I’m updating this after each match day. I’ve archived the previous games in a drop down box (just like scouting). 

I’ve kept the original preview for ease and…

Latest post game updates are all in these light green boxes. 

Champions League - Groups

Group A - Bayern, Atlético Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moskva

Bayern and Atletico should have no problem coming through this group, heavy favourites in both betting and algorithm (see here)  

Salzburg can be a good source of future transfer picks so good performances for young players may get interest, even if they don’t do that well in the group. 


A true performance powerhouse and I couldn’t imagine not covering at least a few of their players this season. The hardest part is predicting which of them will win and the only good solution I’ve found is to own a good spread of them.

Key Players: Gnabry, Kimmich, Lewandowski, Goretzka, Pavard, Neuer  

Punts: Costa, Muller, Coman (If starting), Choupo-Moting (If Lewandowski injured), Tolisso, 

Youth: Richards, Zirkzee, Kouassi,  

Bayern crushing performance is no surprise, providing 3 of the 4 positional winners. What is surprising is how easily they did this versus Atletico who can be a tough nut to crack. 

Locamotiv and Salzburg will be easier games and both of those ties come inside the next two weeks. Traders are going to be really optiimistic on Bayern’s chances in those games – and rightly so.

The only issue may be a bit of rotation – but we’re going to have to get used to that in a packed and unpredictable season as we saw with Gnabry last night – he is apparently quarantined with covid.

And particularly this season where teams are playing every 3 days rotation is just going to happen and we don’t want to panic just because a player misses a game here and there.

Coman repeated his Final heroics. A great display. We know he is capable and the only issue is that woeful injury record. There is always a feeling that you don’t quite trust him to stay fit and if the injury comes… you can’t really blame bad luck because we know him to be injury prone. 

The more games he gets through the more confident we could get. He’s also assumed to be behind Sané in the pecking order but the more Coman plays the more he makes his case. I expect Gnabry, Sané and Coman to rotate all season if fit.

Looking at Coman’s bid price though he may be able to be picked up for £1.55 again – some traders seem to have sold up again this morning as they chased the on the day IPD. And it may reflect that lack of long term confidence because of his rotation/injuries. 

There is a case for going for that cheap bid – with two big CL games coming up it would be surprising if traders let the bid stay that low in the build up to the next games. And if he got injured in the very next game… you can probably call that unlucky.

Kimmich shows why he is such a solid pick. Won it with just the 1 assist and although it was a soft-ish silver day those days do come along frequently and you don’t always need monster scores to win. 

Bear in mind that all the scores we are seeing in Europe are boosted by the modifier and are not as big as they appear. Kimmich has the numbers to keep ticking along though and will occasionally get those big spikes that can take a Gold Day too.

Last review I said he was a premium price – but for a very good reason. You are getting what you pay for and whilst the capital appreciation shouldn’t be stellar – you are buying consistent dividend returns from a reliable player – exactly what a premium player should be.

Neuer also came through to win the goalkeeper dividend. These shouldn’t be ignored and I think a couple of the stronger keepers are a good addition to the portfolio. As per my original keepers analysis – I flagged Neuer as the best keeper around and I still think that. He’s also great value particularly when Bayern have so many kind fixtures. 

Lewandowski had his chances but he can’t quite score every game. Most games, though.

Tolisso is stringing consistently good performances together and Bayern are leaning on him more. Watch his goal if you haven’t – a thing of beauty. The only problem with long range screamers is that they aren’t statistically likely to go in! 

However Tolisso has the all round involvement and the threat to be a consistent challenger. 

He’s scored 3 in his last 6 for club and country. If he plays even half of the games he should offer great value for his bargain bucket price. Banned for 1 game domestically though (this enforced rest may mean we see him in the CL again in 5 days time). 

Goretzka not far away either – another goal. He’s super consistent now and playing like this he is going to have his big days. Still fantastic value at £1.60-£1.73.

Hernandez might start appearing on our radars more at left back although expect rotation. However he is a capable winner and he’s seeing more and more pitch time. At just £1 I would say now is a good time to punt on him.

Muller still looks a threat to the dividend places and he remains undervalued. Early season is prime time to make the most of the veterans and traders who fear age too much leave money on the ground.

Really just an embarrassment of talent and so many players that have a big chance of winning the dividends. The only solution I have is to own a good spread of them. 

Incredibly Kimmich wins again. Wins are clearly expected but winning with this regularity requires plenty of luck too. As per midweek scouting I felt he was getting a bit overpriced and had got a lucky bounce with his last win. 

But I also felt it would be worth holding for this juicy run of fixtures. And that probably stays true with Salzburg coimng up. If seeking to really optimise your trading you might take advantage of the hot streak and optimism for the next game to cash out and recycle the money elsewhere. 

Hot streaks tend to fade and the luck evens out – I would tend to cash out soon and instead go to one of the players who is performing well but isn’t yet getting the luck. But equally holding further can hardly be called a bad decision either he’s a real quality player.

Pavard wasn’t far away either with an assist. And he had a couple of efforts of his own. A better display and whilst he’s been quiet lately there is no reason he can’t turn up with a big score he should be a consistent player. That bid dropping to £1.64 is tempting and it shows how quickly people become frustrated with players who aren’t returning immediately at the moment.

As per recent scouting Hernandez looked good and with Davies out he gets a prime time to shine. His numbers in the last 4 are encouraging – every bit as good as Pavard and better than Davies for a fraction of the price although with increased rotation risk. I still think it’s a good time to punt on him though.

Goretzka holders can count themselves unlucky. Was probably Bayern’s best player for the first half, scoring and making a big all round contribution. Was leading the scoring but was subbed at half time which seemed an unusual move. Overall though he’s probably in the best form of his life and he’s consistently getting in the mix for wins. I think he’s a great hold for the money.

Tolisso starting more and more, and he’s putting up the numbers that make him a very credible winner as I always thought he would. We can expect continued rotation but he’s also cheap and if we see him turn up with a huge score it should not be a surprise.

All the usual suspects like Lewandowski, Gnabry, Muller, Coman remain consistent. Coman in particular looked a danger. The issue with these is often rotation as they are subbed off – and that’s just going to be a feature of this season that throws another element of randomness into the mix.

Fixtures remain favourable but we do have that international break coming up mid-November – no match for Bayern between the 7th to the 21st (which is another reason I might tactically offload a player if people are currently paying high prices ahead of Salzburg). 


Match Day 3

For a while it seemed like Bayern would take the night off and give some other teams a shot at the dividends.

But 4 goals in the last 13 minutes turned that around, catapulting Kimmich, perhaps incredibly again, into that winning midfield slot. He netted 2 assists in the space of 4 minutes. 

This is that mix of ability and luck coming through. He’s brilliant. But he doesn’t really have the right to be winning quite this often based on probabilities. Last time I suggested it might have been sensible to move him on after this hot streak.  

Reasoning being – he was probably a bit lucky, the price had risen, and the international break was on the way which could be a trigger for some to cash out. 

What’s interesting is that whilst holders got another dividend – that bid price has actually collapsed from £7 to £6.40 now.

So, selling was still by far the better option even though holding rewarded a Silver dividend. And now? Particularly if he dips a little more towards the international break I’d consider that a decent time to think about returning at £6.42 although ideally I’d like to get a little lower and that may be possible.

And, when you refresh that IPD window too with so many games ahead – it’s another argument for why being a bit active and taking the chance to cash out cheaply even if you go back can pay off. Over 9 games he can easily earn you back as much, if not more, than the Silver dividend you may have missed.

Elsewhere, Lewandowski does his thing with 2 more goals returning yet more IPD, starting another challenge for Team of the Month and was also not far away from challenging for the forward dividend outright. 

Again he’s another I like to rotate for IPD and I am a touch surprised to see the bid so low as £2.59 this morning. That probably reflects the international break – and it’s a great time to pick him up. 

A key timing issue here is this – do not wait to line up the perfect 30 day IPD window. This is mug behaviour. I prefer to get in ahead of the pack whilst the bid is low – and find an opportunity to refresh that window a few weeks from now – ideally in the run up to a big game when he is in demand. 

We don’t want to follow the predictable path with IPD because if we are buying when everyone wants to buy and selling when everyone wants to sell it’s rarely going to be optimal.

Lucas Hernandez at fullback has been increasingly of interest – and this was a great game for him. Saw tons of the ball, had a great game to watch, added a late goal. I’ve highlighted his consistent threat over the last 5 and it’s nice to see a result. Still available for 97p potentially and it’s good value. We may see rotation but Alphonso Davies is out for a while and Hernandez is making his case for regular minutes with these displays.

More minutes for Tolisso. Decent game. Particularly good to see him getting well forward often and getting chances. I’ve long thought of him as a younger Thiago (given the chance) and his numbers are very similar at times. Getting more minutes. Can easily win. And he’s value.

Gnabry was good and a real threat with 4 efforts, just no reward this time. Has had a quiet period with covid – actually astounding he has no bid price today! An obvious bargain if you can get him anywhere near £3.50 or so. The odds of him making a comeback are high.

Muller competitive as ever, just no goal this time. Coman similar – looks competitive any game he starts. 

The only player I have had doubts on for the price is Sané. He scored a lovely goal here. Could be a contender but his passing is sloppy and it hurts him. Actually, as the price drops to £3 it’s getting much more sensible than it was at £4+. I think £2.50 would be great value. 

He may not be as strong as say Gnabry but on a CL night he could win, and he’s a player people would be happy to buy. So if he drops a bit more, maybe to just £2.75, he could be a good pickup.

Match Day 4

Bayern are through to the knockouts so we’re likely to see run outs for some youngsters and fringe players in the final two. 

Hazard holders will have gotten a shock this morning as
Coman pinched the dividend – a late OPTA revision giving him the matchwinner which had previously been chalked up as an own goal. 

He looks lucky there to me. No way the keeper isn’t saving that without the deflection. Fine margins on FI and that’s the difference between a player looking hot and being out of fashion.

Still, he’s made his own luck by getting the shot and he’s in great form, 3 goals in 3 for club and country. He also managed an assist here and that’s not unusual he’s creative. 

As discussed recently £1.41 to £1.67 is clear value and I’ve no doubt he will do enough to justify that and then some if fit. But he does have that woeful injury record and it will take a while before people will trust him. It’s a good spell for him though, his “days without an accident” stat is ticking up.

Gnabry very nearly scored a thunderous goal early but it went wide. Not much threat there after, subbed on 60. Seems out of form with no goals in 6 – but he’s really not far away and the goals will come. 

Actually dropping a bit on the market and I think people are falling into a classic trap here. The difference between winning and losing on FI is wafer thin – so if you take your cue about who is hot or not from the FI scores alone without understanding what makes them up – you can’t trade effectively. 

What you end up doing is selling next weeks potential winner cheap to buy last weeks winner after a rise – and there often isn’t a great deal of difference between the two. Cut when cutting is needed – but selling good players too cheaply just for being out of fashion is a rookie error.

Lewandowski scored again, obviously. Could have been two and he could so easily have won another dividend. A monster for both IPD and performance scoring. Should do some damage over this hectic fixture schedule. 

Solid from Goretzka, great involvement, limited threat. £1.37 to £1.57 remains a slam dunk bargain and the big scores are all but inevitable.

With Bayern through youngsters and fringe players may get a chance in the next rounds. 

Neuer wins the goalkeeper dividend. There is a reason I ranked him the top keeper back when GK’s were put in their own category – he’s streets ahead of the others and it’s not even close.

Maybe the promising Musiala – except he’s not on FI! yet. Worth remembering for when he is though. English too. Maybe Chris Richards would be in line who is very solid and capable of winning with a high baseline.

And Costa. Choupo-Moting. Zirkzee might be in action, I am sure some savvy traders will be picking them up well ahead of the matches. 

Costa in particular has a decent shot at a dividend given a full game. If going for that I’d say don’t wait until you see him on a teamsheet – that’s mug match day punting. You want to beat those types of traders to the punch by preparing early rather than buying on the 1st or 9th December for the CL games. 

Choupo-Moting and Zirkzee are more IPD picks but both are value, particularly Choupo-Moting – he might be had on a silly bid.

Sané probably gets pitch time he’s been lightly used. Looking good and scored last night. Much more comfortable with him now on a slimmed down £2.46 to £2.77. 

Atletico Madrid

The opposite of Bayern – the Wanda Metropolitano is where hope for big performance scores go to die. Still, should progress comfortably.

Key Players: None

Punts: Suarez, Thomas Lemar, Koke

Youth: Joao Felix (as per scouting he has been improving recently… if that continued I might get interested but I’m not totally convinced yet for the price). 

I rarely expect much of Atletico – and Bayern was never the time to back them.

Easier fixtures are on the way though with Lokomotiv and Salzburg up very soon. 

Suarez looks an attractive punt for those games at that 76p bid or close enough. His threat is strong – should bring a good IPD haul and he could easily put 2-3 past Lokomotiv or Salzburg and get in contention for dividends.

Felix looks.. better? maybe. If you squint a bit and try hard to take a favourable view of his numbers. There is enough there to believe he can improve at a better club. But not enough to expect wins at Atletico. 

I think hope for a move is just too far away to warrant his stubbornly high price – although that is starting to crumble now as expected. Maybe as that transfer gets more feasible and the price lowers he comes back into value range. But I don’t expect that anytime soon.

Carrasco looks dangerous and for 46p that is a good IPD punt although I don’t expect him to win performance dividends.

Lemar looks the best Atletico player for FI but he struggles for pitch time. He’s strong value and likely to transfer to a decent club. I think long term holders will end up happy with this choice. Patience required, though.

A rare win for Felix. I said last time he was improving a little but… this really comes from nowhere as he hasn’t scored for 8 games previously. 

He’s dropped on the matchwinner and is probably a little lucky that Thuram missed out due to that late Real Madrid goal. 

It’s more likely this doesn’t happen again soon but it is worth watching because if he did improve I think traders would be quick to buy him. I remain unconvinced. I think to really fly he’d need a big club transfer rumour.

Suarez continues to be a threat, no goal this time but he’s close and a good IPD option – could even win it in these soft fixtures vs Lokomotiv with limited competition on the day.

Match Day 3

Wonderkid Felix got the win last match day. Not so here – but there is little doubt he is improving now this is another good game for him. He didn’t score but he had plenty of chances.

A rare dominant game for Atletico and had they won Felix could have put up a big score. This is encouraging – it shows that in a better side Felix could improve which I have long suspected.

