This means rather low profits but I prefer that to silly losses. Before the tournament started, I layed Ukraine to make it out of our group so that small win also came in today. My lay dutch is now looking a little worse than it did yesterday and I'm now showing a £15 red. I've placed orders to close some teams off should they drift, which will effectively scratch those teams. Either way, I don't think I'll be making much money out of this little approach.

Football: £76.55 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £76.55  


Football Showing 1 - 3 of 3 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / England v Ukraine : Correct Score 19-Jun-12 19:45  19-Jun-12 21:39  25.37
Football / Group D : To Qualify 11-Jun-12 17:00  19-Jun-12 21:39  47.60
Football / England v Ukraine : Match Odds 19-Jun-12 19:45  19-Jun-12 21:36  3.58


I got this message today on my old match odds compiling post:

jking715 June 2012 14:21
Hi. I'm trying to do a test of the Goal Supremacy system. I have the data of the PL 2011/12 matches in an excel document and now I need a good COPYABLE function to calculate the goal differences.

Thanks for your help.

Grabbing a rolling figure for the last six matches is the trickiest part of this system. There's no absolute correct way and I'm sure there are some Excel gurus out there that can easily improve on the method I use, but here goes.

After downloading the data from football-data, I add some additional columns. One of these is a count of the games that each team has played, so if my teams are in columns B and C (home and away), then my count on each row would be:

=COUNTIF($B$2:B9, B10)+COUNTIF($C$2:C9, B10)+1

If you had plonked this in G10 for example, then you could simply drag this formula down and it will auto-populate the column all the way down. You'd then need to do the same for the away column.

Okay, so this gives us a count of each team's games, but how do we look-up their goal count over the last six matches using this additional information. Again there are plenty of ways to skin a cat, but I add two more columns that I use as lookups. I concatenate (or join) the team name with their game count (team_name & game_count) and then look for all the relevant matches. So if Liverpool had played 15 matches and I wanted to find all their goals scored over the last six matches, I would search for these strings:


This is the my actual formula (goals scored home and away over the last six matches):

=IF(G41<7, "", (SUMIF($H$2:H40,B41&(G41-1),$D$2:D40)+SUMIF($J$2:J40,B41&(G41-1),$E$2:E40)+SUMIF($H$2:H40,B41&(G41-2),$D$2:D40)+SUMIF($J$2:J40,B41&(G41-2),$E$2:E40)+SUMIF($H$2:H40,B41&(G41-3),$D$2:D40)+SUMIF($J$2:J40,B41&(G41-3),$E$2:E40)+SUMIF($H$2:H40,B41&(G41-4),$D$2:D40)+SUMIF($J$2:J40,B41&(G41-4),$E$2:E40)+SUMIF($H$2:H40,B41&(G41-5),$D$2:D40)+SUMIF($J$2:J40,B41&(G41-5),$E$2:E40)+SUMIF($H$2:H40,B41&(G41-6),$D$2:D40)+SUMIF($J$2:J40,B41&(G41-6),$E$2:E40)))

Looks a bit of a mess, doesn't it? Really I should provide a "name" for certain columns. This is something I normally do as it makes formulas much easier to read, but I haven't in this case. Once again, this formula is "draggable" and so will always grab the rolling count of goals scored by any team in question.

I hope this is the answer to the actual question that you were asking me, but if it isn't then perhaps it still gives you the basic idea of what you need to achieve.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Watching Brief

Well it was supposed to be. Arrived back from Milan this afternoon, which was something of a shame as I left temperatures in the 30s behind and had a fabulous time. Great City.

This evening, I settled down to watch the Croatia v Spain match. I had decided before sitting dowin that, being a little tired from my journey, that I would not trade or bet tonight - instead I would just settle for a watching brief and enjoy the match simply as a fan.

Well, you know me, I can't resist can I. About halfway through the first half, I figured that Italy had to score and so I laid 0-0. However, my bet wasn't matched at the odds I was looking for before Italy scored and so I left that game alone at that point. Then after Italy had scored, I thought to myself that Croatia have to score or else they are out, and so I laid 0-0 in the Spain match at 3s. This of course looked to be going pear-shaped as Spain were holding the ball well, even if they were doing little with it. Croatia had to bring more men forward, but I'd say I was lucky that Spain scored as it could (and probably should) have finished goalless.

