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League one


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



Cyril's Betting Advice

For some unknown reason both Npower leagues do not fair too well on the BTTS front. League One just managing 56% of BTTS. They do, however have a better return than League Two. At this point in time, teams have played 21 games. Bournemouth lead the way with 16 BTTS games. Leyton Orient bring up the rear with just 7 such games.

Goal totals with for and against split.

BTTS Goals - statistics League One

Team Goals GF/GA
Bournemouth 69 36/33
Carlisle 68 27/41
Coventry 61 33/28
Yeovil 61 30/31
Scunthorpe 60 21/39
Portmouth 60 27/33
Preston 59 32/27
Crawley 59 29/30
Bury 58 23/35
Walsall 58 23/35
Stevenage 56 29/27
Tranmere 56 38/18
Colchester 56 23/33
Crewe 55 27/28
Hartlepools 54 15/39
Shrewsbury 52 23/29
Notts. City 52 32/20
Brenford 52 31/21
Swindon 48 30/18
M.K. Dons 47 30/17
Doncaster 47 30/17
Sheff. Utd 47 29/18
Leyton. O. 47 24/23
oldham 46 22/24

These stats show that some sides are involved in games where goals are quite easy to come by. Some teams, like Bournemouth seem to indulge in scoring and conceding on a regular basis. However stats do indicate that some sides do defend quite competently. Others, however seem to find a little difficulty in actually scoring a goal. Hartlepools spring to mind.

Below is a listing of teams with their BTTS efforts. All teams have played twenty one matches.

Both Teams to Score - League One

Team BTTS Matches % of matches
Bournemouth 16 76%
Coventry 15 71%
Carlisle 15 71%
Bury 14 67%
Stevenage 14 67%
Preston 14 67%
Walsall 14 67%
Barentford 13 62%
Scunthorpe 13 62%
Porthmouth 13 62%
Shrewsbury 12 57%
Hartlepools 11 52%
Crawley 11 52%
Sheff. Utd 11 52%
Tranmere 11 52%
Oldham 10 48%
Colchester 10 48%
Notts. Cty 10 48%
Doncaster 10 48%
Swondon 8 38%
M. K. Dons 8 38%
Leyton. O 7 33%

Eleven of the sides listed above, have performed better than the average for the whole League One. These stats aren’t as clear cut as the two sets we’ve seen previously. Nevertheless they should prove useful to an experienced punter. Perhaps it may prove worthwhile sticking to the best eleven and either discard or otherwise depending on their opponents on a particular match day. It might also be worthwhile keeping a weather eye on those clubs which have an up and down type of record. Reliable one day but not the next.

Clubs showing a good consistent record of locking the opposition out, are definitely the kind to leave alone. There are four teams who have conceded less than 20 goals so far this season and only one of them has a better than 50% record BTTS-wise.

Use these figures together with your experience and give the bookie sa bashing and win yourself a few pounds towards those Christmas bills and expenses.

A general look at all the English top five leagues shows that a minimum expectation, on any match day, should be 50% of BTTS results. That in itself should be a good pointer to an even greater crop of money making possibilities.

Remember, bet sensibly. Only bet with money you can afford to lose. Best of luck.
-> BTTS for Premier League
-> BTTS Betting Premiership
 
(This article was written on the December 20th by our expert Cyril but our editor was very busy and did not manage to publish until now. Sorry for that!)


12th March 2013 / cyril - Category: Betting Advice

Cyril's Betting Advice

Having looked at our top two leagues and the Conference (read Goals Galore) I’m now turning my attention to Leagues One and Two. These two leagues seem to be a little more competitive in as much as goals seem a little harder to come by for quite a few teams.

 
 

League One have the worst record in the English top five leagues for OVER 2.5 goals per game. Breaking 47% seems to have been a bit of a slog.

League One shows fourteen of the sides have achieved at least a 50% return on OVER 2.5 goals after sixteen games. Leading the way is one-time Premiership side, now teetering on the brink of extinction, PORTSMOUTH. Accompanied by Yeovil, both on 11 games ending in OVER 2.5 goals.
Altogether there are fourteen teams worth keeping in mind. Besides the two already mentioned, there are, Walsall, Bury, Preston, Carlisle, Tranmere, Crawley, Hartlepools, Scunthorpe, Coventry, Bournemouth, Brentford and Stevenage. These sides seem not to be too focused on defence. Of course their records need updating weekly. A chore, I know, but once the initial figures have been assessed it shouldn’t be too stressful to keep them going forward. There are four sides which need to be avoided, at least for the present. They are:- Sheffield Utd (2), MK Dons (3) and Oldham and Leyton Orient on 4 games each.

 

In League Two there are a number of sides which might be considered a little goal happy. Not just for scoring goals’ Over 52% of matches have ended OVER 2.5 goals.

Altogether thirteen of the teams have taken part in games which have returned OVER 2.5 goals in more than 50% of their matches. Exeter take pride of place with 12 of their 17 games ending in OVERS. Other sides worth noting are:- Oxford, Wimbledon, Northampton, Morecambe, Barnet,Plymouth, Rotherham, Gillingham, Dagenham and Rochdale.
Teams worth steering clear of, at present are, Fleetwood, Chesterfield, Bradford, Torquay and Aldershot.

However, stats are so tight in this league that it won’t take too many OVERS games to have these teams swapping places
with some of the higher placed sides.

 

Whilst nothing is ever certain in football,(think of Celtic and Barcelona), using these stats with a little bit of research it should be possible to get a few doubles, trebles, etc. I’m not a fan of multiples but this is one of those occasions when needs must. Prices won’t be over generous but some astute pairing etc should be rewarding.

Browsing the internet, I have found that quite a few people are more than a little interested in multiples when backing UNDER/OVER 2.5 GOALS. Obviously the percentage of winning bets will be lower than for singles but hopefully the returns will make it well worthwhile.

The last but second weekend ago there were 5 OVERS in the PREMIERSHIP and 8 OVERS in the CHAMPIONSHIP. Keeping the average for the latter well to the fore. The Blue Square Conference also returned 50% matches as OVERS.

As match scores seem to hold a fascination for many people, next time I’ll venture into the world of BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE. There appears to be a big following for this type bet.


21st November 2012 / cyril - Category: Betting Advice

Sir Alex Ferguson

 

Monday 26th December

 

English Premier League

 

Manchester United v Wigan

 

Manchester United have rediscovered their form in recent weeks so go into the Boxing Day clash with Wigan in high spirits despite trailing neighbours City by two points.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson was coming under pressure from a few quarters after his side’s Champions League elimination to Basle at the start of the month but he has been in similar situtations before and will have laughed off claims that this United side are not as good as one’s from recent history. Despite not being top at Christmas this year, United have actually accumulated more points compared to this stage last season. Wednesday’s 5-0 away win against Fulham was their second win in London in a three days after a comfortable 2-0 success at Loftus Road against QPR. The most pleasing aspect for Ferguson will have been the amount of chances they created in those games as well as the 4-1 over Wolves in their last home match. It was getting back to something like the form they showed at the beginning of the season when their attacking play was immense and they were scoring goals for fun. With back to back home matches in their last couple of games of 2011 against Wigan and Blackburn, it provides United with the perfect opportunity to boost their goal difference as it may well come down to that at the end of the season with the two Manchester clubs so evenly matched.

 

Wigan are coming to the end of a difficult run of fixtures after playing both Chelsea and Liverpool at the DW Stadium within the space of a week. They managed to get a draw out both of those games despite looking like second best for the majority of both games. A late leveller from Jordi Gomez against Chelsea last Saturday and a penalty save from Charlie Adam’s spot kick against Liverpool may prove to be vital come May. It’s so tight at the bottom of the table that every point counts and those two draws are as valuable as wins when you consider the opposition. Monday’s match may well be the most difficult of the lot with the form of United so Roberto Martinez has to get his players to take confidence from the two home games and use it when they go to Old Trafford. Currently still in the bottom three, any sort of result on Monday would be a massive bonus and would mean they had played three of the divison’s best sides and remained unbeaten. In order to get a result, however, Wigan must begin the game better than they did on Wednesday against Liverpool as they could have lost the game in the opening half hour if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper and their opponents being so wasteful infront of goal.