But… I probably expect Atletico to return to their usual ways and possession will drop again, making it difficult for Felix in the here and now.

Better for him. I really think he needs that big transfer rumour to really fly, though.

Suarez also looked dangerous, even though he hasn’t scored. The goals should continue to flow for him and he’s a decent punt especially for this next European tie with Lokomotiv at home.

Match Day 4

They aren’t home yet but should qualify. Bayern next is rough but they have Salzburg in the final game and they have been poor.

Felix pretty good again continuing his upturn. Weak threat in the last two but the underlying numbers are decent. Getting himself into contention and holders will want to see these numbers consistently. They need it because he has a stubbornly high price.

Carrasco was a beast here with 7 efforts on goal and some good chances in there. In fact, across all his last 5-6 he’s really getting some big chances, I hadn’t quite clocked that until now. 2 goals in the last 6 but really that could be 4-5. Creating chances too although no assists coming of it. Yet.

May fall just short of a winning total on a good day but for a 35p to 51p bid for a 27 year old who also features for Belgium? Really not a lot to dislike here the IPD alone can easily cover that. A steal.



Should go out and opportunties to score big are probably limited to playing Locomotive Moscow. They do have the home leg of that tie first so it may be better to own sooner rather than later if you are going to.

Good candidates to finish 3rd and drop into the Europa though and this is no bad thing. 

Key Players: Szoboszlai, Daka. (Both likely to get transfer rumours, Daka is more IPD where as Szoboszlai is more likely to win – a genuine potentially FI suitable player). 

Punts: Mwepu (Capable of a monster score maybe 1 in 10 games? Cheap though could work). Sekou Koita (IPD/for potential transfer rumour mainly).

Youth: All the above players would also fit here!

Szoboszlai the key man as expected. Could have put up a big total here and even potentially won the dividend. Didn’t – but holders won’t be unhappy with a nice price rise. A genuine FI suitable talent. Watch the goal too, lovely stuff.

That is however probably his best chance to win gone and Bayern up next is rough. Does face Moscow again soon. I think he’s still at a reasonable price given the hype that is likely to come.

No goal for Daka but he was so close. Huge goals tally and for anything close to that £1.61 bid I think he’s a good pick for a future transfer and some IPD during this CL run.

Again, Szoboszlai is not far off the win. A genuinely FI suitable player and he has a strong chance of a good transfer. They do have Bayern home and away up next with their kinder fixture vs Lokomotiv not until December. 

So the odds of immediate returns are fairly low by now.

I think a long term hold is fine… equally to try to optimise you may want to cash out after this small burst of optimism after these two good performances – knowing there are tough games to come. 

You could always go back to him closer to December which lines up with better fixtures and also the transfer window. Of course the risk is that he causes an upset and puts up a big score vs Bayern… but is betting against Bayern right now a good call? I’d say not.

Daka is another decent prospect from the preview – unfortunately off injured early in this game.

Match Day 3

Almost an upset, though destroyed by Bayern at the end. 

Only really Szoboszlai has a huge amount of interest for traders and he didn’t really threaten. But form generally is good. Have to play Bayern away next but after that they face Locomotiv Moscow which will be the best chance for him to shine.

As per the preview – he’s a decent transfer pick anyway.

Match Day 4

Big game for Salzburg next – they need to beat Lokomotiv to stand a chance of even making the Europa. That’s probably their best chance to shine and the man is, as usual, Szoboszlai. Yes! I spelled that correctly without even looking it up. Insane efficiency.

Holders will really want him in the Europa or he might fade away a bit, so that’s a risk. But it’s also a game where he can do some damage, and if he falls out of European competition, the transfer is there to fall back on. 

£1.97 remains fair he’s got real FI ability. Was close to scoring last night even versus Bayern. 


Locomotive Moscow

The expected whipping boys. Don’t hope for big performance scores – but some do have transfer rumours. 

Key Players: None. 

Punts: Anton Miranchuk, Fedor Smolov, 

Youth: None. 

Not much on offer here although an early big score for Miranchuk moved his bid price up fast.

This is notable as we are thinking about cutting deadwood this week. 

I have been waiting for a moment to sell Miranchuk in my own portfolio for a long time but that bid was way too low at 25p or so. I picked him up as a cheap transfer punt a while back – but unfortunately picked the wrong brother. 

He’s a decent pre-match punt on that low bid but if holding too cheap to sell for which is awkward.

For a while yesterday he topped the rankings and the bid went up really fast much closer to that 41p Blue Button. I seized this moment to cash out and with 1,000 shares+ in a cheap player that can be hundreds of £ difference.

Sometimes we just have to take a hit on the chin – but we should look out for favourable moments where we can make our cuts particularly by exploiting these very predictable guys who are chasing scores around mid-match. 

If our player has a reason they can bounce back – it only takes minutes for that bid price to shoot up and this can turn a 50% hit into a 10% one.

Goal for Miranchuk, and he was putting up a very competitive score vs Bayern which is impressive. Worth remembering as he is a performance suitable player. Even though as discussed in the Match Day 1 Review – he was one I took the opportunity to offload as he raised in price.

But I did go for him originally for a reason – if he ever got a transfer to a decent team he could do well. 

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Match Day 4

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Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale, Mönchengladbach

A tough group but Real and Inter are expected through. Shakhtar and Gladbach should fight it out for 3rd and the Europa spot. Shakhtar the weakest side by some way.

Real Madrid

As per Scouting – really hard side to pin down with rotation and injuries and frequent tactical changes. Not the side they used to be but are still grinding out results. Hopefully we see more selection consistency in the coming games.

Key Players: Hazard, Kroos, Vinicius Jr, Carvajal, Ramos

Punts: Benzema, Asensio, Isco, Marcelo (if starting)

Youth: Rodrygo, Odegaard, 

Yikes. Abysmal result. As per scouting Real’s start to the season has been… less than spectacular and Zidane has been chopping and changing like a coach who just doesn’t know what his best team is. They’ve mostly got the results until recently but have never been convincing. Results like this will heap the pressure on Zidane.

Only really Asensio comes out with much credit. This is the first full match he’s completed since his return from injury. And the numbers were decent especially in a game where Real struggled. 

As per pre-season scouting he was always going to have to work his way back to fitness and compete for his place – but if he does make it – he can be an FI powerhouse.

Jovic really poor and you wonder how many chances he’ll get at Real now. Still on that rock bottom £1.08 bid a pickup in hope of a transfer may turn out to be very shrewd.

Marcelo was poor to watch but his impressive performance numbers cannot be denied. He was close to winning it. Overall though I’d be reluctant to punt because of his age and uncertainty over his place. I like a cheap veteran but I tend to go for exceptional ability combined with a long contract and settled future.

Kroos benched again. Per minute he was superb but you aren’t winning with 26 minutes on the pitch. Big time frustration for holders now as he is only just back from injury. 

Perhaps 2 games in 4 days was too much for a recently injured player. Or perhaps Zidane is just over-tinkering. If he comes back and plays his usual game then the monster scores are a matter of time – the worry is whether recent rotation is purely injury related or whether Zidane prefers other players. 

Hard to say especially given these awful results are likely to force even more team changes as Zidane seeks a winning formula. 

Uh oh. Real have been shaky all season and whilst beating Barcelona temporarily silenced the critics… this is another poor result. 

The late fightback makes them still, just, favourites to qualify in the betting and the algorithm gives them a 50/50 of making the round of 16 (odds of them dropping into the Europa would be a bit higher). 

They just look a club in disarray and if you haven’t already find the video of Benzema openly flaming Vinicius for his poor performance in the tunnel within ear shot (He’s right there Benzema c’mon!). 

However, as has often been the case lately, this bad result is covering up some very nice performance numbers.

This was Asensio‘s best game of the season so far – a real threat. 5 efforts on goal and good chances amongst them. Hit the bar. And his overall numbers leave most forwards for dead if he can get on the score sheet. Much better.

I’ve been keen on him in recent Scouting and no doubt he has had a slow start to the season but the potential really is very high if he can keep this up. 

Kroos again looks solid. Had one decent effort turned away by the keeper. Has not been happening for him seemingly for the entirety of 2020 but whenever he plays he looks in danger of popping off. 

Ramos is monstrous again here too. Really, he has goal threat that a decent striker would be happy with. Should be a regular contender and it’s not even a fair contest for him in the defender category. Which is normally exactly what I want… but as discussed in scouting he comes with a big risk because of his expiring contract.

The usually unremarkable Casemiro came through with a goal and assist. I tend to write him off because he goes for long periods without goals or assists but he seems to have this habit of popping up 2-3 times a season with a huge score seemingly from nowhere. He could win a Gold Day but it’s very hard to predict when that might be.

A patient trader who picks him up on a cheap bid at 62p and then waits for his “big day” might do very well out of that, even though it could well take months.

Vinicius did indeed have a poor game in reality Benzema wasn’t totally wrong. Although overall he has been performing well recently so Benzema laying into him was quite a surprise to me. In FI terms though he really wasn’t bad at all. 

If he wants to stay in the side he’ll need to show consistency but I have confidence in his FI numbers when playing full games – he could even win it given 70-80 minutes. 

And we saw Eden Hazard back – introduced from the bench for the first time in nearly 3 months. A really important period for him. If it’s not quite make or break… it’s getting very close. 

It’s a tragic story with all these injuries because when he has played for Real particularly in mid 2020 he has put up some genuinely fantastic performance numbers. 

It was a good performance to watch overall and he came on at 2-0 down to finish 2-2 and he made a good contribution. Good involvement and hit the side netting with his own effort. Replicated over 80-90 minutes these numbers would be very strong.

£2.19 now and if he comes back fit and anything like the player he was at Chelsea… he could prove himself grotesquely undervalued. But more injuries or a run of poor games could end his time at Real. 

Interestingly poised. I would lean towards remaining optimistic because the performance numbers are very good. It’s all about whether he can stay on the pitch because if he does those big scores will come.

Match Day 3

Nice win for Real Madrid vs Inter – one they badly needed after a very poor start to the CL campaign. Holders can relax a bit at the thought of them getting dumped out of Europe. They do have a tough away leg vs Inter up next though.

Some decent numbers given it was a tough match.

Kroos solid. Added an assist. Had a couple of his own efforts. Overall numbers a bit down but you expect that when playing tough opponents. Not doing a great deal different to when he’s hit his hot streaks it’s just not been breaking for him. Never far away from a win, though.

Asensio started again which is good for holders, but this was one of his quietest games since his comeback. Did get a decent chance to score which was narrowly tipped over the bar and the FI numbers were better than a traditional match report might let on. 

But his main problem isn’t FI ability – he has that. It’s staying in the side and he needs to produce more of the good form we have seen in spells in recent games. Lacking consistency.

Hazard, similar boat to Asensio in that he’s high potential and great value potentially but has a lot to prove. 

After a brilliant first game back vs Huesca at the weekend he had 63 minutes here with a few good moments (Mainly successful dribbles) but it wasn’t a great game. Looked a bit too intense a game for him perhaps given he has recently returned after a long lay off. Understandable and he’ll get further opportunities.

Ramos, scoring the penalty, was competitive again dragged back by goals conceded, fouls, and a lack of a clean sheet. But when a defender has this much threat he’s going to be a regular contender. The only issue is the lack of a contract beyond the season for me. 

There are recent rumours that may be resolved – Zidane saying recently “he wants him here forever”. If that deal is stitched up then £1.34 looks a whole lot more attractive as the risk of him disappearing at the season end fades away.

Benzema was a danger again, scoring his 4th in 4 games (plus 2 assists). Cheap, 74p bid possible. Has occasional wins in him, as he showed just this weekend. Great value – another of these strong IPD rotation picks I am favouring right now. 

Match Day 4

A crucial win for Real, putting them back in pole position to qualify and maybe even end up topping the group. Won’t be able to take their foot off the gas though and the game vs Shakhtar next could be a good source of FI points.

Long suffering Kroos holders finally got some joy as the Master reeled in the apprentice Foden and snatched the win with pretty much the last kick of the game. Kinda thrilling. 

The only really surprising thing is that it took this long. He’s an FI scoring monster but some patchy form for him and Real Madrid in general throughout 2020 has hurt him. He’s also had a bit of bad luck. 

I think there is an important reminder for us all here and it’s timely because I mentioned it in State of the Market just this week. There is a difference between a bad player and an out of fashion player – and to trade effectively in this period we must know the difference.

If you dumped Kroos just a few days ago in frustration you would have been doing so very cheaply. Missed the dividend and more importantly perhaps we can see how fast a price can bounce when it is starting at a really low base. 

3 days ago you might have struggled to get £1.15 for Kroos! Now he’s £1.98 to £2.19 with a 16p dividend in the bank. Things really can change fast in this market and we need to be really hot on our Scouting right now. 

It’s such an error to sell good players cheaply if they have a reason why they can bounce back. Especially if you are using that money to buy players who are rising because they won this week – there is no reason why it will be the same player who wins next week.

Real have had struggles and will probably continue to have mixed form but selling Kroos for near £1 would always have been a terrible idea. 

He did this on pure baseline with no goal or assist, not even any decent shots. Just a masterclass of involvement and passing – 147 touches and 136 passes with 98% completion. This is assisted by playing against 10 men for most of the game making his job easier.

But this is his power and why he is so strong – he also has goal threat throughout his career. It’s been weak in the last 4 games or so. That needs to improve for him to really hit the consistency we used to know him for. As do Real Madrid.

But he can carry £1.98 to £2.19 without much trouble at all and it would be a big surprise if he was quiet for this long again.

Hazard holders (those rare unicorns) too will have gone to bed feeling like he’d finally done it. Only for it to be snatched away by the evil Mr OPTA and his correction for Coman. 

They won’t mind too much, though. Again, like Kroos above, he’s an out of favour player who suddenly shows some quality and because the price is so low he bounces strongly. Again – you have struggled to get £1.25 or so for Hazard a few days ago. £1.85 to £2.04 today. 

I’ll say it again – really is so important to know the difference between a bad player and an out of favour player in this market.

The big score is nice but given his situation perhaps the most important thing is that this was a good performance. Commentators are saying he looks on his way back to full fitness which is really important. FI numbers are really good too, and not just from the goal.

He really is streets ahead of most forwards on his day. This was a flat track because they are playing 10 men but he can hit this level and has done many times for Real without it coming through very often due to limited minutes or Real not winning. I have him as a potential 4.5 out of 5 stars if back to his best which is really not a rating I give away for free.