So no trading tonight, just your run-of-the-mill loser-type betting which just happen to turn out okay. Doesn't feel great even though I won.

The rest of my P/L tonight is from some of the lay dutch that has already come home to roost. I'm undecided at the moment how long I will let the rest remain in place. Presently, the stuff that's left is showing -0.94p in the red, which is not particularly great.

Football: £128.97 | Tote: | Total P&L: £128.97

Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Croatia v Spain : Correct Score 18-Jun-12 19:45 18-Jun-12 21:39 100.93
Football / Euro 2012 : Winner 2012 08-Jun-12 17:00 17-Jun-12 21:37 28.04

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

You're Breaking Up, You're Breaking Up!

I'm not referring to my mental state, you'll be pleased to hear, but a growing confidence in my phone's internet connection, which has been absolutely splendid here in my hotel over the last couple of nights. Unfortunately and foolishly this has led me to inadvertently lower my caution levels when trading away from home.

The Under/Over loss below was just a straight trade that didn't work out. I've no quibbles with that as that's the deal on those kind of things, but the loss on the correct score was entirely avoidable as I lost my connection at a vital time. The screen froze for several minutes, and I just had to watch helplessly as Van Persie picked up the ball outside the box, run towards it and slot home with aplomb. Fucking Gooner bastard.

I did manage to reduce some of this loss down from £120 to £83, and so this has left me with an overall loss tonight of around £52. Not too bad when I consider how bad it could have been, but I'm now suitably chastened and won't be running the same kind of trades again when holed up in my hotel. I did actually know this already, but as mentioned before, sometimes I need to learn the same lesson more than once.

I probably won't get home tomorrow night for the first match 5:00pm (Italy v Croatia), but I am hoping to be back and ready to trade the 7:45pm game between Spain and Ireland.

Football: -£52.51 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  -£52.51


Football Showing 1 - 4 of 4 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Netherlands v Germany : Correct Score 13-Jun-12 19:45  13-Jun-12 21:48  -83.46
Football / Netherlands v Germany : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 13-Jun-12 19:45  13-Jun-12 21:45  7.26
Football / Netherlands v Germany : Over/Under 2.5 goals 13-Jun-12 19:45  13-Jun-12 21:16  -20.64
Football / Denmark v Portugal : Correct Score 13-Jun-12 17:00  13-Jun-12 18:53  44.33

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Knowing Me, Knowing Eu (ro)

I've been a bit Alan Partridge tonight. After work, I bought a Domino's Pizza the size of a crop circle, a chocolate bar of fruit and nut the dimensions of a wardrobe and a bottle of the cheapest Port ever created from Aldi's.

After having put on a stone-and-a-half consuming my gartantuan pizza, I feel bloated and sick, have chocolate smeared across my face and am royally shitfaced drinking the Port in my hotel room whilst watching and trading this evening's matches. My apologies for being a sad wanker.

I did, however, have a half-decent connection on my laptop via my phone this evening, and so successfully traded the second-half of the Greece/Czech game, which was pleasing. Later, my connection remained decent and, looking at the attacking nature of both Russia and Poland, I layed the draw during an excellent and entertaining match, traded out for £30 when Russia scored, then when Poland scored, I steadily scalped the draw down until full-time. I increased my caution levels due to my unreliable connection, but it all worked out well this evening.

Football: £106.60 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £106.60


Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Poland v Russia : Match Odds 12-Jun-12 19:45  12-Jun-12 21:38  51.55
Football / Greece v Czech Republic : Correct Score 12-Jun-12 17:00  12-Jun-12 18:52  55.05

Monday, 11 June 2012

England Expects...

... very little, I'm afraid.

Rather uninspiring England performance, and a stunningly uninspiring night of trading also. The trading was especially frustrating as I was heading for a good night indeed but was caught-out by the quick reply by the Ukraines from Sweden's opener. I finished up pretty much all square but should have been about £200 up.

