Tuesday, 30 March 2010

If Carlsberg did football matches...

Arsenal v Barcelona

A very interesting match and one which will hopefully live upto the promise. Undoubtley in my eyes at least the two most entertaining club teams in Europe. Both teams are untouchable when in top form, I would argue that on the balance of things Barcelona have a stronger team. Barcelona are packed with superstars throughout the team (especially in attacking areas) whereas Arsenal have a younger but still very taleneted side. Can't help but think Arsenal are over-priced in this game, I'd say this game is very equal when you take into account it's at the Emirates. Barcelona weren't that impressive in the first leg of the last round away at Stuttgart and a similiarly performance here and Arsenal could capitalise.

It's vital however that Arsenal get off to a good start, they tend to go over attackive when falling behind and concede goals on the break, see home games Vs Chelsea and Mna Utd for examples this season. It should be a totally different game to the Chelsea/Barca ties last season which was Barca's attack against Chelseas couter-attack for the large part. It's not in Arsenal's nature to sit back and soak up pressure which Chelsea very nearly did successfully against Barca. It should be an end-to-end game almost more like a South Americian style game than a European one. I'm taking Arsenal (+0.25) at a decent looking 1.90, I think the most likely outcome is a score draw but Arsenal are more than capable of taking a lead into the second leg.

I'm sure Thierry Henry will get a wondeful reception from the Emirates ground. One of the Premiership's greatest undoubtley, has never really reached the same peaks in La Liga but is still a top class player.

Arsenal (+0.25) @ 1.90 Bet365

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Saturday's Premiership selecitons

Chelsea v Aston Villa
Aston Villa have a decent away record they won at both Old Trafford and Anfield lets not forget, although that was much earlier in the season. In their last two games however Villa have dropped points they wouldn't have expected only managing two draws from home games against Wolves & Sunderland. This seriously damages their chance of finishing fourth, these two teams meet again in the FA Cup semi-final and I'm sure if you gave most Villa fans the choice they'd rather focus more attention on the FA Cup and another potential final for them.

Chelsea came back strongly after a mini-blip with a 5-0 defeat of Portsmouth in midweek. Whilst this was indeed only Portsmouth, they should clinical finishing and started to look more like the Chelsea team we've come to expect. They've got a number of injuries but still have plenty of quality players to cover. They also have Cech back in goal which is a big boost for them

Can see a comfy Chelsea win here with Villa not really on top form at the moment. I'll take the Chelsea (-1.25) on the Asian Handicap.

Chelsea (-1.25) @ 1.91 (PaddyPower)

Hull v Fulham
Hull looked set to take all three points at Fratton Park last week but threw away the game conceding two goals in quick succession. Their home form is reasonably good they've beaten teams like Man City and Everton but only managed points against the likes of Portmsdouth, Wolves and West Ham.

Fulham are a very efficinet unit under Roy Hodgson, that being said away from home they've failed to produce the sort of football that wins them games at Craven Cottage. They've only one away win to their name all season but have managed six draws. I'm going to back Fulham purely for the odds on offer, if Fulham were at home for this game you'd expect them to be around the 1.60 possibly even shorter. Yes Fulham have a poor away record but looking at the two teams I'd say Fulham have better quality in all areas, not forgetting there may be a tense atmosphere at the KC especially if the game is still level towards the end, Hull will have to throw caution to the wind and they may leave Fulham with the opportunity to nick all three points. I'm also taking Booby Zamora anytime scorer at an attractive looking price, he's in top form at the moment and will surely get chances against a leaky Hull defense.

Fulham @ 3.00 (StanJames)
Anytime Goalscorer: Bobby Zamora @ 3.20 (Coral)

West Ham v Stoke City
Watched the West Ham/Wolves game midweek and West Ham were soundly beaten. Depsite the recent defeat their home form had picked up recent winning two on the bounce at home prior to Tuesday's performance. Think Zola will make numerous changes after the midweek game and surely Franco will start the game after his impressive caemo in that defeat. Whilst Stoke are a difficult side to face, they are not quite as menancing away from the Britannia. They've got a (2-7-5) away record which is reasonable I suppose. But all things being considered espeically the importance of this game for West Ham I think we may see a spirited performance on the back of that shocking one against Wolves.

