Tuesday, March 29, 2011
149 people told that they had behaved in a "non violent" and "sensible" way and that they would be able to leave the building freely, this was relayed by a chief inspector of police, not a constable. Outside all 149 were then kettled, handcuffed , taken into custody and all have since been charged.
However, the blog will be five years old on Friday, that's at least 3,649 posts, some 800,000 views in the last three and a half years alone and well over one million words of copy, the equivalent to some 11-13 novels. I did not want to let that pass without comment, as this must be the most long standing sports betting blog on the internet, with most having a shelf life of just a few weeks and I am proud of that fact.
Several readers have been with me since day one and have shown as much dogged tenacity as I have, so thank you for that.
As a reward ( or punishment), if any of you want to receive free copies of all my notes this weekend, just send an email to me at stencelwade@btinternet before 10.00 UK time on Friday, it will not be possible to include anyone after this time. You will receive emails on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, probably 5-6 in total and get a brief schedule of when to expect these when the first is delivered.
Otherwise, please check back next week and good luck in the meantime.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
MACCLESFIELD - STEVENAGE BOROUGH
A midweek win for Macclesfield has all but ensured their safey for another season and I doubt they will be able to match the intensity or motivation of their opponent this afternoon. Hosts have already lost 8 home starts this season and conceded 28 goals, the most of any team outside the drop zone. Boro are looking for a ninth road victory and for a 5th straight win in a row, that sequence of results has taken them into the playoff zone and they are not about to let up now. They are not an easy team on the eye, or to like, but are physically imposing, well drilled, fit, organised and believe 100% in coach Graham Westley, for whom they would run head first through a brick wall if he asked !
They play at a very high tempo that others struggle with and once taking the lead, will resort to any tactics to delay the game and stop their opponent from building momentum. Latest of these is the "drinks break"when one of their players is "injured" usually using up some four minutes of play, their fans even sing a song about it ! Very frustrating to watch, but extremely effective, it is shame, because they look quite good when they do decide to play. Westley added to his squad yesterday with a very promising young non league keeper and the coach is very confident about his players, stating that his team "are getting stronger with every game". Field have injury problems and their squad is down to the bare bones, meeting a team like Boro under the circumstances is the last thing they need and it could be a long afternoon for the Silkmen.
Stevenage -0.25 1.96 Sbobet .
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Hosts have given themselves a very slender lifeline with their emphatic 3-0 win at Scunthorpe in midweek and will be all out for three points today to try and drag another side into the relegation shake up. I was keen to oppose City earlier in the season when they where hanging around close to the playoffs, as they were clearly not that good, however, they are also not as bad as one win in 17 starts might suggest and now that they have ditched coach Aidy Boothroyd and his negative tactics which were dragging the whole club down, I would not be in such a rush to oppose them. Caretaker boss Andy Thorn immediately swiched to 4-3-3 at Burnley in midweek and they pretty much dominated the game, created a host of chances and were desperately unlucky to only earn a share of the points in a 2-2 draw. Hard to see them changing much this afternoon and I expect these two clubs to go toe to toe for 90 minutes. Consecutive clean sheets seem unlikely for North End and if City have half the attempts on goal they managed in midweek, they are likely to snatch at least a couple and I will split my stakes on the"over" bet and City to do just that.
"over" 2.5 goals 1.95
Coventry to score over 1.5 goals 2.625 Bet 365/ Corals etc.
Friday, March 18, 2011
BORUSSIA MGB- KAISERSLAUTERN
Hosts are making a real fist of survival with 10 points from ther last 7 outings which is a mighty haul compared to the 13 they collected from their opening 19 starts. However, the real improvement has come since new boss Lucien Favre took charge on Valentines Day and the BMG fans should be in love with what he has achieved so far. The team were without a home win at the time, but have beaten both Schalke (2-1) and Hoffenheim ( 2-0) since, collected a fine point at Bremen with a last minute equaliser and lost by the odd goal in three at Wolfsburg, when again they had chances to salvage something at the death.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I can take this opportunity to explain a couple of things which I am asked on a regular basis , the Feedburner email delivery service on the left hand side of this page, is a third party service delivered once per day at around 13.00 UK time. It doesn't come from me, Feedburner simply pick up anything that has been posted and pass it on, if I post something after 13.00 you will not receive it until the following day, usually after the matches have been played.
