I know I said that the result of the Washington Redskins game wasn't overly important, but it was, as the final selection of the year and the 20th of the holiday period, it rounded things off nicely and they were very easy winners .Here are the most recent blog selections .......
30/12 5 points Washington -9 points 1.971 Pinnacle/ Vegas. WON Derby-Blackburn 6 points "over" 2.25 goals 1.78 asian line. WON 29/12 5 points Doncaster -1/2 ball 1.98 asian line. WON 4.5 points Swansea -1/2 ball 2.50 general quote. WON Wigan-Aston Villa 6 points "over" 2.25 goals 1.84 asian line. WON 6 points Stevenage -1/2 ball 1.85 general quote. WON 27/12 6 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.63 exchanges. Ajax-Twente WON 26/12 6 points Crystal Palace +1/4 1.90 asian line. WON 6 points Stoke level ball 2.01 asian line.... now 1.92 NO BET stakes returned 6 points Tottenham -1 ball 1.76 asian line..... NOW -1.25 BALL 1.91 WON 23/12 6 points New York Giants 1.787 money line Pinnacle/ Vegas. WON 5 points Napoli -1/4 ball 1.82 asian line. LOST 6 points Reggina -1/4 ball 1.99 asian line. WON 22/12 6 points QPR -1/4 ball 1.80 asian line.... now 1.75 WON 6 points Blackpool -1/4 ball 2.20 asian line.... now 2.07 WON 5 points Southampton -1/2 ball 1.96 asian line..... now 1.86 LOST 21/12 6 points Northampton-Bournemouth "over" 2.25 goals 1.83 asian line. WON 19/12 6.5 points Inter -1/2 ball 1.74 asian line.... now trading at -3/4 1.81 WON 5.5 points Deportivo +3/4 ball 1.95 asian line. WON 5.5 points Valencia -3/4 ball 1.88 asian line.... now trading at 1.81 WON 5 points Panionios -3/4 ball 1.82 asian line. LOST
There it is in black and white (blue,green and red too), in the last 12 days of 2007, 21 bets have been posted on the blog, one was a no bet, three lost and 17 won ,including the last 10 ! That is an 85% strike rate, with circa 75 points profit, over what many people consider to be the toughest betting period of the year ! An average of over 6 points profit each and every day, even on the days when there were no matches !
Hard to believe, but email subscribers have done even better over this period.
I am going to be posting much less on the blog in the future, there will still be something most days for a while, but the bulk will be moved to a new url, with the blog eventually fully incorporated, this site will still have free to view content, just less than now.
I value you all as readers, so want to be able to offer something that is available to everybody. I know that the hard sell of the email service irritates some of you, but it is a fantastic product and unfortunately for some, that is where most of my output will be in the future. Some services charge thousands of dollars, mine is around $20 per week, gives analysis, is delivered on good time and on a daily basis. If you find anything better on the whole internet, let me know and I will sign up immediately. Don't waste your time looking, there isn't one, certainly not at similar rates.
All of you long term readers of the blog, have been given the opportunity to sign up for the service, at greatly reduced terms and those that did, were then given the option to extend at similar rates. So I feel that as much as possible as been done, to get you on board, the GOWI email service is now close to 90% fully subscribed at current levels, once reached, new subscibers will only be accepted at a premium/extended level.
That is it, I do not want to finish the year with a sales pitch, so will put one finally post for 2007 online shortly, as always, you can find details of the email service on http://www.bestbets4free.blogspot.com/ , or you are welcome to email me, with any questions.
The Derby-Blackburn game was "over" before half-time, that is 16 winners from the last 19 blog selections, obviously, I am writing this before the Redskins game has started, but it makes little difference ( although I would prefer them to win !). I have been on a wonderful roll and hopefully, it will have helped contribute, to a successful holiday betting period for all of you.
There is a fantastic day of football to start the New Year, with a full programme of matches in the five senior English divisions. For any subscribers reading this, I will be reviewing five, maybe even six matches and will try to get them to you tomorrow lunchtime, so that you can nurse your hangover in peace, on the 1st.
I will not be posting any of these on the blog, this day will be purely for subscribers, so my next post will be on January 2nd, I would like to thank you all for reading my posts and to wish you a Happy, Prosperous and more importantly, Healthy New Year.
Forget the standings and the divisional rivalry, this is important to only one team, the Redskins.
Dallas have already secured their place in the post season and will rest all their key players, including Terrell Owens, who "owned" the reverse fixture with 173 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 28-23 win. Quarterback Tony Romo is likely to see very limited action.
Washington will be in the playoffs with a win, they are asked to give up a tough looking 9 points, but when these two met in identical circumstances a decade ago, they won by 27, I know that is a long time ago, but these scenarios do not come along too often. As discussed last week, it is hard to play at half pace in the NFL, Dallas will take no chances, the Redskins will win, the only question ,is whether they will cover the spread and I am confident that they will.
5 points Washington -9 points 1.971 Pinnacle/ Vegas.
County have shown a little fire in their bellies recently , that is the Paul Jewell factor and you can be sure, that any side that he puts out, will give their all. Despite a very extensive injury list, Derby will be forced forward, in search of the 3 points, given their predicament, nothing less will do.
They look especially weak in central defence, where they will be forced to start with a slow, veteran, Championship level, pairing, who could be given a torrid time by the on fire Roque Santa Cruz. With a name like that, it is no surprise that this, is his time of the year. Santa has been taking presents, not giving them and if messrs Dunne and Richards, could not stop him from claimimg two headed goals last time out, Derby's backline is going to struggle. He has 5 goals in his last two away games and 8 of his 9 goals have come on the road.
Savage and Warnock will return following suspension and they and Rovers look to hold all the aces. However, this should get very stretched, especially in the second half and develope into an open affair, I am taking the "over".
The excellent run continued today, with all four blog selections winning comfortably..... Doncaster 3-1, Stevenage 5-1, Swansea 3-2 with 10 men and the "over" obliging inside 70 minutes !
Email subscribers fared even better, with 7 winners from the 8 matches previewed and they are sitting on, in excess of an 80 point profit, over the last ten days alone. Considering that there were two days without any fixtures over this period, those figures are sensational !
I am looking at 3-4 football selections for tomorrow (sunday), when there are some very attractive looking fixtures, in addition to the last day of regular season NFL action and will post whatever is possible on the blog.
