The guide to analysing football matches for betting action

The Guide to Analysing Football Matches for Betting

By Sasha Isaacs - Aug 17th 2022

Analysing a particular football match is not as difficult a task as it might seem at first. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s a worthwhile routine used by experienced football betters the world over.

Before placing a football bet, it’s advised to gain as much information as possible. In this blog, we will go deeper into the relevant topics worth analysing, which involve these three key points:

  1. When and where the match is being played.
  2. The teams playing.
  3. The competition the match is being played in.

The key to winning a football bet is effective analysis of a chosen match. Betters needn’t be a footballing encyclopaedia, as it’s possible to win football bets even if the punter’s football knowledge isn’t top draw. There are though some characteristics required to be a successful football better, including:

  • Dedication
  • Hard work
  • Calmness
The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Hard work and dedication are two of the key attributes needed to be a successful football better.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s simply not possible to win every football bet. There are an incredible number of variables which go into every football match, and unfortunately there’s no way of predicting the correct outcome. However, there are many things can be analysed before a match to enhance the opportunity for winnings.

Before focusing on a particular match, there are some tips which will assist the ability football betters have to analyse matches:

Narrow focus

Even for the greatest football lovers find it hard to keep across and be an expert on numerous leagues and teams. It’s beneficial to concentrate on just one or two leagues where a genuine interest lies.

Become a sponge and soak up as much information as possible. This approach will allow betters to feel comfortable and confident. Developing a strong understanding and knowledge of a chosen leagues should help predict outcomes more efficiently.

Don’t look at odds

This may seem like a peculiar piece of advice when discussing football betting, but it’s important to analyse potential outcomes of matches without looking at odds, as punter’s outlook may be skewed by the bookmaker.

It’s important to assess the likelihood of a particular scenario and find its true value. Find the real odds by yourself, and after compare them to the bookies’. This approach should help reveal the bookmaker’s potential mistakes and as a result, provide some real value.

Social Media

Social media platforms, in particular Twitter, are a great source of information for football betters. Information will often come straight from the clubs, with journalists frequently attending press conferences, revealing to their followers what managers are saying in terms of player fitness, player incomings and outgoings, and potential team news, which is useful information to punters.

In addition, ITK (in the know) accounts have come to fruition in recent years and are gaining immense popularity. These accounts usually have inside links to football clubs and will reveal information that clubs would rather keep quiet.

However, as with the point above, it’s important not to overuse social media and consume too much content. It’s all well and good following tipster accounts, but these accounts may subconsciously impact betters and their views on what may occur.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Alasdair Gold is‘s Tottenham Hotspur correspondent and is constantly tweeting about what is going on at the club.

External Factors

External factors are often overlooked in football betting and can have a real impact. A team’s performance may be influenced by any of these circumstances:


Match officials are an essential part of the game and may sometimes unfortunately be discussed more than the two teams vying for victory.

The result is dependent on their decisions, and therefore it’s important to know who the referee is before choosing a match to bet on. It’s worth analysing:

  • Is this referee lenient? Have they handed out many bookings in their previous matches?
  • Has anything noteworthy occurred when they’ve been officiating these two clubs in the past?
  • Will the aggressiveness of either side impact the result?


Many football fans have often, perhaps ironically, pondered whether Lionel Messi could do it on a cold, wet, Wednesday night in Stoke and unfortunately it seems we will never know. However, some less extreme examples of this will help football betters analyse matches.

Football clubs have players from all over the world and some find it harder than others to adapt to the climate and weather in the country they play. For example, Manchester City’s Nolito gave this quote to the Guardian:

“I have learnt very, very little English – it’s very hard. Just ‘tomorrow’, ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ and a little more. My daughter’s face has changed colour – it looks like she’s been living in a cave.”

On the other hand, it can prove difficult for English players playing abroad. Sven-Goren Erikson claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail that Paul Scholes didn’t live up to his potential in an England shirt because “many times it was too hot for him, he suffered from a little bit of asthma. When it got too hot, he was out. He knew he couldn’t play. He couldn’t stand the heat. That was the reason, not the position.’

The weather can have a more direct influence on the football match as it can affect the pitch. For example:

  • A dry pitch will make the ball bounce higher, which could assist a team who play more long balls.  However, if it’s windy, playing this way could be challenging.
  • A wet pitch will assist a team who play a possession based style.
  • If a home team has a bad pitch, they may be more acclimatised to it than their visitors.
The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

The weather can have a big affect on the result of a match.

