Saturday, December 01, 2012


I have previewed eight matches so far today, including a very strong (1.75 unit selection) for the evening fixtures and will also have a further three previews in the final lunchtime email of the day. I have included the morning J-League notes below as a sample of what the service offers, there was a small profit on the four games and there are also a pair of active picks for this afternoon, although the stronger news overall is vey much for the later games.


Final round of maches....

1Sanfreece Hiroshima3318786234+2861WLWX1710253216168533018

2Vegalta Sendai33151265737+2057LXXX179623417166642320

32Sagan Tosu33158104838+1053WWWW1711332612164572226

42Kashiwa Reysol33157115750+752WWXL176562830169252920

52Urawa Reds33141094542+352LWLO167632118177462424

62Nagoya Grampus 833157114645+152LWWX178362219167452426

71Yokohama F-Marinos33121474333+1050WLWX166732315176742018

81Kawasaki Frontale33147124948+149WWWX177282526167542422

92Shimizu S-Pulse33146133940-148LLLW166642321178091619

10FC Tokyo33136144142-145XLLW167182420176561722

112Kashima Antlers331110124843+543WXOL167363421174761422

121Jubilo Iwata33127145552+343LLLX1685329181742112634

131Omiya Ardija331110123845-743WWOW176561720165562125

142Cerezo Osaka33118144551-641LLXO166282426175662125

15Vissel Kobe33116164149-839LWLX165381920176382229
16Gamba Osaka33911136663+338XWXX174763635165473028
17Albirex Niigata33910142533-837WLWL162681120177461413
18Consadole Sapporo3342272484-6014LLLL17321213341610151150

Brief summary....


are the only matches with nothing at stake.

VISSEL KOBE- SANFREECE HIROSHIMA  .... visitors have already claimed the title and have doubtless spent most of the week celebrating, Vissel will be 100% safe from relegation with a win.
JUBILO IWATA- GAMBA OSAKA....... hosts are safe, Gamba would pass Vissel with a point if Kobe lose, but with Albirex hosting Consadole, that scenario could easily see both relegated, so really, only a win will give Osaka a chance.
CEREZO OSAKA- KAWASAKI FRONTALE...... Cerezo safe with a point, or if either of Vissel or Gamba fail to win, Frontale have nothing to play for.
ALBIREX NIIGATA- CONSADOLE SAPPORO ..... Hosts should win, that would give them 40 points, they would then need both Gamba and Vissel to drop points.
KASHIMA ANTLERS- KASHIWA REYSOL..... Home side have nothing to play for, Reysol could steal the Champions League spot if they win and Sagan do not.
URAWA REDS- NAGOYA GRAMPUS 8 .... Both have an outside chance to clinch third, they first need to win, a draw would end any hopes and then trust that both Sagan and Reysol drop points.
YOKOHAMA F-MARINOS - SAGAN TOSU.... Have a mathematical chance to clinch third, but need to win, for Urawa-Nagoya to draw and Reysol to drop points, not impossible, but unlikely given the scenario going into the games, Sagan will take third if they win regardless of results elsewhere.

The good news is that we know exactly what every team has to do, the bad, is that so do the oddsmakers !

Team news is far less important than normal, motivation is the over riding factor, but we have to bear in mind that it can come and go and results elsewhere can leave a team, who were pumped up at the start, not only with nothing to play for suddenly, but also deflated.

Gamba seem very skinny to me, as results elsewhere could mean they are fighting a lost cause, I could take a chance on bigger odds, but not at these quotes.

I like three teams to win, all seem overpriced, two substantially so and also have a fourth selection at rewarding odds, which is easy to see playing out to our advantage.

Urawa look a decent price to beat Nagoya, in a match that "shouldn't" be a draw, as that will take both out of the equation, of course, if news comes through that Sagan are two up , then motivation for one or other, or both, could lessen and the match fizzle out, but if that were to be the case, I always feel that the home side with the crowd behind them, are still the more likely to be pushing for the win. Also, Nagoya had possession of the remaining ACL spot last week, but not for the first time this season, showed a bit of mental frailty and came up short, losing at home. We have seen that before from them and they are not a team to completely trust. The same is true to some degree also about Urawa, but they have come a long way in the last 12 months, having missed out on relegation by just three points last season. A win today would secure their highest finish in five years and a hat trick of victories here over Nagoya. Home win for me . Urawa Reds -0.5 ball 2.21 asian line.

Vissel Kobe know that three points for Albirex are very likely and that would make a win essential, if they are to survive. They will have striker Ken Tokura (24-6-1) back from suspension and I am sure that it will all guns blazing for the points at some stage. Sanfreece Hiroshima are already champions and will be carrying a hangover into this game, even if the real one has passed, there will still have been interview after interview to deal with this week and media interest in their every move. It is very hard to see them being able to match the intesity of the hosts, who have previous experience of this situation needing a win on the final day in 2010, plus results elsewhere, to survive and won 4-0 on the road, the three goalscorers, Yoshida (2), Park and Ogawa, are all still at the club and two will probably play tomorrow, that will stand them in good stead.1.5 units Vissel Kobe -0.25 ball 2.06 asian line.

