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On this page you find articles on betting tips and sports betting in general.

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15th August 2014 / Lee - Category: Betting Advice

Cyril's Betting Advice

Reading the morning paper over breakfast I was surprised how many bookmakers are either giving their own tips or sponsoring the ‘papers own tipsters. Can this be anything else other than a “come-on” to help swell the bookies satchels.
Surely having bookies plugging their businesses in this way isn’t” cricket”? How much faith can you put in their “recommendations”?. It’s bad enough when newspaper correspondents have a private tipping service. Who’s losing out then?
The readers or the paying members?

One ‘paper has a bunch of bookmakers spokesmen who give readers their “valued opinions”. Over the last couple of weekends they’ve “recommended” in the following fashion.
First weekend.
Four of then tipped 2 single games each and achieved 3 winners between them. Is 37 1/2% a good enough return from so-called experts?
What about the fifth tipster. He recommended what has always been known as the bookies benefit. An accumulator. In which two of the five “Certs” were a let down. He also tipped a double, his best of the day. Result, one winner and one loser.
A grand total of ten bets from the five of them with a total of three winners. Not only 30% winners but 70% LOSERS.

The second weekend offerings read even worse that the previous one.
The self-same four Bookmakers reps again gave tips for two matches. This time resulting in just 0NE successful forecast.
No better than the average punter, I’ll wager.
The Accumulator King from the previous week this time chose a 4 timer. Red hot HOME FAVOURITES but at increased odds.
RESULT. The same as last week. A LOSING BET. To add insult to injury his double also contained TWO more losers.
This time a total of TEN BETS. JUST ONE WINNER. Can’t you do better than a 10% winner rate?

Surely there should be a “gentlemen’s agreement” that bookmakers don’t attempt to influence punters in this way. The layers have for a long time suffered bad publicity yet they court controversy in this manner. Why?

There is something we can use which is often offered by the bookies. They have a habit of offering money-back if ” so and so ” wins, or if “so and so” scores. There are other offerings, of which I’m sure you’re aware. Now by and large the bookies are on the ball with these bets. Using our experience gained over the years, it should prove possible to choose which bets to follow and LAY those chosen. These “offers” from the layers are usually sound money making propositions.
Such as one now available . “All losing stakes returned if Tiger Woods wins the US Masters”. Can the bookies afford to be so generous? Only occasionally. Because just like the punter they too make mistakes but not as often.
There are usually quite a few of these NEGATIVE SELECTIONS on offer when there are important events due to be decided.
There is definitely money to be made from these offers. The basic bet is usually to LAY the selection but there will be times when it pay to actively trade them instead.
The Grand National will probably be such an occasion. Before you accept any thing offered with a proviso, remember this race is a bit of a gamble at the best of times. 40 starters, a dash to the first fence, all ingredients for mayhem.

16th April 2012 / cyril - Category: Betting Advice

Betting Advice

We are going to assess some of the strongest Premier League Streaks and Sequences ahead of this weekend’s betting fixtures. This is always a good place to look, because it really paints a picture of the current form and status of teams. Form pretty much counts for everything (not totally everything, because we always like to use a bit of fixture history to back up our betting) but looking for football streaks and sequences can help you pull out that big winning bet. Here we analyze who in the Premier League is doing the best and doing the worst in terms of runs of form ahead of your weekend’s football betting. This should help you with some pointers as you scan your football coupons.

Premier League Fixtures Analyzed
Norwich v Chelsea, Everton v Blackburn, Fulham v Newcastle, QPR v Wigan, Stoke v West Brom, Sunderland v Swansea, Wolves v Aston Villa, Bolton v Liverpool, Man City v Spurs, Arsenal v Man Utd

Longest Run of Consecutive Matches Without Defeat?
Tottenham Hotspur take the crown here ahead of a massive match up against Manchester City. Spurs are the Premier League’s premier form team at the moment, and are on a run of seven unbeaten matches (home and away). There is simply no other team in the Premier who can come close to that in total. So what implications will that have on their trip to face Manchester City on Sunday afternoon? Well, it is a pretty convincing run to take anywhere to be honest, and suggests that they will be confident and good for a point. Although on the other side of the fence, City are on a two match winning streak, but are on that fantastic 10 match winning streak at home this season. Spurs have only gone two matches on the road since a defeat. So does the City home streak trump the Spurs overall for your Man City v Spurs betting?

