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Weekend Football Betting Tips

by Ben, last updated 2007-03-21 19:25:25

 Bet365 Preview


ISRAEL V ENGLAND – IGNORE THE PATRIOTIC PUNT?

England are in desperate need of a win going into their Euro 2008 qualification game against Israel this weekend, but should we be having a patriotic punt on the boys at bet365's 5/6?


Well, first the good news. Wayne Rooney (9/2 first goalscorer with bet365) is fully fit and Owen Hargreaves (5/1 to score anytime) is ready for his first competitive game under the new boss. Both missed the defeat against Spain the last time England played so, with them back in the side, England certainly have the capability to take all three points.


However, given England’s poor results recently, there are surely better bets elsewhere, and their opponents should not be under-estimated. Israel impressed during World Cup qualification, in which they went unbeaten and only missed out on the finals on goal difference, and they would be on a 14-match unbeaten run but for an unfortunate 3-4 home loss to Croatia back in November. The Israeli defence looked all at sea that day, but the Croatians are full of goals - 15 in their last four games – and that certainly can’t be said of England right now. In fact, you could make a strong case for a home win at 7/2, but we’ll settle for the draw at a tasty 9/4 with bet365.


With an England win heavily favoured in the bet365 correct score market, there’s some terrific value here too. The Israelis have several attacking players in their line-up, so you can virtually count on them creating chances against England - they’ve blanked only once in their last 19 games – so the 11/2 on offer for a 1-1 stalemate represents value, but a 2-2 draw at 14/1 is no forlorn hope either.


Even better, as this game is one of bet365's ‘Big Matches’ this weekend, you could even be placing your correct score bets for free. Have a winning correct score bet in the preceding ‘Big Match’, Republic of Ireland v Wales (kick off 3.00pm), and bet365 will give you a free bet to the same stake on the England game. If this is a winner too, have another free bet, and so on. The match kicks off at 6.30pm UK time and bet365 will be betting in-play throughout on up to 30 markets.




 Gerry's Picks

 by Gerry McDonnell

He's in the Nic


The wife is a born complainer. Even this week's little snowfall failed to improve her mood; I overheard her on the phone to her mother complaining that ‘it's only a couple of inches'. It kept the kids quiet though.

I try to convey a rosier outlook, but even the great Monty Panesar would struggle to put a positive spin on the shambles that is the England football team.

A recent poll showed that 67% believe that Steve McClaren is the wrong man for the job; the other 33% are either having the question reread to them or are Scottish, and there's a fair chance that it's both.

The manager's original squad selection for the match against Israel was a joke. There are only two people in this world who believe that Phil Neville is a better full-back than Gareth Barry. Steve McClaren is one; the other is hanging out with Bashful, Sneezy, Doc, Happy, Sleepy and the wife.

It's easy to blame the hapless McClaren, but it's his employers who are the real culprits. The suits at the FA are so clueless; it wouldn't surprise me if their plans for the new Wembley include appointing Freddie Flintoff as a barman and Frank Lampard as the catering manager. The situation is a shambles; back Israel to beat England at 21/5, then back them again.

A recently discovered tribe of Congolese pygmies have admitted knowing absolutely nothing of western civilisation, other than the fact you can't play Lampard and Gerrard in the same team.

In my opinion, big Frank should be the one to make way. There's no doubting the fact that he's worth his weight in gold to Chelsea, although Fort Knox would probably struggle with an order of such colossal magnitude.

A crazed supporter tried to punch a shirtless Frank Lampard earlier in the week, dispelling the myth that pot doesn't lead to violence. Backing Benayoun to net the opening goal at 16/1 will lead to an abundance of riches.

I'm all for having a good laugh; you should see the wife. But as often is the case, some people can take things too far. Some ‘comedian' has hacked into a number of websites to show Scotland sitting on top of a qualifying group that includes France and Italy. The 10/3 for a draw between the Sweaties and Georgia is a genuine reason to raise a little smile.

Stan Staunton's left foot was so polished; it would often gleam like Andy Johnson's noggin. But somewhat paradoxically, a great player rarely makes a good manager. Only a last minute strike saved the Irish from ridicule against San Marino last time out, I like the look of the Welsh at 43/10.

Northern Ireland travel to Liechtenstein for their qualifier and I fancy the footballing minnows to take a pasting. Admittedly, that doesn't really narrow down the bet selection. It's Northern Ireland at 4/9.

A stunning French lady has recently moved in next door. I do think it's important to try and get on with your neighbours, so I've been trying to get on for the last few weeks. France look a sumptuous betting proposition at 1/2 against Lithuania.

Being a friendly soul, I've introduced Nicole to the local leisure centre. I'm not a great swimmer, but i try to get the occasional length in. The Greeks and the Turks do not share my literal ‘love thy neighbour' philosophy; a draw between the old foes will keep everyone happy at 11/5.

