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Soccer Tips - Tournament Games vs League Games

Tournament Games vs League Games
When handicapping tournament games like the Uefa Cup or Champions League we put more emphasis on certain angles, and not as much as the ones we rely on when handicapping leagues games.
In fact we completely ignore the very same angles we rely on to help us pick a winner in a league game when trying to figure out who will win in a tournament game.
Current or recent form is one angle we completely dismiss in a tournament game, it means nothing, it's even worse than nothing, it only makes us go off.
Assume you have a top Spanish club coming into the game with 2 wins from their last 5 league matches playing against a team from Belgium with 5 wins from their last 5 league matches, no offense to the Belgian league but they are several classes below the Spanish League. Putting weight on this angle in this situation will only lead you to disaster.
In league games you can apply this angle because the team is playing against the same class of opponents, so it becomes a much more relevant angle, but it not something to consider for tournament games.
When looking at a tournament game we take a slightly different approach, assume it's the playoff round of the UEFA Cup and try to follow this example.
Team A vs Team B
Look at the group stage standings and results for Team A and Team B, evaluate them, try to get a feel for their approach, ie, do they play a tight defensive game at home and open it up on the road, etc
Look at their results, using both Team A and Team B as an example, key on their 1st game at home and 1st game on the road in the group stage.
A win at home and a win on the road, or a tie on the road provided they scored at least 1 goal in the game are what we are looking for, if they have accomplished both of these things from their 1st 2 games give them a star.
That is step 1, we seperate these teams from the others who couldn't get this done in their 1st 2 games, it's a sign of a decent soccer club, they came out in a big tournament and did exactly what they wanted to do, these are the teams we want to bet on because there is a good chance that they will go far, so we ride them.
Step 2 is looking at all past results from the group stage, focus on the most relevant, if a team is playing at home focus on their past results in home games during the group stage, and vice versa for the road team. You will notice that some teams play better in home games while others play well on the road, as well as the scorelines, notice differences in the amount of goals scored in home and away games, generally most teams prefer to shut it down at home and open it up on the road because of the away goals tiebreaker, key on which teams were able to enforce their way on their opponents, it's a sign of a team that is able to set the tempo and control the game.
Evaluating these 2 factors correctly will give you a good feel of what to expect in the game, then we look at the odds and try to find value on our choice, as always we recommend staying away from laying heavy juice on the favourite, look for + money line bets instead.



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