If tomorrow looks tempting, the line up for New Years Day, has really got me salivating, the bookies struggled today and with another round coming up almost immediately, they are sure to make plenty of errors, that we can take full advantage of.
Should you wish to take the plunge, join the subscription service and ensure that you receive all my previews hours before kick off, full details can be found on ......http://www.bestbets4free.blogspot.com/ .
Rovers like to get the ball down and play some football, think of a lower league Arsenal, without a frenchman in charge, but with some englishmen on the pitch ,getting at least a little help from match officials and without most of the talent and you get the picture !
They are a skillful bunch and after a poor start to their campaign, are in their rightful place in the top 6. Donny have won their last two, scoring six, without reply and are despearate to make it 3 in a row, especially against a direct promotion rival. The match at Swansea, gives Rovers a real chance to close in on one of the automatic promotion slots. United are finding goals very hard to come by at present.
The "sold out" signs that have been following Leeds around the country, have been posted at the Liberty Stadium for some time, the atmosphere will be white hot and the Jack Army in full voice. They have had plenty to cheer about recently, with the Swans winning 4 in a row, scoring 16 goals !
Boss Roberto Martinez, who, as I have been telling anyone who will listen, is going places, will be on the short list for every managerial job which becomes available and is not one to sit on his laurels. 16 goals or not, another striker , or two, is at the top of his transfer window shopping list, this is sure to keep his troops on their toes and up, for the battle ahead.
They played some of their best football of the season in the 4-1 demolition of Cheltenham, managing 22 attempts on goal, a high number (13) on target. Leeds are not running so hot at present and the goals certainly not flowing so freely. They have managed just three in as many games, which all came very late in the respective matches to salvage points, of course, this shows their battling qualities, but they were fortunate in all 3 fixtures.
Massive opportunity for Swansea to establish their Championship credentials.
This should be an open affair, these two have been involved in some high scoring games recently and are both averaging a co league high 3.3 goals per match, over their last 10 starts. Wigan might be boosted by the inclusion of Emile Heskey and he and/or his team mates, should not be short of chances against a regigged Villa defence missing Zat Knight and probably Wilfred Bouma.
At the other end of the pitch, their pacy attacking players should have plenty of success. Their counter attacking style is ideally suited to playing away and they have managed a Premiership high total, of 19 goals on the road.
Stevenage have managed to regroup after a very tough few months, during which they lost their coach, several players and suffered terrible injury problems. The vastly experienced Peter Taylor is now in charge, has his feet well and truly under the table and is set to be a big player in the transfer window, with a number of signings already lined up. All of his players are fighting to keep their place in the side and he has not yet, given up on top spot, which carries with it, the sole automatic promotion place.
He/they will be looking for his/their 7th away win of the season, at an Altrincham club with big problems. The hosts have lost 9 times already at home, no other side has managed more than 7, to say nothing of the league high total of 26 goals conceded. To make matters worse, their top scorer is suspended.
Boro have won the last 3 h2h meetings, all by an identical 2-1 scoreline, including the reverse fixture just a couple of weeks ago, when they recovered from a goal down.
Very exciting day in prospect today, I have previewed 8 matches on the email service and have writer's cramp, after two finger typing some 1500 words !
The games come thick and fast at this time of year and it is a real opportunity to steal a march on the bookmakers. Win or lose, I am very happy with today's selections and hopefully, knock on wood, the good run can continue.
I will try to post whatever I can on the blog, later today. Also looking forward to the Giants - Patriots game, where New England can seal their place in NFL folklore, with the first 100% regular season in 35 years ! It will be an amazing achievement, especially given the quality of their performances all season long and let's hope that any references to "Spygate" are kept to a minimum.
No selections on the blog today, there is very little worldwide sporting action and I only previewed two "long term" events on the email service.
Tomorrow looks very interesting and I will be sending out my newsletter overnight covering some 8-9 matches. So it is very likely that there will be something to share on the blog.
We have 3 full UK domestic programmes in the coming week, if anyone would like to try out the email service over this busy New Year period, you can do so with payment via moneybookers, all you need is my email address .... firstname.lastname@example.org . For the trial price of £15, 20 euros or US $30, you will receive the newsletter from Saturday 29th December to Sunday January 6th inclusive. Covering the 3 full programmes, plus everything inbetween, I will also add a copy of today's long term advice.
This is another game where I expect goals. Ajax's last six starts have produced 27 goals, an average of 4.5 per match, with 12 coming at the wrong end (if you are a fan) of the pitch ! Including two or more, in the dreadful loss to struggling Excelsior and the matches against bottom club Willem II and Breda. This is hardly the form of potential champions and, even taking into account their full treatment room, it is simply not good enough.
Twente are on an unbeaten run of 8 matches and are playing some very nice football, as indicated by wins over AZ, Feyenoord and away, at red hot Heerenveen, last time out. They are worth chancing at a big price for minimal stakes, but our main bet has to be the "over" given Ajax's free and easy ways, allied to Twente's inability to keep a clean sheet, they have scored and conceded in each of their last six.
Recent h2h results offer a little encouragement for the visitors, with the last 3 meetings providing an even split of 1X2.
6 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.63 exchanges. 1.5 points Twente to win 5.50 +.... 6.0 available in places.
I have given 14 bets on the blog since last Wednesday, one void, 3 losers and ten winners !
This equates to a 76.92 % strike rate and produced over 37 points profit and a return on investment, of over 50.5 %..... pretty good.
However, over the same period email subscribers have made almost an additional 20 points profit. They have also received my previews at latest, by mid/late morning and on occasion, the day before. Twenty points ! A £12 unit stake, would have paid for the GOWI Premium service for almost six months, that is from the additional profit alone.... in just one week's trading.
If we are talking about the total profit for the period, a similar level stake, would have paid for the service for approx 16 months !
Neil Warnock has worked his Championship magic at Palace and they are unbeaten in 10 starts, with 5 wins, all of which have come by an identical 2-1 scoreline. The south london side are closing in on a playoff spot and Warnock will be ultra keen to keep the run going at the Ricoh Arena, as, next up for him, is a return to his former club and first love, Sheffield United, the team he supported as a boy.
Looking at their stats, Palace must have been putting in a lot of shoooting practice in training, as their ratio of shots on target, to attempts, is sensational. They are sure to get a few chances at defensively frail Coventry, who made some howlers at Blackpool last time out.
