By William Hill
Last Updated: 7th January 2020
The away goals rule for deciding the victor of a two-legged tie was introduced in 1965 and has been in place ever since. Put simply, if the aggregate scoreline is tied at say, 1-1, if one of the teams scored a goal at their opponent’s stadium, they win the round. The system rewards teams who play attacking football, and it can totally change the way managers deploy tactics in certain fixtures. It also has an effect on how bettors should plan their stakes. Let’s take a look at how aggregate score lines can impact betting.
Away Goals are Here to Stay
One of the most crucial times of the year when two-legged ties and aggregate score lines are common is when the European competitions reach the knockout stages. The tournaments resume after a winter break in late February, and smart bettors incorporate different tactics when choosing teams to bet on. Also, observing the results of first legs can help predict which teams will make it to the latter stages of the tournament and could potentially win.
Many people in the game, such as Sir Alex Ferguson, believe that the away goals rule is dated and harks back to a time when teams were making long trips to play on poorer pitches. Now that the standard of pitches and stadiums across all divisions has risen, and travel is faster and easier, the rule isn’t as effective as before – or so the argument goes. But, on the other hand, home support has been proven to give teams a slight advantage – an average of 60 percent of points each season are won by home teams in English leagues. As a way of deciding matches, it looks as though the away goal rule is here to stay.
When looking at how to bet on matches in a two-legged tie, punters must take into account the fact that managers tend to stray from their usual tactics. For instance, if a team demolishes their opponents in the first leg and gains a huge advantage, then it would be expected that the manager would rest a lot of key players in the second fixture. This is when they would be more likely to give chances to squad players.
Another thing to consider is that the home team in the first leg is more likely to set up defensively. If a team comes to your ground and scores first, that puts you at a distinct disadvantage in the tie, with a lot of ground to cover. That said, a good strategy for the away side is to play a more attacking brand of football in the first leg.
Analyse the Stats
Looking at the history of results from first-leg ties can help you decide which team will make it to the next stage. In the last 14 years, there have been 27 matches where the home side won 1-0 in the first leg. Twenty of these teams have progressed further in the tournament. In contrast, there have been 25 times that the first match has ended 1-1. Out of these, there were only seven home sides who made it to the next round. If an away team wins 0-1 in the first leg, they have a 93.3 percent chance of qualifying for the next set of fixtures. There are statistics tables online which can assist with this kind of betting.
The most important thing to remember about aggregate score lines is you need to change your normal betting strategy. Bear in mind that tactics and line-ups are likely to change, and also look at stats to see the likelihood of a team prevailing based on the scoreline from the first leg. It can be extremely exciting if you prepare correctly.