Sunday, May 29, 2011


Barcelona and Stevenage Borough both got the job done yesterday and whilst it is tough to find too many similarities between the two clubs, neither are a team you want to be chasing the game against, albeit for very different reasons.

Graham Westley has his detractors, quite a lot actually, but all credit to him and his players for getting consecutive promotions and showing what can be achieved with a positive attitude and a lot of hard work.

His team will be in the same division as both Sheffield clubs next season which is incredible given their respective budgets and supporter base. As recently as 2007, both Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic were in the EPL and Borough ended that season upper midtable in the Conference, now they will be facing each other in the league, exciting times at Broadhall Way.

Actually, in 2005-06 the Conference contained Stevenage and Exeter who will both be in the third tier next season, Dagenham who played in League 1 this season and Accrington who came up short in the League 2 semi final and another four in Crawley, Aldershot, Burton and Hereford all set to play in the Football League next season. It is a pretty fine line between League 1 and the Conference in terms of ability, but finances and crowd base usually catches up with the real overachievers eventually and on the flip side, almost always enables the bigger clubs to return to their true position.

It is incredible that teams like the Blades, Wednesday, Norwich City, Leicester City, Southampton, Leeds United and Nottingham have all played in the third tier of english football in the last four years, whilst tiny Wigan have been in the top flight for six, soon to be seven seasons . It's a funny old game !

Good Luck.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I have not posted on the blog this week, tennis is big for me in the summer months and I have been watching the action from Roland Garros all day every day, which has left little time for anything else.

The weekend's sporting action is, of course, dominated by the Champions League final tonight and is a mouth watering prospect that we are all eagerly anticipating and will doubtless be disappointed by, sorry, but that is normally the way of these things, but hopefully I will be wrong and we will witness a classic.

Elsewhere we see the completion of the Football League playoffs and all the drama they bring, I will preview the first of these below and also include my pre semi final playoff notes for three other leagues, one of these is already decided ( Ayr United) which has paid for the other two positions, but you may find all of interest ahead of the finals and next season. BTW, these were the only three outright playoff positions I took.


I saw Reading play at Millwall early season and picked them out that night as a likely promotion contender, it took an extended FA Cup run to really kick start their season, with wins over EPL teams WBA and Everton and holding Manchester City for 74 minutes in the quarter final , giving them the confidence to launch a big end of season push. They lost just one of their final 16 starts and even that came late in the campaign when their chance of automatic promotion had gone, in a match against a desperate Sheffield United, they were coasting at 2-0 and heading for what looked a 4-5 goal victory, when a mad ten minutes cost them a fairly meaningless game. They still collected 35 points in the final third of the season, five more than Swansea, seven greater than playoff semi final opponent Cardiff and a whopping 13 more than Nottingham Forest.

Swansea are a very nice footballing side, but are the only one of the four semi finalists without any recent playoff experience and have struggled on the road, losing more away starts than any others team in the top nine. With two of their potentially three remaining games away from their fortress Liberty Stadium that is a concern and I prefer teams with more of a cutting edge at this stage and like Arsenal, City too often opt for one more sideways pass when a more probing ball would serve them better.

Cardiff had an automatic promotion spot there for the taking earlier in the campaign ,but did regroup and push Norwich hard entering this month, however, they came up short and the 3-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough last week when a win would have put huge pressure on the Canaries, who were playing later that day in a difficult away fixture, convinced me that they do not have the stomach for this battle, boss Dave Jones has looked increasingly rattled over the last month and I do not see him as a calming dressing room influence.

Forest once again lost their way entering the business end of the campaign, but did come on strong at the end of the season to reclaim a post season spot which looked to have slipped from their grasp. I suppose we should give them credit for that, but they have the worst away record of all four contenders, scoring just 26 road goals all season and that is going to put them under immense pressure to get a result tonight at home to Swansea. They have created just 464 attempts on goal all season , an average of four per game less than Swansea and having not got past this stage in three previous attempts, they are not a side I would want to back or trust. So, it is Reading for me.

The Royals have lost only five road starts all season and conceded just 26 goals, they keep the ball well and have plenty of offensive options, especially out wide with McAnuff and Kebe a match for any defenders at this level and have the promising Antonio and Robson- Kanu waiting in the wings, infact, Reading have cover in almost every position and are a very well run club from top to bottom. They have two classy goalkeepers, a much vaunted striker in Shane Long, the evergreen Ian Harte making the Championship team of the season and holding midfielder Mikele Leigertwood who has been sensational ,the Berkshire club are desperate to make his loan deal from QPR permanent whatever division they are playing in next season and should try to make it hapen, Reading are simply a better team when he plays.

The Championship playoffs have tended to be won by the team finishing the season strongest in recent years, with five of the last seven winners namely Crystal Palace 2004 (12th place) , West Ham 2005 (7th), Hull 2008 ( 8th) , Burnley 2009 ( 9th) and Blackpool last year ( 8th) all outside the top six with a dozen games to play. Reading were down in tenth 12 games back, six points off the pace and are looking to frank these very strong form lines.

Cardiff might have the strongest starting eleven, but their backline looks decidely dodgy at times and no team has the options or form that the Royals have coming into the post season and they are my idea of the likeliest winners.

1.5 units Reading to win outright 3.75 + ..... up to 3.90 on the exchages for small money.


Huddersfield must be feeling a little hard done by, their total of 87 points would have seen them promoted in all but one of the previous ten seasons at this level and to have entered the New Year just one point off the automatic promotion places and go unbeaten for the rest of the season is not just unbelievable, but downright cruel !

