Thursday, 28 June 2012

Partita del Secolo

As predicted, the first Euro 2012 semi-final was a tight affair, and history suggests the second one today will be the same. Four of nine semi-finals since 1996 have ended 0-0, and five have hit half-time with that scoreline.

After a tournament without a 0-0 in 27 matches, we have now seen two in a row. Will we be lucky enough to see a third? As for the much debated Ronaldo decision on taking the fifth (he must think he's American!) the most crucial penalties historically are the first and the fourth - the ones that Portugal missed! At least this was the conclusion of a study by LSE professor Ignacio Palacios-Huerta who studied penalty shoot-outs going back over 20 years.

A repeat of the 1970 World Cup semi-final score between today's two teams is unlikely. Older readers will remember the 'Game of the Century' as it is known in Italy, when a game that was 1-0 to Italy for 82 minutes ended 1-1 with a late German equaliser and the game went to extra time. In front of a crowd of 102,000 in Mexico City, West Germany went ahead, Italy regained the lead, then gave up an equaliser before finally winning 4-3. Exciting stuff, but I like my 0-0s these days, especially with history on my side.

As I said a few days ago, I am hoping the Match Odds and Over / Under 2.5 goals markets continue into the domestic season, as these add another way to play the XX Draws. Today's game has seen the Draw / Under selection matched at 4.2, a more profitable way to back the 0-0 and 1-1 than in the Correct Score market where the prices are 8.8 and 7.8 respectively.

Speaking of the XX Draws, the currently reduced price expires at the end of June, so there are not too many days left. I am pleased that most subscribers from last year have renewed, along with several additional subscribers, and I would be doing myself a disservice if I did not mention that in the unlikely event that these selections are not profitable, there is a structured subscription refund plan in place which I believe is rare, if not unique, for this kind of a service. New for 2012-13 is that selections will be posted on a website as well as emailed, so the problems with spam folders, and the XX implying some kind of porn content, should be resolved.

Many thanks to all those of you who have already signed up. I shall be sending out emails ahead of the new season to confirm your email addresses are correct.

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