Tuesday, June 30, 2009



We already have an interest in two of the matches today, with our outright bets on the Williams sisters to make the final and Venus to win outright, so no need to get involved in those match ups, I expect both to progress.

I think Francesca Schiavone, who did us a favour yesterday has a fighting chance against Elena Dementieva, these look two of the fittest girls on tour at present and there will be few cheap points. H2h is tied at 4-4 with the Italian girl winning three of the last four meetings, none have been on grass, but all came on fast courts.

Speaking of the courts, players seem unanimous in their opinion that the courts are very slow this year, yet big servers, especially in the women's game have been doing extremely well, which is something of a contadiction. Dementieva ran out a very comfortable winner yesterday, but all her old serving demons were there early in the first set, when she appeared nervous and even had trouble with the ball toss. Vesnina was not able to take advantage and allowed Dementieva to take control, of herself as much as the game.

Schiavone is a far more wily campaigner and might be able to take advantage of any such lapses today and keep the pressure on the Russian's serve. Having said that in the post match interview, Dementieva looked very relaxed and happy and was oozing confidence, so much so, that it has made me wary of opposing her, but there are far worse 4.0 shots than the Italian if you must bet on the game.

I will pass for the purposes of the email, but might consider betting Schiavone with the purposes of trading out later, there is a good chance she will be offered at much shorter odds during the course of the match.

That just leaves the Dinara Safina - Sabine Lisicki quarter final. The world number one is fortunate to be here, she was being given a tennis masterclass by Amelie Mauresmo for much of their fourth round match yesterday, when the frenchwoman appeared to know far too much for Safina, before imploding from 40-0 on her own serve , with five terrible points when already leading by a set and a break. Even then Mauresmo regrouped and had two points for a 5-3 lead in the third, with her serve to come, before the Russian found a way through.

Dinara claims to be coming to terms with the surface, but I am far from convinced about that and also that she has yet exorcised those French Open demons, which must still be giving her sleepless nights.

Today she faces a far less experienced opponent, but one who has brighten up the whole tournament by her delightful personality and big, big serving. Lisicki has long been touted as a future star and is starting to live up to that reputation and is looking for her third big scalp, after seeing off Kuznetsova and Wozniacki in the last two rounds. She has already beaten Safina in a grand slam event, knocking her out of the Australian Open last year, so she is unlikely to be overawed by the prospect of facing her again. The centre court appearance might be a problem, but with the roof off and very hot conditions, it will surely play fast again today, despite what the players say and suit her massive serve.

How big is it ? Well she recorded a high of 121mph against both Kuzzy and Wozzy and averaged around 109 mph in both games, Safina did not record a single serve over 106 mph in her match with Mauresmo. If she can remain at this level and continue winning circa 83% of first serve, she is going to be almost impossible to break. Lisicki has been hitting a very big forehand too and claims that since beating Kuznetsova her game has gone up a level, not just in the win over the world number 9 ranked dane Wozniacki, but in every practice session since, where she has been hitting the ball "unbelievably".

Confidence is a wonderful thing, so is a big serve and groundstrokes, if she can carry all three onto the centre court today and they are first on, so no sitting around and waiting, getting nervous, then I think she will give us a great run for our money.

5.5 points Lisiscki to beat Safina 3.05 + exchanges.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

USPGA TOUR ...........



OK, time for David Toms to get back in the winners circle, he has not tasted victory in three years and has suffered with health issues for much of that time. However, he has played a lot this year and been knocking on the door, recording six top ten finishes, including one in the TPC the "fifth" major and runner up spots in the Sony Open and very recently in the St Jude Classic.

He is playing almost error free golf, with just a single bogey in 54 holes and seems ideally placed in third, two strokes behind leader Paul Goydos with first day leader Kenny Perry sandwiched inbetween. Toms has stayed out of trouble, which is easier to do when you are hitting the ball straight, he was 93% for driving accuracy in Round 2 and is ranked 4th for greens in regulation this week and fairly high in all other categories.

A few years back he would have been priced at circa 2.60-2.70 to win this from here and looks very attractive at 5.0 +. Toms is a twelve time winner on tour and now that he is fit and well and comfortably past his 40th birthday, which is often a mental problem for golfers, he is ripe and ready to win again. IT WILL BE TODAY !

5.5 points David Toms outright 5.40 exchanges..... 5.0 across the board.

Good Luck.



This is a meaningless third and fourth place playoff, in what is a fairly pointless tournament, although to be fair, most of the competitors have taken it seriously. My point is that surely at this stage, there is nothing to gain by these two being ultra cautious and this is a real opportunity to put on a thriller and create some additional interest ahead of the World Cup finals, for which there are still a lot of tickets unsold.

These games are traditionally high scoring and I am shocked to see the "over option at odds against. Hard to know exactly how Spain will approach this after losing their unbeaten record and I am sure that they would all rather be home, but if they do turn it on, they are capable of running in three or four themselves. I definitely expect South Africa to score, they have no problem creating chances (just taking them) and I feel Spain will have more of a gung-ho approach, so the "over" option becomes something of a no brainer. This should be entertaining.

7 points "over" 2.5 goals 2.07 asian line.

Back later.




Colorado have big ambitions this season, they are 4th in the West, but only trail leaders Houston by seven points, with games in hand on all the teams above them in the table. They are in terrific form, unbeaten in eight starts and are coming off a draw with Dallas, where they totally dominated, creating 19 attempts on goal, the most Dallas have allowed all season. seven of those fell to Omar Cummings who is in a rich vein of form since Conor Casey left to join the US national team, he is worth a look at in the goal scoring lists .Rapids have no injury or suspension concerns, so Casey is the only player missing.

After a flying start to their season, new franchise club Seattle have only beaten struggling San Jose(twice) in 12 starts, which includes seven draws and they are now finding their true level, after the new club euphoria has died down. Another stalemate would not surprise me and the teams shared the points in the reverse fixture, I certainly do not see Colorado losing and make them a strong bet with the draw on our side.

6.5 points Colorado Rapids +1/2 ball 1.84 asian line.

2 points Omar Cummings anytime goalscorer 3.60 Bet 365..... who have priced him up bigger than Casey who is over ten thousand miles away from Seattle, that would be quite some shot !

Good Luck.


I had a nice football winner for subscribers yesterday and am very confident about today's selections. Sometimes the email just feels right and I get an excited feeling just writing the newsletter, sad I know !

It included six previews for today, five were football matches and there were seven bets suggested in total. I think I have a winner at circa 5.40, a fantastic bet at odds against which should be odds on in my opinion and ...........well it just goes on and on.

I will be posting two, maybe three of these on the blog today, the first in an hour or so, so please check back. No guarantees in gambling, but I expect a good day today and will probably email the bank manager to expect a big deposit tomorrow !

Good Luck.

Friday, June 26, 2009

FRIDAY ............

Many of you have already seen today's email, as I sent out some 300 freebies. In addition to the football action, it included a quick look at the Women's third round from Wimbledon. The Sugiyama match has already finished and whilst Hantuchova won, her Japanese opponent raced into an early lead and anyone trading in running( as suggested), could have closed out for a big profit after just 3-4 games, when Sugiyama was odds on !