West Ham @ 2.20 (Betfred)

Wolves v Everton
Two teams very much in top form. Both teams come into the game on the back of very impressive away wins in midweek. Strangely enough Wolves have actually picked more points away from home than at home this season. Although in their last home game against Man Utd I thought they performed well and were unlucky not to get something out of the game. Everton like I've mentioned in recent weeks are absolutley flying at the minute but I think they may have found a team that matches their own team-work and for that reason I fancy a draw here.

Draw @ 3.40 (Various)

Bolton v Man Utd
Bolton have managed to keep it a lot tighter at the back since Owen Coyle took over the reigns. They've kept four clean sheets in a row at home to be precise. Mna Utd struggle dto find the net in their last away game at Wolves and I think this will be a similiarly tough challenge for them. I'm taking the unders here.

Under 2.5 goals @ 2.18 (Betfair)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Midweek Premiership games

Aston Villa v Sunderland
Watched the Aston Villa/Wolves game on Saturday and Villa weren't over-impressiv eit must be said. They pressed a lot in the second half without ever really causing too much danger. However when the chance did come along it was Carew who meant the game ended in a draw which was probably a fair outcome.

Sunderland on the other hand will be on a high after two wins and one draw in their last three games, all of which were at home. Away from home Sunderland have only won one away all season. All that being I don't think the Aston Villa win offers any value at around 1.57, especially considering Sunderland's recent return to winning ways and Villa's slip up at the weekend. Instead I'm opting for the over 2.5 goals option, both teams have plenty of attacking options. Aston Villa's team is naturally attacking with pace from the flanks and with Milner bursitng from midfield combined with Carew upfront, they have plenty of goals in them. Likewise Sunderland have one of the must profilic goalscorers this seaosn in Darren Bent, add in to that Jones and the creativity of Marlbranque and the Sunderland team look to have goals in them. Also expect this game to be a bit mor eopen as Sunderland can relax a bit after the wins at home almost certianly secure their Premiership safety, Villa will be all out for a win after dropping points at the weekend also.

Over 2.5 goals @ 1.93 (Betfair)

Man City v Everton
Everton are in brilliant form at the moment, winning 7 out of their last 10 games. They've got a lot of their key players back and you can really see the difference it as made to their performances and results. Man City themselves have been doing reasonable well and are still well in the hunt for the much talked about fourth spot. Despite recent wins I don't think City have been at all convincing, they totally failed to turn up in the first half against Sunderland and wer elucky the game wasn't out fo reach before half-time. Last game they managed to beat Fulham but it wasn't the easiest of wins against a side which was tired after it's Europa league heroics.

It's true City are unbeaten all season in the league at home this season, but I feel Everton are on top form right now and an in-form Everton team as the quality to beat any team on any given day. Everton don't have the greatest away form but in past seasons they've been a very good away team and City will undoubtley be in for a tough game. I like the look of Everton (+0.25) on the Asian Handicap

Everton (+0.25) @ 2.30 (PaddyPower)

Chelsea v Portsmouth
Chelsea have had a awful weeek, got completely out played and ultimately knocked out on the Champions Legaue by Mourinho's Inter. Only then to go drop vital points in the race for the title away at Blackburn. With the greatest respect to Portsmouth but they don't have to same quality as Inter Milan nor the same battling qualities that Blackburn possess. The managed to restrict Blackburn to only a few chances and on the whole their defense is still strong with Terry and Alex at the heart of it. Taking Chelsea to win to nill here.

Chelsea to win to nill @ 2.00 (PaddyPower)

Friday, 19 March 2010

Saturday's Premiership action

Everton V Bolton
Everton are in terrific form at the moment but threw away a 2-0 lead to Bimringham last weekend. That being said their home form as been nothing short of amazing over the past two months or so. They've racked up six wins on the bounce at home in the legaue which included wins over Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City as well as 5-1 thrashing of Hull. Can see Everton scoring a few in this one since Bolton have been poor away from home shipping four against both Sunderland and Tottenham as well as three against Blackburn in recent weeks. All things point towards a comfortable Everton win and plenty of goals, I'm therefore taking Everton on the Asian Handicap (-1) and Over 2.5 goals.
Everton (-1) @ 1.94 (Ladbrokes)
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.83 (Totesport)

Portsmouth v Hull
Portsmouth had their nine points deduction finally confirmed and now are definitley going to be relegated this season. In a sense the pressure has been off the Portmsouth players for a while now and a lot of them are in the shop window if you like and will be looking to impress to get snapped up by another Premiership club. Hull have a dreadful record away from home and have only scored one goal in their last five away games. They sacked their manager Phil Brown and replaced him with Ian Dowie till the end of the season. Some would say Phil Brown's a perfectly good manager and Hull punched above their weight last season by avoiding relegation it's questionable whether a mangerial change at this point will make any difference. Hull struggle to create much going forward especially away from home and I think they'll struggle to get past David James and I fancy Portsmouth to keep a rare clean sheet.

