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Weekend Football

by Ben, last updated 2005-12-22 08:15:33

My picks for Boxing day are sheffield Utd win and Bolton win. No time for analysis but I think the odds are better than the implied probabilities.

 Nigels Picks

 by Nigel Ridgeway

FOOTBALL
*********
FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS LOT...
A buffet-style Boxing Day feast awaits us with a full league programme guaranteed to tempt even the most jaded palettes. Of course, with so many games to choose from, it would be easy to get carried way on a tide of port and brandy, so we need to be selective. And, like a box of chocolates, the Premiership has something for everyone, with several home ‘bankers’, and a few games that require a little more chewing over.

A lazy punt would be to combine the likes of Chelsea (1/5), Man United (2/9), Tottenham (1/2) and Arsenal (8/11) in accumulators and, with our Premiership Accumulator Bonus, you can at least be assured of getting some additional value (up to 60% more). A £50 four-fold on the big three will return you just under £200 at the current prices, and that includes a bet365 bonus of 5%. If you’re happy to place singles, you might even beat those prices when the games go In-Play, especially on the likes of Chelsea, who’ve made a habit of winning their games late on. All but Spurs are live on TV, which means we’ll be offering up to 14 Live markets.

BACK CHELSEA AT EVENS!...
However, at the short prices on offer, you’re just as likely to collect by backing them to win by a couple of goals or more on our Asian Handicap. This form of betting consistently throws up some excellent value, particularly as we bet to just 102%, and you’re going to get more back than by having just a straight win bet. Taking United as an example, a bet on them at 1.90 (10/11) will cop if they win the game by three goals or more. If they win by only two clear goals, you’re still going to win (half your stake times the price, with the other half returned). The same applies to Chelsea (Evens), and you’ve got to fancy them to score well against Fulham. This might be a local derby, but the Blues are on a different planet.

Asian Handicap Picks: United (-1 ¾) @ 1.90 / Chelsea (-1 ¾) @ 2.00

LIVERPOOL V NEWCASTLE - 4/6 REDS TO SPOIL OWEN’S RETURN...
Boxing Day, 3.00 ko, live on Sky Prem Plus...
As far as entertainment goes, the game at Anfield looks the pick of the programme and, with the all the hype surrounding the return of Michael Owen, we’re serving up a host of specials to mark the occasion. The Reds are favourites to win the game at 4/6, but the best bet could be on the ‘Total Goals’ instead. The Liverpool defence is proving to be impenetrable right now while, despite their strike force of Owen and Shearer, the Newcastle attack is producing only average results (Newcastle 9/2, Draw 12/5).

Live Game Pick: ‘Under’ 2.5 Goals @ 4/6 - Bet Live In-Play

CROUCH TO OUTSCORE OWEN @ 5/2...
That also makes our 5/2 on Crouch to outscore Owen look attractive, which would have been unthinkable a couple weeks ago. The pair are 5/1 and 13/2 respectively to score the first goal in the game and, remember, if they don’t score first, but go on to score the last goal in the game instead, we’ll give you your money back. Of course, the rumour about Owen returning to Anfield for good next summer refuses to go away and, if you believe he’ll be pulling on a red shirt at the beginning of next season, you’ll be accommodated at 6/1 here at bet365.

Michael Owen Specials (Must start for bets to stand):

1st goal 13/2
Score anytime 7/4
Score 2 or more 9
Hat trick 50
Booked 10
Sent off 66

Goal Match Bet

Owen 10/3
Tie 4/6
Crouch 5/2

WOLVES TO DRAW COMFORT AT 21/10...
In the Championship, the top two teams both face potentially tricky Boxing Day ties, and we can cash in by backing the draw in each instance. Reading are romping away from the pack, but they could come unstuck against draw specialists Wolves, who are a hard side to score against. Only Sheffield United have conceded fewer goals at home this season. The Blades are short of strikers due to injuries, and could be kept in check by a resurgent Norwich side who’ve won back-to-back games and look to be on the upgrade. A double on the two draws pays out £102.30 for a tenner.

Boxing Day Championship Picks: Wolves & Sheffield United to Draw @ 21/10 & 23/10 respectively


Play It Live at bet365poker!








Bet It Live With bet365!


 Gerry's Picks

 By Gerry McDonnell

Walking in a win to Sunderland


You've got to be tough with kids, my littlest one threw a strop last week when I didn't lavish enough praise on him after he sent me a Christmas card. As a result of the little man's naughtiness, his letter to Santa asking for a puppy, a train set and Rob McCaffrey to stop screaming, "What's he like!" will now go unanswered.

Jose Mourinho may be a lot older than little Goliath, but he shares his disdain towards those who disrespect a greeting card. The special one's mood will improve when Chelsea take all three points at home to Fulham, you can get on at 1/5. It would have been 1/8, but it's been confirmed that Rob Styles will not be officiating.

