Week Eight Recap
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A fairly poor weekend all round for the lads last time out with only myself picking out a winning bet, selecting both Sunderland and Newcastle to score in Sunday's clash - hardly the most inspired of bets but a winner is a winner and it moves me just above the cautious Simon Walsh but with still some work to do to catch the current run away leader Karl.
On to this week's selections:
After a luckless weekend last time out, it's back to the coalface hoping to dig out a few winners and keep distance between myself and the rest of the rabble. Yes, that's affectionate but I digress.
Looking at the markets for this game one thing stands out - that the bookmakers are aware of Sunderland's stuttering form. So aware, in fact, that they're laying us right out there. Stoke City's reflects that of Sunderland's, their extra defeat by virtue of playing one more game, and one more top four team. Yet, Stoke are clear favourites with the bookmakers willing to side with the Potters' one home win against the Black Cats, who are without a win on the road. Having lost four straight games at the Britannia Stadium, Sunderland rectified that with a 1-0 win last season. Now to address this run of form.
Bit of a bold one to begin with, and like our game, one where the bookmakers have sided with the home side despite precious little between them form-wise. Norwich will go into it on a high after beating Arsenal, and may take an 'I'll show you' mentality to the new managerial home of Paul Lambert. Elsewhere, Cardiff set a record for most successive home wins at the start of a season on Tuesday, and against managerless Burnley, that winning run should continue. Finally, moneybags Paris Saint-Germain should have too much for Nancy in Ligue 1.
- Sunderland to beat Stoke - 10/3 - £3 Stake
- Norwich to beat Aston Villa, Cardiff to beat Burnley, PSG to beat Nancy - 9.2/1 - £2 Stake
I can see a close encounter at the Britannia with goals at a premium. Six out of Stoke's eight Premier League games this season have ended up with under 2.5 goals and add in to this Sunderland's problems in the final third, this looks like a good shout to me.
For my second bet of the weekend I am going to turn my attention to the unpredictable world of the Championship and hope I can pick a winning double. The first side for me to tick on the coupon is Cardiff City who are simply untouchable at home this season and I would expect them to continue their run this Saturday against a managerless Burnley. Second up is Wolves who will be looking to get back to winning ways following conceding such a late equaliser last weekend against Bolton and with a lackluster Charlton coming to town I fully expect them to get a positive result.
- Sunderland vs Stoke Under 2.5 goals - 4/6 - £3.00
- Cardiff to beat Burnley & Wolves to beat Charlton - 23/10 - £2.00 Stake
Another loss for me last week. I don't think anyone was surprised about that, let's be honest here. But another week of Premier League action represents another chance to get back in the game.
For this week's game between ourselves and Stoke City I'm actually feeling quite positive. I don't think this one will be one for the neutral, but is another good chance for us to get three points on the board. I'm sticking with my prediction on the Podcast of a 1-0 win for us, priced nicely at 8/1.
Elsewhere in the footysphere I'm looking at a very tasty treble. West Ham are in great form and should come away from Wigan with all three points. Also our midweek opponents Middlesbrough are on a decent little run and should be able to overturn an out of sorts Bolton - with or without new manager. To top it off, I see Sheffield Wednesday coming away from bottom side Ipswich Town with a win too. This little doozy comes in at 22/1, and should boost the coffers and oust Karl from the top spot.
- Sunderland to beat Stoke City 1-0 - 8/1 - £2 Stake
- West Ham, Middlesbrough & Sheffield Wednesday all to win - 22/1 - £2 Stake
Well, clearly betting on 10 teams to win isn't the most sensible of plans if I want to actually have a hope of catching up with the Welsh betting machine.
I'm not going to predict a correct scoreline here, and it might be something of a crazy bet that I'm going for anyway, but... I think that we might be seeing Craig Gardner moved into a more attacking role on Sunday, and I'm going to look to take advantage of that. I know what you're all thinking, Gardner would be decent odds for first goal, and I must admit, I thought that too. So, that's why I'm backing him to score twice in the game. Mental? Probably.
For my second bet, I'm going to dip into the Championship, where I can see wins for Blackburn, Wolves and Peterborough. They're not all nailed on by any stretch of the imagination, but I'll happily take it at 9/1, thanks for asking.
- Craig Gardner to score two or more goals v Stoke - 80/1 - £2
- Blackburn, Wolves and Peterborough to win - 9/1 - £2
See, this is why I don't bet (usually). A few weeks ago I was flying high. I should have consolidated, little guaranteed winners here and there. But no, I got greedy, spunked it all, and now I'm dead last.
Anyway, this week is another week, so here we go again. Now, I don't want to risk repetition, but in my newfound sensibility it looks like I've opted for the same option our Welsh wizard Karl Jones has opted for. As a result, I'm going to dispense with sensibility and throw myself even deeper in the whole, whacking a full six smackers on us getting three points at Stoke this weekend. Please lads, do it for me?
Away from the Potteries, Manchester City will surely be in the mood to spank someone following last night's Amsterdam atrocity. Assuming Mario Balotelli hasn't led the squad on a commiserative tour of the Red Light District, one whereby James Milner ends up higher than a canary and Vincent Kompany ends up in jail, then the visit of Swansea City on Saturday evening offers the chance of a thumping home win. The score when these two met in Manchester last season was 4-0 to City, and I fancy the same to happen this time around too.