I must admit to being very tempted by the 3.25 on Ai Sugiyama, who did us a big favour earlier in the week, to beat the talented but fragile Daniela Hantuchova. Both enjoy playing on the surface and I think that this will be close, maybe a bet on the Japanese woman ( I cannot call her a girl at 35 yo) and look to trade out for a profit, is the way to go, she seems very likely to trade shorter at some stage. Sugiyama leads the h2h 6-4 and all meetings have been on fast courts. Hantuchova is one of the few players that can trade blows with the Williams sisters on grass courts and she has had close games with both here in recent years and would welcome the chance to do so again with Serena on Monday.


This is another game I expect to be close. H2h is 3-1 in Sciavone's favour, with all four meeting being on fast courts and going the full distance, with an average of 27.75 games. Last meeting was in Dubai earlier this year and was the only victory for Bartoli, the former Wimbledon runner up. She showed terrific battling qualities that year with every match from the third round onwards going the distance.

Schiavone also has a winning record on the surface and both came into Wimbledon on the back of semi-finals on grass in their previous outings. So, two well matched rivals, both in good form and who know each other's game. Couple of minus points for each, Bartoli was forced to retire from Eastbourne and Sciavone has been struggling with her first serve, although winning the points when she has got it in . I expect Bartoli to find a way through, but think the "overs" at 21.5 games, has been pitched too low. Even two close sets could see this total passed , which is a bonus, as I do feel that we will see three.

6 points "over" 21.5 games 1.90 general quote.

2 points Bartoli to win 2-1 sets 4.33 Boyle Sports.... 4.20 exchanges.

Good Luck.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I have sent subscribers to the email service today four selections, including what I feel is a very strong bet at odds of circa 4.0, win or lose, that is a terrific value selection in my opinion.

Not going to post any of today's selections on the blog, but am certain that I have something good for you over the next day or two, so please check back.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WIMBLEDON DAY 2 ..............


Two veterans of the tour here, Fabrice is, I believe, the oldest player on tour and whilst he doesn't have the greatest record at Wimbledon, he usually manages to win a match or two, winning nine of his last ten first round matches and being involved in some memorable battles over the years. He is very much in the twilight of an incredibly long career, but still plays with a smile on his face and made the semis at Eastbourne last week, beating Kendrick, Ljubicic and Genepri. I think he has been overpriced to defeat Kiefer, who has not played since retiring from the Halle tournament with an abdoninal strain.

He has often stated that the Gerry Weber Open is his favourite event on tour, and he is a three time finalist and former champion at the tournament, so he would not have pulled out of both singles and doubles, unless the injury was serious. He was meant to play a warm up event last week, but withdrew from that and also a charity tournament on grass, which you would have thought would be an ideal opportunity to test himself.

I think the "Magician" as Santoro is known, will be getting Kiefer running and testing any weaknesses he might have, at circa 3.0 he is worth chancing a little. The German won in three close sets when they met here in 2007, but the diminutive Frenchman had little left in the tank, after a titanic five set defeat of Ivo Karlovic and I doubt Kiefer is at the same level today.

4 points Santoro to win 3.0 exchanges.

Good Luck.

Monday, June 22, 2009

WIMBLEDON ...........




I am not getting ovely involved in the tennis today, just two smallish bets, tomorrow looks far more interesting.

Xavier Malisse appears to have rededicated himself to the game and the results are starting to come, he is a very gifted player and capable of competing with the very best on a "going " day. His ranking is such that he has to pre qualify for most events worth entering at present, so he has a lot of grass court practice under his belt. Winning five matches at Queen's, before losing to eventual semi-finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero in a close game and another three matches to get in here. So, he is 8-1 on the surface in the last fortnight, which included a win over Frank Dancevic, who made the final at Eastbourne over the weekend and won Surbiton last year.

Malisse is a foremer semi-finalist here and is now a "hungry" player, desperate to make something more from a career which promised so much, before it is too late.

Schuettler is exactly the opposite, maybe not as naturally gifted, but someone who has made the most of his talent. He also made a semi-final here, just last year, losing easily to Rafael Nadal, the eventual champion. No shame in that of course, but that was meant to be his swansong and I am a little surprised that at 33 yo, he is still playing. That great run aside, he has a losing record here, with a large number of first round defeats. This is a great chance for Malisse to get his ranking back up and automatically into a few tournaments, without suffering the rigors of qualifying, I make him the small favourite and at odds against have to invest a little.

Ai Sugayama loves it at Wimbledon, were she is a five time doubles finalist and boasts a 28-10 lifetime record in singles, including a number of big scalps. The Japanese superstar is playing in her 61st straight Grand Slam event, that is the world record and one I cannot believe will ever be beaten by man or woman. To play all four events, running from January to September for 15 + years on a gruelling tour, is next to impossible, just to stay fit for so long is a big ask, let alone keep your ranking high enough to get in and retain your motivation.

Sugiyama has not had the best of years and has actually lost in her first match of the last eight tournaments she has played. However, she has met mostly players ranked above her, continued to play well in doubles and showed signs of a return to life on grass last week. She plays an aggressive attacking old fashioned grass court game, can volley with the best and matches up well with Schnyder, whom she leads 3-1 h2h lifetime, although this is their first meeting on grass.

That is not surprising as the Swiss player is very uncomfortable on the surface and her ten lifetime wins in SW19 are almost all against players ranked way below her. In addition to which she has lost to five ranked outside the top 100. Schnyder is now 30 yo, still four years younger than her opponent, but this is likely to be the last time we will see her here and I doubt she will be shedding too many tears. Once again I like the more motivated (IMO) player.

4.5 points Malisse to win 2.14 + general quote.

5 points Sugiyama to win 1.74 + general quote.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 21, 2009




Wimbledon starts tomorrow and I will be covering the tournament on a daily basis on the email. Going to start today with a look at the Women's event. Dinara Safina is top seed, but I could not back her at any price, this is her least favourite surface, she still bears the mental scars from her devastating loss at Roland Garros and lost to 32 yo Tamarine Tanasugarn in the Ordina Open semis this week. Tanasugarn is a proven grass courter but even so, she should not be beating the world number one in straight sets.

Safina is in the same section as French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is also not totally in love with the surface and with a number of dangerous players in this section, including Eastbourne champion Caroline Wozniacki, 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo, plus Chakvetadze and Vaidisova. I would not be surprised to see both RG finalists long gone by the semis. I was tempted to take a couple of players in this section to win the quarter at big odds but decided to pass. Vaidisova has been plaqued by injury and is a forgotten woman, but has made the quarters here in the last two years and is 50-1 to go a stage further. I would not put any of you off risking some loose change on her, at such rewarding odds.

The Williams sisters look, once again, head and shoulders above all their rivals. Serena lost to eventual champion Kuznetsova in three sets in the French Open quarter finals and arrives here in good shape, looking fit and ready to go a stage further than last year. She has made four finals in her last eight appearances, winning twice.

If her record here sounds good, what about her sister ! Venus has made the final in seven of nine apperances, winning five times and some $6m in prize money in SW19 alone ! Only Serena has beaten her in the final here and the older sibling is clearly the best grass court player of her generation. The draw has been faily kind to her, she is a little vunerable in the early stages of any tournament, but I see little to trouble her early doors here and Ivanovic and Jankovic the "big names" in her section, have lost their way, Ivanovic in particular looks a shadow of her former self.

