Saturday, September 30, 2006
Roda tasted defeat for the first time this season last weekend, when they lost to AZ in a match that could have gone either way. Infact, this ended a 12 match unbeaten run.
In the previous game they recorded a fine 2-0 win over Ajax, Roda are playing with a lot of confidence and are determined to bounce back with 3 points in Tilburg. Four of their squad will be on very familiar ground, Marcel Meeuwis, Adil Ramzi, Elbekay Bouchiba and Kemy Agustien are all returning to their former club and are determined to win.
Agustien feels that the injuries to key players Mounir El Hamdaoui and Iwan Redan, will severely hamper the home side and is " convinced that we will leave Tilburg with three points''.
Willem are also without Baelum, Zois and Peersman and they look very short of goalscoring options, one of the other strikers has displeased the supporters by claiming, his heart is still with his former club.
Willem are conceding an average of 2.4 goals per game, some 1.6 more than, the very tight defense of Roda. Visitors have a good record here with just two defeats in 12 visits. Given their good form and the home team's problems, it is hard to see them losing.
4 points Roda level ball asian line 1.72.
... has completed a decade at Arsenal and that occasion should be celebrated with 3 points at the Valley and victory over Charlton.
Following the win at Old Trafford and a demolition job on Sheffield United, they will not want to put all that hard work to waste and can close to within 2 points of United with the win. With Watford and Reading up next, they have a real chance to close on the leaders.
Charlton face a mounting injury crisis and Ian Dowie does not have the resourses of Wenger at his disposal. They are trying to play attractive football and I hope that they can turn things round, but this looks set to be a season of struggle for the Addicks. They have won only once this season and lost this fixture in 4 of the last 5 years, number 5 today I fear.
5 points Arsenal -1/2 1.53 betfair// -1 goal asian line 1.85 (if that is your only option).
I will put something online later for tonight's fixtures.
First placing shown is each sides position in the attempts on goals table ........
Crystal Palace .... last ........ real position 4th
Leicester City .... 5th ......... 20th
Nottingham Forest last ........ first !!!
Macclesfield Town 5th ...... bottom
Swindon Town 22nd ......... 4th
Lincoln City 20th ............ 2nd
Of course, things are never quite that simply, but we could reasonably expect, Leicester and Macclesfield to improve and the other four to slip back a little. We will see.
I like two "overs" today and will cover them both, briefly, in this post.
First up is the Barnsley-Luton fixture. Surely there will be goals here !
The home side have averaged 3.66 in all games this season, the visitors 3.0. Luton have scored in every game in 2006 bar one, Barnsley have kept only one clean sheet this season. Both sides have defensive problems and this game should provide plenty of goal mouth action.
In the attempts on goal "table" Barnsley are top and Luton currently hold 4th place.
My second choice is the Barnet-MK Dons match, where Martin Allen, the coach of the visitors, is sure of a warm welcome from his former club, having left them high and dry, to join Brentford. Both these sides are averaging well over 3 goals per game and are much stronger going forward. Dons total of 72 shots on target in all games is the highest of any Division 2 club.
4 points over 2.5 goals Barnsley-Luton 1.93 asian line.
4 points over 2.5 goals Barnet-MK Dons 1.97 asian line.
...... and chance a little on Jim Furyk in his 2 ball with Tiger Woods today, in the WGC American Express Championships.
They go out at 14.10 cet and it should be fun to watch. Tiger is probably the greatest player to have ever held a club and leads the tournament by 5 strokes, but this is one round of golf and he will not lose too much sleep, if he only takes a 2 or 3 shot lead into the final day.
JF is probably the second best player on the planet just now and is in the form of his life. Playing Tiger should not hold the same fears for him any more, having been his partner for 4 rounds in the Ryder Cup last week. In fact he saved Tiger's butt in most of those rounds.
Woods is favourite but the 3.20 on Betfair for his opponent looks a little too high and value is , as always, the guiding factor. I cannot see him as more than a 2.70 chance.
3 points Furyk 3.20 to beat Tiger Woods 3rd round 2 ball betfair.
..... Aston Villa this season, Martin O'Neill has proved what a top class coach he is. The only big money spent has been on Stilian Petrov and that looks a solid gold purchase.
Villa are unbeaten so far, winning all their home ties and drawing at Arsenal, West Ham and Watford. Another trip to the capital today. to play the champions and you do not need to be a genius to work out O'Neills tactics.
They will be disciplined, defend in numbers and try to hit Chelsea on the break. The Blues seem to play a much narrower game this season and that will play into the visitors hands, Shevchenko is not firing yet and they are relying on Drogba's goals, he is sure to be well shackled by Olof Mellberg.
I like Villa's chances today and if they can survive the first 20 minutes or so, even a shock away win is not impossible. Going to play 5 points on the game, spread over 3 bets.
0.25 points Aston Villa to beat Chelsea 13.5 betfair
lay 5 points Chelsea 1.33 betfair ( exposure 1.65 points)
3 points Aston Villa + 1.5 goals 1.82 asian line.
We had a very good day Thursday, everything correct, small profit yesterday which should have been so much better. Ipswich had a perfectly good goal disallowed and Darlington contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, having been 2-0 up with 24 minutes to play.
Friday, September 29, 2006
... has done a wonderful job at Ipswich.