The blog content is only a fraction of my output, just a "taster" if you like, so will always be more subject to variance. Should you wish to write to me about anything you can do so on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer, but I can never discuss matches I have not already previewed.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY - PETERBOROUGH UNITED
We backed Peterborough at Yeovil exactly four weeks ago, my notes are reproduced below, they won that 2-0 and are unbeaten in seven since then, winning six, including the last four with a 15-0 goal difference ! That sequence also included a 5-0 road win at Oldham and 6-0 defeat of Carlisle at the weekend, so my words that they are going to thrash someone soon and that sooner or later they will get things right at the back, have been proved correct. Obviously, confidence levels are through the roof at London Road and a win tonight, could easily take them into an automatic playoff spot, with second placed Huddersfield facing a tricky trip to Griffin Park, home of my beloved Brentford. Posh actually missed two penalties at the weekend, so let Carlisle off the hook ( !), they had 20 solid attempts on goal and kept things very tight at the back. They travel to Wednesday, who are still struggling under "new" boss Gary Megson, who seems to be running out of ideas and his post match interview where he stated... "We changed the formation , we put two up front which people have been advising me to do and that's the way forward ", hardly inspires confidence, why is taking advice from others after just a few weeks in charge ?The visitors put five past Wednesday at the beginning of last month in an eight goal thriller and are a different side defensively since then. Hosts have not won at Hillsborough in five, or beaten a top half team there since August ( !), hard to see that changing this evening.
Peterborough level ball 1.90 +.
YEOVIL TOWN - PETERBOROUGH UNITED 15/2/2011
Yeovil had been overperforming for several games, including committing highway robbery and getting away with three points at Griffin Park after being outplayed for 90 minutes, they have lost two since the bubble burst and will be without their top scorer again tonight, which will be a big loss against a side who concede as many chances as Posh. The visitors are playing incredibly well box to box, they dominated Charlton at the weekend, should have won by three, lost 3-2, they cannot keep a clean sheet, but are some day soon going to thrash someone. Darren Ferguson has raised the performance and expectation levels at London Road and he has a few more defensive options tonight, he is calling this the most important game since his return and firmly targeting three points. His side have scored 16 in their last five starts and sooner or later they will get things right at the back, Town like to keep things tight here, which is tactic that should suit Posh, who will be able to make the running, I feel they will win and possibly with a degree of comfort.
Peterborough United -0.5 2.40 general quote ... 2.50 in places.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
IPSWICH TOWN - READING
This shoud be quite entertaining and I do not expect either to settle for a point. Town have drawn fewer home starts than any team in the Championship in any case and with a midtable finish seemingly assured, have no reason to be cautious. Reading are unbeaten in six and are playing at a very high level at present, they do have a FA Cup quarter final with Manchester City this weekend, but just six points off the playoffs, will surely give their all for the win this evening. They have scored more goals in the last five minutes of games ( 11 in total) than any other side in the division and are unbeaten in all 16 matches that Mikele Leigertwood has started, I have told you before how very important he has been to the Royals. Bit of a mini crisis for Town with several players facing late tests, team news vital here. Reading have collected points in 7 of the 11 games in which they have trailed at the half.
Confirmed team news: Kebe and Tabb out for Royals, Howard and Karacan in, a very adventurous 4-3-3 formation, at least thats what it looks like.
Town : Fulop, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, O'Dea, Drury, Norris, Leadbitter, Martin, Scotland, Wickham..... no Bullard !
SWANSEA - WATFORD
Swansea will stay in second place with a win tonight regardless of what happens elsewhere which is a big incentive and will be looking to bounce back after a 1-0 loss at Scunthorpe on saturday. Despite the loss, they played well at Glanford Park on a pudding of a pitch, which did not suit their silky ball passing style of football, enjoying 61% possession and winning the attempts on goal count 18-9, coach Brendan Rodgers pronounced himself "pleased" with the performance afterwards and you will not hear that too often following a defeat. Watford now looked booked for a midtable finish despite ending a poor run with a 1-0 win over Millwall at the weekend, the Lions having had several clear chances to take the lead, the Hornets can beat anyone on a going day, but their lack of depth has caught up with what is a talented, but young and inexperienced squad. Key stat, visitors have won only 3 of the 12 games (25%) in which they have gone in level at the break, Swans 7 of 14 (50%).