Longest Run of Consecutive Matches Without a Win?
Well, the struggling QPR are the Premier League’s worst form team at the moment, as they have gone a whopping nine league matches without a win. Yep, nine. Now under the management of Mark Hughes, they struggled to beat the MK Dons in the FA Cup replay in midweek at home, and they are home again on Saturday, this time against fellow strugglers Wigan. QPR are on a three match losing streak at home (five home matches without a win) and that really cannot be ignored. If you lose three in a row at home, something is very wrong. Wigan, well they are on a two match streak without a win away from home. So while neither are doing great, there looks to be a slight statistical form advantage for the Latics.

Most Unlikely To Draw?
Well that will be Manchester United on their trip to the Emirates on Sunday to face Arsenal. The Red Devils are on a sequence of not having drawn a match in their last eight Premier League games (home and away). The strongest run of no-draw in the Premier League and therefore it suggests that a result will be played out against Arsenal one way or the other. Manchester City of course, with ten homes wins on the bounce have not drawn a match on their home turf all season in the Premier League, and therefore have the longest home streak without a drawn match. So again, a result against Spurs is likely to be played out when they square off on Sunday.

Longest Home Sequence Without Defeat?
Out of the home teams for this round of fixtures, Arsenal and Man City can produce the best run of form at their respective homes. The Gunners are on a streak of nine home games without a loss, while City goes one better with ten games without a loss at home.

Longest Away Sequence Without Defeat?
Out of the home teams for this round of fixtures, for all of their hiccups, Chelsea are the league’s best away team at the moment as they are undefeated in their last five away matches. Andre Villas Boas takes his men to Carrow Road to face Norwich on Saturday.

Most Likely To Keep A Clean Sheet?
Manchester United have kept the League best eleven clean sheets this season.

Most Likely To Not Score?
Swansea and Wigan have both failed to find the back of the net in nine of their Premier League matches this season.

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20th January 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Betting Advice

Betting Advice

For a little side note away from betting markets today, we wanted to take a brief look at Each Way betting. This is a popular method of trying to give yourself coverage on a selection, in particular horse racing, because you are willing to sacrifice greater odds for the higher possibility of receiving some kind of payout. Each Way bets are split up in to two bets; one Win and one Place bet. For example, if you back wonder horse Frankel in an Each Way bet at 4/1 Odds and ¼ Odds for a Place (1st, 2nd & 3rd) for example, what does this mean in terms of payout and return? Well, because you are placing two bets when you make an Each Way selection, you need to double your initial unit stake. So if you were having a £10 each way on Frankel winning the 3:10 then you would actually be staking £20 (two bets of £10). As far as returns go, if Frankel romped home first as expected, then you would win both of your bets. You would naturally get your full return on a win at 4/1 of £40, but you can add on top of that, another £10 profit for the Place bet won at Evens (which is a quarter odds of 4/1) as well. However, what makes Each Way betting appealing, is the coverage that you will get if your horse simply Places. In this example you would not get any profit from your Each Way bet, because while you would be winning the £10 from your horse placing at quarter of the original odds, and that will simply serve to cover the lost £10 stake of the losing Win part of the bet. It doesn’t matter if you bet £1 or £100 on a 4/1 selection at ¼ Place odds, a Place finish is not going to offer any profit. So while you are not going to come out with anything, you at least don’t lose your stake, which you would have done if you had taken a £10 bet on the nose for Frankel.

