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Roker Riches - SAFC v Aston Villa (A) Betting Preview

Roker Riches has made a New Year’s Resolution. We're going to stop being crap at making betting suggestions. In an effort to make that happen, we've handed the reigns over to someone who knows more what they're talking about, Gavin Callaghan of BetFred. Gavin's an SAFC fan, and the voice of BetFred stores nationwide doing live commentary for the bookmaker.

Although you will have to endure my pick too as we both pick out our favourite bet of the week and we'll see who comes out tops at the end of the season, The Pro (Gavin) or The Punter (Me)... That said I'm sure you can guess judging by my form!

We're very excited about this new development for Roker Report, and Roker Riches, so without further ado, I present to you the new writer of Roker Riches, Mr Gavin Callaghan...

As a broadcaster you always look for a romantic storyline that will engage your listeners and highlight the majesty of the beautiful game. Every Friday morning I sit down and scroll through website after website for the latest stats, facts and patterns looking for that something which will win the BetFred punter some money come 4.45pm on the Saturday.

Truth is the game that we all know and love is littered with fairytale stories that produce headlines which write themselves. Take last weekend for example; Wayne Rooney was always destined to bury the demons of 2010 with his first league goal from open play since March at the first possible opportunity in 2011. Cue the headlines, "New Year and a New Start." Frank Lampard, a man who simply loves to score goals for Chelsea against Aston Villa (9 in total before Sunday) was always destined to reach double figures against Houllier’s side in the hour of the Stamford Bridge club’s greatest need. Last week at Wigan, Nicholas Bendtner made his first Gunners start in the league since April when he lined up, ironically enough at the DW against Wigan – he was always going to score wasn’t he? Freddie Sears return to West Ham came with the young striker carrying the weight on his shoulders of having been out on loan for the past two and half years and never finding the net – he marked his return to the Hammers with a goal that we all saw coming didn’t we? Staying with the East London club and the Carling Cup tie in which Jonathan Spector scored against his former club twice.

Romantic stories which run through the heart of this famous game, and if adopted into you’re betting theorems can make you a lot of money.

As for Sunderland, I have been amazed that having twice broken the transfer record for big name strikers in Bent and Gyan; we are yet to hit four or five in a game against meagre opposition. At this stage last season we had scored four or more versus Norwich, Hull and Wolves. You feel as though there is a big result for the Black Cats just around the corner. In terms of the game at Villa Park, it is hard to find an obvious romantic story which would draw me into a particular bet aside from Phil Bardsley against his former club at 40/1 to get the first goal. Instead I would tend to go for a score cast. Sunderland have only won three times on the road under Steve Bruce and if I am honest I don't see us claiming a fourth. Villa's draw with Chelsea was the first sign under Houllier that they can still compete with top half opposition. As a result, my best bet would be a 1-1 draw with Danny Welbeck to get the last goal at 45/1.

Remember if you don't fancy betting on just the Aston Villa v Sunderland game, Fred has the best bet in football called 'Goals Galore.' All you have to do on this coupon is pick games in which you think both teams will score. Again, check out the form - sides like Bolton, Spurs, Plymouth, Charlton, Carlisle, Rochdale, Crew and Peterborough all tend to concede and score in games. Take a look. The odds Fred would offer for eight games in which the aforementioned sides feature would be 105/1. £10 wins you over a grand and you don't even have to worry if the result is a win, loss or a draw. I see Fred sweating every Saturday evening when he has to pay out over £1,000,000 and trust me this is a regular occurrence.

Callaghan's Best Bet: 1-1 Welbeck last goal @ 45/1

Roker Report’s Bet: SAFC to win 1-0 @ 17/2

To place any of these great bets visit

Of course you can leave comments here, or follow Gavin on Twitter @gavin_callaghan

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