My last match is a "friendly" and I am taking FC Tokyo to end their season with a win. I made them a quarter ball favourite, so the level ball quote forces my hand. Velgata have blown the title, which was there for the taking and couldn't even take matters to the final day, when they knew that Hiroshima would be facing the tougher fixture ( against a team with something to play for) and I am not sure what sort of state psychologically they can be in. They are probably already mentally lying on a beach somewhere, I doubt that they need a meaningless road fixture, when they are going to finish second in J-League, win, lose or draw today. I think we can expect some rotation from them. Hosts recalled striker Kazuma Watanabe to the squad last week, he scored in the draw at Gamba, where they battled for 90 minutes against a motivated opponent and we can expect the same today and for Watanabe to look to follow up, he has developed a reputation as an early season player and needs to get that off his CV. They have not won in three and having lost their last home game, will want to send their supporters off with a positive mental memory for the winter. 1.5 units FC Tokyo level ball 1.95 asian line.
If I was the Sagan coach ( unfortunately for them, I am not !), I think I would be looking to keep things quiet early against Yokohama, with the knowledge that results elsewhere might end any hope Marinos have of third place, that is pretty much Sagan's modus operandi in any case, as they have scored 69% of their goals after the break. With the hosts conceding a very high 54% in the final third (after the 61st minute), there is a big chance of any winner for Sagan, coming late. All matches start at the same time tomorrow, if they come in at the break all square and there is a positive result for either team at Urawa and/or Reysol are leading. Hosts will have very little chance (none ?) of third and Sagan will need to win. I think the HT/FT market offers some value for the draw ht- sagan ft pick at circa 7.50 even up to 8.0 in a place and at 7.0 + pretty much across the board, we could "waste" 0.5 units on that, alternatively, if that is the scenario or pretty close to it at the break, you could look to get involved "in play".



I am rarely very complimentary about City, but whilst that are not very pleasing on the eye, it is impossible to dispute that they are extremely tough to beat. They might only have posted one road away win in 2012, but there have been plenty of draws and they have only lost three times this season. There was something to take from each of those defeats, at Chelsea, they held out for 86 minutes, at Manchester United they led and scored twice and at Norwich City, they were much the better team and lost to a hotly disputed goal. Albion have had a terrific season so far and have had a lot of media attention, but have actually lost one more game than City and looked a little like things were starting to catch up with them in their 3-1 defeat at Swansea City in midweek, where they were run ragged at times. They have kept just one clean sheet in ten starts, to a Southampton team who were really struggling at the time ,and have conceded two or more goals six times in that sequence and suddenly they look defensively fragile and as though they need three goals to win. City have a terrific record here, not losing since 2003 and winning on four of their last five visits. There is circa 3.40-3.75 for City to score twice which is a terrific price IMO and I am going to try and take a little of that, but officially, I will stick with  1.25 units Stoke City +0.25 ball 2.20 asian line.




We spoke about Bolton just after Dougie Freedman took charge....

The job that Dougie Freedman did at Crystal Palace was incredible, not just on the pitch, but off it too, where he instilled a lot of pride and discipline into the players and those traits can take both Wanderers and him, a long way.

The hosts were really buoyed by the win over highflying Cardiff City on Saturday, it did come at a cost, with goalscorer David Ngog being red carded and he will miss out tonight, but to come from behind against the league leaders on the new manager's home debut was a dream start and Fredman can take a lot of the credit, with his tactical changes turning the match on it's head.  These are exciting times for Bolton, Freedman is the real deal and they have the squad to make a big promotion push, they might only be up to 17th after the win, but they are just five points off a playoff spot and 5.50 for promotion might very quickly look like a big price, especially if they follow up tonight.

He managed to get his number two from Palace, the hugely experienced Lennie Lawrence to join him and described it as "one of the best signings Bolton will ever make" ,  Adding I'm the driver of this ship, I will drive it through commitment, effort, desire and honesty. Lennie Lawrence will steer it." Great comment !

I doubt that Freedman will make any changes from the starting eleven ( Ngog started on the bench against City), a quick look at that bench gives you some idea (apart from salary), about why DF moved North, alongside Ngog, he had another five players with EPL experience, including Arsenal and England U19 striker Benik Afobe, Jay Spearing who has played in the CL, Marvin Sordell England U21 striker and Martin Petrov and international with 300 top flight games in the EPL, Primera and Bundesliga.  In addition, the hugley talented Stuart Holden is set to resume full training soon, after missing 18 months and that would be like getting a top quality EPL midfielder in on a free transfer.

They drew 0-0 with highflying Leicester City that night and Wanderers are unbeaten ( 2-4-0) under their new management team and have played four top 7 teams in that sequence, they had a nice 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers in midweek and supporters are finally starting to see the benefirts of the Freedman rotation policy, which means he will always have someone fresh to bring into the line up. We spoke (see above) the options that he has here at Wanderers and he feels it would be foolish not to use them, a third game inside a week is always going to hand them an advantage and I feel that will be very much the case today. Town had a big win over Forest in midweek, but put everything into that, they have lost their last two on the road by a combined 11-0 and have not posted back to back wins since March. 1.5 units Bolton Wanderers -0.75 ball 1.97 asian line.
Good Luck.

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