A really big day in prospect, two emails again, in this I will look at tonight's Euro 2012 match between Italy and England and also give my early thoughts on Wimbledon, where I have a big odds selection that I really like and a strong bet from the overnight South American fixtures. The follow up email should be with you by 12.00 UK time and that will include a look at Round 4 of the Travelers Championship and probably one more late night football game, where I am just waiting for some confirmed team news.
EURO 2012: ITALY - ENGLAND
WIMBLEDON : LADIES SINGLES OUTRIGHT
I am going to ease myself into the Championships and just start with one outright bet.
The draw was made Friday and has set up a really interesting Ladies Singles. French Open champion Maria Sharapova has plenty of potential banana skins in her section, she will probably need to beat Pironkova and Lisicki just to make the quarter final and in the other half of "section 1, are Kerber, Makarova, Clijsters, Jankovic and Zvonareva. Masha was very focused on getting that Roland Garros win on her CV, the only "missing" grand slam and I doubt she is as well prepared for grass as in previous years, anyway, given that and the draw, she is WAAY too short in the betting for my liking.
Section 2 contains a lot of evenly matched players and about as dangerous a floater as you could have in five time champion Venus Williams, I did have a feeling that we might see a big run from Agnieszka Radwanska this year, she is a two time quarter finalist and was also a Junior Champion at Wimbledon and enters these championships with her highest ever world ranking of #3. She is a working man's price of 65.0-70.0 on the exchanges and could go deep but will have to hit the ground running with Venus a potential Round 2 opponent and Hantuchova and newly crowned Unicef Open champion Nadia Petrova also in waiting.
Serena Williams will probably be happy with her place at the top of Section 3 and she could play herself into form, she has a potential semi final with last year's winner Petra Kvitova and although both Williams sisters are a complete law unto themselves and I would never entirely write either of them off, they are staring to look their age ( sorry girls!) in tennis terms, Venus will be 33 next month, Serena 31 shortly after and even if that were not the case, the focus this year for both, appears to be the Olympics, which is all either has really spoken off all season, anyway, like Masha, she is too short for my taste. Kvitova is a fair price IMO at circa 7.0 and if she finds anything close to the level she played at last year, she will go close, but the pressure of being defending champion will be huge and only the Williams sisters have managed to repeat since 1996. Of course, with nine titles between them, they have not given anyone else much of a chance !
The bottom section contains another very dangerous floater in Eastbourne champion Tamira Paszek, she is still only 21, made the Junior final here as a 15yo and the quarters last year, also in the upper half of this section is Marion Bartoli and this pair can give anyone huge problems on this surface. However, ........
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BRAZIL SERIE A:
I was very pleased with my notes yesterday, aside from the France defeat of course ! The J-League team news was very useful and I will definitely be giving more of this in the coming weeks and we had a cleansweep on the MLS games, not only that, but San Jose scored those two goals and LA Galaxy the three. But I was especially pleased with the Philadelphia Union preview, having been strongly against them last week, it would have been easy to simply write them off this week.
I am passing on the two remaining MLS fixtures this weekend and ...... NOTES RESTRICTED
TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP: LEADERBOARD
-12 DAVIS 9th in 2011 with a final round of 66
-10 ROLLINS 2nd in 2011 fr 63
-10 DRISCOLL 5th 2011 fr 67
-9 HARRINGTON 5th 2010 fr 64
-9 JACOBSON won in 2011 fr 66
-8 four golfers including Bubba Watson won in 2010 fr 66 and 14th in 2010 with a fr 63
-7 four golfers including Webb Simpson 13th 2011 fr 69
19 golfers within five strokes of the lead and the tournament is still wide open.
I do not think I have seen a tournament where so many golfers with good and recent previous form on the course, are in contention on Sunday. I have put those outings alongside each golfer in blue type.
Davis, Thatcher and Driscoll have still to claim that all important first PGA Tour win and nine second place finishes between them, indicates a clear inability to get the job done, until they force their way across the finishing line, I would be loathe to put them up as potential winners.
Appleby is a prolific winner, but will not be improving at 41 yo and has not been in any kind of contention for almost two years, a 21st place finish is the best he has managed in 31 starts and whilst he could win, I prefer to look elsewhere.
Padraig Harrington has shown definite signs of running into form in recent weeks, not least when 4th in the US Open last week, but he has now played three weeks in a row, which is a lot of golf for him and last week was TOUGH! Also, he has played the last six holes in -1 this week, which is six strokes more than Kuchar and Clark and although he looks a winner in waiting, it might not be this week.
Watson ,Simpson and Kuchar are recent winners, but the first two named have a lot of golfers in front of them, Simpson won last week and whilst he holds his form well, the huge media attention as the latest major winner will surely have taken it's toll, Watson has played the last six holes in one over par, most of the leaders are circa -5 or better and it is hard to see him making up four strokes on eleven + golfers all of whom are playing the closing holes better this week.............
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