Friday, September 30, 2011


My beloved Brentford are in a strange run at present, collecting one point from three home starts, dominating one ( which they could have won by 5-6 goals !) and being comprehensively outplayed in the other two, yet winning four in a row on the road !

This weekend they look to get the home "hoodoo" off their back, when Huddersfield Town come calling. The Terriers have not tasted defeat in the league for an incredible 35 matches, they last lost at Southampton on December 28th 2010 and it would be typical of my club, that they would choose this game to suddenly "turn it on" at Griffin Park, the "theatre of sleepless nights".

Town have won 19 ( drawn 16) in this run, that averages out to 96 points over a full season, a total which would have seen them promoted in any season and as champions in each of the last six seasons, going back to 2004-5 when Luton Town ( whatever happened to them ?) came within a whisker of breaking the magical 100 point barrier.

Having lost out in the playoff final last season, to miss out this time round is going to be very hard to take and I have to say that they deserve promotion, but I wonder how they will react when they finally do lose one ! Hopefully we will find out after this weekend !

Good Luck.


I know I have already told many of you how ( very) impressed I was by Preston North End at Griffin Park, whilst they were not as good on Tuesday at Wycombe Wanderers, that was their 7th league win in a row.

The victory was all the more notable as it was their four trip to London or beyond ( Charlton, Wycombe , Brentford and Southampton) in just 14 days, with a home start also sandwiched inbetween, really terrific commitment and if there is a better team in the division than Phil Brown's troops ( which I doubt), then hopefully it is Brentford when everyone is fit !

Incredibly, North End are back in the capital tomorrow to play Leyton Orient, despite their class, surely they are starting to feel the effect of such a gruelling couple of weeks, when they have seen more of the M6 than wives/ partners. They will have clocked up an amazing 50+ motorway hours and six matches in 18 days come saturday evening !

Good Luck.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Wednesday September 28th

Wins for Jeonbuk and Ipswich Town our two main ( red type)bets and also Inter and Lyon in the Champions League at big prices, made for a good day yesterday and when a late, late "ding" came in the Pompey- Posh fixture, I thought it was going to be 5 from 5, but unfortunately it came in favour of the visitors.

I watched a very interesting Football League game last night, but will save my thoughts on that until the weekend.

In the Champions League, we all know how good Porto are, but I feel the oddsmakers have ( once again) under estimated Zenit St Petersburg. Long time readers will know that I have a very soft spot for the Russian club having taken huge odds for them to win the UEFA Cup in 2008, but I am trying to put sentiment to one side for now. The Portugese champions already have three points in the bag and with consecutive games against APOEL up next, I am pretty sure that they would take a point from this here and now. They had a tough game with Benfica on friday evening and look set to go with the same line up tonight, they call it 4-3-3, but Fernando plays directly in front of his back line. Either way we are going to see a crowded midfield with home boss Luciano Spalleti claiming a 4-3-1-2 but it is really a slight variation on the 4-6-0 formation he used with great success at Roma. It is going to be similar to the Porto- Shakhtar line up on matchday 1, which the hosts won 2-1, much of the game was played out in midfield, but eventually Donetsk were too unwilling to change formation, which Porto did to some degree and then ill discipline cost SD dearly, with far too many fouls being conceded. Spalleti is far more flexible and open to tactical changes and is likely to be more pro active. He will have spent plenty of time talking to Bruno Alves his hugely experienced defender, who spent 12 years at Porto as man and boy until last year and knows the club almost as well as any man alive. He will not play tonight, but his knowledge will be invaluable, Semak and Malafeev are both big doubts, but the keeper might still make it. Fredy Guarin is suspended for Porto. After losing in Cyprus, where they were perhaps too defensive, Zenit cannot afford another defeat and getting them off level ball, when Porto do not need the win, is something of a no brainer for me, especially at the odds offered. Zenit St Petersburg level ball asian line.... this was a bet for me at 2.20, but odds have tumbled this morning, so I have to leave it in black type .

In the Championship, I am again going ............

Please take a moment to read the "Freebie list" box on the left hand side of the blog.

Good Luck.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

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

Only four rounds into the season, we already have a massive relegation battle at the foot of La Liga, with Sporting Gijon entertaining Racing Santander. Two home draws give the visitors a two point lead over the pointless hosts, who, with a visit from Barcelona and trip to Sevilla up next, simply have to get off the mark today. Their home form has kept them in the top flight in each of the last three seasons and it will require a similar effort this time round if they are to survive and that means finding 7-8 wins at the El MolinĂ³n stadium from somewhere and they will not come much easier than this.

Both teams have suffered an identical 4-0 defeat at Atletico in the last seven days and whilst Racing might argue that they steadied the ship with a 0-0 draw at home to Real Madrid, two games in four days against the two big Madrid clubs in which they enjoyed less than 30% possession is sure to leave them low on energy coming here, especially as they are short on numbers, mainly in midfield, where they lack any real creative threat. They have conceded ten in their last three road starts and it is hard to see them keeping even this struggling Gijon side out for too long. Home coach Manuel Preciado has pretty much a full squad to choose from, he claims the spirit in the club is still good and there can be no excuses if they do not win tonight, they have created a decent number of chances in their two home starts so far and I expect them to do enough to win ,what is sure to be a nervous encounter.Sporting Gijon -0.5 2.04 + asian line

In the NFL, I have two games to discuss.