I suppose I should be pleased that I've come away from the night with no overall red, but it's always a little disheartening when a slow, steady build-up of profit is quickly wiped-out.

Football: £5.26 | Tennis: £38.37 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £43.63


Football Showing 1 - 8 of 8 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Ukraine v Sweden : Correct Score 11-Jun-12 19:45  11-Jun-12 21:45  126.34
Football / Ukraine v Sweden : Match Odds 11-Jun-12 19:45  11-Jun-12 21:41  -194.40
Football / Ukraine v Sweden : Over/Under 2.5 goals 11-Jun-12 19:45  11-Jun-12 21:08  3.68
Football / Ukraine v Sweden : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 11-Jun-12 19:45  11-Jun-12 21:01  15.24
Football / France v England : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 11-Jun-12 17:00  11-Jun-12 18:55  0.79
Football / France v England : Over/Under 2.5 goals 11-Jun-12 17:00  11-Jun-12 18:54  6.58
Football / France v England : Correct Score 11-Jun-12 17:00  11-Jun-12 18:53  43.35
Football / France v England : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 11-Jun-12 17:00  11-Jun-12 17:40  3.68


I received this comment today:

Anonymous11 June 2012 15:23
Very nice results you got there. I've been following your blog with great interest. I know a trader typically won't post something about his strategy but do you think you could post something about staking. It would be very interesting to know what kind of stakes you use to achieve your results.

Greetings from Germany

It's nice to know there are people enjoying the blog from other countries, so thanks for reading. In answer to the question, I generally don't trade with that much money. My maximum exposure is generally not more than £300 and is usually only £200. Throughout the Euros, for example, I have been using £200 stakes for my trades and scalps.

Previously I tended to expose a set percentage of my bank, but for some reason I left that idea behind quite some time ago and nowadays tend to just stick to a set amount. This is probably because, for me, trading is still only a hobby and nothing more. I'm not looking for untold riches via this route (mainly because I don't think I'm good enough) and so I'm happy just to plod along in my own little way.


One other comment I received was this:

Anonymous11 June 2012 12:07
Hi Eddie,
Did you finally write the post about the calculation of goal expectancy values? I couldn't find it. Thanks

Erm... well, it's like this...

The truth is that I have "largely" written this post, but I just never got round to actually posting it. It's 95% there but just needs me to wipe it's nose, comb it's hair and put on it's best pair of short trousers before releasing it out to the world at large.

I think my intention is to wait until the Euros are over and then post it up then. There's so much going on right now that I just don't have the time. And after the Euros, there will be a collective sigh as we all pause for breath, and that might be a good time to post up (what I hope) will be an interesting entry.


Well after my time abroad, I'm now back into my old routine of working away from home on Tuesday and Wednesday, returning on Thursday. Based on this, I'm not sure how much trading I'll be able to do whilst in my hotel. I may try a couple of standing trades, but we'll have to wait and see.

Tomorrow night I'll try and post up the Elo ratings for the next round of eight matches of the Euros.

On Friday, I'm taking my wife to Milan for the weekend, and I get back home on Monday lunchtime, so unfortunately I'll be completely offline over this coming weekend.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Luck of the Irish

.. and luckily I didn't have their luck, as Croatia were the superior team and deserved winners of the match - even though Ireland had a stonewall penalty disallowed.

Today has been happily uneventful for me. No amazing successes and, more importantly, no losses. With the Euros upon us, I think that is more important than ever. It's only too easy to get caught up in the hype and hysteria of a major tournament like the Euros and think to yourself that, because of the huge liquidity, with all that mass of money sloshing around, swelling the markets to bursting point, that you have to make more money than usual or, even worse, that you have to increase your exposure in the markets to do so. This would be a serious mistake and the chances of losing more are, in my opinion, magnified far beyond the level of that increased exposure.

Don't look to make more money than usual. Treat these highly liquid markets just like you would any other markets. By all means adjust your methods if you play differently depending on market liquidity, but don't start doing things you wouldn't ordinarily do. Don't increase the number of bets, or start betting in markets that you don't normally visit. You almost certainly have no edge under these circumstances.

As mentioned, nothing too amazing today. Made a few bits and pieces on both games, and have also managed to secure £38 on the French Open winners market in the tennis, which will be settled tomorrow. I did notice that scalping on the Spain game was decidedly harder than scalping the Ireland game, as in the Spain game available money was being snaffled-up at an amazingly quick rate. This must have been people at the match with a very solid connection to Betfair. The Ireland match didn't have this problem.

Football: £158.65 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £158.65

Football Showing 1 - 8 of 8 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Rep of Ireland v Croatia : Correct Score 10-Jun-12 19:45  10-Jun-12 21:51  50.18
Football / Rep of Ireland v Croatia : Over/Under 4.5 Goals 10-Jun-12 19:45  10-Jun-12 21:46  2.39
Football / Rep of Ireland v Croatia : Over/Under 5.5 Goals 10-Jun-12 19:45  10-Jun-12 21:45  4.08
Football / Rep of Ireland v Croatia : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 10-Jun-12 19:45  10-Jun-12 20:54  13.30
Football / Rep of Ireland v Croatia : Over/Under 2.5 goals 10-Jun-12 19:45  10-Jun-12 20:31  6.48
Football / Spain v Italy : Correct Score 10-Jun-12 17:00  10-Jun-12 18:59  55.02
Football / Spain v Italy : Half Time 10-Jun-12 17:00  10-Jun-12 18:03  2.73
Football / Spain v Italy : Half Time Score 10-Jun-12 17:00  10-Jun-12 17:47  24.47

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Not as clinical as the Germans

Made an annoying fuck-up in the Germany v Portugal match this evening, which all but wiped-out my profit in the Correct Score market. If I hadn't made a mistake, then I would have cleared well over £100 in that market, plus my little £20 in the Over 1.5 market.

Little bit peeved, but c'est la vie. A profit is a profit, even though it's small and insignificant.

Football: £46.68 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £46.68


Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Germany v Portugal : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 09-Jun-12 19:45  09-Jun-12 21:44  20.15
Football / Germany v Portugal : Correct Score 09-Jun-12 19:45  09-Jun-12 21:42  26.53


I, like Cassini, was absolutely horrified that Paddy GA, who requested I add him to my blog roll, would dare to send out a generic request to all of us in blogland, massaging all our individual egos with the same supercilious compliment. How very dare he!

I Told You Denmark Would Win the Euros

Looks like my suspect stats from this post, showing Denmark as top gainers of Elo points over the last year and Holland as rock bottom was true insight!

Alright, I'll accept that was bollocks, but how toothless were Holland? They had some definite chances that they should most certainly have put away, but they were very "England-esque" (and I know that's not a word) in their poor finishing and in how frustrating they were.

I have Holland as part of my Winners market dutch, so that's probably not looking too good right now. I didn't necessarily think they were going to win, but I did assume they would qualify from their group, and thus help me green-up. My dutch, however, does have a few different teams in it, so I'm hoping it will still yield some green further down the line.

Football: £79.09 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £79.09

Football Showing 1 - 3 of 3 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Netherlands v Denmark : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 09-Jun-12 17:00  09-Jun-12 18:56  0.00
Football / Netherlands v Denmark : Over/Under 2.5 goals 09-Jun-12 17:00  09-Jun-12 18:56  21.47
Football / Netherlands v Denmark : Correct Score 09-Jun-12 17:00  09-Jun-12 18:54  57.62


I received this comment on my last entry:

Hello, you don't know me by this is but I was an avid reader and contributor to the sports betting / trading community. I have now begun another chapter in my life and trying to recover from gambling addiction. I have started a blog to try to assist me in my journey and would appreciate it if you could find a way to plug it for me, It may sound contradictory but I think some readers of these BLOG (including my own one in the past) may have similar issues to me and I would appreciate a little help from influential bloggers such as yourself.If you feel it is inappropriate I will understand but hey ho, it was worth an effort. Wish me luck.

I've added him to my roll, but I thought this bit, "... I would appreciate a little help from influential bloggers such as yourself." was a bit funny.