Portsmouth to keep a clean sheet @ 2.80 (PaddyPower)

Stoke v Tottenham
Stoke are more than a match for anyone on their own ground and that'll be no different in this match. Tottenham have been very inconsistent, they can look a terrific side on their day but then again they've suffered a number of shock defeats this season. Their away record is solid at (5-5-4) but they'll find it difficult against Stoke. Stoke themselves have drawn 12 games in the league this season, and I fancy this one may go the same way. Tottenham won't want to lose this one in the hunt for fourth place and may have to settle for a point like Aston Villa did. I'm also happy to take the unders here as both teams have a decent defensive record this season and Spurs will be without their goal poacher in Defoe.

Draw @ 3.30 (Boylesports)
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.78 (Betfair)

Wigan v Burnley
Burnley's away form is the worst in the land, they' ve not just been beaten away from home they've been heavily beaten on a number of occassions. Out of their 14 away losses this season, 12 of them where by more than the one goal they've also concede 2 or more in all but one of their 15 league games this term.

Okay Wigan aren't exactly playing well at the moment and you may point to the 4-0 defeat at Bolton last week but to be fair the goals they did concede where all defensive errors which proved costly. I've noticed when Wigan do win they tend to win well, they also beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor earlier in the season. Therefore I think there's real value here in taking Wigan (-1) on Asian Handicap at an attractive looking price in the hope they'll bounce back with a good win against poor travellers Burnley.

Wigan (-1) @ 2.50 (PaddyPower)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Cheltenham - Day Three

No times for write-ups but here are my selecitons in order of preference for each race tommorrow:

Hey Big Spender (10/1)
Seven Is My Number (28/1)

Alfie Sherrin (7/2)
Kayf Armais (22/1)
Buena Vista (20/1)

Poquelin (7/2)
Voy Por Ustedes (16/1)

Big Bucks (8/11)
Lie Forrit (50/1)

Sunnyhillboy (9/1)
The Sawyer (22/1)
Mister McGoldrick (40/1)

Cheltenham - Day Two

Two winners out of my selections yesterday including Chief Dan George at 33/1!

Hopefully more of the same for day two.

13:30 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
There's plenty of difficult races to find winners from but this would just about top the list. All the horses are novices and ridden by amateur riders over 4miles, as the cliche goes anything can happen. However there's a a atrong trend towards LTO winners (24 out of the last 26) and that seriously needs to be considered when looking at selections. My first selection is Mobaasher who has a win at Cheltenham to his name, which is always a major plus as Cheltenham is a very unique track, it won well last time out at Plumpton. If it jumps well it should go close. My second seleciton in this race is Noakard De Veeze who has been in fine form this season and the longer trip should suit. Final seleciton is Poker De Sivola who doesn't have the greatest form on paper but has ran over 4m, which should be a major benefit over thoose who haven't. Not one to get heavily involved in but worth a few small E/W bets.
Mobaasher 12/1 (Ladbrokes)
Noakard De Veeze 41/1 (Betfair)

Poker De Sivola 21/1 (Betfair)

14:05 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
Again some key trends to look at about this race. A strong trend for 6 year old winners (7 out of the last 10) and winners over the age of six are very rare (only one since 1974). Two more important trends, winners tend to come from the top six in the bettting and previous winners have finished 1st or 2nd LTO. My first choice seleciton in this is Quel Esprit, he's got good experience over hurdles and appears to continue to improve. My second seleciton in this race is Finians Rainbow who will be against it in trying to over-turn Nicky Henderson's 0-20 recor din this race. Also a little outside chance for Ghizao, trip a bit of uncertain but has been impressive in its previous races.
Quel Esprit 4/1 (Betfair)
Finians Rainbow 6/1 (Various)

Ghizao 20/1 (Various)