The New York Jets play the first of three consecutive road games, but with the Ravens and Patriots the next two games, they will see a visit to the West Coast to face the Oakland Raiders as far and away the easier fixture of the three and if they can go to Baltimore with a 3-0 record, it will take a lot of pressure off the rest of the road trip. They will have to manage it without center Nick Mangold, who will be replaced by rookie Colin Baxter, this is a very big loss, but has already been factored into the spread and we would have been asked to give up more points IMO if Mangold had played. The Jets are 16-7 on the road under coach Rex Ryan and will arguably be fresher that the Raiders who travelled to NY State and back last week to face Buffalo, following only five and a half day's of preparation, having played on Monday on Gameday 1, that is a gruelling start. They might have ran out of steam there, they certainly blew a big lead with the Bills scoring a touchdown on all five second half drives, which is about as bad / good as it gets. The run has been good for the Raiders so far, but the Jets pride themselves on been able to stop teams running ( they have allowed only one 100yd game in 25 starts) and if they do that today, there can be only one winner IMO. Jets have won two without getting their own running game going, but with Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield that will not carry on indefinitely and with Oakland ranked 27th in stopping the run in the opening two games and having given up a huge 316 yards on the ground the last time the two met ( Jets 38-0), they are as likely to catch fire today as at anytime. Jets all the way for me. New York Jets -3 points Pinnacle Sports 2.05.

First crunch game for XXXX XX XXXX rest of the email is for registered readers.

Good Luck.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


These are my basic Pre Match Notes for the three matches I am following "in running" today.

There are no selections, just a few thoughts and stats to help us find some trading opportunities. I will be at one of the games personally and will update all three games by email at half time, hopefully within a minute of two of the first half ending. With my thoughts and notes on the opening 45 minutes and giving any selections for the second half.

For those of you just reading the blog, they might have some interest and even help a little if you are betting "in play" yourself ( all "team news" is confirmed btw, not speculation) .....


Saturday Opening Line: -1.75 ball 1.82-2.13
3 goal line : over 1.94 under 1.96

Movement: Chelsea into 1.76 and the over goal shaved slightly.

Team News : No starting place for Drogba or Lampard, Anelka, Torres and Mata are the front 3.

Chelsea played around 75 minutes with ten men against Fulham in the Carling Cup in midweek, but will be pleased to have progressed under those circumstances and having rested a large number of players. They will take heart from the performance if not the result at Old Trafford last week, where they were moral victors to many neutral viewers. They will be without Alex and Sturridge today, but Didier Drogba is available and will be looking for a starting place in Andre Villas-Boas' preferred 4-3-3 formation.

City will have enjoyed their free midweek, which has enabled them to bask in not only their first EPL win, but also goals in a 3-0 defeat of WBA last weekend. Goals are going to be a problem for them this season, key player Scott Sinclair for example is well know to the Blues and was deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, Leroy Lita is not a striker that will raise terror in the hearts of many EPL defences. Having said that, the Swans retain possession well and after a thumping at Eastlands on the opening day, have defended very well. Even in that loss at City they held out for 57 minutes and also for 40 minutes at the Emirates, with three clean sheets in their other starts. Given that 10 of Chelsea's 13 goals have come in the second half and the average time of their first goal is the 53rd minute, we may have to wait for the action to start today.


Saturday Opening Line: +0.25 ball 1.91-2.01
2.25 goal line: over 1.91 under 1.99

Movement: Royals supported into 1.93 and the over goal line clipped slightly.

Team News: Kebe failed a late test and misses out for Reading ( not even on bench) Federici, Mills, Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce; Tabb, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Le Fondre, Church.... subs McCarthy, Gunnarsson,Robson - Kanu, Howard, Manset

Both teams have started the season poorly and only two Championship points separate the tho clubs, but I have few doubts that Reading are the stronger squad and better team. City are coming off a 3-0 loss at Ipswich Town on Monday, in what their coach deemed their worst performance of the season, as it came infront of the television cameras, the players might come out like wounded animals this afternoon. However, there is a good chance these two will cancel each other out early doors, both have identical 0-5-2 first half records and with Reading unbeaten in four visits here ( with three draws), there is a very good chance that one second half goal will decide this one. Plenty of classy options for the Royals going forward and with City short of options, especially in midfield, I fancy the visitors, but let's see how the opening 45 minutes pans out.


Saturday Opening Line: - 1 ball 2.05 - 1.87
3 goal line: over 1.80 under 2.11

Movement: very minimal line movement here.

Team News: Winston Reid in for James Tomkins, Rowe replaces Tomlin for Posh....
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Reid, Faye, McCartney, Noble, Lansbury Nolan, Faubert, Taylor, Cole

Subs: Boffin, Tomkins, Bentley, Baldock, Carew

Hosts have the best squad in the Championship, but the level of expectation is so great at Upton Park, that they are probably happier and we have seen the best of them, on the road so far this season. A 4-3 win at home to Portsmouth a fortnight ago, would have done little to steady any home nerves as they were outplayed by Pompey for very long periods and we saw their potential shortcomings at Hull City last week. West Ham are 4-3-0 in the first half, Post have lost four opening 45 minute periods, but have claimed four points from losing positions. Hammers games have averaged 1.86 goals in the second half and this is a match where one goal is unlikely to prove decisive. Posh have had a Championship high 119 attempts on goal, with a huge 67.3% of these on target, easily another division best. If they continue at that level, they are clearly going to win more than they lose and this match might not be so cut and dried as it looks on paper.... let's see.