Working on very limited funds and starting with 3 losses, they are now unbeaten in 6, won 4 of last 5 and will go second with a win tonight, when they visit Colchester.
They are playing some very nice football, impressed many observers and outplayed Sunderland and Birmingham in their last two.
The hosts have also picked up after a slow start and are unbeaten in 5, however, at times in some games they have been completely outplayed and have ridden their luck. I remember the 15 corners conceded in 30 minutes at West Brom for example. They lack the potential of Ipswich and everyone knows they stole Brentford's place in the Championship, not that I am bitter.
My other choice is a nominal bet on the draw in the Ajaccio-Strasbourg match, 7 of the last 9 h2h meetings have finished level and both have drawn over 44% of all games this season. Betfair's offer of 2.96, in what is a very tight league, looks a little value.
4 points Ipswich level ball asian line 1.94
2.5 points Ajaccio-Strasbourg draw 2.96 betfair.
...... and are clear at the top of Ligue 2.
However, I am going to oppose them tonight, when they travel to meet very strong home side, Niort. The team from Western France, have not lost at the Stade Rene Gaillard since April 2005, thats 18 months and 24 starts, 16 of which they have won.
With 3 of their next 4 away, newly promoted Niort, know that a result is vital if they do not want a repeat of the relegation troubles, of two seasons ago.
Elsewhere, Le Havre, after a difficult run of fixtures, meet a Gueugnon side really struggling with injuries and missing their entire defence. Think the over is the way to go, LeHavre averaging 3.2 goals at home and the visitors 3.25 away.
4 points Niort + 1/4 ball 1.86 asian line
4 points Le Havre-Gueugnon over 2.25 goals asian line 1.96
.... to it's limits by injuries recently, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite losing star player Julian Joachim, for up to a month, their overall problems have eased and as many as four senior/ important players, could return to action tonight.
After a gruelling run of 7 games in 20 days, they do not play for another 7 days. Three points will take them into the playoff places and with this, the first in a run of 3 home games, in the next 4 starts, all against sides in the bottom third of the table, it is a golden opportunity to make real progress.
Tonight Grimsby Town are the visitors to the 96.6 TFM Arena (!) and they have also been troubled by injuries, having come so close to promotion last season, they could not have expected to struggle so badly, this time round.
Their last two results have been dire, they lost 4-1 at home to Hartlepool and 1-0 at home to Stockport, in a match where they enjoyed just 39% of possession. Grimsby mustered just 5 shots at goal in those two fixtures, in all games this season they have totalled 97 attempts, 45 less than the home side, an average of over 4 per game.
These stats are poor, too poor.
Darlo have collected just one point from their last 2 matches, but enjoyed 56 and 59% possession in those games , VERY high totals "on the road". Time to get back on track, home win.
4 points Darlington -1/2 1.83 general/ asian line.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
... unfortunately my time is limited, so, just going to run through some news, suggest one more bet and leave the rest up to you.
Livorno short up front (Lucarelli out for a few weeks) and defending a two goal lead against a Superfund side that are hardly prolific. Should be "under", or for the adventurous, a draw.
Told that Fenerbahce will go all out for the win, despite holding a narrow first leg lead. They should be too strong for Randers.
Read that Palermo "want" to go out of the UEFA Cup and concentrate on the league. If that is so, why did they try so hard in the first leg at Upton Park ? The theory is that they do not want the group games interfering with their league ambitions. Sounds rubbish, but I do think West Ham will put up an improved display, but that will not be hard, given recent performances.
Panathinaikos have to go for the win at Metalurh Zaporozhya after being held 1-1 in Greece. The Ukrainian side are 15th (from 16) in their domestic league, are winless after 8 starts and only scored twice. An away win, which will be my final selection of the day.
4 points Panathinaikos -3/4 ball asian line 1.84.
Start and Atvidaberg are resting many players, both have other objectives. The handicaps are tough, but I would be surprised if either avoided a 2 goal defeat, so limited downside.
5 points Ajax -2 goals asian line 1.77
5 points Grasshoppers -2 goals asian line 1.83
....... and I think we should stick with them tonight.
Victory will take them two points clear at the top and set them up for their meeting with current leaders Brann, in a couple of weeks time. RBK have now won six in a row and only conceded a, division low, 18 goals all season.
Todays visitors Tromso, need the points for other reasons, they are firmly involved in the relegation dogfight. Their form has picked up recently, but they have conceded an average of 2.33 goals "on the road". They may well have one eye on the weekend trip to bottom club, Viking, which is a real "six pointer" and an eminently more winnable fixture.
4 points Rosenborg -1/2 1.42 general (1.45 centrebet).
Back later with some UEFA Cup information.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
.... are going to be my final selection today.
I feel the Spanish sides are even stronger this season and that Valencia will give the big two a run for their money. David Villa remains in very good shape and will have a partner tonight in Morientes,
They entertain Roma , both should qualify from the group stage after resounding opening day wins, not saying they will be any collusion, but if they were to share two home wins in the h2h meetings, everyone would be happy.
I rate the top 3-4 Spanish clubs above anything the Italians have to offer this time round. Home win.
No time for a proper write up, so I have kept the stakes small.
3 points Valencia -1/2 1.97 asian line/ exchanges.
... to break down Levski Sofia tonight.
Despite going a goal down early and losing 5-0 at Barcelona in their opener, they have yet to concede a goal after 7 starts in their domestic league. Last home defeat coming in April 2005.
