I have seven games to race through, so as briefly as possible..... Hosts look short of EPL quality, they have beaten Everton and Manchester United at Turf Moor and that will not be an easy place to come to this season, but they really rode their luck in those two games, including both visitors missing penalties. They could quite easily be bottom of the table with zero points and then we would probably have been looking at even money quotes for Sunderland today. The visitors were pretty big spenders in the summer and the money has been invested wisely, they now look genuine top level quality, have shown that they can scrap out wins if necessary, as denoted by defeats of Hull, Bolton and Blackburn, who all pose a similar threat to which they will face today. Their front men pose a physical and speedy threat that Burnley will struggle to cope with and Michael Turner will not only tighten up the visiting defence, but also cause anyone problems from set pieces. Away win.
5.5 points Sunderland -1/4 ball 2.20 asian line.
CHESTERFIELD - MACCLESFIELD TOWN
I will not waste too much time on this one, I covered Town in great detail last week and they just failed to hold on to a lead over Barnet. Things are still not falling for them, but they are continuing to play well and I have to take a chance on them visiting a talented but inconsistent Chesterfield team who are struggling to keep a clean sheet. Last week's preview is reproduced below.
6 points Macclesfield +3/4 ball 2.04 asian line.
SCOTLAND ..... SPL
HIBERNIAN - ST JOHNSTONE
I really like the "over" here, hosts are desperate to bounce back from a horror show defeat at hamilton last week and John Hughes likes his team to play an attacking style. The visitors have similar ideals and their SPL starts this season have averaged 4.25 goals per game, they are unlikely to sit back and this one seems ceratin to produce plenty of thrills and spills.
7 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.95 asian line.
MACCLESFIELD - BARNET
I am constantly looking for a team to follow, one that is playing much better than bare results might suggest and is underestimated by the oddsmakers. If I manage to hit them right, it is possible to back the side for several weeks before the bookmakers adjust their rating. Macclesfield look to fit the bill perfectly and they have been playing well for some time, without getting their just award. The added bonus today, is that they could be facing a team who have been over achieving.
It was a typical recent day at the office for the Silkmen last week, they completely dominated their match at Crewe, where they enjoyed 61% possession, a big number against a ball playing team and created 22 attempts on goal, yet contrived to find a way to lose by the odd goal in three ! The players and coching staff have remained upbeat , have been talking positively and are confident that they are a top half side.
Barnet have won five in a row, but have not been creating a lot of chances, just 46 all season, only Hereford have managed fewer and their total of just 17 on target, is a division low number. Hosts are averaging six attempts per game more and they have hit the woodwork on four more occasions, so it is clear which team is enjoying the greater good fortune in front of goal. Of course, you can also argue that Barnet are making the best of what they do create, but they cannot continue in such great form, posting these low numbers.
I really like Macclesfield off level ball and even if they do not produce the goods today, they look a side to keep on the right side of in coming weeks.