Welcome to this week's edition of The Week Ahead. We'll see more Champions League fates decided, FA Cup clashes and Liverpool attempt to take back top spot before the International Break.
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.
On Tuesday, we have two big Champions League deciders. Juventus take on Athletico Madrid in a game that looks dead and buried after a 2-0 first leg loss. It appears prices of Juventus players have already been adjusted for an exit, as you can see below, so if the expected is confirmed there shouldn't be much of a correction, but it certainly doesn't look good for Juventus players right now. However, should they pull it off, a bounce back is definitely on the cards with plenty to be made on those that have fallen.
The other fixture is Manchester City vs Schalke where, after an impressive comeback in the first leg, it is expected to be a simple task for City against a pretty poor Schalke team. People will be keeping an eye on Raheem Sterling, who has been in great for recently but still hasn't seen the rise that similar players like Dembele, Junior, Martial etc has seen. On the other side of the pitch, it may be worth watching Breel Embolo, who is back from long term injury and scored twice at the weekend. The young star chose to join Schalke over a host of top clubs a couple of years ago but now, still only 21, with relegation a real threat to the German side, there has been rumours of him looking to jump ship so this televised appearance in England could be good for him.
PSG also play Dijon away on Tuesday in a rescheduled, providing some more competition for the performance dividends.
On Wednesday, Bayern play Liverpool and Barcelona take on Lyon in two games that could really go either way. Home wins would be expected but both games could really go either way with an away goal. Definitely room for trading on these games. You'd expect those who go out to take a hit as we've seen in the last couple of weeks, with potential rises for those who progress.
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 day dividends.
The Quarter Finals of the FA Cup mean that Premier League games are thin on the group this week but the cup games could definitely play a part in Media Dividends and price movements, especially with Manchester United travelling to Wolves on Saturday night for a 7:55pm kick off. A strong team is expected, but inclusion of Chong or Greenwood may cause price movements as they have done continuously this season so far.
Real Madrid take on a relegation threatened Celta Vigo after Zidane returned to the helm earlier this week following last weeks shock Champions League exit. Benzema's form could continue here, with the squad looking pretty depleted at the moment. It may also give Toni Kroos a chance to prove his worth after a dividend dry spell.
You can see Edge's Saturday predictions below...
A rare Sunday game for Bayern sees them play Mainz in what is usually a free scoring game, with seven of the last eight meetings having over 2.5 goals. Potential bad news for Kimmich holders is that in five of the last six meetings both teams have scored but if they can keep a clean sheet he could definitely be in with a shout.
A big clash at the bottom of La Liga, as Villarreal take on Rayo Vallecano. One to keep an eye on if you're considering trading based on relegation. Many will have their fingers crossed for a Vallecano win to help the cause of Pablo Fornals exit. His price has increased steadily as Villarreal's slump has continued.
Everton play Chelsea who will look to keep up the fight for top 4 and Liverpool travel to Fulham to regain top spot, at least in the interim. You have to expect Media Dividends to come from one of the attacking players in this game.
We have Edge's predictions for Sunday below.
The Nation Is Calling
With the international break just around the corner, people's attention is beginning to turn to England players again. As ever, we'll likely see small rises across the board for most attacking players, as it is likely the goal scorers take the media dividends on game days.
Those who tend to see the biggest rises, however, are the young players who earn a not so expected call up to the squad, since it's not fully priced into these players just yet. Interestingly, even those who have risen a lot already still get a good rise when the squad place is confirmed as I recall with Jadon Sancho when he was first brought into the team. Prime candidates this time around have to be Declan Rice, who could easily get some media attention after his alliance change to the three lions, should he be called up, and James Maddison who is also very likely to get a place with the likes of Lingard and Alli recovering from injury. You can see both of their price movements below. Maybe Maddison provides the lower risk option since Rice has seen such a huge rise already, meaning a swerve from the squad could see a bigger drop. Possibly high risk high reward, but in this market the sale of young players doesn't happen to often! It just depends how many people have bough him already with the intention to sell on a squad announcement.
All eyes on Wednesday's squad releases to see what happens!
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.
Pickings are a bit slim here with the International break coming up towards the end of this month, reducing the number of fixtures any team will play in the next 30 days.
Sevilla remain the best candidates as mentioned last week before their 2-2 first leg draw with Slavia Prague and 5-2 win against Real Sociedad. Wissam Ben Yedder particularly impressed with four goals over the two fixtures. Ever Banega, as always, is the stand-out shout for them and I'd be surprised to not see him pick up a win at some point this month.
Here are the top four teams with the easiest fixtures coming up according to Football Index Edge:
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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!