They have collected 51 points in the second half of the season, that is 19 more than Bournemouth, which extended over a full camapign would have seen them finish first and 12th respectively in any "normal" season. I expect that difference to be apparent over the two legs and for Town to earn a deserved trip to Manchester for the final which will take place at Old Trafford with Wembley hosting the Champions League final. Bournemouth have shown great team spirit and fight to hang on in there after losing their two best players and coach this season, but the last few months have seen them falter and they were fortunate in the end to hold on to a top six spot.The other semi is a coin flip in my opinon with both teams very evenly matched. However, neither has the defensive capabilities of Town and even Peterborough, with 106 goals this season would not match up with the Terriers front men on a going day. Talented boss Lee Clark has the option to rotate five very good strikers at the club, with players of the calibre of Jordan Rhodes 46 goals in 61 starts and Lee Novak 17 in 38, not always certain of a starting place, Rhodes would walk into the starting eleven of any other third tier team with the exception of Southampton and they are now in the Championship ! Town learned a lot from their two playoff games with Millwall last year and I know that they are very relieved to be opening on the road this time round. Only MK Dons of the other three contenders has any recent playoff experience and that was with a much changed squad and completely different backroom team. Town are potentially a big club with big ambitions and are already planning for next season, with some important contract issues settled in the last week, it is a very different situation at Peterbourough for example where the three best players look on their way out of the club, even if promotion is achieved. Recent experience and form all point to Town, who were the third best team this season by some way and they look very worthy favourites to get the job done this time, btw, they have the "indian sign" on Dons who they are probably hoping to meet in the final, having put seven past them in the two league games this season and four last, winning all four meetings.

1.5 units Huddersfield to win the League 1 playoffs 2.75 ( P Power/ Hills .... should also see this on the exchanges tomorrow ) and 2.80 Unibet.



I am keen on United to progress through this two legged tie and to go on and book a quick return to the First Division following relegation last season, they had previously gone up through the playoff system in 2009 so know what to expect and look the strongest of the four sides. They are definitely the biggest club, with arguably the best starting eleven, who should be well rested after most were given a day off at the weekend with second place already assured. They took a little while to get a settled side this season, but really started to find the net in the last month or so, beating playoff rivals Forfar 3-1 and Brechin City 3-0, City might claim to have got some revenge on saturday, with a 1-0 victory, but United had nothing to play for and fielded a team mainly made up of youngsters. They also suffered a recent 3-2 loss here in the league, where they led twice and then conceded a late own goal and will be confident of getting a result tonight against a team who were expected to struggle this season after promotion last year, when they were two divisions below United. Hosts will have 18 yo Neil Duffy between the sticks, he is on loan from St Johnstone and has plenty of promise, but has only made five career starts and that is far from ideal in such a big game, against an opponent with goals in them. United also got a massive boost off the pitch this week, when Bodog agreed a sponsorship deal with the club, this is unheard of at this level and could lead to bigger things for the cash strapped club ,with Bodog owner Calvin Ayre having links to the area. I am going to split two units between Ayr with the handicap start tonight and them to win promotion.

Ayr United +0.25 ball 1.86 IBC

Ayr United to win Division 2 Playoffs 3.60 + (Boyle/Hills) ...3.75 Stan James/ Bet Fred.


I have taken the direct quotes in this preview from the excellent Paul Fletcher blog on the BBC website.

United have come in for support over the last couple of days, that has caused Borough to ease out to odds against with the level ball option and I have to get involved at those odds.

Stevenage boss Graham Westley has made few friends this season with his tactics and win at all costs approach, we touched on this earlier in the season, his side are incredibly fit ( I will explain why later) and play at an extremely high tempo that few teams can match, even Boro cannot keep that up for 90 minutes and once they are ahead will resort to plan B, which is to stay down on the ground following any foul, sometimes for several minutes to enable the players to take on fluids and get new tactics from Westley. It is not pretty to watch and very annoying if you are the opponent, but no one can dispute it works and Boro are operating within the rules if not the spirit of the game. There were seven minutes of added time in the first half ( !) alone at Accrington in the second leg of the semi- final and that was never going to be a pretty spectacle with the visitors leading 2-0 from the home leg.

Westley has a business outside of the game called Aimita which stands for attitude is more important than ability, clearly his life mantra. He is not afraid of hard work and said this week "We always try our hardest to make sure we are better today than yesterday, and will be better tomorrow than today." His team train all day, not a morning session 3-4 days per week like most teams, but all day, five days per week. The team have breakfast together, stretching, running, gym work in the morning, lunch, then a "normal" training session football related and finish with more weight/ fitness work.

Last year this enabled them to march through the Conference which they won by 11 points. The players believe in Westley and his search for perfection and follow his every word to the letter. They took a while to get into their stride in their first season in the Football League and were 18th in mid January, but the heavier pitches and tired legs started to affect the other teams and Boro's fitness regime kicked in and they got stronger and stronger week after week, also boosted by a bit of a FA Cup thumping they administered to EPL side Newcastle United, which also showed that they can play a bit.

Veteran keeper Chris Day talked about the work ethic at the club and how they get stronger ... "There is a method that we work to, although I am not going to give those secrets away. I'm coming up to 36 now and I do wonder what I might have achieved in my career if I had worked like this from the start."

This is also a very tightly knit squad because of the long hours spent together and the team spirit and belief within the club is through the roof. Borough have also played two big FA Trophy finals at Wembley under Westley and whilst they are going to play this at Old Trafford in front of a handful of fans ( about 10,000 tickets had been sold a day or two ago), that big game experience will stand them in good stead.

The support for United is probably because a couple of Boro players are carrying knocks, but that has been the case for weeks and Westley is always likely to give out some misinformation, that is just the way he is. The squad is pretty interchangeable with no real stars and every single player will be prepared to play through the pain barrier for the boss and team mates.

The big open spaces of OT are going to find some of these players out today, but I believe the superior fitness and spirit of the Boro boys will see them home.

United boss Paul Buckle has had to comment on the Bristol Rovers job this week, he has said that he has not agreed to take it (yet), that is probably true, but I know for sure he has had extended talks with Rovers who are a much bigger club and that must be a little disruptive to his team. I have seen a soft underbelly to United away from Plainmoor on occasion and do not like that they have lost 29 points from winning positions this campaign, I feel they lack the mental strength of Stevenage whom I expect to be playing League 1 football next season.

Stevenage level ball 2.02

Good Luck.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FRIDAY ......