 

Wayne Rooney has scored in each of his last three games including an excellent strike in the comprehensive win against Fulham. His double against Wolves were his first goals since October and his first strikes in the league since September. The fact he has 13 goals to his name this season in league competition alone shows how prolific he wss in the early stage of the season. His return to form also proves how important he is to United’s attacking play so Ferguson, his team-mates and the supporters will be hoping that he can continue it over the course of the rest of the season.

 

Unsurprisingly Wigan have struggled to accumulate points on the road again this season with five defeats from their first eight matches on the road. Their two victories, however, came in their last two matches away from the DW Stadium against West Brom and Sunderland. They will definitely improve the morale of the team when they make the short trek to Manchester but they will also be under no illusions as to how difficult it will be. The last four games between the two clubs have yielded zero points for Wigan, zero goals for Wigan and a woeful 16 goals against.

 

No surprise to read that I think United will continue their dominance against a Wigan side they have never failed to win against and it will be a comfortable one at that.

 

My Selections: Manchester United (-2) to beat Wigan

 

Best odds available: 11/8 available with Boylesports

 

 

English Championship

 

Reading v Brighton

 

Reading will be aiming to continue their recent good form against a Brighton side who have lost their last two.

 

After losing Shane Long to West Brom at the start of the season, Reading found it difficult to get any sort of consistency to their game and it was obvious that the other players had not adjusted to both Long’s departure and the loss of captain Matt Mills who joined Leicester. Slowly but surely, however, the Royals are finding their best form at just the right time with the games coming thick and fast. Last week’s 1-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road was their fourth win from their last five and it means that they have climed the table in recent weeks and are just outside the play-off positions. Three defeats in 15 is good going considering the competitive nature of the Championship and the difference in recent weeks has been the conversion of draws into wins which of course, makes all the difference. The players will take most confidence from their last two wins against Leeds and West Ham as they are sides which are in and around them at the moment.

 

Brighton looked as though they had recovered from their indifferent spell after a great start to the season. Three straight wins got their season back on track and they were threatening the teams in the play-off zone but they followed that run up with two consecutive losses against Burnely and Middlesbrough, both by a solitary goal. Gus Poyet will not be too disheartened by those results considering the teams that did beat them were in good form and they were also closely fought encounters as well. He may be more worried by the fact that his players still continue to struggle infront of goal. The Seagulls have managed just six goals from their last 10 games so it’s evident where they need to improve. Their top scorer, record signing Craig Mackail-Smith, has just six goals in the league and has scored just one goals in his last 13 games for his club side.

 

With the goals of Shane Long, well, long gone, Reading have had to spread the goals around the team as opposed to relying on one man for the majority of their strikes. Adam Le Fondre has managed five, Simon Church has six and then it’s a case of a handful of players having two or three to their name, including Noel Hunt. It is noticeable, however, that Reading are not as potent infront of goal this term as compared to previous season when they had the likes of Long, Kevin Doyle and Dave Kitson.

 

Brighton have managed even less goals to date but they still remain dangerous and as the old saying goes, if you keep a clean sheet, you can’t lose. The story of Brighton’s season is that when they do keep a clean sheet, they normally win. Six of Brighton’s nine wins have came with clean sheets so they will be hoping they can keep Reading’s forwards out in order to aid their chances of coming away with a win which would put them ahead of their opponents.

 

I can see this match being particularly close as the sides are very evenly matched in terms of ability as well as their current league positions and records to date. Reading are in slightly better form going into the match but that can often count for nothing in this league. Brighton have lost three of their last four away form home in the league with their only win being against a Derby side who were in terrible form at the time. With that in mind, I am on the home team’s side to prevail – just!

 

My Selection: Reading to beat Brighton

 

Best odds available: 4/5 available with Betfred

 

 

English League One

 

Walsall v Sheffield Wednesday

 

Second top Sheffield Wednesday travel to Walsall hoping to keep the pressure on league leaders Charlton.

 

Walsall have been in and around the relegation places for much of the season and find themselves occupying the final position in the dropzone ahead of Wednesday’s vist – on Monday. Their recent form has been littered with draws, four in the last five to be precise. It’s a lot better than losing four of their last five but if teams close to them are getting the odd win it makes it so much harder to climb the table. Charlton visited in the middle of the month and could only manage a draw so although their fans will be hoping that they are converted into wins sooner rather than later, they will be delighted with the players’ desire and hardwork, especially against the better sides in the league. Manager Dean Smith will no doubt take heart from that performance as well when the Owl’s come to town and will be reminding his players that it will take the same level of performance if they wish to get anything out the match on Boxing Day.

 

Wednesday were involved in the game of the season in League One last Saturday against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield. After going down 2-0 early on, Wednesday recovered and eventually took a 4-2 lead late on only to end up with the one point after Jordan Rhodes scored two late goals and rescued a point for their visitors. Gary Megson is not known for his side’s free flowing football so he will be disappointed that they not only failed to win, but also because they conceded four goals at home. That will be fresh in the mind for Megson and his defenders so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the away side adopt a slightly more conservative approach, especially early on against Walsall.

 

Walsall have still not won since October but for the reason’s mentioned earlier in this preview, the result of Monday’s match is certainly not a forgone conclusion. Jon Macken scored against Charlton as well as when these sides last met back in April so he’ll be closely monitored by the Wednesday defence and is the biggest threat for the home side.

 

Wednesday will again be without Gary Madine who is out with a broken toe but the four goals last week prove they are still very dangerous going forward. Nicky Weaver is expected to come into goal as Stephen Bywater has returned to his parent club after his loan spell. Wednesday have been in excellent form on the road of late with three straight league wins and four in all competitions.

 

Wednesday are in far better form than their Boxing Day hosts and I expect them to go one better than Charlton by taking all three points.

 

My Selection: Sheffield Wednesday to beat Walsall

 

Best odds available: 10/11 available with Totesport

 

 

Finally, I hope all readers have a very Merry Christmas. Let’s hope Boxing Day brings with it a few delayed presents.


23rd December 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting

Sports Betting

 

Saturday 10th December

 

Scottish Premier League

 

Celtic v Hearts

 

Celtic have transformed their season in recent weeks and will be hoping to continue their good run with a victory over an out of sorts Hearts side at Celtic Park.

 

It wasn’t so long ago that Celtic were 12 points behind in second place and there were more than a few supporters who were calling for Neil Lennon to be sacked as manager. Fast forward a month or so and things are looking a lot brighter for the Bhoys. Having won their last five league matches they have cut the gap to just four points which makes the form side in the SPL. Their recent good form has been the result of some key players coming back from injury and getting a run of games under their belt. Gary Hooper is a prime example as the striker was out of sorts for much of the season because of niggling injuries whereas now he has hit the kind of form he was in last season, scoring five goals in his last three league games, including a hat-trick the last time Celtic played an SPL match at home against St Mirren. Hooper is now joint top scorer in Scotland and Lennon will be keen for his star man to continue his good form, especially as Celtic are due to play league leaders Rangers at the end of December.

 

Hearts started the season brightly enough despite Jim Jefferies being sacked. Paulo Sergio was installed as his replacement and the initial signs were good however there has been a total lack of consistency recently and the pressure seems to be affecting the manager as he has had several outbursts at referee’s and the other match officials. The other problem facing Sergio is discontent amongst his players who have been failed to be paid once again this season. The players must try and remain professional but they are also human and if their is no guarantee of their wages being paid before Christmas, it’s bound to have an effect on the field. Last weekends 2-1 home defeat to St Johnstone was a real low point and was their seventh defeat of the season already. They travel to Glasgow knowing that the last time they played Celtic they ran out 2-0 winners at Tynecastle in October so they will be aware of what level of performance it will take in order to repeat such a feat.

 

Celtic’s recent form has been impressive in terms of results and performance. The 5-0 demoltion of St Mirren two weeks ago was a signal of intent from Lennon and his men and the first half performance last Sunday away to Dundee United was also much more like they way they can play. Beram Kayal is in much better form alongside Victor Wanyama in the middle of the park and it’s their partnership which has provided more protection for the much maligned defence. This has been evidenced in the amount of goals they have conceded in recent weeks compared to earlier in the season with the opposition managing to breach the defence just twice in the last six SPL games.