Naturally, the greater the odds over 4/1 that your selection is for an Each Way bet (which pays out at quarter odds) the greater the profit you will pick up for a Place finish. Anything under that threshold 4/1 odds in an Each Way bet will mean that you actually lose money if your horse only Place at ¼ odds. You will need to adjust your odds range slightly if for example the Place Market paid out at 1/5 odds, because then the minimum odds you need to take where you would at least get your stake back would be 5/1. For 1/3 Place odds, you need the threshold of 3/1 odds and so on. So, if the odds in the Frankel example above were at 8/1, then you would make yourself a £10 profit for him Placing. This is because a £10 stake at 2/1 (a quarter odds of 8/1) would give you a £20 profit, but half of that would still go and cover the losing Win part of your initial Each Way bet. But at least you would walk away with something. So that is the appeal of an Each Way bet, and it is really, strategically reserved for punters wanting a crack on a longer shot in a market. There is really little value in backing one of the front runners in a race in an Each Way bet. But if you spot someone in the field who has at worst an outside shot and landing a Place finish, but could also spring a huge surprise and win, then that is the kind of selection that you want to back. This is because it will be at higher odds and therefore a better pay out on a Place finish.

But what about an alternative? An alternative to Each Way bets. Well, not really an alternative, but an expanded way to increase the potential return of your profit in an Each Way bet, but without losing any stake again if your selection Places. We shall explain, after all, successful betting is about maximum potential for lowest amount of risk.

Let’s look at example of backing a 8/1 horse at £10 each way in a race (with Places paying out at ¼ odds). With a win you know that you will make a £100 profit. However, you also know that you will get £10 profit on your Each Way bet if the horse only Places. So here is where you can capitalise without losing any stake. You can take that £10 insurance that you’ll have if your Each Way bet Places and simply stake the equivalent of that £10 on your horse to win in a separate single bet. At this stage you are paying out £30 in total stake, but the pay off here is if your horse does win, because you will get the £100 profit from your Each Way bet, plus a further £80 from your single. If you horse just managed to place in this scenario, then you have still not technically lost anything. Why? Because with a Place finish, you would get your £10 back from your Each Way bet, which covers your stake on the single, so that was almost like a free bet. You just didn’t get that £10 profit from the each way bet, but you haven’t lost any original stake. You still get your initial £20 stake back which you laid out for your Each Way bet, but that losing separate single will have been covered by the profit from the Place in the Each Way. So essentially with this free bet you can almost double your winnings by taking this approach.

So in summary. If you can open up a profit margin by a selection Placing, then you can use that profit margin essentially as a free bet as a separate single, to try and boost your winnings.

Just to recap this expanded Each Way Bet system

£10 Each Way at 8/1 (with ¼ Place Odds)
= a) £100 profit for a win
= b) £10 Profit for a Place

Now take b) and place that same value on separate single bet on the same selection, which leads us to:

Separate £10 Single Win at 8/1
= £80 profit for a win
= If the selection only places the £10 stake which would be lost here, would be compensated for by the £10 profit of the Each Way profit of £10 (b). So it is essentially a free bet as you don’t lose any stake.

14th November 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Betting Advice

Premier League Betting

Manchester United v Aston Villa Betting Tip & Odds: Well, Villa are finally showing some signs of improvement, but it is unlikely to be enough to go to Old Trafford and cause an upset. Manchester United are rolling along and dealing with everything which is getting thrown at them. United at home should be a banker for three points, and you have to look in that direction. They should have too much to offer up front against a Villa back line which isn’t renowned for keeping themselves out of trouble. Villa rattled United when they met earlier in the season, and still the Red Devils wouldn’t break. Not going to be great value in backing a United win, so it’ll be worth looking at Berbatov in the goalscorer markets. For the match outcome though, head to an Asian Handicap of Manchester United -1.75 for 6/5 at Bet365, paying out a half win for a two goal victory, full win on a 3 goal margin.