I feel that we might well see a repeat of last year's final and the fourth all Williams grass court final in total. Hills offer a standout 4.50 quote and I will start with a little on that and an each way bet on Venus, who I expect to win a third straight All England Championship.

4 points Williams Sisters final 4.50 William Hill

5 points each way Venus Williams 4.33 1/2 odds a place to win outright general quote.

Good Luck.




I think we will see goals in this game, which is normally the case when these two meet. Five of the last nine h2h games in Stavanger have produced five or more goals and with both clubs looking to get into contention for a top three place, I do not see either sitting back today. Viking probably already feel that two goals are the minimum required to pick up points, they have not kept a clean sheet in six home starts and Brann have scored in 12 consecutive away games.

No team outside the bottom six has allowed more road goals than Brann and Viking have conceded a league high eleven times on home soil. Hard not to see goals and I am going to chance a little on four or more.

4 points "over" 3.5 goals 2.90 + general quote.

Good Luck.




Italy need to equal or better Egypt's result to progress to the semi-final stage and will be angry that, once again, they have done things the hard way. The Pharoahs are bouyant after beating the Azzurri and will be confident of beating a young US team who have yet to register a point, but I do think that it will be so easy and a point might be enough for the Italians.

Italy created chances in the second half against Egypt and if one had gone in, they would probably have claimed another, now their backs are against the wall, but that is when we normally see them at their best.

I see plenty of value in the quote on Italy, Brazil will top the group with a draw and will also probably do so with a one goal defeat. They will be keen to avoid Spain until the final, but will surely want to conserve as much energy as possible after a very long season and three games in a week, with (hopefully) two still to play.

We saw some very sloppy defending from Brazil in their opener and although they were more polished against the US, the Americans never really put them under pressure and they will get a real test today. Hopefully Luca Toni will see a lot more playing time , he looks more likely to take any chances that come his way than Vicenzo Iaquinta, who has a dire goalscoring record for the national team, with just two goals in his last 28 starts.

We can bet the world champions getting a start, in a match where they are likely to be the more motivated side, facing a team happy to draw , or maybe even lose by a narrow margin, that looks too good to pass.

6 points Italy +1/4 ball 1.90 + asian line.

Good Luck.

Saturday, June 20, 2009



Nightmare season so far for New York, in what is a big fall from grace, they are bottom of their division and have not won in five starts, losing four, although the last three have all been difficult road games. The last was in Toronto, where, after trailing 2-0 at the break, they showed great spirit to get back in the game and were unlucky not to earn a share of the spoils. That was at least a short trip home and they have had a free week , with no distractions, to prepare for this vital game.

We discussed Seattle before their opener, that preview is reproduced below and was actually the reverse fixture. They have made a great start to MLS life, but have struggled a little in recent weeks, with just one win in eight starts. That came by the narrowest of margins against another struggler, San Jose, whom NY thumped in a recent home start.

Seattle will not be at their freshest , as they played a home game just three days ago, which means a 3,000 mile cross country trip in the meantime.

Massive game for New York, they have not played at home since the end of May, gates have dropped and they need to kick start their season. I think that we will see a very committed performance from them and a home win.

6 points New York -1/4 ball 2.04 asian line.

Good Luck.



The new MLS season gets underway early Friday morning, I was going to wait a couple of weeks before even looking at any games from a betting point of view, but this game has caught my attention.

Seattle are an expansion club, which means that they have been added to the league, to increase the size of the MLS. New clubs usually struggle to begin with, but the Sounders have big ambitions and the league will be eager for them to do well, with the two clubs lined up to next join the MLS, also coming from the North West area, Portland and Vancouver.

It is important to the overall progress of the game in the US, that Seattle do well. They have sold 20,000 season tickets and this opener is a 32,400 sell out and will be carried live on national television. The Sounders have appointed Sigi Schmid as head coach, they could hardly have a more experienced man at the helm, as he led Columbus Crew to the title last year, where his team beat the Bulls in the final. He has assembled a good mixture of young/promising and experienced players, including new Colombian striker Fredy Montero, Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg, in a very offensive looking team. They played twelve pre season games and only failed to score in two, one of which was an away game in Argentina and the other a match where there was no continuity, as the whole team was changed at half time.

Lots of changes at the Red Bulls, despite finishing runner up last year, ten squad players have left and they have tried to improve the overall quality and give themselves a chance to go all the way this time. However, it might take some time for everyone to gel and they could have as few as five starters from the November final, whicjh is a big turnover in just four months. I like the newcomers to record a win, this will create massive interest in the region and give the MLS the early season boost it needs.

5.5 points Seattle Sounders -1/4 ball 2.13 asian line..... won 3-0

Good Luck.

Friday, June 19, 2009



These are basic notes from today's email, sent circa 9am, but I have had to change the content a little.

The Irish clubs have a two week break from league action after this weekend and leaders Bohemians will want to maintain their advantage at the top of the table and fully enjoy their short "vacation". They bounced back from a defeat to St Patrick's to put eight goals past lowly Mayfield United in the cup last weekend, that would have done wonders for their confidence and aside from the suspended Graham Carey they have a fully fit squad available tonight.

Sligo have had a very different preparation, they have had two titanic cup ties with Cork City in the last week, including extra time on Tuesday night, just three days ago. If that was not bad enough they are without the suspended Ryan and Noctor, plus several other on the injured list. They have lost 3-0 on their last two visits here and not scored in five meetings with Bohs. Only the bottom two teams in the Premier have scored fewer goals than Sligo and it is hard to see them raising their game again, a third time in six days. I am convinced that a confident, well rested Bohemians will run away with this one and make them a strong bet.

7 points Bohemians -1.25 1.83 asian line.

Good Luck

Note to subscribers : Please check your inbox, I have just sent an additional email.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have sent subscribers to the daily newsletter two emails today, the first is reproduced below.

Nice day yesterday, the bets on Iraq and Bahrain were both successful and subscribers were also sent a third winner, so three from three for them.


Just a few lines about the WTA tennis in this email and I will send a second, with some football news later this morning.


This traditional pre Wimbledon tournament looks very competitive and in the top half of the draw, we are set for a repeat of last year's semi-final between Marion Bartoli (Wimbledon runner up in 2007) and Agnieszka Radwanska the current Eastbourne champion .

Both appear in decent shape and that could be a match to savour tomorrow. The winner is likely to meet Caroline Wozniacki who has a much easier looking run to the final, but at this stage of the season, on grass, you can never be sure and I would not rush to take the circa 2.0 her to win outright, when she has to win three games, including one against these two proven grass court campaigners.

Long time readers of the email/blog know that I am very keen on Radwanska, she was going to be my tennis bet of the week today, to beat Dementieva, but the Russian ruined everything by losing yesterday ! The Polish youngster is still improving and has a lot of points to defend here, she is a former Junior Wimbledon winner and is priced too big to retain her title in my opinion.

I am going to take a little on her outright and also a short priced double, which is a bet I rarely place, on her and Bartoli to both win their games today, at the odds offered it is around 1.80 for them to beat Virginie Razzano and Anabel Medina Garrigues respectively.

Bartoli should have few problems beating a player who is not overly comfortable on the surface and who wins one or two games per year max on grass. She has already reached that quota at Eastbourne and can leave happy with her week's work. Bartoli leads the h2h 3-0 and all wins have come easily and all on fast courts.