Good Luck.


In my notes today I have looked at four matches, putting two black (suggestion) and two red (official selection) type selections. I have put one of the lesser picks below and will also post something a little later in the day, so please check back.

Drop zone clash between West Bromwich Albion and Fulham. Bit of a surprise that Roy Hodgson's men are struggling, as they have looked pretty good at times,notably against Chelsea and Manchester United, but last weeks 3-0 defeat at Swansea City was a low point of the campaign and with an always difficult trip to Sunderland up next, followed by two Midlands deby games, this is about as easy as it is going to get for quite some time and defeat will see the pressure heaped on Roy and his troops. He will know most of the visitors well from his time in charge at Craven Cottage and made clear his priority by resting nine players for the Carling Cup game at Everton on Wednesday. Fulham also made wholesale changes for their cup derby game with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but have had a much tougher sequence of games, with this, their fouth start in ten days, all three previous outings ending in draws and Martin Jol's team were chasing the ball for much of the time in each, they fly out to Denmark on Tuesday and face another West London derby next weekend ( their first league game with QPR in years), they are in the middle of a truly horrendous schedule of games. This is a series where the home home side normally prevails, with no away win either here or in London between the two clubs in eleven meetings and I expect that to continue. WBA -0.25 ball 2.01 + asian line.

Good Luck.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I woke up this morning to see 6-7 overnight requests for "a copy of my thursday notes". I appreciate the interest, but the offer was posted Wednesday night and the daily notes related to sports events taking place or starting on Thursday, so are now out of date ( they were valid for 21 hours).

I write my notes every single day of the year and these were amongst the very best I have ever written. Anyone that took 30 seconds out of their day to request a free copy and followed the selections... a) backed a 8.0 selection on the football that led for over 70 minutes b) is already showing a profit on the two selections decided and c) is in line for two big ( one MASSIVE) payouts on a event that started yesterday, both of which could already be traded out for fantastic returns.


Good Luck.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I am currently writing my Thursday notes, which will be available mid morning tomorrow.

They are more of a speculative nature and include a couple of huge priced selections, but I am really rather keen on them and whilst I do not want to post them here, on an open forum, for a variety of reasons, I will post a copy to any reader of the blog that has not already received a "freebie" email this week. Just send an email to with the message title "Thursday" and I will include you on the list for tomorrow.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Very interesting midweek, with a full programme of top flight action from Spain , Italy and France, along with Carling Cup games in England. I have put up three selections today, none of which I will be posting on here, but I have included my basic notes and some "suggestions" about a couple of other matches ......

I couldn't find anything in La Liga, but the Osasuna- Sevilla game is of some interest, we talked last week about how strong the hosts are on home soil, yet goodness knows what frame of mind they will be in, after conceding eight at Barcelona on Saturday evening. It was hard to keep count after a while, but Barce had 18 attempts on goal, only four of which were not on target and three of those hit the woodwork ! Osasuna only had 18% possession and must have been mentally drained afterwards, I am surprised they got onto the correct airplane back to Pamplona ! However, they are a different team on home ground and Sevilla have won only once in ten visits to the El Sadar stadium.

In Serie A, newcomers Novaro entertain Internazionale in a match between two teams both desperately searching a first win of the season. Hosts have gone two down in both starts to date, snatching an unlikely point at Chievo on Matchday 1, the equaliser coming very late and once the home team were reduced to ten men. No such luck in a slow tempo game at Cagliari over the weekend, although they did manage to claw one goal back. Inter threw away three points at Palermo in their opener, after leading twice, having 60% possession and creating 18 attempts on goal. They created the same number at home to Roma on Saturday and had to be content with a share of the spoils. New Coach Gian Piero Gasperini , who has only been in the job five minutes, has already come under fire, from supporters and president Massimo Moratti , who have both said he is playing the wrong formation. One point in the league, to go along with a dire 1-0 home loss in the Champions League to Trabsonspor, means that it is already a crisis situation at the San Siro. I am sure that Gasperini is happy to be away from Milan, but now really needs his star names to perform, Inter go to Bologna on Saturday, ahead of a Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, a fixture they simply dare not lose.

I Nerazzurri need the three points tonight to relieve the pressure on the whole club and to avert another four days under the intense scrutiny they are going through currently,
would be a nightmare scenario. A win might allow them to rest a few key players at the weekend for Moscow and will certainly lift the mood at the club, where in
every interview, players feel that they have to offer words of encouragement to the management. Massive gulf in class between the two squads and really this game is huge for Inter and especially Gasperini. Inter -0.75 ball 1.96 asian line.

In France, just one Ligue 1 game today, with Bordeaux hosting Lille. This game does have the look of a draw, the visitors have not won here in seven visits, but five of them have been all square after 90 minutes. They are without a cleansheet in nine outings and have conceded two or more goals in three of their last four starts, that is a worrying statistic for the French champions who had only conceded three goals at this stage last year. Bordeaux are yet to register a home win and are turning into draw specialists, with 14 in their last 30 league starts, no bet or selection for me, but hosts are happy for what they can get nowadays againstthe bigger clubs and Lille, with a win-able home game at the weekend and trip to Turkey next midweek, will just be happy to get something from this and move on. Draw .

Good Luck.

