TFT Issue 2323!



General Information

We aim to give you the best possible information before each game. However, the moment the game starts, anything can happen, ranging from red cards to snow storms to pitch invasions. We can only prepare you for so much; it's up to you to learn how to develop yourself as to know when to jump ship if things aren't going as they should.

Pay attention to the odds provided for each tip. Be aware that the longer the odds are, the less chance there is of it coming in. Don't lean toward backing the bankers containing teams you've heard of or selections at longer odds because you trust the team more or if you see the pound signs flashing before your eyes. Sometimes bankers won't win, try to use the previews to steer you toward the right selection to make rather than taking the quick/lazy way.

Please understand that every single tip has the capacity to win, push, or lose. We aim to find good value bets (probability vs odds) as our focal area.


Dinamo Zagreb vs Istra 1961

KO: (UK time)

Dinamo Zagreb produced a lovely lazy display at weekend and thus failed to beat a team that they’re a lot better than. The word “tossers” comes to mind. Anyway, they’ve really no excuses for failing to beat bankrupt Istra 1961 in tonight’s Croatian Cup affair at Maksimir. The visitors have players leaving daily, no future, and nobody has been paid in ages. Dinamo Zagreb are at home and are ten times better. This should be a home win.

Verdict: Dinamo Zagreb to win at 2/25.


Salzburg vs SV Mattersburg

KO: (UK time)

Salzburg are looking just a bit too good for the rest of Austria at the moment. They’re winning games in a really efficient and confident way, even against other top Bundesliga sides. I doubt SV Mattersburg are going to have enough to prevent the reigning champions from claiming three points here.

Verdict: Salzburg to win at 11/50.


Barcelona CF vs Real Murcia

KO: (UK time)

Rotation is expected but Barcelona CF should not struggle to overcome a Real Murcia side that have to attack them at Nou Camp to stand any chance of going through. If the visitors are especially bold then it could be a massacre but we’ll have to judge that in-play. Either way, I expect a home win.

Verdict: Barcelona CF to win at 7/100.


FC Basel vs Luzern

KO: (UK time)

Luzern have plummeted too much this season for my liking. They’re seldom far away from scoring the odd goal but their defence is weaker than ever and it’s getting exposed regularly because their attacking isn’t as effective as it was when they had quality and depth galore. They’re not going to be in the relegation battle, I’m sure, but they’re not really capable of stopping FC Basel, as they adequately proved at weekend. I can still nit-pick with FC Basel for reasons mentioned in the not-too-distant past but I expect the home side to win this one.

Verdict: FC Basel to win at 9/25.


Sevilla CF vs Cartagena

KO: (UK time)

Sevilla CF should have too much quality for Cartagena at home, even if they rotate their squad – they’ve got a lot of options to choose from and the atmosphere at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan is intimidating to say the least. I expect a home win.

Verdict: Sevilla CF to win at 2/25.


Chelsea vs Swansea City

KO: (UK time)

Things aren’t going well for Clement at the moment. Swansea City have had injury problems and thus bad results, hence increased pressure on him. Now Welsh boss Pulis is out of work, somebody that is proven to keep teams in the Premier League, and Clement is managing…a Welsh team. Hmm. Food for thought! Anyway, as much as I do like some of Swansea City’s footballers, they’re not working well as a unit. I suspect that’s going to shepherd them to defeat at Stamford Bridge tonight too. The reigning champions always look tactically astute under Conte and with the wealth of talent at his disposal, I expect them to claim three points here.

Verdict: Chelsea to win at 9/50.


Manchester City vs Southampton

KO: (UK time)

The fact that Southampton scored over 25% of their Premier League goals this season against Everton tells you that all is not well at Pellegrino’s team. They’ve still got a good squad but things just aren’t clicking yet. Unfortunately for the south coast outfit, they’re up against high-flying Manchester City, who basically look unstoppable. No matter what obstacle is placed before them, they’re finding ways around them. They’re very impressive indeed. I do think that they’ll slow down in the next month or two but I can’t see a reason to doubt them beating Southampton.

Verdict: Manchester City to win at 1/5.


Paris Saint-Germain vs Troyes

KO: (UK time)

My understanding is that there will be few fans allowed today. I believe PSG’s fans are being punished for letting off flares against OGC Nice lately. It shouldn’t really affect the outcome but I’d rather you had all the facts before making your selections. Personally, I think that PSG are far too good for Troyes. In fact, I know they are. They should prove it too. On paper, their 2-1 win at AS Monaco looks sketchy. In reality, it was an absolute massacre and if Mbappe could actually finish and Cavani wasn’t missing free headers from six yards out then PSG would have embarrassed AS Monaco. I’m expecting another strong display here and Troyes are going to be powerless to stop them.

Verdict: Paris Saint-Germain to win at 1/25.

