Saturday, February 27, 2010

SATURDAY ..............


Despite their dismal showing against Liverpool last weekend, I still feel City match up better against the stronger EPL sides and at the moment, I am happy to switch Adebayor for Tevez, as the diminutive Argentine will certain up the energy levels and he has scored in his last three starts against the London side. Defensively, Chelsea look a little fragile and will be without both Cech and Cole and led by a clearly out of sorts and distracted John Terry. City do not play again for 15 days, so I expect a very committed showing from them today.

Manchester City + 1.25 1.95 IBC

Something of a six pointer in the Reading game, with both sides currently sitting just outside the drop zone. Wednesday should come into this much the fresher of the two, having had a full week to mull over consecutive home losses, results which have put them back in the relegation mire, after a series of improved performances look to have had them heading for the promised land of lower mid table !

Reading played a full blooded 120 minute cup tie at WBA in midweek, which they eventually won by the odd goal in five, they are bound to be a little drained after that and will surely have one eye on their quarter final with Aston Villa next week, the first time in 83 years they have reached the last eight. Having said that, the goals are flowing for them at both ends of the pitch and this could also develope into a shootout, especially if , as I expect, the home side tire late in the game.

"over" 2.5 goals 2.11 Sbobet.

Leicester have stepped up their game recently and victory over their near neighbours could take them to within two points of second spot, with a game in hand. They will certainly be out for revenge after a 5-1 thumping at the City Ground in the reverse fixture, that beating has not been forgotten by the City players, who are said to have been very focused this week in training and come here on a seven match unbeaten run and buoyed by a very solid win at Doncaster in midweek. For Forest the goals have dried up and they were fortunate and created little in a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in midweek, that is just 4 goals in six starts and it is clear their performance levels have dropped considerably. City off level ball looks a good shout.

Leicester City level ball 1.90 Sbobet.

A recent win over Charlton aside, Rovers have had a tough time of things, both injury and results wise, they were expected to struggle this season after finances forced them to sell Rickie Lambert, but started the season on fire, but performances have tailed off and they are now finding their true level, which is basically mid table. They been out battled in several recent outings and a visit by the massive and very physical United side, is probably the last thing they need at present. Colchester are a team of giants, probably the biggest in the FL and they take few prisoners, if Rovers go with Kuffour and Heffernanup front, they are only going to be able to play one way and that seems unlikely to work. Kuffour is a player I know well, he is a decent Div 2 player, but not quite up to this level, like his team, he over performed early season.Three key players back for the U's and a real chance to put some pressure on the top two, who both face tricky road games.

Colchester United -0.25 2.14 IBC.

Luton are struggling a bit on home soil, although quite how they lost to Wimbledon in midweek remains a mystery, as they were by far the superior team and completely dominated proceedings, but look very solid on the road, where they have not lost in five months, or even conceeded a goal in 2010.They have terrific quality for this level and at least half, probably more of their squad, are of league level.Crawley were in a decent run of form, albeit mostly against struggling sides, before losing to Wrexham last time out, the goals are starting to dry up and I think star playerCharles Ademeno,is finally starting to get distracted by all these transfer rumours, he will be subject to a late fitness test.

Luton Town -0.25 2.11 IBC.

Just basic notes about the above games, which I wrote last night . Some pitches are going to very heavy today, the surface at Griffin Park, which has been poor for months now, is very wet and despite the best efforts of the groundstaff, is still subject to a second inspection at 12.30..... update, they didn't wait that long............. match off !
Good Luck.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Very basic notes about three of today's games.....


Bolton missed their chance in the first game, now they have to focus on EPL survival and have a massive game in that regard at the weekend, when they host fellow strugglers Wolves. Owen Coyle made it clear in his time at Burnley that he would always give the league priority and he will surely rest several of his key players this evening. Defensively, his side were very poor in the 3-0 loss at local rivals Blackburn on Sunday and I understand that there has been some harsh words said at the club since then, with Kevin Davies in particular being very outspoken about the defending in that game. Spurs got back on track with a big win at Wigan and ended the first meeting much the stronger of the two sides, with Huddlestone missing a penalty . They also have a big game at the weekend, when inform Everton arrive in town, but with a much stronger squad, at home and in better shape, they will be looking to win a tournament that is up for grabs this year. Tough handicap for a cup tie, but Wanderers mood is such , that if conceding one, the floodgates could again open.

Spurs -1.5 goals circa 1.98 IBC

I expect an open encounter at Gresty Road, the visitors are closing in on a top three spot, have most of their quality up front and will be looking for all three points visiting a club who are stronger on the road. Chesterfield have few away draws, just two in fifteen starts and will be looking for a fourth straight road win. Crewe, as we have discussed many times, are better than their league position suggests, they like to play football and really only go one way and that is forward, creating and conceding plenty of chances. Only league leaders Rochdale and highflying Notts County have had more attempts on goal than Alex and I think a repeat of the five goal thriller these two produced in the reverse fixture is on the cards.