Manchester United to win: 1/3 at Paddy Power
Draw: 9/2 at Bet365
Aston Villa to win: 10/1 at SkyBet

EPL Match Preview: Manchester United will just not lie down. They were down at out at half time in last week’s away match against Blackpool, but then that old United resilience shone through in the last twenty minutes of the match, and their goals (including a brace from Dimitar Berbatov) saw the Blackpool hearts broken. All of Manchester United’s troubles have come on the road this season, and time and time again they have been backed into a corner, only for them to manage to find a way out. It is almost something which you come to expect from them on their travels this year, and they were at it again when they fell behind at Southampton in the FA Cup. It took a second half turn around to get them out of that mire as well. But, for all their ups and downs on the road this season, they still remain unbeaten at the top of the Barclays Premier League. It is quite remarkable, as prior to the season kick off, they did not look as sure fire a bet, with the level of quality throughout the squad, much poorer than it has been for years. They are still, despite their unbeaten record, far from being a great team, but the other teams challenging for the title race haven’t lived up to that mantle either. United don’t have the flair or passing quality of Arsenal, and they don’t have the quality in midfield that Chelsea can line up with, but despite all that they still get the job done. Does a home match against Aston Villa have the potential of being the one which ends their unbeaten run? No, even though Villa played a really great match earlier in the season when United went to Villa Park. Villa pulled out a two goal lead, but yes, inevitably, Manchester United managed to claw their way back to earn a point. Back in United’s back yard, you have to expect a home win.

Whatever Dimitar Berbatov (7/2 at SkyBet as First Goal Scorer) has been having for breakfast, Chelsea fans will want some for Drogba and Anelka. The Bulgarian is simply on fire, and unstoppable this season, and this was after much criticism last season, that he was lazy, unreliable and wasn’t fit to replace Rooney. How tables turn. Wayne Rooney is having a tough season, and seems to be a shadow of his former self. There is no indication of where the next goal is going to come from him, and with Berbatov carrying the can, Mexican striker Javier Hernandez (9/2 at SkyBet as First Goal Scorer) is really pushing hard with his goal scoring feats, to replace Rooney in the line up. Hernandez always seems to be right there when United need something special to salvage the game. He has done it time and time again, and he was a great capture by United in the summer. You have to think that United will find a way through the Aston Villa back line, although it was a back line which managed to keep out Manchester City in a recent match. However, this is at Old Trafford, where Manchester United  have won 65% of all matches at home between the two sides. They didn’t win in the corresponding fixture last year though, when Villa stole all three points, but that result really went against the trend of how this fixture has generally gone. United have had a lot of success against Aston Villa in recent times, and that, backed up with their record this season, it all points to a convincing home win. There is also a vast gulf in the goal tally’s when the teams play at Old Trafford, with United having scored over 100 more goals in the fixture than the visitors. Sounds as if more of the same is on the cards.

Aston Villa, despite being stuck in a relegation dog fight for a fair share of the season, really are not that bad a side, and finally are showing their true colours and are improving. Gerard Houllier is the man charged with taking them forward, and they went in with a big splash to get Darren Bent from Sunderland during the January transfer window, and that was a vital coup. Villa have been one of the lowest scoring teams in the Premier League all season, and one of the major reasons why they were in trouble. They have not been helped along this season with their terrible defence either, which are having a hard time not shipping and giving away goals. Aston Villa have climbed up to thirteenth in the league, and are giving their fans a lot more optimism than a few weeks ago. They are now unbeaten in their last three matches to their credit, and finally Houllier looks as if he is getting things together at the club. Villa have a lot of good young players at the club, and because of a tough break with injuries, they have suffered this season. However, maybe the youthfulness is beginning to pay off now, as more experienced is gained. Villa actually play some good football, and like to use width. They have a bit of quality in Ashley Young, Mark Albrighton and now with Darren Bent up front along with Gabriel Agbonlahor, they should have more firepower to ensure their safety. Villa really do have enough to play their way out of trouble, however, they aren’t going to do it at Old Trafford.

Villa did great last season, taking points of United in both games, including a victory at Old Trafford. They are not going to do it this season, as they are far less organized than they were last year. Still, this is good testing ground for them, to see just how much they have improved. They don’t have a particularly great record against United, and back to back wins there in the league? Unlikely. Villa won’t be helped by the fact that their away form has been pretty miserable, winning just two matches on their travels this season in the league. They have been beaten seven times in their twelve away matches, but as mentioned, they have shown better signs, going unbeaten in their last three road trips, including a 3-3 tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. There is still the feeling that Villa are a work in progress, and heading north to Old Trafford is just going to be too much for them. When you have conceded an average of 2.25 goals per match on the road this season, Old Trafford is pretty much the last place you want to go.