FRANCE LIGUE 2 ( Friday .... written Wednesday 21.00)

Round 36 in Ligue 2 saw a feast of goals, eight of the nine went "over", all contained at least two goals and seven produced four or more. Think that we might well see something similar this evening, especially with some tired, desperate legs on the pitch.

Vannes are four points from safety and will have to go all out for the three on offer tonight which might just keep them safe for another week. Le Mans who did us proud on Monday, have had a little less recovery time, but won with the minimum of fuss and need a win to keep them in the top 3. Anything else and Ajaccio, who host "safe" Istres are likely to climb above them and take promotion matters into their own hands heading into the final weekend of the season. As discussed previously, Le Mans are arguably the best team in the division and with a new stadium to fill and "easy" game next week, this is effectively for a return to the top flight. Away win and a small saver on four or more goals. Vannes have conceded three or more in five of their last eight and scored nine in their last four, including four at Le Havre last week, Le Mans have scored eight in their last three and whoever concedes first tonight is going to throw all caution to the wind.

The other fixture looks ripe to go "over", Tours are mathematically safe from relegation, can play with great freedom and are attack minded in any case, with 8 of their last 9 going "over" and five producing at least four goals. Angers still have a wafer thin chance of promotion, so will come looking for a fourth straight win, just in case the impossible happens, they are "over" in five from seven and the two shared four goals in the reverse fixture.

Le Mans -0.25 ball 2.05 +

0.5 units Vannes - Le Mans "over" 3.5 goals 3.40 + .... 3.50 in places.... not all odds released yet.

1.5 units Tours - Angers "over 2.5 goals 1.95 general quote.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Regular and long term readers of the blog will be aware that Reading's 3-0 win at Cardiff last night was a very big result for me. I have been touting them as promotion contenders since last Autumn and writing up some outstanding reports for them in my "live"/ "in running" notes, where I focus greatly on the Championship fixtures.

When someone steps up to take a penalty, you can normally tell from their body language and especially the eyes, whether they are likely to score or not. I cannot recall anyone looking as calm or confident as the excellent Shane Long last night when he placed the ball on the spot, it was inconceivable to anyone watching and more importantly him, that the result was going to be anything other than a goal. Reading must be mightily relieved that he signed a one year contract extension in November, otherwise he would have been a free agent at the end of next month. A host of big clubs are monitoring the situation and the assured and talented Long will be an asset to the top flight. He is pretty "robust" too and made 45 league starts for the Royals this season, when he is a "target" for defenders week after week, that says as much about him and his attitude as his 21 league goals.

I have put up three bets for today and all are now trading at significantly lower odds, however, having promised to post something on the blog today, I have previewed one of the games below.

My notes for the Ayr game were written at 19.33 on Monday btw.


I should have put this bet up Monday morning, as the asian line of -0.25 2.05 was never going to hold up, however, I am still "happy" to bet at the slightly lower odds. We already have an outright bet from last week, reproduced below, otherwise, I would have rated it a stronger investment. As previously discussed, United lost one of the reverse fixtures on the last day of the season, but put out basically a B team and were resting players for the post season, City also won here on the opening day of the campaign, but Ayr were still building a side and only four players who played that day are likely to take any part tomorrow night. The two other games which came when both were fghting for a playoff spot were won by a 5-0 margin by Ayr, with United dominating both and being worthy of even bigger wins in both games. They look to have more goals in them than City, look solid at the back, former Leeds keeper Alan Martin who never quite made it at Elland Road and a settled centre back pairing gives them a far more solid look than they had early season and for the other reasons listed below they should be playing Division 1 football next season and definitely be taking a lead into the second leg.

Ayr United -0.25 ball 1.95 IBC..... currently trading at circa 1.80.



I am keen on United to progress through this two legged tie and to go on and book a quick return to the First Division following relegation last season, they had previously gone up through the playoff system in 2009 so know what to expect and look the strongest of the four sides. They are definitely the biggest club, with arguably the best starting eleven, who should be well rested after most were given a day off at the weekend with second place already assured. They took a little while to get a settled side this season, but really started to find the net in the last month or so, beating playoff rivals Forfar 3-1 and Brechin City 3-0, City might claim to have got some revenge on saturday, with a 1-0 victory, but United had nothing to play for and fielded a team mainly made up of youngsters. They also suffered a recent 3-2 loss here in the league, where they led twice and then conceded a late own goal and will be confident of getting a result tonight against a team who were expected to struggle this season after promotion last year, when they were two divisions below United. Hosts will have 18 yo Neil Duffy between the sticks, he is on loan from St Johnstone and has plenty of promise, but has only made five career starts and that is far from ideal in such a big game, against an opponent with goals in them. United also got a massive boost off the pitch this week, when Bodog agreed a sponsorship deal with the club, this is unheard of at this level and could lead to bigger things for the cash strapped club ,with Bodog owner Calvin Ayre having links to the area. I am going to split two units between Ayr with the handicap start tonight and them to win promotion.

Ayr United +0.25 ball 1.86 IBC

Ayr United to win Division 2 Playoffs 3.60 + (Boyle/Hills) ...3.75 Stan James/ Bet Fred.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TUESDAY .............

Le Mans won very easily last night ( posted on Friday) and that selection along with the Boulogne "over" more than covered the losses on the Blackburn Rovers- Manchester United game, where we were a little unfortunate. Maybe I should be blaming myself for not being braver and opting for the full time draw in the match at Ewood Park, but it is often easier and better for one's mental health to blame someone else, so it is a toss up between Brett Emerton for daring to score, or Nani for hitting the crossbar with a first half close range header !

Le Mans were actually written in my notes as a double staked selection, my only one of the last seven days, but I had to "disguise" it a little in the blog, but those who received the email will know how keen I was on them and that I felt it was vital to get on as soon as possible. They traded as low as 1.79 through the day, but increased back up to 1.90 before kick off ( maybe higher), not sure why, but the result was never really in doubt and they were 3-0 up by the break.