Infact, they boast some very impressive scalps at home in Europe, including wins in the last year over Udinese, Marseille and Auxerre.
Levski have some problems up front and will be forced to field a defensive line up, their coach has promised to attack from the kick off, but that is for the benefit of the media. Surely they will be happy to contain the Londoners for as long as possible and try to "steal" a goal, especially give the heavy defeat at the Nou Camp.
Of course Chelsea are a class apart and not one of the Bulgarian champions, would even get on the bench of Jose Mourinho's side. But they have had problems on the road and have won only one of their last eight away games in the Champions League. Domestically they lost at Boro and took time to find a way past Blackburn and Fulham in their only outings away from Stamford Bridge.
See a little value in the half time draw, it is currently 2.62 on Betfair and is likely to be a little higher nearer to kick off. Alternatively, you may consider laying Chelsea at odds on for the opening 45 minutes, the choice is yours, it is the draw for me.
I will be back between 18.00-19.00 cet with my final selection of the day, for one of the remaining European ties.
3 points Levski Sofia-Chelsea half time draw 2.62 betfair.
Lincolnshire derby tonight and this is the biggest game of the season for the home side.
Unfortunately they come into the match in terrible shape, on the back of an awful 3-0 home defeat to Rochdale at the weekend and likely to be without at least 3 and probably 5 senior players. Confidence at the club is extremely low.
The contrast at Lincoln could hardly be greater, they had a fine 3-1 win away to Wycombe, who were on a run of 8 straight wins, come with no new injuries and full of confidence. The Imps have sold out their allocation of tickets and will have over 2,000 travelling supporters cheering them on. Victory tonight will take them to the top of the table, having suffered so much playoff heartache in recent years, they will be looking for automatic promotion this time round.
Lincoln have made big strides off the pitch too, especially on the commercial side.
They look a strong bet on paper, but derby matches are rarely that straight forward, so I am only going to suggest a small wager on the visitors.
However, going to take the unusual step of advising a second bet on the match and that can only be on the "over".
Boston are over in 8 from 10 this season and in each of the last 5, Lincoln are over in 9 of their last 10. Both clubs have averaged exactly 3.5 goals in all matches, in a division where the mean is just over 2.6.
3 points lincoln -1/4 goal 1.95 asian line.
5 points over 2.5 goals Lincoln-Boston 1.94 asian line.
Good word for the Super Ligaen team who visit Division 1 side Frem in the Danish Cup.
Odds with the traditional bookmakers have fallen across the board, but 1.76 is still available on the asian handicap, due to the reduced margins.
My understanding is that they are taking the cup seriously and have named a very strong squad .............
16. Lars Winde, 1. Jan Hoffmann, 2. Frank Hansen, 3. Fernando Derveld, 5. Anders Nøhr,
9. Njogu Demba-Nyrén, 11. Jesper Bech, 14. Martin Vingaard, 15. Andreas Klarström,
17. Lars Christian Nielsen, 18. Morten Friis Jensen, 19. Jesper Jørgensen,
20. Kristian Flittie Onstad, 21. Jerry Lucena, 22. Jesper Lange, 31. Søren Rieks.
Both sides are in similar positions and similar form in their respective divisions, but there is quite a big class divide.
H2h favours the visitors, not too many recent meetings, but they have won the last 7, the last 3 by 2, or more goals.
4 points Esbjerg -1/2 1.76 asian line.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
.... meet tonight.
When larger than life, Barry Fry's Peterborough, meet Barnet, the club where he made his name, at London Road.
Just like the charismatic, or annoying, depending on which camp you are in, Fry, this should be "over the top", at least of the goal line.
Posh are over in 3 of their last 4, with a 4.75 average and are 4.4 for all home games. Barnet are over in their last 4 with a 5.0 average and are 3.4 in all away games. History screams goals, the last 9 meetings have a mean of 4.78 .
Both sides have injury problems and a draw hardly helps either, each needs the win and seem sure to go for it. There have to be goals.
4 points over 2.5 goals Peterborough-Barnet 1.91 asian line.
... have not scored in 3 starts, I think they will put that right tonight when they travel to Vale Park and a meeting with Port Vale, who have won just once in 6 starts.
Forest have had some bad luck, they did enough to take the points at Tranmere at the weekend, but were denied by the woodwork and some fine goalkeeping by Gavin Ward.
Against Carlisle they (again) missed a penalty and had a good goal ruled out.
Already told you how poor Vale were at the weekend, only 4 attempts, none on target and the manager is set to make changes tonight and is not a happy man.
Forest were, apparently, very focused and sharp in training yesterday, coach Colin Calderwood has almost guaranteed goals tonight and I go along with him.
3 points Nottm.Forest -1/4 2.02 asian line.
... it was along the lines of, their poor start to the season, was due to over training during pre season. Here is a link to that post ........
Since then City have won 5 from 6 and gone charging up the table, infact victory tonight could even take them top of the table. Considering the problems they have faced, this says a lot about the club and their astute coach Gary Johnson.
City are the biggest west country club in England and a real sleeping giant, this may finally be the year they wake from their slumber. They are one of the divisions top scorers, averaging 1.6 per game and have only drawn blank on one occasion. These stats could be much better as they have hit the woodwork 9 times, a football league high figure, someone is in for a hiding soon.