Influential bloggers? I'm not sure about that. I have about as much influence as a fart in the wind. 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Russian in a hurry

Bit of a whupping for the Czechs. I'm no Arsenal fan but how come Arshavin didn't play like that for the Gooners during the last year or two? He was excellent tonight.

I've enjoyed the first night of the Euros. It's been good fun. I won't waffle on too much tonight, but I'll try and have a bit more to say tomorrow. Toodle-pip for now.

Football: £38.05 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £38.05


Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Russia v Czech Republic : Correct Score 08-Jun-12 19:45  08-Jun-12 21:37  128.29
Football / Russia v Czech Republic : Over/Under 2.5 goals 08-Jun-12 19:45  08-Jun-12 20:55  -90.24

Dull Opener?

Yes, the opening match in any European Championship is always dull and boring, and almost certainly a 0-0 draw. That's right, isn't it?

Nah! Two sendings-off, a saved penalty with a goalkeeper's first touch of the ball, and a disallowed goal that shouldn't have been. That's not too dull.

Decent enough start for me. I'll try and post up again after this evening's match.

Football: £145.36 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £145.36


Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Poland v Greece : Over/Under 2.5 goals 08-Jun-12 17:00  08-Jun-12 18:53  0.66
Football / Poland v Greece : Correct Score 08-Jun-12 17:00  08-Jun-12 18:52  144.70

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Denmark Win the European Championships

First-off, an apology regarding my last post:

You forgot Sweden as a participant!

Well, I didn't "forget" them, I just highlighted the wrong team - Turkey in the first table instead of Sweden - and so took Turkey across to the second table. Sorry about that. Anyway, you still get the picture and I can't be bothered to redo the tables.


Aah, so it's not Portugal who win the European Championships, as I boldly stated in my last entry. Nope, amazingly Denmark will pull-off another almighty shock just as they did back in '92.

So what do I base this new brash assumption upon? It's based on additional Elo points gained during the last year. Here's the table to prove it:

Yes, Denmark have gained more Elo ranking points this year than any other team. Not sure how relevant these particular stats are, mind you: look at Holland, undoubtedly one of the more likely teams to figure prominently in the competition yet down in last place in my table, with -56 points.

If you want to view how the Elo World Rankings would work for the first eight matches of the European Championships, you can see the details in the downloadable spreadsheet HERE.


Don't like those stats. Okay, how about these. Let's look and see if there is any correlation between FIFA World rankings and past success in the European Championships. Let's see who's outstripped their world ranking the most and who has fared the worst.

Just like the previous posts, I will only be looking at Euro ’96 onwards due to the format change in the competition at that point. The FIFA World rankings are easily available for all the ’96, ’00, ’04 and ’08 Championships.

For each previous European Championship, I have taken the world rankings from May of each relevant year, so one month before each competition started. The non-European teams have obviously been excluded from these rankings, so I’ve therefore “scrunched” their positions up to fill any vacant slots. The rankings of course have absolute numbers, but when comparing those rankings against final position within each competition, I’ve had to make some decisions:

Winner of competition     = First (no shit)
Runner-up                 = Second 
Losing Semi-finalist      = 3.5 (average of 3rd and 4th)
Losing Quarter-finalist   = 6.5 (average of 5th to 8th)
Losing in Group Stage     = 12.5 (average of 9th to 16th)

Therefore if a team is ranked 4th in the world according to FIFA, then they would be expected to reach the 3.5 level (semi-finals) in the Euros. If they do better than that, they will attract a positive score; if, however, they only make it to the quarter-finals, then they will receive a negative score (3.5 minus 6.5).

This of course is completely unfair as, if a country is always near the top of the world rankings, then they can only meet their expectations but rarely better them, whilst weaker, lower-ranked teams can more easily exceed the ranking. This is graphically demonstrated with this table:

Hmm, Portugal out in front again. Let's ignore that for now, and try and tailor our ranking a bit better. How about if I give each team a starting value of 1 to 16 points dependent on their current world ranking? So Spain will get a 16 point head-start.