 

Hearts have lost four of their last six matches in the league and the fans are beginning to get restless as the performances have dropped in recent matches. Sergio is a passionate person and will be hoping that his passion rubs off on his players heading into Saturday’s match as it looked lacking at times last Saturday. When they defeated Celtic in October the players were all up for it and they never stopped fighting for every ball and closing Celtic down at every opportunity. It’s now about transferring that kind of performance from Tynecastle to their travels as they have won just one match on the road all season.

 

Celtic are without doubt in much better form than the last time these two sides met and Hearts are regressing. Hooper and Stokes have 20 goals between this this season and will be a handful for the visitors defence whilst Kayal, Wanyama and Forrest in the midfield are full of energy and enthusiasm at the moment meaning it will be be difficult for the Hearts midfield to get a hold of the game. There is only one winner of this match for me and I can see it being a comfortable one at that.

 

My Selection: Celtic (-1) to beat Hearts

 

Best odds available: 21/20 available with Bet365

 

 

 

English Championship

 

Burnley v Portsmouth

 

Burnley have come from behind twice in the last fortnight to win away from home, this week they entertain a Portsmouth side yet to win away from home.

 

Eddie Howe came with a big reputation for such a young manager when taking over from Brian Laws last season. The former Bournemouth manager had been used to success and winning games when at his former club but it’s been a slightly different story at Turf Moor. Fans would have been disappointed after missing out on the play-off’s last season whilst this season, they have been unable to string a run of form together meaning they have been towards the wrong end of the table for much of this season. Signs are there, however, that Howe and his players are beginning to turn things around. After losing two late goals to Leeds resulting in a fourth successive defeat could have been a crushing blow but they have dusted themselves down and put a run of three wins together. They were behind against both Hull and West Ham but showed a new resilience and came back to win both matches. In between those games, they destroyed Ipswich at home which was arguably one of their most impressive wins of the season to date.

 

Portsmouth done the column a favour last weekend when they were successful against struggling Coventry but they face a different proposition against Burnley away from home. As mentioned, Pompey have not won an away game this term with a record of three draws and six defeats. They are one of only two sides who hold such a record so Michael Appleton definitely has his work cut out as he strives to improve his new club’s fortunes on the road. Last weekend’s victory was massive for a couple of reasons; they off-field drama seems to be never-ending at Fratton Park so the players showed how professional they are by gaining all three points and it was also the first win under the new manager. He will be hoping to build on that and ensure that Portsmouth can stay clear of the relegation zone as it’s getting very congested towards that end of the table. A win tomorrow, however, would mean that they would be just one point behind the Clarets.

 

Burnley’s home form has been patchy due to their inconsistency this season. They have won three, drawn three and lost the other four so if they do hold ambitions of being compeititive for a play-off spot they need to start winning more games at home. Last time out at Turf Moor their crushing win over Ipswich would have done a lot for confidence as it was also at home where they let slip a lead to lose 2-1 to Leeds late on the game beforehand. On loan striker Sam Vokes has been a breath of fresh air since moving from Wolves and he provides a different option upfront. His header last weekend which gave his new side victory showed his class and if they can retain his services to enhance their chance of promotion to the Premier League.

 

Portsmouth have lost six of their last seven away games in the Championship with their only point coming against Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago. Their biggest struggle seems to be scoring goals as they have only managed one goal in their last six on their travels. Appleton may look to adopt slightly different tactics tomorrow but his hands are tied in terms of personnel as he is working with such a small squad. His options will be boosted tomorrow however as Liam Lawrence, Hayden Mullins and Luke Varney are all set to declare themselves fit after missing out last weekend.

 

Burnley don’t have a great home record by any means but they are hitting a bit of form and with Portsmouth so poor and toothless away from home, the selection is a home win.

 

My Selection: Burnley to beat Portsmouth

 

Best odds available: 21/20 available with William Hill

 

 

 

English League One

 

Walsall v Charlton

 

League leaders Charlton travel to Walsall on Saturday hoping to continue their excellent run of form which has left them seven points clear at the top of the table.

 

Walsall are currently in the relegation zone after a dismal run of form which has seen them fail to win any of their last six games in League One. Their last win was a 1-0 home victory over Preston back in October which was only their third win all season. Dean Smith has been in charge for just under a year but he is under pressure to get results and with the festive period coming up, he will be hoping his team can get some sort of confidence heading into one of the busiest periods of the season. Two of their three wins have come at home but they have also lost five matches at the Bescott already. In order to climb the league they need to make it harder for teams to take points off them, the visit of Charlton may well not be the type of team they will look forward to facing but if they were to get something tomorrow, it may well act as a catalyst and get their season going.

 

Chris Powell will be delighted with the start his Charlton side have made this season after so many coming’s and going’s during the close season. More than 20 players have been brought to the Valley under Powell but the supporters will not be caring about that so long as they continue to steamroll through the League One opposition. With just one defeat all season, an incredible eight wins in a row in all competitions and the top scorers in the division, the plaudits they have earned thus far have been well deserved. Their last league match was arguably the biggest of the season to date in England’s third tier as they came up against a Huddersfield side who had not been beaten for over 40 matches in the league. This Charlton side don’t care much for reputation or records though, and they accounted for them rather comfortably in the end, winning 2-0.

 

Walsall know that if they can string a couple of results together then it will mean a move out of the relegation zone. It is tight at the bottom of League One but the longer they go without winning, the harder it becomes to climb the table. Jon Macken is one of the most experienced players in the division and Smith will be hoping that his striker can put that experience to good use and prevent others around him for panicking as it’s the worst thing that could happen at this stage.

 

Bradley Wright-Phillips is one of the most inform strikers in England never mind League One. The former Manchester City trainee has 14 league goals to his name already including seven goals in his last six league matches. He is certainly capable of playing at a higher level but his attitude has been called into question at previous clubs. If Powell can keep his mind on his football and ensure he keeps putting the effort in, there is every reason to believe that he could finish up top scorer out of all the divisions in England this season.

 

Charlton are bang in form, Walsall are totally out of sorts so the away win looks the only wager here.

 

My Selection: Charlton to beat Walsall

 

Best odds available: 5/6 available with Coral


9th December 2011 / callum - Category: Sports Betting

Football Betting

Saturday 25th November

English Premier League

Arsenal v Fulham

A Lodon derby at the Emirates between inform Arsenal and Fulham is the early evening kick off on Saturday.

After an horrendous start to the season which culminated in an 8-2 thrashing by rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, Arsenal’s form has picked up dramatically in recent weeks. From their last 13 matches in all competitions they have failed to win just two of them – one in the league and one in Europe. The only match they did lose was the North London derby against Spurs at White Hart Lane. That defeat was back in early October which means they are on a run of nine games without defeat winning eight of those. Their last home defeat was against Liverpool in August and despite their early season troubles, it was, to date its the only loss they have suffered on their own patch this season. They have, in actual fact, won nine of their following ten matches at home which is an excellent record by anyone’s standards. Their good form see’s them sitting in 7th place at the moment, three points off the fourth Champions League spot which is surely their aim at this stage of the campaign.

Fulham have been diasppointing thus far and are edging ever closer towards the dreaded relegation zone. Last weekend’s draw with Sunderland was one of the most boring fixtures that have been played in a long time. Fulham had a couple of chances to win the game but it would have been harsh on Sunderland who dominated for large spells. It now means Martin Jol’s side have won just two of their 12 Premie League matches which means they sit only above four sides in the division. Jol has had a reputation of playing attractive, attacking football at his previous clubs including Spurs. That doesn’t seem to be the case at his current club, however, despite the amount of attacking talent that he has at his disposal. One of their victories has come away from home so there is a little crumb of comfort for the travelling fans but it’s only the smallest of crumbs as their record away to Arsenal is terrible – they have yet to win. From 25 games they have lost 22 and managed just three draws.