Monday, September 19, 2011


All four match bets on the blog yesterday won, Juventus 1-0, YE Yang edged home by a single stroke, Martin Laird won by three shots and Geoff Ogilvy who was my best golf bet of the day, by a whopping nine strokes !

Ogilvy finished third just one stroke off second place, which would have completed a clean sweep on the blog for Sunday.

The top 30 players in the FedEx standings now move onto the Tour Championship, where they are playing for massive prize money and bonus payments. Enough to get even these multi-millionaires very excited and motivated. Last man in was Bo Van Pelt in 30th place, "bubble boy" was our very own Martin Laird, who after a very poor start to his round, threw the kitchen sink at Cog Hill GC over the closing holes ( three under for last five), but came up a heartbreaking one stroke shy.

The Top 5 on the standings, Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar are all guaranteed the outrageous $10m bonus ( in addition to first place money), should either of them win at East Lake. That group includes four of the top five on the US Money List and comprise 20% of the field, so a very good chance that one will be banking an eight digit cheque this time next week, nice work if you can get it !

Good Luck.


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Brentford were outplayed by a much better team yesterday, which pains me to write, I have gone into greater detail on my daily notes, but do not want to publish them on here. A slightly less tangoed than normal Phil Brown was showing how to make friends and influence people with plenty of fist pumping at the home crowd and "hysterical" laughter of incredulity at every decision ( not many) that went against his impressive team, all we needed to complete his performance was a song ! But that is probably just me being a sore loser, which I am not, you become accustomed to defeat as a Bees supporter !

In Serie A I have to stick with Juventus who did us a favour last weekend ( see below), for the trip to Siena. Visiting coach Antonio Conte was in charge at Siena last season and knows the players better than anyone, strengths and weaknesses. His team adapted well to his fluid 4-2-4/ 4-4-2 formation last week and saw off a poor Parma side 4-1 and could have added a couple to that tally. This is a happy hunting ground for Juve who have only ever lost here once and have won on six of their last seven visits, keeping cleansheets in four from five. Siena will be pleased with an opening 0-0 draw at Catania when they put in a very disciplined performance, but they will be have to be more expansive today and Juve can exploit that space. Juventus -0.5 ball 1.98 +

In the BMW Golf, Luke Donald shot one of only eight sub 70 rounds and closed to within two shots of Web Simpson.It would be fantastic for our Money List bet if he could edge in front today. Jim Furyk had another solid round and is in a share of 7th place, he is a projected 27th in the FedEx standings so has HUGE incentive to stay inside the top ten and land our double stake bet ( which we need !). There are three interesting two balls today, Robert Allenby- YE Yang, Martin Laird- Mark Wilson and Geoff Ogilvy- Bill Haas, so, in that order.... Yang is in 30th place in the standings, good enough to see him the last man into the Tour Championship, he needs a solid showing and it is worthwhile noting that he has improved his placing both times in the final round when starting inside the top five this season, which shows that he handles pressure extremely well. He beat Allenby by five strokes yesterday and with the Australian down in 58th place, he needs to force his way into the top 3-4 and with six strokes and 15+ players between him and that spot, it seems unlikely in the extreme. If he gambles and goes for it, or simply loses interest, he is unlikely to match the focus of Yang and the Korean looks solid to win the two ball at circa 1.95 Pinnacle. Laird has improved each day and was also one of the eight to shoot in the 60's yesterday, Wilson had a terrible day, shooting a 77, nine strokes worst than the Scottish player, he looks comfortable in 15th, but will be fearful of another horror show, he will also be nervous as he almost got a two stroke penalty which would have meant a 79. It is fair to assume he will operate a safety first approach and look to steady his ship, Laird in 29th will be looking for another 70 or better score and at 1.935 to win his two ball, he also looks a very solid bet with Pinnacle. Geoff Ogilvy is a major winner and a much better golfer than Haas IMO, he would be my value pick to win the tournament at circa 13.5 ( Betfair), although five strokes behind Justin Rose, maybe a better option would be 5.0 + in the market "without" the four shot leader. Haas is well inside the "cut" mark for next week, but having been "bubble boy" last year ( 31st) he could be excused for also being a little cautious, especially if things do not go his way early in the round and the opening holes are proving very difficult. Ogilvy is 26th on the projected Fed Ex standings and has played the closing five holes in a very fine -7 this week, in the last four times he has really been in contention on Sunday he has shot 67-67-66-66 and he seems bound to go well today, Pinnacle look to have made a big error in pricing him at 2.06 to win this two ball.

These three golf matches are all official two balls, which means that every betting company will price them, many with the tie included and several with the tie no bet option like Pinnacle.

I am going to send a follow up email today at 14.30 UK time with a look at tonight's late action ( nothing starting before 18.00).

Good Luck.

