FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25TH
Let me start by giving thanks for Thanksgiving Day ! The Green Bay Packers won 27-12, Miami Dolphins comfortably held onto their 7 point handicap advantage and actually led until the last second of the game ( losing 19-20) and the Ravens saw off the 49ers 16-6, it was also fantastic to wake up this morning and find that John Senden had shot a low round of the tournament 64 to move up seventy places and into a share of 4th place (top ten selection) at the Australian PGA.
I have four matches to discuss today, but am personally keeping stakes on the small side, tomorrow and Sunday for that matter look to offer fantastic betting opportunities and I am planning two maximum ( two point selections), so want to keep most of my ammunition for then.
Before we get into today's action, for any poker players amongst you and I know that there are quite a few, Poker Tube have put up footage of the kickboxing match between Lex Veldhuis and Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier LINK , which is actually better than these events usually are, although there was only going to be one winner.
Let's start in Serie A where AS Roma travel to the Stadio Friuli to take on Udinese.The hosts had the chance to go top of the table last weekend, but underperformed in a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Parma, that was their third defeat in six starts in all competitions, although they remain a perfect 5-0-0 here in the league. They have another chance to to lead Serie A tonight, if only for 24 hours, facing a Roma side who are breathing down their neck in the table, one place back, albeit four points adrift, in 5th spot, the visitors will be equally as motivated not to let that gap to the top four increase and are finally starting to perform under Luis Enrique. In their five starts since the rather unlucky derby loss to Lazio, they have won three and suffered two very unfortunate losses, where they pretty much dominated most of the play, I detailed those ahead of the 2-0 win at Novara ( see below). They are without Francesco Totti tonight, but deep down I suspect Enrique is not too disappointed about that, his side seen to play better without Mr Roma nowadays and it is very tough to leave him out, so no decision to make is a "bonus". Roma have a fine record in the stadium, winning on four from six visits in Serie A, with five of those also going "over", they have scored in each of their last ten visits, notching three of more on four occasions.
Hosts like to play 3-5-2 and whilst Antonio Di Natale, who looks to be heading for a third straight domestic golden boot award, claims most of the headlines, it is the wingback pairing of Isla and Armero who work tirelessly up and down the flanks who really make them tick, if Roma can stifle most of this threat and Enrique is starting to see the fruition of the work he has done defensively in recent starts, they can get at the very least a share of the spoils tonight. AS Roma + 0.25 ball 1.97 asian line.
We discussed Port Vale's offensive problems briefly on Tuesday ( again, see below), when they lost 1-0 to Grimsby Town, as indicated then, I expect that match was given low priority, but the previous three starts were not and it is now heading for 400 minutes since they last hit the back of the net and these runs have a habit of getting under team's skin and are very difficult to shake off. Home boss Micky Adams has been a very busy man since the game against the Mariners and has brought in three players on loan, the Steveage duo of Guy Madjo and Jennison Myrie-Williams, plus Shane O'Connor from Ipswich Town. I am sure that they will do a job for Vale, but they will not have had time to train with the other players, who not only got back from Grimsby ( it is a long cross country journey) in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but were then ordered by Adams to be at training at 09.00 for not a single, but double training session ! I understand he wants to get a point across, but with another match less than 72 hours later and this, their third start in just six days, that seems madness ! If Vale cannot score, Torquay United cannot stop ! They have won five in a row, scoring 15 goals, with three or more in four of those, they are unbeaten in three visits to Vale Park, winning two and scoring two or more in each. Mood inside their camp is sky high and boss Martin Ling has got them buzzing after a slow start to their season. Torquay United level ball 2.0 + asian line.
In Ligue 2 in France, Guingamp could hardly .......the rest of my notes are censored, my two strongest "red type" selections today are for email readers only , sorry .
Written November 5 :NOVARA- AS ROMA
Roma have slipped down to 13th place in Serie A on the back of two very unlucky defeats, first away to Genoa where they had 68% possession and won the attempts on goal count 17-9 and then at home to Milan (57% and 23-15) where visiting keeper Christian Abbiati was in inspired form and on another night, i Giallorossi would have scored five ! Despite their lowly position, they are only eight points behind leaders Juventus, but cannot afford to lose any further ground to them, or the rest of the chasing pack, therefore, the three points on offer this evening are absolutely essential. Roma coach Luis Enrique says his side are struggling to deal with set plays and have too little pace to trouble top defences, well, the first he should be able to deal with and the second shouldn't be too much of a problem here, as they are not facing one ! Novara are without a cleansheet in ten starts, or a win in six and look booked for a long season of struggle, in this, their first season in the top flight for 55 years. Roma simply have to win this, otherwise Enrique's excuses are going to fall on very deaf ears and with Lazio already in the top three, playing european football and having won the derby game, the maroon half of the Eternal City are not going to be happy. If they play half as well as they did against Genoa they should ease home. 1.5 units AS Roma -0.5 ball 2.05 +
Written November 22 :In the FA Cup replays, League 2 Port Vale travel to Conference side Grimsby Town really struggling for goals, they have not scored in 298 minutes and are missing four offensive players in Mark Richards ( top scorer), Ben Williamson, Lewis Haldane and Andrew Little. The visitors also have big doubts about key players Lee Collins and Doug Loft and coach Micky Adams has already indicated that he has one eye on FRIDAY'S league match against Torquay, that will be their third start in six days and is a more important fixture for the club who desperately crave promotion. Grimsby on a cold midweek night is not the easiest place to go and get a result and Vale will be in for a real battle and might not be up for that. Grimsby Town +0.25 ball 2.0 asian line.