"over" 2.75 goals 2.23 SBO

It will be tough for CSKA to defeat one of La Liga's best this evening, with this match coming at the end of their off season and their new domestic campaign not starting for another couple of weeks. However, they have some "previous"in this respect, overcoming this obstacle to win the UEFA Cup fairly recently and they will lack little in preparation. They have played a number of prep games, but that is not the same as truly competitive fixtures. Having said that, they have a talented squad, who managed to outplay Manchester United at Old Trafford in the group stage and never even considered selling any of their star players like Milos Krasic, Igor Akinfeev or Alan Dzagoev, all of whom have been tracked by the biggest clubs in Europe. Also, on the plus side for them is the fact that Sevilla travel without both Fabiano and Capel and one of the worst winter's in recent Moscow history, is still hanging on in there, with snow and sub zero temperatures forecast. Considering the visitors left a warm and dry Andalusia behind "basking" in 18 degrees, that is going to be a shock to the system, as might the synthetic playing surface. Huge game for CSKA, who will be looking for a lead to take to Spain, the visitors will come with damage limitation more in mind and all things considered, including the fact that I feel the hosts will get any 50/50 decisions in their favour from the match officials ,suggest the Russians should be backed off level ball.

CSKA level ball 1.95

Good Luck.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


EPL Manchester City - Liverpool

"over" 2.5 goals 2.29 asian line.

At last, a fixture which might just shake these two clubs out of their lethargy. Pool were dire and lacking in any urgency against Unirea in midweek, even simply passes were going astray and they were playing at too low a tempo, which in the absence of Tevez and Bellamy has also been true of City.

A late decision will be made about Bellamy today and hopefully he has patched things up with Mancini and will start. City have struggled all season to raise their level in the bread and butter fixtures, but been involved in some real thrillers against the top sides, they have made seven starts against the "top 4" and all produced at least three goals, with an average of almost 4.3 per game, including a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture at Anfield. That game got very stretched in the second half and I expect something similar today.

Liverpool will have Maxi Rodriguez back today, a late decision will also be made on Benayoun and Ryan Babel looked impressive (compared to the dross on offer) and certainly injected some energy into the offense when coming on for the final quarter on Thursday. So, yes they desperately miss Torres, but it is not true that Rafa lacks options upfront, if only he is brave enough to use them. I just get the feeling these two might throw off the shackles today, we can almost guarantee that City will show more than we have seen recently and they generally find a goal or two, having scored in 33 of 36 starts this season and they remain unbeaten at Eastlands. I am going "over" and believe it or not, expect to be entertained today.

Good Luck.


Shock ! Horror ! Couple of late goals in our favour yesterday, surely there will be some sort of board of inquiry set up to look into that !

Anyway, that meant three from three for the day and they were very well received in this corner of Berkshire. Unfortunately, the Bees were unable to hold onto an early lead at Walsall, so it was not the perfect day, so we will save that particular clean sweep for another day.

Such is the way of things for me in 2010 that I am almost guaranteed to lose today, to continue my WLWLWLWL etc sequence and yes, I do understand the power of positive thinking, but that has not worked for the last six weeks, so I am trying another approach today !

Actually, I am keeping stakes small and whilst I will almost certainly take a view "in running" on several games, have only taken an early position on two of this afternoon's matches. I will post very brief notes on one of these a little later, but you have been warned about the likely outcome, so keep stakes small !

Back later.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Gillingham are in danger of dropping into the relegation zone and would already be cast adrift from the pack, were it not for their home form. The Priestfield Stadium can be an intimidating venue and the hosts have only tasted defeat here six times in 37 starts. They received a MASSIVE boost with the news that Chris Dickson resigned on loan, on a going day, this is a player capable of winning games almost single handedly at this level and I understand that the full Ghana international is very happy to be back at the club.

Rovers have struggled of late, although they did beat a lack lustre Charlton side on Monday, they will miss several players today, including Wayne Brown who has returned to his parent club, this leaves them a little short of numbers in the centre of the park. Big game for Gillingham and boss Mark Stimson, who is a man with the axe hanging over his head and often his own worst enemy. Gills have a very difficult sequence of fixtures to end the season and need points now ! This will not be pretty, but I have to take the home side with the draw no bet option.

Gillingham level ball 1.82 asian line.

Good Luck.


Wycombe have improved recently and were the better side in a 1-1 draw with inform Brentford last week.They are battling hard to get out of the drop zone and boss Gary Waddock has been making the most of his contacts in the game, bringing many quality loan signings including key former Everton midfielder Kevin McLeod, who is looking to salvage his career and some promising defensive talent in Julian Kelly (Reading) , Alan Bennett (Brentford ) and England U21 keeper Tom Heaton from Manchester United.

They have already taken three points from the Lions, making them the only side to have won at the New Den this season and will certainly not take to the pitch with an inferiority complex against the promotion chasing visitors. I rate the visitors very highly, but feel they might not be too upset with a point here and the home side will be batting for every ball.

Wycombe + 1/4 ball 2.09 asian line.

Good Luck.

SATURDAY ..............

I am not in the greatest of form at the moment and all 92 teams in the Football League seem to have joined in a conspiracy to stop me winning for more than a single day running. I am not doing a lot of "damage", but it is a case of one step forward and one, or one and a half back........... rather frustrating. Still, nil desperandum and I am sure the hot streak will kick in soon.

I have taken five games today and will post a couple on here, but only with very basic comment, more normal service will be resumed once results improve.

Going to start in the EPL, with Portsmouth- Stoke City. Pompey's level of performance has remained quite high for a team in their poistion, which is dire, both in the league and financially, however, it is probably fair to say that with a little more good fortune in front of goal, they could, perhaps should have another 6-8 points in the bag. They are now entering must win territory and a draw would not help their circumstances much, so we can expect them to take chances to get the win and with Owusu-Abeyie, O'Hara and Dindane, they have the attacking options to score goals. However, Stoke are not the kind of opponent to simply lie down, despite enjoying a degree of EPL security and we saw last week the chances that Southampton created in the Portsmouth goalmouth, the visitors will certainly get opportunities against a defence missing a couple of key players and one which has not kept a clean sheet in eleven starts. Goals for me.