In Serie A big spending Juventus entertain Parma, in the first league match in their brand new stadium. Hosts will be very motivated to open with a win and look determined to compete for a Champions League spot this season. New coach and favourite son Antonio Conte has been given pretty much an open cheque book and some 85m euros was spent over the summer. Key signings were... Dutch midfielder Eljero Elia from Hamburger for a fee of €9m, Montenegrin forward Mirko Vucinic from Roma for a fee of €15m, Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of €10.5m, Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Lazio for a fee of €10m, Forward Alessandro Matri (permanent signing) from Cagliari for a fee of €15.5m; Forward Fabio Quagliarella (permanent signing) from Napoli for a fee of €10.5m, Defender Marco Motta (permanent signing) from Udinese for a fee of €3.8m, Midfielder Simone Pepe (permanent signing) from Udinese for a fee of €7.5m and Midfielder Andrea Pirlo on a free transfer from Milan.
A couple of those were already with the club, but the deals now made permanent, but you get some idea of the level of investment. Expectation is high and they now have enough depth in the squad to compete with the big three ( maybe four) and with no european involvement, I expect excuses not to be challenging with not be entertained. Milos Krasic and Mirko Vucinic have both had knocks, but trained yesterday and are included in the squad ... Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Pazienza, Pepe, Marchisio, Del Piero, De Ceglie, Vucinic, Barzagli, Elia, Bonucci, Toni, Pirlo, Vidal, Giaccherini, Lichtsteiner, Krasic, Storari, Matri, Sorensen.
Juve have to stop the goals conceded especially at home, where they allowed 31 ( !) last season, almost double the number they conceded on the road and a total only beaten by relegated teams. Vidal especially should give some protection to the back line and moving to the new stadium will enable them to start from scratch ( with a clean sheet ?).
Parma are operating on a shoestring budget by comparison and have a large number of Juve old boys in their ranks. The team is still relying the goals of 36 yo Hernan Crespo and he, along with playmaker Sebastian Giovinco are the star names in a team, which gives you some idea of the difference in quality and they look set for another season of struggle.Juve are drifting in asia , but are now getting very attractive 1.5 units Juventus -0.75 1.94 asian line.

Contact : stencelwade

Saturday, September 17, 2011



Racing Club Lens won comfortably enough last night, they raced into a lead inside 25 minutes, which effectively killed the game off and "the best team in Ligue 2", look firmly back on track.

In the BMW Championship, Jim Furyk remains in contention and with a projected "bubble" place of 31st in the FedEx standings, there will surely be no let up in focus from him over the weekend and I expect him to move closer to the leaders today. Luke Donald moved 29 places up the leaderboard with one of the better scores of the day, after one of the worst on Thursday, he trails Webb Simpson by a big looking eight strokes, but will be focused on reducing that as much as possible by tomorrow evening and giving himself a good chance of clinching the Money List next week.

With regard to today, I am interested in ( Joaquin Phoenix doppelganger) Zach Johnson who shot a low round of the day 66 here on saturday last year. Johnson is a projected 34th so needs to move up at least four places over the weekend ( to play next week) and he is a proven Round 3 player, one of the best on tour, ranked 9th this season and first in 2009. He had one terrible hole yesterday, an eight ( !) at the par 5 15th, a hole he birdied on Thursday, that four shot swing was the difference between a share of 15th where he is now, or sole possession of 5th. I was impressed that he fought back and found a birdie before the end of his round which would have seen him leave the course in better spirits and he is mentally very tough. What I am really happy with is that he is putting well, ranked 3rd over the first two days, the rest of his game ( distance aside) is almost always in good shape and he could go very well over the weekend. There is some small money available 3.75/ 3.80 on the exchanges for him to finish top ten, far too little liquidity for me to put him up as a bet, but I like the quote if you find something similar.

Johnson is partnered with Chez Reavie and Jason Dufner ( we are still playing three balls) today. Reavie is secure for next week, being already ranked 9th, but will want to finish as high as possible, but he is not the best Round 3 player out there ( Ranked 130th this year) averaging exactly two strokes per round, which is huge, more than ZJ, he is an inferior player IMO and will surely not be as hungry as "our man". Dufner is ranked 110th this year and a very poor 157th in 2010 for Round 3 scoring and whilst he will be as motivated as Johnson today, coming into the round in a projected 29th place, there is also huge pressure on him, which he doesn't handle too well at the business end of events and he probably feels like a cowboy with the whole Apache nation chasing him across the wide open spaces of the Cog Hill GC. Three balls are not my favourite betting medium, but I like Johnson at a general 2.375 to win this one.

Football all the way now....

I will start with the Brentford- Preston North End game. The Bees conceded a late, late equaliser on Tuesday, but as already discussed, they played very well, much better than in the 5-0 defeat of Leyton Orient and one long term supporter I spoke to afterwards, described it as the best football he has seen them play in a decade.Here are some of the quotes taken from a supporters website ....

"Last night’s game was a real joy and if this is the fare we are to be offered this season then it will be a real joy to come to GP. In Donaldson we have the player we have all been crying out for, strong, physical, fast and skilful. Last night’s performance would have to go a long way to be bettered it was the epitome of what a centre forward is all about. Most definitely my Man of the match. The rest of the team all played well and it would be difficult to criticise anyone. Adams had an excellent debut and I can imagine with him as one attacking defender and Logan the other a number of teams will get the fright of their lives. "

"How the score at half time remained goalless mystified everyone, the conversations around the ground all were of the same opinion, this is what football should be about and as similar to last season as a Lada to a Rolls Royce. "

"If we play like that every game, we will be in the top 6, without a doubt, we were a joy to watch. Just need to find that goal to kill off the game, but that will come. "

Most of the time these supporters are ultra critical, so you will have some idea of how well Brentford played. However, a word of warning, I am trying to give you an idea of their potential, they are not the finished product yet, but are getting there and are they are only going to get stronger. They had eight players missing on Tuesday, maybe four would definitely have started and the club desperately needed another striker. This was addressed with the loan signing of David Clarkson from Bristol City and I am assuming he will start alongside Donaldinho ( Clayton Donaldson ) today. When everyone is fit, the squad is going to look awesome by League 1 standards and Uwe Rosler will have his work cut out trying to keep everyone happy.

