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Chances of Ipswich taking more corners may have been underestimated

The soccer boffin has another crafty corners bet

Luke Chambers of Ipswich Town
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Betfair and Paddy Power may have underestimated the chance of Ipswich taking most corners in their Championship game at home to Aston Villa. Odds of 6-4 seem a bit too big.

The number of corners a team take is usually related to how much attacking they do. And against any given opponents, teams tend to do more attacking at home than away. This is the point that may not have been fully taken into account.

Villa lost in the Championship playoff final last season and have started this season with two wins. Ipswich finished 12th last season and have taken only one point from two games this season under new manager Paul Hurst, though performances have deserved more.

It is reasonable to suppose that Villa are better than Ipswich. There is still a big gap between the budgets of the two clubs even though Villa had to cut back during the summer.

The score-related markets for Portman Road imply a 45 per cent chance of a Villa win, a 30 per cent chance of a draw and a 25 per cent chance of an Ipswich win, and they seem right.

In previous seasons in Football League games with similar goals expectations the chance of the home team taking most corners was about 43 per cent. Odds of 6-4 imply a 40 per cent chance of a bet being successful. Not much less, but when the odds for a football market are wrong it is rarely by much.

Ipswich during the last two seasons took most corners in home games slightly less often than usual for a team with their home scores – in perhaps three games fewer over the two campaigns. But that is hardly anything, and unusual corner patterns tend to become less unusual over time anyway.

This season Ipswich have taken most corners in both their Championship games and Villa have taken least corners in both theirs. That may turn out to be a bad omen because Ipswich are not going to win the corner count in every game and Villa are not going to lose.

But all things considered there do appear to be grounds for thinking that the chance of Ipswich winning the corners match bet might be better than suggested by odds of 6-4.

Ipswich corners match bet
1pt 6-4 Betfair, Paddy Power

Thought for the Day

One much-repeated criticism of Newcastle is wrong – that they are a Premier League club who are paying for Championship players and have got Championship players.

Last week Newcastle issued a statement signed by managing director Lee Charnley, manager Rafa Benitez and captain Jamaal Lascelles.

It said the squad that finished tenth in the Premier League last season “have shown heart, guts and determination and the inference that they are ‘Championship’ players and not good enough is unfair and untrue".

Newcastle were entitled to say that.

They won the Championship two seasons ago with a top Premier League manager and a squad of experienced Premier League players. In fact, Newcastle had taken a conscious risk in maintaining a Premier League-standard roster in the hope of winning promotion straight back to the Premier League.

When Newcastle won the Championship their payroll was greater than their total income for the season. The payroll was £102 million (excluding £10m of promotion bonuses). It dwarfed, say, the £29m payroll that season of Cardiff, who have since won promotion themselves and play Newcastle today.

Newcastle’s payroll in the Championship would have ranked 11th that season in the Premier League. And when they returned to the Premier League they finished tenth.

Clearly some things are not right at Newcastle. Fans are unhappy. Players refused to speak to the press in pre-season because of a dispute with the club over performance-related bonuses. But one complaint that does not stand up is that those players are Championship players in experience or pay.

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This season Ipswich have taken most corners in both their Championship games and Villa have taken least corners in both theirs
E.W. Terms
Sky bet