Kick-off time

The time that a match kicks off may have an impact on the performance of either team.

For example, if Manchester City have a tricky UEFA Champions League knockout match on a Wednesday evening and then play a Saturday lunchtime Premier League fixture, they may be fatigued, and would have had less time to rest, recover and train than their opponents, who may have not had a match midweek.

There may also have been a time difference, which could affect the player’s sleep and ability to perform at their highest level.

To perform well in the early kick-offs, the players must adapt their sleeping and eating patterns, which can affect performance. It’s a good idea to monitor which teams seem to perform better or worse at different times on different days.

In addition, the way the players get to the games may affect their performance. It’s well known that Premier League clubs fly to their away games, but other leagues may not have the luxury. It’s worth researching:

  • Have they travelled by bus or train?
  • How long was the journey?

Although professional athletes do everything they can to retain peak physical and mental condition, having a nap in an uncomfortable position or feeling slightly tired after a long bus journey, for example, will still have an impact on the players, as well as possibly on morale, giving their opponents slightly more of an edge.

Stadium and fans

Sometimes, after a long journey, to Turkey for example, the last thing players want is to be plonked into an uneasy and unpleasant atmosphere. Some teams don’t perform so well away from home.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Fans have the ability to make it tricky for their team’s opponents.

This brings us onto the next section of what to analyse for football bets.

Pre match analysis

Home and away records

As alluded to above, some teams perform betting at home than away, and vice versa. It’s possible to analyse which teams are stronger at home or away by looking at a league table based on just away matches, for example.

Some teams may also change their style for away matches, so analysis may be required here. Spotting a solid away team before the bookies become aware of it may ensure good winnings.

League position

It may seem an obvious place to go but looking at the league table is a good way to analyse matches. We often check the league table that includes the team we support, but don’t make assumptions before placing bets.

For instance, just because a team has a strong history and is well-known worldwide, that doesn’t mean they’re performing well. On the other hand, there are always surprises in football, such as a newly promoted Sheffield United team finishing 9th in the 2019/20 Premier League season.

It’s worth noting that at the time of writing, the season is fresh. The Championship, for example, is just three matches old, so league table mustn’t yet be taken too seriously, as there are just four points separating 24th placed Norwich City and 8th placed Rotherham United.

However, as the season progresses, a noteworthy concept to analyse is goal difference. Goal difference gives football betters an indication of how many goals are scored and conceded over a team’s season. It’s good to note whether teams concede many goals or in contrast don’t let in many.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

According to, Ajax finished the 1997/98 Eredivisie season with a record +90 goal difference.


It’s worth analysing more than just the fixture chosen for a bet. In recent years, football fans would have heard Jurgen Klopp, and other managers, moan about fixture congestion, which is when teams play many matches in a short period of time. This leads to teams resting key players against the weaker opposition, sometimes leading to surprising results.

Another factor worth thinking about when it comes to fixtures is international breaks. Betting directly after an international break isn’t recommended, as the gaps may break a team’s form, as well as star players returning tired or injured.

Match importance

It’s clear that the more important the match, the more competitive the match will be. Both teams will hope to be fully prepared, as well as well up for the encounter. On the other hand, there are less important matches.

For example, with just one match left of the Swedish Allsvenskan, for example, teams may not be able to change league positions. These matches may not provide a very competitive environment and these types out affairs can prove unpredictable.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Of course professional footballers will want to win every match, but maybe some are more important than others.

Past results

Analysis on the team’s previous results is necessary to analyse prior to placing bets. For example:

  • Is a team on a winning streak?
  • Is a team on a losing streak?
  • Is a team on a drawing streak?
  • Is a team on a goalscoring streak?
  • Is a team on a goalscoring drought?
  • Is a team on a clean sheet streak?
  • Is a team on a conceding streak?

Head to head

Analysing the results of previous matches between two teams facing off is a useful tactic.

These figures will tell football betters how both teams perform when meeting. If a particular side constantly beats the other, the chances are they’ll be favourites in this particular match too.

H2H stats are valuable tools to analyse when placing bets in different markets, not just win draw win (WDW  1X2). For example:

  • Are their meetings ordinarily high scoring affairs? (Over/Under X goals)
  • Are there usually clean sheets when they meet? (Win to nil)
  • Are there several bookings?

