29th May, 1pm
Our last bet was a goals galore special on the last day of the Premier League, and sadly we came up a single goal short. Newcastle were the only team to fail to score, and as one of our first 4 selections this cost us the whole of the bet. A close run thing.
Tonight we are into post-season International friendly football. The big game of interest is at Wembley with England hosting the Republic of Ireland, the first time in quite a while that this fixture has taken place. It’s been well documented what happened last time these two teams met, lets hope for an uneventful night off the field tonight and a decent game of football.
As is often the case with these post-season games there have been a number of withdrawls, and the players that do take to the pitch will have let their level drop a little. It’s often an invitation for chances and goals, and that has to be the pick for tonight. Lets have a look at the odds:
Over 2.5 goals 1.94
Under 2.5 goals 2.04
So close to a 50/50 shot for at least 3 goals. England are strong favourites (at 1.5 best) to win this game, and I think they will do so. Ireland aren’t quite the team they once were, and although they will raise their game for the occasion, I think England will have too much. So I expect the England victory, but wouldn’t be that surprised if Ireland manage to nick a consolation. A stab at the scoreline would be something like 3-1 or even 4-1, so I think the 2.5 goals bet will come home with minimal fuss.
Let’s stick a decent bet down and make some money!
England v Republic of Ireland, International friendly. Wednesday 29th May, 20:00.
Over 2.5 goals. £20 @ 1.94
Enjoy the game!
18th May, 1pm
A close run thing, but our bet came up just short on Wednesday. Benfica had by far the better chances over the course of the game, but a run of profilgate finishing and bad luck saw Chelsea stand firm. The suckerpunch came in second half when Torres ran clear to take advantage of some sloppy defending and fire Chelsea ahead. Benfica hit back through a penalty, but it was then Chelsea who sealed the trophy in stoppage time with a towering Ivanovic header that left the keeper rooted to the spot as it looped into the net. We were a tad unlucky that the game didn’t make it to extra time or penalties, it could have easily gone either way.
It’s been a week of more footballing retirements, the only guard really are making way for the young lads now. This week we’ve seen David Beckham and Jamie Carragher added to the list retiring at the end of the season. Both go out with a Champions League winners medal among their respective collections, although one-club Carragher has had a rather different career to Beckham. This week Becks sealed his 4th title in different countries, a record for an English player. Congratulations to him on a stellar career. A few people doubted him at times, but rarely has an Englishman played with such passion for his country, see England v Greece 2001 as the proof.
Beckhams greatest goals are also well worth a look, it’s incredible just how many screamers he hit down the years! In fact, if you want a little reminder, check this out:
Moving back to current affairs, tomorrow sees the final day of the Premier League. In a change from last year, there’s not a great deal still to be settled, only the final details of the European places remain. In the battle for 3rd place there is the small possibility of an interesting play-off scenario should the results fall in a certain way – it would need Cheslea and Arsenal to finish on exactly the same points, goal difference, and goals scored. However, with Chelsea having a 2 point advantage, the ball is well and truly in their court with a home game remaining against Everton to seal 3rd.
Given the relaxed situation for the vast majority of the teams, there could be something of a testimonial feel to a lot of the matches. This quite often equates to goals, so our bet this week is going to be for plenty of attacking football and goals! Rather than go for the Over 2.5 market, today we’re going to have a look at one of the alternatives, which is the both teams to score market. If you are yet to bet here, then click the banner to claim yourself a free £50 bet, the perfect way to get started!
Lets have a look at the Premier League fixtures, all of which are at 4pm tomorrow:
Chelsea V Everton
Liverpool V QPR
Man City V Norwich
Newcastle V Arsenal
Southampton V Stoke
Swansea V Fulham
Tottenham V Sunderland
West Brom V Man Utd
West Ham V Reading
Wigan V Aston Villa
The rules for Goals Galore are that you have to choose at least 3 matches, but you can choose up to 15. The more you choose, the bigger the odds! For our final bets of the month we’re going to go for one bet of 4 games and one bet of 5 games, which will give us minimum odds of 11/2 and 10/1 respectively. To achieve this, we’re going to pick 4 games we fancy for the first bet, then add another game to it for the second bet, as follows:
Chelsea V Everton
Liverpool V QPR
Man City V Norwich
Newcastle V Arsenal **
Southampton V Stoke
Swansea V Fulham ** (5th choice)
Tottenham V Sunderland
West Brom V Man Utd **
West Ham V Reading **
Wigan V Aston Villa **
Of these selections there is only one game where there is anything to play for, which is the Newcastle v Arsenal game. I think Arsenal have to go for it, but may not be good enough to keep Newcastle out.
