The market is settling a bit now and there is a distinct feeling that the splash of the share split hype is calming and things are refocusing on the trends in play, like the shift towards Summer media, and, thankfully, the actual football. 

It is a huge match day today and for anyone who only joined FI this season, it will be your first experience of a Quarter Final treble dividend match day.

Treble pay outs, but only two games. The odds of winning just sky rocketed.

This can be where the big names really start justifying their price tags particularly if they make it all the way to the final where they would have 5 weakly contested treble days ahead.

Add to that, when there is so much attention on just one or two huge games, a lot of traders just think “what the hell, I want to play” and it overrides usual sound judgement.

Generally then, if you want to get involved, or think you might FOMO in at the last, I tell people just to do their buying early, at minimum a week in advance. 

You will likely get a rise from the late buyers coming in after you, which gives you a bit of a cushion and even the option of taking a profit before the game if the rise is big enough. 

Another sound strategy is to use the hype for these big days to offload any unwanted players that you do not want to hold throughout the Summer at a good price.

The performance calculation also changes when there is so little competition. A player can easily win by scoring 150 rather than 200. So that brings high threat low baseline forwards in particular into play.

For forwards, the most important factor becomes almost entirely about who is going to score the most goals. Much more simple.

For the midfielders and defenders, goal threat is still important but particularly if a team is expected to dominate possession, a high baseline player (like a ball playing defender, or low threat creative midfielder) can walk the win provided none of the defenders or midfielders score.

Risers

Roberto Firmino

It’s worth picking out some Champions League players given what week it is!

Firmino is rising today and is a solid choice, he is in my view displaying the best performance related stats out of Liverpool’s front 3 particularly recently. And is also by far the greater value at just £1.35 to Mané’s £2.42 and Salah’s £4.12. 

Liverpool forwards are not brilliant for performance in general, mainly because their very directness actually counts against them on FI. Sometimes they can have decent overall involvement but are let down by low passing accuracy. 

This does not mean they are necessarily bad, just that they take risks. It’s the sort of detail that trips up new traders because you would logically expect players like this to be amongst the best.

However, on these special days with limited games but big payouts, players do not necessarily need a high baseline to win it, a goal can be enough. 

That brings a lot of otherwise average/weak players into contention, particularly if they are big names. A big goal today for Firmino or any recognisable name can easily sweep star player and the media buzz to deliver a monster payout.

Tammy Abraham

You can see why Abraham would be getting attention with a very impressive 23 goals in 34 games in the Championship this term. A vast improvement from his Premiership form in 17/18 for Swansea.

The social media pumpers are winding up on him too and it is obvious that he has some of the hype trends in his favour and resembles other players who have risen recently.

Young, possible England international, potential Bundesliga transfer leading to the inevitable cries of “next Sancho”. Therefore, he could easily catch light in this market.

But, is he really any good?

Jury is out. If he even came anywhere close to this goal scoring rate in the Premier League or the Bundesliga he’d certainly have some value, at least for IPDs.

His poor record in the Premier League last year causes doubt, with just 1 goal every 343 minutes played. And he did get chances for Swansea but often did not finish them.

At the lower Championship level his finishing has been decent and he has got into the positions to score. He gets a lot of chances and finishes them competently, his actual goals just under his Expected Goals. 

A genuine top striker however far outstrips his Expected Goals, he doesn’t just keep pace with it like Abraham has this year. That dents my confidence in his ability to keep it up at a higher level and he still has a lot of improving to do.

And he really needs a *lot* of goals because his style of play will likely result in very weak baselines, even for a forward. 

This is apparent in current stats but you can also see it historically, going back to 14 October 17 on his highest score for Swansea, he hit a 168 with 2 goals and the match winner, getting very few points for anything but the goals.

So, on real evidence, the case looks pretty shaky to me. But, he matches many of the current hype trends (apart from there being not much reason to hold him in the Summer?).

And the price is still reasonable right now at £1.21 given he does have some potential, for IPDs at least. So provided a trader goes into this with their eyes open and is not actually swept up in the hype themselves, there can be very good money to be made.

But if the price does fly, the more it ticks up, the further down the food chain you are when buying and you need to be wary of this. 

With these trades, the only difference between “market savvy” and “mug” is timing. 

Fallers

Callum Hudson-Odoi (and other big price fallers)

He’s been covered a lot recently and it’s hard to do otherwise given he is either at the top of the risers or the fallers and never really in the middle!

My views on him being over priced are pretty widely known so I don’t want to go into that again.

It has been a pretty sharp fall for him and other similar trades like Sancho and Mbappé or Rashford. 

Same goes for your Pogba’s and Neymar’s. 

As I said last week, we were due a pull back after the share split hype because a lot of money concentrated in a handful of players and that does not reflect where the value is in the market in reality.

People were always going to branch out a bit more and I’ve said that for weeks.

I’m getting asked about this a lot and whether this will continue, clearly many are worried.

Generally, my feeling is that for the strong and proven dividend returners like Pogba and Neymar, they are more solid and even if they drop now which they may well do, people will come back to them certainly by the new season.

But no matter how big, no player gets a free pass. People want reasons to hold them in the Summer. 

With other players who do not return many dividends but at a high price, you are on shakier ground because if they do not keep a reason to hold them in the Summer, many people will want to free up that cash.

And, to get re-bought later to the same extent, the fashions and trends on FI will have to be the same later as now and there is no guarantee that will be the case.

Hot Gossip

Xaver Schlager

I’m including Schlager not so much for himself but as an example of where a lot of the big gains are and will be in the Summer.

Whilst most timelines and gossip will be about finding the big moves for the Galacticos’, lots of cut price C list players will be quietly gaining a huge % in value perhaps as they transfer from ineligible leagues to a promising top 5 league side.

Schlager to Wolfsburg or Leipzig might not sound like a blockbuster and it isn’t. But, he is a decent high baseline midfielder who can also nick some goals, about 1 in 5 this term which is solid for a high baseline player.

But I picked him out as part of my members area scouting a month ago at just 35p. He is 53p now for a cool 51% rise in the month. For some reason he is gaining a lot of traction today, not sure why. 

It’s important to remember that you do not need to follow other people into specific hype players to make big profits. In fact, by it’s nature, if you aren’t one of the first in to a player, you are feeding somebody else and even if you make a bit, you probably could have made more. 

Probably, we won’t see another 51% rise for Schlager any time soon. But, at Wolfsburg or particularly Liepzig people could be interested.

He is young and performance suitable, the price is still fair, and he may get interest in pre-season or early season if he performs as he could.

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