No blog selections for me today, regular readers will probably know what I think about the Championship playoff game tonight in any case. However, I have just put up three previews for tomorrow and providing the odds hold up, I will post one, maybe two of them here tomorrow.

Still no phone call from Griffin Park btw, I have to go out for an hour or two, hope they have my mobile number !

Good Luck.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Interesting day today and I have previewed five matches, with selections all priced between 2.10 and 6.50, one of which is previewed below. It feels very odd to have half a round of EPL games taking place BEFORE the FA Cup final and I guess Sir Alex will relish the chance to take the headlines away from Manchester City making their first final appearance in 30 years.

Still no managerial appointment at Brentford, I am available for the job and have been at home all week, but still no call from Griffin Park !


United will be champions with a point, that would mean they could relax ahead of their final start of the season and concentrate solely on their Champions League final with Barcelona. I am certain that they will get the deal done this weekend and a draw would be quite useful to Rovers too. That would give them a minimum one point lead and goal difference advantage over both Wigan and Blackpool, of course, they would like the win which would ensure their safety for another season, but one point might do that in any case and at the end of the day, they are playing Manchester United. I definitely think that both will be a little cautious in the opening exchanges and definitely see value in the half time draw, Rovers are something of a specialist in this market, drawing 20 ( 55.55%) of their 36 starts at the break, have only lost five opening periods and have kept 7 clean sheets in their last ten first halves. United also do not go in at the break trailing too often ( as you might expect), just four times all season, their last four have all been 0-0 at the half and they have not scored in the opening 45 minutes in six of their last seven. This is a tradionally tight fixture, with six of the last eleven ending in draws, Rovers have won three and United twice, which is something of a surprise, with only one of the eleven being one by more than a single goal margin. Another close game in prospect and the half time stalemate looks the best value on offer.

Half Time draw 2.20 + ...2.30 Bet 365 ... 2.38 exhanges.

Good Luck.

Friday, May 13, 2011



LE MANS- LAVAL ( Monday)

Top 3 teams in Ligue 2 Evian, Dijon and Ajaccio all have 58 points, Le Mans are two points further back in fourth spot, they, along with Dijon play on Monday night.

Whatever happens to Evian and Ajaccio tonight, there is a massive incentive for Le Mans to claim the three points against Laval, it could see them move up into the automatic promotion spot and/or keep the pressure on the others, especially Dijon who kick off 30 minutes later, over the final two weeks of the campaign.

Le Mans have probably the best squad in the division and with a brand new stadium they are desperate to be playing in the top flight next season. They look to have recovered from a mini blip with six points and two clean sheets from their last two starts and should have far too much for a Laval side who have nothing to play for on Monday, have already lost ten times on the road ( only scoring seven goals) and will be focused on their upcoming final game of the campaign where they are trying to go all season unbeaten on home soil. I think odds are likely to tumble here on a quiet monday evening, once the results of the friday action are known and absorbed, so best to get on now.

Le Mans -1 ball 2.02 Sbobet/IBC.


This is effectively a friendly, with hosts mathematically safe and the visitors having reached that all important 44 point mark. Chateauroux have opened up recently, scoring and conceding in their last four, with their last three going "over" and they have either scored or condeded three goals in three of their last five outings. Hard to see them ditching that front foot play and with this being Boulogne's final home start of the campaign where they will be looking to entertain and send their supporters off with some positive mental memories for the summer, this is very likely to produce goals. Four of Boulogne's last five starts have seen four or more goals and something similar looks on the cards his evening.

"over" 2.25 goals 1.93 Sbobet/IBC.

Good Luck.

FRIDAY ......

Here were my notes sent to around 25 readers of the blog on Wednesday, should you wish to receive the occasional free email, or even go on the waiting list to receive it on a daily basis, send me an email at


Bit of a mixed bag today with some tennis, plus scottish and spanish football. Tomorrow I will start with my first look at the Football League playoffs ahead of a really huge weekend of sport.



I am keen on United to progress through this two legged tie and to go on and book a quick return to the First Division following relegation last season, they had previously gone up through the playoff system in 2009 so know what to expect and look the strongest of the four sides. They are definitely the biggest club, with arguably the best starting eleven, who should be well rested after most were given a day off at the weekend with second place already assured. They took a little while to get a settled side this season, but really started to find the net in the last month or so, beating playoff rivals Forfar 3-1 and Brechin City 3-0, City might claim to have got some revenge on saturday, with a 1-0 victory, but United had nothing to play for and fielded a team mainly made up of youngsters. They also suffered a recent 3-2 loss here in the league, where they led twice and then conceded a late own goal and will be confident of getting a result tonight against a team who were expected to struggle this season after promotion last year, when they were two divisions below United. Hosts will have 18 yo Neil Duffy between the sticks, he is on loan from St Johnstone and has plenty of promise, but has only made five career starts and that is far from ideal in such a big game, against an opponent with goals in them. United also got a massive boost off the pitch this week, when Bodog agreed a sponsorship deal with the club, this is unheard of at this level and could lead to bigger things for the cash strapped club ,with Bodog owner Calvin Ayre having links to the area. I am going to split two units between Ayr with the handicap start tonight and them to win promotion.

Ayr United +0.25 ball 1.86 IBC Won 4-1

Ayr United to win Division 2 Playoffs 3.60 + (Boyle/Hills) ...3.75 Stan James/ Bet Fred. ....
Now trading as low as 1.91



I am going to have so much to pass on in the coming months that I will have to start sharing it whenever the opportunity arises, so an early bet for tomorrow and a few words about Granada whom I am keen on to clinch the third promotion place. The top two spots in Segunda come with automatic promotion and they will quite rightly go to Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano, the next four teams, excluding the reserve teams, will playoff for the third spot, so at present that would be Celta, Granada, Elche and Valladolid. With Granada having a six point lead over the nearest potential gatecrasher, three of their remaining five games on home soil and with their last game against a likely "friendly" opponent, they look booked for a post season place.