Palace have some very talented youngsters, who are catching the eye of bigger clubs and Warnock is just the experienced hand needed to nurture them .They will be unchanged for the fourth straight match, City are without the suspended Kevin Kyle.
6 points Crystal Palace +1/4 ball 1.90 asian line.
I know from experience that it pays to keep an inform striker on your side, especially when he plays for a team that is on fire. Those criteria are met by Ricardo Fuller, 5 goals in his last two and Stoke City, who could move into the top 2 with a win, are unbeaten in 7, winning 5 and have scored 3 or more, in 4 of their last 6.
Barnsley have scored only a total of 3 in their last 6, registering just a solitary win and have been comprehensively outplayed in their last 3 starts, more so than the respective scorelines might suggest.
6 points Stoke level ball 2.01 asian line.... now 1.92
There were chances galore in the Fulham - Wigan match at the weekend and the managerless visitors will do well to contain this Spurs side, who were very unlucky not to get something from the derby game with Arsenal, where they missed a penalty, which would have given them the lead. Juande Ramos has an abundance of attacking options at his disposal and he will want to get back to winning ways asap.
If he looks at a video of the reverse fixture, which somehow ended 3-3, he will be rubbing his hands in anticipation. Tottenham should have won that by 5 or 6 goals, it was one of the most one sided Premiership games I have seen all season and the north londoners created a scoring chance almost every time they had the ball, a boxing referee would have stopped the contest on a TKO.
Spurs have tightened up at the back since then and will surely not be so charitable this time.
6 points Tottenham -1 ball 1.76 asian line..... NOW -1.25 BALL 1.91
It is not so easy to take things easy in certain sports, you might lack a little in motivation, yet put in a half hearted challenge in the NFL and you can get seriously injured. Having said that, at this time of year, when teams are tired and beat up, I would always want to be with the team that have the incentive to win.
Despite a 7-7 record, Buffalo know that even two wins in their remaining games, will not be enough to take them into the post season. On a cold, wet and windy night in upstate New York, the extra motivation might have warmed them a little and it will be hard for thought's not to turn to the off season and some rest and relaxation.
They were kept scoreless at a snowbound Cleveland last week and points have been at a premium all season. The Bills have scored 17 or fewer, in 5 of their last 6, have only three times scored over 20 points, with the two of those games that they won, coming against teams with a combined total of just 6 wins and have on 8 occasions, been kept to 14 points or less. Their total of 222 points , is very low and only Atlanta (3-11), Kansas (4-10) and the 49ers (4-10) have managed fewer.
Giants need a win to secure a play off place, if they do not get it, they will go to the final match of the season needing a win, or require help elsewhere to extend their campaign. It could boil down to the latter, as their final match is against the Patriots, who, if the beat Miami (1-13) today, will go to New York looking to record the first perfect season in 36 years of football ! They will want to take care of business tonight and might be happier to do it on the road, where they are 6-1, having won their last six, since an opening defeat. Giants will be without Jeremy Shockey, which is a loss, but he will be able to dedicate himself to his, normally, part time job, that of cheerleader and general "winder up" of fan's of both teams. The others, some of whom, along with the coach, are said to be playing for their jobs next season, will have to pick up the slack.
Unusually for teams from the same state, this will be the first meeting between these two in 8 years and the Giants should take a low scoring encounter.
6 points New York Giants 1.787 money line Pinnacle/ Vegas.
Visitors are draw specialists in Serie A and have finished level in 10 from 16 this season, including 5 of their last 6, losing only to Inter. However, there is always an "however", they have had two very tough games with Roma in the last 7 days and they are without two key defenders in Gianluca Comotto and Salvatore Lanna, who are both suspended. Napoli are strong at home and have a fully fit squad to choose from. It is very hard to see an away win and although it may take a little time, I expect the hosts to eventually come out ahead.
5 points Napoli -1/4 ball 1.82 asian line.
REGGINA - CATANIA
Teams face "must win" games through the season and whilst I am loathe to say it too often at this, still early, stage of the season, it is hard to see where Reggina go from here, unless they collect maximum points, so, a "must, must win" game.
They sit 4 points from safety, but do have a game in hand, it is goals that have been a problem and their total of nine all season, is simply not good enough. There has been signs of a little life in the last two home starts with clean sheets and four points from the visits of Genoa (2-0) and Fiorentina (0-0). Forget the 4-1 home loss, in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday to Inter, as discussed then, that game was little more than a training session for Reggina, all their focus and energy was and is directed at today.
Catania played a day later and earned a victory at Milan, their two goalscorer's Spinesi and Mascara are both out suspended today, which is a major loss. They have had a day's less rest and even if they stayed on the mainland, I am not sure about that, a great deal more travelling. Their week was also centred around the cup tie, as opposed to today, with the focus not shifting until Friday.
Busy day today, covered 6 matches across 5 leagues in the emailed newsletter and will carry some of those, along with the NFL, on the blog a little later.
I have had a good response to the "festive special"and some of you asked if it was still possible to take the offer. Yes, it is and as you will have missed the first saturday, for any new subscribers I will extend it, to include up to and including January 10th. Details can be found in the post title "Thursday Update", which can be viewed below.
Rangers received another huge, off the pitch, boost this week, when yet another extremely rich man, joined the board. Lakshmi Mittal bought 20% of the club and with £50bn, he comes in at number 5 in the world rich list and makes Abramovitch look hard up !
They are , no doubt, already lining up a number of big money transfer window signings, so all the team are playing for starting places. Bolder and Vine return to the starting line up following suspension and two clean sheets , plus 4 points from two very tough fixtures, augurs well.
The visitors are in for a long battle against the drop and have few such resources at their disposal. They have won just once in 11 starts and are without a clean sheet in 31 matches !
6 points QPR -1/4 ball 1.80 asian line.... now 1.75
BLACKPOOL - COVENTRY
Time for a Pool home win. If they are going to survive in the Championship, they can ill afford to lose three in a row at Bloomfield Road. This match comes after losses to Cardiff and Stoke, games in which, they by no means played badly and averaged 18.5 attempts on goal.With 3 of their next 4 away, they really need maximum points against a Coventry side, who have had a few key players miss training this week.