The accer this week is so charming; I'm using it as a tool to woo the lovely Nicole. There are only three selections, but hopefully size isn't important. Wales, France and Israel are the picks, the payout is a magnificent 37/1.

Weekend Betting:


Rep of Ireland v Wales Saturday 24th March 15:00 Live on Sky

Rep of Ireland 4/5
Draw 12/5
Wales 43/10

Get on: Wales

Match Special:
Bale to score direct from a free kick 14/1

Scotland v Georgia Saturday 24th March 15:00 Live on Sky

Scotland 9/20
Draw 10/3
Georgia 15/2

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
Arveladze to score at any time 3/1

Lithuania v France Saturday 24th March 17:00 Live on Eurosport

Lithuania 8/1
Draw 3/1
France 1/2

Get on: France

Match Special:
Cisse to score a hat-trick 16/1

Israel v England Saturday 24th March 18:30 Live on Sky

Israel 21/5
Draw 23/10
England 10/11

Get on: Israel

Match Special:
Benayoun to score two or more goals 25/1

Liechtenstein v Northern Ireland Saturday 24th March 19:15 Live on BBC Interactive

Liechtenstein 8/1
Draw 3/1
Northern Ireland 4/9

Get on: Northern Ireland

Match Special:
Northern Ireland to win and keep a clean sheet 6/5

Greece v Turkey Saturday 24th March 19:30

Greece 6/5
Draw 11/5
Turkey 5/2

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
No goalscorer in the game 13/2

Bet with bet365 | betdirect - FREE £50 bet



 Preview from PinnacleSports.com


Wounded Lions Looking to Put Qualification Back on Track
The five month wait for England's Euro 2008 game in Israel, must have felt like an eternity for England manager, Steve McClaren, desperate to make amends for last October's 2-0 Group E defeat by Croatia in Zagreb. Unfortunately for McClaren, the Three Lions don't have an easy game to get their qualification back on track. England will travel to the Ramat Gan National Stadium as slight favourites with leading online sportsbook, www.pinnaclesports.com . This crunch game will see them face an Israeli side who drew with France, Switzerland and Ireland during an unbeaten World Cup 2006 qualification campaign, narrowly missing out on a place in Germany.

Israeli coach, Dror Kashtan, has named a 24 man squad, mixing home-grown talent, with Premiership experience. West Ham's Yossi Benayoun will pull the strings in midfield while Bolton's, Tel Ben Haim, marshals the defence; fellow Trotter Idan Tal, is however, suspended along with top-scorer, Roberto Colautti, opening the door for Chelsea's inexperienced 17 year old striker, Ben Sahar.

England are without several first choice defenders and their under-studies. England stalwart, Gary Neville, is out along with 18 year old Micah Richards; while Ashley Cole is suspended and his usual replacement for club and country Wayne Bridge, is also crocked. Up-front McClaren will be without the aerial threat of Peter Couch, while Joe Cole and Michael Owen remain long-term absentees, leaving the onus on Manchester United's in-form striker, Wayne Rooney, to improve England's poor recent scoring record, with just one goal in the last four games.

Odds at www.pinnaclesports.com : Israel 2.08 (+0.5), England 1.855 (-0.5)

Stan Desperate to Get Out of Another Fine Mess
Since taking over as coach of the Republic of Ireland last February - his first ever managerial post - Steve Staunton, known as Stan since his playing days, has experienced a baptism of fire. The Republic lost four of their first five fixtures with Stan in charge, including their heaviest home defeat in 40 years and a 5-2 hammering away to lowly Cyprus.

A draw at home to the Czech Republic, and a 5-0 win over San Marino in the last ever game at the old Lansdowne Road Stadium, seemed to have steadied the ship, but only a 90th minute winner in the reverse fixture avoided further humiliation. The Irish are now three points behind Group D leaders, Germany, having played a game more, with Wales up next. Staunton will be hoping for a boost from playing at Croke Park, the traditional home of Gaelic Games, and www.pinnaclesports.com has them as favourites on a split ball Asian Handicap.

The Welsh also have a mountain to climb to stand any chance of qualifying for their first ever European Championship. Defeats to the Czech Republic and Slovakia (a 5-1 home thrashing) got the Welsh campaign off to the worst possible start, leaving only San Marino between them and the foot of Group D.

Despite approaching the twilight of his glittering 17 year career, Ryan Giggs is enjoying one of his best seasons at Manchester United, where he has won almost everything there is to win. Giggs however, has never played in an international tournament and too much responsibility rests on his shoulders when he pulls on the Welsh shirt. Other than Giggs and Liverpool's Craig Bellamy, Wales lack the quality in their squad to mount a serious campaign, though the likes of 17 year old Gareth Bale, gives Wales some hope for the future.

This will no doubt be a fiercely contested game, but given both sides start to their Euro 2008 campaigns, it looks like being more about bragging rights than a springboard to qualification.

Odds at www.pinnaclesports.com : Republic of Ireland 1.980 (-0.5 & -1), Wales 1.943 (+0.5 & +1)





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