guide to betting on foreign football matchesForeign football betting is easy isn’t it? You just stick Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus into a fourfold and stick your money on yeah?

Ah, if only it were that simple. Foreign leagues, just like the UK leagues, often throw up a bundle of surprise results, and there are very few guaranteed wins that offer any decent return from a single bet. But some research and studying can pay dividends and strong accumulators can be built by mixing UK and European matches together.

Pick A Country (Or Two)

You can learn it the easy way, or learn it the hard way, but unless you have done plenty of homework on a foreign league then you should not assume that the obvious result you think you’ve spotted is really a dead cert. If you are building accumulators from across two or three (or more) foreign leagues then you really are shooting into the dark without in-depth knowledge of the teams involved.

If you keep on building big accumulators that include teams you’ve heard of, rather than teams whose form you know inside out then you are likely to lose far, far more often than you win. Automatically adding teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris St Germain and the like is risky, unless you have been through the teams news, weighed up their opponents and performed something close to due diligence on each game. The odds available for these ‘famous’ teams are usually very low too. A home win for the likes of Barcelona is often priced at 1/7 or 2/9, and away matches are usually odds on too. Hardly seems worth the risk of the result going against you.

The popularity of these teams also keeps the odds low, even when they are in a longish term run of bad form. Better to look for value elsewhere in these European leagues. There are plenty of other teams, and plenty of those are capable of turning over a weak team in the same league – could you rate Espanyol v Osasuna off the top of your head, or Nice against Nantes? You’ll probably get decent odds on Espanyol and Nice in those games, and the chances of being successful are likely to be higher than betting on Norwich v Aston Villa or another Uk game with familiar teams. If your preference is UK games then you will find plenty of weeks through the season where you just can’t find enough games that you feel confident of calling. That’s when it is useful to have an interest in a couple of European leagues, so that you can turn to those matches when you are building your treble. Don’t spread yourself too thin; choose leagues that you have a chance of following. If you are a Sky Sports subscriber then check out when the Spanish La Liga matches and highlights shows are, or see when Italian or German leagues are televised on channels such as Eurosport.

Study the fixtures well ahead of the weekend; if you can see two or three solid results in those leagues then leave the UK football alone for a week if it hasn’t been going your way. You might find your luck changes, and you might decide to specialise in those international leagues. Bookmakers have to price up games all across the world and they don’t have time to go into intricate detail for all of them; maybe you can get ahead of them now and again?

No need to limit yourself to Europe; that is just our own comfort zone. You might seek solace in the US Major League soccer, or the Japanese league. If you can get the Russian or South American leagues to pay off then please drop us a note and share your secrets with us, as we can’t make head nor tail of results there some weeks!