The Robins put in a very good display at the weekend, winning 2-0 at Port Vale, in front of 1,000 travelling supporters. They restricted the home side to just 4 attempts at goal, the home coach Martin Foyle, observed that City were "quicker to the second ball and dictated much of the play".
Striker Phil Jevons, who has been prolific in the lower divisions, has finally found his touch and the goals can be expected to flow, he really has an eye for goal and 70% of his attempts have been on target.
Tonight they travel to Bournemouth, who are on a 7 match unbeaten run, but most of those are draws, that is hardly surprising as the Cherries create very few chances. In their last two starts,at home to Scunthorpe and against an injury ravaged Brentford, they only mustered 6 attempts on target. Their total of 45 for the season, is one of the lowest in the division.
City will be without captain, Steve Brooker who is injured, but have a natural replacement in Scott Murray. The home side are without the suspended Marcus Browning, who is set to become a referee after retirement and hopes to be the first former pro to take charge of a Premiership match.
I think there is half a division between these two and really like the visitors on the level ball handicap, especially given Bournemouth's inability to win games. H2h stats are in favour of the away side, who have lost just once in 5 trips to the south coast.
4 points Bristol City level ball asian line 2.175.
Several of you have asked me about the current injury situation at Brentford, so a quick update.
They are still without 4 senior players, I would say that 3 are probably the most important in the whole squad.
7 of the 16 man squad at the weekend, were teenagers and have approx 20 league starts between them. Clyde Wijnhard, who many of you will know, signed a 3 month contract yesterday and goes straight into the side tonight.
Only one win in ten and one goal in four starts for the Bees. A trip to the New Den and a battle with Millwall awaits, two desperate teams at the moment.
I will not be there tonight, went to several matches at the old Den with a good friend of mine, Frank, a mad Millwall fan who sadly passed away. Had to sit on my hands for every match and despite not moving when Brentford scored, he would take great joy in standing up and shouting "he's Brentford" while pointing in my general direction.
If any of you have ever been to Millwall, you will see the "joke".
Having discussed Darlington's defensive problems at the weekend, we profited from the "over" in that game, which ended 2-2.
After the match, Shrewsbury manager Gary Peters said "Darlington are very good but we made them look poor and were unfortunate not to have something like a 10-2 score".
They still have problems at the back, Hutchinson, Close and Collins have all failed to recover from injuries. Quakers boss David Hodgson claims the squad are very tired following a hectic run of fixtures.
Mansfield also drew 2-2 at the weekend and missed TWO penalties, they had many, many chances to win the game and I think we can expect goals tonight.
Field are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and all their games have averaged 3.0 goals, Darlington's a little lower at 2.80.
Both teams create plenty of chances, only Hartlepool have had more attempts on goal than Darlington, who have also hit the woodwork 6 times. Mansfield have had the 4th highest number of shots on target, a statistic which belies their lowly league position.
4 points Mansfield-Darlington over 2.5 goals 1.98 asian line.
This is the second time I have typed this, lost the first one in cyberspace, is that the most annoying thing that can happen ? Seems such a waste of time to type the same thing twice, it never seems as good the second time either.
Monday, September 25, 2006
.... when the Saints return to the Superdome, for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.
They face divisional rivals, Atlanta , led by the ridiculously gifted Michael Vick, both teams are 100% for the season.
Quite frankly the rushing numbers put up by the Falcons, have been mind numbing. An average of 279 yards with 25 carries of 10 yards or more.
Sure that teams will work out how to stop them sooner or later, but it is not easy. It is all about speed and is very simple. Vick takes the snap and either gives it to Warrick Dunn, or keeps it himself, as both run opposite directions, it is incredible hard to defend. OK there is a little more to it, but with so much to look for on the ground, it makes opponents vunerable in the air too.
The defence has done it's part and has yet to give up a touchdown in 8 quarters. Kicking has been a big problem, but 46 yo Morten Andersen has rejoined and will see action tonight.
Falcons are 16-6 against the Saints since 1995 and I expect them to add to that total and cover the spread.
They have two home games up next, so a win will give them the opportunity to set up their best start in franchise history.
4 points Atlanta Falcons -3.5 points 1.86 betfair.
I like the over "here".
The draw has little value for Landskrona, anything but 3 points will see their slim promotion chance evaporate. Their away games have produced a division high 46 goals, they have certainly " gone for it" in the last two road fixtures, winning 7-0 and losing 5-0, so all or nothing, which is how I expect them to approach tonight.
Both sides have had plenty of recent "overs", GIF in 4 of last 5 and the visitors in 5 of their last 6.
Sundsvall will move out of the bottom 3 with one point, but with some tricky fixtures ahead, have to look for all three.
Feel that the away side will dictate the tempo and style of the match because of their situation, should be open and the "over" is a confident selection.
4 points GIF Sundsvall-Landskrona over 2.5 goals 1.86 asian line.
Only two fixtures in Sweden's second division today, but both look very interesting.
I will return to the other match later and will start with Ljungskile-IFK Norrkoping.
The visitors have been regulars in this blog and I have no wish to desert them now. The home side have little to play for, being a little too far off the main contenders.
IFK have lost only once in the last 13 and won 4 of their last 5, scoring 13 goals. Victory will take them to within one point of the playoff slot, currently held by Orebro, who are Norrkoping's next opponents, 3 points today will leave their fate firmly in their own hands.
