Yesterday in State of the Market I suggested that we may want to start shifting away from premiums and redirecting funds further down the market. 

With premiums having enjoyed a bounce, other good players will likely catch them up in the weeks ahead. Particularly those who get a big win in February/March.

Two weeks ago I wrote a Core player series with over 50 suggestions for Core players, many of whom will still fit the bill as general longer term holds.

Today though I’m thinking about how to get explosive big wins in the coming weeks. It’s a fresh way of looking at players, even some of the performance stalwarts familiar from scouting.

The sort of 25% to 100% gains we have enjoyed for players like Hudson-Odoi recently. It’s about finding that player who can not only win, but surprise other traders with a win and get them buying up a previously unpopular and underpriced player. 

We can all buy a win by paying a premium for Bruno, Kimmich or Messi. And that has it’s place, but it’s not going to deliver the biggest gains. Now that the market is rewarding big performances better, we should take advantage of this.

So let’s frisk the fixtures and the form to see if we can zero in on some really good selections for the weeks ahead. 

We want players close to big scores who sit at kind prices and ideally with favourable CL/Europa and League fixtures that could bring dividend wins and spark rapid price rises in the coming weeks.

CL/Europa Preview Recap

To recap our preview of the CL/Europa Rounds of 16 and 32 the teams shape up like this:

Champions League

Favourable fixtures: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, 

Competitive Fixtures: Dortmund, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Atletico, Leipzig, PSG, Real Madrid*, Atalanta*

Tough fixtures: Lazio, Gladbach, Sevilla, Porto

*Ropey Real Madrid form makes progression against Atalanta questionable, with algorithm and betting tightening hard on that – almost a toss up. They move from Favourable to competitive.

Europa League

Favourable Fixtures: Tottenham, AC Milan, Napoli, Leverkusen, Leicester, Roma, Hoffenheim, Manchester United

Competitive Fixtures: Ajax, Lille, Arsenal, Villarreal, Salzburg, Benfica

Tough fixtures: Sociedad, PSV, Dynamo Kiev, Wolfsberger, Red Star, Granada, Young Boys, Antwerp, Salvia Prague, Braga, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Molde.

*Manchester United’s improving form plus Sociedad’s poor form nudges United ahead as clear favourites since the early preview. But it won’t be a walkover.

Overall Fixture Difficulty

Ideally, we want teams to also have favourable fixtures domestically too. Here are the teams that have favourable fixtures in the next 6-8 games in all competitions.

Very Favourable

Bayern Munich

Juventus (Roma, Napoli next are tough but after that they have a very kind run).

BarcelonaThe PSG game is tough although the algorithm has moved to favour Barcelona. In La Liga though they have a very kind run ahead. 

Tottenham – Man. City aside they have a very favourable calendar ahead.

AC Milan – 6 out of the next 8 are favourable, Roma and Inter tough games.

Leverkusen – Very kind schedule. Gladbach the only tough game in the next 8 in all competitions. 

Favourable

Dortmund – Sevilla is not easy but it is winnable. Form mixed, but kind fixtures in the Bundesliga to come.

Liverpool – Once Man. City are out of the way next it’s a kind schedule. RB Leipzig is tough but Liverpool are favourites.

RB Leipzig – Up against it versus Liverpool, but kind Bundesliga fixtures.

PSG – Mixed schedule. A potential walkover next vs bottom of the table Nimes. Marseille and Nice after that, two big but struggling sides. Monaco tough. PSG aren’t a side to worry about fixtures with too much they can be expected to dominate anyone except Barcelona and possibly Monaco.

Napoli – 4 favourable fixtures in the next 6. 

Hoffenheim – Next 2 tough, but starting with Molde on the 18th there are 8 favourable fixtures.

Manchester United – Favourable overall for the next 5 eligible games until they hit Chelsea then Man. City.

Lille – Ajax is a tough game, Ajax slight favourites if anything. But domestic form is strong with 5 very winnable games ahead.

Chelsea – A mixed bag and in form Atletico are difficult. However, there are some kind fixtures in Sheffield United, Newcastle and Southampton coming up. And optimism under Tuchel is high. 