A big period for him coming up – as I said yesterday afternoon in the Euro 2020 section – he is potentially disgustingly undervalued. But he’s going to need to prove it the hard way. This is a good step.

Honourable mention to Odegaard for a good performance. Was subbed on 60 but it was a good performance and he saw a ton of the ball. No shots but he was in the right areas for them to fall to him.

I said recently that people had probably got too down on him. Good young player and it’s best to pick them up on the downswing. 


Shakhtar Donestsk

Group whipping boys. Limited interest beyond a transfer choice.

Key Players: 
Teté. (Looks genuinely performance suitable and as a young Brazlian has a little stardust. Gets big transfer rumours. Could be rotated or only appear off the bench in the Europa. Cheap right now I quite like him as a longer term hold.)  

Punts: None

Youth: None

Huge result – although they don’t have a ton of great targets to show for it.

The one I picked out in the preview Teté was the best of it with the goal and assist. Was the only player who really looked consistently dangerous. Very nearly won the dividend on the night and was leading for quite some time.

Another preview punt pick makes a quick profit. When you can pick them up on low bids – brave traders get rewarded. Except… this one isn’t really that brave. With a low starting price and given his chance of a decent transfer later with his 20 year old Brazilian stardust… any good nights like last night are just a bonus.

Despite the good showings only really Teté remains a standout option for me, mainly because he looks the most likely to drop on a decent transfer rumour later.

Match Day 3

Well. They were expected to be the group whipping boys. They defied expectations in the first two games, but took a real kicking here. 

Teté really the main player of interest. Poor here really. But over the games so far he’s probably done enough to get a little attention. And Shakhtar are not out and could drop to the Europa, maybe. Tough group and they have two away matches.

Hard to bet on them really right now.

Match Day 4

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Strong bet for a good run in either the CL or Europa if they drop down. Plenty of good players to choose from.

Key Players: Sanchez, Lukaku, Barella, Hakimi (see scouting – little concerned about his initial performances for Inter). 

Punts: Martinez (Still not super keen as per scouting because he’s so poor for FI performance but it looks a lot better after the price drop). Eriksen (if he ever starts), Perisic, Sensi, Kolarov, 

Youth: None (Esposito left on loan). 

Interesting. Inter needed to win this game really and it drops their chance of qualification significantly in the fivethirtyeight.com algorithm. 

This is a tough group particularly if Shakhtar continue to defy expectations and combined with Real’s result we may see a big team dumped out of Europe all together. Early days though and I wouldn’t stress this too much yet. If game two goes badly for either Inter or Real though… maybe start to worry.

Start for Eriksen – probably his best game for Inter. Played well to watch and the FI numbers are, as expected, excellent. Really should have scored and if he did he would have been up there competing. This is why I am relatively relaxed on him despite all his troubles. 

He can turn up and win any game and if he doesn’t settle at Inter – I find it hard to believe he will waste his prime years on the bench. A decent club likely comes in for him. PSG are linked already and he could absoutely kill it there.

Not that it is a perfect situation far from it – but you have to factor in how low you’d need to be selling for and £1.13 is just madness for a player who can bounce back. One win or positive event could close that spread fast. 

Lukaku shows his quality – I said in Scouting this weekend how consistent he has been throughout 2020. For IPD and occasional wins plus his involvement for Belgium this year… £1.96 or just over is very solid value. 

Just 2 points in 2 games for Inter. They still probably make it through according to the betting and the algorithm. But Shakhtar are proving anything but the group whipping boys and are putting up a fight. 

Tight group and it’s now not inconceivable that Inter crash out of Europe altogether. Wouldn’t panic just yet… but they do have Real Madrid next and if they lose that they could look well adrift.

Like with Real though the poor result masks some very nice FI numbers from Inter.

Hakimi did well – not huge amounts of possession but he did make up for that with plenty of blocks, interceptions, recoveries and crosses. Impressive total of 158 (not boosted) given Inter did not win. 

Remains a capable winner for sure but he’s still not hitting the levels he was at Dortmund. He could easily turn up and win sometime soon but… whether he will consistently win enough to warrant his weighty price tag… unconvinced. I can see other defenders looking stronger for less money, as per scouting.

Brozovic was monstrous. Was last game vs Genoa too actually. Had a ranged effort and if one of these pings in we should not be surprised to see him well over 250+. Hasn’t scored since February but that feels unlucky with the chances he gets. Also has current pitch time struggles. 

I like the pick even though he’s on a downer at the moment. 84p to £1.04. Still just 27. A Croatia regular. Even if Conte doesn’t want him he likely gets a decent move. Could pop up with a monster score and win a Gold Day. Really not much to dislike here for a patient trader.

Barella is quite similar except more in favour at Inter and younger at 23. 99p to £1.22. High baseline player. Hasn’t scored in 11 games but he gets chances… should really score 1 every 5-6 matches or so. And when he does that can produce very competitive scores. Solid pick and he’s really improved at Inter.

Lukaku… remarkable he didn’t score again really with these chances. As per scouting he looks absolutely lethal right now and I really like the pick. One you want to refresh regularly for IPD if possible. 

Match Day 3

Tight game. Individual errors the only difference.

Looking adrift now at the bottom of the group, so do have a risk of dropping out of Europe altogether which would be a major blow that would certainly be felt on the market.

They’ll need a result against either Real or Gladbach and then need to beat Shakhtar or they’ll be relying on results from others. Tough ask though they can take comfort from Shakthar’s recent 6-0 loss.

I’d be a bit wary though – Real Madrid up next and if they lose that… it sets up some nervy games. 

Even traders anticipating Inter facing off against Shakhtar for a spot in the Europa would be nervy – people could sell in advance of that game rather than waiting for the result.

An early indicator of how to play these European knockout scenarios – it really is a big deal if a big team loses access to those big European Gold Days later on so if they look like crashing out you can expect players to get punished.

Hakimi very poor here in his FI numbers. I’ve been worried for him for a while as he has never looked like justifying his price at Inter. The more I see – he is not giving me any reason to change my mind.

Barella was good. Tough game so his usual big baselines weren’t there but he did lay on the 4th assist in 6 appearances. And get a decent chance of his own. I was optimistic on in pre-season and I think he’s improving and showing consistency. 95p to £1.20 great value.

Sanchez has not featured much so far this season – nursing a muscle injury. Towards the end of last season he was looking sharp. Looked unfit in this game, on from the bench. However, if he recovers and gets back to his good 2020 form he could be a slam dunk bargain under £1. Particularly if Inter look like securing progress to the European knockout stages.

Match Day 4

Uh oh. Bad result and Inter are now playing for a place in the Europa – they ain’t making the CL knockouts without a miracle. 

That’s not a bad thing if they can get it – Inter could crush it in the Europa. But it’s not a given – they’ll need results against Gladbach and Shakhtar. At least from their perspective Shakhtar seem to have really dropped off after early promise.

It also puts Conte’s future in doubt, he’s hanging by a thread and it is not a happy camp.

Still, Inter are full of good targets who aren’t really going anywhere, even if there is temporary unrest. 

I’m struggling to find any individuals worth commenting on in this dumpster fire of a performance. Games like this where you are playing with 10 men up against it tend to make everyone look bad and don’t reflect the real ability levels.

The usual suspects as per the original group preview and the match reports since remain the most likely lads, although Hakimi has notably dropped off as I’ve covered in Scouting. 



This group should be a struggle for Gladbach – best thing that can happen for them is to drop into the Europa most likely.

Key Players: Plea, Hofmann, 

Punts: Bensebaini, Thuram

Youth: Neuhaus, Hannes Wolf, 

Bensebaini, punt pick, with the penalty. Should not be ruled out as a winner he was very close here. One of those players who will almost certainly turn up with a big score one day and people will go “Oh yeah… Bensebaini exists!”. Cheap now and if you can get a dividend out of him and a price rise from say 66p to 90p? Huge profit potential. 

I think traders overlook players like this – massive upside – minimal downside on that cheap bid. The potential reward dwarfs some of the more popular picks and probably comes with much less risk too.

Hofmann is also overlooked by traders. He scored for the second game in a row here. Threat is consistent. Actually his overall numbers were poor but he is capable of so much better. Again – he’s likely to pop up and get his big scores occasionally and for just 85p if a trader is willing to be patient they will likely get their reward.

Thuram unlucky to miss out due to that injury time equaliser, not the first time we have seen the dividend winner turn on a late goal recently! Exciting. Or annoying. Depending on which side of it you are on.

I listed him as a punt rather than a key player because he’s a little soft for performance scoring generally. Nor has he particularly been in goalscoring form. So it was a hard challenger to predict. 

I would probably not expect a repeat of this in the league – he likely needs a couple of goals in a game at least to challenge. But Gladbach have two games coming up vs Shakhtar where he could do some damage. 

I have often felt him overpriced in the past but the price has climbed down to a £1.43 bid and given he is still just 23 and often gets bigger club rumours… plus he has a shot at an outright win and some IPDs… he looks quite attractive at the moment.

Plea provided an assist, should really have scored himself. He’ll be a capable challenger for these upcoming Shakhtar games. I like him generally, 84p to £1.07. He can deliver a few big scores a season, solid IPD, and frequently finds himself linked with moves to bigger clubs. 

Hofmann poor last night but generally in good form. Value player as per scouting. 

Defender Bensebaini never far away either because he can always get a penalty – decent punt. 

Match Day 3

Woah. A demolition, catapulting key man Plea to the top of the charts.

I was pretty happy with that – Plea is a player I regularly give favourable reviews to. He’s a welcome reminder that even though we may have some players hanging around in our portfolios that we wouldn’t neccessarily rush to buy today – we probably bought them for a reason in the first place.

It hasn’t been possible to sell him for any kind of reasonable price in recent months but you could certainly sell him last night, or wait and collect your dividend.

One of those players dropping but with a reason he could recover – an occasional win or even a transfer to a big club. I said as much in the last review back on 16th September – he’s only staying at Gladbach for another season because they made the CL. 

Remains a decent pick up.

Defender Bensebaini had a good night too. I’ve liked him in the preview and the previous match day reviews above. Only pipped late on by Boateng’s goal and unlucky to miss out. A good punt for the price and a regular contender. 

23 year old Neuhaus was really strong here. 4 efforts, a wonder he did not score. And with his usual excellent involvement this could have really counted for something. Played for Germany recently too. I like him for a patient trader, have for a long time. 

Absolutely not the kind of player who is currently getting rewarded in this market – but he is capable of showing up with a very big score and a dividend win. 

Gladbach have given themselves a great chance of continuing into the knockout rounds, even if that means finishing 3rd and dropping into the Europa which may be the best thing for them.

Match Day 4

Gladbach are looking good to qualify for the knockouts although do have tough games vs Inter and Real Madrid to come. Barring total disaster though they’ll be making the Europa at least. 

Maybe holders want them to throw these next two games because the Europa may be the better place for them!

CB Elvedi not far off a win – scored the second goal. We’ll call this a rare event and I don’t expect it again soon. However, he’s a tidy passer and often linked to bigger clubs. At a 41p bid or close to that I can only see that as a good pick for a patient trader.

Embolo was really dangerous scoring 1 but it could have been 2 or even 3. Builds on a good game in the league last time too. Before that he’s been very quiet. One of those picks that is hard to call a priority right now yet given he’s rock bottom at 54p it’s not a bad pick up either for patient traders.

Thuram wasn’t far off a goal. He’s a bit soft for performance but he has some very big club transfer rumours and if you are going for him it’s unlikely to get better than £1.29 – £1.42. All he has to do is drop on a big link and he can be much closer to £2.

Plea is something of a low key favourite of mine and he was on from the bench, unexpectedly rested. Should be back. 

And Neuhaus too continues his good performances. Scored last game in the league and he could have put up a huge score had Gladbach won. Had a chance last night as well. 70p to 95p is far too negative and I think eventually he will do much better than that.


Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille

If City do not qualify from this soft group it’s a disaster. 2nd is more competitive – on paper it should be Porto but Marseille could challenge. Either way – one or the other should drop into the Europa. Olympiakos the weakest team. 

Manchester City

Should be a walkover and City players could put up some strong scores in this group. 

Key Players: Sterling, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Cancelo, 

Punts: Jesus, Rodri, Gundogan, Laporte, Zinchenko

Youth: Foden, Torres, Garcia, 

Decent result but unfortunately for holders the goals fell to the wrong players to generate big scores.

Aguero got the penalty but was particularly poor in his performance numbers. He used to be a contender – this season he’s definitely seeing less involvement and I am not optimistic on his chances outside of IPD. But he’s at risk of an out of EPL move too. 

It will be an occasional thing but Rodri can explode any game if one of these long range efforts finds a way in. Capable of monster scores. 

Mahrez looks the best City performance player outside of KDB. Not finishing chances recently but he is getting them – his big scores should come.

Cancelo criticised for poor defending in standard match reports. In FI terms his strong numbers continue and I would stay confident.

Poor game for Sterling but this is unusual. Recent numbers very strong and I’d just call this a blip for now.

Garcia excellent again. Can win without a goal.

Lovely goal from Torres. Starting life very well at City and has played well for Spain recently too. Give him a full game and he can win. Note the price here – he’s a good young player and doing about as well as you can really hope – yet the price is diving because of a lack of immediate big score. 

Once a player gets a hype move… be very wary of actually holding them for the initial games unless you think they are completely exceptional. However if the numbers are good like this and the price is coming down… Torres looks a better and better pick up. The danger is you can wait too long and you don’t want to miss that first big score.

A comfortable victory for City. 

Ferran Torres with the matchwinner yet managed only a 135 (unboosted) which surprised me – I expect better. Watching the game most would say he played well – but his involvement was a fraction of what it usually is. 

The reason is clear – he was played as a centre forward rather than his usual slot on the wing. And that really hurt him as a performance prospect. Guardiola can be a nightmare to predict at times. Torres is doing really well overall and £1.54 seems like great value – but he really does need that winger slot.

Another example of how excitement for new players at new clubs fades so fast if there isn’t an immediate return.

Zinchenko made his first start in a long time. Played well, and lovely FI numbers. If we trusted him to become a regular he is a fantastic young performance player. The trouble is we can’t anymore. May need a move to realise his potential but I’d back him strongly if he was playing regularly at a decent club.

De Bruyne was really close to a win here. Super consistent the same way Kimmich can be but KDB just isn’t getting the luck right now. Can explode anytime though and if you want the big hitters it’s best to wait until they have a dry spell. 