"over" 2.25 goals 2.09 asian line.

Back later.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Ipswich were another side we discussed in the stat update on Friday and they also came good at the weekend, with a 2-1 away win at Loftus Road, against freefalling QPR. It was more of the same for Roy Keane's men, who enjoyed the bulk of possession and the greater number of goalscoring chances, including ten attempts on target.

That game was the first of four consecutive road games for Town and although the win has given them the minimal gap over the bottom three, they will not want to undo the good work at basement club Peterborough this evening, especially ahead of more difficult trips to Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe. Infact, sitting ten points off the top six, a run of victories for the draw specialists, would have them looking up the table and not over their shoulder. Famous last words of course, but Town look far too good to remain at this end of the table for too long and a mid table finish is the minimum the Portman Road faithful should be looking at come May.

The home side have tightened up defensively, but are still without a cleansheet in twelve starts, infact, since a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture, a result due entirely to the heroics of keeper Joe Lewis, who was in inspired form that afternoon. A repeat result will not help his team too much tonight, with Posh sitting 12 points adrift of Ipswich and safety, having played two games more. Only three points will suffice and they will have to take chances to get them, which is going to open things up for the better footballing visitors. The problem is further compounded for the hosts, as whilst they are conceding fewer, the goals have completely dried up at the other end of the pitch and in 474 minutes of football, they have only managed a single goal and that came against the aforementioned and (currently) hapless Rangers.

All is not right at Boro, either on or off the pitch, several players are looking to get away asap and they do not look to have the stomach for a prolonged and probably fruitless relegation scrap, I have to side with Town.

Ipswich -1/4 ball asian line .

Good Luck.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The stats I discussed on Friday (scroll down) paid immediate dividends, with Crewe winning the very same night, Walsall failing to score yesterday and incredibly, Norwich once again turning a match on it's head in the second half. Sometimes, I can only lead you in the right direction, you have to do some of the work yourself !

Good Luck.

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

A quick look back at yesterday, the Chelsea game went pretty much according to plan and we would have made a flying start to the afternoon, if Celtic had managed to hold on to a two goal lead entering the final 20 minutes of the game.

I did expect that game to produce goals, but to lose from that position was tough and the Hoops were guilty of some suicidal defending. The penalty conceded by Edson Braafheid at 4-2, which came minutes after Robbie Keane had been withdrawn and when Celtic were looking to close out the game, was completely unexplainable, under little pressure the dutch international somehow decided that to control the ball with his hand was a very good idea ! He had a bit of a nightmare and must be hoping that his national team boss misses out on the match highlights (lowlights ?) and he is already off my Christmas card list.

Elsewhere, my beloved Bees also had a bad day at the office and were fortunate to salvage a point from local rivals Wycombe. However, another word of praise to the board/management who got Myles Weston to sign a contract extension this week, the 21 year old seems certain to play at a higher level and this ensures that if it is not be with Brentford, the club will at least receive a decent fee for the speedy winger with an eye for goal. This is another example of how much better run the Bees are now and concerns about the short/medium term future of the club have all but disappeared.

Manchester City put in another lethargic performance and with so much talent at the club, that must be very disappointing for long suffering supporters of the team. They have no problem raising their game when the bigger teams are in town, but struggle to finish off sides prepared to battle for every ball, the bread and butter games. Fun game to play when watching City, is to try and pick which balls played Emmanuel Adebayor the Togo superstar will actually bother to try and collect, suffice to say that his talent is way out of proportion to his work rate ! Come back Sir Robert Taylor all is forgiven ! The former Bee never got a fair crack of the whip at City (yes,I have a long memory!) but is one of my all time favourites and whilst he might have put on a few pounds since retiring (see photo), there is just more of him to love !

I have watched a lot of the pre-season Scandinavian games over the last week or so and have been very impressed by one of the Swedish teams in particular. They have improved each game and look very advanced in preparation and I am certain they will get off to a flyer this year in Allsvenskan, so something to look forward to there and I am also contemplating a long term bet on them, more about that in the coming weeks.

Today, I am not exactly fired up by the entertainment on offer, but am hopeful of a more uptempo display from Tottenham . They face a difficult looking trip to Bolton, but Wanderers are entering a make or break period of their season, with EPL games against Wigan, Blackburn, Wolves and West Ham up next and could surely do without the distraction of an extended cup run. The home side are already without a number of players and look a little short in the centre of defence today and Owen Coyle might well choose to rest a couple of others. Even if Happy Harry decides to follow suit and I somehow doubt he will do little more than normal rotation, front men like Defoe, Crouch, Gudjohnsen and Pavlyuchenko will all fancy ther chances against a defence sorely missing Gary Cahill and the home side might struggle to deal with the high balls into the box. Interesting to see who HH goes with upfront, anyway, I favour Spurs to bounce back from a poor midweek showing at Wolves and will take a little on them giving up the bigger (0.75 goal) handicap at tempting odds.

