JD's Betting Blog: Two tips from this weekend's European action

JD explains why it's important to tread carefully in manager markets and also explains why he's backing Barcelona in the big La Liga clash against Atletico Madrid this weekend

It has been a busy start to 2014 with league and cup action in some of Europe's top footballing countries. The games come thick and fast at this time of year and it is an important to maintain focus and discipline in the market place.

We witnessed an interesting set of results in Italy and Spain last weekend with 15 home wins out of 20. 16 away teams failed to score indicating that they were still in holiday mode to come extent. We will have to wait a little longer for the return of the Bundesliga with it due to recommence on January 24th but this is certainly something to keep in mind when deciding on your betting strategy.

Thread carefully in managerial markets

Layers like to promote managerial markets as much as possible.  One of the main reasons for this is that a vast majority of punters will simply not be privy to information which they can benefit from in the market place.

If we contrast that with an upcoming football match, a punter can do all sorts of homework with the wide ranging public information to gain an edge.

The reality is most discussions or plans to either appoint or sack a manager are kept private by a small number of people in charge of a football club. We may hear speculation in the media but these markets can be a guessing game without strong information.

In the Premier League West Ham boss, Sam Allardyce, is currently 1/5 (1.20) in places in the sack race despite getting a vote of confidence from his bosses. The markets are reacting to two cup matches in which his depleted side were thrashed. This reaction is misguided as his survival will depend on his league form starting with a trip to Cardiff this weekend.

This weekend's tips

Looking ahead to the weekend, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will clash in perhaps the biggest game in Europe this week. These two met in the Spanish Super Cup in August and both matches were drawn.

However, Barcelona enjoy significant league head-to-head superiority over Diego Simeone's side and they look an attractive price at 6/5 (2.20) with bet365. It is not often we can obtain such big odds on Barcelona winning a match in La Liga and the return of Lionel Messi from injury can inspire them to victory. 

Swansea City enjoyed a memorable FA Cup win at Old Trafford last weekend. They will travel there again in the league this weekend and they can heap further misery on David Moyes.

The home side are around 1/2 (1.50) in places to win which seems very short given their troubles. Swansea City will have no fear after winning last week and can be backed at 13/8 (2.63) with bet365 to avoid defeat.

Barcelona to win at 6/5 (2.20) with bet365 Swansea and draw (Double Chance) at 13/8 (2.63) with bet365

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