One of Foden’s best games in a while – saw so much of the ball and only really lacked the goal. One half chance here but overall in the last 6 games the threat is solid. 

Very interesting to look at the market history here. Foden is getting more minutes and doing about as well as you can possibly hope for at this stage. Yet the price is being slammed. Just goes to show that for hyped players the price can stay high so long as the reason they are supposedly valuable is far in the future.

But it’s very rare when any player at this kind of price, no matter how hyped and seemingly suitable, comes out unscathed from the period when they have to actually justify their price. Despite all his efforts this season I’d suspect he’d be a higher price if he was safe on the bench.

In many ways that is just making him really great value if not holding because in this case some, if not all, of the hype seems justified.

Young CB Ruben Dias is doing better and better. More starts and these last 3 have been excellent for baselines – even getting a chance to score last night. Not far off Eric Garcia’s great numbers actually except traders may stay more optimistic on Dias because he is now more likely to stay in the EPL. Looks a solid pick up for a patient trader.

Match Day 3

Another really good performance for young new signing Torres. Got the matchwinner. 3rd goal in 4. And yet, the market didn’t move for him at all. I almost felt sorry for him until I remembered that he probably doesn’t care at all.

As per previous reviews – he is however poor on FI when used as a central striker. With Jesus making his way back he may return to the wing – better for his FI prospects. In fact he finished the game wider.

Performing above expectations yet in this market cannot gain traction. If he got a goal from the wing I suspect a big score might change that. A £1.48 bid would be a good pick up – but I would wait to see if he slots in on the wing again.

Mahrez – as per recent form – doing pretty much everything right except the finish. Looks capable of a big score any game, just not going for him right now with no goals in 6. Could change quickly, though. Encouraging thing is he is getting plenty of minutes.

Quiet game for De Bruyne to watch but… really, as always, he’s very close to big scores. 4 assists in 3 games, getting great chances. For holders it just seems a question of patience and waiting for the luck to swing his way.

Nice goal for Cancelo. Unfortunately it was from the bench so did not make an impact on the scoring – but when playing a full game a goal will likely make him a strong competitor.

Zinchenko shows lovely FI numbers again. Seeing more pitch time recently. But I am not sure I trust him to be a regular. 

Match Day 4

City have sealed progression to the knockouts so we can expect rotation vs Porto and Marseille.

Foden had another good game after impressing for England too. Was leading FI scoring for much of the night until Kroos reeled him in at the death. Unlucky for Foden holders. 

Yet they won’t be too unhappy – he got a nice price bump as a result and it’s more obvious evidence to support what we’ve known for a long time – Foden is the real deal. He may be hyped at times but unlike many wonderkids there is justification for that hype. 

I discussed him just yesterday afternoon in the Euro’s section.. he was £4.25 to £4.51 and I thought that a solid long term choice. I was wary at his previous £8+ that just gave him too much to do. 

This kind of level can be consistent for him and whilst his Blue Button has bumped up to £4.89 after a good performance he is still available for £4.37 on a bid apparently. And that’s still worth paying.

Cancelo solid. One of the defenders regularly capable of getting his nose in front, up there with the Guerreiro’s, Angelino’s and the Chilwell’s. Haven’t quite seen it come through often enough but it’s there. Nearly scored here. £1.46 bid if you can get it is value, anything under £1.75 good.

Rodri was competitive. One of these days I swear he will turn up with a +300 and blow it away. For 85p to £1.04 it’s solid value. And he may just win with baseline alone much as Kroos did last night. 



A real struggle to find suitable targets outside of a long shot cheap punt. However, given Porto could win a game or two those who do that may get rewarded at least with some decent IPD. 

Key Players: None

Punts: Corona, Anderson, Marega, 

Youth: None

Really not much to be excited about at Porto this season, unfortunately.

Maybe in the Olympiacos game 30p bargain bucket punt Corona could come good. I won’t hold the name against him. 

He’s very performance suitable and in fine goalscoring form so a big score would not be a surprise at all. That game is in just 5 days and it’s at home. 

No comments.

No comments.

Match Day 4

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Tough group – perhaps the best thing is for them to drop to the Europa. 

Key Players: Payet, Thauvin, 

Punts: Rongier (if desperate for a punt, I would wait perhaps for an easier knockout game with less competition before trying too hard on long shot punts like this). 

Youth: Cuisance

Poor result for Marseille – really hits their chances of progressing and even makes it possible for them to drop out of Europe altogether. Troubling.

Fortunately the main man Thauvin has a transfer reason to hold him and there are some decent moves on the cards including Milan.

Both Thauvin and Payet looked dangerous and close to big scores even in this poor game. They have City next though which is tough. Then Porto away and if they haven’t got anything from those games… it’s going to look bleak for them.

Never really expected to get much against City, and they didn’t. However they have Porto up next away then home, then Olympiacos. So there are better chances to come.

Thauvin will remain the main threat, as well as Payet. 

Cuisance holders can be quietly happy he started a big game. He’s seeing plenty of involvement. But so far none of the threat we saw at Bayern. Early days though. 

Match Day 3

A grim result for Marseille – now sitting pointless at the bottom of the group. And may well go out of Europe altogether.

They do have 2 decent home ties to turn it around – Porto then Olympiacos. They’ll need something there because they finish away to City.

Generally just bad news for key men Thauvin and Payet. Although in Thauvin’s case this will likely finally tip him into that transfer where he may land on his feet.

Youngster Cuisance is the other point of interest and he’s quietly made a good start at Marseille and is progressing. Long term traders can be happy but he is not exactly the sort of player this market is desperate for. Marseille’s mixed form make it hard for a player like this to punch through anytime soon.

Match Day 4

Another poor CL result for hapless Marseille. At least domestically they are doing quite well but in Europe the results are abysmal. 

Definitely not making the CL knockouts. They still have a shot at the Europa but they’ll need to beat Olympiacos next and then probably need something against City away. Good luck.

This may end up being ok for their main man Thauvin in the end as it makes his exit pretty much nailed on. And that could be a decent EPL move. Leicester would be good. Villa rumours… not immediately appealing but then Villa are showing some nice FI suitability as per scouting. AC Milan also good. 

Olympiacos up next will be a good chance for him to show his quality.

Them going out would be a blow for players like Payet. Time in the season is running out for a player like that because you need an early explosion and they need these big European nights. If Marseille end up in the Europa it could be a big boost though. 

Youngster Cuisance doing quite well for minutes and general numbers – never looks like scoring at Marseille though which is disappointing because he was a regular threat at Bayern. Will be interesting to see where he ends up.



Can’t see anyone worth going for here for any reason.

Key Players: None

Punts: None

Youth: None

No comments.


Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland

Interesting group. Midtjylland are just about the softest fixture you’ll ever play in the CL and the other three teams have the firepower to generate some monster scores there.

A tight contest between Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta – but barring total disaster whoever misses out on qualification at least drops into the Europa. Liverpool should comfortably qualify but Ajax and Atalanta are no push overs and should battle hard for second. 

Atalanta are slightly favoured over Ajax in both algorithm and betting. 


Key Players: Salah (really improving, see Scouting), Thiago, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Alisson, 

Punts: Jota, Mané, Keita, 

Youth: Curtis Jones, Minamino (looks much more viable after the price slump). 

Robertson bagged another dividend. Not unexpected he’s a quality player. It’s not just the recent tactical changes that are helping him – he’s been unlucky in the past and we’re seeing that balance out a bit now. This has been true for months and I remember reviewing him on some insane bids like £1.50 in pre-season. 

£2.47 to £2.52 now… it’s not the bargain it was but it remains solid value for what you are getting.

Thiago out with that knock from the last game. That did give Curtis Jones chance to make his CL debut though. Very tidy numbers. This won’t be news to regular readers I’ve banged on about him long enough – but he really does look like one of the most FI suitable young players and it’s rare that happens for a player with a near perfect trend profile.

Alexander-Arnold poor and the price is really bleeding now. Holders do not want to hear this but this price fall was justified and near inevitable. He has no automatic right to reclaim his £10+ pricetag. He didn’t justify it in the first place even at his best – and his numbers are not what they were. This is where being that “true believer” who eats up all the hype and believes in the “career dividends” garbage kills your profits.

Not to say he is bad – he’s still a contender but so are many defenders who cost £2.50 or less.

Alexander-Arnold gets a win much to the relief of suffering holders. A vastly improved performance to watch. In scouting 3 days ago I also noted his numbers against Sheffield were much much better so this may not be a flash in the pan.

Both soft games though and Atalanta up next away then home will provide sterner tests. 

Holders may be dismayed that this doesn’t appear to have stopped the bleeding. It may actually just have been used as an opportunity to exit by some. 

This is the whole problem and reason I have not liked this trade. It’s not that TAA is at all bad. He remains, even after recent changes, one of the best defenders on FI. What was just completely unsustainable was a price tag so far in excess of any other decent defender on the platform. 

It’s amazing that we saw a £10+ defender at all, really. And amazing people could pump that with a straight face. It’s far less amazing that this has corrected. 

He’s good and can win again but damn… at the price he has been you are under so much pressure to bag regular wins. He needs to hit a hot streak like Kimmich has just to get back on an even keel. I just don’t understand why you would put yourself in that situation. 

Match Day 3

Big win.

Jota the star with a hatrick – though beaten out by a slightly better performance from Plea. Unlucky for holders although they will not be disappointed with that nice price rise.

He’s seeing a reward for consistency on the market after some decent scores and some undoubtedly lethal form.

I’ve never been over enthused for him because a) he’s not that brilliant for performance and b) concern for him being a backup player.

Point A… hasn’t changed much. Point B has – he does look like seeing more minutes and he’d deserve them.

Below £2 I think you can justify this. Above that? I think you have to start questioning why anyone thinks he’ll be more effective than either Firmino, Mané or the improving Salah. 

It’s probably a case of a new and shiny player hitting form – which can create over excitement. That can set up the fall – although I don’t think he is outrageously priced even now. 

Both Alexander-Arnold and Robertson put in decent displays. Both remain competitive and Trent in particular has improved recently. But clearly, Robertson remains the much better value.

Salah had a good game. Goal. Assist. Watch the goal actually if you haven’t, impressive stuff. Not his only chance either. He’s in range of wins and looking improved from last season. And his price is lower than it has been for a while. 

Mané was similar actually, again with the goal and assist. Had good threat last time out too vs West Ham just no goal there. Looking competitive lately and with the price having crumbled I’m now much more interested at £1.90 – particularly for these upcoming CL games.

Another encouraging performance from youngster Curtis Jones. He’s been given chances and it’s nice to see. Huge involvement. Added an assist. Decent chance to score of his own. 

When I’ve been calling him one of the best young prospects on FI for the past year or more it’s not just for the banter. I’m serious. 

Can still be picked up for £1.55 on a bid potentially – but in terms of real potential he is up there with the Foden’s and the Sancho’s – just a year or two behind and without the whopping price tag.

Actually, when I say a year or two behind – on these numbers – given more full games he is likely to produce big scores in the here and now. Obviously he will be rotated heavily but the chance of a win is there.

Match Day 4

A defeat to Atalanta but they should still qualify comfortably given a 2 point advantage and the final fixture is a gimme vs Midtjylland. 

Lack of any kind of threat the main problem. 

Most notable thing is probably continued starts for Curtis Jones. He did well, or as well as any other Liverpool player on an off night. Really strong involvement numbers and very tidy in possession. No threat but then very players had any. Good stuff. Undervalued as I’ve said a few times recently.

Another observation is that Liverpool fullbacks are generally competitive no matter who is occupying the slot. It’s tactical as much as individual ability from Robertson or TAA. Neco Williams did particularly well and would be an FI contender in his own right given the spot full time. Won’t be, though. And not on FI yet.



Always a rich source of transfer speculation – and often have the ability to compete in performance scoring in the here and now too. 

Key Players: Neres, Tagliafico, 

Punts: Promes, Tadic, 

Youth: Gravenberch, Ekkelenkamp, 

No explosion for Ajax players but they’ve got some talent. The next game is Atalanta which could be free scoring and then in just 11 days they travel to minnows Midtjylland. We won’t get a better chance to punt on Ajax players than that.

I would say Neres and Gravenberch are the best picks – due to the likelihood of good displays and possible performance wins combining with optimism for a big transfer. 

Ekkelenkamp is a high potential youngster too but is currently starting mainly on the bench. And for punts Promes, Tadic and Tagliafico are all capable.

One of the best performers was Antony – a player not on FI. Some very youtube friendly skills on show from the 20 year old Brazilian. He’s more than just a showboat though – there are some very solid FI numbers here particularly if he is added as a forward. But he’d do ok in midfield too.

Definitely on the radar for IPO… hopefully not many people noticed him so he can picked up for a reasonable price? Hopefully? They probably did. Sigh.

A goal also went to Lassina Traoré – another player not on FI. Not so obviously FI suitable but the goals/assists record is solid. And he’s just 19 so will clearly be of interest. Interestingly he scored 5 times and assisted 3 times in the last Ajax game. Yes. One game. I jest not. A ridiculous 13-0 demolition of VVV-Venlo. This is why we sometimes have to question Eredivisie stats.

Neres quiet but was involved plenty and in the right places. I watch him closely – he’s out of form but if he made a comeback it could be a big deal. 

Gravenberch is developing very well. Numbers actually poor in this game but overall in the last 6 his numbers are good. Very much a deep, high possession midfielder but he does get into the box and has opportunities. Could get a very big transfer and I like this long term hold.

Match Day 3

Routine victory and one of Ajax’s best chance to make an impression the scoring.

They might have taken it, though the first goalscorer Antony is not on FI. As per the last match day review – he’s very impressive. 20 year old Brazilian, new to Ajax this season but has started with 5 goals and 2 assists in the first 9 games. 

One to look out for at IPO, for sure. But not going to help us anytime soon!

Gravenberch might – playing regularly this season. Extremely likely to pick up big transfer links. Deep-ish but does get forward generally. I like him for a patient trader especiallay at £1.32.

And we saw Ekkelenkamp too. He’s another longer term youth pick. Seeing some regular appearances if not full games. Appearing for the Dutch U21’s. Patience required most likely but he’s got potential. 

Promes and Tadic remain good punts for soft fixtures. Tadic competitive for the win last night. 

Match Day 4

Ajax win but so do Atalanta making this a tight group. Will not drop out of Europe altogether and really the Europa might be better for Ajax where they can stomp some minnows.

Youngster Gravenberch had a good game. I liked him in the preview above and also mentioned him for Holland in the Euro 2020 section yesterday.