Good Luck.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Rangers dropped two points in midweek and that will have given the green half of Glasgow hope that Celtic can still make a fist of the SPL title race. However, they can ill afford any more slip ups and have little choice but to go all out for three points in every start, which, to be honest, is always the case in every outing for the Old Firm. I have already told you that the new Hoops signings have impressed me, at least going forward, defensively they continue to look fragile and have problems in that area today, but I still expect them to win and win well. One day soon, everything will click for them and they are going to administer an almighty thumping to someone and it could come against any team in the SPL, as despite what the table says, to my eyes they have the best team by far and are only going to get better.

Aberdeen were said to be considering resting players today ahead of their "big" cup replay with Raith Rovers (!) in midweek, that seems hard to believe and even if that were the case, Mark McGhee would have surely had a rethink after the furore these rumours caused. Anyway, they will have one eye on midweek, for a game which has now become a priority in terms of their season, a top six place is also vital, but there are plenty of games to sort that out. In other words I do not expect them to be as hungry ars the visitors today.

Celtic have a terrific record against the Dons, winning on six of their last seven visits North, the last four victories all coming by two or more goals and also winning eight from eight in the reverse meetings in Glasgow, with six clean sheets. This is game likely to provide goals, but I much prefer the visitors even giving up a big handicap start. So Celtic -1 ball 2.0 asian line for me.

Back Later.

SATURDAY ..............

Chelsea and Cardiff City start off the FA Cup action this weekend and this is a game which will surely produce goals. No Terry or Cole in the Blues defence and Alex and Carvalho are a little more cavalier, few who saw the game will forget their part in the 4-4 thriller with Liverpool last year in the Champions League. The pair were also on the pitch the last time Chelsea conceded at the Bridge, in the 7-2 thumping of Sunderland, Alex replaced JT early in the second half that day, with both visiting goals coming after the substitution.

City have a very lengthy injury list but few players will want to miss out on this and will play through the "pain barrier". They have scored in their last ten outings (23 in total) and last seven on the road, so have a real chance to get on the scoresheet today. There is also the chance that they could collapse, like they have in several recent outings, especially with a weakened team, or just that Chelsea will have "one of those days " when everything goes in. All of those options point to goals, I took the over 3 asian line earlier in the week, those odds are a bit skinny now, but the circa 2.20 on over 3.5 goals on general offer still appears a little value.

Back Later.

Friday, February 12, 2010


OK, time for our semi-regular stat update, which will hopefully help guide us towards a few winners, or avoid a loser or two, which is of equal importance !

Going to start with the attempts on goal table, which I always find is a good starting point when looking at a game. In the Championship it must be clear to everyone now that Roy Keane's Ipswich are a much better team than the league table suggests, they are playing some very nice football and have created an enormous 410 goalscoring chances, with a very high percentage of those (over 57%) actually on target. Only leaders Albion have managed more this season and it is surely only a matter of time before Town start to regularly turn the draws (15 already) into three points. There is not a team in the Championship they should face with an inferiority complex.

Down one step on the league ladder Walsall are still creating less than any other side in Division 1, this means it is very difficult for them to finish off teams. They have not scored more than a single goal in six starts, even though three of those came against teams struggling for points and they were fortunate to hold on to their lead at Bristol Rovers in midweek, when the home side missed a penalty. My point is that the Saddlers are making the most of very little and whilst that might be worthy of praise, it cannot go on indefinitely.

In Division 2, only Rochdale have amassed more chances than Crewe and whilst the only consistent thing about the Railwaymen is their inconsistency, they are surely much better than their current 15th place. They like to play football the right way and can outplay almost anyone at this level on a going day and held their own for much of the game at Dale in midweek, the 2-0 scoreline flattering the league leaders. Unfortunately, they will remain without top scorer Calvin Zola for a couple of weeks and have to change things around to suit the two smaller frontmen, but this is still not a club I would rush to oppose and expect them to go on a "run" soon.

Many of us like to bet "in running" and here are a few stats to help you if looking for a bet at the half time break. Firstly, I would not rush to oppose Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Rochdale or Oxford, who have all led at the break in at least ten games and gone on to collect all three points in every single one of those. That might not seem too amazing, given that all are flying high at the top of their respective tables, but the same is also true of AFC Wimbledon and Burton Albion, two teams that also know how to hold on to a lead !

Another team worthy of note are BSP leaders Stevenage, who are even better after the break, with a 14-14-2 record. but pride of place and second half team of the season so far goes to.......... drum roll.......... Norwich City. The Canaries have won an incredible 19 of 30 second half's and if that was not impressive enough, they have gone in at the break trailing on six occasions and only lost once, so if you have opposed them and your team is up at the half, probably best not to start counting your winnings too early.

In the SPL, Hamilton Accies are much stronger before their half time cuppa, winning just a single second 45 minute period (losing 12) all season, but that is one better than Ligue 1 strugglers Boulogne, who are 0-10-13 after the break.

I will leave you with that for now.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WEDNESDAY ................

I continue on something of a roller coaster ride at the moment, one good day followed by a bad with little in between, it is terribly frustrating as I cannot get on a run at all. It seems wrong to be complaining about my lot so soon after the Superbowl and I am not really, it is just that for the last month it has seemed like I have been treading water and it is getting annoying. In many ways I would rather have a sequence of losers and just get them out of the way, however crazy that might sound !

Obviously a poor day yesterday, which is why I am grumpy and doubtless I will win today to once again complete the cycle. Not going to post any previews on the blog, as I will be taking most of my positions "in running", I have backed Celtic in what for them is a must win game, but that is hardly rocket science and having already touched on them on Monday, there seems little point in covering that match today. So I will return tomorrow, please check back.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Going to take the briefest of looks at two domestic games tonight, in a very crowded midweek programme.