6 points Blackpool -1/4 ball 2.20 asian line.... now 2.07
SOUTHAMPTON - PRESTON NORTH END
Saints need this one to keep the pressure on the teams immediately above them and also, to get a little revenge. This is hard to believe, but in the last two h2h meetings at Deepdale, Southampton have dominated possession and chances, yet lost both, conceding 8 goals in the process, so they feel, quite rightly, hard done by. They have managed to tighten up considerably at the back and boss George Burley, is further boosted by the return of two central defenders, giving him even more defensive options.
PNE are without their captain and have three other key players, facing late tests. Hosts have impressed recently and can get that revenge this afternoon.
Northampton and Bournemouth was "over" before half time, if only it was always so easy (!) and the only other selection on the email service that beat the weather, also won. I have sent out previews of six english matches to subscribers overnight and will try to cover as many as possible, on the blog through the day, so please check back.
If you do not want to wait, you can find details of the newsletter service on http://www.bestbets4free.blogspot.com/ and for those of you that might like to try it out over the holiday period, there is a "festive special", which you can read more about in an earlier post, three down from this one ! Sign up today and I will start by sending you a copy of today's email by return.
The cold front in northern central Europe continues and the matches at Le Havre, Reims, Sedan and Amiens, have all been postponed.
Better news in the UK where the Brighton - Gillingham game passed an afternoon inspection and goes ahead. Temperatures in England are set to rise tomorrow, so, if clubs can wait until after any overnight frost has disappeared, before making any playing decisions, there should be very few problems.
Despite the weather, which is bitterly cold, with some frost around, I really like the "over" here. Both these two tend to "go for it "and create and concede a lot of chances. Neither have had much luck infront of goal, or on the injury front and both are probably better than their league positions would suggest, especially Northampton.
These two have produced 263 (hit woodwork 7 times) and 235 (8) attempts on goal respectively, totals which put them first and 5th in the table for chances created. Of course, they are being equally as free and easy at the other end of the pitch. Northampton's last two league starts, at Forest and at home to Carlisle which both ended 2-2 and Bournemouth's 1-0 win over Gillingham, were all, end to end encounters and we must anticipate more of the same this evening. Hosts will be boosted by outplaying Forest in the second half and the return of top scorer Andy Kirk, they would be my idea of the winners, but I much prefer the "over".
I am not posting any selections on the blog today, but am very likely to have a couple tomorrow.
Yesterday I reproduced the email in full on the blog, which is in the post immediately under this one. Four/five matches were covered including a lot of team news and even weather updates, in a circa 1,000 word missive. Subscribers receive something similar, on a daily basis, there is always a lot of valuable information included, which should help in your battle with "the enemy" .
You can find details of the email service on http://www.bestbets4free.blogspot.com/ and if you wish to subscribe, you can do so using any debit or credit card, or via your moneybookers or paypal accounts.
To cover the Christmas/New Year period, there is also a "festive special", at a special rate,which is payable in £, euros or US$, if purchasing this ,you will receive every email sent out, up to and including January 6th 2008. Which means that 5 complete rounds of UK domestic football will be covered, along with everything inbetween, over the busiest football period of the season at a cost of approx $3 per day.
Both of these clubs have one eye on the weekend, when they face much bigger games. Reggina have a massive "must win" fixture, when they host Catania, despite having a game in hand, they are in danger of getting cast adrift in the relegation zone and have to start collecting points soon. Inter are coasting towards another title, but they have the Milan derby to look forward to.
Reggina have admitted that this is low priority for them, they have 5-6 players injured and 7-8 potential starters, are likely to only get 45 minutes each. In other words this will be more like a glorified training session,, ahead of the weekend match. Inter will have a number of star names in the side, they could not play a weak eleven even if they wanted to and have claimed that they are keen on the competition, this looks a mismatch and the odds are pretty good.
6.5 points Inter -1/2 ball 1.74 asian line.... now trading at -3/4 1.81
SPAIN... COPA DEL REY ESPANOL- DEPORTIVO ALICANTE - REAL MADRID REAL UNION DE IRUN- VALENCIA
Going to share some information on these three games and put up a couple of bets. Let's start in Alicante, where the conditions are likely to be cold and wet, but the atmosphere white hot, both teams have big weekend games, but the hosts cannot disappoint their fans and rest anybody this evening. Real play Barce and have left Raúl, Casillas, Ramos, Cannavaro, Diarra, Baptista, Van Nistelrooy, Sneijder and Robinho back in the capital. They should be too strong in any case, but they are likely to line up defensively and would probably settle on taking a draw back for the second leg. Going to pass on this one.
Espanol have a Champions League battle with Atletico at the weekend and Deportivo, a huge game at fellow strugglers Levante ahead of them. This could fizzle out tonight in what looks sure to be an empty stadium, the hosts had a low attendance and put in a poor performance when stumbling to a 1-0 win over Levante last week and unlike most bigger clubs in this tournament, have refused to reduce admission prices. For example, Real are just charging 3 euros for the return match with Alicante and the game is expected to be a sell out . Espanol are charging 15-20 times that and if the visitors show the same level of commitment they have in recent starts, especially the narrow loss away to Barce, could get a result this evening. Deportivo will not return home after the game and will travel directly to Levante, with the same squad of players, so we can expect a strong line up from them ... Munúa, Aouate, Barragán, Adrián López , Aythami, Coloccini, Filipe, De Guzman, Sergio, Juan Rodríguez, Verdú, Antonio Tomás, Cristian, Lafita, Guardado, Riki, Xisco, Bodipo, Rubén, Adrián and Chapi. Visitors plus the start for me. I am going to back Valencia, their form is dire, really terrible, but they need a win desperately and they are not going to get a better chance. Understand that the coach has finally had enough and told a couple of "star" names ( Albelda and Canizares ) to look for another club, this might be the kick up the backside that the others need. They have named the following squad of 20 players ..... Porteros: Mora, Guaita. Defensas: Miguel, Caneira, Helguera, Arturo, Lombán, Marchena, Moretti, Jaume. Centrocampistas: M.Fernandes, Montoro, Vicente, Baraja, Sunny, Joaquín. Delanteros: Arizmendi, Silva, Mata, Zigic.
They will start with the core squad (12 from 18) that faced Barcelona in the latest shambolic display, all the fringe players know that they have a chance of establishing a starting place and surely they will put in maximum effort. If they do not win this, it is hard to see where Valencia go from here, a win and they could kick start their season. This is a really important game in terms of the rest of their season. I do not normally like to back a team which has lost it's confidence, but everything has to change sometime and the odds are now backable and given everyone's eagerness to oppose Valencia recently, might even get a little bigger through the day. I am going to give them a chance.