After making such a poor start to the season, surely IFK will not things slip now, having worked so hard to get back into contention.
4 points IFK Norrkoping level ball asian line 1.99
A win for Rosenborg tonight will take them to within a point of league leaders Brann, with a game in hand.
Norway's biggest club have the title destiny in their own hands, something that seemed very unlikely 9 rounds ago when they trailed the leaders by 10 points.
With a trip to Brann on the horizon, they would like to enter that game with an advantage.
They suffered a surprise cup defeat to Sandefjord last Thursday, but have won 6 league games in a row, if anything the loss should have given them a wake up call.
Today's opponents Odd, struggle to keep a clean sheet, just one in 14 starts and have less to play for, just a Royal League place.
RBK enjoy playing them, have won this fixture in 5 of the last 6 years, won here 5-0 last season, infact they did the double, with an 11-0 aggregate.
They are without Daniel Braaten who is suspended, but with such motivation, they should be able to overcome his absence.
4 points Rosenborg -1/4 ball asian line 1.85.
We managed a small profit last week, it was important to get back on track, so reasonably happy with that. Time to push on this week.
Today looks REALLY interesting, I am going to put up 3 selections, maybe even 4 ! Yes, I know it's Monday, but what can you do.
First post will be online at 13.00 cet.
Please check back.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
.... when Barcelona host Valencia tonight in La Liga's big game of the day.
Both sides are unbeaten. The trip should hold few fears for the visitors, who took 4 points off the Spanish and European champions last season and have not lost at the Nou Camp in 5 visits.
Valencia see theirselves as real title contenders and welcome the chance to prove their credentials. Having spent heavily in the summer, including 25m euros for Joaquin from Betis, the club are looking for a quick return on their investment. Striker David Villa is on fire and looking to add to the 3 goals he scored against the Catalan giants last season.
I feel the one goal asian line is a massive handicap for Barcelona to overcome and see little downside to the bet. A match to savour.
5 points Valencia +1 goal asian line 1.75
..... need 3 points to rejoin Lyon at the top of Ligue 1.
They travel to bottom club Nantes, who play their first game for new coach Georges Eo.
OM have conceded only two goals this season in 6 starts, both from penalties. that is an average of 1.4 goals fewer per game than the home side.
Marseille took all 3 points in this fixture back in April and will be desperate to win today, as this will be Franck Ribery's last game, before starting a suspension. It is a good job he is such a wonderful player, as a career as a male model was never really an option.
6th win in a row for OM.
4 points Marseille -1/4 1.82 asian line.
.... host Excelsior in the latest Rotterdam derby.
Both sides have injury problems, if Charisteas doesn't pass a late test, the home side will go with the same 11 that grinded out a 3-2 win at Veendam in midweek.
Feyenoord simply have to finish in the top 4 and a win today is seen as vital in that aim, a two goal victory will take them above the visitors and give them bragging rights as the city's top club.
Not too many recent meetings between these two but Feyenoord have won the last 3, scoring 15 goals in the process, all wins by 3 goals or more.
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Greene, Saidi, Bahia; Buijs, De Guzman, Lucius, Hofs; Kolkka, Van Hooijdonk (Charisteas).
Excelsior: Zwarthoed; Bandjar (Gyan), Drost, Van Nieuwstadt, Zijm; Van Dieren, Bruins, Guijo-Velasco; Slory, Simr, Steur.
4 points Feyenoord -1.5 goals 1.95 asian line.
I really like the "over" here.
Meetings between these two always produce goals.
Eleven of the last twelve meetings have been "over", the only loser producing 2 goals. Parma have some defensive problems today.
Using the 2.25 asian goal line, this looks must bet material.
5 points over 2.25 goals Parma-Roma 1.71 asian line.
I still think Europe will win the Cup, but feel it could get close. For anyone wishing to trade in running. you could bet the USA at 8.4 on Betfair, with a view to trading out later.
Feel that Sergio will win, what will be his 10th match in a row, but think the odds of 1.63 are a little skinny, so only a token bet for me.
Darren Clarke, along with Garcia, has played the best golf this week and he should be able to defeat Zach Johnson, in what is sure to be an emotional match.
2 points Garcia 1.63 to beat Cink pinnacle
3 points Clarke 1.77 to beat Johnson pinnacle
I will be back shortly with my first football selection.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
....... is going to be the "over" in the Reading-Manchester United match.
Not going to go into any great details, Steve Coppell's side like to attack, that is their forte. United will be delighted to play one of the division's lesser lights, who are prepared to play football, should be a very nice match to watch and I expect goals.
Reading have scored 62 in their last 25 home games, United 40 in their last 25 away, looks "over" to me.
4 points Reading-Manchester United over 2.25 goals 1.71 asian line.
I will have some Ryder Cup singles bets up in the morning.
How can he put both Woods and Mickleson out again, at least he could mix up the Woods/Furyk pairing, it is obviously not working.
Think Garcia with anybody, looks a winner just now, he and Donald should beat Mickleson and Toms.
No, not Michael Jackson's pet monkey, but the sound of West Ham supporters celebrating a win.
City look very poor just now, how they managed to defeat Arsenal, remains one of life's mysteries. They have only scored that goal and the two in the 4-2 thumping by Blackburn all season.