Scored the opener, maybe unlucky Midtjylland scored late to deny him the match winner or he’d have been up there snapping at Foden/Kroos’s heels.

A wonderkid with real potential – likely to drop on a transfer. £1.37 strong value for the patient. There may be joy sooner as in a soft Europa/CL game he could win. 

Neres was lively, scoring his second in two games. A welcome return to form for this forgotten youth pick. To see him down at a 67p bid is crazy – the chances of him getting a decent transfer and getting back into fashion are just so high from there. Get it whilst it lasts.



A superb performance side – can produce cricket scores. Main problem – their two best players are getting old. Early season is the best time to make the most of veterans, we might just be wary of holding them too long into the season.

Key Players: Gomez, Ilicic, Pasalic

Punts: Zapata, Gosens

Youth: S Lammers

Comfortable 4-0 scoreline although not accompanied by the huge performance scores we often expect from Atalanta. To be fair to Midtjylland they made it tougher than expected and it was a more even game than the scoreline suggests.

No real surprise that Gomez was the best of it. He scored again and had he not been subbed early he might have challenged yet again. 

Zapata scored and assisted. Another of these IPD strikers that are looking so grossly undervalued right now like Morata or Yedder. The goals are basically inevitable and the prices are strong value – this is about as close to free money as you’ll ever get and I am definitely incorporating more of this into my trading at the moment.

Pasalic continues to be rotated but when playing more big scores look very likely. Super unlucky to miss out on a dividend recently when scoring 280+. People are noticing and the price is creeping up but he’s still undervalued at £1.21 to £1.38. 

The Miranchuk I should have bought a while back has come off the bench to score on debut. Historically speaking he is performance suitable based on his Lokomotiv Moscow numbers so at £1.17 to £1.24 he could prove good value. Main issue is we can’t know how many minutes he will really get yet.

Brace from Zapata. I’ve mentioned him a few times recently as a strong IPD option. Really reliable scorer at just £1 to £1.13. Players like this are… well. Pretty much about as close to printing free money as you ever get? If you are getting them on cheap bids anyway, which you can oftne.

I don’t think reliable scorers can stay this cheap for too long but whilst it lasts… I’ll make the most of it.

Ilicic is really close to a goal here. We have not heard from him for a while as he has had corona. But he was a regular winner last season – perhaps surprisingly so as he eclipsed Gomez often. No goals so far this season but not for lack of chances… the goals should come. And he’s well capable of big scores too. There is still time to make the most of elite veterans.

Gomez and Pasalic in decent form too.

The only thing that might be a dampener is Atalanta’s mixed form plus their European ties are Liverpool at Home and then Liverpool away. Inter Milan sandwiched in the middle. But they do have a soft game vs Spezia too and the December schedule is very tasty.

Might be worth looking at them after the international break.

Not much to say after that demolition – was never going to give Atalanta assets a chance to shine. However it isn’t all gloom – at the very least holders can expect them to drop to the Europa – and that’s probably the best outcome for them.

They face Liverpool next but then have a juicy tie vs Midtjylland and then Ajax after that. So I still think they are a club I’d be optimistic on, even though their current form is hot and cold.

Key players remain the same as the preview, Gomez in particular. Pasalic not brilliant last night but in general he’s not far away and capable of a big score. 

Perhaps Zapata is the best pick right now. Really should have scored last night – he’s in fine striking form and he’s yet another fantastic option for IPD rotation right now. 4 goals and an assist in the last 5 – and with the chances he gets we can actually consider that an underperformance. 

And all that for just 88p potentially.

Match Day 4

Good win for Atalanta. With third spot safe it’s a much of a muchness whether they qualify or not – holders probably want them to throw the next games to get them into the Europa where they could do more damage! They don’t rely on the prestige of the tournament like some Liverpool players might.

Not much new here – it’s the usual suspects from the preview looking the most likely. Gomez, Ilicic and Gosens

Zapata came on just from the bench. He’s in a 5 game goal drought but that feels very unlucky, he’s getting chances and has a strong goalscoring pedigree. 

Pasalic is a contender when playing, injured and unlikely to make the next tie either. 

Could be worth a punt on 1-2 of the above, they are value and they could really smash Midtjylland next week. 



Key Players: None 

Punts: None 

Youth: None

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Match Day 4

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Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes

Chelsea and Sevilla favourites to progress. Rennes are the outsiders and Krasnodar are very soft opponents.


Key Players: Werner, Havertz, Ziyech, Chilwell,  

Punts: Jorginho, 

Youth: Hudson-Odoi, 

Werner the main threat, close to goals again here. For the 2nd game in a row his baseline numbers are down which is a concern – in his opening 3-4 these were much better. 

It was a tough match, and so was the Southampton game so that may explain this blip. After the next game vs Manchester United though Chelsea have some soft games including Krasnodar, Burnley and Rennes. If he isn’t smashing it by then holders may want to get worried.

However – more goals and assists are surely on the way and I would remain confident with him for now. 

No threat for Havertz last night but overall his numbers in the last 3 are really solid. 

Ziyech working his way back – we should not forget how strong his performance numbers have been in the past. Numbers so far are very unremarkable but we can’t really judge him on 50 minutes in what has been 2 games where Chelsea scores were low generally. 

I’d start optimistic and these upcoming soft fixtures could be a chance for him to make a statement. 

Reece James played better to the casual observer but Chilwell remains the better (and cheaper) FI player at the back. He should be a consistent challenger with the only real concern being Chelsea’s poor recent defensive record – shipping 3 to both WBA and Southampton. 

A soft game as expected vs minnows Krasnodar and Chelsea made the most of it with a 4-0 win. 

Ziyech was the standout – making his first start. Lovely goal and great all round display. A good start. The performance numbers are good but a little behind where they often were for Ajax. 

I’d start optimistic – he’s a capable winner and Chelsea have some soft fixtures including Rennes up next twice with Sheffield United and Newcastle sandwiched between them. 

As we have seen many times recently patience wears thin fast with new players who do not return straight away – so early performance should be watched carefully.

Werner managed a goal (penalty) and assist which is good but the score is a bit poor for all that. This is becoming a troubling pattern. In September he was showing very nice performance numbers that were often just lacking the goal or the win.

The threat has improved and is actually very strong overall – but the underlying numbers have dropped significantly in the last 4 games. I was putting this down to tough games vs Southampton, Sevilla and Manchester United but vs Krasnodar in a game Chelsea dominated you expect better. Needs watching carefully.

Hudson-Odoi started and looked good. Unlucky to come off with an injury which is apparently not severe. In the forward category he is very competitive and if you back him for more consistent minutes (or not – and to therefore get a move to Bayern) I think he’s a good pick up. 

He’ll have done his chances of more starts no harm here but competition for places at Chelsea is fierce. 

Good game for Havertz. Got an assist, very much involved all round and had a nice baseline. 1 decent chance. Really just lacking that goal – his only 1 so far coming in that 3-3 draw with Southampton. 

Difficult position right now for holders because with these kind fixtures coming he’s got a decent chance to punch through. Yet, patience on the market is low and the price is crumbling hard. Holding feels like it brings a lot of pressure for him to get a win… yet Instant Selling for £3.67 feels too cheap. 

It’s a common scenario in this market and there is not always a very clear right answer though I wish I had one. When the player is nowhere near a win it’s an easy decision to cut it off even if it’s painful.

But the numbers suggest Havertz can easily bounce back which makes it tricky. I’d probably lean towards holding on at least for this kind run of fixtures. But you can also make a decent case for moving on if you are really keen to free up cash.

Match Day 3

Comfortable win vs Rennes. Pretty much nailed on to progress now with a 7 point lead so we may now see some rotation in the next games.

Werner scored twice from the penalty spot, but still fell short of Messi’s total. Worrying for holders especially as he started in his wider role which often brings better FI numbers. He’s there or thereabouts but his ability level is proving really hard to pin down. Switching positions is creating inconsistency. 

He’s got all the ingredients for big scores – goals, assists and key passes, decent involvement particularly out wide. A key area he is consistently lacking in recent games is getting a good number of chances. We want a top striker to be getting 4-6 chances a game, where as Werner is more like 1-3. 

He is being very clinical with those chances which is great. But lots of shots is a great source of extra points.

It could all come together for him but the problem he has is not many have patience in this market, he’s got a sizable price tag so holders are under pressure for him to win soon.

Ziyech a threat again, good chance to score. Involvement a bit soft though and he is a midfielder so that will have to improve. It was better versus Burnley. A credible winner if he settles but a bit like Werner – we know how impatient people are right now so it brings pressure for a quick win.

Match Day 4

Chelsea qualify easily with two games to spare. Expect rotation in the final two.

Rare start for Hudson-Odoi and he took his chance. Lovely goal and could have had an assist too if Werner had finished. 

Not the best score but then he was subbed and it wasn’t the match winner. Something to build on – he is capable of better numbers we know that.

Forgotten man at the moment – I think he’ll have his time again as per recent scouting. Back when he was over £4 I thought he had far too much to do but £1.21 or £1.53 now? It’s clear value for a talented strong trend fit player. Bayern wanted him for a reason.

Werner wasteful in the last two games but he’s getting so many chances you’d think his October/November form of 7 goals in 5 should continue soon. Looking better as per Scouting. 

Chilwell looking dangerous. He’s on my explosion imminent list for a reason. Could have scored and assisted here. Glad I picked him out at the right moment early this season.

He looks a consistent challenger worth even his current £2.12 to £2.38 particularly if you can really get that lower end bid. A bargain.



Key Players: Suso, Ocampos 

Punts: En-Nesyri, El Haddadi, de Jong, Rakitic

Youth: None

Suso is the main challenger but so far this season he is being consistently subbed off on 60-70 minutes. Playing full games he’d be in contention but he is yet to finish a full match all season. 

For a punt, Rakitic is bargain basement at 45p to 66p and is very capable of 3-4 very big scores over a season. Huge involvement here and we’ve seen him get shots away for Sevilla too.

Suso injured. Still really struggling for minutes. This is where I would worry about constant substitutions/rotations because in midfield he’s not quite strong enough to punch through unless he finishes the full game. 

Ocampos a real threat, should have scored. Long goal drought for him but it feels unlucky he’s getting chances. Could be of interest because he occasionally gets good transfer rumours.

Joan Jordan actually very close to winning despite neither scoring or assisting. He’s done well from crosses and key passes and general all round busy-ness. Can occasionally add a goal but it is very occasional in fact the last was over a year ago. This is why I didn’t cover him in the preview because the goalscorer is almost always going to beat him. 

Haddadi was dangerous. Usually is lately. Getting more chances than his 5 game goal drought lets on. Really not a bad IPD punt at 63p.

Match Day 3

Rakitic the star man. May be a surprise to some but it’s not that surprising really. I added him as a punt pick to the preview above because he often has a long range pop and when it flies in (1 every 8-10 games?) he is capable of a monster score.

For context he managed an unboosted 230 score here and it wasn’t even the matchwinner – it could be much higher.

Actually, this one was a rare header. But he does get at least one shot away per game at Sevilla. And definitely has the baselines to count.

These can be good punts because a star player can net you a big chunk of the 39p-65p buy price. Does require active trading – and of course, with 8 fixtures on a day like last night you would have to pick between 3-5 potential good punts.

A bit like Pizzi – it can be fine to go into a match day with 2-3 of them provided you got a cheap bid. At this stage, with plenty more European nights to come, the chances are you’ll find at least a few people interesting in making the punt ahead of the game.

The key is to do it well in advance of the game – so that you aren’t actually that late buyer punting on the day – that is the person who gets exploited generally.

Punt pick En-Nesyri added 2 goals from the bench. He replaced Haddadi and these two tend to share pitch time. At these bargain bucket 50-60p prices though that’s fine – as happened here they don’t need a full game to return nicely. Decent punts. 


Match Day 4

Sevilla have qualified for the knockouts comfortably with 2 games to spare. That means we can expect a bit of rotation from here.

They are providing more than their share of winners. Rakitic won in the last round and he was actually close again here netting the opener. Unlucky to be subbed early. A contender and he’s cheap at just 47p to 65p. Pretty good match day punt as per the Match Day 3 review.

This time it was El Haddadi winning the Forward category. I liked him in the Match Day 3 review as a decent punt option. The thing about these IPD punt options is that on a limited fixture day like this they can return more than just IPD – as Cuadrado holders will have discovered.

Going into a round of CL/Europa days with a 2-3 IPD punts is really not a bad idea for active traders – if you judge them right and get them on a low bid you are pretty much getting a shot to nothing. 

Just make sure that even if you are left holding them for some reason – there is a reason people will want to come back later – i.e they have another Europa game coming up.

En-Nesyri can be just as deadly as a punt – we may see him next time if Sevilla rotate and given they have qualified they probably will.



I’m not sure I’d really go for punts on this outside of the Krasnodar game, and perhaps if they drop to the Europa later. Terrier the best prospect – if he puts in some eye catching performances he could revive his career.

Key Players: None

Punts: Hunou, Niang, Bourigeaud 

Youth: Terrier, 

Unexciting and Krasnodar at home is probably Rennes best shot at big scores gone. Bourigeaud close as a punt. Terrier the best young prospect. 

Camavinga… well good baselines but poor threat and generally just not a player that looks FI suitable. A criminally high price tag that is extremely reliant on a transfer gamble. Pretty much the only way to win on this trade is to get out first. 

This is the sort of thing traders are going to learn to avoid in the Matching Engine – one bit of bad news can smash a price like this and if that happens there is little to fall back on in terms of real value. But old habits die hard, even bad ones.


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Match Day 4

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Yeah… no.

Key Players: None.

Punts: None.

Youth: None.

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Group F: Zenit, Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge

Should be a gift for Dortmund – players could rack up big scores here. Lazio should be runner up with Zenit dropping into the Europa and Brugge bottoming the group. In theory.

Borussia Dortmund

Key Players: Sancho, Brandt (though having pitch time trouble right now), Guerreiro, 

Punts: Emre Can, Reus, Thorgan, Meunier, 

Youth: Reyna (Not on FI), Bellingham (See scouting – more minutes than expected but are early good numbers fading? Getting tricky this one). 

Heavy defeat for Dortmund – a real blow especially since the start to the season has been mixed with that loss to Augsburg too. Will need some more convincing wins or market confidence could start to drain away.

However, the loss covers up some otherwise decent performance numbers in places.