Preston are unbeaten since the first day of the season and have won their last five starts , they are amongst the title favourites, so this will be a huge test for both clubs . They rotated their squad in midweek, yet won 2-0 at highflying Charlton Athletic, they kept key player Neil Mellor on the bench for that one, so he is bound to be fresh and raring to go today. Bees will be keeping close tabs on him, in matches where he has started Mellor has had an incredible 32% of all Preston's attempts on goal this season and if the home side can keep him quiet, they will stifle a lot of the attacking threat. No "official bet" from me, but Brentford with the draw no bet ( level ball) option at circa 1.83 is the only way I could lean. One day soon all these chances are going to drop for the Bees and the quality of opposition will matter little. Visiting fans will probably not be too happy to see Andy D'Urso in charge, they have lost the last four matches ihe has been in the middle, without scoring a single goal..... same again please !

Now, finally, for some ( red type) bets ....... In the Championship I have to take........... XXXXXX
Good Luck.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I have previewed five matches today, putting up two strong bets, I cannot post either of those on here, but the other three are below. Huge, huge week in prospect for me and I am contemplating two maximum stake selections, one at 3.75 and another at 11.0. Champions League, Europa League, two rounds of lower league football this week, golf, NFL etc ......... it doesn't get any better than this !

I watched quite a bit of Colchester United's last two starts against Scunthorpe United and Leyton Orient, they collected a point from each, but should have lost both. Scunny played them off the park and even reduced to ten men were the better team, Orient fell behind and were a bit low on confidence being without a win in the league, but dominated the second half and found a late equaliser after hitting the woodwork three times.This is a big game for Brentford, they face a potential title challenger at Griffin Park on saturday and three points tonight will enable them to go into that game in a far more relaxed frame of mind. The Bees are going to change things around tonight and go with a far more adventurous line up. It will definitely be two up front and probably Harry Forrester too, playing in a slightly withdrawn role, which is his preferred position. Blair Adams and Michael Llera should both make their starting debuts, Adams is a very offensive left sided defender who will add to the attacking options, the Bees have chased him for two months and he is seen as the "missing link", the loan is initially for three months. Time for a commanding performance from the Bees, United usually come to GP and look to shut up shop, but seem more expansive under John Ward this year. A game the Bees really ought to win. Brentford -0.5 ball 2.08 asian line.

Going back to Leyton Orient, they finally look to have turned the corner after a terrible start to the season, they lost confidence after a 5-0 thumping at Brentford, but were really not that bad that day and could have gone in at the break ahead ! They did some quite good business in the summer, bringing in experienced players who should have improved them overall, but for whatever reason they have not gelled as a team until recently. Tonight they host Bournemouth who are in freefall, sooner or later selling so many players was going to catch up with them and it has..... big time, losing five league games in a row, conceding 13 goals in total, at least two in each. Last straw for home fans was the 3-0 loss to Chesterfield, previously without a win and they protested afterwards, which ended up with an on pitch slagging match between chairman and supporters. O's have played well in road draws with Chesterfield ( good form line) and Colchester ( where they deserved the win) and finally got a few goals in a 3-2 Carling Cup defeat of Bristol Rovers before that. Last week they added Tottenham Hotspur keeper Ben Alnwick ( one month),Huddersfield Town midfielder Tom Clarke on loan and striker Kevin Lisbie on a short-term deal. All three started at Colchester and the improvement in performance was immediate, dominating very long periods. I take them to get a much needed three points and for the visitors to replace Orient at the foot of the table. Leyton Orient -0.5 2.14 asian line.

With Milan and Barcelona in their group, it is very difficult to see Viktoria Plzen or BATE Borisov sitting back tonight and three points will be seen as essential if either harbour any thoughts of making the knockout stage of the competition. Hosts do have goals in them, that we know and scored 18 in qualification, including nine against FCK and Rosenborg, two teams with a lot of Champions League experience. All of their home games went "over" and they conceded in each, the first goal in the last two, before recording come from behind wins. BATE made the group stage three years ago and that was a real group of death with Juve, Real Madrid and Zenit their opponents, they will be pleased that they are joined in the role of whipping boys by Plzen and with both having achieved their aim ( dream in Plzen's case) of reaching this stage, they should be able to play without too much pressure and look for the win tonight. I do not think the hosts can keep any experienced european team out for 90 minutes, so we should see goals. "over" 2.25 goals 1.97 asian line.

Good Luck.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

SATURDAY NOTES ...... written 20.06 Friday


As regular readers know I am not a big fan of Wycombe Wanderers, they were a little fortunate to have got promotion ahead of Shrewsbury Town last season IMO and do not appear to have got over their defensive woes this campaign. I saw them three times last season and they left some huge gaps at the back on home soil, really struggling to defend against any side with a little pace out wide and able to pass the ball in the final third. I heard that they were poor against Bury who were running them ragged around the penalty area at Adams Park recently and it was the same story against Nottingham Forest when we backed the visitors in the Carling Cup a couple of weeks back. It is not like they are creating too much at the other end of the pitch, with Wanderers having the fewest attempts on goal in League 1, actually they have managed 13 fewer than the next lowest, ten less if we only count those on target and are averaging almost five per game fewer than today's opponents, the mighty Brentford FC .

