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Roker Riches: Who would back SAFC to win after Plymouth? Let’s see...

Can anyone predict what sort of performance will come next, after the cup and league wins (one including a Wyke hat-trick) closely followed by a miserable home loss to Plymouth? Here’s what our Riches lads think...

Roker Riches 20/21

Well, here we are for another week of Roker Riches action. Two league games, and two very different performances (and results) in a week, to say the least. How Sunderland is that?!

Sadly, it is all too typical that we can have two semi-convincing run-outs, scoring five goals and keeping two clean sheets, only to lose at home to a team that haven’t won away for about a year. In the process we have seen the emergence of O’Brien as an attacking outlet and assist provider; we have lost Gooch due to an asymptomatic Covid diagnosis; we have lost Willis (again) due to his knee issue re occurring in an innocuous looking slide tackle, and we have seen our highest scoring striker go from hero to zero, with an away hat-trick being followed by one of his dullest performances for some time.

Being a Sunderland fan is certainly far from boring!

It is a fact that Johnson is trying to make the best of a bunch of players very much not of his choosing, and for me the two wins were decent but a little flattering, with 3 of the 5 goals being in the last 5 mins of normal time (two for Wyke from 87 mins on, and a penalty for McGeady which I think was the last kick of the cup game).

What other activity Johnson is permitted to execute in the January window remains to be seen, regarding him moving more towards a squad which matches his playing style and tactical approaches. What is becoming clearer however is that our squad is still some way from stringing together a collection of winning performances which could push us back towards the play-offs and even the automatic spots.

We now languish in 9th, 9 points from the top two with a game in hand on Hull but having played the same games as Lincoln. We are only 3 points behind the play-offs, and we have a couple of games in hand on Charlton in 6th. The problem is when looking at form, all of Portsmouth, Peterborough, Hull, Doncaster and the aforementioned Addicks won last time out, while Lincoln drew. We cannot play as we are and expect make up ground.

Can we bounce right back at home this weekend at home to Shrewsbury? They too are in decent form, winning 4 and drawing one of their last 5, and beating Hull, Doncaster and Lincoln in the process since mid-December. They have also drawn away to Wigan though, but with ties against Charlton and Accrington they are holding their own with teams around us. A betting man may pick a win for the visitors, or a draw to share the spoils could be the best case for the Black Cats.

Let’s see what the lads are betting on... there is no such a thing as a dead cert bet, and following who we do, don’t we know it!

The Rolling Table : Season 2020-2021

Yellow card update...

No yellows this week... all the lads did their homework in time, despite the depression and despondency from the game on Tuesday night. I had to chase a few for the bankers bonus, but such late input is not classed as a bookable offence, so the ref’s pocket remains closed for now.

Here is the table as it stands before the Shrewsbury game to come:

All change after a few wins!

As you can see from the revised table above, Gary and Phil both had decent wins last time out. Gary correctly predicted the 3-0 win, giving him a healthy income and lifting him right up to second place. Phil also won over £50 quid for his EFL acca, getting him back over the starting kitty of £200 and leaving him with almost a £100 buffer to second. Danny almost got his tenner back with a minor win, but there were no wins for Fletch, Matty, for our Readers or for “Roker Riches” Editor Malc, with the latter two propping up the table.

As has been demonstrated by Gary, one decent win can make a huge difference, so let’s see what the lads are backing this week.

Banker’s Bonus...

Aiden O’Brien did more than 30 minutes in the Wimbledon game, assisting Wyke capably too, so this weekend an extra tenner bet is available to all.

No bonus prediction for this week, but hopefully the lads and our readers make the most of the extra tenner, and with a bit of luck the winners include SAFC.

This Week’s Bets:

Matty Crichton says...

Aiden O’Brien to score first and Sunderland to win 2-1. Shrewsbury are in good form, so I expect them to score, but Lee Johnson’s men really need to deliver a home victory and O’Brien has scored in our last two home fixtures. £5 returns £230.00.

English Fivefold. Three different leagues and one cup competition: Villa to beat struggling Newcastle, Sheffield United to beat Plymouth, Crewe to beat plummeting Wimbledon, in-form Oxford to beat Bristol Rovers and Nigel Clough’s Mansfield to beat bottom side Southend. £15 returns £196.80 (using my bankers bonus to increase the wager)

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League 1
O’Brien scores the leveller for the lads Vs Plymouth. A good run of form continues for him, despite the disappointing 2-1 loss.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Gary Morris says...

Sunderland to win and to lead at half and full time is my bet, as I feel an early goal and hold on for a win all game. Fiver returns £13.75.

5 way acca - You would like to think this is a straightforward 5 fold, but we never know with cup football...Arsenal, Brighton, Sheffield Utd, West Ham and Leicester all to win. Fifteen quid returns £160.32 (using my bonus bet to up the wager)

Phil Butler says...

Aiden O’Brien to score and Sunderland to win. Predicting Sunderland’s performances at the moment is getting harder by the week. When we’re good, there’s normally a few goals and a clean sheet. When we’re bad, it’s normally a one-all draw or a narrow defeat. Hopefully, we’ll see a reaction to Tuesday’s poor result with the goalscorer in midweek, Aiden O’Brien, getting back on the scoresheet. £5 returns £21.67.

