Before you put your money where your mouth is and you bet on your favourite games, it’s crucial you do a little research to ensure you have a better chance of winning some money. Research does take a bit of time and patience to achieve, but at the end of it, you can be confident your selections are going to be winners. Here are six things you should research before staking on football.

1. Recent Form

Recent form is one of the most important research points to consider, as it’ll give you a good idea of how teams are currently progressing. If, for example, a team has three wins on the trot and the team they’re playing are struggling to get draws, it could be wise to bet on the team that’s playing better football. Such form isn’t going to guarantee you winners, but it’s a good starting point when it comes to football research. The team at the top of the table with poor recent form could easily struggle against a bottom club who has won the last two games.

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2. Line-Ups

Teams in the Premier League don’t always put their best players out, whether that’s due to injuries, suspensions, illnesses, personal reasons, or simply because they have a tougher game the week after and they don’t want to risk their stars. Therefore, it’s important you have a look at the lineups before putting money on a game. The last thing you want is to put money on Arsenal to beat West Bromwich Albion, but Arsenal haven’t fielded as strong of a side because they’re playing Chelsea 3 days after.

3. Head to Head Statistics

The chances are the teams playing against each other have played each other in the past. Taking advantage of this information will give you a good idea of which team plays better, and which team fears the other. Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world, but they have been known to struggle against even Swansea in the last few years. It’s a good indicator and it’s a good way to take advantage of long odds from punters who haven’t necessarily done their research. They just put money on Manchester United because they don’t think Swansea have enough in the tank.

4. Home or Away

The stadium in which the game takes place is another important research point. It may seem fairly obvious that Manchester City plays better football at the Etihad Stadium, but that’s not always the case. Some teams, especially like Burnley and co, actually have produced better performances away from home. It’s a good idea to look at the recent form for the last 5-10 games or so, just to see how well they’ve been playing home and away.

5. The Type of Event

The type of event is again, another crucial piece of research to consider. Teams like Arsenal might play some of their youngsters in a cup game against Yeovil. Other teams like Manchester United (especially under Mourinho), prefer to play their starting 11 even against Bristol City. The type of event can change the attitudes of managers and, more importantly, the players. Research the type of event beforehand so you can see whether a team is going to take the specific fixture as serious as they should.

6. Odds Comparison

Another good idea is to look at and compare the odds of the bet you’re interested in backing. Most bookmakers provide different odds on different markets, as their punters bet different amounts of money so they have to change odds to suit. This could give you valuable information as to what teams are being backed most on some bookies, but aren’t quite as heavily backed by others. You can find out more about odds comparison with Toals.

The above are just some of the most important research points to undertake before you bet with real money. Many of the top punters out there who bet on football professionally do a lot more than just the above though. Some punters even go as far as reading into the personal lives of football players and managers, and some others even look at the weather forecast to get detailed information.