There is not a man in World Football who is in better form than Robin Van Persie. The Dutch striker has really came to the fore in 2011 and his run of form has conincided with his longest injury free spell for years. From 33 matches this calendar year, Van Persie has scored 31 goals. Arsenal have scored 15 goals in their last five games of which Van Persie has scored two thirds of them. There is little doubt that the Gunners have adopted a different style of play this season since losing Cesc Fabregas in the summer and it’s suited their striker in form. Theo Walcott’s direct play from the wide areas as well as Mikel Arteta’s and Aaron Ramsey’s distribution from the middle of the park has allowed Van Persie to get more chances and with his confidence so high and finishing so clinical, he is not missing too many at the moment.

Fulham paid a big fee for Brian Ruiz who arrived from Dutch side Twente in the last transfer window. He has taken some time to adapt to his new club, so much so that despite the large fee he has been unable to command a regular starting spot and has just one goal to his name. Bobby Zamora remains Fulham’s biggest threat and despite not scoring as many as he would have liked he is still very much in the thoughts of England manager Fabio Capello. Zamora lined up in his country’s recent 1-0 victory over Sweden at Wembley and will be hoping to kick on between now and the end of the season and stake a claim for a place in the Euro 2012 squad.

There can only be one winner for me on Saturday evening and I envisage a comfortable home win. The 1/2 available may well tempt many but to make it a little more attractive, go for Van Persie to score anytime and his side to take all three points.

My Selection: Robin Van Persie to score at anytime and Arsenal to win

Best odds available: 13/10 available with Betfred

 

English Championship

Leeds United v Barsnley

Another derby but this time it’s of the Yorkshire variety as promotion chasing Leeds entertain their near neighbours Barsnley at Elland Road.

Leeds have been in and around the play-off zone for much of the season and after narrowly missing out at the end of last season, will be even more determined to ensure they last the pace this time around. Simon Grayson has had to contend with losing key players throuhgout his time in charge at Leeds but he still manages to keep churning results out and keep his side competitive with the other sides looking gain promotion to the Premier League. The Championship is as competitive as ever this season so it will be close come May when the top six will be set in stone but currently sitting fifth and with a couple of points to spare, it’s looking positive for Leeds. What will be especially pleasing for Grayson and their prospects of sustaining their challenge is that their away form is just as good as their home record. He will be hoping that his players can make amends for their last home match which resulted in a 5-0 thumping from Blackpool. In actual fact, Leeds have not won a home match since the 1st of October.

Barnsley’s aim at the start of the season will have been to remain in the division but they will be hoping to do that as early as possible and then look to finish as high as possible. 17 matches into the season and they are sitting in 15th position with a healthy 21 points. Their last match was a 2-0 win over another Yorkshire side in the shape of bottom club Doncaster at Oakwell. Tomorrow’s match will be a totally different prospect but they will make the short journey to Elland Road in good heart after that win. Their away form does leave a lot to be desired however as it’s now six games without a win on the road. They have lost their last three matches against Portsmouth, Cardiff and Brighton so they, along with tomorrow’s opponents, have something to prove and rectify. Their sole win on the road came back in August when they got the better of Reading in a 2-1 victory.

Leeds have won their last two games since being thrashed 5-0 at the beginning of the month. A 1-0 victory over Leciester was followed by a come from behind 2-1 success against Burnley last Saturday. At the heart of both of those wins and most of the good things about Leeds this season has been Robert Snodgrass and Ross McCormack. The Scottish internationalists have scored 13 goals between them in the League this season and their fitness and form will be vital as Leeds look to cement their positive league position.

Barnsley have not faired too badly against Leeds in recent times and have managed to accumulate eight points from their last four meetings – two wins and two draws. Goals were a common theme last season in this fixture with a total of 13 goals shared between the sides so there is reason to believe that there may well be goals tomorrow. That hope is enhanced further with the amount of goals that both sides have conceded this term. Leeds have shipped 26 goals already this season (the most of any top side) whilst Barnsley’s defences have been breached nine times in their last three away matches alone.

I wouldn’t put anyone off backing over 2.5 goals but the value bet for me is for the home side to record their first home win in four.

My Selections: Leeds to beat Barnsley

Best odds available: 3/4 available with William Hill

 

English League One

Sheffield Wednesday v Leyton Orient

The third match previewed this week see’s Sheffield Wednesday host Leyton Orient with the home side hoping to maintain their unbeaten record at Hillsbrough.

It would have been hard for any side to keep tabs on Huddersfield and Charlton with the form the top two in League One have been in but Gary Megson and his Wednesday side are just about managing it. Just two points off of second placed Huddersfield, the Owls are impressing many with their consistency. One defeat from 11 matches in all competitions is impressive form considering how competitive League One is. Their home record is also very strong as the only blemish from nine league games was their most recent home fixture against Brentford. That matched ended goalless but they had won their other eight matches at Hillsbrough with an aggregate score of 18 goals for and just five against. Viisitng sides will really have to be on their game if they wish to take anything back home with them.

Leyton Orient are also a side in very decent form as they have not lost in any of their last nine games. Russell Slade’s side certainly started slowly but no-one can deny that they have certainly turned the corner and are definitely heading in the right direction. Orient have actually performed slightly better on the road and ammased more points on their travels than when playing at home. Their only two defeats away from home this season have come against Brentford and Walsall both of which were very early on the season. It means that they have been to Huddersfield and avoided defeat so they will certainly not be overawed heading into tomorrow’s fixture, despite Wednesday boasting the best home record in the division.

Megson will once again be hoping that the goals of Gary Madine can prove to be the difference for his side. The former Carlisle striker is enjoying an excellent season but he has failed to score in his last four matches. Before that, however, he had went on a run of eight goals in seven matches. If he does get back to that kind of form then there is no reason that Wednesday cannot look to push for one of the automatic promotion spots.

Leyton Orient may not score as many as other teams in the league and have had some trouble keeping them out at the other end but they are one of the form sides in the division at present. Kevin Lisbie is an experienced head upfront and he will lead the line tomorrow as he looks to do the double over the Sheffield clubs having scored against United earlier in the season.

Both sides are in good form and people may be put off backing the home side because Orient haven’t lost in nine. I’m of a different opinion and despite the away side being hard to beat, Wednesday are a better side and have better players. Gary Madine will be a handful for one of the worst defences in the league so take the Owls side to gain another three home points.

My Selection: Sheffield Wednesday to beat Leyton Orient

Best odds available: 8/11 available with Skybet


25th November 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

Saturday 19th November

English Championship

Coventry v West Ham United

Second top West Ham travel to second bottom Coventry tomorrow as the Championship returns from taking a break last weekend due to the International break.

Coventry have endured a torrid season thus far and find themselves just one place off the bottom of the Championship. Doncaster are the only team who sit below the Sky Blue’s at the moment but they have the same number of points so it’s obvious that results need to improve otherwise Andy Thorn will soon be out a job. Their last match was a 4-2 home defeat by league leaders Southampton. The only crumb of comfort they can take from that was they came back from two goals down to level the match, only to lose two late goals. It means that they have not won any of their last five matches – their last win was in the middle of September. At home they have won just two of their seven matches to date, losing three of them. Attendances have been plummeting over the years at the Ricoh Arena and they don’t show any sign of stopping as crowds slip to just over 10,000.

West Ham have adapted to life in the Championship pretty well as the only have one team above them heading into the winter. Sam Allardyce has bought very smartly in his quest to return the Hammers to England’s top flight. The likes of Matt Taylor, Kevin Nolan and John Carew were all playing in the Premier League last season so there experience and quality have been essential. Arguably, however, the most exciting signing thus far has been Sam Baldock from MK Dons who has bagged five goals from his first nine league games. Baldock notched his fifth of the season last time out against Hull in an impressive 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium. It was West Ham’s fifth away win from eight games having just lost once, incidentally against the current league leaders. Allardyce has shored things up at the back and employed plenty of attacking threat which has struck a very effective balance, especially away from home.

Coventry will be hoping that their more experienced players come to the fore and turn in a performance tomorrow. Gary McSheffery is one such player who has simply disappointed this term. A player of his calibre should have more than one goal by this stage but it’s just further proof of how much the club as a whole have been struggling. It’s fallen up on a less experienced player to get the goals with top scorer Lukaz Jutkiewicz the only player in the squad to have hit more than one goal in the league all season. It’s clear what has to change if they have any desire to climb the league in the short term.