Sunday 19th May 4pm. Premier League goals galore, selections as above.
One 4-fold, one 5-fold. Both £5 bets @ 11/2 and 10/1.
Good luck, enjoy the last games of the season, and lets hope its a winner!
15th May, 12pm
There’s been a lot of football and football news since the last diary just a week ago. Let’s start today with a quick run down of the main ones.
Sir Alex Ferguson retires. There’s nothing that’s not been said elsewhere, an absolutely incredible career and a well earned retirement. We’ll probably never see this sort of achievement again at the very highest level, truly remarkable, especially in an age where the average managerial lifespan is measured in minutes, not years.
Mancini fired. Speaking of which, a year to the day on from winning the Premier League, Mancini is relieved of his duties at City. Not the greatest surprise, he seems to have lost the respect of players and fans alike despite a season that saw them finish second and get to the FA cup final. That isn’t good enough now, even though the team was in the wilderness just a few years ago. The problem for his successor is that City are part of the instant success brigade, I’d be tempted by a small punt on whoever takes over being gone again before the end of the season. It’s hard to feel sorry for City fans after the way the money has transformed their club, but I’m sure plenty of them are looking at the stability down the road with green eyes.
Wigan win the FA Cup. Huge congratulations to Wigan, who pulled off a massive shock on Saturday to beat Man City in the final. They simply wanted it more. Man City looked like they expected to turn up and win it, Wigan had other ideas and were full value for the trophy. An absolute breath of fresh air to see the underdog come out on top, exactly 25 years have passed since the last upset of a comparable scale.
Wigan relegated. Perhaps the FA cup exertions took their toll? Wigan lost 4-1 to Arsenal last night and this confirmed their relegation. The damage was done already, and this time they simply left themselves too much to do, particularly running on empty as it seemed in the second half last night. The FA cup is a cracking consolation, hopefully they will be able to keep their manager and better players, and we’ll see them back again in a year or so.
Last but not least, if you cast your mind back to last week, we had a punt on the Chelsea v Spurs match. The bet looked home and hosed by half time when the score was 2-1, but it took most of the second half to find the al-important 4th goal. Spurs got it and it finished 2-2, just good enough for our bet. The Champions League places this year will go to the wire, we’ll be having a look ahead of the final games of the season on Sunday.
We finish today with a bet, there’s only one place we’re looking, and that is of course the final of the Europa League tonight between Chelsea and Benfica. We’ll start with a look at the match odds:
So Chelsea are favourites, but not massively so against a decent Benfica side. A quick look to the Portugese league shows us they have just lost top spot to Porto, having suffered their first loss of the season against them at the weekend. But this league is a 2 horse race, with these two teams comfortably above the rest. So how have they fared in Europe? Obviously well enough to make it to the final! Along the way some of the more notable results include wins home and away against Leverkusen, and a draw and a win against Newcastle. The final is on neutral ground in Amsterdam, I think it could be one of the better finals of recent years, either team is perfectly capable on their day.
So we either have an outright bet over 90 minutes, or instead we have a look at the overall winner market. This is a bet on which team will lift the trophy, however they may achieve it, and the current odds are:
Given Chelsea won the European Cup last year on penalties, maybe this is a safer bet?
But I’m not going with Chelsea. For me this market is close to being a toss of a coin, and we’re getting a value bet with Benfica priced well above even money here. One of the key factors for me is that Chelsea are going to be without Eden Hazard, one of their more dangerous attacking players, and also Ramires, their engine in midfield. They look likely to be starting with Lampard in the middle, and I just wonder if the pace and strength of the Benfica centre midfield pairing will prove crucial.
Enjoy the game!
Europa League. Wednesday 15th May, 19:45.