Sometimes you have to be prepared to change your opinion about teams and I feel that is the case with Accrington Stanley in Division 2, whom I have been underestimating a little. They have continued to play well, especially against the better teams on the road, winning at Shrewsbury, Notts County, Rochdale and Bury, amongst others. That is a four timer that I am safe in saying no other club will come close to this season, with those clubs only losing eleven homes games between them so far.

Stanley also out played Fulham for 45 minutes in the FA Cup and are not just getting results, but putting in a performance and creating an enormous number of goal scoring opportunities, including 25 in the 3-2 home win over Morecambe at the weekend, 13 of which on target. They currently lie in 8th place, just three points outside the playoff picture with 3 and 4 games in hand respectively over the two clubs directly above them in the table.

This is a fantastic achievement, especially considering that Stanley are operating on a shoestring budget, have not finished higher than 16th in their three seasons since returning to the Football League and lost four of their opening five starts this season. In addition to collecting an average of two points a game since then, boss John Coleman also guided them into the FA Cup 4th round and the Johnstone's Paint area semi-finals, whilst at the same time playing a number of mid season friendly fundraising matches. Now that they have only the league to focus on, we might get to see exactly how good they have become.

Three points this evening might well be enough to take them into a playoff spot and they are not going to travel anywhere at present with an inferiority complex and will fancy their chances at Northampton, who seem happier on the road and are struggling for goals at Sixfields with just 16 all season, only Bournemouth outside of the bottom five have managed fewer. They have notched only seven in their last eight league starts here, claiming more than a single goal just once and those two came against Crewe, who see it as their god given duty to concede as many as possible !

Don't get me wrong, Town are an improving side and might well also get into the post season picture, but they seem more comfortable when their opponents are making the running and with Stanley winning seven from eight and only having lost to Fulham , Leeds and onfire Bury in three months, they look good value getting a handicap start.

OK, that was not quite as brief as planned, but this will be, I also like goals in the Sheffield Wednesday-Blackpool Championship fixture. The hosts are playing with renewed confidence under Alan Irvine and were very unfortunate to come away from the City Ground pointless on saturday, after outplaying Forest for long periods. They have scored or conceded two or more in their last ten starts with eight ending "over" .

Pool's results have tailed off a bit, but they are creating plenty and were also unlucky to lose at home to Leicester at the weekend. They have scored and conceded in each of their last eight starts and are "over" in 11 of their last 15 and will be looking for all three points to take them back into playoff contention. Hard not to see both scoring and three goals plus looks firmly on the cards.

6.5 points Accrington Stanley +1/4 ball asian line.
6.5 points "over" 2.5 goals Sheffield Wednesday-Blackpool.

Good Luck.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Hard to know where to start this morning, probably best to begin with the more mundane stuff and move on from there. Firstly, I was disappointed with the Cagliari bet, at 2-0 down they were denied a perfectly "good" goal and within two minutes of that, were further frustrated by Julio Cesar making a wonder save from Nene. Our fate was sealed from that point really and if the visitors had gone in at 2-2 or even 2-1 it might have been a very different story. The Sardinians created plenty of chances, 17 in total and enjoyed the bulk of possession, although to be fair, at 2-0 Inter were happy to sit back and let the visitors make the running, but even without a couple of key players and playing away to the best team in Italy, Cagliari showed that they are not a side to oppose lightly.

I also watched most of the Dunfermline-Celtic Scottish Cup tie, Bhoys boss Tony Mowbray changed things around a bit and started with Robbie Keane on the bench. He came on at the half and helped his side ease home as they of course should do, against lower league opposition. Keane is way too good for the SPL, no offence meant, but it is true. Having said that, if he retains his enthusiasm and can work on getting his team mates on a similar wavelength in training, he should be able to help raise the overall standard considerably at Celtic Park.

Having watched a lot of the SPL, I did not think that there was too much between Rangers and Celtic (certainly not ten points), even before the recent signings and Mowbray has bought well in addition to Keane. However, despite there still being two derby games to come, it is difficult to see the Gers dropping enough points in the bread and butter games to throw away, what with goal difference, is effectively an eleven point lead. But the meeting at Ibrox on the last day of the month will be "interesting" and I just get the feeling that the Hoops will find a way to put some life back into the title race before the end of the season.

On to the Superbowl, we suffered a minor loss with the two prop bets, but hopefully this was more than covered by a bet on the Saints to win, either straight up or on the handicap. I have just known that they would win this year for many months, as I said yesterday, some things are just meant to be, on top of everything else they were the best team and occasionally, but only occasionally, there is justice in this life.

New Orleans started slowly and were ten points behind early in the game before grinding their way back into contention. Coach Sean Payton took two gambles in the game, the first with the score at 10-3 and 4th and goal to go, he snubbed the three points on offer to look for a touchdown, that backfired, which made the decision to take an onside kick to start the second half even braver and more amazing. This worked almost to perfection, I say almost, as the Who Dat Nation and yours truly could have done without the wait, of what seemed like days, whilst a huge pile of footballers were removed one by one, to see who held the pigskin at the bottom of the heap. It was Saint Chris Reis who emerged from under three tons of meat with the ball and that turned the game fully in his team's favour , continuing to keep Peyton Manning off the field of play. Manning had looked imperious in the opening quarter, hardly breaking sweat, but it is difficult for even the greatest quarterback (possibly) in history to score from the sidelines. I cannot put into words how stunning that play call was.