West Ham will be hoping to close the gap at the top but know that if they do drop points, there are several teams waiting to take advantage as the challenge for the automatic promotion spots hot up. The squad they have at their disposable may well prove vital come the end of the season as the likes of Henri Lansbury, David Bentley and Papa Bouba Diop have not yet hit top gear. Another shrewd signing has been the loan deal which brought Manuel Almunia to Upton Park. The Arsenal goalkeeper has yet to taste defeat at his new club and was outstanding in the win over Hull.

I’m confident that West Ham will be raring to go after the week’s break whilst Coventry, in my opinion, are on a very slippery slope at the moment so I think the away team will be taking maximum points back home with them tomorrow evening.

My Selection: West Ham to beat Coventry

Best odds available: 4/5 available with William Hill

English League One

Sheffield United v Carlisle

A resurgent Carlisle travel to Yorkshire to take on Sheffield United as both sides look for the points in their quest from promotion to the Championship.

Danny Wilson who took over the job as manager in the summer is not having it all his own way as he did earlier in the season. Sheffield United were roundabout the top two for much of the early part of the season but recently they are slipping down the table. They are still in a healthy enough position but will be hoping to climb the table again and challenge for the automatic promotion spots which their supporters will be expecitng, especially as rivals Wedensday are also performing well at the moment. Although they are not quite in the same vein of form they were in earlier in the campaign they have only one league game in their last seven. Their home form is decent with five wins and just two defeats from nine matches. Their last home match in the league was a 4-4 thriller with Exeter. It was an entertaining match for the neutral but Wilson will be determined to shore things up at the back.

Carlisle had been on a run of five defeats from six matches in September but they are coming strong now with just one loss from their last nine games in all competitions. Greg Abbott celebrated his third year in charge this month and he can look back on what he has done with some amount of pride. He led his side to Wembley two years in a row and after losing heavily the first time around, they won the Football League Trophy in March with a 1-0 win over Exeter. Despite their slow start this season they are looking like they can mount a challenge for a play-off position. Currently 10th, they are only three points off of sixth place so are definitely one of several clubs in the mix as the season begins to hot up.

Sheffield United brushed aside Oxford United at home in the FA Cup last Saturday scoring three and keeping a clean sheet. It would have been the perfect tonic heading into this match against a team in form. Brammall Lane has definitely been one of the most entertaining grounds on matchdays this term as there have been 34 goals scored in just nine matches. It’s easily the most out of all the League One clubs so it will be no surprise if there are a few goals for the fans tomorrow.

Carlisle have won four and lost just two games on their travels this season so will be heading to Sheffield tomorrow knowing they have a chance against their more illustrious opponents. Like the Blades, the Cumbrians enjoyed a comfortable cup victory last weekend and being on the run they are currently on, will be confident they can cause a shock and go level on points with tomorrow’s opponents.

I can see this match being very open tomorrow and there could be several goals as both sides like to get the ball forward quickly and each have strikers bang in form. Carlisle have a good away record but they have not played many of the better sides thus far. One side they have played who are above them was league leaders Charlton who were far too good and ended up thrashing them 4-0. With that in mind, seeing as Sheffield United have been strong against the lesser lights of League One at home, I am siding with the home side.

My Selection: Sheffield United to beat Carlisle

Best odds available: 19/20 available with William Hill

Scottish Cup

For my third preview this weekend, rather than selecting one team, I am going to suggest a treble as the Scottish First division clubs enter the cup for the first time this season.

Ayr v Montrose

Firstly, my local town club host third division Montrose so will be hot favourites to turn over a side who sit two tiers below them. Ayr are no stranger to cup runs and have already made the semi-final’s of the other cup competition having put out SPL sides Hearts, Inverness and St Mirren. Montrose on the other hand are one of the worst sides in the Scottish Football professional set up. The club are thrid bottom of the third division and have won just four of their 12 league matches. They were 4-0 down last weekend only to come back and draw 4-4 with Stranraer. The main reason for their comeback was the fact their opponents goalkeeper got sent off and they never had a replacement on the bench.

Ayr are not the greatest by any stretch but they should prove far too strong here and are certainly one of the few clubs who target the cup competitions as it provides much needed income.

Ayr are a best priced 4/11 available with William Hill


Bo’ness United v Cowdenbeath

One of three Junior sides left in the competition, Bo’ness, host Division two leaders Cowdenbeath hoping to cause a shock and take their place in the draw for the next round when the SPL teams enter it. Bo’ness playing their league games in the East of Scotland Premier League and are certainly one of the better sides at the at level. This is a big step up though and they will need to raise their game in order to get a result against their league opponents. Cowdenbeath done us a turn last weekend when winning the top of the table clash against Stenhousemuir and although their away form is not as strong as their form on the road, they go into this match as heavy favourites.

Bo’ness are on a bad run of form and have won just one of their five league matches this season. They are currently sitting third bottom so would have been hoping for a better preparation as they head into one of their biggest matches in their history.

League form can often count for little in cup compeitions but when there is also a gulf in class between the two sides, it’s harder to ignore. Hopefully Cowden can oblige for us again this week.

Cowdenbeath are best priced 4/7 available with William Hill

Irvine Meadow v Livingston

The third leg of our treble also see’s a Junior side take on league opposition. Irvine Meadow, who qualified after winning the West Superleague, host First division Livingston at Meadow Park. The Ayrshire club have a big repuation in Junior circles because they were once able to offer a lot more to players than teams in the professional game. That financial clout has gone but they remain successful and lost their first match of the season last Saturday. Livingston are placed higher on the pyramid than Cowdenbeath so the challenge for Meadow is even greater despite being in better form. Livi sit third in the table at the moment and have lost just two league games although they have drawn seven of those.

The task Meadow face is a stiff one because Livingston are a full time professional club so their players do this for a living whilst the junior’s will also have their main occupation as well as playing football at the weekend. This can often be the decisive factor as fitness can tell in these sort of matches.

With than in mind, the away win is added to Cowdenbeath and Ayr to complete our cup treble.

Livingston are a best priced 4/11 available with William Hill

Good Luck


18th November 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

Saturday 29th October

English Premier League

Norwich v Blackburn

Both Norwich and Blackburn were expected to be fighting relegation this season but the Canaries are riding high in the top half whilst Rovers are currently propping up the foot of the table, they meet at Carrow Road tomorrow.

Paul Lambert is as astute as they come. He has worked under some fantastic managers during his playing career in the shape of Ottmar Hitzfeld and Martin O’Neill. The fact he sat his coaching badges whilst he was still playing meant that he could take a managerial job earlier than most. He has steadily progressed since taking the Livingston job in 2005 and he’s yet another Scottish manager plying his trade in the Premier League. Norwich has to wait until September to get their first win of the season but they have barely looked back since.A battling 2-0 loss at Old Trafford against Manchester United is their only loss in their last five matches so they seemed to have adjusted well to life in England’s top flight. Last weekends 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield would have been a massive boost as it proved to everyone connected with the club that they do deserve to be in the Premier League and they are capable of competing against the better sides, even away from home.

Blackburn have struggled for much of the campaign and manager Steve Kean has been under intense pressure from his own fans. Kean, however, does have the backing of the owners and a 4-3 extra time win over Newcastle in the League cup during the week would have helped his case and he will hope that his players can push on and carry their cup form, which has taken them to the quarter finals, into league duty – starting this weekend. Rovers have won just once from their first nine games, losing six of them, so they need to be harder to beat so that when they don’t play well, they can still pick up the odd point, especially on their travels. Last time out against Tottenham they lost an early goal but Kean will be satisfied with their immediate response as they got back into it only to lose it in the second half. Their last away match was their second draw on the road this season when they played another of the promoted clubs, QPR. A repeat of that wouldn’t be the worst in the world but Kean knows they need to start winning games to move off the bottom of the table.

Norwich have already seen off Sunderland and Swansea at home and look to be getting stronger as the season goes on. It can’t be underestimated how important it is for sides who have been promoted to get points on the board early so the fact they are coming into their own after a few games will be pleasing for Lambert who is sticking to his principals and playing attractive football with plenty of width in the side.