The Bees have done some very useful loan business this week with the addition of Miguel Llera a central defender from Blackpool and Blair Adams an England U20 international left back from Sunderland whom Brentford have been chasing for months, but he picked up a knock and the Bees had to wait. The pair are very mobile , good technically and look fantastic additions to an already strong squad. We saw the benefits of that last week when they went to Walsall ( 7-3-3 at home in the previous eight months) missing six starters and came away with all three points. Now they have terrific options in almost every position ( maybe a little short up front just now, but that will be addressed this coming week I understand, with a back up striker coming in) and I expect them to beat this average Wycombe team. Bees fans always make this short trip in large numbers and should make up around 30% of the crowd and 90% of the noise. Hopefully Uwe Rosler and team have done their homework, I know they watched them in the JPT Trophy in midweek, but quite a few players were rested, but a look at the Bury and Forest videos and they have been going over them at Griffin Park, should tell them all they need to know. The Bees match up well here and off level ball they have to be my pick. 1.5 units Brentford 1.86 level ball asian line.

I must hold my hands up and admit I thought that Keith Hill would have got more out of Barnsley, the early signs were good and pre season went well, but they have yet to find that form in the regular season, especially up front and they have failed to score in five of their seven starts, posting just one win, which came at Reading where the home side missed two penalties in the first half and keeper Luke Steele was in amazing form, making at least five world class saves. They are without five players today, at least three of whom would have started and Hill once again has limited options. His Leicester City counterpart Sven GE has no such problems and has been signing up all and sundry, making full use of the cheque book of Vichai Raksriaksorn . He added £4m Jermaine Beckford to his striking options during the transfer window and apparently also put in a circa £7m bid for Jelavic from Glasgow Rangers. Having scored nine in their last three starts anyway, including three against promotion rivals Southampton, they will fancy their chances at Oakwell, where the Tykes have already conceded three to the Saints and are yet to claim a point. City have a very tough sequence of games ahead, with their next five matches coming against Brighton, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, Derby and Birmingham, all high flying and / or amongst the promotion favourites, so will be going hell for leather for maximum points today. City did the double over Barnsley last year scoring six in the process and look a little happier on the road at present, away from the pressure of the King Power Stadium, where the level of expectation is huge. David Nugent is sidelined, so Beckford will come straight in and look to get back to his free scoring ways. Big difference in class, hard to see any Barnsley player getting into the City team and the visitors should take the points here. Leicester City -0.5 ball 2.0 + ... there is some 2.05 in places.

I like the way that Wolverhampton Wanderers have approached the season so far and hope that Mick McCarthy will continue with the attacking policy and look to take the game to teams, especially at Molineux. Today they host Tottenham Hotspur who will be going all out for the win after having plenty of chances early, but ultimately losing easily to both Manchester clubs in their only two starts to date. Spurs will have new boys Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor in the starting line up, but be without Rafael van der Vaart. Spurs suffered in the Manchester City game without a holding midfielder, Nasri and Silva coming in from out wide caused them huge problems, Wolves keep a lot of width, so that should not be a concern today, but Spurs have Parker now in any case. Goals are on the cards here, last year saw six shared in this fixture and ten in total across the two games, both look much stronger going forward at present.... "over" 2.75 goals 2.33 asian line.

I am not going to really discuss the ........... going to leave the rest of the notes for regulars,there were two further selections, including a MAXIMUM double stake bet for this afternoon.


Good Luck.

Friday, September 09, 2011


In the Irish Premier League leaders Shamrock Rovers entertain Sligo who still hold title hopes of their own. Rovers are the best team in Ireland, I have little doubt of that and they believe it too, any doubts were wiped out in the last fortnight with a famous win at Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League and a 6-0 cup win over UCD when they were without nine players ! That has given them an horrendous fixture schedule, but they are not complaining and strengthened the squad in the transfer window adding Rohan Ricketts who has EPL experience and Jim Paterson with over 300 SPL and Championship games under his belt, massive additions to an already strong squad, with a couple of players being closely watched by EPL scouts. Rovers play another key league fixture at St Patrick's on Monday, at home to Rubin Kazan on Thursday and an Irish Cup quarter final next weekend !

They could open up a five point lead at the top tonight and effectively kill off a major rival in the process, the bonus is that will give them some breathing space with the schedule and I think they will be going all guns blazing for the points.They are without 3-4 players tonight and key player Billy Dennehy also looks doubtful, but they have plenty of options and hungry alternatives looking to get in and maybe hold on to a place for the huge games with Rubin and Tottenham this month. Rovers are unbeaten in 13 home starts in this series and are 10-3-2 against Sligo under coach Michael O'Neill, who has the extra incentive of this being his 100th match in charge tonight. Home win. Shamrock Rovers -0.5 ball 2.00 + asian line.

In New York no bet for me, but I do expect Andy Murray to see off John Isner in double quick time. The giant american has yet to take a set off Murray in two meetings and in their Australian Open meeting last year, never looked like breaking the British player's serve. This is Isner's first grand slam quarter final and he is bound to be nervous, Murray will get him running and try to take the pace off the ball, Isner knows that ( see the question from yesterday's post match interview below), but dealing with it is quite another matter. The american really rode his luck at times in his four set defeat of Gilles Simon, with the frenchman breaking serve five times and Isner winning three tie breaks, if Isner gives Murray half as many chances, this will be over very quickly.