Radwanska leads her opponent 2-0, which includes a win in the second round here last season, so something of a groundhog day for our girl, with a repeat of two of her games (hopefully) from last year. She started slowly against Razzano last year, losing the first set , but never really looked in trouble and raced through the next two, I hope and believe it will not be quite so close this time.

Raddy had a very solid French Open losing in the fourth round, to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets.

5.5 points Bartoli and Radwanska to both win circa 1.80 ..... anything above 1.75 is acceptable ( circa 1.3 x 1.35)

3 points Radwanska to win outright 5.50 Betfair/ Skybet.... 5.0 Ladbrokes.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009



We are on Spain outright and they could hardly have been more impressive in their opener, scoring four very quick goals against New Zealand, before stepping off the gas. I do not think the Kiwis crossed the half way line, at least with the ball, in the opening twenty five minutes !

The same day a very defensive minded Iraqi team were riding their luck in a 0-0 draw with the host nation. They really did show a lack of ambition in that game and we can expect them to once again shut up shop and try to keep the Spanish Armada at bay.

Let's have a few words from the cynic inside me, I do not feel it will do the tournament or football in general much good, if Spain once again run away with this. Yes, I expect them to win, but another landslide victory seems unlikely.

Iraq are also a lot more astute than NZ, are vastly experienced, with nine squad members having 60+ caps and are used to playing tournament football, usually with great success, they will get ten men behind the ball, with top scorer and captain Younis Mahmoud up front on his own. He is a prolific goalscorer and capable of taking full advantage of any chances that might come his way. In midfield look out for Nashat Akram, he was very close to securing a move to the EPL, before finally signing for FC Twente in the Netherlands.

Spain are bound to rotate one or two players and I doubt that the star turns will be expected to play for 90 minutes. The match is being played in Bloemfontein which is 1400m above sea level, so the altitude is a minor concern, I think it gave Brazil, who faced Egypt here, some problems in the second half and we might once again see a lower key Spain after the break. Iraq arrive here fron Johannesburg which is even higher so they will have few worries and might even benefit from the drop down.

To lose this bet, Spain will have to win by a four goal margin and that seems very unlikely to me. Iraq are far better organised than New Zealand, who were defensively in disarray at times in the opener. I see a 14th straight win for the European Champions, but probably by a one or two goal margin.

I have seen the half time draw quoted at 4.70 +, not going to put that up as a bet, but it looks a little on the big side.

8 points Iraq +3 goals 1.76 asian line.

Good Luck.



All to play for here, hosts will book a playoff place with a draw or better, the visitors will steal that spot with all three points.

Goals are something of a problem for both and Uzbekistan have failed to score in five of their seven group games, including losing the reverse fixture by virtue of a goal conceded deep in injury time. They might start cautiously, but at some stage they will have to come out and go for it, which is when I expect Bahrain, who have quite impressed me this campaign and who get forward very quickly, to take the lead, probably with a goal on the break.

Bahrain could easily have taken a point or more from their last game, away to Australia, they had restricted the Aussies to few attempts on goal and were just getting on top, when conceding against the run of play. They are quite a physically imposing defensive unit and try to play a very quick passing style on the offensive. I will back them , but will keep stakes small, as the draw is a concern of course. Temperature will be high today, that will not be a problem for the visitors, but the humidity will be and the conditions could be very severe come kick off time.

4.5 points Bahrain -1/2 ball 2.20 asian line.

Back Later.

Monday, June 15, 2009



England went very close in this tournament last two years ago, losing in a unbelievably penalty shoot out to eventual champions and host nation Netherlands. They have a lot of stability both on and off the pitch, coach Stuart Pearce knows the players as well as his own family, has just signed a contract extension and the squad have been together a long time.

They arrive here in good form and are extremely confident of doing well. Upfront , Agbonlahor, Walcott and Campbell have unlimited pace and will terrorise a lot of defences and elsewhere, such experienced campaigners as Joe Hart , Micah Richards (who has 11 full caps) and James Milner (an incredible 42 U21 caps), offer far more than you would normally expect at this level. Cut off point for eligibility is being born in 1986 or later, so you could actually be 23( and a half) and still be able to play.

Even the more inexperienced players in this talented squad, like Kieran Gibbs, has played in two Champions League and one FA Cup semi finals this season !

Finland are something of a surprise package and base their game around a solid defence, they are not helped in this respect by losing goalkeeper Tomi Maanoja, who saved them more than once during qualification. They look outsiders and I know of one Finnish oddsmaker for a major European bookmaker, who is desperate to lay them and he has been top quote for his country in every market, offered, believing that they will disappoint big time.

I am sure that they will try to defend with ten men behind the ball and look for a goal on the break, which will hand the advantage to Pearce's boys and with Spain and traditional rival Germany still to come, England will be desperate to start with three points. If they take the lead, Finland will have to push forward, which is when England's pace will prove decisive. Solid start and comfortable win for England.

5 points England -1.5 goals 1.95 asian line.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

US PGA TOUR ..........



Bob Estes is a player I normally discuss once or twice per year, usually making fun of the fact that the guy has won millions and millions of dollars, yet he is barely known even in his own household ! That gets the joke out of the way.

Estes is Mr Consistency and week in week out, is around at the weekend of tournaments picking up yet another cheque. He has won four times on tour, including this event back in 2001, but that is not really his game and he is probably too far back to win this one, but I do expect a high finish today.

He loves it here and in addition to the win, he also has a second and third amongst four top 4 placings. The couse was changed significantly in 2005, but did not make too much difference to Estes, who has a 8th and 13th place finish to his name since then.

He is in a tie for 8th, six strokes behind leader Gay, but only two shots back of 4th spot, which would suit us nicely and land the place part of this speculative wager, but at very rewarding odds. Estes has progressed each day shooting 69-67-66 and has only dropped a shot at one of his last 36 holes, he has been on fire with the putter for the last two days and a similar performance today, could take him very close.

2 points each way Bob Estes 34.0 1/5 123 Stan James..... other companies are likely to quote this market later in the morning.

Good Luck.



2007 champions Brann have their eye on a top three finish this year after a disappointing 2008 campaign. They suffered a bit of a setback with a loss at Stromgodset last week, but will be confident of getting back on track facing a favourite opponent in struggling Lyn.

The visitors are currently hold up the rest of Tippeligaen and have not won in nine starts. The Oslo club have been battling away in lower midtable for several years and this might be the time for them to return to Adeccoleague after nine years in the top flight.

They have a dire record at Brann losing on their last six visits, all by at least two goals. I expect the classier home side to take this with ease.

7 points Brann -3/4 ball 2.07 asian line.

Good Luck.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

TODAY'S EMAIL .............


Very interesting day in prospect tomorrow, when the UEFA European U21 Championships and Confederations Cup both get underway and hopefully, Andy Roddick is in the Queen's final.





We were very close to a big pay day on the tennis yesterday, but after we had landed bets at odds of 3.60 and 1.91 on the Roddick-Karlovic match, Mikhail Youzhny let both us and himself down badly. He led 5-2 in the opening set tie break and never really recovered from losing four straight points and handing the initiative to Blake. However, a small profit on the tennis and Chile in the football, made it a successful day overall.