Oh damn. It's Portugal again, the one-man team that is not fancied at all this time around - especially as they are in the "group of death".

Oh well. As I said yesterday, you only have one choice. Lump on! :-)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Portugal Win the European Championship

What's this? A prediction? Well, no, not really. Tomorrow I will produce a similar headline with a different team based on different statistics, but today's stats are all about past performance in the Euros.

Here is a table showing all the historical results since Euro '96:

The teams coloured in pink(ish) are those teams who will be participating in this year's European Championships. Obviously due to things like qualification for past competitions and progression within those competitions, the teams have played a variable number of matches within the Euros. The standard three points for a win, one point for a draw is given in my table - not only for the group stages but for all matches played, right up to the final. Do please shout if you strongly disagree with that method.

So, let's look who performs well in the Euros. We have the obvious candidates such as Spain (33 pts), Holland (32 pts) and Germany (31 pts), but out in front is Portugal with a surprising 37 pts, which is made up of 12 wins and one draw. England have only managed 19 pts, but of course we don't always qualify for the tournament.

Removing all the teams who are not in this year's competition, the table below translates their wins, draws and losses into percentages:

This shows that Portugal have won 63.16% of all their matches, which is an excellent win rate considering that early rounds tend to be played less aggressively than later rounds. France and Holland also perform well (55.56%) in the Euros - which doesn't bode too well for England come Monday.

The hosts, Poland, have never won a match in the Euros, but have only qualified once. Ukraine have never qualified (since '96 that is).

So, place every penny you have in your bank account on Portugal, because the statistics speak for themselves...

Unless you wait for tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

More Euro Trash

More fanciful statistics for your delectation. Again, make up your own minds on the worth of these. I'll throw them over to you and you can do what you want with them. My advice would be to treat this information with a large dose of caution, but if you do take anything from them, then read the data in conjunction with that given in the previous post.

Below is a table showing the average goal scoring times during the last four European Championships, separated out into the Group Stages (sub-divided here to 1st eight games, 2nd batch of eight games and 3rd batch of eight games), then quarters, semis and the final. The data again becomes extremely thin indeed as less teams become involved at each stage.

If the data has any worth, then a paucity of goals in the first half of the first eight matches seems to be a pattern. And a return to a cautious approach seems to be the order of the day after having escaped from the group stages, as the quarter finals tend to have late goals.

Euro Trash

Just a brief look at some simple Under/Over 2.5 Euro stats, which you may find helpful or you may find completely useless. I say completely useless as there is a rather small sample from which we can take our Euro data.

Before Euro '96 in England, there were only two groups of four teams in the group stages, so we can really only look at Euro '96 onwards for similar types of data; and in doing so, we have this:

Not too many surprises really. In the Group Stages, the first round of eight games (2 matches in each of the four groups) the trend is towards Under 2.5 goals, as teams come out cautiously, trying not to lose rather than trying to actively win. This starts to disappear in the second batch of eight games (perhaps a team has lost their first match and now need to show a bit more resolve to continue further); and the last group of eight matches in the Group Stages moves into Over 2.5 goals, as teams go all out for victory in the hope of progressing.

The quarter finals through to the finals don't really show any trends (as mentioned, largely due to the small sample). I suppose we could take the World Cup data into consideration as this follows a similar format, but this of course introduces other variables such as the manner in which certain continental teams tend to play and the styles with which they are accustomed to. I may add-in this data just for fun though. We'll wait and see.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I'm Back

Hi to everyone. I'm back from my little sojourn over in South East Asia, and it's good to be back - if a little strange as everything seems so, so quiet in comparison. I can almost hear a pin drop in England despite the Jubilee celebrations that are now building up nicely.

So, Manila. What can I say? Home of the nice-coloured envelope, there are nearly 80 million people in the Philippines, 15 million in Manila, which is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. The place is a huge urban sprawl, exceptionally hot, horribly polluted, filthy dirty and desperately poor. It's a city with the most stunningly bad driving I've ever seen (Rome, for example is like a gentleman's club in comparison). There is absolutely no road etiquette and every car pushes in front of the other, changes lanes without warning, beeps, flashes their lights constantly and recklessly tries to steal every last inch of space from each other.