I love Drew Brees, he quite rightly took the MVP award as is normal for the winning quarterback, but my MOTM is Payton for making that call............ totally outrageous ! He even sent his players onto the field ahead of that play with the words "go out and make me look good" .... pretty cool.

The win provided a total 92 point profit for a 5 point investment to email subscribers, who were sent my sole outright Superbowl bet back in September. In addition to which, I have gone 6 from 7 on all NFL match bets this season, an 86% strike rate.

Good Luck.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Some readers of the blog, former subscribers to the email service are sitting on long term bets for the Superbowl and hold vouchers for the New Orleans Saints at odds of up to 25-1, which I gave each -way at the start of the season.

We/they have already secured the place part and also won on the hedging bet, given before the Championship game, so are already sitting on a 27 point plus profit and sweating on a further 65 points if the Saints go all the way.

As I have told the subscribers I am still in touch with, the only way to tie in any further guaranteed profit is by taking the Colts at circa 1.53 to win and that is entirely up to the individual and their bankroll.

I was going to put a major preview on here, but so many of you already on New Orleans and I have discussed them so much over the course of the season, that there now seems little point. Some things are meant to be and I have just had the feeling all season that the Saints were destined to win this year. Having said that, if I put my heart to one side for a minute and look at the game cold, I could still only make the Colts the very narrowest of favourites and that is really all down to Peyton Manning. But I feel that the improving Saints defense will put pressure on him tonight, like they did on Brett Favre in the title game, forcing him into the error that eventually changed the game. However, the explosive Saints offense led by Drew Brees might not need that to happen and with two key Colts players in Dwight Freeney and Reggie Wayne set to play at less than 100% fitness. The advantage is with the Who Dat Nation in my book and were we not already involved and you might not be, I would have to suggest taking the Saints plus the points, or for the more adventurous amongst you, the bigger moneyline odds on offer.

Elsewhere, I have looked through the props and found just a couple of bets of interest, I took Brees to throw a first quarter touchdown pass at circa 3.0, something he has done in his last three starts and feel that still offers a little value at anything at 2.70 or above. I would rate this a 2-3 point selection.

Pinnacle are also offering 2.05 for Drew Brees to throw over 2 touchdown passes, with two seeing money returned, I like this bet a lot , if the game turns into a shootout and it easily could , "Cool Brees" should cover this with ease and we could be freerolling early. I would rank this 5-6 points, double the other prop bet.

That will do, sit back, relax and enjoy, this could be a classic !

Good Luck.

SERIE A .............

I have not discussed Serie A much in the blog this season, but am sure to do so on a regular basis in the coming months and am very keen on Cagliari today, getting a big handicap start away to champions elect Inter, who are heading for a fifth straight title.
IMO the hosts tend to raise their game domestically just for the bigger fixtures and in the more bread and butter games, seem happy to grind out a result. That is a shame, as they are the best that Italy has to offer by some way and it would be nice to see that on a more regular basis. The recent 2-0 win over Milan aside, it is eleven domestic games since they won by more than a single goal and that has become a definite trend in the last couple of seasons.

Cagliari have impressed me whenever I have seen them in the last 12 months and often and surprisingly, for this traditionally strong home side, they look ideally suited to playing on the road, especially playing the bigger teams, who take the game to them. Coach Massimiliano Allegri looks destined for the very top and will surely move to one of the bigger clubs sooner rather than later. He has now established The Rossoblu as a top ten side and one looking to push for a european place, actually they are only six points adrift of a Champions League spot with a game in hand.

His side play with a great deal of confidence and will not fear coming to the Giuseppe Meazza after a 1-1 draw in this fixture last year and a very unlucky 4-3 defeat to Milan earlier this campaign. They have forgotten what it is like to suffer a "good hiding" as it is 19 games and ten on the road, since anyone has beaten them by more than a single goal.

Now for the bad news, they will be without diminutive suspended playmaker Andrea Cossu and will also have third choice keeper Michael Agazzi, who is known only by his mother and a few close friends, between the sticks. On the plus side Inter are lacking some creative influence in midfield today and might already be planning for the Champions League restart later in the month, which will doubtless take centre stage and priority for the rest of the season, or at least until Chelsea knock them out !

Pretty sure that the visitors will score today and that will make it very difficult for Inter to cover this handicap.

6.5 points Cagliari +1.25 goals asian line.

Back later.

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

Both selections won yesterday and got us back on track, in addition to which, I wrote earlier in the week about how thrilled I was with the transfer deadline business done by the Bees and the board were immediately repaid a little for the support they have given coach Andy Scott, with a resounding 4-0 thumping of Gillingham. There was a little bad feeling from the reverse fixture earlier in the season and this was a very satisfying result for any number of reasons. I know that I am a little (lot) biased when it comes to the Bees, but usually correct in my assessment of them, Scott has built a decent squad at GP Towers and they have boundless pace going forward, something that will enable them to score plenty at this level and I would think long and hard before opposing them at present.

I have bet a couple of games today and will preview at least one of these later in the day, but to be honest, would be quite happy to fast forward to tonight and the Superbowl, which I will also take a look at this afternoon. This is traditionally a day of roller coaster emotions for me, I have enjoyed three huge wins on the Superbowl, hoping for a fourth today and also one, absolutely horrendous, stinker of a day, that will be forever etched on my mind , January 31 1988 Washington Redskins against the Denver Broncos , my second worst betting day ever and one which still sends a chill through my very soul.