Q. Could you elaborate on that as far as the difference in your style and Andy's and the challenge of playing him?

JOHN ISNER: Yeah, you know, I played Andy -- I played him in the Australia Open in 2010, and, you know, he beat me pretty easily, because he -- a lot of times, he -- you know, he did against me that time. He would kind of take the air out of the ball and hit a lot of short angles and got me moving. You know, he kinda just was going body blow after body blow against me out there, because he was just not really hitting the ball that hard but and definitely moving me around. I'm going to have to change a couple things up. You know, he's one of the best returners in the game, so I'm going to have to serve my best. When I do get my chances on the return, I will have to take 'em.

Good Luck.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Bit late with my notes today, but the email has just been sent, please check your inbox immediately, selections at 2.02, 2.36 and 2.20.

With regard to the blog, the "over" bet was landed yesterday, but Scunthope United had to settle for a draw, they played for 50 minutes with ten men despite which they dominated, with 20 attempts on goal and have to be rated a very unlucky half stake "loser".

Brentford won 1-0 at Walsall, they have yet to hit their stride this season and have only really played to their potential on one occasion. As they are in fourth , just four points off the top, that is very encouraging for those on at 34.0 to win and 9.0 ( now 4.5) for promotion. The coach has also made a couple of errors IMO, but this is a learning process for him and hopefully, he along with the squad, is going to get stronger the longer the season goes. To win at Walsall with 6-7 players missing augurs well.

Good Luck.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


Starting in League 1 , Scunthorpe United did us a favour in midweek with a relatively easy 2-0 defeat of Hartlepool United ( see below) , I think they will have taken a lot of confidence out of that, their first league win of the campaign and now that they have finally kept a cleansheet, I expect them to push on and they are a team I want to keep on the right side of for a couple of weeks. Their forward play has been really good, they are a ball playing side as you would expect from an Alan Knill coached team and they have enjoyed a lot of possession and been creating plenty of goal scoring chances, 44 on target, 39 off target and hitting the woodwork four times, all of which are division high totals.

They are averaging 7.2 attempts per start more than Colchester United which is huge, the visitors form has been very up and down, but one consistent has been their failure to keep a cleansheet, conceding in all seven starts, at an average of 2.14 per game. Hosts were the busier ahead of deadline day signing French midfielder Damien Mozika from Bury ( Knill's fomer club) and taking young Everton reserve defender Shane Duffy on a one-month loan. Duffy is very promising and should do well, United spent a six figure fee for Mozika ( who is very easy to spot on the field... see photo) who attracted interest from several clubs. 1.5 units Scunthorpe United -0.25 ball 1.88 + asian line

In League 2 .... I wrote prior to their match with Crystal Palace ( see below) about the lack of attempts on target that Crawley Town had managed and that they could not keep on scoring at the rate they had and they lost that tie and two subsequent games, scoring just once in the process and that came from the penalty spot. However, now it has swung the other way IMO, they are creating plenty but just not hitting the target and that can also only continue so long, they meet another attack minded team today in Bristol Rovers and one against whom you will get chances and this match should produce goals. Only Dagenham & Redbridge have created more than these two and both are prepared to shoot it out if necessary. Rovers are very offensive minded and have defended shambolically at times this season, they conceded three to Leyton Orient in midweek and the O's had only managed that number in six previous outings this season. I will be amazed if both do not score today and this goal line could easily be covered before the half time break ( that is available at 7.0 with William Hill if you are of an adventurous nature), but I will stick with the traditional quote "Over" 2.5 goals 1.92 + asian line.

Good Luck.

written August 30th......
We discussed Scunthorpe United last week, they are a team slowly getting their act together and there has been plenty to like about their last three starts, not least the 3-2 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on saturday, which came just 40 hours after a Thursday cup tie against an EPL side. To their great credit they kept plugging away despite going two down early and almost earned a draw, they were camped in the Wednesday half for most of the second period , were denied a penalty ( originally given by the referee) and finished the stronger, which is a testament to their high fitness levels, a throwback to when Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was in charge. They have created more goalscoring chances than anyother Division 1 side and really need a win now to kick start their season and I fancy they will be up for this tonight, Pool have a smallish squad and are without five options this evening. 1.5 units Scunthorpe United -0.25 ball 1.87 +

written August 23rd ....
I will not put this up as an "official bet", as I would like to see some confirmed line ups, but Crystal Palace who are very strong at Selhurst Part look very big to beat big spending Crawley Town. Hosts are 11-5-2 here in the last ten months conceding just 14 goals, considering they looked booked for relegation for much of last season, that was tremendous consistency. They have three wins from four starts this season and led in the single loss, already matching their road tally of wins ( one) for the whole of last season. They have a good mixture of experience and "hungry young players" who are "very exciting going forward" in the words of boss Dougie Freedman, they have a big home game with Blackpool at the weekend, but I would be happy to take some of this 2.29 if I knew they were naming a strong starting eleven, I think oddsmakers have gone too overboard about the visitors and that there will be value in opposing them in the coming weeks if we pick our spots . Some of these stats can be a little misleading, especially early season, but the ten Crawley league goals have come from only 16 attempts on target and that is a ratio which is completely unsustainable.