ListList of things to check before the start of the football game
The more you know about why something might happen, the better of an advantage you have. There are several factors that might influence the result of the game, and your job is to know them all to find good opportunities.
1. Which game is it: league, cup or a friendly match?
This could give you a hint about the team’s motivation. Is the game between two main rivals in the league? Or is it a cup game they do not take seriously anyway? Friendly games are a thing to avoid at the very beginning because they more often lead to surprises. For example, they might end the game before 90 minutes, have the game played as 3x20 minutes or make 11 changes at once and the game can change very fast. You need to know this to link the WHY with the game statistics.
To compare the teams, you can compare either their previous games with each other or with the same opponents. Since players and coaches are constantly changing, you do not want to look at games more than 2-3 years back. So if the teams have not been playing each other lately, you can draw some conclusions by comparing their games against some of the same teams.
3. Home and away
How do the teams perform when they play at home versus when they are visiting the other team’s field? There are teams that perform a lot better at home and there are teams that play a lot better in away games. You should know this before the game because if both teams are winning a lot at home and losing while visiting, you can find opportunities when the away team scores first.
4. Motivation to win the game
For example, see if it is the last game of the season, where its decided if they can stay in the league or drop to a lower league or the opposite (they can gain a spot in higher league next season). You can also see the statistics during the game to confirm your expectations. If one team is playing above their average, it usually means they want to win more. Of course, this could also lead to a very different second half, if they have put everything into the first half and have not scored yet.
5. Form of the teams
When were their last games and against which teams? You can see their last games and see their opponents and results. If they have been playing above their average (game flow), they have been striving a lot and it could affect the outcome of the coming game. Or have they had an important game in a continental league a few days earlier in some other country (UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Copa Libertadores)? This usually means long travels by planes and buses, and compared with the opposing team, they might have had much less rest and time to concentrate on this particular game.
Weather could affect the result of the game a lot. Heavy rain also makes the ball heavier and affects the field a lot (especially in lower leagues). It might not give you the full picture of who is the better team, but it might affect the overall number of goals that you also can bet on. Also, a lot of stadiums are not guarded against wind and it’s much harder to play proper football in conditions like this.
7. Place of the game
We mentioned Bolivia in our last e-mail, and this is especially important when dealing with South American leagues. If the away team is used to playing at 200m above sea level, they will not play so well at 3000m. Make sure you know if any of these factors are in play.