Confirmed team news : John Eustace returns from suspension for Watford. Swansea: Dobbie in for Britton, Moore replaces Beattie, the same starting eleven who walloped Leeds here 3-0 recently.
BRENTFORD - BRIGHTON
No real history between these two clubs, but there is a little ill feeling between the two owners, who are probably the two biggest gamblers/syndicate owners in europe, not that that makes any difference, as neither is likely to play !
Brentford had a long and fruitless journey up to the North East at the weekend and performed poorly in a 3-0 loss to Hartlepool. That has left the Bees firmly in midtable and their Wembley final next month aside, we can only expect them to really get "up" for the bigger league fixtures and a visit from the league leaders, with a large travelling support under the floodlights at Griffin Park, which is always special, certainly falls into that category. Bees have already seen off Championship Hull City and EPL side Everton here this season and new boss Nicky Forster will want to recover quickly from his first loss in charge and claim another scalp, the game has extra meaning for Forster who returned to the Bees after three years with the south coast side last year and knows many of the visiting team well.
Brighton are also top of the second half table with an impressive 16-12-4 record, first goal might be crucial, Bees are 8-0-0 when leading at the half, only conceding twice, Brighton are 12-1-0 with just four goals against.
Confirmed team news: Four changes for the Bees, Bryne and Reed make their full debuts, Legge and MacDonald return..... strong looking team in my not so humble opinion !
I will send match updates by email as usual .
Sunday, March 06, 2011
I am involved in three events today and have picks I really like at odds of 6.50 and 8.0, the latter looks really good value and win or lose, I am incredibly happy with and excited about this bet, if you cannot understand my thought process about that statement, it is going to be very hard for you to make money gambling. I cannot post either of those selections here today, but will put up the third and hope that we enjoy better luck today ....
SPORTING GIJON - GETAFE
Really massive game for Gijon who are one point from safety and face a daunting trip to Villarreal ( 11-2-1) next week , shortly followed by a visit to Real Madrid ( 13-0-0), they desperately need to pick up points from their next two home games and a visit from a mid table side, especially one coming off a midweek derby game, is about as good as it gets at this stage of the season. Hosts did have a recent 1-1 home draw with Barcelona, infact, they are the only team to take any points at all off the Catalan giants away from the Camp Nou and followed that up with another unlikely point at Valencia, they have since lost 3-0 at Sevilla, but that came on the back of some really tough games and they played well over an hour with ten men, all three goals coming after the dismissal. At least that match was played on tuesday, allowing Sporting a full 24 hours longer recovery time than Getafe, who played out a keenly contested Madrid derby with Atletico the next night, having led for 78 minutes there, the result would have been a disappointment to today's visitors. Apart from the suspended Eguren, hosts have a full squad to pick from, although one or two are carrying minor knocks and the coach might opt to rotate a little, that will probably be the case all across La Liga following a full midweek programme. Very motivated home side to collect the spoils.
Gijon -0.5 2.20 + .... 2.25 in places.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Funny week so far, Kolo Toure has been on the "slimming pills" ( he is a big lad though), not sure what Sir Alex was on with his post match comments about Martin Atkinson, he must have known what to expect (see Tuesday post) and also knows that he will have a more "favourable" referee in charge sometime soon, better to keep quiet on the odd occasion his team are on the rough end of the deal.
Another "big surprise" was that there was trouble on and off the pitch in a midweek evening Old Firm game in Glasgow, no one saw that coming ! They usually play at lunchtime on sunday for a reason ! Winners from this debacle, only Strathclyde police looking to rack up the overtime, losers, domestic violence reports up 70% in the city!
Hopefully we can focus on the beautiful game today and that my beloved Bees can play their part with some samba style football in sunny Hartlepool..... I live in hope !
Good Luck with all your bets today.
LINCOLN CITY - ACCRINGTON STANLEY
I simply feel that the odds are wrong in this game and that the "over" option has been wildly overpriced. We were involved in the City midweek game ( I have reproduced my notes below) when they somehow beat Oxford 3-1, we got our money back with the "saver" bet there , but United were well on top and passed City off the pitch at times, despite shooting themselves in the foot with TWO own goals. City have not yet replaced Hoyte, who is out for the season and I explained how lost they have looked in his absence defensively, but this is a team who know where the goal is and Ashley Grimes and Delroy Facey are proving a handful for all defences at this level, they are "over" in 14 of their last 18 games. Stanley play a very open style, both at the Crown ground and on the road, where they are without a clean sheet in 14 starts.