14:40 RSA Chase
A novice chase over 3m which is usually ran at strong pace. A key trend is that 13 of the last 15 winners were aged 7 or 8. The race however in the past as often thrown up a number of big-priced winners, however the last 3 runs have all been won by the favourite. Some very good horses in this race but I'm going for Punchestown, the top-class hurdler who has been impressive over fences. My second choice is Diamond Harry, again who is a good hurdler and is open ti improvement as a chaser. Final choice is a real long shot with Little Josh, who maybe can sneak a place if a few don't make it round.
Punchestown 11/4 (Various)
Diamond Harry 13/2 (Various)
Little Josh 66/1 (Various)

15:20 - Queen Mother Champion Chase
The feature race of day two and probably one of if not the most exicting races of the festival. Some key trends to look at, 26 of the last 28 winners started at single-figure odds and 19 of the last 25 winners had been placed at the Festival before. Master Minded is the clear favourite and easy to understand way but I'm happy to oppose it here with some other selections. My first selection is Kalahari King who I've always been a big fan of and the second is Padydeplasterer who's edged Kalahari King in last year's Arkle.
Kalahari King 6.4 (Betfair)
Padydeplasterer 11/1 (Betfair)

16:00 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
Looking at the trends in this race it seems that a lot of outsiders win, only 1 win favourite has won in the last 15 renewals. My first chocie in this one is Quantititiveeasing who has got a good record over hurdles and should go well. My second choice is Andytown who has a win under course and distance to his name likewise with Naiad du Misselot, who's my third and final selection.
Quantititiveeasing 8/1 (Various)
Andytown 33/1 (Various)
Naiad du Misselot 40/1 (SportingBet)

16:40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurlde
Not really many trends to be seen from this race although only 4 horses at under 10/1 have finishe din ther first five in the last seven runnings. See my four selections below in order of preference.

Bothy 14/1 (Various)
Fin Vin De Leu 36/1 (Betfair)
Diktalina 41/1 (Betfair)

17:15 Weatherby's Champion Bumper
Strong trend for LTO winner as well as Irish horses. Taking that it into account I've gone for the impressive Drumbalo as my first choice and the Willie Mullins trained Day Of A Life Time and Up Ou That as my back-up selections.
Drumbalo 10/1 (William Hill)
Day Of A Life Time 13/1 (Betfair)
Up Ou That 44/1 (Betfair)

Monday, 15 March 2010

The Cheltenham Festival is final here (Day 1)

Tommorrow sees the start of the Cheltenham festival which is undoubtley one of my sporting highlights of the year. Four days of top notch national hunt racing and all the drama it entials.

After hearing much discussion, many previews and festival trends I've finally come to my first day picks. I'll be placing these in various multiple bets all of which I won't bore you with here, I'll simply name the selecitons I fancy in each race.

13:30 Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Dunquib as been touted as the Irish banker of the festival in the eagerly anticipated opening race. Can always guarantee a quick pace in this one. The Irish have a very good record in this which is big plus for favourite Dunquib. Other trends includes 12 out of the last 14 winners having won LTO. My first choice in this race is Get Me Out Of Here who is unbeaten it's five races to date. My back-up selection is Blackstairmountain who has only had one run over hurdles, but it was a very impressive performance and who knows how much it could come on for that run. In addition Paddy Power are offering a moneyback special if Dunquib wins the race, which is a terrifc offer and I'll probably be backing these with them.

Get Me Out Of here 4/1 (PaddyPower)
ckstaismountain 10/1 (PaddyPower)

14:05 Arkle Challenge Trophy
The last 19 winners of this race have been no greater than 11-1 and I can't see that changing this year. I can't see beyonf the first three in the market, Captain Cee Bee lines up in favourite in this but I'm happy to oppose it after it's fall at Leopardstown,a race in which Sizing Europe won. Sizing Europe is my first choice selection for this race and is current third favourite in the market, I'd have Somersby as my second choice who is seemingly been gaining a lot of support recentley.

Sizing Europe 5/1 (Various)
Somersby 4/1 (Various)

14:40 William Hill Trophy Chase
This is a sort of mini-Grand Naitonal if you like, and it's just as unpredictable. A few key trends to consider there's only been two winning favourites have won since 1977 and the last 10 winners carried less than 11 stone. My main selection in this race is a horse I really rate, Character Building, I backed it when it won the Kim Muir Amateur Handicap chase at Cheltenham last year and I'm happy to back it again. My second selection is Cheif Dan George who was impressive when winning at Doncaster LTO, stayed on strongly so no stanmia doubts but this is step-up in quality and it will need to improve greatly on the back of that win to challenge here. Got a third selection in this race due to the sheer big field and attractive prices. The third seleciton is Nenuphar Collognes, who as good form around Cheltenham with two wins and a third in its previous three runs at Cheltenham.