Hammers need to get their season back on track asap. Boss Alan Pardew, admits he still does not know his best line up, but with Tevez, Mascherano, Zamora, Cole, Benayoun, Harewood etc he has a problem Stuart Pearce can only dream of.
It is hard to comprehend why Andy Cole was allowed to leave, Dickov, Corradi and Samaras do not stand comparison with the Hammers offensive options.
The Irons have had a free week to sort things out and that was sorely needed, they should look more of a team today.
I will put my final football bet online at half time during the UK football, may put a golf bet up shortly.
4 points West Ham +1/4 ball asian line 1.88.
.... I am going to take the "over" in the Shrewsbury Town-Darlington game.
The visitors are probably the strongest side in Division 2 and favour an attacking style. They have created 115 chances this season and hit the woodwork 6 times. On the road, their games have averaged 3.0 goals and they shared 6 in a cup thriller at Reading in midweek.
Today they have very big defensive problems, so will be left with few options but to "go for it".
Town have averaged 3.3 goals in all home games and have their own defensive problems today, they definitely miss their first choice goalkeeper.
Given the circumstances, over 2.5 goals seems a stand out bet.
4 points over 2.5 goals Shrewsbury-Darlington 2.085 asian line.
........ significant progress this season, under Paul Fairclough.
They have been VERY unlucky to just collect one point from their last two matches, games in which they dominated for long periods.
Fairclough has targeted today's trip to Bury as a must win fixture and as such, rested most of his side for the midweek trip to Leeds.He described this as "massive" in terms of their season.
Everyone is back today and all but one of the 21 man squad are fit and available. Reports of all matches have been good this season and they have mustered 103 shots in their 9 starts. This compares very favourably with goal shy Bury, who have totalled a division low 62 attempts, only scored 7 all season and none in the last 4.
I fully expect Barnet to come away from Gigg Lane with something for their troubles.
4 points barnet +1/4 1.87 asian line.
Garcia and Olazabal have started well this morning. Some players are simply not firing, or maybe not "up" for this, may try to put a bet up for the afternoon session, if the pairings are announced in good time.
Friday, September 22, 2006
........ looked the best golfer on display Friday.
In Saturday's Fourballs he has once again been paired with Jose Maria Olazabal and they face Mickleson and di Marco.
Neither of the Americans came into the Ryder Cup in the best of shape and after 36 holes of golf, di Marco looked weary and big Phil, not the most motivated guy in the world.
In contrast the Spanish pairing look bursting with life, Sergio would play overnight, under floodlights, if that were possible.
Think the 2.16 , it may get bigger, with Betfair and Pinnacle is a very nice price, if you can bet there, the 2.25 with Corals, looks even better.
3 points Garcia/Olazabal to beat di Marco/Mickleson 2.16 +.
..... game tonight.
The winner of this tie will go top of the Bundesliga, even if it is for just one night. These two usually serve up plenty of entertainment and 7 of the last 8 have finished "over".
I am paranoid that it will not be possible to post this, so am going to end it here.
Hopefully things will be back to normal tomorrow, I will get something online early in the morning.
4 points over 2.25 goals BMG-Dortmund 1.83 asian line.
..... may recall, I detailed Barnsley's defensive problems pre season.
That has certainly proved to be the case and they have been leaking goals, especially "on the road". Barnsley have given up 12 goals in just 4 starts, losing the last two by 4-2 and 5-1.
Boss Andy Ritchie, rested some players in midweek, but was still angry at their defensive errors, extra training has been the order of the day at Oakwell.
Last year, in their promotion season, they lost 9 away games, easily the worse record of the top 6 clubs. They have promised to attack tonight and that will play into the hand's of Preston, who are finding their form, are unchanged, unbeaten in 6, will go third with a win and who's biggest problem is which striker to leave on the bench.
Preston are a confident selection.
4 points Preston -1/2 1.74 asian line / 1.77 betfair.
... meets Amelie Mauresmo in China this morning. I covered their last match recently and have to side, yet again with the American, at a VERY big looking price on Betfair.
The earlie article can be found here .....
3 points Davenport 2.52 betfair.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
The Ryder Cup opens with a titanic match up between, in the blue corner, the celtic twosome of Colin Montgomerie and home boy, Padraig Harrington. Verses, in the red,white and blue corner, world number 1&2, Tiger Woods and Slim Jim Furyk.
Two years ago at Oakland Hills in the opening fourballs, Monty and Harry beat Woods and Mickleson, 2&1, a win that set the tone for the rest of the Ryder Cup.
Let's get to the nitty gritty, I like the Europeans , they knew that Woods/Furyk would be paired in the opening tie and this is the match up they wanted.
In all Ryder Cup matches todate, Woods and Furyk have won 13 out of a possible 35 points (37%), Monty and Harrington 29 from 44 (66%). Why should the US pairing be big odds on ? It makes little sense to me and is based purely on reputation.
4 points Montgomerie/Harrington to beat Woods/Furyk 2.88 betfair .
I have to pass on a VERY strong word for Feyenoord in the Dutch Cup tonight.
No time to write a review, so you will have to decide whether or not to get involved, but they are desperate to progress. Pierre van Hooijdonk will return and is looking for goals.
I will be back online tonight to post some updated Ryder Cup information and two bets which start early tomorrow morning.