Featured game

FC Zurich vs Thun

KO: (UK time)

FC Zurich’s form of late has been a bit patchy but when you look at who they’ve faced, it’s not really a surprise that they’ve struggled. As I’ve said before, they’re not a top team in Switzerland yet but they are a top six team. They’ve had a good Super League campaign too, all things considered, but they do have limitations.

However, as they demonstrated against Lausanne Sport last time out, they can beat teams of that nature without much fuss. Thun should fall into that category. I love the way Thun play football but they don’t have much depth, they’ve got big absentee problems at the moment (both Rapp and Tosetti were absent at weekend – best attacker and best creator), and they’re facing a superior team here. I think this one might be beyond Thun.

FC Zurich have more depth and more quality than Thun. Yes, Thun play excellent football and they never give up but even they need their best players available for matches of this nature. I thought they’d struggle against St.Gallen at weekend because of Rapp and Tosetti’s absence, and they did. FC Zurich play a similar style to St.Gallen but they do it a lot better so I’m struggling to see any positives for Thun here.

Even if the home team rotate their squad, I believe they’ll win this Schweizer Pokal match. A Cup run would be great for them this season and they’re facing Thun at a good time. This won’t be easy for FC Zurich – beating Thun never is – but I do think that the home win carries value for multiple reasons.

Verdict: FC Zurich to win at 4/5.

Additional games

Nantes Atlantique vs AS Monaco

KO: (UK time)

I appreciate that AS Monaco are the better of these two sides; that much is not in question. However, when it comes to tactics, I believe Nantes Atlantique are better than AS Monaco, which is largely why I am going to trust them to get a result at the formidable La Beaujoire tonight.

AS Monaco have plenty of complications ahead of this game though. There are numerous players out with injury (full list at the bottom of the page), they’ve had boatloads of games already this season, and they’re not defending well. However, to me, their biggest issue is that they look a bit stupid tactically. I really don’t think that Jardim adapts or changes things around well. He stubbornly keeps to what has worked in the past but football doesn’t work like that nowadays.

The only away games AS Monaco have won this season have come against teams that have attacked them. This is because, with space, AS Monaco have some absolutely lethal individuals. However, taking on teams that can defend or play cautiously, AS Monaco look like they’re always going to struggle, especially with Lemar injured. I know it only ended 2-1 at weekend but seriously, PSG absolutely decimated AS Monaco. On another day, they could easily have scored seven goals in that game – and that’s with me only including the really good opportunities that PSG fashioned! Now, I appreciate that most teams are not at PSG’s level, especially not in France, but this is not the first time that AS Monaco have been ripped apart on a regular basis. It’s a good job they’ve got a phenomenal attack – that’s the best way I can put it!

To me, AS Monaco look weary. I think they’ve had too many games and too many injuries in a bit of a catch twenty-two scenario. With a full squad of fresh players, they’d probably win this one. However, they don’t have that so I’m not sure how they hope to overcome Les Canaris today.

Nantes Atlantique are not a particularly good team but they are an organised team. Ranieri has helped them become better on the break and to be more focused, which has worked wonders really. I still don’t think he’s the right man for them in the long-term because he’s not done a good job at any club for two consecutive years. However, for the present, Nantes Atlantique look very solid, if nothing else.

Les Canaris obviously have their weaknesses. They need a better finisher because the Sigthorsson issue doesn’t seem to be going away. They also need a proper replacement for Harit as playmaker to help them against teams that sit back against them. They’re fortunate in the respect that most teams don’t feel the need to bunker against them but they’ll start to next season if that’s how to beat them. For now they’re ok though.

Although I’m critical about the amount of goals the team score, I cannot criticise the manner in which Nakoulma leads their line though. His power and pace makes them a real threat at all times. I like what Thomasson brings to their midfield, the speed El Ghanassy has given them in wide positions, and the nuisance factor of Sala too. They’ve not done anything special pre-season but they’ve made themselves harder to handle by being less predictable. That’s why they’ve not lost many this season, and that’s why I doubt they’ll lose tonight.

For me, the value lies in laying AS Monaco.

Verdict: Nantes Atlantique to win with a +0.5 Asian Handicap at 4/5.

Team news


All of the information in this section is listed to the best of our knowledge, and we use local sources for as many areas as we can.

Austrian Bundesliga:

Salzburg – Samassekou is absent.
SV Mattersburg – No absentees.
St.Polten – No absentees.
Austria Vienna – Grunwald, Klein, Martschinko, and Westermann are absent. Venuto, Almer, and Demaku are doubts.
LASK Linz – No absentees.
Wolfsberger AC – Klem and Dobnik are absent.
Rapid Vienna – Dibon, Mocinic, and Malicsek are absent.
SCR Altach – Lukse and Prokopic are doubts.

