October 3rd – Saturday
I’ve been a tad weary over the last few days after suffering a severe case of the ‘man flu’, yes, flu is always severe if you’re a man. I’ve done my utmost to put the Lemship aside and gaze through the various leagues and pick a few possible winners. However, if my tips do fail miserably then i will, of course, blame the illness entirely, however, if my tips succeed then i will take the full brunt of the credit. I cannot lose.
In all seriousness, we have found one very confident selection, Sheffield United to beat Doncaster Rovers, while backing Bari to beat Catania in the Italian Serie A looks a great piece of business. We wish you all the best if you do follow my picks!
Current Tip Streak – L L W W W
Sheffield United V Doncaster Rovers
Kick-off: Saturday 3rd October – 15:00 GMT
Competition: English Championship
The Blades take on a Doncaster team best described as ‘awkward’ tomorrow afternoon. United will have high hopes of gaining promotion back to the top flight this season but, to achieve such a rewarding goal, Kevin Blackwell’s side will have to dispatch the smaller teams in the league, with Doncaster Rovers certainly being one of them.
Sheffield United have made a somewhat patchy start to the season with four wins in ten games, certainly not ideal for possible promotion candidates, but they have generally been their best on home soil, with their their home record this season standing at 2-3-0. They did draw their last outing at Bramall Lane 3-3, but they were 3-1 down against Ipswich Town at one stage and did tremendously well to claw back a point, although, they would have expected all three before kick-off.
However, Doncaster aren’t an Ipswich, which could be seen as both good and bad considering the terrible form Ipswich are in. Doncaster have won one game all season, that coming in the form of a 2-0 win at home to Cardiff. Five away games for Rovers this term has seen them share the spoils twice, but come out with nothing on three occasions (0-2-3). They have yet to win on their travels this term and that doesn’t look likely to change at Bramall Lane, despite Rovers beating the Blades 1-0 at this very same venue last season.
Doncaster are an extremely tough side to beat, mainly because they don’t give an awful lot away, whilst they keep it pretty tight at the back, although that’s mainly just the case at home. In five away games thus far, Doncaster haven’t kept a single clean sheet, with Rovers conceding five in their previous two away outings against West Brom (3-1) & Scunthorpe United (2-2).
Were Doncaster to get anything worth bragging about here then you would feel their best chance is the draw, and they will no doubt target that beforehand, setting up in a defensive manner, hoping to hit the Blades on the counter. However, it’s hard to see United not breaking what has been a rather shaky Rovers away rearguard of late and outscoring Doncaster on home soil.
It’s imperative for Sheffield United to win a game of this magnitude as anything but a win could scupper their already faltering momentum and morale. A win tomorrow would be the building block they need to mount a serious challenge on the top two position, with United currently four points adrift. Doncaster will make this tough, but United to knick this in a HOME WIN.
Side Bet: Over 2.5 Goals – 2.04 Ladbrokes
At first, mainly through gut instinct, i thought this game had all the makings to be a low scoring affair, but then again, at second glance, Rovers have been leaking goals left, right and centre on their travels, while United are capable of scoring any number at home. An early breakthrough will be pivotal for our ‘Side Bet’ here, let’s hope it’s a United one, though.
Bari V Catania
Kick-off: Saturday 3rd October – 17:00 GMT
Competition: Italian Serie A
I’m a statistics sorta guy, although, my lady statistic friend won’t help me highlight how good a punt on Bari just might be, so, I’ll just spell it out.
Bari were nothing short of sensational in their last fixture, just another day at the office in a 0-0 draw with AC Milan at the San Siro. I watched that game live via Betfair and i can honestly say that Bari were hard done by, or mighty unlucky, either way they should of won, convincingly. They weren’t scared to commit men forward, the had two lethal wingers on the night, especially Rivas down the left who caused Milan all sorts of problems, spurring several glorious opportunities on the way to my heart.
Bari are a quality striker short of being a very good side as their defence is at tight as a cricket’s backside. The Serie newcomers have conceded just four goals in six league games. They’ve even kept the champions; Inter Milan, to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro, the second Milan side to be frustrated by this eye-catching Bari side.
However, now you must read the small print, i mean ‘Negatives’. Bari haven’t been the most clinical of sides at home, with a home record of 1-1-1. Their solitary home victory thus far came against Atalanta, in comprehensive fashion, smashing them 4-1. However, they didn’t take the strides forward many, especially us, had expected, losing their following home game 1-0 to Cagliari, a very average team. Our Bari obsession does spring another fault when you read that they have failed to score twice in three home outings… not good.
Like we said at the very top of this preview, Bari are a quality striker short of being a very good Serie A side. However, they don’t half create chances and, considering the law of averages, one of them will surely find the net against a Catania team with an away record of 0-1-2, conceding six, scoring three. However, they did keep a clean sheet in their last away fixture, a 0-0 draw away at Atalanta, a team in 19th, one below them, so don’t read too much into that, we haven’t.
MATT’S TIP: BARI TO WIN – 2.05 BET365
This is far from a ‘lump on’ job, but Bari do represent a touch of value, considering it’s the sketchy Serie A. They create chances, they don’t conceded, just stick the blooming ball in the net and we’re home and hosed.