My friend was a big player with all of the Index companies and we sold everything that could move,walk or talk ............ points, yards, individual performances ........... there goes that chill !

For those that do not know, or cannot remember, at half time the score was 35-10, everything we had sold, was covered and then some and every yard of play in the second half was going to cost hundreds of pounds. At this stage my friend was looking suicidal, which I somehow found amusing, think I was hysterical ! Anyway, there was nothing I could do about the situation, so decided to go to bed, which my partner in crime could not comprehend, thinking it was our duty to sit there and watch the carnage............... no thank you.

Actually got up in the morning to see the scoreline was "only" 42-10, before you think that I dodged a bullet, I didn't really, just did not lose quite as much as it looked at the break. In that game the Redskins set the following records.... most offensive yards, most rushing yards, most touchdowns scored, most yards in a quarter (356 !!!!), most touchdowns in a quarter (five .....come on !) .......... Denver also contributed for the most combined offensive yards .... 929! Read those numbers and weep ! Is it cold in here ?

I actually laugh about this day now, much as I do about the time when I was "outed" as a Brentford fan in the main home stand at Millwall, but neither were that amusing at the time !

Back later.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Very briefly, the Brittania Stadium remains a tough place to go and get a result and City have only lost four times here since Christmas 2008, the same number of defeats in that period as suffered by established top six side Aston Villa.

Tony Pullis has built a squad with few stars, but with competition for all starting places and the signing of keeper Asmir Begovic, will ensure Thomas Sorensen remains fully focused between the sticks today.

Rovers are looking secure in midtable, but this is almost exclusively thanks to their home form, on the road their record is dire, with just one win and six points collected from 17 starts, a possible 51 points. In that sequence, they have troubled the "scorer" just 9 times and conceded an eyepopping 42 times, this season, only Wigan, outside of the drop zone have leaked more and we are only talking here about league starts, forgetting the nine shipped in two cup starts at Villa !

City will welcome the chance of meeting a "weaker" opponent after hosting Arsenal and Liverpool in their last two home starts, games in which they battled for every ball, for the full 90 minutes and if they show the same level of commitment today, should collect maximun points from a side who tend to offer little once falling behind in away games. Rovers key playmaker David Dunn remains sidelined and new signing Yildiray Basturk, whilst an interesting addition, is not yet fit enough to be considered for selection.

6.5 points Stoke City -1/4 ball asian line.

Good Luck.

WELCOME TO THE LION'S DEN ...............


These two inform clubs clash at the New Den, which might be a slghtly less intimidating version than the old venue, but not by much and Millwall and their fans, tend to raise their game when the bigger teams come calling and the league leaders certainly fall into that category.

The Lions have lost just once in 18 home starts this season, winning twelve and conceding an average of under 0.67 goals per game. They have already taken maximum points here from Colchester, MK Dons, Huddersfield and Leeds, ending United's unbeaten start to the season.
They come into the game on the back of three consecutive wins, all with clean sheets and on a seven match unbeaten run, their last loss came in a 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road on Boxing Day. That scoreline was flattering to Norwich as the visitors were well on top in the opening third of the game, with several chances to take the lead.

Of course, that record pails into insignificance alongside the Canaries amazing 16 match unbeaten sequence in the league, 14 of which they have won ! I am a fan of City and the incredible job that Paul Lambert has done in double quick time, but all good things must come to an end sometime and the signs are there that a first loss is around the corner and I am hopeful of it being today. I feel, reading between the lines, that even Lambert appreciates that his side have been riding their luck recently. They have come from behind to win their last two and previously had a MOTM performance from keeper Fraser Forster to thank for a win over my beloved Bees.

3,000 away fans will help fill the New Den, but that is exactly the atmosphere that the hosts thrive on and I expect them to provide a massive test for City, who will once again be without suspended top striker Grant Holt. Getting 'Wall with a start at home is a little too good to pass IMO.

6.5 points Millwall +1/4 ball asian line.

Good Luck.

Friday, February 05, 2010

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

Football has gone mad and this week, it got a little madder ! Portsmouth have just got their fourth owner of the season and still do not pay salaries ! Celtic are paying Robbie Keane £10,000 per day (!) to play in the SPL, where even giants Glasgow Rangers are having huge financial problems and I have not even mentioned John Terry !

Football was so much simpler when I was a lad, teams had 16-18 players in the squad, often using just 15 in the course of a year and this at a time when there was limited protection from match officials. I knew every player in the Football League and could probably identify 90% on sight and that was common place, at least amongst fellow geeks ! Now, anyone outside of the EPL is a nobody, in my youth any professional footballer was a hero. Of course, I realise that the game has moved on and is played at a pace the old guard could not live with, at least not without changing some very bad habits ! I also have no desire to go back to the early sixties or before, when footballers were in virtually slavery, but now they have too much power , are taking too much money out of the game at the top level (with too little finding it's way down the pyramid)and there has to be a balance. Clubs selling training grounds and even stadiums to play huge salary bills in a gamble to get into, or remain in the EPL is simply crazy and feels morally wrong.
A salary cap would be fantastic in some ways , but the players and top clubs would not stand for it, all the overseas stars would be off, unless the cap was worldwide and even then clubs would find ways to abuse the system. I do not have the answer, but something has to change, or maybe I am just getting old !
Don't get me wrong, I still love the game, especially a certain team that plays in TW8, but it is the game I love and not all the crap that comes with it at present. Anyway, a huge weekend ahead, I have some very solid ideas for the domestic action and will be covering several on the blog in the next couple of days, along with a preview of the Superbowl, where some of us already have a huge position , having backed the Saints at massive odds.
Good Luck.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I took three bets today, one that I do not wish to discuss on here, but the other two I will touch on briefly, although the odds on my stronger selection have dropped somewhat.