Guerreiro in particular could have scored and put up elite level defender numbers overall. He’s already sitting on my explosion imminent list – this was a warning shot. One of those where the big score is just a matter of time if he maintains his usual level.

Sancho holders get a bit of encouragement – his numbers were a little better than we’ve seen overall. Not much threat though and standard match reports will savage him for a poor game (true of most Dortmund players to be fair). 

Like I said in scouting whilst another round of transfer hype can do good things for Sancho… I would be very worried about any lazy holders who are just assuming that things will play out exactly like last year. He’ll need to start performing soon or a little of the shine may wear off. Needs watching very closely if involved with this.

Reus back – off night as per most Dortmund players however the numbers are ok. I’m optimistic for him as a good veteran pick.

Haaland scored but… as ever it doesn’t get holders anywhere. £7+ IPD strikers are just not appealing. Holders are incredibly reliant on a big transfer link to the EPL appearing. A real gamble I wouldn’t to be involved with because there is just no key advantage you can get here.

Bellingham was poor and any early optimism has fizzled. In pre-season friendlies and the game vs Augsburg there were positive signs. In the last 5 appearances though he looks way off the pace because he isn’t even close to scoring. He’s got a big price tag to drag around and he does not look like justifying it.

Brandt limited to the bench again but when he came on his per minute numbers are top class. A sign of hope – but the doubt has never been about his ability. It’s about whether he is actually getting on the pitch. 

Some odd team selections going on at Dortmund at the moment and perhaps these mixed results will force a shake up. Are they trying just a little too hard to force youth through?

Dortmund back on track with a comfortable win over Zenit. Zenit were happy to give up possession so it gave Dortmund assets a great platform to shine on.

Sancho made the most of it – winning the midfield category with a solid 243 (unboosted). I noted in recent reviews that he has been improving although it’s fair to say that without the penalty he’d have struggled – he had no other chances. 

Had a really poor first half losing the ball an incredible 20 times. But he was much improved in the second. Good overall but holders will need to see his open play threat improve markedly.

As we saw with TAA the win hasn’t really stopped the bleeding. Most likely, many holders will look at it as a chance to get out which cancels out anyone buying because of the win.

But it definitely helps and if he can get another win sometime soon it might generate momentum. 

It shows the difficulty with players with these kinds of price tags – they just come under so much pressure to win big and win often. 

It may be that we can’t just rely on hype alone in this market to carry prices based on a far future transfer rumour. Last January for example I was ok to buy Sancho at £7-8 even though I knew he was rationally speaking overpriced. You could carry him to £12-15 from there on hype alone. I am not sure I would do that now. We’d need to see a much more confident market returning for that.

Similar deal with Foden in yesterday’s review – people just aren’t paying premium prices in hope of far future returns at the moment. It’s a big change that needs adapting to.

Captain Reus started again as he returns from injury. Really good numbers. If we see him win sometime soon it should not be a shock and for 80p to £1.01 I think he’s a great veteran punt for the coming month or two. Had he not been substituted a few minutes before the penalty he would probably have taken it giving him the matchwinner and a big score.

Debatable whether that beats Messi but if Reus finished the full game it’s possible. Point is – Reus was competitive. That would also have meant Sancho would have been an also ran – fine margins.

Guerreiro close again. Not his best game to watch but that doesn’t really hurt his FI numbers. If he isn’t the strongest defender on FI right now… he’s not far off.

Match Day 3

Routine win for Dortmund, sending them top of the group and leaving little doubt about their progression to the knockouts.

Big threat from Haaland with a brace. Actually unlucky as if he had the matchwinner he would have run Messi close. But this is the Haaland problem – he has to do so much just to get into contention which is unforgivable in a player this expensive. Holders are so dependant on a big transfer link strengthening. 

A second start for Thorgan Hazard as he makes his return. Gets the matchwinner, nice strike. Pretty good display – as reported previously he is a bit soft for midfield but I think the market has got too gloomy on him in his absence. A bid under £1 is cheap for a Dortmund regular.

Brandt playing more and more. Not a good performance, his last game was better where he got 3 attempts. No threat this time. Generally tidy play as you’d expect but has to improve. High potential though if he gets going and I think picking him up on a cheap bid is a great trade.

If you can get anything close to £1.20 or so… he’s only 24 so either he establishes at Dortmund or moves on elsewhere where he could do well. 

Guerreiro continues to look strong with another decent game.

Match Day 4

Qualification all but assured for Dortmund. Rotation should come giving fringe players and the currently out of favour a chance to impress.

Haaland close again with 2 goals including the matchwinner. You could make a reasonable case that it’s bad luck because whilst he is worse than average for overall numbers it is possible to just bludgeon your way through with so many goals.

I’m more of the view that he is constantly at risk of being a nearly man even on big days because an average forward can beat him with just 1 goal. He’s not losing because of bad luck – he’s losing because he’s significantly worse than average when it comes to building FI baselines. Bear in mind he’s scored 2 and the matchwinner here and he only has 215 (without the boost). This is just unacceptable for such an expensive player in my opinion.

He has so much to do to compete and that will tell over the long term. 

But occasional wins are possible when better strikers misfire. Really is all about that transfer and it’s a gamble on that. It’s fairly easy to take advantage of the over optimism of other traders here as discussed recently, and you probably still can for a while. It’s just about knowing not to push it too far.

Sancho holders can probably feel aggrieved to narrowly miss out because he’s so close here. The value can be questioned at times but I haven’t questioned his ability to win. He started the season poorly in reality and for FI but as per recent scouting he’s improved for both purposes. 

That continues here and it’s a really good display with threat, assist potential and a solid all round contribution.  

Finally looking up for holders and whilst the best chance to pick him up has clearly gone at £8.39 to £8.98 we’re not quite yet in “people have lost their minds again” territory. 

A bit like Haaland, it probably can be juiced further but I think it’s a poor trader who truly believes it is all going to work out perfectly from here. The best traders will be picking their moments to trade in and out over the coming years.

Guerreiro competitive again if not in the score in the underlying numbers. Standard as per recent Scouting.

Big baseline from Bellingham. Generally speaking we are seeing him back in his traditional deep role where it can be a struggle. But you know what, he is making some forward runs particularly in the softer games. Getting a few chances even with some limited minutes lately. Could actually win one of these days (I’d currently give him 3 out of 5 stars given the limited pitch time.)

And a win could have a big emotional pull on traders. Still expensive at £2.97 to £3.22 but that’s better than £4.94 a few months back.

I was expecting him to really struggle but with his decent Dortmund numbers and a reduced price tag, I’ve warmed to him. There is better value out there but… this could be a lot worse.

Things may be looking up for the whole Hazard family. Thorgan has struggled this season and has been out with injury but he’s back and starting. Good display, competitive numbers. He’s an occasional winner not a powerhouse but at 68p to 82p I think people are far too pessimistic on a good Dortmund player.



Just one target really – if you can find one who has a shot in a shot fixture like vs Brugge plus a transfer rumour it might be worth it.

Key Players: Malcom (Once one of Europe’s hottest properties now in exile in Russia – will likely get transfer rumours at some stage. Performance suitable and cheap). 

Punts: None

Youth: None

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A very settled side… not difficult to know the main men here.

Key Players: Immobile, Alberto, 

Punts: Milinkovic-Savic, 

Youth: None

As per the preview Lazio are a settled side and dare I say it, a little boring to review because not much seems to change. However boring is fine provided the key players are value and that is true.

It was indeed Immobile  who provided the goal and even added an assist. He could have had 2 goals with his chances. A really solid pick and the best seems yet to come this season he’s doing fine and not even in particularly good form yet.

Alberto too – he’s just got the kind of numbers that makes the next big score all but inevitable. The only thing you can do if interested is sign him up before that happens – not after.

Corona is rampant in the Lazio squad, knocking out 9 players including key men Immobile and Alberto

Given that a 1-1 away draw is probably not a bad result and given they beat Dortmund they should comfortably qualify. 2 decent games coming up against Zenit in the CL with Juventus and Crotone either side of the international break. Favourable fixtures overall. 

But we’re struggling for great targets outside of the 2 above. 

Apart from Savic but that’s more of a transfer punt.

Lazio seem a bit dry for performance prospects at the moment with their key men Immobile and Alberto out, along with many, due to a covid outbreak in the squad.

Both, when back though, make for very strong targets and if them being out has dropped the price it creates big value opportunities. Immobile for £1.27 right now is almost a sad joke that has a very high chance of rebounding.

Savic has been consistently playing and he has been looking solid recently. Good baselines and getting consistent chances. He could blow up one of these days although he is more 3 out of 5 stars which is occasional challenger rather than performance powerhouse.

However he has a long anticipated big transfer so at 84p this looks a snip. 

Match Day 4

As discussed before Lazio can make for a dull review as not much really changes. But there is a lot to be said for consistency and predictability!

Immobile duly bored us with two goals and wasn’t too far off the win. He isn’t the worlds best performance player but at the price that can be forgiven. The IPD is great and he should bag some occasional wins – £1.46 is a steal – by rights he should be at minimum £2, even up towards £2.50.

And again predictably – Alberto is about two inches of goalkeeping glove away from a very, very big score here. Playing his usual game the chances of him getting a huge score are high and his £1.79 is value. I peg him 3.5 out of 5 stars… current form that is more like 4 out of 5 stars.

Lazio are not quite home and dry, most likely they lose to Dortmund then have a winner takes all clash with Brugge which they should win. If not, they drop to the Europa which is no bad thing for Lazio at all. In fact, possibly favourable.


Club Brugge

Key Players: None

Punts: Vanaken (Beautiful performance numbers. Will he get to show them in this group? Tough ask). 

Youth: Diatta, Dennis (but neither actually on FI! Mentioned in case they get IPO’d.)

Punt pick Vaneken did end up winning it. These more obscure picks aren’t going to be for everyone but it does show how lucrative it can be to pick one of these out. 

When we can find an exceptionally good performance player like this and pick them up for 30 to 53p… the dividend return is just huge. Provided you are getting low bids to start with I think confident traders do well here. 

And when I said beautiful performance numbers in the preview above I wasn’t kidding… he has won here without a goal or assist. Incredible. Problem is it is a tough group but backing him for the home tie vs Zenit again would seem a good move.

Or… buying him sometime soon hoping other people buy ahead of that Zenit clash in early December given he’s now set a benchmark.

Match Day 2

Goal for Vaneken again from the penalty spot, he’s a punt pick who won in Match Day 1. He’s no random winner – he’s an exceptional performance player and had this been the matchwinner Vanaken could well have won the midfield category yet again.

He remains a good punt, particuarly for the December clash with Zenit.

Match Day 3

Goal for Vaneken again from the penalty spot, he’s a punt pick who won in Match Day 1. He’s no random winner – he’s an exceptional performance player and had this been the matchwinner Vanaken could well have won the midfield category yet again.

He remains a good punt, particuarly for the December clash with Zenit.

Match Day 4

No comments


Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencváros

A clash of two titans here but it should just be a contest to see who finishes 1st or 2nd. Tough games when facing each other but in Dynamo they have a really weak opponent to bully. And even weaker – Ferencvaros.

Should be some big scores coming out of this group and holders of Juventus / Barcelona players will be happy with this draw.


Key Players: Ronaldo, Dybala, Sandro, Szczesny, 

Punts: Morata, Ramsey (if playing), 

Youth: Chiesa, Kulusevski, McKennie, Demiral,  

Brace for Morata – as per Scouting this weekend I think he is seriously under rated as an IPD player. And he wasn’t far away from a performance dividend here either. 

3 goals in 2 and if he can become a regular fixture in this side he could easily pull in enough IPD to warrant £1.30 to £1.50. Makes a mockery of his 64p to 78p price tag.

Chiesa was a real bright spark and looks to be establishing in the side quickly. Looks well in contention for wins. Shame for holders he is banned domestically. But I think any buyers picking him up at £1.65 which is probably even lower because of the ban are going to end up happy.

Dybala lightly introduced from the bench after a period on the sidelines. I expect him to be an FI powerhouse when he gets going. Admirers will want to pick him up sooner rather than later because big scores are likely once he’s fit.

Kulusevki was poor for FI purposes again even adjusted per minute as he was subbed. His worst level of involvement. However, it was also his most threatening game. 

He remains capable of a good score but as per Scouting I am concerned that his price tag brings a lot of pressure and the numbers aren’t good enough to back that up right now. And there are just better options at the club. 

If you want quality you’d go Dybala and if you wanted high potential youth you’d go for the cheaper Chiesa. 

Match Day 2

Another poor Juventus performance, Pirlo is going to be under pressure before long.

We can credit Morata (maybe?) for no less than 3 disallowed goals. Shows he is getting into the right areas at least and since he started at Juventus the threat has been very strong. I like the pick. One to recycle for IPD and try to refresh that 30 day window.

Dybala was poor to watch like pretty much all Juventus players however it’s a decent set of numbers overall, minus some goal threat. Which he had in abundance in the previous game. 

I’m confident on him. Only really a total Juventus collapse, unexpected rotation or extreme bad luck can prevent him from putting up some big scores sometime soon.

Some weak numbers here from Chiesa. Early days for him. Performances have been encouraging overall and this was a tough game. For the money his potential is high and Juventus have much kinder fixtures to come – particularly the next two CL games against minnows Ferencvaros. If he’s not doing much better by then it would be worth re-evaluating. But I’d remain optimistic for now.

Kulusevski poor. Really struggling to show anything close to the numbers you need in midfield. Nice goal last game and performances have been mostly good to watch. Chiesa hasn’t quite proven it either yet but the difference for me is that Chiesa is much cheaper so has less pressure, and is also a forward so it’s an easier category.

Match Day 3

Morata. A player transformed. His Chelsea days were awful. Atletico better. At Juventus he’s a machine. 

Another two goals here making 6 in his last 6 games. And were it not for the offside flag he could have many more. Looks a real danger and this is why I’ve been banging the drum for him as a fantastic IPD rotation option.

In this market he still is and if you can get him under 80p it’s just unbelievable value.

Dybala came off the bench to replace Morata and had a much better game than he did last time. He added the third goal and was a threat throughout. Per minute his numbers are good as we expect. Pitch time his only trouble – if he plays – the big scores will come.

Chiesa has quickly become a regular with consistently good displays. No goal yet but he’s getting his chances. Numbers are decent if not spectacular, currently perhaps 3 out of 5 stars to 3.5 out of 5 stars. But can improve and he is cheap for such a young player who is becoming a Juventus and Italy regular.

