FA Cup

Football Betting : March 10th.

10 Mar
March 10, 2013

Liverpool vs. Tottenham / Manchester United vs. Chelsea

Game Markets

Back Liverpool Draw No Bet @2-5

Back Manchester United Draw No Bet @1-3

The above bet is probably best played in a double, which pays better than 4-5 with the added insurance that if both teams avoid defeat the stake will at least be returned. The decision to take on the teams currently lying 3rd and 4th in the league table stems from the fact that both Chelsea and Tottenham are returning to the field off less than a 72 hour break. Statistically even an extra 24 hours to prepare for the next game would significantly increase the chances of success. United will be seething at the events that lead to their elimination from the Champions’ League on Tuesday night and will be highly motivated to put the season back on track. Chelsea on the other hand showed indifferent form in Bucharest and while many first team regulars didn’t play a few key players did get an outing.

Tottenham continue to fire on all cylinders but as with Chelsea a good few of the first teamers saw action on Thursday evening. In contrast Liverpool have not played for more than a week and will look to put the pressure on early. Liverpool’s shot count has increased since the turn of the year and the number of shots they concede in a game has decreased. Clearly they are in reasonable form and with Sturridge and Coutinho there is the promise of more end product; goals.

F.A. Cup betting : 4th Round

26 Jan
January 26, 2013

Manchester United vs. Fulham

Player Markets

Back Rooney to be first goal scorer (EW) @7-2

It is very likely that Rooney will be named in the starting line-up for this cup tie. He both started and scored against West Ham in the last round in the absence of van Persie. Rooney is a player who improves with match sharpness and with important European and Premier League fixtures around the corner this game provides a decent opportunity for him to see some significant game time. He has looked sharp on his return from injury and was certainly sharp enough for some of the Tottenham defenders at White Hart Lane last Sunday. When he has made it onto the pitch this season he has proven to be efficient in both creating and scoring goals. Evens about him scoring during the match is at least a fair prospect and with van Persie’s absence he is likely to play in an advanced role and be favourite to open the scoring

F.A. Cup betting : 3rd Round.

05 Jan
January 5, 2013

Tottenham vs. Coventry

Player Markets

Back Adebayor to be first goal scorer (EW) @4-1

It’s hard to know the level of commitment that Spurs will show to this tournament over the coming weeks but they have a kind start to the competition with a tie at home to Coventry. Team selection will always make wagering on these cup games a tricky business but it will be surprising if Adebayor is left out of the starting eleven. Adebayor is due to fly out to South Africa for the African Cup of Nations in the next week or so and thus be unavailable to his club for the remainder of the month. Villas-Boas will make full use of the Togan forward while he still has him at his disposal and it will be surprising if he does figure prominently in today’s match. A confidence boosting goal last Saturday against Reading will ensure that he is, at the most, an even money shot to score one of the game’s first 5 goals and hence make an each way first goal scorer bet a viable prospect.

Fulham vs. Blackpool

Player Markets

Back Berbatov to be first goal scorer (EW) @7-2

Fulham are another Premier League team that find themselves drawn at home against lower league opposition in this round of the Cup. It’s very possible that Martin Jol will want to keep up the winning momentum established by his side’s victory at West Brom on New Year’s Day. The decision to have Berbatov leading the line for this game will give some indication as to the seriousness with which the Cottagers will be treating the competition. Even so, the strongest enhancement of the chances of a goal scoring performance from Berbatov, lies with the inclusion of Bryan Ruiz. Ruiz is the first choice for the number 10 position, allowing Berbatov to play in an advanced role. When, however, Ruiz doesn’t play, Berbatov is deployed in a deeper position, in the role of chief creator rather goal scorer. With a full side out it is likely that Fulham will far too many weapons to use against Blackpool than the away side can cope with and Berbatov is the one most likely to be inflicting the damage.

FA Cup Final Preview : May 5th

05 May
May 5, 2012

Chelsea vs. Liverpool

By the end of the season teams and players have fairly well established patterns and behaviours and only if one team finds themselves practically out of the game would things radically change tactically. Neither side pushes up their central defenders too far forward as neither set of central defenders are renowned for possessing a great deal of pace. They would however relish the challenge of duelling for high balls into the box and once they are facing away from their own goal they would feel comfortable enough. There is a contrast in the manner in which the teams’ fullbacks have been employed this season. Enrique and Johnson are the second and third most frequent ball carriers in the Liverpool squad following Suarez and are clearly an intergral part of Liverpool’s attacking strategy. The Chelsea fullbacks have been far more hesistant to advance with the ball but this probably has more to do with the type of player in front of them.

