Back after the International hiatus its the the Roker Report lads ready to waste more virtual cash on dodgy, poorly researched bets all in the name of science, kind of. Will Simon's luckless run continue? Will Dan continue to back his beloved Barnsley? Will Chris make it make in one piece from Ibiza in time to make it to the bookies? All these questions and more will be answered after the jump as we put our money on Sunderland vs Liverpool and more besides!
Week Three Recap
|Pundit||Last Week's Profit/Loss||Current Balance|
A difficult week for the lads as the Premier League threw up a number of surprising results which wiped out everyone's accumulators and even Dan's "sure thing" from the French Ligue One didn't come off. *Activate smug mode* In fact the only winning bet of the week came courtesy of yours truly with my anytime goalscorer bet on Sunderland's Steven Fletcher which was priced at a generous11/4 and saw me take top spot from our Welsh friend Jonesy. Hopefully the lads will fare a little better this week.
The first home game has been a long time coming, so much so that it feels like the season is yet to get underway. With the home fans itching to see their side in action for the first time at the Stadium of Light this season, coupled with our rather decent record against Liverpool of late, I think a home win represents decent value.
Everton let me down for a tasty treble last time out, so it's back to the drawing board post-international break. Swansea have already won convincingly away from home this season and face a Villa side very much in transition this weekend. The Swans have strengthened even in spite of the transfer window closing by signing free agent Dwight Tiendalli to cover Neil Taylor's absence through injury, and their opponents are still searching for a first win under Paul Lambert. Elsewhere, Exeter are generally available at 11/10 at home to York City. After disposing of Oxford United (4-2) last time out, a fifth straight win looks a decent possibility.
- Sunderland to beat Liverpool - 12/5 - Stake £3
- Swansea to beat Aston Villa, Exeter to beat York - 5.3/1 Stake £3
We all know what our luck is like against Liverpool. Something obscene generally happens. While the beach ball was in our favour, the 'free kick' that wasn't was just a joke, and I'm sure that if I had more sleep under my belt in the last few days, then I'd be able to remember more such occasions.
For that reason, I'm backing us to take the lead when Brendan Rodgers and his band of not-so-merry men visit the Stadium of Light. Liverpool have been rocking recently, and have looked generally poor, but something will undoubtably go wrong somewhere down the line, and they'll escape with a draw that they simply don't deserve.
It's fair to say that Eden Hazard has been something of a revelation in his short Chelsea career to date. Not that this surprises me, as I reguarly watched him take teams apart single-handedly for Lille last season.
A man that can't claim to have started life at his new club as well is Mark Hughes. Deciding that the best way to stay in the Premier League this year is to try and buy every other player in the world, leaving the opposition short on numbers is a questionable tactic, and I can't see it getting QPR very far here.
While Hazard has been laying the goals on for his team so far, I fully expect him to bag at least a brace here, firing half of the world to Fantasy Football glory along the way.
- Sunderland half time, draw full time - 17/1 - Stake £5
- QPR v Chelsea - Eden Hazard to score two or more goals - 17/1 - Stake £5
As we all know I'm struggling at this so far, but I'm not one to give up and I believe a series of small wins will see me catch up eventually. That's my new strategy anyway. With Liverpool coming to town I'm anticipating a close game. Their position and start belies the talent that's there for them, and they're not quite as bad as some would have you believe. We have the advantage in that it's our first game at home (proper) and there's sure to be a bit of extra buzz about an evening game against a 'bigger' team. Overall outcome? I'm going with a quite simple "draw" at 23/10 on Bet365. A fiver goes there.
Now then, for my second bet I'm going for a money maker. A low-risk, high-reward bet based on nothing but gut feeling. I'll get the shocker out the way first - I'm backing Stoke to beat Man City at home. I work with a lot of City fans and all week they've talked of nothing but how much they hate going to Stoke and they seem to be genuinely worried. I also think Stoke at home have the ability to give anyone a hard game, so a 1-0 win, something like that gets my vote. The other two games I'm going to chuck in an accumulator with this are that we'll see Swansea bounce back from drawing with us to win at Aston Villa, and I'm also backing Blackpool to win in Barnsley. Sorry Dan. (I'm not sorry at all).
- Sunderland & Liverpool to Draw - 4/1 - Stake £5
- Swansea, Stoke & Blackpool all to Win - 33/1 - Stake £1
After scouring the different HT/FT, first goalscorer, over/under 2.5 goals market I decided to go back to basics and not over complicate matters this week. I must admit earlier in the week if you had asked me for a prediction for Saturday's game I probably would have opted for another draw, however after talking with Paul Tomkins, a Liverpool fan, as part of this week's Fan Focus I was surprised at their negativity. As such I am backing the lads to heap more misery and pressure onto our mate Rodgers' shoulders and am backing a Sunderland win.
Away from the Stadium of Light I am going to turn my attention to League One and two in form sides that are both playing at home as part of a double. First up is Bournemouth who are up against Hartlepool and go into the game following a good result against Yeovil last time out and also have the 'Arry factor since the ex-Spurs manager joined as an advisor. Secondly I have picked out Tranmere who have started the season well and are currently second in the division and play the struggling Coventry City who are yet to win this term.
- Sunderland to beat Liverpool - 12/5 - Stake £5
- Bournemouth and Tranmere both to win - 3.65/1 - Stake £3.88 (Just to round things up!)
Liverpool, once an indomitable force in English football, are no longer a side to be feared. Where previously a Sunderland victory against the men from Merseyside was a rare occurrence, now the Black Cats can boast home wins over Saturday evening's opponents in two of the last three seasons. Each time those wins have come by way of a close 1-0, and I'm tipping us to do it again this weekend, with a tight game seeing Sunderland battle their way to a clean sheet and three points.
Now, having not won a single bet yet, I need a bit of a banker. With that in mind I've gone for a Rangers victory in the Scottish Third Division. The Gers haven't won away from home in their new division after having been demoted for financial troubles, but they also have yet to lose and have looked in fearsome form at home. The odds on a straight Rangers victory are much too short to make a bet worthwhile, so I'm tipping Ally McCoist's men to cruise to a 3-0 win.
- Sunderland to win 1-0 (10/1 at Bet365) - £2 stake
- Rangers to win 3-0 at Annan Athletic (13/2 at SkyBet) - £2 stake