Character Building 12/1 (Totesport/PaddyPower/Betfred)
Chief Dan George 33/1 (BlueSquare/888sport)
Nenuphar Collognes 24/1 (Betfair)

15:20 Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
The feature race of the day and a very tricky one to call. My first selection is a horse I've followed a lot and that's Celestial Halo and at the 9/1 that's still readily avaiable he'd probably be my bet of the first day. However this will be a very close race I should think, Go Native is going to be the favourite and it's easy to see why with two top class performance towards the back end of 2009 as well the Supreme Novices' Hurdle win last year at Cheltenham, Go Nativ eis my second selection. With me finding it hard to narrow down I've also got a third seleciton in this race and this Zaynar. Was overturned at 1/14 last time out at Kelso, yeah that's right 14/1 on! Although that can be out down to the extreme heavy ground which the horse obviously didn't like. Back on better ground at Cheltenham, were he won the Truimph Hurdle last year if he runs to his best he should be thereabouts.

Celestial Halo 9/1 (Various)
Go Native 9/2 (Ladbrokes/William Hill)

Zaynar 11/1 (Betfair)

16:00 GlenFarclas Handicap Chase
The cross county chase always adds something a bit different to the day's racing. I'm finding it hard to see past Garde Champetre in this one, who is a course and distance specialist. However I think another Another Jewel is a good enough E/W shout and is my second choice.

Garde Champetre 9/4 (SporitngBet/WIlliam Hill)
Another Jewel 14/1 (SkyBet/Boylesports/PaddyPower)

16:40 David Nicholson Mares' Hurlde

Final race of the day and I like the look of the favourite in this one, Voler La Vedette and Sway looks like a reasonable E/W shout.
Voler La Vedette 7/4 (Various)
Sway 14/1 (Betfred)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Another round of vital Premiership fixtures

We are in mid-March now and each team still as something left to play for as nothing is settled just yet. Okay you could say Portmsouth are all but down but the other two relegation spots are still anyone's guess whilst the three horse race for the title has signs of going right to the death with no team up there able to pull away from the others. The place for the top four is equally if not more close with Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa and maybe a late surge from Everton all vying for that valuable last Champions League spot.

The first game I'm looking at this weekend is the 8th vs 9th clash between Birmingham and Everton. Birmingham continue to impress in the league, they don't have any big names as such but they do have a well organised, hard-working bunch of players which are capable of griding results week-in week-out. Birmingham also have a terrific home record this (7-5-2) and against almost any other team than Everton I'd probably be backing them based on that form.

But for me Everton are in terrific form, they showed that by comprehensively seeing of Hull City 5-1 last weekend. That's on the back of two massive wins over Chelsea and Man United. Although it's key to note all thoose games were at home and their away form isn't the best. Although in their last away game at Tottenham they were unlucky not to come away with a point after a unbelievable miss from Donovan, it's also key to note back in January they managed to get a point at the Emirates, which not many teams can say.

I therefore like the look of Everton in this game, particularly after seeing that Arteta seems to be returning to some sort of form after a long injury lay-off. Prior to his injury I'd vote Arteta within the top 5 Premiership midfielders without question. There's no doubt they've missed him whilst he's been out. Think he can help inspire another Everton victory here.

Birmingham v Everton tip:
Everton @ 2.50 (Various)

Next match is the first of the relegation six-pointers this weekend as Bolton take on Wigan at Reebok Stadium. These two only met less than a month ago and played out a 0-0. Neither side is full of goals and I expect a similiar low-scoring game, bit suprised at the odds on offer for the unders thought it would be a little bit shorter than it is. Especially if you consider the last four meeting between these sides has seen only two goals. I'm also maybe slightly risky going for Wigan on the level handicap here, risky because Wigan are unreliable in the extreme. That being said their away form against sides near the bottom is rather good. They've beat Burnley and Wolves on the road whilst gaining draws at Sunderland & Stoke. Think this one has got all the hallmarks of a draw, but I've got a feeling Wigan could nick this one by the odd goal.

