Wednesday, December 19, 2007



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


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


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.

5 points Panionios -3/4 ball 1.82 asian line.

Good Luck.

No comments: