Archive for month: March, 2012

Premier League Preview : March 31st

31 Mar
March 31, 2012

Aston Villa vs. Chelsea

Roberto di Matteo has clearly got into the habit of picking specific teams for certain games and this appears to be a more sensible option than selecting the eleven biggest available personalities. Villas-Boas attempted a similar strategy but lacked the finesse in communicating his gameplan, particularly to those whom he had left out of proceedings. Villa have struggled to win at home this season as a record of one victory from the last eight attempts testifies. They remain without influential personnel throughout the team, including Darren Bent who was instrumental in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge at Christmas. Evenso, Chelsea don’t have an impressive record at Villa Park in recent times but there is the feeling that they will not get a better opportunity to set the record straight. Some added insurance is available by backing Chelsea in the draw no bet market just in case there remains a hangover from their epic performance on Tuesday night in Lisbon.

Recommended bet: Back Chelsea, draw no bet.

QPR vs. Arsenal

It is virtually impossible to predict how QPR will perform in any particular game at present and their apparent indiscipline isn’t helping their cause. Having looked set for defeat against Liverpool, they rallied and pulled off a 749-1 shock comeback but they followed up that effort by reverting to type by being soundly beaten and losing a man at Sunderland. In contrast, Arsenal have metamorphisised into the most consistent outfit in the division. Their implosion in Milan now looks like a blip but that came at a time when confidence was low and the poor playing surface served as a ready made excuse. Theo Walcott appears to have gained in confidence since the emergence of Oxlade-Chamberlain and now stands as one of the team’s most productive players. Obviously Arsenal’s fullbacks took time to bed back in but now they look a more balanced unit at the back and no longer look like a team that was ready to concede a goal from every attack. Arsenal are now performing in the manner of genuine top four outfit and are deserved favourites to take the three points. There could be a high card count in this contest. More players are red carded playing against Arsenal than any other team in the division. QPR’s discipline, as already mentioned, has become poor in recent outings. This added to the fact that on average one of Van Persie, Song or Koscielny sees yellow during a game leads to a probability that the referee will be busy.

Recommended bets:

Back Arsenal to win.
Back Over 3.5 cards.

Champions League Preview : March 27th

27 Mar
March 27, 2012

Benfica vs. Chelsea

Benfica were particularly impressive when they played at Old Trafford before Christmas. They literally looked like that they would score on every occasion that they attacked. With a couple of seasoned internationals added to their team, Benfica would look like very serious contenders for Europe’s premier competition. The age profile of the team is excellent. They look ready for the here and now and play with great energy. There is plenty of confidence that when the ball makes it forward into the danger zone that the likes of Cardozo will produce an end product. Their recent form has been more than passable. Considering all that has been said and written, Chelsea’s age profile isn’t as aged as people would assume. They remain an outfit packed with current internationals but their recent form has been patchy. All the evidence suggest that both sides are about equally likely to play to their form and with this in mind Benfica are unlikely to be beaten at home. They have only suffered one defeat on their home patch all season.

Recommended bet: Back Benfica, draw no bet.

Premier League Preview : March 26th

26 Mar
March 26, 2012

Manchester Utd vs Fulham

Every game at this end of the season is a win only affair for the title challengers and maximum effort can be expected which is more than be said of some outfits at present. United are chalked up as prohibitive favourites at around the 1/4 mark and should win accordingly. Their key offensive players are proving to be consistently productive and they should employ a strategy of stretching Fulham’s defence across the full width of the field. There is little margin in the straight win bet on United but taking them at 2/5 to be the first team to score two goals on the night is attractive, seeing as the over 2.5 goals quote is only 1/2. As is typical for a televised Monday night game there are plenty of concessions available from the firms. 5 or more goals trigger a refund with Powers on the correct score and first goalscorer markets. Seeing as the over 4.5 goals quote is around 3-1 it is probably a better proposition than some of the player to score last offers, which would run at around 5-1 and bigger in some cases.

Recommended bet: Back Man. Utd to be first to score 2 goals.

