Friendly matches are bit of a tricky proposition when it comes to trading. Some traders will tell you to avoid them like the plague whilst there are some that actually do well with them. There are lots of friendly matches during the summer and also there are plenty during the international breaks too.
Here are some ways you can trade friendly matches and actually increase your chances of profiting from them too.
Do NOT Get Involved Pre-Match
When trading a competitive football you can usually assess the situation and spot value before the match so it would not be uncommon to back a certain outcome before the match begins. With friendly matches all this goes out of the window and, unless you have inside knowledge, it is virtually impossible to price up a match. The real opportunities with friendly matches are actually in-play.
Oppose the Short Priced Favourites
You will find there are many short priced favourites in friendly matches but would you really want to back a team that probably does not care if it wins or not? Backing them is a bad idea so you should look to lay them.
As said above, do not do this pre-match since you have no idea just how much this team wants to win the match. Therefore, you have to watch the match and see how the team is performing. Many of the big teams use friendly matches as a warm up exercise or to experiment with a new system. Whilst the underdog might actually love a win over this big name team. By watching the match live you can get a good idea of just how well the favourite is actually playing and if they look to be struggling you can lay them since the prices are not likely to adjust drastically.
Lower Your Stakes
It is important to remember that friendly matches should not be your “bread and butter” when it comes to trading. When I trade them myself they are more of an exercise and so I lower my stakes accordingly. I would definitely not recommend trading these matches with your usual stakes. Making good money from a friendly match can feel good but losing BIG money on a friendly match will leave you feeling terrible and with lots of regret. I know I been there in my early days so don’t do it! 😉
Experiment With Strategies
These days I see friendly matches as ways to “exercise” my football trading. As said, I lower the stakes and then often look to use strategies I do not normally use. This usually gets the creative juices flowing and sometimes you might end up with a new angle to play when the real stuff comes along. If you have bought any ebooks or systems recently and have not yet tried out some of the methods then friendly matches can be a good way of trying them out without distracting from your normal trading.
Consider The Motivations Behind The Match
The best opportunities can be spotted by working out the motivations behind a friendly match. Does either of the teams actually want to win? Or are they both using it to experiment?
For example, recently Germany played Australia in a friendly match. Germany were 1.10 favourites but they were approaching this match as a warm up for their up coming Euro 2016 qualifier. They dropped a few players and clearly did not seem that bothered about actually winning. Australia on the other hand were really up for it. A victory away to the world champions would look great for them and in the end the match finished 2-2 but with Australia being the better team. Laying Germany there would have been a great move to make once you saw they were not as motivated as the opposition were that night.
Also, consider just why the match is being played. Friendly matches are often called “exhibition” matches as they are meant to put on a show and entertain the crowd. Therefore, you might get some matches where the coaches are told, or influenced, by the match sponsors to make it an open affair with lots of goals. No match sponsor wants to provide a tight, dull 0-0 after all. So look out for those friendly matches that take place in neutral stadiums and the exhibition matches that Premier League teams often play in the USA or the Far East. Who can forget when Chelsea played Man City in the New York Yankee Stadium in May 2013 for an exhibition match. The match that day finished 5-3, could not imagine that happening in the Premier League.
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