I have watched extended highlights of three recent Granada games and have been very impressed, they would definitely not be out of place in the lower reaches of the top flight and this is a team going places fast. They have had severe financial problems in the recent past but appear to have put those behind them and have some very influential "owners". Effectively ,they are owned by the Pozzo family who also own Udinese and eleven , yes eleven, registered players of the italian club are on the books here, almost all on a season long loan. I am not entirely sure what the idea is here, they are mainly players with Spanish experience, signed by Udinese and then immediately loaned to Granada, although there are also the usual Brazilian, Nigerian and a very talented Chilean in Fabian Orellana who has made 19 appearances for his national team and who is pulling the strings, another who caught the eye was Swiss born/ Spanish player Alex Geijo, who is big, mobile, quick and he has a real eye for goal , scoring 22 in just 30 appearances. Money is tight in Spanish football but no longer a problem for Granada it seems, Giampaolo Pozzo considers the city ripe to support a top flight team and it is a much bigger city than Udine. Since he became involved officially last year, Granada have coasted through Segunda B averaging two points and two goals per game and made the switch to the higher level fairly seemlessly, getting stronger as the season has progressed. There was no let up from the club at the end of last season and they won their last five starts in the regular season and then played four post season games, conceding just a single goal and effectively settling both ties in the first leg.

They should have enough to ease past Huesca, who struggle for goals on the road, but will have to open up a little as they still mathematically have a chance of making the post season themselves, this should give Granada space to exploit . I also think as soon as possible we should try to back them for promotion, odds are around 4.33 now, maybe higher if you shop around, they are not in the playoffs yet, but once they are and everyone starts to research their background a little more, I think much lower quotes will be offered.

Granada -1 ball 2.04 .... won 2-0


OK, we are not going to get fat on these odds, but little fish are sweet sometimes and I think this is a value price. Bartoli is not a clay courter she cannot move well on the surface and complains that "the ball comes back too often " on the surface, she usually loses the moment she meets anyone comfortable on the surface and in the past that has included players ranked 400 + in the world. The frenchwoman's father, Walter, who is also her coach, says that Marion uses the clay court season as "a springboard for the grass", "it helps her prepare". She holds a 5-1 lifetime record over her spanish opponent, but is, guess what ( ?) 0-1 on clay, with Garrigues winning in Madrid in this very week last season 6-2 6-0. Garrigues is 71-38 on the dirt in the last four years, posting a winning record every year ( Bartoli has a losing record on clay in three of the last four seasons) and proved her well being with a win in Estoril a fortnight ago, the 9th single title on the surface of her career, plus any number of doubles wins on clay including two French Open titles. She has already won two qualifiers here and beat Patty Schnyder, a much better clay courter than Bartoli with ease in the first round, she really ought to win this with a degree of comfort.

1.5 units Anabel Medina Garrigues 1.67 +1.714 Pinnacle/ 1.70 exchanges. Won in straight sets

Good Luck.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TUESDAY .......


I simply refuse to see this match going "under", only Sedan and Evian have scored more than Dijon this season and the club from Burgundy have bulldozed their way into the top three with some fine attacking play scoring twenty in their last ten starts, on the road they tend to "go for it" and their games average 2.65 goals, way above the division mean of 2.12. They are in the promotion driving seat and know that four wins would see them playing top flight football next season for the first time in their history, they will be prepared to battle for every ball and point, but I do not think they will abandon the attacking principles which have served them so well, especially playing a team like Tours. Hosts play a very gung-ho style, only Vannes who are on their way to National have conceded more goals and their fixtures are averaging a league high 3.0 per game. They have conceded 13 in their last five starts, that in itself is bad enough, but as 10 of them came against Boulogne, Chateauroux and at home to Ajacccio and Grenoble, four of the division's low scorers, it should have the Dijon front men salivating at the chances which seem certain to come their way this evening. H2h wise there is absolutely nothing to put us off, wth six of the last seven meetings going over and Dijon being 7-2-0 and unbeaten in nine starts.

"over" 2.5 goals 2.05 + .. 2.10 Paddy P/ Exchanges.

Good Luck.

Monday, May 09, 2011


My goodness Arsenal were poor yesterday ! I picked the wrong game for the blog with my other three football selections all making a profit, see below. As I tried to explain last week this is just pot luck, I could have picked the only winner, but found the only loser, that is the problem when I can only carry a small number of my match previews on the blog. Nevermind, we are dealt our hand and have to play it .......... or fold !

1.5 units Falkenberg -0.25 ball 1.87. WON 1-0


Academica Coimbra +0.25 ball 2.21. DRAW 0-0


Wolverhampton -0.5 ball 2.20 + ... a little 2.25 available. WON 3-1

I have previewed two matches today and have managed to find a double stake selection, which is unusual for a Monday. Not sure if I will be able to post either on the blog, but I will definitely be posting a selection tomorrow, so please check back.

My beloved Brentford ended their season in 11th spot, I suppose after flirting with relegation early season, a mid table finish and Wembley appearance was more then we could have hoped for, but two places lower than last season, with a stronger squad and bigger playing budget has left most supporters feeling a little deflated.

Expectation levels are just so much higher now, not sure that is entirely fair on Matthew Benham and the Bees board, but that is the case, despite the club having a loyal, but low crowd base and only one previous season in the second tier of english football in my very long lifetime !

However,Brentford's home form, just nine wins and 24 goals scored in 23 starts was simply not good enough with the resources they had in a decidedly average League 1. Coach Andy Scott paid with his job earlier this year, I feel Nicky Forster and Mark Warburton did a decent short term job in difficult circumstances, but it looks like the club are going down more of a "name" route and we can expect a new manager to be named very shortly, possibly in the next day or two. Interesting summer in prospect down at Griffin Park the "theatre of sleepless nights".

Good Luck.