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Manchester United v Aston Villa Premier League Betting Statistics

Last 5 Head to Head
Aston Villa 2, Manchester United 2
Aston Villa 1, Manchester United 1
Manchester United 0, Aston Villa 1
Manchester United 3, Aston Villa 2
Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 0

Manchester United have an 92% win percentage at home in the league this season
Aston Villa have a 17% win percentage away from home in the league this season

Manchester United are on a streak of 12 home games with no defeat
Aston Villa are on a streak of 3 away matches with no defeat

Manchester United have scored 34 goals, and conceded 7 at home
Aston Villa have scored 11 and conceded 27 goals in their away matches

Manchester United average 2.8 goals per match at home this season
Aston Villa average 0.9 goals per match away from home this season

Manchester United have scored the bulk of their goals in the 31-45 and 76-90 minute brackets
Aston Villa have scored the majority of their goals in the 76-90 minute bracket

Manchester United have opened the scoring in 69% of their matches
Aston Villa have scored first in 50% of their matches

Manchester United 2010/11 top scorer: Berbatov, 19 (14 of them at home)
Aston Villa 2010/11 top scorer: Downing, 5

Manchester United 2010/11 Season Form: P23 W14 D9 L0 GF51 GA21 Pts 51 (1st)
Aston Villa 2010/11 Season Form: P24 W7 D7 L10 GF27 GA40 Pts 28 (13th)

31st January 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Premier League Betting

Football Betting

Fulham v Tottenham is a London derby in the FA Cup, which looks as if it will be a tight battle. Fulham aren’t exactly lighting the Premier League up much at the moment, and their form looks to be pretty hit and miss. The old stubborn Fulham which were hard to beat, is still there to some degree, as they have drawn eleven of their 24 league matches this season. Their five wins though is far too low, and they will start as underdogs against Tottenham Hotspur, naturally. Fulham really haven’t been helped with a list of absentees, including Bobby Zamora, Philippe Senderos and first choice keeper Mark Schwarzer. Fulham picked up young Chelsea forward Gael Kakuta on a loan deal, but as he played in the third round for Chelsea against Ipswich, he is cup tied and can’t make an appearance either. Tottenham have already beaten Fulham twice in the Premier League this season, and sensible betting heads have to lean towards a repeat performance, especially as Spurs haven’t lost in seven matches now against the Cottagers. The ball is in Spurs court really, and you would expect them to move ahead and make quite a big impact in the FA Cup this season, because they have been very exciting to watch, and really aren’t afraid to have a go at teams. They will be without Gareth Bale for this though, but they get back keeper Gomes and Wilson Palacios, not that they really that short of quality in their squad.

This looks a tricky tie for Spurs, and they could have hoped for something just a little bit easier. However, you would still expect them to come through this one, and the bookies seem to think so as well. Spurs just have a good record against Fulham, and they have the class to get through this one. As for Fulham, they lost to Liverpool in the week, and that busted an unbeaten run of four games (in all competitions) so there is some hope there. The most likely outcome for Fulham would be a draw, and they could battle to hold on for that, being the draw specialists which they are. If you are looking to pick a winner though, it will have to be Spurs, as Harry Redknapp is probably just to canny to let this opportunity slide. Although it would mean an extra game, he probably wouldn’t be too disappointed with a rematch at White Hart Lane if it came to it. Hard to ignore the dominance that Spurs have over Fulham, and they are the most likely winners. The FA Cup is all about who the hero goalscorer will be, and if you place a bet on any goalscorer market on this match at Stan James, then you will get a stake refund if the match ends in a 0-0 draw. Stan James are an excellent bookmaker, and their goalscorer special promotion just adds a little coverage to your first goalscorer betting.

