Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday March 18th

As I told you yesterday, I sent subscribers two selections for Monday and they are reproduced below in full,
exactly as they were sent in the morning clubgowi newsletter .

I suggesting betting Roma to win the first half after the 13th-14th minute as long as they were not leading, it was 0-0 at that stage and they were trading at odds of 2.36.  They were 2-0 up inside 31 minutes and that was the score at the break.

In our second game, after a bit of self promotion, I got around to suggesting we take Athletic approaching the hour mark, again with the proviso that they were not ahead, they were trailing 1-0 and quoted at a terrific level ball 2.19 at that stage for the rest of the match, which they won 1-0 ( final score 1-1).

95% of our selections are pre match, but we also give a lot of "in play" stats and suggestions in the newsletter and if you do not think that information and previews like this are worth 19 euros per week ( this week there will be at least 12 newsletters btw), then you are a lost cause and should perhaps find another hobby !

Good Luck !

Serie A: Roma-Udinese

It is only really about the race for second place for Roma now and they might be extra motivated for this this after losing to Napoli last week, especially if their direct rival for that position wins the earlier kick off today. Udinese are probably 3-6 points away from safety and are far more likely to claim three of those at home to Sassuolo this coming Sunday, than they are tonight. The visitors are not the greatest of travelers anyway, but are very vulnerable away from home early, being 2-3-9 in the first half, a significantly better 5-4-5 after the break, interestingly, they have conceded 13 of 22 road goals (59%) between the 16th-45th minute, Roma are a very strong 10-1 (goals scored-conceded) at home, through the same period and there is a good opportunity for them to take command then.
Roma are asked to give up a 1.25 goal handicap over 90 minutes, in the first half that is circa 1.94 -0.5 ball, but if they are not leading approaching the 15 minute mark, we are likely to get far more generous quotes about them going in ahead at the break and taking the lead through the period when Udinese are most suspect defensively. Midfielder Bruno Fernandes (15-3-3) is suspended for the visitors, he has missed five away games, four of which they have lost, conceding the winner, between the 23rd and 45th minute in each .
Roma suffered a huge loss with the season ending injury to Kevin Strootman last week, but do get Francesco Totti back today. 1 unit Roma best available asian quote at the 13-14 minute mark in first half betting, as long as they are not already leading and we are 11 v 11.

Udinese: Brkic, Kelava, Scuffet;Basta, Bubnjic, Danilo, Domizzi, Heurtaux, Naldo, Neuton, Widmer;Allan, Badu, Jadson, Yebda, Lazzari, Pereyra, Pinzi;Di Natale, Maicosuel, Muriel, Nico Lopez, Zielinski.

La Liga: Villarreal-Athletic Bilbao

I am pretty sure that Athletic would snatch your hand off for a point tonight, it would give them a six point lead over Real Socieded in the Champions League race and effectively end the top four hopes of Villarreal.
Athletic are clubgowi favourites we won a LOT of money on them in 2011-12 and some readers have only just stopped counting the winnings from the win over Manchester United at Old Trafford which was two years ago last week. They blew across Europe like a breath of fresh air that season and we followed them almost all the way, 7.50 to win at OT was CRAZY. They were totally fearless that year, just like their coach the, in equal measures, brilliant and bonkers, Marcelo Bielsa, with that defeat of United, everyone knew how good they were, but  I had written six months earlier ....

New coach Marcelo Bielsa is a real one off and it has taken a little time to get his ideas across, but the benefits are starting to show and we can expect Bilbao to come on very strong in the next couple of months. Bielsa is very meticulous, he personally checks pitch measurements before every away game and has been known to give four hour press conferences ! He favours a high pressing game, with the strikers putting a lot of pressure on opposing defenders, whilst at times this looks a fairly rigid formation, he makes a lot of subtle changes during the course of the game, which sometimes give them five forward players. 18 yo Iker Muniain has been outstanding in the last two seasons and he has been very influential in the last two games, setting up a lot of chances for the front three. Far more options for the coach tonight with the return of big summer signing Ander Herrera from injury and Ekiza to the centre of defence after suspension and this is a young, developing team of huge potential.