Update Real's starting 11 .... dudek, salgado, metzelder, heinze, torres, robben, gago, guti, drenthe, higuain and saviola, not the worst "B" team I have ever seen !
5.5 points Deportivo +3/4 ball 1.95 asian line. 5.5 points Valencia -3/4 ball 1.88 asian line.... now trading at 1.81
UEFA CUP PANIONIOS - BORDEAUX
The French club, who have already won the group have travelled with a very small, young and inexperienced squad. All 11 starters from the Marseille game have stayed behind and they have just one defender over 21 years old and a midfield, where the hosts are strong, with an average age of just 19.5 years old ! Panionos will qualify with a win, not hugely successful in europe, but they are 4-1-1 domestically at home and a passionate crowd should cheer them home to a famous win, the history books would only say that they beat Bordeaux. French sides do not tend to over extend themselves when it is not necessary and they have bigger games ahead.
Visitors have been whipping boys in this league for many seasons, but a win tonight will not only take them level with the team currently in the final play off spot, but would equal their points tally for the whole of last season. They have taken a very good keeper ( at this level) on loan from high flying league 2 team Raith and he proved a very calming influence at the back in his weekend debut. In the talented Andy Brand, they have one of the division's best midfielders and he has been on top form recently. Goals are not a problem for ES who have notched 11 in 5 starts.
That can hardly be said for Dumbarton, who are still managerless, have collected one point from a possible 18 and have lost their last 4, scoring just once. They are without two very important players this evening and asked for the game, which they originally got moved from Boxing Day to today, to be rescheduled back to the 26th, but this was refused by the SFL.
6 points East Stirling +1/4 ball 1.83 asian line.... now 1.77.
Another day where the odds have not lasted long, three of my four selections have been well backed and the other, is subject to a pitch inspection shortly. Having promised to post two previews, I will do so, but you will have to decide if any value remains.
HUCKNALL TOWN FC- TAMWORTH
I like the odds on offer here, in a match involving two teams from the Blue Square North division. Not much between them in the league, but the hosts have recovered well from a poor start to the season and have lost just once in nine starts, that coming against league leaders Hyde, they have won six of those, scoring an impressive 23 goals. Last start was at home to ........ Tamworth, which they won 3-1, racing into a 3-0 lead after 25 minutes and despite then sitting back, still created the better chances, including hitting the woodwork twice, before conceding a very late consolation goal to the visitors. That game was played on a heavy pitch, which is very likely to be the case this evening and I see no reason for the result to be any different.
6 points Hucknall Town -1/4 ball 2.17 asian line ..... odds now 1.84 !
I have previewed four matches on the email service today and am planning to cover two of them on the blog this afternoon, so please check back.
Brentford have hit a rich vein of form, after knocking 3 past Wrexham at the weekend, they scored 13 or 14, watchers lost count, against the might of their own supporters last night. For the bargain price of £200, you could pull on the famous red and white stripes ( fans were, quite rightly, the home team ) and run out on the hallowed turf of Griffin Park and attempt to kick lumps out of your heroes !Ten or maybe twelve years ago, I would definitely have been up for this, but then I would have had all the hassle of them bugging me to sign a professional contract, so all in all, it is probably best to have missed the opportunity.
Most of the home team were decent sunday footballers and all were impressed by the speed and quality of the pros, which is quite funny, as they are probably the same people that have been booing them off the pitch for the last 18 months ! Us football fans are a funny bunch, especially the 18 stone + lumps who spend the whole afternoon singing "you fat b****** " at a 12 stone professional athlete, without the slightest embarassment !
Seriously, all clubs should play the fans once per year, I know about the injury/insurance problems, but to be honest, most supporters would be too slow to catch a cold, let alone a professional footballer . It is a fantastic way to bond with the players and the other way round,plus supporters get to realise that the guy they have been giving stick to for being slow/ useless/ not trying, is not so bad after all. The players will hopefully realise how lucky they are, to get well paid (in some cases) for something, others would pay their own money to do. Manchester United could probably charge £50k per fan and still play infront of 75,000 !
All the talk coming into this weekend has been of the weather, with three games predicted to be badly hit with snow and the bookmakers have been busy, closing up the lines, especially the totals.
I am paricularly interested in one of these, the "Spygate" rematch between the Patriots and the Jets, unbeaten New England, were originally posted as 24.5 point favourites, they are now trading at 21. That might seem like a high total with much of game likely to be played on the ground, but these are conditions that the Pats are very used to and actually the forecast is now, not so bad for the Foxboro area, although there could be some gusty winds.
This is an exceptional team and they have been so dominant this season, that I just get the feeling that it now takes some extra motivation to get them really up for a game, like playing the Steelers last week. Given the real bad feeling that has developed between these two,due to "Spygate" ( not going into details, just do a web search), this is probably just such a game. Really think that they would like to "stick" it to the Jets and do not see them easing up, whatever the score or conditions. New York are poor on the road and against the Patriots full stop, their quarterback, Kellen Clemens has thrown twice as many interceptions (more) than touchdowns since coming into the side and could be in for a very tough evening.
Big matchup in New York where the Giants, who have all but clinched a wildcard spot, host the Redskins, who still have playoff hopes of their own, but have to win tonight. With a late kick off here, conditions will not be too nice in the Big Apple either.
Giants have won 4 from 6, but their average winning margin is just 3.5 points, with the biggest winning margin 6 points. So giving up 4.5 points to a very motivated Redskins team, who got back to winning ways last week and rarely lose by more than a touchdown, is not going to be easy. Hail to the Redskins.
Genoa are too gung ho at present and persist in a 3 man strike force, they have collected just 2 points from 6 starts, conceding 14 goals. Empoli are very dependent on their home form and since trailing by two goals at the break against Roma, have played 5 halves of football on home soil, collecting 5 points and scoring 6 , without reply.
ICT have won 3 in a row without conceding, on the road, Celtic have leaked goals, conceding 12 in 8 ( 1.5 average), despite that, they have still won 5 of those starts. They are likely to do the same today, but I feel that they will concede, as they have on 5 of their last 6 visits, which ended 1-2, 1-2, 1-1, 1-1,0-2, 1-3. Going to suggest a bet on ICT to score, or Celtic not to keep a clean sheet and a small interEst in the 2-1 scoreline. Visitors are still nursing a handful of injuries.