There are two types of football match that it’s advised to disregard when it comes to football betting. These are:


These matches between neighbouring sides, such as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke in the German Bundesliga, are often spicy affairs. They’re highly emotional for fans and players alike, so the chances of bookings are enhanced, as well as penalties. Crazy things can happen in these matches, so they’re probably best to ignore.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Derbies can be very emotional and nerve-racking affairs.

Bogey teams:

Most successful clubs will have a bogey team. It’s one of those things in football that can’t really be explained. For example, in two consecutive seasons in the early 90s, Real Madrid went to Tenerife on the final day of the La Liga season, needing a victory to win the title and lost on both occasions.

As with all other professional sports, mentality plays a huge part and is a big aspect of why football is so popular all around the globe. There are many psychological facts which need to be analysed prior to placing a bet.

Analysing Mentality

Team chemistry

The relationship between the coaching staff and players, as well as between the players themselves, greatly affect the atmosphere inside a locker room, as well as directly affecting, positively and negatively, the results on the pitch.

If there’s no understanding between the manager and players, there could be a lack of dedication and competitiveness.

Most football fans are aware of the internal politics in the club they follow, but it could be of use to analyse this before placing a bet.

Objective and motivation

If a club’s short and long term goals are known, it becomes a more straightforward choice on whether to place the bet or not, so it’s a good idea to analyse the bigger picture.

As previously mentioned, the busier clubs may have to sacrifice some matches in favour of others each season. For example, Chelsea may put out a slightly less strong team in a League Cup match if they have may an important league or European outing in the near future.

A knockout UEFA Europa League match, for example, may also be tricky to analyse, as if a team has a good advantage going into the second leg, predicting the starting 11 won’t be straightforward, as the manager may choose to rest key players.

If mentality changes as little as 5% in professional sport, a big difference could occur.


Form is subject to sudden change. Most football betters don’t have a proper way of deciphering true form, as they may look at a few numbers and make up their mind. Proper analysis here could be the difference between a won and lost bet.

Form may be misleading. A team could win 2-0 but play badly, and a team could play very well and lose 1-0.

It’s important therefore to watch as many matches as possible, or catch the highlights, to see how a team is truly performing.

Some stats worth analysing to really check whether a team is playing well are:

  • Number of shots on target
  • Number of big chances created
  • XG (expected goals) created
  • Goals from set-pieces
  • Mistakes from referees

Form ultimately comes down to how a team is structured and performing. There are some more aspect worth analysing regarding individual teams when it comes to football bets.



Most football fans will claim that their side never gets rewarded enough penalties, or that the opposing side always get awarded them. It’s worth analysing which teams are given the most penalties as they often result in goals.

Attacking teams are more likely to win penalties, and are also more likely to concede penalties, as their players may not be as defensively secure as teams that have a more defensive style.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Roma legend Francesco Totti holds the record for the most penalties scored in Serie A with 71.


When analysing football, it’s important to keep what’s going on inside a club on the radar. There are many aspects that could affect performance, such as:

  • Financial problems
  • Club takeovers
  • Internal rivalries

The biggest change within a football club which will affect result and performance is a manager change.

Manager changes are very common in football and are usually proceeded by a run of poor results, a poor league position or a failure to meet the board and fans’ expectations.

When a new manager takes over, we often see what is known as a ‘new manager bounce’, where there’s a dramatic improvement in the team’s effort, performance, and result in the short-term.

Here, value bets can be won. New managers are hired to get the best out of their players, and that brings us on to the final aspect to analyse for winning football bets.

The Guide to Analyse Football Matches for Betting

Football fans all over the globe will know what to expect with this particular manager.


Key Players

It’s useful to know who are the star players on each team. Of course we know who finds the back of the net, but there’s always a player the surprises the neutral.

Over 9 million people have signed up to play Fantasy Premier League this season so far. Managers who take the game seriously will know useful information about players, which is also handy for football betting, such as:

  • Who takes the free kicks?
  • Who takes the corners?
  • Who gets booked a lot?
  • Who creates the most chances?

Unavailable players

Players can miss matches for a number of reasons, such as suspension, injury, or international duty. It’s always advisable to research who is available for both sides before placing a bet.

The truth is that some teams may profit from such scenarios, as substitutes may be motivated to prove their worth and earn their place in the starting 11. On the other hand, a team may suffer dramatically due to an injury to an important player.

Analyse the squad depth of the injury ridden side. Generally larger squads can overcome such trouble, so bare that in mind, as the odds may be moving wrongly (due to what people bet) and benefits could be had.

Written by Sasha Isaacs for

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