Anyway, in the Blue Square Premier, I am keen on inform York City away at Histon. Martin Foyle has done a terrific job at Bootham Crescent, assembled a large hard working squad with 19-20 players pushing for a starting place. His side have won nine consecutive BSP outings, are firmly ensconced in a playoff position, nine points + clear of the chasing pack, which means they can now play with a degree of freedom, looking for the three points in every game and try to put as much pressure as possible on Oxford and Stevenage, in the hunt for the sole automatic spot, which comes along with the title. Foyle has increased competition for places in midfield with two news signings, both of whom are likely to be on the bench tonight. He has no major injury concerns, but will be without suspended top scorer Richard Brodie, who surprisingly received little attention in the transfer window. However, Michael Gash, whom we have discussed several times, along with Rankine and Pacquette (a former Bee), give the Minstermen plenty of offensive options.

That is something Histon lack, they are in turmoil both on and off the pitch, with boardroom shenanigans creating all the headlines this season and they are a shadow of the side that made the playoffs last campaign. The hosts have scored just once in four starts and will be without strikers Frew and Wright this evening, this young , inexperienced and small squad do not have the options to cope, or to out battle the stronger teams at this level for the full 90 minutes. Probably not too many goals in this one, but I expect the determined visitors to do enough to claim a tenth straight league win, I took 2.07, a little less is available now, but this might change, or possibly the "in running " market might be an alternative.

Elsewhere, I also took Chelsea in the team total goals market, "over" 2.25 goals @ circa 2.03, this looks a tall order at first glance with the Blues needing three for us to win, but two goals returns half our stake and that is just about what I see as the minimum haul for them tonight. The Blues have scored 21 in their last six starts and could have had any number more, they will have Kalou and Drogba both available tonight and it is very difficult to see Hull, who will have to push forward being the home side , keeping them at bay for too long. The Tigers have already shipped three plus at home to Manchester United, West Ham, Everton and Spurs, Chelsea pose a far more potent offensive threat than any of those and I include United in that. Even goal shy Wolves managed two here on Saturday and a first strike tonight could open the floodgates, before Chelsea decide enough is enough and start preparing for the visit of Arsenal on Sunday.

Good Luck.

TUESDAY ......

Lots of business to digest on transfer deadline day and I do not want to give too much away at the moment, but it was a tremendous day's business for Brentford and I can hardly be expected to keep that quiet, the Bees are obviously keen to at least cement a mid table position and then who knows !

The big news is that hero worshiped Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny has extended his loan until the end of the season (thank you Arsene), so too has Lionel Ainsworth from Huddersfield, the 22 yo is looking to re-ignite his career after two fairly big money moves have not quite worked out and he has apparently impressed in training. Ainsworth was sensational in the first half of Hereford's promotion season, before joining Championship side Watford and time is still on his side. In addition, young Ipswich defender Tommy Smith has signed a two month extention to his loan deal and Bristol City striker John Akinde has signed for a month, with a view to a permanent move.

These are all very exciting signings, Szczesny is just class and will probably play at the very highest level, the others are hungry and desperate to do well. The Bees already have an improving group of players, coming to terms with life at the higher level and could have a strong finish to the season. The backline looks tight, as a team they have plenty of pace and going forward this will scare plenty of League 1 defences . In the next two months Brentford play each of the bottom eight, with trips to highflying Colchester (bit of a grudge match) and Leeds (fixture of the season) sandwiched inbetween. I could dream of the day when a visit to Elland Road was a mundane experience, but then that is not really what following a lower league club is all about, the high from games like this can keep you buzzing for months !

Back later.

Monday, February 01, 2010

MONDAY ......

OK, it was nice to bounce back yesterday with Manchester City and Egypt both winning, although, not for the first time this season, City put in a very lack lustre display, the opening 30 minutes were dire and the subdued crowd did not help much and made for an eerie atmosphere inside the stadium.

Having said that, City are in pole position to claim the fourth Champions League spot, sitting a point behind Tottenham with two games in hand. Next three fixtures for them are Hull, Bolton and Stoke, before hosting Liverpool at the end of the month in a match that could go a long way towards deciding who will claim the coveted place.
Maybe both will, things certainly do not get any easier for the Gunners in the next couple of weeks, with their next three starts coming against Chelsea, Liverpool and then a trip to Porto in the Champions League. After that Arsenal have a very "easy" run of fixtures, with six of their next seven coming against teams in the bottom nine of the EPL.

Just fours hours remain of the transfer window and there looks set to be a lot of panic buying/ loaning going on as the deadline nears. It will take a little time to digest all the comings and goings, but will be worthwhile ahead of another busy midweek domestic football programme.

Wayne Rooney is in the form of his life at the moment, capable of winning games almost single handedly and is doing something sensational every start, most England fans would like to suspend time, wrap him up in cotton wool and produce him playing at this level on June 12, the other ten players have another four and a half months to get themselves in shape.
Not going to preview anything on the blog today, but am likely to cover a couple of games tomorrow, please check back.

Good Luck.