4 points Inverness to score circa 1.60+ exchanges 1.5 points Celtic to win 2-1 correct score 8.0 + (9.0 stan james )
Just so there is no misunderstanding, I am not putting any of my stronger football selections for today on the blog, any matches previewed, will be taken from "the best of the rest". This will not be the case with the NFL, where all my selections will be posted online.Because the matches are so huge, I feel compelled to write something about the Premiership games, so will start with them....
LIVERPOOL- MANCHESTER UNITED ARSENAL- CHELSEA
Two mouth watering ties here. Not much love lost in the first fixture and surprisingly, they do not do draws !
Only once in 17 meetings have these huge clubs finished all square, so you could consider a lay of the draw, but that does seem a risky proposition, maybe this is an option "in play", if the scores are still level late in the game.
United have had the upper hand recently, losing just 2 from 10, infact, Pool have only scored 4 in those games, just once in the last 6. I can see Rooney , Ronaldo and Tevez targeting Hyypia and trying to draw him out of position. Fantastic game in prospect , wher I just favour the away win.
Liverpool team in full: Reina, Arbeloa, Riise, Hyypia, Carragher, Mascherano, Gerrard, Benayoun, Kewell, Torres, Kuyt. Subs: Itandje, Babel, Crouch, Aurelio, Lucas.
The other game is very different historically, with 5 of the last 10 ending all square, amazingly Chelsea won the other five, so no wins in 10 for the Wenger boys ! Given Arsenal's recent blips and no Drogba and Essien for Chelsea, both could settle for a point yet again, which would leave both firmly in title contention and it is certainly attractively priced.
4.5 points Manchester United level ball 2.16 asian line. 4 points Arsenal- Chelsea draw 3.25 general
I have writers cramp this morning after previewing nine (!) matches on the email service, three main selections including my first ever 7 point ranking game and a brief look at six other fixtures on a terrific day of football action.
Guess that worldwide viewing figures will go through the roof, on an afternoon when Liverpool-Manchester United is followed by Arsenal - Chelsea, all this following on from a Brentford away win, there is only so much excitement a man can take.
Will definitely be covering the NFL on the blog this afternoon, where we have just three rounds of regular season football remaining and the Patriots are closing in on a 100% record.
All three selections won on the blog today, 4-2, 4-0 and 3-0, infact, the last 7 posted have all won, with a 24-4 goal difference !
Tomorrow looks a very interesting day and I have some really strong views, including one match, where I am considering my biggest bet of the season. So please check back.
If you want to ensure that you get to see these previews first, subscribers always receive the newsletter in mid/late morning, the cost per day is less than many of you will pay for a newspaper tomorrow and further details can be found on http://www.bestbets4free.blogspot.com/ .
I know that the plan didn't work well last week, but we have to oppose Dagenham again today, they are not playing well and the squad is simply not big/good enough for Division 2. They are missing 7 players today and are in big trouble defensively, especially down both flanks, where Town are strong. The hosts are a decent side , who are slowly recovering some form and this is the first in a run of 3 from 4 at their new home, they should win this comfortably and I prefer to take them giving up the 0.75 ball and getting the higher odds.
6 points Shrewsbury -3/4 ball 2.19 asian line .... NOW 2.13
Going to give the visitors another chance, they ran out of steam against Forest last week and the coach claimed that a heavy schedule had caught up with them. They have had 8 days to recover and meet a Swindon side, without 6 players, still managerless and with plenty of off the pitch problems. Visitors have a real boost with the return of key players O'Callaghan and Whing , they will be keen to get back to winning ways and had gone 10 unbeaten before last weeks loss. They have a very nice run of fixtures ahead with the next six against teams level or below them in the table, so a good chance to put some pressure on the top 6, who all meet each other over Christmas.
5 points Brighton level ball 2.02 asian line .... NOW1.90
These two, along with Watford, look the main contenders for an automatic promotion place. However, Albion look the better footballing side and have done wonders to keep their challenge going full steam ahead, with a host of key players out injured, it says a great deal about the quality and depth of the squad Tony Mowbray has assembled. He has far more options available today, with the return of a handful of starters and they are meeting a Charlton side with defensive problems. Only Coventry have won at the Hawthorns this season and that match turned on a dismissal, after WBA had just levelled, after earlier trailing by two goals.
Wow ! Cottbus certainly turned it on last night, German clubs like to give a Christmas present to their fans, with a home win before the break !
I have previewed six matches on the email service today, all in the UK, five english lower league fixtures and one from north of the border. Will try to put what I can on the blog through the day and will start just after midday UK time, please check back.
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Hosts have tightened up recently , collected 4 points from two starts and kept a pair of clean sheets. They will accept a point tonight and are unlikely to be too gung ho, in looking for all three. They have a fully fit squad to choose from and this is the last chance for some players to impress the coach, who is planning to be very busy in the transfer window. Hannover will be without three key players in Lauth, Balitsch and Fahrenhorst and have been involved in some free scoring games recently, the nature of the home side's approach is unlikely to suit them.
Rangers can be justly proud of their european campaign this season and will qualify for the next stage with a point this evening. Having won the reverse fixture 3-0 that might not seem too difficult a task, but Lyon look back, or close to their imperious best in their domestic league and are a different proposition to the side that Rangers met 10 weeks ago.
Problems upfront for the Scottish giants, who will be without Darcheville and Beasley and they look set for a long night of rearguard action and are likely to set their stall out to frustrate the French champions. However, this is hardly an unkown scenario for Lyon, who domestically, face this problem at least every two weeks and often more frequently. I am siding with the visitors, they are simply a better side and it is difficult to see Rangers keeping them at bay. Also see a little value in dead ball specialist Juninho to get on the scoresheet, with Lyon doing the bulk of the attacking, they may collect a few free kicks around the Rangers box and he doesn't need too many opportunities. Incredibly, he has scored in the last 6 matches that he has started.
4 points Lyon -1/2 ball 2.33 + general quote. 1 point each way Juninho 10.0 first goalscorer 1/3 1234 Blue Square-1/2 odds 123 Ladbrokes OR 2 points anytime scorer 3.75 general quote.