The place absolutely stinks of shit from the poor sewage system; there are huge cockroaches the size of small rats roaming the streets in gangs; homeless, horribly deformed people sitting on the pavements begging; blast-furnace temperatures and more prostitutes than you could shake a stick at...

And you know what? I absolutely loved the place. Despite everything, it's the people that get under your skin. Most of them have little or nothing in the way of possessions but are happier and more content than we are. They can sit on a stool with a beer in their hand and not have a care in the world. I love that attitude and feel that we can learn a lot from them and their outlook on life.

Anyway, this ain't no travel diary, so I'll shut up about my trip and turn my attention to betting and trading. I only returned on Friday, but some bright spark thought it would be a good idea if they took me along to the Epsom Derby yesterday. I was horribly jet-lagged, but the day turned out to be good fun, in spite of losing a bit of money and once falling asleep on the grass surrounded by a mass of picnickers. The winner from Britain's Got Talent (a lady with her performing dog) did a turn, the Red Devil's parachute team dropped onto the (very windy) course, the queen and Prince Philip turned up and Katherine Jenkins (top totty) sang the national anthem. All good stuff.

The racing, however, surpassed all this easily. A top-class card with some outstanding horses. I don't know much about the GGs, but seeing a six foot one inch jockey (Joseph O'Brien) riding the two top favourites, St Nicholas Abbey and Camelot, to victory was a bit of a surprise. At only 19 years old, he seems to have exactly the right temperament to be a top jockey, although his height may eventually curtail his career as he fills out.

Of course since I've been away, all sorts of excitement and amazing drama has taken place in my absence: a heart-stopping last day of the season, Chelsea finally realising their dream and the odd Premier league sacking or two. Incredibly I completely missed all of this, not catching a single match or sporting event of any kind while I was away.

This, of course, means that I'm ready to rock and roll when the Euros start shortly. I'll be trading away like billy-o, although I will be away from the 15th to the 18th as I'm taking my patient and understanding wife away to Milan for a long weekend, which I'm looking forward to.

This is slightly bad planning on my part of course as I shall be missing some games, including one England match. I should, however, still have plenty of trading to do throughout the rest of the competition.


Having a quick browse around at blogland to see what's been happening, I notice a couple of established bloggers have hung up their keyboards. This is a shame but if you have something better to be doing (and quite honestly, who doesn't?) or it's no longer fun, then why not stop blogging? It should be fun to do and not an onerous task.

I did also spot this entry HERE from Cassini about the time of the first goal for games that have a low goal expectation:

I have seen a few comments about the correlation between Under / Over prices, and the TOFG (Time of First Goal) markets, and someone (I forget who, sorry) recently left a comment suggesting that the Half-Time 0-0 market might be another opportunity. It certainly should be, and is something I'll be tracking next season. For the record, in 2011-12, of the 156 XX Draw selections, 60 were 0-0 at half-time (38.5%, IP 2.6) and the average TOFG (when there was one) was 33.66 minutes. Unfortunately, I do not know what the HT 0-0 prices were, nor what the average TOFG is, but I would hope that both offer some value.

I do collect goal times for various leagues and can provide this small snippet of information that may be helpful. The goal average times for under/over matches in the English Premier League for the 2011/12 season are:

                  Total 1st goal         2nd goal        3rd goal
Over 2.5 goal matches: 204 24.03 42.53 63.14
Under 2.5 goal matches: 176 49.18 78.55 N/A

I can provide the median also if those are wanted by anyone. Note that for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd goal averages, if that number of goals wasn't achieved then a value of 93 minutes is used to build the averages. There are arguments for and against this practice. We should also be aware of the large amount of variance within these figures, but as a general statement it would appear that for games with low goal expectations, there generally won't be a goal in the first half. We could also say that if there is no goal after the first half-an-hour, then the match will probably not be an Overs match.

We could also say that there could be value at that very point for certain teams! Which, for me, is the benefit of collecting and analysing score data for all leagues and for all teams within those leagues.