I feel that Roddick and Murray have been priced plenty short enough today, with the British player as low as 1.06 in places. They will both probably win, but there is bound to be a blip somewhere along the line for one or both. We are already on Roddick outright and there seems no point in any further involvement in his match, the 26 yo American has yet to drop a set, but did lose their only previous meeting on the surface, here in 2006, so doubtless a little revenge over his Davis Cup partner, will also be on his mind, along with a place in the final. No bet for me though.

Murray has played well this week, but no one has really extended him and in interviews he has made it clear, without offending anybody, that he sees this as little more than a warm up for Wimbledon. It is a shame that his opponent has not chosen to play more on the surface over the years, this is his first ever visit to Queen's and it is obvious he is comfortable on grass. He has two 4th round and one quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon to his name, twice losing closely to Roger Federer.

JCF is a former world number one, but had not won on tour since 2003, before winning in Casablanca this year, that has clearly given him a boost, he has looked confident here and happy in post match interviews. He has had a rough time with sickness and injury over the last five years or so, but those problems look behind him and he also seems less distracted by off the court activities. His Hotel, Tournament and Academy are now all up and running and do not require his daily imput, he seems focused on his game and the benefits are clear to see. I think it would be a major ask for him to win, but see no reason why he cannot keep things close and he looks a good bet, getting a 4.5 game handicap start, if he can take RF to two tie breaks at Wimbledon and to within six games over three sets, he can do likewise against Murray. The Brit has yet to drop a set, but four of them were won by exactly two games and 6-4 6-4 would do nicely.

5 points Ferrero +4.5 games 2.31 Pinnacle..... similar odds available on the exchanges.



One swallow. or seven "overs" do not a summer make, but we have been discussing the increase in goals in certain Scandinavia leagues in mid season, for the last couple of years and successfully dipped our toe in the water on Monday, when we landed a nice "over" double in Superettan. The last seven games played in this division have all produced three or more goals and the four matches today, are certainly worth a second look in this aspect.

This match looks the most promising to me, the two have been producing above the league average of 2.58 goals, with a mean of 2.82 and 2.73 respectively this season. Angelholms are "over" in 12 from 15 starts, Syrianska likewise in 9 from 13.

6 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.88 asian line.



Galaxy did us a big favour last weekend, when collecting all three points in Toronto. They are now unbeaten in ten starts, although that does include eight draws. The win in Ontario, on the artificial surface which had given them great cause for concern in the past,should give them a major psychological boost and I expect that to be apparent today. There are normally goals when these two meet, with the last six h2h meetings ending over, with five producing four or more and four ending by the exact 2-2 scoreline, including the reverse fixture early last month.

It is not impossible that we could see another today in this most draw friendly of leagues, where almost 38% of all games have ended in stalemates this season. I am going to incude this correct score in my staking plan for the game, but will make my main bet the home win.

Real have gone seven starts without a win and have collected only one point and a single goal, from six road starts. However, they have shown clear signs of improvement in recent starts and scored in their last two games, I expect them to get on the scoreboard this evening. They will be without the suspended Robbie Russell.

LAG remain without star player Landon Donovan, who is in South Africa with the US national team, he has been missing for a couple of weeks in any case due to World Cup involvement and Edson Buddle has stepped into his shoes, with a goal in each of the last two starts, so this is not a major concern. He also scored a third in a midweek friendly start and seems likely to lead the line tonight, he looks good at odds of 3.0 in the anytime goalscorer market.

6.5 points LA Galaxy -1/2 ball 2.11 asian line.

0.5 points LAG to win 3-2 correct score 34.0 William Hill.

1 point 2-2 draw correct score 17.0 William Hill.

3 points Edson Buddle to score at anytime 3.0 Bet 365.

Good Luck.

SATURDAY PLANS ..............

I have just sent out today's newsletter in which I have previewed three events, given a number of selections, some at very attractive odds.

Actually, today I am going to do things a little differently and will reproduce the email in full on the blog, later this morning, so please check back.

Good Luck.

Friday, June 12, 2009



James Blake is a former finalist here, losing to Lleyton Hewitt in 2006, after a fine win over Andy Roddick in the semis.

Surprisingly, after that he choose to play Halle instead in both 07 and 08 and I am not 100% convinced how happy he is playing in England.

He has never got beyond the third round at Wimbledon and the media give him a bit of a grilling, with constant reference to the fact that he has a British mother. I have seen quite a lot of him this week and it really is the same old story, consistently, inconsistent. He is almost unplayable for a few games and then seems to lose concentration and games slip away very quickly.

I think this will be close today, the two have never met in an ATP event, but have faced each other in two close Davis Cup ties. Youzhny has taken a while to get going this year and has really only hit form on clay, with 10 of his 17 wins before this event coming on the dirt. At least that enabled him to find his touch and on his day he is a formidable grass court player. He has five times made the fourth round at Wimbledon, losing to the eventual winner twice and another two times to the ultimate runner up.

The Russian has had a good career, but maybe not reached the heights expected. Many excellant judges, including Roger Federer consider Youzhny as good as anyone on tour on the practice courts and hopefully one day we will see him carry that form right the way through a big tournament. I make this game a bit of a toss up, between two evenly match shotmakers, with Youzhny's big backhand taking on Blake's flat forehand monster, at the odds offered, the Russian has to be backed and also a little on the "over".

6 points Youzhny to win 2.375 Stan James/ Exchanges.

5 points "over" 22.5 games 1.80 Bet 365 .

Good Luck.

TGIF ..............

Big weekend ahead and I have started as I mean to go on, by sending subscribers to the email service five selections for today. Hopefully, it will be possible for me to post a couple of these on the blog, so please check back.

We are in the middle of a recession, but no one has bothered to tell new Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who was previously in charge between 2000-2006. Despite his club being hundreds of millions in debt, he is building a new team of Los Galacticos and has apparently spent another £80m, signing Ronaldo to play alongside the now cheap looking, at a mere £56m, Kaka .

Of course, Real could do with a few defenders, but defensive players don't win votes and that is not the Real way, you can be sure that if there is more big money spent and it is likely, it will continue to be on attacking players. Little will change at the back next season I would guess, with Iker Casillas remaining not only the best, but one of the busiest goalkeepers in the World !

Good Luck.

Thursday, June 11, 2009




We are already on Roddick outright and today could be tough, with both players looking for a record breaking fifth win at the venue. It is hard to recall now, that Hewitt was dominant on the surface for a couple of years and to be honest,it seems like a lifetime ago. His best years are almost a decade back , last year was the first that he did not win a tournament in ten years and he ended 2008, by having surgery on his hip. He is clearly in the twilight of his career and not many fellow pros will mourn his eventual passing, as the Aussie is often discribed as being friendless on tour.

Hewitt has played 12 tournaments in 2009 and only got past the third round twice, losing to Roddick in the 4th round in Memphis and winning in Houston, however, that was a pretty poor event, played on US clay and the Australian didn't meet a top 50 ranked player and only one above 86. He really struggles to deal with the modern power game and despite trying to "bulk up", nothing has really worked in that regard, maybe he needs some tips from his sister, who is a now a bodybuilder, after trying her luck on the WTA (see photograph and the family resemblance).

I expect Roddick to progress today and will take a little on him to do so in straight sets. The number two seed has won the last three h2h meetings and also their only previous meeting on grass, which came here in 2004. Roddick has worked very hard on his fitness over the winter and has attempted to get back (successfully) to the weight he was when winning the 2003 US Open, this was the first demand put on Roddick by his current coach Larry Stefanki and the 26yo has shown great determination to do so and the benefits are there for all to see. We discussed his current form on Monday, so no point in going over all ground. First set will doubtless be tough, Hewitt still fights like a Jack Russell terrier, but once that is in the bag, it should be plain sailing.