English Premier League:

Bournemouth – Defoe and Stanislas are absent. Francis returns.
Burnley – Walters and Heaton are absent. Lowton is a doubt.
Arsenal – Wilshere, Iwobi, and Ozil are doubts.
Huddersfield Town – van la Parra, Palmer, and Billing are absent.
Chelsea – Kenedy, Batshuayi, David Luiz, and Musonda are absent. Moses returns.
Swansea City – Abraham, Fernandez, and Bartley are absent.
Everton – Baines, Coleman, Funes Mori, Niasse, and Holgate are absent. Keane is a doubt.
West Ham United – Fonte, Collins, Antonio, and Hernandez are absent. Arnautovic returns.
Manchester City – Mendy and Stones are absent.
Southampton – Targett is absent. Lemina and Romeu return.
Stoke City – Cameron and Butland are absent. Sobhi and Berahino are doubts.
Liverpool – Lovren is a doubt. Can returns.

French Ligue 1:

Angers SCO – Michel is absent. Capelle, Tait, and Andreu return.
Stade Rennais – Amalfitano, Gourcuff, and Sarr are absent.
En Avant Guingamp – Tabanou, Ahlinvi, Giresse, Achahbar, Privat, Didot, and Petric are absent.
Montpellier HSC – Sanson is absent.
Olympique Lyonnais – Morel and Traore are absent. Fekir returns.
Lille OSC – El-Ghazi, Thiago Mendes, and Kouame are absent.
Metz – No news.
Olympique de Marseille – Fanni is absent.
Nantes Atlantique – No news.
AS Monaco – Raggi, Tielemans, Lemar, Boschilia, Traore, Meite, Mboula, Jovetic, and Serranno are absent.
Toulouse – Moubandje and Durmaz return.
OGC Nice – Plea, Sneijder, and Cyprien are absent. Sarr returns.
Paris Saint-Germain – Ben Arfa, Lucas Moura, Thiago Motta, and Marquinhos are absent.
Troyes – Dingome is absent.

Remaining thoughts


The "remaining thoughts" section is there to be a rough guide in case you want to get involved in games we haven't tipped. It is not there to tell anybody to back specific scorelines, or to guarantee that "2-2" games will go over 2.5 goals, for example. Ian lists what he believes to be the most likely outcome, and this is based on his assessment as to which way each game will develop. However, a "remaining thoughts" game listed with a 2-2 scoreline may have only just edged out a 0-0 scoreline in terms of probability because each game can develop in different ways.

Copa Libertadores:

Atletico Lanus vs Gremio (5) 0-0, at least one red card in this game

Austrian Bundesliga:

Salzburg vs SV Mattersburg (7) 2-0
St.Polten vs Austria Vienna (6) 1-2
LASK Linz vs Wolfsberger AC (5) 2-1
Rapid Vienna vs SCR Altach (4) 1-1

Belgian Cup:

Kortrijk vs Antwerp (4) 0-1
KV Mechelen vs Racing Genk (5) 1-1
AA Gent vs Lokeren (7) 1-0
Waasland-Beveren vs AS Eupen (6) over 2.5 goals
RSC Anderlecht vs Standard de Liege (6) 2-1, at least one red card in this game

Bulgarian A PFG:

Pirin Blagoevgrad vs Etar (5) 2-1
Dunav 2010 vs Levski Sofia (5) 1-1

Croatian Cup:

Dinamo Zagreb vs Istra 1961 (8) 2-0
NK Osijek vs Hajduk Split (5) 1-1

English Premier League:

Bournemouth vs Burnley (5) 1-1
Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town (6) 2-1
Chelsea vs Swansea City (7) 2-0
Everton vs West Ham United (4) 1-1
Manchester City vs Southampton (7) 2-0
Stoke City vs Liverpool (5) 2-1

French Ligue 1:

Angers SCO vs Stade Rennais (5) 1-0
En Avant Guingamp vs Montpellier HSC (5) 0-0
Olympique Lyonnais vs Lille OSC (6) over 2.5 goals
Metz vs Olympique de Marseille (7) over 2.5 goals
Nantes Atlantique vs AS Monaco (5) 1-1
Toulouse vs OGC Nice (4) 1-1
Paris Saint-Germain vs Troyes (8) over 2.5 goals

Italian Coppa Italia:

Sassuolo vs Bari (6) 2-1
Chievo Verona vs Hellas Verona (5) 2-1, at least one red card in this game
Torino vs Carpi (6) 1-0

Spanish Copa del Rey:

Sevilla CF vs Cartagena (7) 1-0
Barcelona CF vs Real Murcia (7) 2-0
Real Sociedad vs Lleida Esportiu (6) over 2.5 goals
Atletico Madrid vs Elche (6) 1-0
Athletic Club de Bilbao vs Formentera (6) 1-0
Las Palmas vs Deportivo La Coruna (5) 2-2

Swiss Schweizer Pokal:

FC Zurich vs Thun (7) 2-1
FC Basel vs Luzern (7) 2-0

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