Match Day 4

Juventus have comfortably qualified for the knockouts – so we may see rotation and fringe players feature in the next rounds.

Juventus struggled vs Ferencvaros – more goals were expected. But they did dominate the game. 

Veteran Cuadrado took advantage, a big spoiler for Sancho holders. We can’t say he didn’t warn us with a 249 score just this weekend gone. He can do really well at right back when Juventus have a soft fixture. 

The last two have been a big improvement on his usual. He’s not a player I’d have punted on – it’s a bit awkward being a midfielder playing from defence it puts you in a tough bracket. Has been magnificient in the last two though. 

Would I go for it again now? Hmm. 3 soft fixtures are coming up. You can’t say a 73p bid if you can get it is poor value. I tend not to do this though with an occasional winner type – there could be plenty who are keen to get out of this and you can easily find yourself dumped on. 

I think this is the sort of player you need to punt on before the win and if you miss it just leave it alone. That’s what I’d do here because it’s a good principle in general. Cuadrado is good though and we cannot rule out further wins. 

Dybala was really disappointing. So inconsistent – last game he looked great again. Puts pitch time in doubt although with Juventus qualified he may get those games. Silver lining – in FI terms the numbers are strong per minute and he’s competitive pretty much whenever he plays, even if he’s playing badly to watch. 

That’s nice – but life isn’t all run by spreadsheets and if he’s not playing well he’s not going to get enough minutes to compete regularly.

In trading terms though the odds of an eventual bounce back are high even if that needs a transfer – a £2.04 bid is clearly far too negative. 

Kroos and Hazard showed us how fast an out of favour player can recover with just one good performance. And those price rises can be a whopping percentage.

Morata continues his fine form with another goal from the bench. Looks like scoring most games at the moment and occasional big scores are possible. One of the best IPD rotation picks around and it is a madness that he remains at 79p to 87p. 

People are often really adverse to former EPL flops and can’t seem to get their head around the fact that things have changed – this can be abused to get a high IPD return for cheap.



Key Players: Messi, Coutinho, Alba,

Punts: Griezmann (Could be Key but struggling in early season), Pjanic, 

Youth: Fati, Dembelé, Trincao, Dest 

A thrashing of Ferencvaros as expected with the most obvious key man benefiting – Messi

Really welcome for holders as per this weeks scouting – his numbers were looking a little ropey under Koeman and at his age he needed a big win soon to maintain optimism. He got it. I’d say keep a close eye on this as it was a very soft game and he will need to do better in the League than we have seen.

This game made everyone look good to be fair but it was indeed Fati and Coutinho who looked the best of it. Coutinho looks like an FI powerhouse and could be grossly undervalued. He was arguably Barca’s best player.

This is the first time we’ve seen Pjanic get serious minutes. He dominated and baselines should be huge however the threat was disappointingly non-existant. Price is rock bottom though and we know he is capable of long range efforts – if 4-5 of these go in per season he could put up some monstrous scores. Worth monitoring at least.

Really encouraging 62 mins for Trincao showing strong numbers, though it’s the softest fixture you’ll ever see. Done his chance of more minutes no harm though.

Same for Dembelé who had a magic 30 minutes scoring and assisting, seeing plenty of the ball. Again – if he can stay fit and hit his usual level pre-injury he will look very undervalued.

Dest impressive again here. As per scouting I rate him and £1.27 is looking more and more of a steal the more we see of him. And the fact he seems comfortable on the left or right makes more minutes even more likely.

Youngster Pedri also came on to score – really promising both in terms of the real performance which means he can get more minutes plus the FI numbers are solid too. Only problem will be getting him for any kind of reasonable price at IPO, especially now he’s started scoring.

Sterner tests to come but huge potential value in this side.

Big result for Barcelona. If they don’t qualify from here it would be an utter disaster. Lots of value in this team right now. 

The only question mark is the uncertainty surrounding the resignation of the President and all the politics that come with that. But… it can’t get much worse than it has been, right? Right?

Messi sweeps it again. In Scouting at the weekend I was pleased for holders that the early shaky numbers under Koeman had improved and felt big scores were incoming. Here is another. 

This is important for holders because at his age holders are going to need regular reassurance from consistent wins. Currently no reason to believe they will not keep coming.

Ousmané Dembelé got the matchwinner and just as importantly put in a strong all round performance that will help his ause for more starts. Good numbers especially since he was subbed off on 69 minutes. 

As I’ve long reported here he’s an FI contender when fit and whilst his comeback has been slow after so long out the signs are encouraging. Still just £1.45 on a bid – it’s a good pick up.

Sign of life for Griezmann? Much better performance and the FI numbers were strong although he did get punished for a big chance missed and some unusually sloppy passing. New buyers will need a lot of convincing after all his struggles though. 

I actually like the pick up for £1.15 – but by now it is more in hope of a transfer to a good club like PSG where he can really let loose. And if that combines with Euro 2020 he could easily fly. Some way off, though.

Coutinho unfortunately sidelined – probably returns after the international break. A shame because it breaks his momentum but for none holders that bid has dropped under £2 now. It’s a criminal undervaluation with the numbers Coutinho has been posting. 

Youngster Pedri is flourishing under Koeman. Another strong display. Continues to look a decent FI player particularly if classed as a forward (it could go either way). Should be significant hype on his eventual IPO.

Pjanic has massive baselines at Barcelona and that’s likely to be consistent. Had a couple of long range cracks too. We could see 4-5 goals in a good season and when they go in he has the potential to post a monster score. 

Requires a bit of patience when you are picking him up for under £1 (In fact there is no bid price right now!) you can afford to wait a little while.

Alba on his second game back after injury. Superb. Massive involvement and a big chance to score. Seems much improved under Koeman. Would make a good punt for these soft upcoming CL fixtures against Dynamo Kiev.

Match Day 3

A win is a win and they should have a comfortable procession to the knockouts from here with an 8 point lead. That means we can expect rotation in the upcoming ties with Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros – good for some of the youngsters who need pitch time like Dembelé or Trincao

But probably bad for the regulars like Messi who’ll likely get rested.

Dynamo made it hard though and it was not a convincing display, though the FI relevant numbers were good.

As proven by Messi who won, yet again. As per the previous reviews – there were valid early jitters about Messi’s FI prospects under Koeman but they could be put to bed 2-3 games ago. Looks as solid as ever.

Griezmann was poor both to watch and in the stats. Couldn’t finish into a practically open net.

After a decent game or two recently. Just never seems to get going for him at Barca – he can show a flash of what we know he is capable of but then just have another poor game next time out. 

Still, this is probably the best thing for holders. There is hope for a big Griezmann price rise but he’ll need to drop on that big transfer to get it. With Barcelona heavily in debt offloading Griezmann somewhere like PSG is looking more and more attractive. And he could do really well there.

Fati was really good here, and unlucky not to score with 5 efforts with great chances amongst them. Did chip in with an assist. Frankly – it’s incredible he is figuring so much and doing so well at just 18. Massively overperforming expectations – which is just as well given he has a big price to justify. But he’s doing about as much as can possibly be hoped for. 

Looks a regular contender for dividends and he was unlucky not to score big last game too.

I have just nearly always disliked the price but my word.. if you can get that insane £3.41 bid matched today I’d take that all day. It would be amazing if that price stayed so low for such a popular player with a Blue Button price of £6.30. Jaw dropping. 

Dembelé good value for his 30 minute appearance. Looked energetic and had 3 attempts in that time. I’d look out for him for these upcoming soft European games where he could start. A good pick well in range of wins given a full game.

Same would apply to Trincao as a general comment though we didn’t see much of him here. As per the last match report though he did well vs Ferencvaros. 

The full backs Alba and Dest continue to look in contention in this Koeman setup as per recent reviews. . Alba looks better for FI but Dest is sexier. Alba for the punter, Dest for the long term holder. 

Match Day 4

Barcelona are through to the knockouts, so we’ll likely see heavy rotation next time and the youngsters should get a chance.

Nice win for Dest – I’ve been keen on him in Scouting and in the preview. Very clearly performance suitable – he can be a regular challenger. I put him in my ratings at 3 out of 5 stars with up to 3.5 out of 5 stars for potential. 

If we start to see him as a regular I’d go for the upper end of that, he’s better than most decent performance players. 

He was a real bargain not long ago and could be picked up for under £1! These kind of profits can be huge, vastly outstripping the big boys when it comes to raw percentage gains. Fortunately, he was starting from a low base so even now after a win at £1.24 to £1.35 I’d still call that a great pickup.

Trincao played well and we could see him again in the next CL fixture. Could have scored – we’re yet to see the first goal but it’s coming if he keeps this up. Strong level of involvement for a forward. A very capable winner with a goal and could be a really strong FI player in future.

Obviously he has developing to do but, finally, we are not always paying silly prices for promising youth on FI. This is how it should be – at a 98p to £1.25 pick up we’re getting great value on a longer term prospect. Yes a young player can fail but we’re finally getting prices that balance that risk with the potential reward. 

He is very capable of a big score now if he plays and with Barcelona qualified he’ll likely get more opportunities.

Alena was dominant in the middle of the park and wasn’t far away from a win without goal or assist. Has really struggled for pitch time but he may be another who gets another run out in the next CL games. Really does lack the threat to punch through though so I suspect he’s relying on other midfielders having an off day. I’m not super keen but at just 49p to 65p you can’t say it’s poor value at all.

Coutinho had a good game, lovely numbers again. Really is a top, top FI player that is yet to show it recently. I peg him at 4 out of 5 stars which is very high by my harsh standards.

An absurd bargain at £1.24 to £1.53 – if anyone is selling at that price I really wouldn’t know what to tell them. He’d have to get some god awful luck not to do well from there.

Goal for Griezmann off the bench. As per recent scouting he’s not been short of chances and this goal drought looked an anomaly. Decent numbers too. It’s not impossible we see him with a big score sometime soon. I think the transfer is the best reason to hold him though.


Dynamo Kiev

Only really one name to consider

Key Players: Tsygankov (performance suitable young player – should get big transfer rumours at some stage again. Could do well in the games vs Ferencvaros.)

Punts: None

Youth: None

Tsygankov bags a goal from the penalty spot. Tough fixtures next vs Barcelona and Juventus. Though the home tie to Ferencvaros in December could be a good chance for him.

He’s mainly a good future transfer pick up. Just 69p though I think a patient trader could end up happy. I’d look at those Juventus and Barcelona games as a chance for him to perform on a big stage.

Match Day 3

Tsygankov scores vs Barca. Hitting great form this season and looks dangerous. This is quietly helpful for holders – he’s unlikely to be winning vs Barca but he’s getting goals on his CV which helps his transfer rumours along for later.

Has Shakhtar up next which is a decent fixture for him. 

Match Day 4

No comments



No. Just no.

Key Players: None.

Punts: None

Youth: None

No comments.

Group H: Paris, Manchester United, Leipzig, İstanbul Başakşehir

PSG heavy favourites in both algorithm and betting – makes sense. Manchester United favourites to qualify in the betting but the algorithm gives Leipzig the better chance.

On current form I’d have to agree with the algorithm – but the mood on a team can change with just a few results. 

It’s a tight group – but holders from these teams can console themselves with the fact that Basaksehir are likely to get thrashed. 

Big points scoring opportunity for teams facing them – and PSG, Manchester United and Leipzig should at least get into the Europa knockouts barring absolute disaster.


Key Players: Neymar, Di Maria, Marquinhos, Navas

Punts: Icardi, Rafinha (Maybe, will monitor first games), Sarabia, 

Youth: Moise Kean (Interesting IPD option now as an Icardi back up… with the price having crashed this is no longer the madness it used to be), 

Note: Mbappé an obvious omission but… he’s just not that strong and certainly not strong enough for the money. It would be in the latter stages of the CL where he’d be more likely to do some damage with more limited competition. Can always pull out a hatrick but… long odds to bet on for a high price. It’s really more about a transfer as to whether his price can sustain. 

Bad result for PSG although to be fair they were missing plenty of key players.

As per scouting the only thing to say about Neymar is that he looks like challenging for dividends pretty much every game he plays. 

We saw a +300 on October 2nd and the only surprise is we have not seen more big scores so far. Premiums like this are by no means essential but a personal bug bear of mine is seeing people pile into them after a win. When a win is this likely – we should just sign them up or don’t and either is fine – but we should never chase it afterwards.

Mbappé close as you would expect. Particularly on limited fixture days like CL nights he’s got a big chance. But for the price I just can’t advocate it. It is a gamble on the transfer being the EPL and if that’s outside the EPL… holders are in serious trouble in the Matching Engine when one bit of bad news can cut a price in half. Incredible you see so many people on social media backing Mbappé as a sure thing when it so clearly is not.

Routine victory for PSG but any joy is tainted by the loss of Neymar to an adductor injury. 

No news yet but it’s probably going to keep him out until after the international break. Injuries are costly right now because even a week out can cost you 2-3 games.

When fit he is going to keep putting up big scores again and again more than likely. But he will need to get going soon – it’s a Euro’s year and as we get into 2021 not having that as a late season reason to hold will start be chipping away at a player’s price. A deep run in the CL for PSG might mitigate that, though.

In the game itself Moise Kean was leading for a while having bagged a two goals. 

188 though with two goals and the matchwinner… it’s why I am really not keen. He is really poor in terms of overall numbers. When you need a hatrick just to win you are in real trouble.  

As an IPD pick he’d be ok if starting regularly. Icardi is back soon though. I’d be wary of buying in this burst of optimism. I guess a bid of £1.57 isn’t terrible but. If you want IPD there are so many more reliable ways to get it that don’t come with a big risk of disappointment and a price drop.

*edit in response to a member query* – As per the original preview above, I liked Kean as an IPD punt early – but this was when he was unpopular and cheap. Now he’s performed and gained in popularity and price I’d be looking to take the profit because there are clearly better targets available for the money that carry less risk. 

Mbappé can never be counted out on these European nights, especially with limited competition. The threat is high and the numbers are good enough to win. You just pay through the nose for it. And if that Real Madrid transfer ever drops ruling out an EPL move… that could be messy. Big risk to run.

Neymar’s injury should be good for Sarabia. Decent cheap punt pick – he can return decent IPD for just 59p and is capable of big scores – as we saw recently with his 288 vs Nimes on 16th October.

Di Maria is never far away and can win at anytime. Have to be a bit twitchy on him though by this point in the calendar – mainly because he does not have a contract stitched up for next season.