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One
The newly shorn O’Brien is a popular option this week...
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

EFL Treble. After last week’s domestic treble came up trumps, I’m going for the same tactic this weekend. Oxford are in great form after their poor start to the season and should continue their run at home to Bristol City. In League Two, Cambridge are favourites at home to Bradford City, and 2nd placed Newport are a large price considering they face 16th placed Oldham. £5 returns £47.03

Banker’s Bonus: European Treble. To keep the entire weekend interesting, I’ve gone for a Sunday evening acca for my bonus bet this week. Lazio’s form has improved dramatically since the Champions League group stage ended, just as Sassuolo have regressed to the mean after a strong start, and “the biancocelesti” will be looking to follow up last week’s demolition of Roma with another win against the “neroverdi”.

Also in Italy, Parma’s form has been so poor that they’ve brought back manager Roberto D’Aversa who they sacked in the summer. Carlo Ranieri’s Sampdoria should have enough to get three points on Sunday night. In Germany, Hoffenheim have failed to make a genuine challenge for the top four so far this season, but that shouldn’t prevent them from taking all three points from third-from-bottom Koln. £10 returns £72.57.

Paul Fletcher says...

Sunderland to score over 0 goals and have over 5 corners – at the moment, trying to predict anything related to a Sunderland fixture is about as futile as making plans to travel abroad or planning a gathering involving lots of people. We lose games we should be winning and we win games comfortably that we might expect to be close. When we look like we’ve tightened up defensively we, give away stupid goals. When Charlie Wyke looks like he’s given up on a career in football, he bangs in a hat-trick. If I can double my money on a low risk bet, I’ll be happy. We should be able to manage at least one goal, surely? We seem to be good at winning corners too. If only we were good at scoring from them... £5 returns £11.

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League 1
Can we do more with these? We need to. Fletch reckons we will get more than 5...
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Doubly chance sixfold - I’m trying the same bet as last week, which was very close to being a winner only to be thwarted by a shock home defeat for Accrington against Gillingham. Today I’m counting on Oxford, Wigan, Sutton, Halifax, Aberdeen and Dunfermline to avoid home defeats. £5 returns £26.53

Banker’s Bonus: BTTS and win double – with my two safe bets hopefully in the bag by Saturday teatime, I’m going big with my bonus bet on two late Saturday kick offs. Basel to beat Zurich and Real Madrid to beat Alaves with neither keeping a clean sheet are two results which aren’t beyond the realms of possibility. £10 returns £100.75

Malc Dugdale says...

Sunderland to win 1-0 - After the see saw of emotions we have had in the past week, I think we will go back to basics to even the ship this weekend. I am predicting that Sunderland will try to wear down Shrewsbury and will grab a goal in the second half. If we get a scruffy one in off of Wyke left buttock I honestly don’t care, as long as we play better football and get the 3 points to arrest this poor home form run. Fiver returns £30 including stake.

Cup quad - Cup games are renowned for upsets but there are a few fixtures this time that I think will go the way predicted. My second bet is a 4 way cup acca, predicting that Sheff Utd, Swansea, West Ham and Man City will all progress. Fiver returns £21.75 if they all go with the bookies odds.

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One
Jack Diamond, double marked against Plymouth..can he shine this weekend to help us to a win?
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Bankers bonus - League one treble - We could really do with some results around us going our way, but chances are even if we win, other teams won’t help us out. I am picking draws at Ipswich (versus Posh) and Portsmouth (versus Hull) as all 4 of these may well cancel each other out as Sunderland did not long ago with Hull. If this works, I am hoping that we can gain points on a number of teams assuming we do overcome Shrewsbury. To round off the League One treble, I think Lincoln will have too much for Northampton, which isn’t good for us but I cannot see Lincoln dropping points at their home, as we did versus the same opponent. Tenner returns £171.10.

Danny Roberts says...

Shrewsbury to beat Sunderland: Nothing seems to have changed for us, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better so buckle up and get ready for another rocky road. We don’t look good at the minute, and despite winning 3-0 at Wimbledon, we looked poor in everything (bar Charlie’s finishing) and against Plymouth we looked even worse. I think a lack of signings will continue to hamper us in trying to improve. Something needs to change quickly this month and it hasn’t happened yet and I think the next two will really rock the boat. £5 returns £23.75.

Southampton v Shrewsbury Town - FA Cup Third Round
They lost in the cup mid will they do versus “The Lads?”
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

League Triple: Aston Villa, Lincoln and Salford all to pick up home wins this weekend. £15 returns £72.27 (using Bankers Bonus to boost the wager).

Riches Readers’ Random Pick...

Sunderland are about as predictable as the weather right now, but the random pick for the readers this week is a 2-0 win to the lads. This may well come off, as they will have had a pretty firm dressing down from the coach after Tuesday, so we can expect and hope for a bounce back. The focus must have been on clean sheets as well as set pieces, as we simply have to do more with corners and free kicks.

With the stake doubled by the bankers bonus, a crips Twenty quid returns £150 for the readers if this comes in.

Good luck to Sunderland and to all our betting buddies.

Let us know what you will be betting on this weekend, on social media or by email. Cheers and Ha’way the Lads!

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