Top 5 – 2011/12 trends to give you an edge
5) Atlético Madrid love a half time lead
The ‘Rojiblancos’ are by far my favourite team in La Liga and one trend I noticed when watching them last year was that they often scored late on in games with 0-0 half time scores relatively common. However perhaps more of an important trend, especially in terms of betting is that when winning at half time, Atlético only lost a single point from the 10 games in this position. In percentage terms this is better than Barcelona and only worse than Real Madrid. It could be a good value bet to back them to win if already winning, assuming the odds are in your favour.
4) Real Betis don’t have a fighting spirit
Last season, Betis were praised for their attractive style of play with Ruben Castro’s goals and influence being a big factor in this. However, in the 10 games they were losing at half time, Betis could only muster a solitary draw – easily the worst return in the league. Some may say this is misfortune, but I personally have to question the ‘fight’ of the players. If they are to improve on their position from last season then they need to learn the psychological side of the game and not let their heads drop in similar scenarios.
3) Osasuna are the draw kings
A simple look at the league table will tell you that Osasuna had perfected the draw by the end of last season. They drew a league high of 15 of their league games and managed to get 7th position despite having a worse goal difference than Villarreal who were relegated. As a team, they were as average as you could be last season in every department other than draws where they were a full 15% above the league norm. I predict them to follow a similar fate this season and remain lost in mid table limbo.
2) Opening goals aid Espanyol
Espanyol were famed for their unpredictability for a large part of the 2011/12 season. However, part of this unpredictability can be explained by their reaction to the opening goal in the game. When Espanyol scored first, they went on to achieve an average of 2.62 points a game, just behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. However, when their opponent scored first they only went on to win an average of 0.38 points per game. Just like Real Betis, this appears to be a mental issue rather than a physical performance issue. In a way it reminds me of an under 12 Sunday league team; everyone is happy when winning, but crying when they let in a goal.
1) Malaga get travelsick…. very travelsick.
One of the defining characteristics of last season is that Malaga played well at home, but struggled on trips away from La Rosaleda. However, just how bad where they? Rather staggeringly, Malaga had the worst home/away points distribution in the league – only 16 of the teams total 58 points were earned on the road. A similar pattern follows in their goal distribution, scoring only 35.2% of their total goals away and conceding 60.4%. Will Malaga’s travel woes continue? My vote is yes.
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