Value, Form and Fixture Combos

So let’s lazer target those players with kind fixture schedules. Then use our Scouting knowledge to find the most likely winners. Then consider the best value available. 

Because cheap players who win soon could well explode in value. And that will be nice.

I’m experimenting here with a more quick/easy/visual guide. Which is unusual for me as I like to give the full detailed analysis. But since a lot of the detail is in Scouting anyway, I think this might work here. Feedback on this sort of thing appreciated!

I’ll be using a 5 star rating system below for the following two factors:

Form & Fixture Strength = My judgement of how competitive they are for the next 6-8 games based on form/fixtures. 

Explosive Price Potential = How big the reward could be if they win a significant dividend i.e Gold Day. 

For example: Kimmich is more likely to win than Goretzka especially because Goretzka will likely miss the next few games with injury. But Kimmich will be expected to win so the price explosion would be limited.

If Goretzka wins, then he could rise sharply from a low of just 81p given he has been quiet recently. Plus, Kimmich would have to win 7-8 times to keep up with Goretzka winning once. 

Therefore, the odds of betting on Goretzka are far superior to betting on Kimmich, even though Kimmich is the more likely winner.

Very cheap players come out well for Explosive Potential too since just one big win can offer a massive dividend return. 

Overall, this sort of thinking is designed to help us target not just the likely winners, but the winners who can deliver the biggest possible gains. All whilst not straying into obscure punts which is not neccessary at the moment.

Bayern Munich

Player

Joshua Kimmich

Form/Fixture Strength

4.5/5

Explosive Return Potential

2/5

Robert Lewandowski

3.5/5
3/5

Serge Gnabry

3/5
3.5/5

Thomas Muller

3.5/5
3.5/5

Leon Goretzka*

2.5/5
4/5

Kingsley Coman

3/5
4/5

Ben. Pavard

2.5/5
4/5

Niklas Sulé

2.5/5
4/5

Manuel Neuer

3.5/5
2/5

* rating lowered because of short term injury

Juventus

Player

Ronaldo

Form/Fixture Strength

3.5/5

Explosive Return Potential

2/5

Paulo Dybala

3.5/5
4/5

Federico Chiesa

3/5
4/5

Alvaro Morata

3/5
4/5

Weston McKennie

2.5/5
4/5

Daniel Kulusevski

2.5/5
4/5

Alex Sandro

3/5
2.5/5

Juan Cuadrado

3.5/5
2.5/5

Barcelona

Player

Messi

Form/Fixture Strength

5/5

Explosive Return Potential

2/5

Antoine Griezmann

3.5/5
3.5/5

Ousmané Dembelé

3.5/5
4/5

Miralem Pjanic

3.5/5
4/5

Pedri

3/5
4/5

Coutinho*

3/5
4/5

Frankie De Jong

3.5/5
4/5

Jordi Alba

3.5/5
3/5

Sergino Dest

2.5/5
4/5

* rating lowered because of short term injury

Tottenham

Player

Harry Kane

Form/Fixture Strength

3.5/5

Explosive Return Potential

3/5

Son Heung-Min

3.5/5
3.5/5

Gareth Bale

2/5
3.5/5

Tanguy Ndombelé

3/5
3.5/5

Steven Bergwijn

2.5/5
3.5/5

AC Milan

Player

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Form/Fixture Strength

3.5/5

Explosive Return Potential

3/5

Rafael Leao

2/5
3.5/5

Brahim Diaz

2.5/5
3.5/5

Hakan Calhanoglu

4/5
3.5/5

Theo Hernandez

3.5/5
3.5/5

Bayer Leverkusen

Player

Leon Bailey

Form/Fixture Strength

3.5/5

Explosive Return Potential

4/5

Moussa Diaby

3.5/5
4/5

Exequiel Palacios*

3/5
4/5

Kerim Demirbay

3.5/5
3.5/5

Florian Wirtz

3/5
3.5/5

Nadiem Amiri

3.5/5
4/5

Edmond Tapsoba

4/5
3.5/5

Jonathan Tah

3/5
3.5/5

* rating lowered because of short term injury

Part 2 of this continues tomorrow with a look at the other European contenders - Dortmund, Liverpool, Chelsea, RB Leipzig, PSG, Napoli, Hoffenheim, Manchester United and Lille.

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