It may be to early to say this is a must win for Steve Kean but he is under pressure to deliver results. Managers rarely last long when the fans have turned against them and the only way to win them back is to get instant results. A bad result tomorrow and the knives will be out again.

Norwich are the side in form and were worth a point last week. It will be a different type of game tomorrow as the last couple of home matches will mean the crowd will be expecting them to go at Blackburn and gain another three points. Confidence is high at Carrow Road and I can see them being victorious again.

My Selection: Norwich to beat Blackburn

Best odds available: 21/20 available with PaddyPower

English Championship

Birmingham v Brighton

There were two divisions between Birmingham and Brighton at this stage last season but one relegation and one promotion means they meet tomorrow in the Championship and St Andrews.

Chris Hougton had an unenviable task when made manager of Birmingham City in the summer as the club had to get rid of their best players to pay large debts which so many clubs suffer as a result of a relegation from the Premier League. A shaky start to the season was to be expected such was the turnover of players and with the quality of some of those who left. However things are definitely looking a lot brighter for the Blues both at home and in Europe. Birmingham have actually won their last six matches in all competitions, four in the league and two away victories in the Europa League. The four wins in the league have been even more impressive as they have come against some of the bigger clubs in the league such as Leeds, Leicester and Nottingham Forest. Hougton will be demanding that his players continue to give their all and improve the chances of promotion challenge come the end of the season. Tomorrow’s match takes on significant importance despite being so early in the season as they can move into the play-off positions with a win and would have at least one game in hand over most sides as well.

Brighton were the opposite to Birmingham as they had a very positive close season after running away with the League One title last season Moving to a new Stadium added to the Euphoria whilst the signing of quality players such as Craig Mackail-Smith and Vicente was the icing on the top. This good feeling carried over to the start of the season as they were unbeaten in their first eight matches in all competitions, a run of form which yielded seven wins a draw. With form like that they had many people thinking of a second automatic promotion (something Norwich achieved last season), including their own fans. Unfortunately for the Seagulls fans things have tailed off in recent weeks as they haven’t won in their last eight matches – losing five of them. Poyet’s problems were further increased after influential midfielder Gary Dicker was carried off in their most recent defeat against West Ham on Monday night.

Birmingham have played five games at St Andrews in the league and have won four of them. The only team who have come away with anything were Barnsley who were only denied by a late Chris Burke goal. Home form is always important in the Championship so Hougton will be pleased that his side are difficult to beat on their own ground and will be determined to continue that tomorrow.

Brighton will be hoping that their good football and excellent passing game can provide something this week. They had an incredible amount of possession on Monday night but chances were few and far between for having so much of the play. West Ham got an early goal and basically sat on their lead inviting their opponents on to them. Brighton were not up to the challenge that night so Poyet must decide whether he changes something or sticks with what has gotten them so far over the last 12 months.

Birmingham have a bang in form striker with Chris Wood scoring four goals in his last five matches and he will be up against a side he was on loan at last season. Brighton may well be wishing they still had him as they have scored just three goals in their last five games. A team that can’t score can’t win games so I’m taking Brum to notch their seventh successive victory tomorrow.

My Selection: Birmimgham to beat Brighton

Best odds available: 11/10 available with Ladbrokes

English League One

Preston v BournemouthTen points and 12 places in the table seperate Preston and Bournemouth but there are few easy games in League one and the away side will be hoping to upset the odds tomorrow at Deepdale.

Phil Brown is one of the more colourful characters in the game and there’s rarely a dull moment when he’s around. He can also produce a team to challenge in both League One and the Championship which is what he’s doing with Preston North End. He couldn’t save them from relegation last season but he’s been charged with the task of getting them straight back into the Championship at the first time of asking. A run of six straight victories and seven out of eight was enough to put them into contention for automatic promotion but things have stalled of late and they are without a win in their last five league games. It means they currently sit out of the play-off zone but their is a long way to go and recent performances have certainly not been terrible – they have also played two of the current top four so although there is plenty of room for improvement to get to that stage there has been enough shown thus far to be optimistic. Their home form is pretty strong as they have won four of their seven matches at Deepdale and are scoring plenty of goals with an average of more than two goals per game at home.

Bournemouth are in their second season in League One and as is common in these leagues, they are finding the second season more difficult than the first. Eddie Howe, who led them to the division, has obviously left for pastures new and the role of manager was handed to Lee Bradbury who was a player at the time. His side currently sit in the relegation zone but with the league being so tight throughout, a couple of wins could see them leap right up the table. It’s trying to find consistency which is the problem for the Cherries as they have won back to back games just once this season. They are difficult to beat however as they have lost just one of their last six matches which will definitely be a source of comfort for Bradbury and the Bournemouth supporters who will both be keen to move away from the relegation picture as soon as possible.

Bournemouth have performed better on the road this season compared to at home so the visit to Preston will not hold too many fears for them. Wins against Leyton Orient and Exeter will have bolstered their confidence when playing on their travels and Bradbury will be hoping for more of the same.

Preston’s only other defeat other than Sheffield United was against Colchester back in August so it promises to be an entertaining game for those attending. Neil Mellor and Iain Hume have forged a good partnership and will be hoping their goals can get their side back on to the winning trail.

I don’t think there will be much in it but I’m going for another home win here.

My Selection: Preston to beat Bournemouth

Best odds available: 10/11 available with Skybet


28th October 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

Saturday 22nd October

English Premier League

Bolton v Sunderland

Neither Bolton or Sunderland have had the start to the season that they would have wanted or expected so Saturday’s game give’s both sides a chance to rectify that at the Reebok.

Owen Coyle will have been disappointed with the number of defeats his side have so early in the season but he will have been boosted by recent performances. Last weeks victory over Wigan was far more like it and they looked like the team of last season with so much quality going forward. They troubled the Wigan goal on a regular basis and looked threatening for the full 90 minutes. It was just their second win of the season after eight games (losing the rest of them) and their first since the opening day of the season, so it was very timely heading into such an important stage of the season. Despite their victory they still remain in the bottom three, one place behind tomorrow’s opponents despite having the same number of points. What may provide a source of comfort for Coyle is the fact that Bolton have already played the likes of Chelsea, the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal. It’s a tough run of fixtures for anyone at anytime of the season but for a club who had brought in several players to begin their campaign with so many hard games it is doubly difficult.

Steve Bruce is under a lot of pressure at the minute after a less than positive start to the season. Last weekends defeat to Arsenal in London was their fourth of the season and with just one win to their name thus far, the pressure is mounting on the former Manchester United captain to start achieving results sooner rather than later. Their only win to date was a 4-0 thumping of Stoke City back in September which they would have been hoping would have been the turning point but the following three games have yielded just one point – and that was after being 2-0 down early on against West Brom. Like Bolton it’s not all doom in gloom as there were some positive signs against Arsenal last Sunday. Despite losing a goal in the first minute, the Black Cats equalised and held their own for much of the match only to lose to a fantastic Robin Van Persie free kick in the last few minutes.

It’s too early to talk about a six pointer – far too early, but it could prove to be a vital match for the future of Steve Bruce. A defeat and it would mean Bolton would leapfrog Sunderland and leave them in the relegation zone whilst a win could be the catalyst for them to clim the table. Sunderland do have a good recent record at the Reebok as they are unbeaten in their last three visits, winning two of them. A repeat of that would be a timely boost for the under-fire Bruce.

Bolton impressed me last weekend with the manner of their win against Wigan. To dominate a local derby is a feat at anytime but coming off so many defeats in the league and to do so away from home is even more impressive. Sunderland also stepped up their game against Arsenal but with home advantage I think Bolton will prove to be too strong and put even more pressure on Sunderland and their manager.

My Selection: Bolton to beat Sunderland

Best odds available: 13/10 available with PaddyPower

English Championship

Ipswich Town v Crystal Palace

Sixth meets fifth in the Championship tomorrow so it promises to be an entertaining match at Portman Road when Ipswich meet Crystal Palace.