Fulham to win: 21/10 at Boylesports
Draw: 5/2 at BetFred
Tottenham to win: 7/5 at Paddy Power

30th January 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

Bolton v Wigan betting: Bolton got trounced in the Premier League by Chelsea at the beginning of the week, and they are in a downward spiral as far as form is concerned. They were pushing hard for a tip six place, and then it all came crashing down with four defeats in their last five matches, picking up just one point. They are going through a tough patch at the moment, and boss Owen Coyle needs something to turn that all around. A home tie in the FA Cup against lowly Wigan really should be just the tonic. Bolton aren’t the direct physical side they were known as being under Sam Allardyce, and Coyle has added a little control to their play, without taking away the physicality totally. This makes them a tough side to play on their day, but they haven’t been able to put anything together, and the Reebok Stadium has been a sombre place. They need to dig deeper than what they have, and get back to doing the good things which they were doing on their great run of corm. Their defence was woeful against Chelsea, it has to be said, but hopefully for the Bolton fans that will have been the last straw and problems will have been fixed. A bit of pressure off here from the toils of the Premier League, and Bolton are worth backing. Wigan are doing even worse at the moment, and are looking more and more likely to be embroiled in a tough relegation battle at the end of the season. They did show some grit when they held Bolton to a 1-1 draw at the beginning of January, but Wigan are not a confident side at all, and boss Roberto Martinez must be really sweating for his own survival at the moment. Wigan have just one win in their last eight matches now, and the draws which were keeping them afloat just about, look as if they are abandoning Wigan as well. They have been fighting all season and could be running out of steam very soon unless changes are made. Should be a comfortable, moral boosting win for Bolton.

Bolton to win: 8/11 at William Hill
Draw: 11/4 at Bet365
Wigan to win: 9/2 at BetFred

Outright FA Cup Winner Odds
Manchester United: 4/1 at Unibet
Arsenal: 5/1 at Unibet
Manchester City: 5/1 at BetFair
Chelsea: 6/1 at BetFred

28th January 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

FA Cup replays dominate the midweek football action, starting with Manchester City trying to take down Leicester at the second attempt. The Blues were held by the Foxes at the first attempt, as the Championship side in a great FA Cup tie. City were in the lead 2-1 in the second half, with James Milner and Carlos Tevez both on the score sheet, but a blunder by England number one keeper Joe Hart, gave Sven Goran Eriksson’s Leicester a share of the spoils. It was something of a surprisingly boisterous effort by Leicester, who really rattled City at times, especially when the set pieces came flying into the box, as the usually sound City defence, could not deal with the physical presence of Leicester defender Bamba, who was making his debut. It was the former Hibernian player who opened the scoring on the day. A place in the fourth round of this year’s FA Cup against Notts County is up for grabs, as the two battle it out at Eastlands on Tuesday. In the end, Leicester had more possession in the match, and more attempts on target, as they played with great heart and character. City will be favourites in the replay, especially at home, but after they scraped a 4-3 win against Wolves in the Premier League on the weekend, Sven Goran Eriksson will be telling his players that they are more than capable of causing an upset. It will all be about whether or not they will be able to carry that momentum through from the first match. They have the added strike power of Yakubu, who has just joined the Foxes from Everton.

More often than not, if the underdogs do not make the most of their opportunity and take out the higher opposition at the first attempt, then they seldom get change from a replay. Especially when it is at the home of the superior side. Manchester City have the class and skill to see this match out, now that all the excitement of the first leg is over. Leicester, based on the first performance against City, may offer glimpses, but you will expect a much more solid home, professional performance from Roberto Mancini’s men. There will be no place in the side for new signing Edin Dzeko, as he is ineligible to play, and Mario Balotelli is injured, leaving most of the work up front to be done by Carlos Tevez, who has to be worth a shout in the Anytime Goalscorer market (4/5 at Blue Square).