Unusually, I am going to take a double here, for both favourites to win. Both will be looking to win the group and if Arsenal take maximum points against a Steaua club in turmoil and facing all sorts of threats from their owner, then Seville will have to do likewise, to take top spot. This will ensure more chance of an easier knockout stage match and a second leg on home soil.
The Gunners will not want a third game without a win, especially ahead of their derby with Chelsea and the return of van Persie and Diaby will give Arsene Wenger a few more options. Regardless of what team he puts out, they will play the Arsenal way and should be too strong for a Steaua side missing six players.
Slavia are in poorish domestic form ( 3 draws in 4 starts) and are finding goals very hard to come by, they have a long list of injuries and are booked for 3rd spot in the group and a UEFA Cup campaign, regardless of what happens this evening. Seville are fielding a very strong team and should win this.
4.5 points double Arsenal circa 1.30 and Seville circa 1.80.
Valencia are in a mess, David Villa might wish to prove to the Blues that he should be their next big money signing, but even he has a bit to find at present. Not only are they struggling to win, but even a goal seems beyond them. They have not scored in 4 matches and only twice (opening two games) in five CL group fixtures. The quality of performance is just not there and they been given the run around by some very average La Liga sides in recent weeks.
Valencia could still qualify for a UEFA Cup spot, but that chance is very slim and they would be better off focusing on getting back into contention for a top 4 spot in the league, especially ahead of a visit from Barce at the weekend. Chelsea have already won the group, but will be keen to keep their good run going and may want a little revenge on the visitors who were the only side to take a group point away from Stamford Bridge last season. They do visit Arsenal on Sunday, but still, a home win for me.
This should be quite an open affair and the visitors have pledged to start with a 4-3-3 formation and not many teams will line up like that at the Bridge.
This is the third time that these two have met in just 16 days and in the series so far, Walsall have dominated, with an easy win and a draw, both away from home . The inform Saddlers are breathing down the necks of the automatic promotion challengers,with an unbeaten run of 9 matches ( just one loss in 14), a run made even more impressive , coming as it did ,after a very sluggish start to League 1 life, where they were winless in their opening seven fixtures.
Town are struggling and have put in some very lacklustre performances recently. They have won just one match, which came against lower league opposition, in nine starts and have a greatly reduced squad this evening and must choose from just 16, maybe only 15 available first team players. They will be without top scorer Andy Kirk and several other key starters, due to a combination of injury, suspension and one loanee being refused permission to play, by his parent club. Tough ask for the visitors, who should be more concerned about their league position, as they sit just a handful of points outside the drop zone and have 3 of their next 4 games away from home, including trips to Forest (this weekend) and Doncaster.
5.5 points Walsall -1/2 ball 1.90 general.... NOW 1.83
Good Morning ! The sun is shining here, but it is freezing cold, however, give me that over the rain any day of the week.
I have previewed six matches taking place today on the newsletter, looked at two european games yesterday and added four domestic fixtures this morning. So a busy and very interesting day, with 10 of the 12 teams playing this evening, still fighting for their Champions League life.
Going to post what I can on the blog this afternoon, if you do not want to wait so long, you can always join the email service, for around the cost of a daily newspaper, you will have the GOWI previews delivered to your inbox, every morning, details can be found here http://www.bestbets4free.blogspot.com/ and payment can be made using any credit or debit card, Paypal or Moneybookers.
I previewed four matches on the email service today, one taking place this evening and the others later in the week. This evening's selection has come in for hefty support and the line has moved by a full quarter ball, but I will post it online in any case, with so little else going on.....
ENGLAND.... FA CUP REPLAY SWANSEA CITY - HORSHAM
Swansea could and should have comfortably won the first match between these two and created any number of chances. If Roberto Martinez was considering resting some of his squad for this encounter, those thoughts have left his mind as their weekend fixture was postponed, leaving him free to choose his strongest available eleven. The highflying Swans will not wish to be embarrassed on national television, especially in the first live game ever shown from the Liberty Stadium.
Horsham will be without their top scorer who is suspended and know that they will have their work cut out, Swansea battered the home goal in the first leg, despite heavy conditions which favoured the hosts, creating 26 chances, 16 of which were on target ! These are big numbers.
The Welsh club are playing really well at present and in their last outing, a 3-0 win over Northampton, prevented their opponents registering a single attempt on target. Class should tell and the four division + gulf between the two, should be clearly apparent.
The Vikings need to win to retain their playoff hopes, which have been revitalised with big wins over the Giants ( prev won 7 from 8) and the Lions. When they win, it tends to be fairly comfortably and they have averaged a 17.5 point winning margin in their six victories this year.
Therefore, I have little concern giving up just over a touchdown at the 49ers, who have lost their last 4 starts at Monster Park and 9 of their last 10 games this year. SF will be starting with Trent Dilfer at quarterback, he threw into plenty of trouble last week, but with Alex Smith seemingly out for the season, Dilfer will get a decent run, however, he is very interception prone.
Some very nice stats here from two teams that do most of their attacking, after the break. Celta have gone in level at half time in 12 from 15 starts and in 6 from 7 at home. The visitors in 8 from 12 and 5 from 7 away starts. Hard to see anything different this evening.
I do not think that Sven will take any chances with Elano and he will only start if 100% fit and judging by recent reports, that seems unlikely. That fact, combined with City's poor away form (one win in 7) and record against Spurs (lost the last six ), makes me lean towards the home team.
Tottenham desperately need the win, as, next up, they visit Portsmouth and then Arsenal, which could leave them entering the Christmas programme in the bottom 3, how the Gunners supporters would enjoy that !
They are without the suspended Keane, but with Berbatov, Defoe and Bent available, can hardly use that as an excuse, in any case all their problems are at the other end of the pitch, where they concede far too freely. Anyhow, I expect them to come out fired up and all guns blazing today.
5 points Tottenham -1/2 ball 2.00 +
BLACKBURN ROVERS- WEST HAM UNITED
I expect this to be an open encounter, like most of Blackburn's recent home starts. These two tend to produce a lot of entertainment when they meet at Ewood Park, the last 7 meetings have been over and 8 from 9, which produced an average of 4.22 goals per game. It is not the West Ham way to sit back and with the returning Ashton and Ljungberg, they have too many offensive options to do so. Bentley is suspended for Rovers and he will be missed, but it is a clear "over" for me.