Match Day 3

Bad result for PSG who were punished for poor finishing and played with 10 men from the 69th minute (finishing the game with 9 men). 

Still have a decent chance of qualifying (50/50 according to the fivethirtyeight.com algorithm) and should at least drop into the Europa barring total disaster. 

But the fact we are even discussing that shows how miserable it is. Coach Tuchel may be on his way out. 

Di Maria scored early, the nmissed a penalty. On another night this could have been one of those times Di Maria blew FI scoring away. He’s well capable and is something of a site favourite from last season who could deliver huge profits. 

But things change – he still doesn’t have a contract beyond this season and whilst that stays true I think it’s a brave trader who punts on him. 

Moise Kean added an assist. Still has threat. Still a woeful performance player who probably needs a hatrick to win. In the preview I liked the punt but he was unpopular and cheap after his time at Everton. But I would have sold after his spell of hype as discussed here. 

Bid dropping to £1.36 now – hard to tell whether that is because Kean didn’t deliver here or because the market is on a downer in general. Probably a combination. I’d probably let it drop a bit more but closer to £1 he’d be a good pickup again.

Marquinhos is quiet recently – but not really any better or worse than he used to be when people were happy to pay £2+ for him. Quality player and he has no bid price, if you can get him for £1.50 I’d consider that a good pickup. 

It was a PSG side devoid of quality with Neymar, Mbappé, Icardi and Verratti all out injured, so maybe it is not all Tuchel’s fault. 

Match Day 4

PSG needed this win badly. Probably still need a result against Man United and then to beat Istanbul. I don’t think they will take dropping to the Europa well and it may dent the prestige of Neymar/Mbappé in traders minds. 

Though – they might change their mind if they see PSG lining up against some weak Europa outfits it’s not a total disaster.

They may have won but they won ugly – giving up tons of possession to Leipzig which is really strange for them. Haven’t had possession this low since they played Bayern. 

This limited the prospects for big scores and not even Neymar was immune. He got the matchwinning penalty but could still muster just 191 (unboosted). Usually with a matchwinner he can push well over 250 which is what makes him so lethal. We can usually expect him to blow it away, and I’m sure he will in future. 

Judging by the price there must be some dummies out there who think “oh no, he only scored 238 (boosted) with the matchwinner! Better sell him to chase <insert rising player>”. 

In fact it makes it a good time to pick him up for under £7. I think looking at the droppers on the market some are overreacting and chasing rises – selling good players like Neymar who may just be next weeks winner in order to chase last weeks winner. It’s self defeating stuff as covered in State of the Market this week.

Not really any other challenges here on a poor day for PSG despite the crucial win – but for the next rounds the usual suspects from the preview and previous match reviews haven’t really changed.


Manchester United

Key Players: Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, 

Punts: Telles, Cavani, Martial, De Beek, Pogba (Getting less silly the more the price drops but… still not keen)

Youth: Greenwood (price questionable… even after a drop. Not an obvious mistake anymore after a price drop but not brilliant value either).

If a match day goes by without a Bruno penalty we’ll start getting shocked.

Looking close to wins every game and pipped only narrowly by Vanaken. Notably – United had little possession this game and this is a much lower score than we can usually expect for him with a goal. 

Big scores always count for something so holders shouldn’t be too upset they missed out – the consistency is dragging people back to him. 

The other story is Rashford who bagged media. I’ve said a few times recently that he looks undervalued. These really obvious England key players are always going to come back into fashion especially when they are still just 22. He’s not an FI powerhouse but he’s good enough where even a small improvement in the next few years could see him doing well. Similar story for players like Kane and Sterling.

I’ve also been optimistic on Telles over in scouting and based on this first game I am even more confident.

Got well forward and is already taking corners. If we factor in the low possession game… his numbers look very promising. We’ll need to see him in an easier game to see the full potential. But looking positive. 

Was only 3 days ago in scouting I thought £1.36 looked reasonable.. we’re probably lucky to get £1.65 now best case. But… now we’ve seen him there are real reasons to be more confident so I would say that is still a good price.

Big night for Rashford. Unfortunate for holders that this came from the bench because on a normal day he probably beats Messi here. 

All is not lost though because it’s boosted optimism for him in general. I’ve said for a while he looks undervalued. And I consider Sterling and Kane to be quite similar here. 

If you want the big ticket England international – you want to get them when they are down rather than on the way up. And the chances are they will indeed do something to get back onto people’s radars before too long. 

People also seem happier to reward a more reliable player like this at the moment rather than something more speculative like Sancho.

In general, numbers weren’t brilliant for United and RBL had a lot of possession. 5-0 seems flattering.

It was a surprising line up with both Rashford and Fernandes rested. Pogba and De Beek starting. Fernandes did not take the penalty but apparently that is a thing where the designated penalty takers at the start of the game take the penalty. So it shouldn’t upset his status as the main taker normally.

Pogba played pretty well although… looks nowhere near a win here. Really poor numbers. He is capable of better though. Per minute his performances vs Newcastle and Chelsea were better. Looks really devoid of threat though. Bleak. The price slide continues and it’s fair.

De Beek made his first start. Needs to see more of the ball although most United players are guilty of that. Two glimmers of hope – his passing was very tidy and he had one good chance to score. The playing position is good. Would be very interesting to see him in a more dominant game for United. 

The problem holders have is that he’s been introduced slowly and patience is this market is wafer thin especially with new players at new clubs. Traders are seeking safety rather than unknowns. And yet if still holding by now at £1.75 most of the damage is done already and that feels very cheap to sell for. 

A headache and like with another new player above Havertz there is no easy answer. There is enough there to suggest he may come good. But he’s under pressure and if he hasn’t put up a big score in the next few games he’s going to struggle.

Match Day 3

Utterly abysmal result at a bad time for OGS – really under pressure now. 

I did an extended United review in Scouting this week and as I say there as long as this OGS uncertainty continues misery for United assets will be here to stay whether they are any good or not.

However United assets are rarely out of fashion long – and it could set them up for a bounce back if a manager that inspires optimism is lined up. The latest gossip is that Pochettino is being sounded out. I think he’s a manager people will expect to improve United.

The result is more a psychological blow than anything though. In terms of qualifiation with wins against PSG and Leipzig banked they are still strong favourites to progress even if that is in the Europa. 

And the result too is far worse than the performance numbers. United still dominated possession which helped them and some players show good stuff here.

Bruno, obviously. No player is coming out of a traditional match report here well but in FI terms these are good numbers as usual.

Giving the ball away is a problem although it is not unusual for him to get around 75-80% passing accuracy – he does try aggressive passes and you don’t always land them. It helps him more often than not. 4 efforts on goal too he’s not just about penalties. Really no sign of a drop off in output it’s more sentiment on United and a lack of recent goal that is giving him a hard time.

Mixed for De Beek. Much more withdrawn. Saw lots of the ball and was very tidy, rarely misplacing a pass. Very tidy baseline play but never in danger of a goal. Given the right position he could be good. But he looks like a player who has not yet found a consistent role in this side. 

Shaw was surprisingly good in the scoring, racking up 157 which is impressive when losing. Did well out of crossing/assists particularly. Seems like an over performance as to his usual and I’m not keen on him particularly because Telles is breathing down his neck. 

Rashford solid enough but no threat here. But he’s proven enough consistency on that front over time – it’s not a real worry. 

Here is an example of the sort of player who might easily get a “Poch bounce” if the manager is changed. So may someone like Bruno but Bruno would probably need to do something to reassure first – i.e win under Poch or take a penalty.

Where as Rashford… he might just get natural backing at a £4.65 price given the media appeal as a perceived safety net. Good time to pick him up again.

Match Day 4

Remember in the last review after the abysmal loss and on social media many  were losing their minds about Manchester United players? Bruno was dead. Rashford was dead. Everything was miserable. 

Not so – a few decent results have turned that around. And as per the last match review – the numbers and therefore their chances of winning on FI hadn’t really changed that much.

You need the results sure but these can change fast, whether that is under OGS or someone else. 

We have to remember this so that we are prepared in future not to wildly over react to a change in sentiment – we should pay attention to it but it’s important that we decide whether it’s a game changer or just a temporary issue.

Nobody proves that better than Bruno who smashed it here in just 60 minutes and he generously gave Rashford the penalty and didn’t need it. He does get a big boost from penalties but he isn’t totally penalty reliant which is great. 

Penalty reliant players can be brittle because if one day they lose them they are suddenly in trouble. That’s not going to totally kill off Bruno. And anyway he should be back on penalties – he did it as a favour because Rashford needed a goal. What a good lad.

Anyway if he had completed the game or decided to take the penalty he is almost certainly star player and blows Cuadrado/Sancho out of the water. Did at least take the media dividend as a consolation prize – and that versatility is why he deserves his big price tag.

Is he the cheapest? Nope. The best value? Nope. Is he reliable and well worth his £8.34 or £8.78 as a core pick? Yes. And you could comfortably justify £12 in this dividend structure at current performance levels. Though it will be a while before people feel the need to pay that there is too much value available.

De Beek has gone from awkward fringe player to the new Scholes in one performance vs a soft team. Apparently. He won media last night which is nice for holders. 

Great performance for him –  in FI terms it’s very tidy high baseline stuff but it’s lacking threat. He is well capable of goals but if he’s always asked to sit this deep… it may not be enough. Still, the improvement in form will get holders a nice boost if he keeps starting… and with another game or two we’ll be better placed to see whether he can be a contender or not.

Rashford a big threat and not just with the penalty. Solid player I think and at a £4.50 bid I don’t think there will better chances to pick him up unless you are able to time travel back a few weeks.

Cavani dangerous. Could have scored. Looked good. 69p punt? I mean you’ve got potential IPD there and media too it might be a good shorter term move.

He’s looking good I Telles ya. Very creative, advanced playing position. Taking corners. Early promise is becoming consistent. £1.37 bid or close to that looks solid value.

Still tough for United it’s a hard group with PSG and Leipzig to come but they can afford to lose one of those. Worst case and they drop into the Europa? Not awful as they could crush some weak sides there.


RB Leipzig

Key Players: Olmo, Angelino, Upamecano, 

Punts: Poulsen, Sabitzer, Forsberg (if starting), 

Youth: Hwang Hee-Chan, Kluivert, Nkunku


Nice win for Angelino. He’s sitting on my explosion imminent list for a reason. In scouting this weekend I discussed how with defenders I tend to focus on the real statistical freaks. Angelino is that and I’ve been picking that out ever since his bench warming days at City when he was under £1. 

£1.83 now and you can’t say he isn’t worth it. I highlighted his incredible threat in the last two scouting reports and whilst 2 goals is clearly a rare and fortunate event, we can be confident in him to score, and assist, consistently to get himself into contention for wins.

Olmo was ok per minute, hooked off just under the 70 minute mark. No goals so far but that is surprising – he’s got threat and the baselines to make it count. 

Nkunku still looks way off the pace. I liked him at £1.68 as a punt but that bid price has crept up to £1.83 and he hasn’t done much to justify it. Clearly better than the madness of him being £3+. Maybe people are “following the peak” as discussed in State of the Market – lazy, and dangerous, assumptions that players will return to previous highs. 

Many will – but they’ll generally have to be good enough because lots of other players are going to show their quality in the glut of match days to come and steal attention.

As above the scoreline looks bad but there are some decent numbers underneath the hood. Leipzig are at real risk of dropping out of the CL but very like to go into the Europa. That may end up being better for them anyway.

In general they are a team in good form and this looks like something of a blip.

Olmo continues to look good and looks like the focal point of this team now. Huge involvement and he gets chances usually despite what we saw last night. We should see some good scores from him. 

Upamecano was run ragged. Does that kill his hopes of his big move, possibly to Old Trafford? Well. That will be the gossip but I am not sure professionals are going to write off one of the most hotly tipped CB’s in the game for one bad performance. His baselines are great and over the last 4 he’s had some insane goal threat. 

Angelino was pretty toothless here but that is unusual. Across the last 5 he’s been lethal, netting 4 times. In the defender category that’s just not fair and he’s got a real advantage.

I’d keep an eye out for Sabitzer who is returning after injury. Only on from the bench here and didn’t do much but in the weekend’s game he scored a penalty. Capable player that is under the radar at the moment and therefore has a value price. But could easily make a comeback. 

Match Day 3

Good win for Leipzig which they needed after getting tonked by Manchester United – gives them a strong chance to progress or at least get into the Europa knockouts.

Nkunku was competitive, unlucky to miss out to a big Rakitic score. Looking good and we could see him challenge again soon. I was sceptical of him when he was closer to £3 but much warmer since his crash – anything close to that £1.54 bid is a value pickup.

Olmo quiet – second game without showing much. Did hit one reasonable effort from range. Over the season as a whole he’s shown decent stuff. Last two? Not so much. But they were both tough games. Easier fixtures to come and holders will want to see improvement.

Sabitzer played his second full game. Good pickup right now with him cheap and just making his way back from a spell on the sidelines. Looking consistent – high baseline and firing in long range efforts. When those ping in he can put up big scores. My rating table is probably not generous enough to him and next update I’ll bump him up a bit, 3 out of 5 stars to 3.5 out of 5 stars is about right. Good pickup anywhere near £1.50.

Angelino still looking strong. That poor game versus United looks a blip. 

Match Day 4

Good FI performances from Leipzig but they didn’t show given they lost the game. Had lots of possession though.

Sabitzer was a bit of a monster here. I’ve been warming to him at his knockdown price as per scouting and this is a day where he could have really exploded and won a Star Man. Coulda woulda shoulda I know. But it shows his potential and it’s consistent.

When that big score comes it should be really big. And for £1.33 which has risen a bit that’s really good value given he also has transfer possibilities.

Angelino strong again as usual. He’s on my explosion imminent list and for good reason. 

Upamecano was good too and he’s one of those rare CB’s who can nick a win with baseline alone. Had a good chance to score actually he can get a goal every 10 games or so. I like him. 

If you can get that knockdown £1.66 bid you can probably recycle that strategy of buying low and then selling later as a near inevitable transfer rumour picks up. And if it doesn’t… you’ve got a solid player just where he is.

Olmo a bit disappointing with no threat but to be fair the last game was better and he did really well for Spain too as per the Euro 2020 scouting section. 

Nkunku likewise – did well but had no chances. He’s back in value range now at £1.61 to £1.74 and those silly days of £3+ are well behind him. I’d say it’s the right time to go back to him. 


I’m running out of ways to say no. 

Key Players: None. 

Punts: None. 

Youth: None.

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