You may be able to find some 1.50 for the straight win, if so, take it. If restricted to the asian handicap, you will have to give 1.25 or 1.50 goals.
4 points Feyenoord -1.25 goals 1.68.
... the tennis in Kolkata, India.
The 18 yo from Belarus, Olga Poutchkova, faces veteran Australian Nicole Pratt, who is winding down a long, but hardly illustrious career.
Olga has collected 5 ITF Women's circuit titles in her short time on tour, the same number as Nicole has in 7 times longer.
Poutchkova looks set to break into the big time, has collected 3 titles this year, all on fast courts. She recently earned her first major scalp when beating Ana Ivanovic (WR 15) and won her opener here, with the loss of only one game.
Pratt struggled to defeat Sunitha Rao (WR 221) in 3 sets and the 15 years she has to give her, up and coming opponent seems too much.
3 points Poutchkova to beat Pratt 1.64 betfair.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The K Club, County Kildare, Ireland.
Everything favours Europe. The course has been set up to favour the European players and the greens have been made as slow as possible.
The weather certainly looks to be doing it's part, the forecast is wet and windy, with a little thunder thrown in, this morning, the winds hit 40 mph !
Most of the Europeans arrive in good form and certainly match up well with the US team, which looks to have a few weak links. Vaughn Taylor, JJ Henry, Brett Wetterich and Zach Johnson are hardly household names, even in their own homes and are hardly going to strike fear into their opponents. Several others arrive in indifferent form.
The 3 big names..... Tiger has won only 33% of his 15 pairings, losing 10, Mickleson has won just 6 of his 15 doubles, Furyk has a good singles record, but has only won one, of 11 foursome or fourball's. So in the pairs, which make up 16 of the 28 matches, the three star players have collected just 14 points out of a possible 41, around 34%. Great golfers, but are they team players ? I think not.
The simple fact is that the US side are a collection of individuals, Europe are a team. They just don't get it, in recent Ryder Cups I have heard tales of the Americans eating breakfast at 12 different tables.
I have not yet mentioned the 13th man, no, not Ian Woosnam, the non playing captain, actually he is my only concern, not sure about his man management skills, but the Irish, they will simply not let "their" men lose. 40,000 people each day, even for practice sessions, unreal.
With everything in their favour, I expect Europe to dominate the foursomes and four balls over Friday and Saturday, this has been very much the case in recent Ryder Cups. They took an 11-5 lead into Sunday two years ago and things will certainly not change under these conditions.
I am going to return to this later in the week, think it will produce some golden betting opportunities. Suggest we start with an outright bet on Europe, to my mind they should be 1.50 and they are available at 1.95 on Betfair, that is must bet material.
The fourball matches commence at 09.00 cet on Friday, will look for Europe to win that group of 4 matches and will strongly consider opposing Furyk, given his awful record, regardless of who he is paired with.
5 points Europe to win the Ryder Cup 1.95 betfair.
.... it now looks like they are finding their true level.
Their progress has been well documented in an earlier post ......
After winning the opening 4 games of the season, they have been hammered 4-0 at home by Dundee and held 1-1 by new league leaders, Livingston. If you add the 7-3 aggregate UEFA Cup beating by Derry City, you will see that they have lost the aura of invincibility.
Tonight they go to Edinburgh and a meeting with, bang in form Hibernian, who have been very kind to us recently. Hibs are looking for their 5th win in 6, buoyed by an impressive victory over Rangers at the weekend.
Boss Tony Mowbray has vowed to field his strongest side and has done his homework on Gretna, having them watched several times and seen them himself, on at least one occasion.
Here is some additional information ....
They should be capable of taking advantage of the chances that Gretna's open style of play invariably present.
4 points Hibernian -1/2 1.50 .... unibet/ bet 365 ..... 1.53 exchanges.
Just a quick update, they have now won just once in 9 starts.
The injury situation is not getting much better, Chris Moore was sent off last night so he will be missing and the Bees boss, Leroy Rosenior, appeared to get TWO red cards. After being sent to the stands by the referee, he somehow found his way back onto the pitch, not too hard at Brentford, when it all "kicked off".
Actually they played very well in the first half and did not deserve to go in at the break one down, different story in the second half and Luton ended worthy winners. Brentford are capable of some decent football, but do not create enough chances.
If any of you come across this referee ....... CLIVE PENTON, he is useless and deserves plenty of abuse. I know it is a difficult job, but the standard of officiating in the lower leagues is terrible. He is one of the worse.
.... today, when the host Livorno.
Cagliari had early chances to take the lead at Reggina, but wasted them, having started the season with two losses, a win is now vital.
Livorno coach, Daniele Arrigoni, is sure of a very noisy reception from the home fans, twice in charge of the Sardinian club, his second stay lasted only 90 minutes, or one game, the supporters refusing to accept him back.
Arrigoni strongly favours a squad rotation policy, rumours are that even "superstar" striker Cristiano Lucarelli, is not immune and could start on the bench. Whether that is true or not, 2-3 changes will definitely be made. These changes have already got him into trouble with the club's owner, who was very critical of the line up for the big derby game with Fiorentina last weekend.
It all turned out well, with a 1-0 win, but to be criticised so strongly, just two games into a new season, hardly augurs well for his long term future.
Hard to know where their priorities lie, with a big game against Milan at the weekend and a UEFA Cup trip next midweek, you can understand Arrigoni wanting to keep the squad fresh.
