The Perfect Comeback

The recent game between Red Star Belgrade and FK Vozdovac was a perfect example of how opportunities to profit arise when the strong favourites to win concede an early goal.

As we can see from the screenshot below, Red Star Belgrade were strong favourites to win this match and, naturally, to score the first goal.

Coming into this match, Red Star Belgrade were top of the Serbia Super Liga and had a +60 goal difference. FK Vozdovac, in contrast, were in 11th place and had a -3 goal difference. Red Star Belgrade, therefore, if on form, ought not only win this match, but should score a healthy number of goals in the process.

An early twist!

But the match begins with a surprising twist; FK Vozdovac score the opening goal.

Prior to this goal, Red Star Belgrade had been attacking with some vigour. In the space of just over three minutes they had made 13 attacks (5 of which were ‘dangerous’) and had 86% possession. In this short period of time they had given an early indication of their ability and intent to dominate the game.

The first bet: Red Star to win

Having conceded a goal, odds on Red Star Belgrade winning the match lengthen from 1/8 to 4/7. These odds, in my opinion, are well worth taking.

My confidence in placing this bet depends not only on Red Star Belgrade’s dominant position in the league, but the fact that they were dominating possession and looking quite threatening prior to Vozdovac scoring. (Three minutes might seem too short a time to arrive at this assessment, but when you have closely followed the in-play stats of as many matches as I have, you quickly get a sense of how a team is set to perform). Taken together, therefore, it seems most likely that Red Star Belgrade will reassert themselves and win this match.

Red Star take charge

Red Star Belgrade immediately attack hard, demonstrating real determination to score and take charge of the game. They make 32 dangerous attacks in the first 20 minutes of the half and have three shots on target.

The Second Bet: Over 1.5 FHGs

As we can see from the screenshot below, with 20 minutes played, odds on there being at least one more goal scored in the first half are getting close to 1/2 (1.5), which are the odds I tend to favour.

The reasons for expecting another first half goal are:

  • Red Star Belgrade are attacking with great frequency and consistency
  • They have had three shots on target
  • Odds on them scoring the next goal have remained consistently short and have shortened since the match commenced (from 1/8 to 1/11).

A number of Red Star Belgrade’s shots on target have also occurred from very close to the box, which is what you want to be seeing.

The odds on there being (at least) one more goal scored in the first half (in this case, Over 1.5 First Half Goals) become 1/2 (1.5) in the 23rd minute and, based on what I outlined above, I take these odds.

In the 30th minute, Red Star Belgrade score, and the bet wins.

It is tempting at this point to place a further bet on there being another goal scored in the first half. But I decide against doing so. If you want to be consistently profitable at football betting, you must learn not to push your luck. In the end, Red Star Belgrade do go on to score another first half goal.

Red Star win the match

Red Star Belgrade continue to exert control in the second half, dominating possession and attacking with consistency and menace. They score two further goals, making the 4/7 odds of them winning the match after conceding an early goal very good value.


Opportunities to profit can arise when the stronger team goes behind early in a match. But a comeback is not always guaranteed. In order to be confident in placing a bet on the stronger team winning the match, you need:

  • the difference in league position between the teams to be very substantial.
  • the stronger team to be demonstrating early aggression and dominance in attack

Red Star demonstrated both these things. It quickly became apparent that Vozdovac’s goal was an anomaly and that it was only a matter of time before Belgrade restored order.