Curragh Track Bias : March 25th

25 Mar
March 25, 2012

Track Bias Data

Race NoDistance (f)Lengths *Comments
362.0Croisultan did well to win from behind.
* Distance the winner was behind the leader at the two furlong pole.

Course Summary

Limited traction for those coming from off the pace on this soft ground. Winners clearly handle loose ground and it paid to race handy.

Premier League Preview : March 24th.

24 Mar
March 24, 2012

Chelsea vs. Tottenham

The outcome of this game will unsurprisingly have a large bearing on which of the clubs will be playing Champion’s League football next season, so the importance of the contest cannot be understated. The positive side of this scenario is that both teams will be focused on the task in hand and a high quality spectacle is more than likely. It has been said that Tottenham’s form has been on the wane over the past few weeks. The results suggest that there is some truth to this assertion but the difficulty level of recent fixtures has been high. What is less arguable is that when the two teams met at White Hart Lane before Christmas, Spurs were at the top of their game and Chelsea were struggling for form. The match ended in a draw suggesting that on their day Chelsea are still a match for the visitors. It wasn’t as if Chelsea played badly away at Man. City during the week but more a case of City performing to their usual high standard, so it is a defeat easily forgiven. The short odds quotes for the over goal markets suggests a game of many chances is in order and given both sides preference for attack a high scoring game could develop. In running backers will know know that over 2.5 goals will trade at close to 5.0 at halftime if the score remains at 0-0 so there may be some margin in being patient. For an opening position, however, the draw no bet on Chelsea is a sensible place to start given the home side’s very good record at Stamford Bridge against Tottenham. It would be surprising if Chelsea failed to score leaving Tottenham the task of scoring at least twice to seal the win.

Recommended bet: Back Chelsea, draw no bet.

Arsenal vs. Aston Villa

Arsenal and Villa have shown widely contrasting form of late. Just when it looked like the wheels were coming off the Arsenal wagon they proceed to string together six straight wins in the league. In contrast Villa have suffered injuries to key personnel and are struggling. Arsenal are the most likely winners of this contest and will have to make the pace in terms of goalscoring for goal backers. The cup tie between these two sides earlier in the year was an intriguing contest to review. Arsenal’s form at the time was indifferent and Villa sought to rattle their confidence early in the game. The away side was rewarded with two goals in the first half before the Gunners dug in and turned the result around. Given the absences from Villa’s ranks and Arsenal’s resurgence it would be surprising if Villa were very attacking early on in the game. They will seek to keep the game tight and form an orderly defence. Arsenal remain an exciting outfit to watch but their youthful profile does lend them to be inconsistent at times. While they are by far the most likely victors of this game, the nature of their performance is an unknown so backing that there will be exactly 2 or 3 goals in the game will cover a wide range of outcomes. There also remains the option of backing over 2.5 goals at a good price at some stage in the game leaving a three goal game as a double winning result.

Recommended bet: Back exactly 2 or 3 goals in the game.

Stoke vs. Manchester City

Despite making hard work of the situation City deserved to beat Chelsea on Wednesday night and have another challenging assignment on their hands away at Stoke. It is virtually guaranteed that City will have the larger share of possession seeing as Liverpool were able to dominate this part of the game against the Potters last weekend. City in turn allowed Chelsea little of the ball for large stretches of their encounter. It is probable that City will play with a high defensive line seeing as Etherington is the most likely threat of pace on the break. They will seek to keep Stoke at a distance from their goal to nullify the home side’s set piece attacks. It will take a supreme defensive effort from Stoke to shut out the likes of Aguero, Silva, Nasri and Tevez. These nimble attackers are just the type of forwards that Stoke struggle against. It was memorable how pleased the Stoke management were prior to a match with Liverpool earlier in the season when it was evident that Suarez would not be lining out against them. City will no doubt attempt to stretch the Stoke backline in the wider areas of the pitch if they are having no joy down the centre. They also have the firepower for accurate long range shooting. It could end up being a frustrating afternoon for City but it will not be for the want of trying.

Recommended bet: Back Man. City in the race to 4 corners.

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