5 points Roddick to win 2-0 in sets 1.83 + general quote.... bigger on the exchanges.

I think we have a fantastic bet in the Mahut-Karlovic match........ the rest of the post is restricted to subscribers the the email service..............

Good Luck.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009



I really like the hosts getting a two goal start. Serbia will have to score three in order for us to lose this bet and I feel that is unlikely, despite the Isanders still being regarded in some quarters as "whipping boys".

The Faroes have tightened up considerably this campaign, drew 1-1 here with Austria and lost by the minimum margin to Romania, both games were 0-0 at the break. They lost 2-0 in the reverse fixture in Belgrade but the first goal took 30 minutes to come and was from a defensive error, the second not until the final two minutes of the game, their other away start was a 1-0 loss in Lithuania.

Former Irish boss Brian Kerr has taken charge of the team and has spent quite a bit of time with the players over his two month period at the helm, he will ceratinly have them well organised at the back. They will take great heart from the U21 team beating Russia last night and I feel that Serbia, who are missing Vidic, Jankovic and Stankovic, the trio have 150 caps between them, will be happy to just record the win and preserve their lead at the top of the table.

Also going to suggest a little on the double result ,given that the Faroes have not conceded until after the break in the previous two home group games and it will provide some very nice "cover", if they can once again go in level at half time.

Weather update: Quite high winds are forecast for later in the day (surprise, surprise), which will obviously favour the Islanders.

7 points Faroe Islands +2 goals 2.07 asian line.

2 points draw half time-Serbia full time 5.50 general quote..... a little 5.70 on the exchanges.

Good Luck.

WEDNESDAY .........

Very interesting day today and I have previewed four matches for subscribers, giving five selections. Confidence is high that we will continue the good recent run and I have unearthed some very nice priced "gems". I will post a couple of these on the blog later in the day.

There is a Tube strike in London, which is going to make it very difficult for football fans trying to get to Wembley, any of you that have been to the national stadium will know what I mean. Actually getting there might not be too bad, as you have all day to make the journey, getting home again will be next to impossible ! So expect only the most committed, or those willing to sit in the car park for two hours afterwards to make the trip, despite 70,000 tickets having been sold ! The joys of being a football fan in England !

The "off" season continues to get shorter, next week the fixture lists are revealed and my beloved Brentford report back for pre season training 1n just 18 days time !

Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009




This game is taking place in Cannes, France . Bosnia have played two warm up games this month, so should be fully tuned up for today and will name their strongest available squad, although several players are missing through injury. This is a very ambitious group, who are hopeful of qualifying for the finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history and are treating this seriously as a build cup for the World Cup games later in the year. They pose a terrific offensive threat and have scored 18 goals in their last five WC qualification games, including four in Belgium and seven at home to Estonia. They should win today against an Oman team that do well in familiar surroundings, but who struggle outside of their region. I am torn between backing B&H, who are rated 50 places higher in FIFA's world rankings, or taking the "over".

After a lot of deliberation, I have decided on the later. The favourites struggle to keep a clean sheet at the best of times and being without keeper Hasgic and key defender Nadarevic is hardly going to help in this regard. A few goals, plenty of entertainment for the locals, a win for Bosnia and everyone will leave reasonably happy.

5.5 points "over" 2.75 goals asian line.... currently 2.14.

Good Luck.

SUPER TUESDAY ..........

Super Tuesday ? Well I certainly hope so and if it is half as good as Monday, when all three football bets won and produced just shy of 20 points profit, then we will probably all be satisfied.

It is strange, but some of the most unlikely looking days turn out to be the most profitable.

Kaka has completed his move to Real Madrid for a reported £56m, we have discussed before my thoughts on Brazilian players over the age of 25-26, very few show any improvement over what should be the golden age of most footballers. Kaka might prove the exception, as he was something of a late starter due to injury, but it still seems like an awful lot of money for a 27 yo, especially for a club already debt laden. Only time will tell.

The EPL and the NBA, probably the two biggest sports leagues in the world, are looking at ways to form a marketing and commercial alliance to help them both expand into new international markets. Guess that both have an eye on Asia, which is the largest untapped market in the world and rumours are rife of Chinese investors looking to buy into a couple of NBA teams. Think that will not go down too well in the US, where they take much better care of their product. Soon we will reach the stage where every team in the EPL is owned by foreign investors and squads are almost completely made up of overseas players. This cannot be good for the long term future of the game and supporters will be left feeling more and more isolated from their national sport, attendances are already showing signs of decline in the top flight.

Back later.

Monday, June 08, 2009





We touched upon Swedish football recently and the expectation of more goals, especially in Superettan through the mid summer months. This is something I have made good money from in past seasons and whilst we might still be a little early in the campaign, I do want to dip our toes back into the water today. There were four matches played in this division yesterday, all produced four or more goals, at an average of 4.75 per game.

The Syrianska-GIF fixture looks promising, hosts are averaging 3.2 goals for their home starts and will be looking for the three points that would take them into the promotion zone. GIF are averaging 3.2 on the road, so both teams are well above the league average of 2.57 (2.47 before yesterday) and the vistors will also move into sixth and promotion contention, with a win.

The other match is less obvious, Angelhom's road starts are producing a very healthy 3.6 goals per game, but the home side just 1.4 here and they have only scored four goals all season, including not at all in their last five. However, I think that they will be more adventurous tonight, they now find themselves in the drop zone and because of the mini-break, will not play at home again until July 5th. Three points could take them above four teams and give them some much needed breating space.

5.5 points Syrianska "over" 2.5 goals 2.08 asian line

2.5 points double Syrianska "over" 2.5 goals 2.08/ Trollhattan "over" 2.5 goals 2.13 asian line.

Good Luck.



Both of these have qualified for the semi -finals, however, I suspect that each would like to avoid Argentina, who await the group runner-up, with the winners set to play the UAE. France need all three points to progress as group winners, any other result would see Chile take that honour.

Regardless of exact age, it seems that the South Americans in this age group are more advanced, they are "blooded" sooner and look more complete players. Chile have quite an experienced squad, they were beaten finalists in the tournament last year, are keen to go one better and would like to take the easier route, avoiding their neighbours. France have not overly impressed me so far, they have struggled to create much and needed an injury time goal to see off Qatar, which came as a surprise, as they had run out of ideas at that stage and adopted a hit and hope approach. Chile have scored four unanswered goals in their two games and look to pose the greater threat.I think that they are a great price getting the half goal start and that France have been priced so short, based purely on previous record in this event and home advantage, which I feel is limited in any case, with matches palyed in front of tiny crowds.

6 points Chile +1/2 ball 1.85 asian line.

Good Luck.





It is difficult to make the transition from clay to grass, but Rafa broke the mould last year by winning both the French Open and Queen's in consecutive weeks and then going on to take the Wimbledon title. However, for others clay is just something you play on until the grass and hardcourt tournaments restart and Andy Roddick falls firmly into that category. Having said that, he played well at Roland Garros, recording three straight set wins and reaching the last 16 for the first time in his career.

