It felt like a relatively quiet match day yesterday and I think it shows how important the EPL is for driving attention towards FI. 

Yes, by now, many of us find Serie A games just as exciting and that is one of the great things about FI, but probably 75% of traders particularly if new will only really feel comfortable with the EPL where they have better knowledge.

And, not all treble days are created equal so the players that are involved have much better odds of winning.

It’s easy to focus on what players you want for the weekend particularly if you do like some short term punts. But it is worth sparing a thought first on the overall match day.

Has it got big EPL games that will hype people up and draw greater attention not just to that game but to FI as a whole? Does it have so many players involved that the odds of picking the winner are remote?

If betting on horses we’d always pay attention to the size of the field. I’m not sure we do that enough on a match day! All things that are worth thinking about. 

Elsewhere, with the FA Cup on, plenty are still not shy of punting on a young player like Chong, despite all the tears, disappointment and price drops we have seen many times before with these players.  

Now, if you are doing this two weeks or so ahead assuming others are going to do it all over again there is some good strategy to this. If you are doing it the day before or even on the day of the game you are inviting trouble. 

Very occasionally, this last minute bet will pay out. Chong or whoever it is may come off the bench to get his goal and rise in price (and then drop harshly in the following week). 

But the vast majority of the time, it will not pay out. If this is a habit, it is near guaranteed to lose you money over a season. If you want to get involved in this, do it early or not at all is my advice.

If you buy this close to the game, you are walking into traps that other traders have specifically set for people who cannot resist this kind of punt.

Risers

Phil Foden

To the best of my memory, whenever Foden has been given a chance this season he has taken it and shown his quality. 

When tracking him from pre-season, I had early concerns that he might have limited goal threat and could be slightly too deep. In his following FA Cup appearances though he proved that wrong.

For a central midfield player, he has had his chances and he has put enough of them away to show he could have  strong performance suitability. 

There are a couple of issues I have, though. His stats are impressive, but given the very weak opposition in the cups in games that City absolutely dominate (77% possession yesterday for example), his average stats are always going to be flattering. Against tougher teams (even weaker EPL teams) they will pull back a bit.

Secondly, the market has been very excited about Foden on reputation alone for a long time so the value is not at it’s best. 

Overall though, I think he is showing himself to be one of the most promising young talents around. Next season is still likely to be a pitch time struggle, and with no transfer speculation after sealing a long contract just in December, it will be a patient holder who sticks in for this over the Summer I think. 

I think he actually has more chance of performing strongly straight away if given minutes than someone like the now more expensive Felix. But in this market a player like Felix will get the premium because of the hype around a Summer move. 

He is looking really good though and there is a strong chance of a reward for those who do have the required patience.

I suspect there will be better times to buy than the day after the FA Cup game and the price might settle in the coming weeks.

Krzysztof Piatek

It’s hard to imagine a better start to life in Milan for Piatek. I still have to look up his first name when I want to spell it but if he keeps this up I might learn fast.

Another two goals which makes 6 in 318 minutes of football for Milan. Ridiculous. It would be less convincing but he has shown this kind of strike rate for Genoa twice already this season.

Now a basic analysis will say “ah but he scored twice and still only got 145.” But it’s not quite that simple and here is why. 

If you score two, you are usually pretty unlucky not to get the match winner. He didn’t, this time with that going to Calhanoglu. So, on a luckier day he could have been up there on 185. 

Secondly, he was subbed on 68 minutes. So, a player like him might have added 10-20 points in that remaining time to polish that score a bit.

So, we have a player who as followers of this site will know was always going to be posting some weak baselines. But, if Piatek is as prolific as he is showing, and he is capable of a good score with 2 goals and the match winner, that puts him in a fairly FI friendly place for a striker.

Of course, his purple patches will likely come in streaks. And most games he will score very poorly only to show up one week with a brace or hat-trick and a big score. So, he is probably tailor made for goals dividend punts during kind fixture runs.

Fallers

Joshua Kimmich

Another drop for Kimmich and really, it was always coming. 

He’s quality, he really is. But he was never going to be so good as to be worth twice what another strong defender on FI is. 

You can also blame Bayern’s very weak recent defensive record for his troubles. 

Out of position in Central Midfield, particularly when facing weak opposition, Kimmich is going to clean up the same way Alves does in that role. It’s an unfair advantage (that we should definitely exploit!). When he played there in December he went on a huge hot streak that sent his price soaring. 

But without it, returns were always going to come back to more realistic levels. 

Kimmich is likely to be a regular challenger for years, if not the best then almost certainly one of them. But the price does have to come into a more sensible range before you will see much of your money back in returns.  

It’s more justified for very long term holders who want steady returns but most of the market do not really have that kind of patience even if people like to say they do. At least not now when capital appreciation is still outstripping dividend returns by such a margin. It won’t be that way forever, though. 

Hot Gossip

Manchester United Summer Business

United look busy. Very busy. 

One look at the BBC Gossip column this morning links them with Dybala, Felix, Koulibaly, Manolas and Ndombele all whilst offloading Lukaku and giving De Gea the biggest basic pay contract in the EPL. So, yeah. That’s quite the list. 

Of those, Dybala and Felix are the most exciting in terms of the impact it would have on the market. Dybala to Manchester United would probably be my dream transfer of the Summer because when out of Ronaldo’s shadow in the EPL I think he becomes the next big premium player with ease. 

Long way to go on that, though. There will be huge competition for all of those targets and United are going to be having to pay top top dollar. They probably have the cash though and by now are desperate enough to get back to the top that a marquee signing would make sense. 

Safe to say I am watching all this like a hawk.

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FIT

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