Neither team has any relegation concerns, both sit seven points off the playoffs with games in hand on some of the teams above them, they will surely go al out for three points, with a draw of little value to either. The reverse fixture was very open, Stanley won 3-0 efefctively sealing the win with two early strikes, but City had plenty of chances despite finishing with ten men, they hit the woodwork and also missed a sitter when the game was still in the balance and there could/should have been more goals in the game.
"over" 2.5 goals 2.17
LINCOLN CITY - OXFORD UNITED
We have discussed Oxford United quite a lot over the last couple of seasons and done well in backing them, including in the recent 3-0 win at Morecambe the preview for which is reproduced below, to save my two fingered typing skills from overwork. That was the U's last road start and the three points took them right into the heart of the playoff battle, they lost ground at the weekend with a 2-0 home loss to Hereford, but they played pretty well in that, 59% possession ,19-7 in chances and were denied two penalty appeals, the first of which was blatant, so I will put that down simply as a minor blip. Hereford scored in the eighth minute, by which time the home could already have been two up and got their second with a breakaway goal as time expired, the visiting boss Jamie Pitman called it their " best performance of the season", as Oxford were all over them, it gives you some idea of the level that Chris Wilder's team are playing at. Another is that CW is not an easy man to please, but he has already said that he will probably stick with the same starting eleven, which means a three man strike force even on the road, a policy which has served them so well in recent months.
Lincoln were unbeaten in five before a 2-0 home loss to Chesterfield and then a 4-2 defeat at Barnet on saturday. The first of those was 0-0 early when key City defender Gavin Hoyte ( on loan from Arsenal) went off injured, he is unavailable again tonight and they have conceded six goals in some 160 minutes in his absence. I have just watched extended highlights of the Barnet game, the home side were 3-0 up at the half, it should have been five, as they hit the woodwork twice and the City defending was shambolic, they could not handle or stop crosses into the box and big visiting target man James Constable will be rubbing his hands with glee if he has also watched those "lowlights". Very hard to see the home side keeping a cleansheet, but they do pose a strong offensive threat of their own, probably goals in this, would not put you off the "over", but I will take the away team off level ball and a tiny saver on four or more goals , 1-3 or something similar will do nicely !
1.5 units Oxford level ball 1.94
0.5 units "over" 3.5 goals 3.75 + ..... 4.0 in places.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
BLACKBURN ROVERS 2011-01-15 H PREM W 2 0
FULHAM 2010-11-10 H PREM W 1 0
STOKE CITY 2010-08-28 H PREM W 2 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2010-05-09 H PREM W 8 0
STOKE CITY 2010-03-07 H FAC W 2 0
MANCHESTER UNITED 2009-11-08 H PREM W 1 0
LIVERPOOL 2009-10-04 H PREM W 2 0
ARSENAL 2009-04-18 N FAC W 2 1
SUNDERLAND 2008-11-01 H PREM W 5 0
STOKE CITY 2008-09-27 A PREM W 2 0
EVERTON 2008-04-17 A PREM W 1 0
LIVERPOOL 2007-12-19 H LC W 2 0
FULHAM 2007-09-29 H PREM D 0 0
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2007-03-19 A FAC W 2 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC 2007-01-13 H PREM W 4 0
SHEFFIELD UNITED 2006-10-28 A PREM W 2 0
Twelve straight wins with a 30-1 goal difference and only two conceded in sixteen starts.
One of those was a previous Chelsea-United game at Stamford Bridge, when the home side won courtesy of a late John Terry winner, however, key match decisions were made by Atkinson, when according to the BBC ..... "Twice Chelsea got the better of close early refereeing decisions, firstly when Anderson set Rooney through on goal only for the striker to be harshly ruled offside and then when Terry escaped punishment for an apparent tug on Valencia's shirt in the box ".
Regardless of the result tonight, it always pays to take a look at the man making the big decisions.
Good luck with your bets in what looks a very interesting midweek programme.