Bolton Wanderers v Wigan Athletic tips:
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80 (Betfair)
Wigan Athletic (+0) @ 2.70 (PaddyPower)

The other relegation six-pointer is between Burnley and Wolves. I wouldn't like to call this one, Burnley have been going through a poor run of form but came back well against Stoke midweek. Whilst Wolves are sturggling to pick up any points whatsoever. Both have lost four out of their last five games and neither will get a better chance to pick up points than in this game. Watched the reverse fixture earlier in the season (Wolves won 2-0) that was an open attacking game which could have easily seen more goals. Expect a similiar attacking open game here as both teams go in search of what would be a massive three points.

Burnley v Wolves tip:
Over 2.5 goals @ 2.30 (Betfair)

Next in the Chelsea v West Ham game, I'm going for Nicolas Anelka to score during the match. He had numerous chances against Stoke in the FA Cup which Anelka would normally have tucked away with ease. Despite the missed chances his general play was very good and he got in all the right positions. The saying goes form is temporary, class is permanent and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we see Anelka's name on the goalsheet. Let's hope it's in tommorrow's game against the Hammers.

Chelsea v West Ham tip:
Nicolas Anelka- Anytime Goalscorer @ 2.10 (Bet365)

Stoke take on Villa at the Britannia and I think this will be difficult game for Villa who often excel away from home with their counter-attacking football. Stoke City have continued to impress this season as their no nonsense, hard-working brand of football as got them plenty of impressive results on their home ground. Think this will be a very close game but I'm happy to side with Stoke slightly and take the double of the game finishing either with a Stoke win or a draw.

Stoke City v Aston Villa tip:
Double Chance (Stoke or Draw) @ 1.62 (Boylesports)

Final Saturday match I'm going to look at is the Hull vs Arsenal match. Not much to say about this selection other than the fact that Hull leak goals at an alarming rate (5 last weekend vs Everton) and Arsenal are capable of scoring for fun against any opposition (scored 5 against Porto in midweek). Arsenal's defense is also suspect at times, all things considered overs looks a good thing here.

Hull City v Arsenal tip:
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.73 (Betfair)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Midweek games

Firstly I'll look at Tuesday's Premiership match between Sunderland and Bolton. Sunderland are on a shockingly poor run of form and haven't won in the league since November. Although when you look at their home form they've actually only lost two games at the Stadium of Light all season but are currentley on a run of five draws in six games at home.

Bolton performed really well against West Ham at the weekend to secure three vital points. They will have had to travel all the way back from London this weekend and now have to make a further journey upto the north-east for this game. They also had to hold onto a lead in that game after going down to ten-men, this is always energy sapping for any team. Sunderland's decent home record combined with the importance of this game for them and the fact Sunderland will be fresh and Bolton won't be, i'm, happy to take the home win here. Some would call me crazy backing a team that hasn't won in 14 league games, but I think they'll break that duck tommorrow night.

I must admit I'm a keen fan of Sunderland's striker partnership in Darren Bent and Kenwyne Jones, on it's day one of the best strikeforces in the league. Which makes it all the more baffling that Sunderland find themself in their current predicament. I'm taking half stakes on both of them to score anytime.

Sunderland v Bolton tips:
Sunderland @ 2.16 (Betfair)
Darren Bent Anytime goalscorer @ 2.74 (Betfair)
Kenwyne Jones Anytime goalscorer @ 3.15 (Betfair)

Elsewhere there's Champions League action, going to focus on the two games I watched from the respective first legs. Firstly Arsenal v Porto, the game was a very even contest and a good footballing one at that. Two schoolboy mistakes from Arsenal gifted Porto two goals in a game they really should have at least drawn. But now in the second leg back at the Emirates they've got the away goal and you'd expect them to go in pursuit of the win and take the game to Porto. Only worring aspect is Arsenal inability to convert chances, they scored 3 against Burnley when in truth if there was more lethal finishing on display they could have had 10. All that being said even without Fabregas I tihnk Arsenal should do enough to be ahead after 90 mins.

Arsenal v FC Porto:
Arsenal @ 1.67 (Bet365)

The other Champions league match I watched was Real Madrid v Lyon. The first leg wasn't the greatest of games in all fairness, Real Madrid had a lot of possession but never really created much going forward whereas Lyon had a number of chances and really should have took more thna just a 1-0 lead into this leg. Real Madrid will go into this game after coming from nehind to win in La Liga at the weekend. Think they'll be to strong for Lyon at the Santiago Bernabeu here and I'll take Madrid to progress thorugh to the next round.

