Liverpool

Hodgson, Grant and Hughes…

The Sportman knows...

To profit from any form of betting it’s necessary to stay a step ahead of the layers and find new betting opportunities. One way to do that is to anticipate changes in a football sides playing patterns.

A change of manager often brings about a different set up in a teams formation and playing style. This week I am having a look at three clubs who changed managers for the 2010-11 season: Liverpool, West Ham United and Fulham, the potential implications and how bettors may be able to profit upon it.

New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson doesn’t have his troubles to seek currently but let’s concentrate on his managerial style. In his reign at Fulham the team were very weak away from home and scored few goals. This trait could well continue with Liverpool with their first three away matches yielding no wins, two scoring blanks and an average of 0.67 goals scored per match.

Hodgson aside from being cautious when visiting opponents likes his players to pedal back quickly to defend when they have lost possession. Going under the 2.5 goal line looks a potential play away from home at odds of evens or better and there is a fair chance of obtaining those odds given that they are still defined as a top Premier League side presently.

Another trait of Hodgson’s are low card counts. A sophisticated and intellectual individual, he insists on his teams being competitive but fair. Low card counts should be anticipated in matches out-with those teams regarded as the exalted in the league – Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea whom Liverpool are still expected (by their fans at least) to be ultra competitive against.

Avram Grant took over at West Ham United during the close season and he like Hodgson is finding the opening to the season troublesome. His teams tend to be well organised and generally he tries to make them tight in defence.

A common theme last season under Gianfranco Zola’s tutelage at West Ham was goals with 23 of their Premier League matches (61%) going over 2.5 goals. That trend has continued this season with over 2.5 goals being scored in 4 of their 5 Premier League matches.

If Grant is given time as manager we may see West Ham tighten up their style of play with a more cautious side at work then you could find yourself getting a decent price on under the 2.5 goals line.

Mark Hughes was the man who took over from Roy Hodgson at Fulham. I have already mentioned Roy Hodgson’s penchant for fair play but things may well change at Craven Cottage with Hughes at the helm.

Hughes wasn’t shy in employing the rough em up style of play when in charge at Blackburn and his side were consistently near the top end of the league table for bookings points. I envisage a swing in card counts for Fulham with their totals on the rise as the season progresses. From their first five Premier League matches with Hughes in charge they have only gathered an average of 18 bookings points, yet in two matches their count has been 30.

Therefore at the current time a decent price should be available on Fulham team card counts and bookings supremacy as their style of play changes.

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