Week Twenty-Five Recap
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New recruit to the betting team Craig Clark stole the limelight this week with his fantastic 9/1 over and under 2.5 goals quad - a really nice bet which paid dividends and sent him straight to the top of the leaderboard. Not that its any great feat these days as the rest of us continue to struggle to add any cash to our coffers.
There's always this week though, right?
After another shut-out, it's probably time to mix it up a little bit. So we'll go with a scorecast - the appletini of football betting.
Sunderland are generously priced as a result of their middling home form, but haven't fared too badly against Arsenal in recent seasons. I'm hoping that trend continues, with the only difference from this season's opening day draw against the Gunners coming in the form of Steven Fletcher goal to snatch a victory.
Elsewhere, we'll go for sound-at-home Norwich to beat indifferent-on-the-road Fulham, Leicester to keep charging through teams, Coventry to win at home, Port Vale to keep out-scoring teams, and, finally, Malaga to beat Levante. That should keep everyone busy.
- Steven Fletcher first goal, Sunderland to win 1-0 - 55/1 - £2 Stake
- Norwich City to beat Fulham, Leicester City to beat Peterborough United, Coventry City to beat Yeovil, Port Vale to beat Barnet, Malaga to beat Levante - 46/1 - £2 Stake
It's fair to say that I'm not wholly optimistic about the weekend's game. Although I haven't actually seen us play for a while now, we lost against Reading and depending on what Sunderland (and Arsenal) for that matter teams turn up at the weekend, we could be on a hiding to nothing. Reasons for picking the scoreline? Brings in mucho money - Sunderland to be winning 1-0 at half-time, Arsenal to win 3-1 at full-time.
Since David Flitcroft took over at Barnsley following Keith Hill's sacking, we've won five games out of six, and kept clean sheets in four of those games. Boro haven't been setting the world alight recently, and got tonked at Ipswich last time out. I'll back Barnsley for another tight victory.
- Sunderland 1-0 half time, Arsenal 3-1 full time - 90/1 - £2 Stake
- Barnsley to beat Boro 1-0 - 12/1 - £2 Stake
After last week's disappointing defeat to Reading, Sunderland need a big performance this week. Giving Arsenal's problems, I think we've got a good chance of doing that. I can see us nicking this one, but it'll probably be a tight game with few goals. 9 of the last 11 meetings between the sides have seen fewer than 3 goals, so for that reason I'm going for under 2.5 goals in this game.
Elsewhere I'm just going to make a simple single bet in an attempt to claw back some money. Sean O'Driscoll's Bristol City face Forest for the first time since he was harshly sacked by the Nottingham club. City have looked revitalised since his arrival, which is in stark contrast to a Forest side in disarray. Whether or not the departure of charisma-vacuum Alex McLeish lifts the team remains to be seen, but with Bristol City at home, and with good odds for a win, I'm going to plump for them.
- Sunderland v Arsenal under 2.5 goals - 5/6 - £5 Stake
- Bristol City to beat Nottingham Forest - 7/4 - £5 Stake
The role of Theo Walcott within Arsenal's setup has been discussed to death by the footballing media this season but for me it really doesn't matter as he has the pace and ability to cause problems from either the wing or through the middle. It is the Englishman's pace and touch with the ball at his feet that really has me worried this weekend and can see him grabbing a goal.
I'm going to stick with the Premier League this weekend and go for a solid looking home double consisting of Norwich and Manchester United at a decent little price of 4/1.
- Theo Walcott anytime goalscorer - 17/10 - £2.50 Stake
- Norwich and Manchester United to win - 4/1 - £2.50 Stake
I'm expecting our game with Arsenal to follow a similar pattern to the one against Swansea. Last season saw us win in the FA Cup but lose in the Premier League against the Gunners at the Stadium of Light. With this in mind, I think it'll be a stalemate on this occasion. I'm going for a draw at half time, draw at full time.
My over/under 2.5 goals bet paid dividends last week and I'm banking on QPR being involved in another tight game, this time with Swansea City. The Welsh side have failed to score in their last two games while Rangers' last 5 league games have all returned fewer than 2.5 goals. I'm returning to the Bundesliga for over 2.5 goals in Hannover versus Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt versus Nurnburg and Bayern Munich versus Schalke. Bayern and Frankfurt score an average of 2.6 and 2.5 goals per game at home so should prove to be safe choices.
- Sunderland v Arsenal - Draw/Draw - 4/1 - £2 stake
- QPR Vs Swansea, Under 2.5 Goals plus Over 2.5 Goals in Hannover Vs Hoffenheim, Frankfurt Vs Nurnberg and Bayern Vs Schalke - 7.19/1 - £3 Stake
Welcome back losers, because that's what you are if you've been following my tips! Anyway for this weekend's game against Arsenal I'm strangely confident. Previous results suggest we're going to get battered or get a sneaky win, so I can't be backing the former can I? I'll take a straight up Sunderland win at 10/3.
Elsewhere in the footballsphere I'm looking at wins for Swansea, Nancy, Xerez and Deportivo La Coruna. Don't ask why, there's not much reasoning.
- Sunderland to beat Arsenal - 10/3 - £3 Stake
- Swansea, Nancy, Xerez and Deportivo La Coruna all to win - 19/1 - £2 Stake