Cagliari are playing a little better than two losses would suggest, they are confident that things will come good and training has gone well this week, the team spirit remains upbeat. They took 4 points off the visitors last season and have not lost in the last 7 meetings. At -1/4 ball on the asian handicap they look a nice bet.
Late news......... it looks like the Lucarelli news is correct and number 99 starts on the bench.
4 points Cagliari -1/4 2.01 asian line.
Going to post one more bet for tonight a little later.
.... that Elfsborg can put theirselves back into pole position, in the race for the Championship, when they travel to Gothenburg and a match with Hacken tonight.
With leaders AIK facing tough derby games against fellow challengers, Djurgardens and Hammarby, in the next 7 days, the team from Boras will never have a better opportunity to win their first title for 45 years.
After GAIS they have home ties with Orgryte and Oster, so 3 in a row against sides firmly entrenched in the relegation zone. The ball is definitely in their court.
Hacken look booked for Superettan, they have only won twice all season and their record at the Rambergsvallen is even worse, at home they have collected only 2 points from a possible 27.
Defensively, they are poor and have given up more goals than any other team in the division and a whopping 22 in the last 10.
Due to their dire league situation, they have to go for the win and that should play into the visitors hands. Comfortable on the road, Elfsborg remain the only unbeaten away side in Allsvenskan. They will travel with confidence, as they have "owned" this fixture in recent times, with 6 wins and 5 draws in the last 11 meetings.
The Yellow Ones should collect the points.
5 points Elfsborg -1/2 ball asian line 1.85.
James Keene, Jonathan Berg and Johann Gudmundsson are suspended, Mathias Östberg, Thomas Rosenqvist, Kenneth Gustavsson, Anton Holmberg, Mikael Sandklef and Johan Friberg are all injured, for GAIS today.
Thats nine players out. Keene is the top scorer and they are now left with just one striker, Edier Frejd, he has scored one goal in 47 appearances, over 3 seasons. The 3 suspended players are, arguably, the most important to the team.
A win tonight will virtually secure Halmstads Allsvenskan status and the points are there for the taking.
If you are quick there is still 2.78 available on the exchanges, anything above 2.60 is worth taking.
I will be back in 30 minutes with another post.
3 points Halmstads 2.78 betfair.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Wigan's first priority will be to preserve their Premiership status, they have plenty of players unavailable tonight, but will still be able to name a strong starting line up.
Now that Crewe have recovered after a very poor start to Division 1 life, they will give everything to regain their place in the Championship. They have two very difficult away games in the next 7 days, with trips to Yeovil and Swansea.
Dario Gradi is set to rest at least two of his "superstar" teenagers, namely Nicky Maynard, Luke Varney and Michael O'Connor. There were a dozen Premiership scouts at the last Crewe game and the "buzz" surrounding these players is unbelievable at the moment.
Crewe are obviously not as effective without their stars, whatever 11 Wigan put out will be stronger.I just get the feeling that, despite whatever he may say to the contrary, Gradi will be happy to just concentrate on the league.
3 points Wigan -1/2 1.98 asian line/ betfair.
The Toffeemen travel to play Peterborough in tonight's live SKY offering.
David Moyes will rest a couple of starters, but has named a strong squad and has made it very clear, that Everton are taking the Cup seriously.They have had Posh watched and are aware of the aerial threat they pose, especially from the long throw in.
Assistant boss Alan Irvine said "Our players have got to treat this as if it was just another Premiership match. The more teams who are not taking it seriously, the better the chance for those that are. We see this as a chance for us. We have had a great start and it would be a shame for that great start to be affected by a poor performance in the cup. We want to keep the momentum going by playing well and scoring goals."
The following squad was due to travel ....
Wright, Howard, Hibbert, Lescott, Weir, Naysmith, Valente, Arteta, Cahill, Osman, Carsley, Davies, van der Meyde, Beattie, Johnson, Anichebe, Hughes.
I have heard (unconfirmed) that Weir was unable to travel, but regardless, it looks a good side.Several players including Beattie, Davies and especially van der Meyde have a lot to prove and will welcome their chance on live television.
Posh have a depleted squad at present, coach Keith Alexander, would not have been able to name 16 players for Saturday's match, had he been unable to arrange two last minute loan deals. Of course they will be "up" for this match, but the class difference is great and Moyes is well aware of the pitfalls, having coached in the lower leagues.I consider that a big advantage when it comes to games like these.
5 points Everton -1/2 1.48 betfair.
Harry Redknapp is going to take the opportunity to rest a few players and to introduce some recent signings.
Andy Cole is set for his first-team debut and may be joined by Niko Kranjcar, Rodolph Douala and Manuel Fernandes.They all played for the reserves last week and will be hungry to prove what they are capable of.
They travel to play Mansfield who have lost 4 of their last 5 and were poor in the 1-0 loss to Torquay, at the weekend.
Stags boss Peter Shirtliff, was not impressed by their performance, in his post match interview he said ......
"We never really looked like scoring".
"I was disappointed by our determination and aggression in their box, which was non-existent".
"We have got a few knocks and bruises, as well as players feeling sorry for themselves and I am not interested in the Portsmouth game right now,don't know if the players are".
All things considered Pompey should have far too many options for the home team who are 83 places below them in the league structure.
4 points Portsmouth -1 goal asian line l.89