Ramires is the player that Chelsea look to to break upfield on the counterattack and his role will be to make inroads against the less mobile quarters of Liverpool’s midfield. Juan Mata has been the hub of much Chelsea’s creativity this season and his passing vision is essential. He will obviously look to find Drogba higher up the field and this will allow other players to be brought into the attack. It is noticeable that Chelsea’s attacking players have not been too careful with possession this season. For Champions’ League finalists they have a high rate of being dispossessed and of giving up turnovers. The Chelsea backline will have to maintain it’s discipline and not get drawn too far forward into the midfield action.

Stewart Downing has been the focus of criticism in connection with the lack of output from Liverpool’s offensive players. He has however maintained a very decent level of ball retention and rarely gives the ball away. The same can be said for Bellamy, while in contrast Suarez is often dispossessed. But there is a balance and Suarez is the player most likely to dribble at the opposition and pull them out of their defensive shape. There is the sense that neither team has the capability to truely dominate this encounter and fully close the game out should they take the lead. Chelsea have managed the feat of hanging onto slender leads throughout their Champions’ League campaign but they have been aided by some woeful finishing by their opposition. The antedote to having to absorb large amounts of pressure is to continue attacking with the hope of extending the lead. With neither team likely to bring the game to a standstill the later stages could be frenetic.

Recommended bet :

Back 2nd half as the half with most goals.

Back 2nd half as the half with most corners.

FA Cup / Premier League Preview : April 14th

14 Apr
April 14, 2012

Everton vs. Liverpool

A fascinating clash of styles is brought together in the pairing of these two teams in the F.A. Cup semi-final. Everton have not sought to bring into their squad the type of marquee player that Liverpool have been recruiting over the past year. Yet the Toffees are a functional unit that has improved throughout the season and now find themselves above their city rivals in the league table and can boast better recent form. Liverpool’s recent problems have been well documented and the unavailability of their two first choice goalkeepers is not a positive development. The odds for the over 2.5 goals market suggest that there will be around 24 attempts at goal throughout regulation time. This gives the promise of a open game but the reality could be very different as neither team will look to overcommit to attack in the early stages of the game. Everton will have in mind to test the unfamiliar Liverpool goalkeeper, Bradley Jones. Indeed, both sides have seen a significant proportion of their goals arrive from set pieces this season. As a result, Liverpool will be keen to contain Baines on the left flank from marauding forward. It will probably be of surprise to discover that Everton have won a significantly greater number of offsides throughout the campaign than Liverpool have. It is doubtful that Liverpool will press any higher up the field than usual given the change in goalkeeper. Agger’s return is a bonus as he is a talented ball carrier out of defence giving an alternative option to the long ball route forward. Everton will look to congest the middle of the field and switch the ball to the flanks. Both Anchibe and Jelavic are in goalscoring form and give Everton as much attacking threat as they have had all season. The two sides are closely matched so it’s hard to rationalise why Liverpool are clear favourites in the ninety minutes betting given their inconsistent recent form. Everton’s ability and unity will stand to them on the big occasion. The draw no bet option is attractive seeing as they are more than capable of holding Liverpool in normal time and have the weaponary to win the game.

Recommended bet: Back Everton draw no bet.

Norwich vs. Man. City

Whether City can benefit from the lifeline thrown to them in the title race remains to be seen as their trip to Carrow Road will be stern examination of their desire to stay in the battle. Norwich have been a great addition to the top flight this season and will be full of confidence after beating Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Monday. They are the seventh highest scoring team in the division. At this stage of proceedings it’s hard to see them changing their approach of pushing up in defence to win offsides and this probably accounts for the fact that only five teams have conceded more goals this season. Aguero and Nasri are masters at finding space in behind high lines and are just the type of player to give Norwich trouble. We are at the stage of the season where simple goalscoring chances are made to look difficult as the tension of the situation is allowed to encroach. There remains the possibility that despite dominating possession, City could take a while to break the deadlock and 4-7 about them winning the game could look a small price approaching half time. It will be more surprising if City do not have the majority of the efforts at goal and hence win a significantly greater number of corners in the process. For all their shortcomings in recent weeks they remain a quality team who retain possession as well as anyone else in the league.

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

Sunderland vs. Wolverhampton

Wolves have persisted in employing the offside trap among their defensive tactics and clearly it is something that hasn’t worked for them this season. They have shipped more than seventy goals throughout the league programme and they find themselves in a perilous position. By using a high line they do congest the midfield area and games with Wolves can be scrappy in nature. Martin O’Neill will have to have his troops motivated from the off. The over 2.5 goals market suggests that there will be around 28 chances in front of goal during the game. These numbers give the promise of a very open encounter and Sunderland have the personnel to take advantage of such opportunities. Wolves will try to counter down the flanks using the pace of their wingers but as a team they always seem to be on the back foot due to their leaky defence. Sunderland have been excellent at home of late and only Arsenal and Tottenham have come away from the Stadium of Light with points in the last six games. The most likely outcome of this game is a home win and without needing to complicate the situation backing Sunderland to take the three points seems to be the most sensible course of action.

Recommended bet: Back Sunderland.

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