Ipswich’s recent resurgence see’s them sitting top of the form table in the Championship as well as sitting in the play-off zone in the league itself. Paul Jewell will have been as disappointed as anyone with the start to the season by his side but things have certainly picked up in recent weeks. Key to their revival has been a strong midfield, one which would not look out of place in the Premier League let alone the current level they are playing at. Keith Andrews, Lee Bowyer, Jimmy Bullard and Grant Leadbitter have all had recent experience of playing at the top level whilst Jay Emmanuel Thomas was purchased from Arsenal in the close season. Despite winning their first match of the season they went on to lose five of their next six league games which saw them in the relegation zone at one point. Things have certainly picked up however and they are now unbeaten in their last six matches, winning four of them. It’s even more impressive when you consider they teams they have played during that time.

Palace have certainly surpassed many people’s expectations this season with the amount of points they have gathered so early on. Six wins from 12 is a more than decent return for a club who have been battling relegation for the past few seasons. Dougie Freedman is doing a grand job and will be delighted with the response of his players but he will also know that there is a long way to go between now and May so will be demanding that they keep it up. A big positive for Palace is that they seem equally comfortable away from home as they do at Selhurst Park as they have amassed the same amount of wins on the road as they have done at home. Back to back wins against Watford and Bristol City after the International break will have done wonders for confidence heading into a busy set of fixtures where they will be up against some quality sides such as tomorrow’s opponents, Southampton and Cardiff.

It’s such a cliche but the midfield battle is so important when two closely matched sides meet. It will be no different tomorrow and the likes of Bullard and Andrews will be up against South African and Australian internationals. Kagisho Evidence and Michael Jedinak will be accompanied by the goalscoring threat of Darren Ambrose in the Palace midfield whilst the potent partnership of Glenn Murray and Jermaine Easter will certainly test the home defence.

Ipswich are on a real role at the moment with a midfield packed full of quality it was only a matter of time before they got their act together. Michael Chopra will be tasked with adding to his five league goals as he assumed a likely lone striker role with the wide players expected to get up and support the former Cardiff hitman.

I am expecting game packed full of chances and possibly goals tomorrow as both managers like to get their teams forward. There has been 19 goals shared at Portman Road this term whilst Crystal Palace’s away games have yielded 16. With that in mind, as well as fancying Ipswich to gather all three points, I think the over 2.5 goals is also worth a wager.

My Selection: Ipswich to beat Crystal Palace at a best priced 21/20 available with William Hill Over 2.5 goals at a best priced 4/5 available with Bet365

English League One

Sheffield Wednesday v Colchester United
After a morale boosting come from behind draw against city rivals United last weekend, Sheffield Wednesday host Colchester knowing that a win could see them top if other results go their way.

Gary Megson may not have been everyone’s idea of Wednesday’s new manager and had a less than successful start last season but he has proved his doubters wrong this term. Six home wins from six in the league is the main reason for sitting third in the table and gives them real hope of returning to the second tier of English football after a few years in the wilderness. They have not tasted defeat since the middle of September and as mentioned, their 2-2 draw with Sheffield United would have felt like a win as they were two goals down with less than 10 minutes to go before their late, late show.

Megson has assembled a team of quality players who have experience at a higher level than this throughout their careers. Chris Sedgwick is one of those players and his vast experience is a real help in the middle of the park. The man everyone is talking about, however, is Gary Madine. Unlike others, Madine has not yet tasted a higher level of football but the former Carlisle man is really impressing and has scored 11 goals in 13 matches.

Colchester are not one of the bigger names in the League One list of clubs but they are consistent and do have a history of upsetting the odds so they do come with a warning. John Ward will be a little more satisfied after his side went the last four games unbeaten, winning two and drawing two. Before that they were struggling for any kind of consistency which meant they were towards the bottom of the table but they are improving as recent wins against Chesterfield and Walsall would back up. Two 2-2 draws followed so heading into tomorrow’s match against a heavyweight such as Sheffield Wednesday, confidence should be as high as it has been all season.

Anthony Wordsworth has been the jewel in Colchester’s crown this season as the midfielder has scored six goals in 13 games which is an excellent return for a striker at this level let alone a midfield player. He is attracting interest from bigger clubs but he looks totally devoted to Colchester and his development over the past couple of seasons has been excellent. With his six goals, he is on course to beat his tally of 11 goals he notched in 2009/10.

This game may have had home win written all over it a couple of weeks ago such was the form of Colchester but they are proving that they can be hard to beat with just one loss in eight games. That loss was against the other Sheffield side when they were easily beaten 3-0 at Brammal Lane.

Despite Colchester’s better form of late, there is a great deal of momentum behind Sheffield Wednesday and with Gary Madine in such prolific form, it’s hard to see anything other than a victory for the Owl’s.

My Selection: Sheffield Wednesday to beat Colchester

Best odds available: 5/6 available with Stan James


21st October 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

Saturday 17th September

English Premier League

Bolton v Norwich City

Bolton will be hoping to get back on track after last weekend’s 5-0 thumping whilst Norwich are still in search of their first win since their return to the Premier League.

Owen Coyle received enormous credit for the way his Bolton side played and performed last season. This season he is having to deal with a completely different type of publicity as last weekends thrashing at the hands of Manchester United was their third defeat in a row. Not ideal at anytime of the season, you have to take into account the fact that their opponents have been the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool, so hope is not completely lost. What will have disappointed Coyle the most is how easy it has been for sides to breach the Bolton defence. Despite only playing four games this season, the goals against column reads 11 – the worst record of all the top flight clubs. After a comprehensive defeat of QPR on the opening day of the season, Wanderers fans could be forgiving for thinking they may do even better than last season so tomorrow’s game is probably more important than it should be so early in the season.

Norwich have earned plaudits already this season for their approach to the game but Paul Lambert won’t be dwelling on that as he knows only too well that it is points his side need to make the impact he wishes to on the Premier League. Last Sunday’s loss to West Brom was a sore one to take as once again the Canaries had chances to earn a point at least but just lacked that cutting edge to get back into the game. It was also the fourth successive game where the newcomers had given away a penalty which has to change if they wish to do anything this season. Premier League teams are ruthless at the best of times so giving them a gift from 12 yards out only adds to the problems. What Norwich do have is an excellent enthusiasm for the game and hopefully the have some of that winning spirit you need when earning two consecutive promotions. Games like tomorrow are difficult as even though they need that first win, a draw at the Reebok must be considered a good result.

Bolton may look to freshen the pack from the start as deadline day signing David N’Gog pushing for a full debut alongside Tuncay Sanli who is well known to Premier League defences. Ivan Klasnic may well be the player to miss out despite being the club’s top scorer this season as Kevin Davies involvement is almost assured. Norwich can also shuffle their strikers with several options upfront. Grant Holt leads the line very well, similar to Davies in many ways, so it may be a case of who partners him up top.

The home side know they can perform better than their last couple of performances. Having already brushed aside one of the other newly promoted sides tomorrow’s fixture may be what they need to get back on track and it’s a game I can see them edging.

My Selection: Bolton to beat Norwich

Best odds available: 5/6 available with Totesport

 

English League One

Rochdale v Charlton Athletic

League One leaders Charlton travel north to Spotlands to take on Rochdale hoping to keep up their 100% record on the road this season.

Rochdale consolidated last season after earning promotion by remaining in the division. This season has been a bit of a mixed bag so far with more downs than ups. After eight games they have won two, drawn two and lost the other four so improvement is definitely on the agenda. Their wins have come in the last two games however with is encouraging as they prepare for the visit of the league leaders. Last weekends derby victory over Bury was followed by a gritty 1-0 win at home to Scunthorpe. The highlight of the season thus far has been in the cup, however, after knocking QPR out at Loftus Road. ‘Dale had failed to kick on from that victory until now so Steve Eyre will be hoping that they are at the beginning of a good run of results and form as they head into a busy part of the season.

Charlton have been lingering in League One for a couple of seasons now and have seen the likes of Norwich, Brighton and Millwall surge past them into the Championship in that time. That should make the players, fans and coaching staff determined to get out of England’s third tier as soon as possible as the gap between the two leagues is pretty big – both in quality and finance. They could barely have started the season in better form, however, sitting at the top of the table undefeated having played a game less than most of the teams in the division. What will be most pleasing for manager Chris Powell is their form on the road as they have won all three of their away matches thus far. A lot of teams have strong home records but more often than not it’s getting consistently good results on the road that makes the difference come the end of the season.