Manchester City to win: 4/11 at William Hill
Draw: 9/2 at Totesport
Leicester to win: 9/1 at SkyBet

18th January 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

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16th January 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Free Bets & Promotions

Premier League Betting

Arsenal v Manchester City Betting Tip & Odds: Arsenal thrashed City 3-0 at Eastlands earlier in the season. Arsenal have a massive 63% win percentage against Manchester City at home. Although Arsenal have slipped at home this season, you still primarily see them as the most likely team to win this one. Manchester City will come and defend and hope for a bit of brilliance from someone, whereas from Arsenal, you expect brilliance from all over their forward ranks. That’s the difference. It is tough to see Manchester City really having enough of the ball to put a less than perfect Arsenal defence under enough pressure in the match, whereas Arsenal will enjoy pulling the City players all over the place. City are fully capable of a draw though, but we are going to cover the options on a strong Arsenal performance an Asian Handicap bet. Arsenal -0.75 Asian Handicap for 5/4 at Paddy Power is very good value, giving a half win for a one goal winning margin, and a full win for a two goal winning margin for the home side.

Arsenal to win: 20/21 at Boylesports
Draw: 11/4 at BetFred
Manchester City to win: 10/3 at Victor Chandler

EPL Match Preview: Would it be wrong to promote this match as the battle for second place? Well, let’s face it, both are struggling to catch United, as both teams have played more games than the leaders, and both have failed to take top spot from them. Anyway, this is a huge match, and one that is going to be met with a lot of anticipation. Arsenal of course have been part of the big four in England, but now with the demise of Liverpool, Manchester City have bullied their way into what was an exclusive party. Arsenal have continued to be one of the main challengers for the title, but they have had some blips along the way, ones which may just suggest that they are not ready to win the title yet. But, arguably, after watching all the teams in the Premier League title race, it is not hard to say that Arsenal are the best team there. They are the best footballing team hands down. No-one can match them in terms of control, creativity and passing ability, but all too often their spine has just been a little bit soft and they have been bossed out of games. It has happened this season to them, where they have lost three home matches, plus when they went to Old Trafford, they were like deer in the headlights and completely froze on the big occasion. However, that actually seemed to do them some good, as they rallied in their next game to really put Chelsea to the sword at the Emirates stadium, clinically finishing off their London rivals by a 3-1 scoreline. They then went to Wigan and slipped to a 2-2 draw, but in a really tough, tricky away match at Birmingham, who had just held Manchester United to a draw, Arsenal showed immense character and toughness to come away with a 3-0 scoreline.

That was a big mark on Arsenal’s season. Why? Because they actually showed that they can be a tough side, and mix it with the best. It was, in ways, a battling and bruising affair at St Andrews, but Arsenal did everything right. They fought hard, and still had the quality to finish off their opponents. If they can keep that going for the rest of the season, they will push United all the way. However, as good as that result was, there are still some frailties which will probably hold them back. They are not the strongest side at the back, and they can get flustered and bothered when teams get at them, especially in the air. They still need a world class goalkeeper between the sticks, because that would save them a lot of points over the season. They would be in a better position now probably if they had had that extra quality from the start. However, it is hard to knock a side which play football the right way. They play in a positive manner, like to stroke the ball around in pretty patterns, and like to clinically cut through the opposition like surgeons. That is their strength, and that is why they are going to beat Manchester City. There is a brave statement, but it is the outcome which should happen. You may recall the match back in October of last year when the two sides met, Arsenal were head and shoulders better than their opponents at Eastlands, and breezed away with a 3-0 victory. That was because Arsenal possess something which Manchester City do not. A positive football attitude. Arsenal, thanks to Arsene Wenger, seem to realise that the more goals you score, the harder it is going to be for the opposition to win. That is why they are not afraid to get forward, that is why they have an abundance of creative power in the centre of the park, and lethal finishers up front.

Arsene Wenger has fallen into the mode of shuffling his squad around. He pulled Arshavin and Chamakh from the starting line up against Chelsea for example, and then used Arshavin and Bentdner at Wigan, and both found the back of the net. At Birmingham, Robin Van Persie rattled in a goal, along with the in form Samir Nasri. Arsenal just have goals from all over the park, and they have the strongest attacking force, in depth, in the Premier League. Their defence however, needs a bit of stiffening up, but they managed to cope with City well enough when they met them earlier in the season. Manchester City at times this season have been the polar opposite of Arsenal. They are extremely hesitant to throw bodies forward, and they are happy sucking the life out of the opposition and then hitting them on the break. Boss Roberto Mancini certainly has had his critics this year, but his style seems to be working for them. They are two points ahead of Arsenal, albeit having played one game more, and their defence really is to be applauded. It is so good in fact, it can be called the best in the Premier League as it has conceded the fewest amount of goals. However, this defensive staunchness really has come at the cost of style and flair, and if you are watching football, which would you prefer to see?