This season I wrote within two weeks of the new season starting ... "Athletic Bilbao look destined for a solid season, they did not do much business in the summer, but the signing of Beñat Etxebarria from Betis looks top quality and Mikel Rico and Kike Sola will improve squad options. It was felt they might take time to adjust to Ernesto Valverde, who is a very different coach to Marcelo Bielsa ( isn't everyone ?), but he had eight years here previously as player and coach and understands how this club, which is very much a one off, operates. Aside from the top 3, Athletic look as strong as anyone and could compete for a top 4-6 finish if they can build on a decent start ( two wins and loss to Real Madrid) ,over the next month. The loss in Madrid was a bit of a wake up call, as people were getting a little carried away after winning their first two and they need to bounce back today. "

The coach came in for criticism shortly after for too much rotation, but has opted for a more settled line up since and they are in control of 4th spot at present and buoyed by a defeat of Barcelona last time out in La Liga.

They were huge odds to finish top 4, remember they finished 12th last season and I also suggested newly promoted Villarreal would have  abig season on opening day....Of the promoted clubs Villarreal look by far the strongest, they have spent a little money to get competitive, are still a big name club around Europe and the chances are, that we will come to view their one year hiatus in the second tier as little more than a blip. Whether they can quite return to former glory, they finished 8-3-7-5-2-5-7-4 in their eight seasons before relegation, is open to debate, but I expect a mid season finish this time round at the very least. They finished last season strongly, 9th in late January and seven points off an automatic promotion spot, they went 13-6-1 over their last 20 starts and pipped Almeria to second place. Spanish international defensive midfielder Bruno Soriano (36-4-4 last season) has been at the club man and boy and through the Champions League years and remained loyal, likewise offensive midfielder Cani (37-3-5) amongst others. That loyalty ( on both sides) was repaid and now Villa look well equipped for life back in the top flight. They have added some real quality with the signings of another defensive midfielder in Tomás Pina ( 36-0-1 Mallorca in La Liga), he and Soriano will make a fairly formidible pairing, plus gifted Mexican international strikers Giovani dos Santos (29-6-6 Mallorca) and Javier Aquino (joined late in the last transfer window). They did lose Javi Venta to Brentford ( !), but signed central defender Gabriel Paulista from Vitoria of Brazil (14-1-0) this week and they have spent some 17-20m euros on transfer fees alone, when others have kept very tight hold of their purse strings. To put that into perspective, whilst adding players, the other two promoted clubs only actually spent circa 50k on transfer fees between them !

Ikechukwu Uche (32-14-4) Jonathan Pereira (20-7-4) Jérémy Perbet (18-11-3) all remain and with the Mexican duo, they look to have as much offensive potential as any outside the really big players in Primera, if they could hit the ground running, a really strong season is in the offering and even a top six finish not impossible. Pereira , Perbet, Aquino only signed in January and made a huge and instant impact . They are spending money on the team in other ways too, chartering a plane to fly to Almeria at lunch time, so that they can prepare in Valencia this morning and staying in the city overnight.
Villarreal could move into 5th with all three points tonight and that ends my sales pitch for highlighting why you should read the content of the previews and not just focus on the bottom line .
Briefly, back to today, in stark contrast to the Roma game, I am looking for late action here, the hosts have conceded 10 of 16 home goals in the final 30 minutes, 6 in the last ten, which is the worst home defensive record in La Liga . Bilbao are 5-1 (goals scored -conceded) in the last ten minutes on the road, only Real Madrid have scored more and only Real and Barcelona are stronger after the break than Athletic. Good opportunity late again for the visitors, especially with Villa having to gamble for maximum points. 1 unit Bilbao at the best asian quote approaching the 60 minute mark if we are 11 v 11 and they are not already ahead.

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