D&R are in free fall and are without a win in 9 starts, collected just two points in that sequence, with a 5-19 goal difference. It is not like they have been terribly unlucky as the performance level has been poor and they have struggle to create much at all, they are the only side I can recall not having one attempt on goal at home in a league game. Wrexham, under new boss Brian Little, have dragged themselves off the foot of the table with an unbeaten run of 4 games, conceding in just one of them and recording an eyecatching win at in form Bury ( just 2 losses in 15). They are playing a very tight, disciplined defensive style and it is hard to see the goal shy hosts, who's tiny squad continues to be severely stretched, getting too many opportunities.
Boss Mark Stimson has got the Gills firing, he has got his own men in and playing his style of football. They even managed to break their away duck with a win at Crewe in midweek. they have lost only once in 6 starts, scoring 11 goals. Vale are in poor shape, have collected only one point from a possible 15, they have conceded 3 in each of their last two league starts, played on two very heavy pitches in the last 6 days and even failed to beat lowly Chasetown at home last weekend.
Gillingham are always tough to beat at home (5-3-1) and have won the last two h2h meetings , scoring 3 in each. The Gills owner is very bouyant at present, he looks to have done a major financial deal for the club off the pitch and is even talking about promotion, which, if you look at a league table, is very optimistic.
Charlton have had a good midweek and the three points collected at Cardiff, have enabled them to close in on a top two place. Their away form has been good all season, it is just infront of their own fans that they have disappointed. They should be able to put that right today, with the visit of Ipswich Town, who are something of a mirror image of Charlton, fantastic at home, Town are still without an away win and boast a 0-4-6 record. They will not be helped by some central defensive problems, especially when we see that they have already conceded 21 times on the road.
Ipswich have done fantastically well on a limited budget and a proposed takeover of the club, looks set to be completed on the 17th of this month. This will completely wipe out all debts and give the club £12m to spend on the playing staff, but will not be much help at the Valley this afternoon.
I will finish with an "over" bet , Friday would not be Friday, without one ! In a league where 170 games have produced an average of just 2.36 goals per game, these two have been punching well above their weight in recent starts, at least on the total goals front. Over the last 10 league rounds, their games have produced an average of 3.3 and 2.6 per match respectively. Libourne's home fixtures are even more prolific, with a mean of 3.67 and with them stuck at the foot of the table and facing poor travellers Sedan, they will surely "go for it". However, they have yet to keep a clean sheet all season, so will probably need to score two, I like this bet with the "2" goal line, but would not stop you taking the 2.25 or 2.5 quotes either.
6 points "over" 2 goals 1.74 asian line..... now 1.70.
I want to post something on the blog today, but my main fancies have, as usual , come in for significant support. Think I will put two of them online as they appeared in the email, along with the current quote and you can decide how much value remains and whether or not, to get involved.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION - NOTTINGHAM FOREST
We have two quality Division 1 sides meeting here and it should be close. The hosts have lost just once in 16 starts and, as it seems I say every week, that came against Leeds United, in a match that B&H dominated. Their coach, the younger of the Wilkins clan, is very astute and thorough and takes few , if any, short cuts. He completely changed the shape and formation of the team, for the midweek trip to Doncaster, in order to compete with Rovers slick passing style and at the lower levels, not many coaches would consider doing that for one game. To my mind there are 6-7 English coaches in the Championship and below , who deserve a chance at a higher level, if they were, perhaps there would be more names in the hat for the NT job, but the whole game is racked with fear and no one wants to take a chance. As it is, give Jose the job, it will certainly be fun and he will keep the FA and the players on their toes.
Forest are very tight at the back and concede few goals, just 10 in 17 starts, a league low , only Carlisle and Leeds are also under 16. However, they are accused to being too negative and with the players that they have available, that is probably justified.
Not many teams are going to come away from the south coast with maximum points and I do not see that changing just because big name Forest are in town. Brighton are looking for the win to take them up to 5th place in the table and have more than held their own in recent starts with Doncaster, Swansea and Leeds, who I place on a very similar level to tonight's opponents. Going to take a saver on the 0-0 draw, as I feel goals will be at a premium.
We have had a lot of rain in the UK along with some high winds, however the sun is shining now and the forecast for the next 24 hours or so, is not too bad, but for sunday, it is scarey, so check an updated forecast, before placing any bets then.
6 points Brighton level 2.08 asian line ..... now 1.96 1 point 0-0 draw 9.0 general , 9.5 VC Bet, bigger on the exchanges.
Hi, we were a little unlucky with the Cambridge match yesterday, sometimes a loss really annoys and this one bothers me. United lost thanks to a defensive error and could not get back into the game, despite enjoying 62% possession and winning the attempts on goal count 19-8 !
In the words of Martin Allen, onwards and upwards !
I have previewed 4 matches on the email service and will put what I can from those on the blog this afternoon. Looking at the weekend, I have some very confident selections and will be posting my email (6-7 previews), later today, which should enable me to post qute a few, market permitting, on here tomorrow.
No doubt which of these two is in the better form. Hosts have won just once in 5 and only one of six on home soil, they are also handicapped by the loss of two very key players, including top scorer James Constable, who has 10 goals in 18 league starts. Cambridge are very tight defensively, only Grays have conceded fewer and they have lost just once in 25 matches, including winning six in a row ! They stick with their 3-5-2 formation, which works well and the whole squad is happy with, Kidderminster have been tinkering a lot and recently playing just one man up front, even in home games, which is clearly restricting their opportunities. One, infact, two words of caution, Harriers have never lost in 10 meetings to United, but this is the strongest Cambridge have been for many seasons.
Next, the referee, Mike Mullarkey , is very strict, this need not be a problem, as my selection are probably the more disciplined of the two teams, but we have had a lot of teams reduced to ten men recently, including Rochdale last night, so it bears mentioning.This is live on television and if any of you play the card or penalty markets, Mr Mullarkey's record makes interesting reading. In his last 11 matches in charge, he has awarded 5 penalties, awarded 2 reds and an average of 4.3 yellow cards. In just 3 BSP games this season when he has had the whistle, he has really stuck to the letter of the law, with 2 pens, 2 red and 14 yellow cards ! So, no Mullarkey when Mike is around.
Lazio have a couple of huge fixtures ahead of them in the next 7 days and will have to pick and choose their battles. Surely an away game against the best team in Italy, with a depleted squad, is not the one to choose. With Roma just 3 points behind and hosting a goal shy Cagliari this evening, Inter can ill afford to step off the gas and should win this easily enough .