2009 has seen a rejuventated Roddick, who is 30-7 for the year, five of those losses came against Federer (three times), Nadal and Murray and another on clay .The British player is the only one of the top 4 competing at Queens, no Brit has ever won the tournament and Murray is on the other side of the draw in any case, so we can worry about him on Sunday if necessary.

Roddick has a tremendous record here, since losing in the first round on his debut, he has played six times, winning four and losing in the semis on the other two occasions, giving him a 26-3 record. His draw does have a few "toughies" hidden away, but he is in his best form for a couple of years, on the opposite side of the draw to Murray ,loves everything about the place and is happy in London, so we have enough on "our" side to chance a little outright.

6 points Roddick 4.33 outright Bet 365/ Ladbrokes ..... similar odds on the exchanges.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Just a few words about the Roland Garros final which has the potential to develop into a classic. I also sent subscribers a couple of other previews including a very strong football selection and a confident pick at odds of 14.0 +.



Federer is a true champion and knows how to win and lose with equal good grace. It is a sign of what esteem he is held in, that whilst we all like to cheer for the underdog, almost everyone wants Fed-ex to win this and the career Grand Slam, in what would be his 14th major victory, bringing him level all time with Pete Sampras.

RF wants this desperately and it maybe be very difficult, for even such a great champion to recover, if he fails to claim the crown this afternoon. I think he will win, but also that all the pressure is on him and am sure he will be very nervous. In an interview yesterday he admitted that it was a long time since he had felt so uneasy before a big final.

Soderling has played incredibly well for two weeks, at his absolute peak, he has nothing to lose and although it will be him against Federer and 15,000 Parisians, I do feel that he is not the type to freeze and that he will push the favourite all the way.

I am taking the Swiss superstar to succeed, but with the loss of a set or two.

5 points Federer to win 3-1 sets 3.60 exchanges.

1.5 points Federer to win 3-2 sets 6.80 exchanges.

Good Luck.

SUNDAY .............

Uruguay's failure against Brazil took the cream off the cake for blog readers, after Kuznetsova's win earlier in the day, still a very nice profit of course, but a disappointing finish to a great day.

Subscribers did a little better as the four football previews sent yesterday showed a profit, so they got to keep all their gain from the tennis.

Actually, we got the best of the action with Uruguay, having backed them +1/4 ball 1.84, pre kick off they were trading as low as 1.94 level ball, so there was a profit there for the taking if you so wished.

The Kuznetsova odds were just wrong, very few players win a Grand Slam, until they do so, to even consider backing someone at circa 1.35, especially one who clearly suffers with nerves like Dinara Safina is pure madness ! I felt very sorry for Safina, despite being clearly distraught, she used every ounce of remaining energy to hold it together post match and conducted herself with great dignity, hopefully, big bro Marat was around to give her a hug afterwards. Lets hope that she takes one soon, but remember, that is now three major finals and she has yet to win a set.

The last seven days have been very good with winners at 5.0, 3.25, 2.13 etc and hopefully, I have found another gem (or two) today. Still finalising my selections for today, but think I have found something at very juicy double digit (10.0+) odds.

Back Later.

Saturday, June 06, 2009



Hosts are my idea of the best bet of the day, I would have been even more confident if they were not without Diego Lugano and Christian Rodriguez, but still think they match up very well with this Brazil side and expect them to collect, at the very least , a point. Uruguay have never lost an official match to the visitors on home soil and are determined to hold on to that proud record. They currently sit in 5th place in the table, which would earn them a playoff spot, but sitting just two points off Argentina who are in fourth and with a healthy three point gap to the 6th placed team, they can afford to really go for it tonight, especially as they missed out via the playoff route in 2006.

Offensively they pose a big threat with Suarez and Forlan a pairing which would trouble most defences and they will take great heart from the reverse fixture which they eventually lost 2-1 in Sao Paulo. They led for 35 minutes that night and incredibly, outshot their hosts 11-2 !

This will be probably be very physical, Brazil can "mix it" with the best of them and would be happy to come away with another draw, they are 5-6-1 in qualification. To be able to bet a strong home side with a handicap start, when the visitors are happy with a point and who might already have half an eye on the midweek home meeting with group leaders Paraguay , is far too good an opportunity to pass up. Brazil have won just four of their last 15 World Cup qualification road games.

7 points Uruguay +1/4 ball 1.84 asian line.

Good Luck.


Derry City and Shamrock Rovers both obliged last night and after a very poor month or so by my normal standards, we appear to be firmly back on track with an excellent last six days.

I have sent subscribers previews of four football matches today and will do my best to post something from that list on the blog later today.

Visitors to Roland Garros got very good value for money yesterday, viewing ten sets of superb men's semi-final action. We were close to a Soderling-del Potro final and anyone that tipped that pre tournament is the person to lead us out of this financial crisis and should immediately be moved into "number ten". However, Roger Federer found a way into his fourth consecutive French Open final and with no Rafa to face this time, will surely earn the final piece of his Grand Slam jigsaw, he will certainly have the crowd on his side, as del Potro was facing not jus Fed-ex, but also 15,000 Parisians.

I have already put up a bet (see below) for the Women's final and win or lose, still think that Kuznetsova is vastly over priced for all the reasons previously outlined. The treatment that she received during the Stosur game was only for a blister and nothing to do with the ankle "injury" she appeared to suffer in the match with Serena, which is not a cause for concern. Both players have had two days to prepare and I do not think that there will be any excuses on either side.

Having said that, neither is the greatest closer of a match and nerves will certainly play a part today. Safina was a set and 3-2 with a break up in the semis, against a clearly inferior player, yet still got very jittery, which included hitting one serve which bounced only half way up her own side of the court ! Quite how she will handle things today, especially at the business end, is anyone's guess.

Back later.

Friday, June 05, 2009





I will have to make this quick, as I am very short of time having spent too long at the opticians, my eyes are shot after spending too much time on the computer !

I am siding with the two visiting teams this evening, that is never a bad thing in the Irish Premier, where home advantage seems minimal and this season 59% of games have ended in a draw or away win.

Shamrock Rovers are my strongest bet, they currently lie three points behind Cork and having closed the gap considerably in recent weeks, by virtue of an unbeaten run of five games, whilst Cork have lost their last two, will be loathe to let the gap increase again. Only Sean Webb is unavailable for Rovers, two others will face late tests, but are both expected to be fine.

Injuries have hit Cork hard recently and tonight the situation has got worse, Gamble, Mezeckis, O'Neill, Duggan and Lordan are all out, through injury or suspension. H2h record also gives us good reason for optimism, with four of the last seven meetings here ending all square.

Derry are up into third and sit one point behind Cork and four adrift of Bohemians, given that we expect the first named to struggle and with Bohemians facing a never easy trip to St Patricks, this is a great chance to make up some ground. They have been strong on the road all season with a 4-2-1 record, which includes three 3-0 wins, in such a tight league, those are inpressive stats and only leaders Bohs have scored more goals. They have not conceded in three visits here and Sligo are struggling to find any consistency, especially in the goal scoring department, failing to score in three of their last six at home.

This could be a big few weeks for Derry, after tonight they play the bottom three in consecutive weeks and will be eyeing up a push at top spot, if they can first get the three points at the Showgrounds.

6.5 points Shamrock Rovers +1/2 1.95 asian line

5.5 points Derry City -1/2 ball 2.10 + general quote.