Real Madrid v Lyon:
Real Madrid to qualify @ 1.62 (Betfred)

Sunday, 7 March 2010

5 out of 5 Yesterday

Amazingly I got 5 out of 5 for my bets yesterday, although I forgot to post the FA Cup pick up on my blogabet. Let's hope that's a sign of things to come. The injury-time Arshavin goal made the real difference, turning two losers into winners,

Going to look at two Premiership matches next, firstly the only Sunday Premiership game as Everton take on Hull City. Everton have been in fantastic form recentley beating both Chelsea and Man Utd at Goodison Park. On the other hand you've got Hull who have only managed four points away from home all season. On paper you'd say all things point towards a home win, I would normally go for Everton on one of the Asian Handicaps here but I fancy it may be closer than expected with Everton without Saha and numerous others doubtful. But I'm still confident Everton will win, I don't like taking shortish odds usually but I'm reasonable happy to take the 2/5 on Everton in this one.

Everton v Hull City tip:
Everton @ 1.40 (Various)

The Monday night game sees Liverpool take on Wigan. Liverpool have got into the very desirable habit of winning games without ever really hitting top gear. Last week's game against Blackburn was a classic example, it might be said they weren't even the best team in the game. But if you can keep it tight at the back there's always a good chance that either Gerrard and Torres are going to produce something going forward. Wigan are struggling infront of goal a lot recentley, no more so than in the last game against Bimringham were they missed a number of good chances. Liverpool's defense started the season poorly by their standards conceding a lot of goals but they look a lot stronger at the back in recent games and have conceded only two goals in the last five league away games. A big part of that has been the impressive form of Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal, who doesn't get the recognication he deservers, he's in my opinion the best keeper in the league. All things being considered I think Liverpool will win this one and I think Wigan will struggle to score against Liverpool's strong defense.

Liverpool v Wigan tips:
Liverpool to win to nill @ 2.60 (Boylesport)
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.78 (Betfair)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Saturday's Action

First Premiership game I'm going to focus on is Arsenal vs Burnley. Was really impressed by Arsenal spirit to come from behind to beat Stoke, and more so to stay mental focused after that horrific injury that Ramsey suffered in the game. I think Arsenal are real title contenders now, that's represented in my long-term bets (which I've added to the side part of my blog).

Burnley on the other hand have been nothing short of dreadful away from home, their only baway point came in a freak match against Man City that ended 3-3. Burnley started the season well but the pressures of the Premiership are starting to take its toll and even their home form is starting to dip after they lost to rock-bottom Portsmouth last time out.

Can't see past an Arsenal runaway win here, but not a fan of taking really short odds on the outright Arsenal win so I've gone for a few bets that offer value. Burnley gave away two penalties in their last match and are likely to find it hard against Arsenal attacking threats, wouldn't be suprised to see them concede another penalty here. Think Fabregas is good value to score anytime especially since he's the Arsenal penalty taker.

Arsenal v Burnley tips:
Arsenal to win both halves @ 2.00 (PaddyPower)
Cesc Fabregas Anytime Goalscorer @ 2.38 (Boylesport)
Total GoaL Line: 0ver 3 goals @ 2.00 (Bet 365)

West Ham v Bolton, sees two teams in high spirits after pulling themselves away from the relegation zone for the time being at least. West Ham have won their last two at home whilst Bolton secured a very important win last time out at home to Wolves. Games at Upton Park have seen lots of goals this season and Bolton have been leaking a lot of goals away from home. All set up for a few goals in this one in my opinion. Will take a bit of insurance on the Over 2 goals instead of over 2.5.

West Ham v Bolton tip:
Over 2 goals @ 2.00 (Stan James)

Onto the FA Cup next. Portsmouth winners back in 2008 take on Birmingham in the first of the quarter finals. Since then there's been ownership musical chairs and the shocking true extent of Pompey's financial difficulties came to life, they went into voluntary administration last week and are set to be docked nine points for this, ending any hope of Premiership survival in the process. In someways then this is the only competition Portsmouth have got to look forward to for the rest of this season. The Fratton Park crowd will certainly be behind the team for this one and I can't see them getting beat after that morale boasting win against Burnley in the league last weekend.

Portsmouth v Birmingham tip:
Portsmouth (+0) @ 1.92 (Ladbrokes)