Welcome to this week's edition of The week ahead! A huge seven days ahead with the start of the Champions League quarter-finals and some big weekend fixtures that could determine the winners and losers of this season. We also have a huge Football Index announcement next week to prepare for!
What’s going on this week?
This section aims to give you an overview of the week coming up, what kind of dividends will be on offer and a stand-out fixture that will be of some importance to the Index.
This week marks the return of the latter stages of the Champions League and as exciting as that is in the real world, it is even more exciting for Football Index traders because this is the time that European competitions become Triple Match Days despite there being only two to four matches.
This means many players benefit hugely from the reduced player pools. A single day's worth of competitors with a treble day's dividends! What more could we ask for, especially with the new dividend structure!
To demonstrate how much of an impact this has, you can look at last season's Champions League winners Real Madrid's dividend return. You can see below that they returned the most dividends as a team last year and it was no coincidence, they picked up £1.20 (42%!) of their dividends in the Champions League thanks to the reduced player pools in the latter stages. If you can get on players who progress to the final, your dividend chances are extremely high!
What else can you expect from Football Index trading during Champions League games?
During such high-profile fixtures, the world is watching, and that means so are the majority of Football Index traders. During this crucial stage of the season it is often the case that one Champions League leg can be enough to make or break a player's season and it can be the same for their price!
At this point, money has already started to move into transfer targets as people cool off on those players who are going to have a quiet summer, but some players hold onto that investment due to the Champions League alone since the reduced player pools offer such good opportunity for dividends. When the team said player plays for begins to look likely to lose the tie, money can begin to flood out of that player and if panic sets in, we can see some pretty hefty drops, especially if the loss was unexpected because their progression into the next round is often priced into them. Lionel Messi provides a fitting example of this when Barcelona crashed out last season with a second leg 3-0 defeat to Roma. His price throughout March and April can be seen on the graph below. It's obvious that people continued to buy him for his Champions League progression until 9th April. The fatal blow came on the tenth and between then and the end of the month his price fell continuously (prices adjusted to be consistent with post-share split) , totally a 13% decrease, something we hadn't seen on Football Index in a long time! So this competition definitely brings its risks as well as rewards!
It's definitely worth mentioning that we also often see goalscorers, especially first scorers and game-winning scorers get a price spike immediately after the goal goes in, especially if they are cheap or "young".
This week's ties
So now we are all aware of the importance of these games (like you were already!) let's look at the ties. Tuesday brings Liverpool vs Porto in what is expected to be the easiest tie of the week. Porto are unlikely to roll over and a cagey affair could be on the cards but it's a very good chance for those Liverpool players to pick up a big dividend win. Virgil Van Dijk will be up there if Liverpool can keep that all important home clean sheet. Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold could also be in the running if Liverpool play the attacking football we've seen in home matches this season with Alexander-Arnold mustering up the third-highest average crosses per game in the Premier League this season and the pair have contributed 16 assists between them.
Tottenham face Manchester City in the other fixture of the evening in a game that I think really depends on which Spurs side turns up. City always seem to be at it, but an on form Spur side at their new ground could give them a run for their (oil) money! Here's the expected scores for Tuesday, which also included a Ligue 1 fixture between Nimes Olympique and Stade Rennais.
On Wednesday Juventus travel to Ajax to take on the bundle of young talents that breezed past Real Madrid in the last round. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected back for the tie but not a cert for 90 minutes which may give Juventus the chance to use the young tallent of their own, Moise Kean.
The fixture most will be fixated on has to be Manchester United vs Barcelona. You can guarantee the nights media winner will come from this match. Barcelona are huge favourites for the tie, with anyone holding Messi definitely hoping they can see off United, on the year anniversary of their humiliation by Roma mentioned above. If the unexpected does happen, we could see a repeat performance, however the more likely outcome is yet another Match Day Dividend as you can see from the predicted scores below.
This regular segment looks solely at the Saturday and Sunday ahead, using Football Index Edge data to help you predict who is in the running for the triple matchday dividends.
Since this edition has been mainly focused on the Champions League, the weekend fixtures section will be a little shorter than usual, but we're still going to give you a list of stand out fixtures and Football Index Edge's estimated scores!
Tottenham vs Huddersfield - 12:30 Kick off
SPAL vs Juventus
Huesca vs Barcelona
Manchester United vs West Ham 17:30 Kick off
Athletico vs Celta Vigo
Below you can see the estimated scores from Football Index Edge.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City - 14:05 Kick off
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Bayern Munchen
Liverpool vs Chelsea - 16:30 Kick off
Chievo Verona vs Napoli
Lille vs PSG- Title clincher and possible return of Neymar!
30 day plan
If you are into your in-play dividends, this section will look to offer you the best teams or players to be keeping an eye on over the next month.
here are the top three six with the easiest fixtures coming up according to Football Index Edge:
If you're new to Football Index and want to continue to learn the ropes, check out my free guide here!
I hope this article has been useful in preparing your portfolio for the week ahead, happy trading and I’ll be back same time next week!