Good Luck.


Deep in the fourth set, with the Roland Garros semi-final between Robin Soderling and Fernando Gonzales on a knife edge, the Chilean hotly disputed a call, for what seemed like minutes, including berating both umpire and line judge, who was also wearing glasses which strangely made it more amusing ! At the conclusion, Gonzales made it very clear what he fought of the decision by sitting on court and removing the mark with his backside !

It was funny, but it did his opponent, who went on to lose the next two games and the set no favours and how can it go unpunished when players are pulled up for throwing a racquet, which is an instant and unpremeditated reaction. Somehow that just seems wrong.

I will be back shortly with a couple of brief previews for today's football.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

US MLS ...........


I expect United to put in a big title challenge this season and a return to their form of 2006 and 2007, when they finished first in the East and won the MLS Supporters' Shield. Last year they missed out on the playoffs totally, but I think that much of that was because they were competing in far too many competitions and the number of games finally caught up with them, although they did win the US Open Cup.

This time round they have been playing well, but perhaps not collecting the number of points they have deserved. They have a 3-7-2 record, so far too many draws and arrive here on the back of only their second defeat of the season at New England. A game that was perhaps something of a microcosm of their season, they dominated the first half, hit the post twice, took the lead, missed any number of chances and then let things slip after the break. The game was heading towards another stalemate, before New England were awarded a hotly disputed injury time penalty. I watched the highlights this morning and maybe one referee in 25 would have awarded the spot kick, unfortunately for DC, he was the one in charge of this game !

That loss hurt United and they are eager to bounce back today against one of their favourite opponents. The Red Bulls are holding up the rest of the East and have been dire on the road, failing to score a single goal in five starts, collecting just one point. The clubs have already met twice this season, DC winning the reverse league fixture 3-2 in New York and despite fielding a weakened team, taking a US Open cup game 5-3 at RFK Stadium, just a few weeks ago. They raced into a 4-0 lead inside 30 minutes that night, before going into cruise mode, I do not expect it to be so easy this evening, but do feel that United will win.

Three points will see them close to within two of Chicago Fire, whom they host in their next start, at the top of the East and that will nicely set up the second half of the season. They are creating plenty of chances, only Ben Olsen is on the injury list and with a little more good fortune up front, should score enough to hand the short handed Red Bulls another road loss.

6.5 points DC United -3/4 ball 2.13 asian line.

Good Luck.



I was very impressed with Kuznetsova yesterday and not just because she did us a big favour, she mixed her game up well and is one of the very few players on tour that can trade blows with Serena Williams and not come up short in the power department. She also moves very well and is incredibly quick around the court, Svetlana comes from a family of athletes, it is in her genes and shows !

Today she meets Samantha Stosur who is in her first ever Grand Slam semi-final, that she has made one at all is a major surprise, that it has come in Paris, is little short of miraculous. She only has a winning record on the surface because of her run this year at RG. I do not expect her to put up too much opposition, her high bouncing kick serve will not be so much of a weapon today and I will take a little on the Russian winning in double quick time, but am far more interested in the outright odds.

It seems very likely that she will meet the world number one, Dinara Safina in the final, which will be their third on clay this season. Kuznetsova winning in straight sets in Stuttgart, Safina doing likewise in Rome. Lifetime they have met seven times on dirt and SK leads 4-3, but Safina did take the spoils here last year in the semi-finals, I am not overly concerned by that, as "our" girl is playing much better now, but then to be fair,so too is her opponent.

However, lets look at Kuznetsova's record in Paris, in 2004 she had match points in the 4th round against eventual winner Myskina, in 2005 an identical story, 4th round match points against eventual champion Justine Henin. Almost got there in 2006 losing in the final to Henin, who at that time , was virtually unbeatable on the surface. In 2007 she lost in the quarters to last year's winner Ana Ivanovic and in 08 as already discussed, to Safina in the semis. She only loses to champions and without Henin around, she could easily be looking for her third and not first, Roland Garros title.

Of course, I accept that Safina has very simlar, some would say better claims and it would be hard to dispute that and also that after losing in two Grand Slam finals, that she is now due to win one. But her outright odds looking very skinny (sub 1.80), she has a tougher semi final game today too IMO and I would be very happy with 3.25 for Kuznetsova come the final, where I could only make Safina the narrowest of favourites at best. I think it is key that SK already has a "biggie" (US Open) in the bag in a final were nerves seem certain to play a part.

4.5 points Kuznetsova to win 2-0 sets v Stosur circa 1.85+ on the exchanges... 1.87 for small money.

8 points Kuznetsova outright 3.20 + on the exchanges .... 3.25 for small money is available.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009





The tournament gets underway today and we can probably expect a cautious opening in this game, with Egypt and UAE the other two countries in Group A, the two "bigger" name footballing nations, at least in world terms, will probably both fancy their chances to progress. That is one reason to side with the Netherlands who are getting a handicap start, but quite how Argentina have been made favourites at all, is a bit of a surprise and tough to understand. I fully accept that the South American side probably have a few gems in their squad and five of them are already signed to European sides, Ever Banega and Diego Perotti are two of the older and more experienced/known names, but this an incredibly young U21 side. 15 of the 20 were born in 1991 or 1992, four are barely 17 years old and this really looks like boys against men.

All of the Netherlands squad were born in either 88 or 89, all play their football in their native country and compared to Argentina are vastly experienced. Many of them are at least semi-regulars for their club teams, making ten or more starts this season, the Vitesse pair of van Wolfswinkel and Buttner have played 55 games between them ! This squad is therefore familiar with each other, has grown up together and 20-21yo players with ten + starts in the top flight are by no means a youth team, which is basically what their opponents are, regardless of ability.

I feel that the Dutch players will know a little too much and getting a start, they look a decent bet.

7 points Netherlands +1/4 ball 1.86 asian line.... NOW LEVEL BALL 1.77 !

Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009



These two have nothing to lose, both came to Paris with low expectations and are very happy to be in a quarter final. It is unknown ground for Cibulkova and for Sharapova, who has never been entirely happy on the surface, a bonus ahead of her main summer targets. I expect both to go for it, they have met twice before, both meetings were on clay and very close, with the more experienced Russian eventually winning through. She has been taken to three sets in every round here so far , playing 104 games, to reach the same stage tournament favourite Dinara Safina has been taken to just 53 !

Cibulkova looked very jolly in her post match interview, after seeing off Agnes Szavay comfortably on Sunday, she knows what to expect from Sharapova and is not the type to be overawed by the occasion. Despite being two years younger, she has played some 50% more matches on the surface than her opponent over the last few years and will know that she has to keep Sharapova moving. The russian's long legs can cover a lot of ground, but she changes direction about as quickly as the Titanic, another long day at the office is in store for her.

6 points "over" 22.5 games 1.83 + general quote.... 1.92 Pinnacle Sports.

Good Luck.

Monday, June 01, 2009

MONDAY UPDATE ..............

Steve Stricker won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (what a mouthful) in a three man play off, an incredibly exciting way for "our" man to win.

The Napoli game was not quite so fulfilling, to take "over" three goals and see the home team race into a 3-0 after 19 minutes makes you feel very smug. To watch another 71 minutes of scoreless football, is about as frustrating as football gets !

There you go, the highs and lows of gambling in one day !

Good Luck.