Sunday, May 08, 2011



Most would normally expect Arsenal to come here with an uneasy feeling in their stomach, there is a little bad feeling between the two clubs following the Ryan Shawcross "tackle" on Aaron Ramsey last year, but the Gunners are not as prepared to roll over any more in these type of fixtures and have posted more road wins than any other EPL side this campaign. Also, with City having the small matter of a FA Cup final appearance at Wembley next weekend and with nothing to play for apart from prize money, it is the home side who might enter this with a little trepidation. Remember, City are the oldest club in the top flight, being founded in 1863 and have never won the league or appeared in the FA Cup final, in terms of history the final is HUGE for them and if they win it, the starting eleven will roll off the tongues of Stoke fans for generations to come, no one wants to miss out on the big day and that might be in the back of all the City players this afternoon.

Arenal will all but ensure third place with victory today but can close in on second, maybe even United in first place with the top two facing off at Old Trafford later in the day and that is incentive enough, effectively keeping their season alive.

Arsenal : Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Arshavin, Van Persie .

Subs: Lehmann, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Squillaci, Eboue, Chamakh, Bendtner.

Arsenal -0.75 ball currently....... 2.20.

Good Luck.


We landed the double stakes bet on the Swansea game yesterday and also got the added bonus of the 3.75 for four or more goals, it was a pleasing day all round, which ended with a winner in Las Vegas overnight when I sent the notes reproduced below for the Pac-Man fight to many of you.

I have been busy today and have put up a selection in Sweden, another in Portugal and two in the EPL, plus a bet at circa 4.50 on the USPGA tour which I am very keen on. Not sure if I will post any previews on the blog today, let's see how the odds hold up in the next couple of hours and I will be back early afternoon.

Good Luck.

Sent by email yesterday .....


Manny Pacquiao transcends the world of boxing, he is national hero and congressman in the Philippines, but that doesn't really do his status justice, he is quite simply the most famous Filipino of all time and that includes Imelda !

Pac-Man started as a Light Flyweight and last fought as a Light Middleweight , that is ten weight divisions, he has won World titles in eight of them, an undisputed title in four, he is a true boxing phenomenon.

He is 52-3-2 lifetime, but has not lost since 2005 when Erik Morales beat him on points, but Manny put that right and stopped Morales in the return bout a few months later and otherwise has not lost in the 2000's during which he has fought mainly the best of the best. His last three fights have gone 12 rounds, with a late TKO decision in the first and taking the last two on points.

Key for Pacquiao is that unlike most boxers at this stage of their career, he is still in love with the sport and lives to fight, it is certainly not for the money, he is mega wealthy and another $20m for tonight, whist useful, is not going to make too much difference to him.

He has moved back down to Welterweight for this fight, which suits him better, but he is still a tiny boxer in this class.

Shane Mosley has had a fine career and in a different era would probably have been even higher rated, but at 39 years old, he has to give seven years to his opponent and his best years are clearly well behind him. Mosley has an impressive 46-6-1 record, but that becomes less impressive when we note that he was 38-0-0 and 8-6-1 for his last 15 fights hints at a very different level. However, he has always fought the cream of the crop and whilst he has not won in 28 months, a first career draw and points loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his two starts since prove that he is still a worthy opponent. Having said that he never looked like winning either of those fights and I suspect he has lost a little of his punching power.

Still, he is tough, tough, tough and has NEVER been stopped in 54 pro fights, with the six losses all coming on points. In my opinion he will do everything possible to protect that proud record and go the distance again tonight. He is the much bigger man ( 1.75 m against 1.69m although I have my doubts that Pac-Man is even that tall) and with a big ( 1.88cm - 170cm) reach advantage and whilst he has struggled against southpaws ( Manny) in the past, he should have enough to see the fight out and end his career with another honourable defeat. Odds are nice and far and away the best value in the fight.

Manny Pacquiaco to win on Points/ Decision 2.75 + .... 2.875 Bet 365.... up to 2.98 on the exchanges as I type. Pac-Man won by Unanimous Decision

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I cannot start the day without a few words about Severiano Ballesteros who passed away yesterday aged just 54, following a three year long battle against a brain tumour. This was one scrap he couldn't win, but typical of him, he was still fighting until the very end.

Seve was a one off, a cavalier swashbuckling golfer who was loved by fans of the sport the world over. He almost singlehandledly dragged european golf up by it's cleats and restored self belief that they could compete against the americans. Seve was a giant on the course and no one who ever saw him play at his pomp will forget the thrill, he was simply the most charismatic player to ever pick up a club. RIP Seve.


We have seen quite a big increase in the number of goals in the Championship up 11.5 % from two seasons ago. There are not too many more "overs" just that the games that are going "over" are really going "over", something that we have touched upon in recent weeks.

Today is the last round of games, a day when much is already decided, teams relax, look to entertain and open up, it has something of a pre seson feel about the matches where there is nothing at stake.

In the last fours seasons on this day an average of five matches have produced at least four goals and backing them all blindly would have made you decent returns. However, looking a litle more closely I think it is the relegated teams which provide the key to the day, in the last five years, thirteen teams have come into the final day already relegated, their games have averaged 4.923 goals, only one did not go "over" the 2.5 goal line and nine produced at least five goals. Today we have three Sheffield United, Preston and Scunthorpe, each will want to send their supporters off with a positive memory for the summer and a win if possible, rememeber there are season tickets to be sold for next season and also this is the last time they will be playing second tier football for a while, which should be motivation in itself. Let's look in a little more detail at one of them................


Swansea are playoff bound, they could still clinch second spot, depending upon what Cardiff do elsewhere and on the back of two fine wins, will probably now want to carry on that run and form into the post season. United have been playing quite well in recent weeks, scoring 8 in their last three, including three on the road at Reading another top six side and creating any number of chances at home to Barnsley last week, when they should have scored enough to have won a couple of games. Their last four starts have all produced at least four goals and now that they have found some attacking flair, it seems pointless for them to suddenly ditch that approach at this late, late stage. They will atack, Swansea can pass teams to death on a gong day and will enjoy the extra space, definitely think this will go over and I could easily see both scoring two or more, United scored three at Reading inside 50 minutes, you can get 20-1 for them to do the same here in 90, which might be a fun bet if you are so inclined and of an adventurous nature.