Rochdale have a small squad compared to most sides in League One so it’s likely to be much the same for Eyre in his selection. Charlton have a bigger squad than most and that brings with it more options. It allowed Powell to shuffle the pack on Tuesday night in the League cup defeat against Preston so he may well look to make some changes again tomorrow. One man who will start is Bradley Wright-Phillips who has been in excellent form with five goals in six matches. Johnnie Jackson is another who has started the season really well and his goals from midfield often prove the difference.

Charlton have started the season particularly well and although Rochdale have won their last two the value, for me, lies in the away win.

My Selection: Chartlon to beat Rochdale

Best odds available: 7/5 available with William Hill

 

 

Sunday 18th September

English Premier League

Manchester United v Chelsea
Manchester United and Chelsea have had some epic battles in recent times and Sunday’s match may well prove to be another classic at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson must be delighted with the start to the season his side have made and may be a little surprise as well. Emphatic defeats of Tottenham, Arsenal and Bolton followed a hard fought win over West Brom on the opening day of the season. Wednesday’s draw in Lisbon with Benfica was also a decent result considering they were well below par and it was a depleted side compared to the one who has played in the Premier League this season. The outfield signings of Phil Jones and Ashley Young look as though they have been at the club for years whilst the emergence of Tom Cleverley and Danny Wellbeck at the start of the season has also been very positive. The one area of concern for Ferguson will have been David de Gea in goals. The young keeper has thrown a couple in the back of the net already but his ability is there for all to see and Ferguson will not be panicking just yet.

Andre Villas-Boas will experience his biggest test as Chelsea boss yet when he takes his side to Old Trafford on Sunday. An acceptable start to the season with 10 points from 12 could be made a whole lot better if he manages to get the better of his new advisory at the first time of asking. Last Saturday’s win over Sunderland was arguably the most impressive performance this season whilst they followed it up with a comfortable enough win against Leverkusen during the week. Villas-Boas rested a couple of his big players with Sunday’s match in mind so he knows the importance of the game even this early in the season. His biggest dilemma will be whether or not to include Fernando Torres from the start. He had a hand in both goals in Europe but has only scored one goal since joining in January. Other options include Nicholas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge whilst Didier Drogba is nearing a comeback after a head injury.

United will almost certainly recall Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Javier Hernandez, Nani and Ashley Young as well as David De Gea in goals. It’s a measure of how big their squad is and how much quality is contained within it when you see the likes of Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji Sung and Antonio Valenica likely to drop out on to the bench.

Chelsea may not have as big a squad anymore but they do have more quality than they finished last season with. Juan Mata already has two goals to his name and will be a vital player for them this season. Villas-Boas will be hoping that the little Spaniard can inspire, and link with, Torres and get the best out of the £50m man.

Despite the start Man City have made I still believe that these two sides will fill the top two positions come the end of the season. Many have written Chelsea off as they have not looked as fluent or as dominant as the other two but they do so at their peril. United have been the most impressive thus far and go into Sunday’s game as favourites. Chelsea will be hoping to frustrate United in the early part of the game and use the pace they have in the counter attack.

I think United may just edge the game but the odds are a little skinny for me to get involved in the result. Instead, with the form Rooney is in I am siding with him to score anytime during the 90 minutes.

My Selection: Wayne Rooney to score anytime against Chelsea
Best odds available: 11/8 available with Victor Chandler

Free bet for Manchester United v Chelsea at Bet365


16th September 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting

Football Betting

 

Sunday 29th May 2011

English League 1 Play-Off Final

Huddersfield v Peterborough

My Selection: Over 2.5 goals

Best odds available: 3/4 available with Bet365

Huddersfield will be aiming to return to the second tier of English football for the first time since 2001 but they must get the better of a Peterborough side who have hit top gear since Darren Ferguson returned as manager.

Huddersfield have been a model of consistency this season which is emphasised by the fact they haven’t defeated since the back end of 2010, a run of 27 games. It’s a tremendous run of form which was only bettered by Southampton’s closing matches which was eventually good enough to pip the Yorkshire club to the second automatic promotion spot. Lee Clark has been able to rally his troops for another charge at the Championship door as they overcame stern opposition in the shape of Bournemouth in the semi-finals, on penalties. It was a typical play-off game which included many emotions for fans, players and management alike. What it did prove is that Huddersfield look to be more resolute this season than in the past, which they have been criticised for.

Peterborough were the top scorers in England this season amassing an amazing 106 goals in the league alone. Entertainment has been a constant which is more than can be said for their form as they have been up and down like a yo-yo at times. Having sacked Gary Johnson in early January, the club looked to a former boss in the shape of Darren Ferugson who had previously left under a cloud for pastures new. The prodigal son has turned things around and steered the Posh to the Play-Off final to return to the Championship at the first time of asking. They have had to do it the hard way however as the club have sold one of their three prized assests in the shape of Aaron McLean. Having got the better of MK Dons over two legs in their own semi, the Posh head into tomorrow’s match knowing that they have to do something that teams have failed to do 27 times – defeat Huddersfield.

As you would expect over the course of a long season, there is not much to split these two teams. Huddersfield managed to accumulate four more points whilst the two games the sides contested during the regular season resulted in a draw and a win for Huddersfield – both were extremely tight despite being very entertaining.

One thing that can normally be assured when these two sides meet is goals. In the last six games there have been 27 goals so it despite being a desperately hard match to call, it does bode well for plenty of chances and hopefully goals.

The final will take place at Old Trafford as Wembley is being used and prepared for tonights Champions League final. Being in the North-West could just swing it in favour of Huddersfield who should have the majority of the support behind them.

The bookies find it just as hard to split the two sides so rather than attempt that, I’m sticking with goals in this game.

 

Monday 30th May 2011

Swansea v Reading

My Selection: Swansea to beat Reading

Best odds available: 17/10 avaialable with William Hill

Bank Holiday Monday is the traditional day when two Championship sides clash with the ultimate prize being a place in England’s top flight, this year see’s Reading aiming for a return against a Swansea side who have yet to taste the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers will be in a strange position on Monday as he will lead out his Swansea side knowing that it could very well have been the opposition he was walking out with. Rodgers was sacked as Reading manager despite not being given an appropriate amount of time. He has done exceptionally well since becoming Swans manager, surpassing all expectation and leading his players to within one game of the promised land. Not only have the Welsh club been effective and successful this season, they have achieved it by playing excellent, attacking football. Rodgers’ philosophy has never wavered and he has remained loyal to it. Central to that style of play has been Darren Pratley who illustrated his importance by scoring the clinching goal in the semi-final against Nottingham Forest. Pratley has been linked with a move away all season but it’s not affected his performances as he has notched 10 goals from midfield in the league alone.

There is always one side who go on a run of form at the tail end of the season to secure a play-off spot and this year it’s Reading’s turn. The Royals have lost just one from their last 18 league games, a tremendous run by anyone’s standards. Boss Brian McDermott has been an unsung hero having gone about his business very quietly with little fuss. He has proven he is capable of handling the big occasion as well as his side’s FA Cup exploits have shown with victories against Everton and Liverpool in recent seasons. Many will be cursing Reading as their comprehensive defeat of Cardiff in the semi-final deprived the public of a Welsh Derby at Wembley. It would have been unique but it was plain to see that Cardiff had run their race long before the second leg of the return leg – Reading were streets ahead.

No matter what happens at Wembley on Monday one thing looks certain – Shane Long will be playing in next season’s Premier League. The striker has attracted interest from numerous top flight clubs after a prolific season in the Championship. If Reading are not successful then it’s likely he’ll head for pastures new.

The size of the Wembley pitch may well be a factor on Monday as both sides play the game rather differently. Reading have been very successful at hitting on the break with the pace of Long upfront whilst Swansea like to keep the ball and probe away looking for openings. If Swansea to get into a rythm they will be hard to peg back as their technique is exceptional.

I expect a fantastic match with so many gifted players in form. I am siding with the Welsh side as they have impressed me throughout this season with their attitude and desire as well as their excellent performances.

 

 

 

 

 


28th May 2011 / callum - Category: Football Betting










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