Friday evenings are by far my favourite time to trade. The Dutch Jupiler games kick off at 7pm which, more often than not, means plenty of goals but French Ligue 2 is where my focus usually lies.
Traditionally, French football has not been the best for goals but that means prices are much better. If you can find goals, the risk/reward is very good indeed and Team Stats makes that pretty easy.
On this particular evening I was interested in a second half trade in the game between Lorient and Sochaux. It didn't quite go the way I had in mind, but turned out very well.
And just in case you're wondering... I have no further knowledge of French Ligue 2 than what I see in Team Stats. I don't know any Ligue 2 players or even where in France Lorient and Sochaux are!
A couple of days before when I was doing my research for the Friday evening games, this one stood out like a sore thumb.
Lorient were 6th in the league overall, but 4th in the home table and 2nd at home against mid-table teams. That was a positive start, however what really caught my attention was that they were 18th in the first half table at home and 1st in the second half table.
Now... even someone on their first day of trading is going to realise that the only option here would be a second half trade. It's simply never going to be more obvious than that!
My next task was to dig a bit deeper. I needed confidence that Lorient would go out to try and win.
Sochaux were 9th in the league overall, 10th away from home, 19th away from home in the first half and 8th in the second half. They were also 16th away from home against top half teams so advantage Lorient for sure.
Looking at attack v defence, Lorient's attack was rated 8th at home against a Sochaux defence rated 8th away. That was fairly even, but Sochaux could only manage 12th in attack away from home while Lorient's home defence was ranked 3rd.
Team Stats showed me that Lorient had scored in 78% of their home games this season while Sochaux had conceded in 75% away. On the other hand, Sochaux had only scored in 63% of their away games while Lorient had conceded in just 44% at home. The traffic light system very quickly highlighted green v green for attack v defence for Lorient but amber v red the other way.
Finally, I looked deeper at each team's record against other teams of similar strength. Within a matter of seconds I saw that Lorient had won 3/4 at home against mid-table teams.
I also saw that Sochaux had lost 2/2 away at top half teams.
That was all the convincing I needed. I jotted key points down onto my shortlist and made a note to check back at 7.45pm on Friday (half-time).
The half-time score was 0-0 and Sochaux were ahead on shots, corners, dangerous attacks and possession. While the score was ideal, I'd have preferred the stats to be the other way around. But... Team Stats had already shown me that Lorient play poorly in the first half so I wasn't too worried.
I backed Lorient at 2.26 (0.25pt) and would have layed the draw too once the price had dropped, just to give myself some cover should it go 0-1... but it did just that on 55'.
The Goal Patterns page showed me that between the two teams this season, 0-1 had gone 0-2 once and 1-1 three times. Armed with this information, I decided to lay Sochaux at 1.80 (0.31pt) to leave 0.5pt liability and a little profit on the draw should it go 1-1.
With the score still 0-1, I layed U1.5 goals at 1.95 (0.525pt) so that 0-2 would be scratch. I needn't have worried though as Lorient finally got into gear and equalised on 81'. That was £50 profit locked in and some green to play with in the Match Odds market.
Sochaux then had a man sent off and I was able to back them at 16.00 to remove the red completely.
I now had a good profit locked in and a lot more should Lorient go on to win, which they did. After going 2-1 up I layed the home win at 1.07 to ensure a little more than 1pt profit was added to my bank.
Lorient did it the hard way by going 0-1 down, but they're not the best second half team at home for nothing! The red card may have helped a little, but I was in profit at 1-1 - even though my initial trade was looking for the home win.
That's the power of in-play football trading with Team Stats. Decisions are so much easier when all the facts are right there at your fingertips... all you have to do is wait for the right opportunities to show up and then take advantage.
I ended up with £102.98 profit and a little more than 100% ROI. Very happy with that!
Goal Profits members were able to profit too as I posted each move in the chat room as it happened.