2 units "over" 2.5 goals 2.0 general quote..... these notes were written on Thursday afternoon.... anything above 1.90 is ok, maybe for slightly reduced stakes.

0.5 units "over" 3.5 goals 3.60 + ...3.75 William Hill.

Good Luck.

Friday, May 06, 2011

FRANCE LIGUE 2 ...........


I am looking to oppose Angers here, they are pretty strong at home where they have a 6-7-3 record, or at least do not lose too often, but since losing their cup semi final to PSG 3-1 here recently, appear to be having a problem with motivation. They have nothing left to play for in the league having already booked the needed 44 points and have not scored in their two Ligue 2 outings since that dream ending loss, they are very short of options across the park today with Riga, Renouard, Dore, Couturier and Auriac all missing this evening. Three of them took part in Angers last win and four started in the win before that, scoring two of the three goals, so important missing players for the hosts.

Vannes are in trouble, four points from safety, which with a dire goal difference is effectively five points and with games fast running out they will have no option but to hunt for maximum points tonight. They do not do draws on the road, where they are 4-0-12 but can take heart from a recent 1-0 win at Boulogne, who are always tough on home soil, that at least proves that they are capable of grinding out a win, which is good to know considering they have conceded a Ligue 2 high 31 goals away from the de la Rabine stadium this season. Normally we would back them at +1/2 ball, that option is of course open to you, but given their road record and need for all three points, I will reduce stakes slightly and opt for the glory and straight win bet.

0.75 units Vannes to win 4.2 + ..... still some 4.40 on offer if you shop around.... Unibet and the exchanges ( 4.60).

Good Luck.

TGIF ......

This is a really big betting weekend for me, I have already put up three double stakes selections for the Championship games, which kick off at lunchtime on Saturday. One is not common, two rare, three on one day........... totally unheard of, so tomorrow is going to exciting and either very profitable or expensive ! I have also found a bet at odds of 32-1 which has a very real chance of success and I will definitely post at least one of these selections on the blog tomorrow morning, provided the quotes hold up reasonably well overnight.

I must say that I enjoyed the two Europa League semi-final games between Porto and Villarreal, despite the second leg being a dead rubber, there was still plenty of entertainment and thrills on offer. The pair also provided 180 minutes of absolutely suicidal defending, going forward few teams are going to be able to compete with Porto in the Champions League next season, with the proviso that they keep their offensive stars in the summer, which is by no means certain, but they will have to tighten up considerably at the back to compete against the very best at the business end of the tournament. Having said that, this is a club that knows how to win the big european club events and they could be a big player next season as well.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Farnborough won 1-0.

Looking in a little more depth at the five years results posted below. Hard for me to pick any real weak spots, maybe you can find some.

The most bets were (unsurprisingly) played in the Football League/ Non League section where I made a profit every single year and came in at +13.11%. EPL results, which may surprise some of you, were even stronger at +19.52% and Scotland where I was also in the black every year, came in at just a shade under 17%.

Domestic cup games have also made a profit every season and produced 22.14% overall and long term readers will not be too shocked to learn that I "milked" the pre season friendlies with a whopping 41.12 % profit.......... unheard of in asian markets.

So very strong across the board in UK domestic football. However, there is still plenty to look forward to in the summer , not only do we have the pre season games on the horizon but summer leagues in Scandinavia (23.49%), Ireland ( 20.89%) and USA ( 33.77%) to say nothing of Tennis ( 21.7%) and Golf ( 24.24%), all augur incredibly well for the months ahead.

Good Luck.


As many of you know I have been writing the blog for over five years and despite not posting as often in recent months, have written some 3,600 + posts and circa 1.4 million words of content, enough to fill about 15 novels.

My blog output is now just a very small part of my betting portfolio and as such, is going to be increasingly subject to variance. If I am betting 15-20 games in a week and putting maybe one or two on here, there are going to be periods when all the losers, or all the winners are posted, it is kind of pot luck.

Regardless of which, there is still tremendous value in reading the blog IMO and I think that in the coming weeks I will get back to posting a little more, even if they are not all pre match previews.

I am happy to stand corrected, but I believe that over the last five years, no sports betting blog anywhere on the internet has come even close to posting the kind of quality previews and results I have, especially covering this number of events, it is simply impossible ! However big headed that might sound, it is true and I will put the full five year results up online shortly.

Every full year has shown a MASSIVE profit, I am a little behind in 2011 but have posted very little and doubtless will once again be in front come the end of the year should I carry on blogging.

2006 through 2010 the blog made a ROI of between 112.14 % and 137.75% those are astonishing returns and levels of consistency and we are talking about a large number of selections, not one or two hand picked here and there, which make the figures all the more remarkable.

Talking about all my selections for the last 12 months, not just those posted on the blog, I have been a little up and down with more swings that normal. I had a huge summer last year, with fantastic returns right through June, July, August and September, following on from an amazing early year result in the NFL when I posted a season's worth of profits in a few weeks, either side of those,it was not so good. That is very unusual, I would normally expect to be far more consistent and not on a roller coaster ride as regular long term readers will already know, but as I always say, this is gambling and anything can happen !

It is clear that I have an ego, you cannot do what I do without having a fairly high opinion of yourself, it wouldn't work otherwise. My pride has been hurt by a few comments received in the last few months by just a few readers of the blog, I tried to explain that with fewer bets winning/losing runs can always be more extreme, but some people seem to get more fun out of "knocking". No one has to read the blog, or bet anything I post, I am writing it for me, not for you. Having said that, this is the reason I have decided to post the full results today............ if you can point me to a better blog/service elsewhere then please do, I would love to read it ! Not one that has been running a few weeks btw and restarted on another web address after posting poor results on a previous website, like much of the spam I get !

Anyway, take a look at the figures and good luck with all your bets today.