Perhaps victory at any cost is a victory. Anyway, Manchester City are doing something right, and their defensive set up has worked incredibly well away from home, where they have just as good of a record as they do at home. That is something which is impressive and is carrying their season. They are currently on a roll of three straight wins in the Premier League over this busy festive period, and more importantly perhaps, in those three matches, Manchester City have scored eight goals. Carlos Tevez did the damage in a 3-1 win at Newcastle, while Mario Balotelli hit a hat trick in a 4-0 drubbing of Aston Villa. It was then England winger Adam Johnson’s turn to grab the limelight with the solitary goal against Blackpool on New Years day. Maybe the dust has settled from the fallout of the Carlos Tevez transfer saga. Maybe in a way it pulled everything together, with the captain deciding to stay, it may have instilled a sense of calm in the dressing room. Who knows? Certainly Balotelli still seems to have maturity issues, and David Villa has forgotten where the goal is, an Emmanuel Adebayor is rapidly becoming a forgotten man, things are not all that settled at City, but they are winning. That is five wins out of their last six matches now, with only a home slip up against Everton to blight their copy book. That has been their only defeat in eleven matches now in the Premier League. Maybe the defensive first approach does have its merits. The big question is though, will it be enough to contain the powerful threats of Arsenal at home?

The feeling is, is that Manchester City are going to be defensive. That’s their nature. But Arsenal have the craft to tear them apart, and once City get themselves behind, will they have enough to fight back? To fight back they will need to be more open at the back, and that is just what Arsenal want. This is why it is hard to see City having quite the right set up to beat Arsenal at the Emirates. They could be well worthy of a draw, because they could turn up and stifle the Gunners, but Arsenal have only failed to score in one of their home matches this season. When it comes down to it, it is hard to see Manchester City outscoring Arsenal and really that is the crux of this match. It actually has potential to be firecracker, just as the Arsenal v Chelsea match recently was (for the most part). This is another huge test for Manchester City, to prove that they are genuine title contenders. There is still a long way in the season to go for the men from Eastlands, and there is a lot at stake here. A win would put them four points clear of Arsenal, and keep them in touch with rivals Manchester United. A win for Arsenal would put City down into third place and having played a game more the Gunners. For the Premier League title chase to stay alive at this point, the neutral will be egging on an Arsenal win, Manchester City are a good away side though, but maybe just not good enough to contain the craft of Arsenal, so that is why a home win should be take some precedence with your betting.

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Arsenal v Manchester City Premier League Betting Statistics

Last 5 Head to Head
Manchester City 0, Arsenal 3
Arsenal 0, Manchester City 0
Manchester City 4, Arsenal 2
Arsenal 2, Manchester City 0
Manchester City 3, Arsenal 0

Arsenal have an 67% win percentage at home in the league this season
Manchester City have a 60% win percentage away from home in the league this season

Arsenal are on a streak of nine home matches with no draw
Manchester City are on a streak of five away matches with no defeat

Arsenal have scored 22 goals, and conceded 11 at home
Manchester City have scored 19 and conceded 9 goals in their away matches

Arsenal average 2.44 goals per match at home this season
Manchester City average 1.9 goals per match away from home this season

Arsenal have scored the bulk of their goals in the 46-60 and 76-90 minute brackets
Manchester City have scored the majority of their goals in the 0-15 minute bracket

Arsenal have opened the scoring in 65% of their matches
Manchester City have scored first in 66% of their matches

Arsenal 2010/11 top scorer: Nasri, 9
Manchester City 2010/11 top scorer: Tevez, 12

Arsenal 2010/11 Season Form: P20 W12 D3 L5 GF42 GA22 Pts 39 (3rd)
Manchester City 2010/11 Season Form: P21 W12 D5 L4 GF33 GA16 Pts 41 (2nd)

4th January 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Premier League Betting

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