Football INDEX Dark Horses

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As the European Leagues return from the winter break and we enter the first full year of Match Day Dividends, what better time to have a delve into the performance statistics and pick out a few unsung hero’s looking to make 2018 their year.

From the outset, several players have stood out as Match Day gold, with the likes of Neymar, Kane and Messi all yielding above forty pence since August. Some have surprised us, like Nabil Fekir who many would (probably unwilling) admit to not knowing before the start of the season, or Daniel Pajaro, the only player to win two treble day star player pay outs of 18p to date. And some seem to be on the cusp of winning performances but yet to really stamp their mark on the new dividend feature of the platform.

In this article I will be focusing on this third category, the so-called best of the rest who have maybe not quite lived up to expectation thus far and seen their price limited as a result, or those who have come close but still appear to be flying under the radar in order to give you some potentially less obvious investment opportunities to consider.

Starting at the back with a seemingly forgotten man, Thiago Silva failed to live up to the expectations of traders during the early stages of Match Day Dividends and after peaking at £1.71 in August the Brazilian found his price tumbling after only managing to pick up a couple of single day wins at the old two pence dividend.

Although he is yet to win since, Silva is back from injury and in fact boasts the fifth highest average defender score of those who have played 10 or more games with 123, and is priced a huge seventy pence less than fourth highest scoring Kolarov. Now I’m not suggesting he’s a guaranteed winner but with four scores over 150 already this season, there’s little downside to the Parisian centre half at £0.84 and dare I say “World Cup”?

Moving into Midfield and sticking with the French league, another player that could grab you a nice dividend yield is Luiz Gustavo, the Marseille midfielder has already picked up one eight pence dividend this season and has a rather impressive average score of 139 which gives him the fifth highest average midfield score but furthermore, the most appealing part of this potential trade is the fixtures he’s involved in over the next fortnight.

Marseille play three games, against reasonably weak opposition in the shape of Rennes, Strasbourg and Caen on the 13th, 16th and 19th respectively, but the real sweetener is that on the 16th and 19th there are only three games eligible for Match Day Dividends, meaning at only £1.06 there’s a chance of a decent % return, however it is unlikely to result in any huge capital appreciation and although his IPO price on £1 means there’s little room for decrease, it does also show that he’s a very illiquid player so if you’re going to need the funds available in the near future maybe give this one a miss.

Another player in the Marseille midfield that could benefit from these fixtures is Florian Thauvin who has found the net more than anyone else in team this season and hit over 200 twice this season, once in the reverse fixture against Caen and although he comes at a more premium price of £2.96, he has already proven his potential with an eighteen-pence-dividend performance since his IPO at £2.70. With the Premier League being the biggest source of Match Day Dividends so far (accounting for over 34% so far), it wouldn’t be right to not mention an English based player.

The so called bargain for me has to be Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, although he’s only picked up an underwhelming two pence in dividends this season, the pass master continues to pick up good scores averaging around 110, and although that’s not too impressive, Arsenal’s upcoming fixtures are far from the most difficult and if they continue to progress in the Europa League, a Thursday-Sunday fixture pattern would continue to keep the Gunners playing on less competitive days giving the Swiss international plenty of opportunities to be rewarded from a good performance and at 79p he’s far from breaking the bank.

Looking for under the radar forwards is the most difficult task, as we know that the dividend winners usually revolve around goal scoring which doesn’t often go unnoticed. Those highest in price are the ones with the highest baselines aside from goals like Dybala, Neymar and Messi however many of the traditional strikers have been proving that baseline is not the be all and end all by picking up wins simply by scoring goals.

These are the forwards who come at the cheapest price and although their wins may not be as frequent, they clearly have the capabilities to earn dividends, proven recently by Ciro Immobile’s score of 278 taking Saturdays star player dividend after opening the day at just £1.56 and peaking at £1.83 showing the huge impact a big score can have on these lower priced forwards.

On that note, Lewandowski at £2.64 could see a similar rise if he manages a big performance in the future, and with a single day on Friday coming up he has a good chance of picking up a small dividend to kick things off and with a relatively easy champions League draw coming up there should be plenty more opportunities ahead, the big question is whether he can take one of them. Similarly, Mauro Icardi continues to find the net in Serie A as well as already picking up £0.26 in dividends this season, albeit mainly from single days, but at £2.44 he also looks decent value.

I’m not trying to suggest that these players are the panicle of performance buzz because they’re not, and they’re prices reflect that, but using Immobile as an example again, it’s clear that a good score can put a player into the spotlight and encourage people to buy them so being in before they hit that score can be very beneficial. These kind of gambles are well worth holding in your portfolio alongside the more reliable performers, or if you’re looking for some cheaper options with limited capital these kind of players could be suitable for you, as ever providing more potential opportunities to profit on Football Index.

Written by @FootballindexLM


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