2006 STAKES 991.5 RETURNS 1,154.806 ROI 116.46 %
2007 STAKES 1,187.5 RETURNS 1,331.677 ROI 112.14 %
2008 STAKES 482.5 RETURNS 664.675 ROI 137.75 %
2009 STAKES 548.5 RETURNS 642.43 ROI 117.12 %
2010 STAKES 225.13 RETURNS 259.585 ROI 115.30 %
2011 STAKES 42.5 RETURNS 39.585

TOTALS 3,477.63 RETURNS 4,092.758 ROI 117.69 %

All stakes/ returns have been converted to the current format used, which is basic single stakes, with occasional double or half stake selections.

Selections given for the old format, have been converted at the following rate.... 7 points plus ( double stake) sub 2.5 units ( half stake) and all other selections a basic one unit.

FOOTBALL/ NON LEAGUE 180.0 /185.51
DOMESTIC CUPS 13.5 /10.315
FRIENDLIES 18.5 /28.19
SCOTLAND 37 /39.72
FRANCE 55/ 73.155
GERMANY 50.5 /64.535
ITALY 35.5 /34.405
SPAIN 44.5 /42.075
BELGIUM 1 /1.5
NETHERLANDS 12.5/ 9.53
DENMARK 1 /1.76
SWEDEN 40/ 47.42
IRELAND 5.5 /7.51
NORWAY 17.5/ 21.68
PORTUGAL 7/ 6.22
FINLAND 7 /11.23
GOLF 80.5 /119.286
ASIA 1 /1.95
TENNIS 100.5 /121.39
NFL 16/ 14.99
POKER 4.5 /5.09
NBA 1 /1.90
BOXING 2/ 1.75
TOTALS 991.5 / 1,154.806 ROI 116.462 %


NFL 39.5 /40.823
NETHERLANDS 24.5 /32.31
ITALY 63.5 /77.023
SPAIN 53 /59.71
NORWAY 8.5 /14.515
EUROPEAN CUPS 66.5 /69.185
SWEDEN 20/ 15.66
GOLF 72/ 61.324
USA 8 /6.11
SCOTLAND 45 /50.459
IRELAND 10.5/ 9.20
EPL 51.5 /52.755
DOMESTIC CUPS 43 /53.285
FRIENDLIES 19.5 /28.21
GERMANY 43.5/ 48.965
FRANCE 110.5 /106.568
TENNIS 146 /162.864
AUSTRIA 2 /1.82
ASIA 12/ 14.2
FINLAND 9 /14.21
SOUTH AMERICA 19/ 23.715
NBA 6 /5.47
PORTUGAL 1.5 /1.81
SNOOKER 0.5/ 0
POKER 0.5 /0
TOTALS 1,187.5 / 1,331.677 ROI 112.14 %


EPL 40.5 /56.885
DOMESTIC CUPS 22.5 /28.025
SCOTLAND 20/ 27.185
ITALY 29/ 72.705
GERMANY 7 /3.16
SPAIN 20.5 /25.66
USA 10.5 /18.605
FRANCE 47 /52.418
NFL 28.5/ 42.42
TENNIS 23.5 /40.48
GOLF 13.5 /15.382
IRELAND 5 /6.39
RUSSIA 2.5 /5.62
NORWAY 1 /2.06
SWEDEN 1/ 1.87
AUSTRIA 1/ 1.92
ASIA 1 /0
TOTALS 482.5 /664.675 ROI 137.75 %


EPL 50.5 /68.395
DOMESTIC CUPS 17.5/ 23.295
SCOTLAND 14/ 17.87
SPAIN 22.5 /27.025
FRANCE 40.5 /38.41
IRELAND 14 /19.18
SWEDEN 5 /11.14
NORWAY 4 /3.035
DENMARK 2 /3.98
ITALY 27.5 /28.42
GERMANY 14/ 7.08
USA 9 /9.02
EUROPEAN CUPS 48.5 /45.225
CYCLING 1 /3.20
GOLF 34 /51.62
NFL 10 /12.44
TENNIS 35.5/ 49.78
TOTALS 548.5 /642.43 ROI 117.12 %


EPL 30/ 28.69
SCOTLAND 10 /12.17
FRANCE 17/ 16.04
GERMANY 2/ 2.17
ITALY 7 /4.80
SPAIN 3/ 5.71
IRELAND 2/ 2.45
GOLF 5.13 /8.87
CYCLING 1 /1.91
TENNIS 4 /3.99
NFL 5/ 7.05
TOTALS 225.13/ 259.585 ROI 115.30 %

I will reviews these figures, best/worst leagues/sports in a later post. If anyone wants to contact me about the blog, my personal daily notes, or anything related, then please email me on

Good Luck.


A little news below about one of today's lower level games. I will also be posting something which I feel is very important later today/ this evening and would ask you to check back and take a look in the next day or two.


I get to see 6-7 games from this division each season and aside from Braintree early season, Farnborough have looked the best team in the BSS, they let a few games slip towards the end of the campaign once their chance of automatic promotion had gone, including a league meeting between these two recently which Woking won 2-1 and rested a few key players to bring them back refreshed for the post season. Two of them, Kezie Ibe and Bradley Bubb had a run out on saturday to get them back in the swing of things and top scorer Bubb showed his well being with a brace of goals.

Town finished second in the division which is a huge advantage in the playoffs, as, after these two legged semi-finals, the highest placed team hosts the one off final. These are two local rivals who know each other well and visiting boss Steve King has been saying for a couple of weeks that it was Woking he wanted to meet in the post season, having "some unfinished business" with them, well, he got his wish !

League meeting here ended 1-1, that would suit Town of course, but I think they will arrive here the fresher, Woking having to battle right to the wire to make it into the playoffs and being without the hugely talented 18 yo midfielder Michael Doughty, who is on loan from QPR and could have played, but choose to go instead and join the Wales U19 squad. He is a very composed presence and was key in the recent league game, when he made the first goal, that will leave a big space to fill in the centre of the park and for me that swings things massively towards Boro. BTW Doughty is not your average young footballer, attending Harrow public school on a scholarship and with his father Nigel owning Nottingham Forest.

Getting a quarter ball start is great news, I would make this a level ball game.

Farnborough +0.25 1.96.

Good Luck.