Chelsea v Benfica. Benfica to lift the trophy, £10 @ 2.38
May the best team win!
7th May, 4pm
Wow. Well, I have to admit that I did not see that coming! Bayern turned over Barcelona for the second time in a week, and again it was in spectacular style, this time a 3-0 win at the Nou Camp. Barca chose not to risk Messi, and with a couple of other absentees they were made to look a rather ordinary team. It’s probably too soon to write them off completely, but at the very least they are now being seriously challenged after their years at the peak of European football. Well played to both Bayern and Dortmund, the final should be a cracker.
There’s plenty of important football on at the moment, with play-off and Premier League games coming thick and fast every day this week. So we’re going to have a little mid-week flutter, and the match I’m looking at is one of the most important London derbies in recent memory. Chelsea host Spurs in a match that is vital for the Champions League aspirations of both.
Both teams go into the match on the back of tight 1-0 wins, both with a very late winner settling things. The market would suggest that this game could be a bit more open, here’s the price from the Over 2.5 goals market:
Over 2.5 goals 1.8
Under 2.5 goals 2.26
So its odds-on that there will be at least 3 goals in this. If we move up a goal to the Over 3.5 goals market, we have these prices:
Over 3.5 goals 3
Under 3.5 goals 1.5
This market is a strong odds-on the other way, that there will be less than 3.5 goals. So between the two markets, we can read into this that the bookies fancy there to be exactly 3 goals. Do you agree? Decide for yourself what you think, then see if you think there is value in the price available. For me, I think there’s value in the Over 3.5 goals market, but not the Over 2.5 goals market. Whether or not this is an open game with plenty of goals is the issue, and for me, if it is then the extra return on your stake for just one extra goal is worth the risk – particularly because it’s a game both teams really need to win.
In an ideal world there will be a fairly early goal, which should open the game up nicely. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion it could actually be a classic, so we’ll have a stab at the Over 3.5 market.
Premier League. Wednesday 8th May, 19:45.
Chelsea v Tottenham. Over 3.5 goals, £10 @ 3.00
1st May, 2pm
Another winning month in April, lets see if we can keep the run going into May!
We’re right at the business end of the football season now, with a number of titles, relegations and promotions all already sorted out. But there’s still plenty to play for, for example in the Premier League there’s the race for the Champions League places, plus the scrap to avoid the final spot in the bottom three. We’ll be keeping an eye on these as the season draws to a close.
Today though we turn our attention to the Champions League semi final second leg. Barcelona are hosting Bayern Munich after the stunning first-leg 4-0 demolition job by Bayern, the first team to really put Barca to the sword in quite some time. Too much to do tonight? Probably, although write them off at your peril! Lets have a look at a couple of the available markets for the game.
Bayern Munich 4.1
Bayern Munich 1.05
So what does this tell us? Odds of nearly 19-1 for Barcelona to qualify imply around a 5% chance of them pulling it off. Its a proper long shot. For me, its too much to ask, I don’t think even Barca can manage it. I think their biggest regret from the first leg will be the lack of away goal, as we saw last night, the one that Real Madrid scored away was so, so nearly all-important. The problem for Barca is that a single goal for Munich tonight will leave them needing 6! Bayern have been rock solid at the back all season, and they surely won’t ship 6 in a single game, even if it is away at the Nou Camp.
How do I expect the game to pan out? My guess is that Bayern will be solid and disciplined, but also set up to catch Barca on the break to try to nick the goal that will kill the tie off. They might achieve that, but will they keep Barca out? I suspect not. It’s likely to be the typical Barca European tie that sees them camped around the middle of the opposition half, with a huge amount of possession, looking for any minor weakness in the Bayern rearguard. I think they will get through, and if they can take a 2-0 lead into half time, we will have a very interesting game on our hands.
My gut feeling is that Barca will still fall short, but I think they will have enough to win the game. Given that they need to win it so convincingly I find the odds on Barca to win the match to be extremely generous. Yes Bayern are a good side, but if anyone can break them down its Barca, so we’ll go with that.
Champions League semi-final, second leg. Wednesday 1st May, 19:45.
Barcelona to win. £20 @ 1.84
Enjoy the game!