Frank Lampard has been named the 2nd best player in the World this week. I can only assume that a few of the voters misunderstood the question, believing that ‘Name the greatest footballer' was in relation to body mass. Super Frank scored in three games against Fulham last season; he's worth a punt at 11/2 to net the opener.

Michael Essien is proving to be a versatile footballer; he's added the forearm smash to his already impressive repertoire. He's a 16/1 shot to see red, but beware; it looks like the only way he'll ever be sent off is if he pulls out a machine gun.

Michael Owen returns to Liverpool with Newcastle, presumably to try and locate his wheel nuts. Liverpool's trek to Japan and back can't have done them any favours; the Geordies are definitely worth an interest at 4/1.

Alan Shearer should be backed at 5/2 to score at any time in the match; he's just short of Jackie Milburn's goal scoring record. Michael Owen is a 13/8 shot to find the net; he's just short.

Alan Curbishley was being tipped as the next England manager a few weeks ago, the way Charlton have collapsed in recent weeks, he'd be lucky to find a job cleaning up in McDonalds, a position normally associated with Lee Bowyer. The Gunners are going to beat up on somebody soon, Charlton are that somebody. Take a piece of the 4/7.

I honestly haven't been drinking (heavily), but I believe that Sunderland are worth a bet at home to Bolton. The Trotters lost away to Wigan in the Cup last week; they can't be touched at odds on. The Mackems must be worth a small interest at 11/4; after all, Christmas is a time for miracles.

Thanks to Sky TV for allowing Soccer AM's Helen Chamberlain to help out on their excellent darts coverage. Remember kids; a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

The weekend specials follow a festive theme:

"Christmas cracker" - Wayne Rooney to score a hat-trick 16/1
"Carroll singing" - West Ham to keep a clean sheet 2/1
"Christmas pudding" - Emile Heskey to score two or more goals 12/1
"Ding Dong, merry Lee on high" - Bowyer to score with a header 16/1
"Ruud off, the Reds know pain dear" - Van Nistelrooy to be sent off 66/1

Quotes of the week:

"Birmingham have not won a trophy for err...I don't think they've ever won a trophy."
Alex ‘Rudolph' Ferguson

"If you try and play football against Arsenal, they'll beat you; we didn't do that last week."
Alan ‘Grumpy' Shearer

"Paul Scholes is a fantastic midfielder, there's not a weakness that he hasn't got."
Steve ‘Dopey' Bruce

Stat, you're a liberty:

The most boring team in Britain are...Liverpool. The matches involving the European Champions only average a total of 1.87 goals, the lowest figure in England & Scotland.

Acc of the week:

Last weeks accer romped in to pay for the Christmas beer, these beauties will get the New Years ale in. Back Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle and Blackburn, you'll be paid out at 45/1.

Weekend Betting:

Charlton v Arsenal Monday 26th December 12.45 Live on Sky

Charlton 9/2
Draw 12/5
Arsenal 4/7

Get on: Arsenal

Arsenal murdered Charlton in both matches last season with Freddie scoring in both games. The Addicks have conceded 19 goals in their last 7 matches. The wounded Gunners will run riot.
Match Special:
Ljungberg to score the first goal 8/1

Chelsea v Fulham Monday 26th December 13.00

Chelsea 1/5
Draw 4/1
Fulham 11/1

Get on: Chelsea

Fulham are winless away from home all season; Chelsea haven't conceded a goal in 11 ½ hours of football. A safe home win.
Match Special:
Chelsea to win 2-0 11/2

Tottenham v Birmingham Monday 26th December 13.00

Tottenham 2/5
Draw 11/4
Birmingham 13/2

Get on: Tottenham

The Spurs have scored three goals in their last three games. The way Birmingham are playing, a 3-0 defeat will be a respectable result.
Match Special:
Tottenham to win 3-0 7/1

Liverpool v Newcastle Monday 26th December 15.00 Live on Premiership Plus

Liverpool 8/13
Draw 12/5
Newcastle 4/1

Get on: Newcastle

The Toon army have only lost one match when Michael Owen has played this season. He'll be up for this one.
Match Special:
Michael Owen to score two or more goals 7/1

Man Utd v West Brom Monday 26th December 15.00

Man Utd 1/5
Draw 4/1
West Brom 11/1

Get on: Man Utd

Man U are 6-1-0 in their last 7 league matches. The Albion have not won on the road all season. Home banker.
Match Special:
Van Nistelrooy to score a hat-trick 12/1

Middlesbrough v Blackburn Monday 26th December 15.00

Middlesbrough 10/11
Draw 9/4
Blackburn 5/2

Get on: Blackburn

Blackburn strolled to victory in last weeks Cup tie, a repeat is definitely on the cards.
Match Special:
Kuqi to score the first goal 15/2

Portsmouth v West Ham Monday 26th December 15.00

Portsmouth 5/4
Draw 9/4
West Ham 7/4

Get on: Portsmouth

Harry faces West Ham for the first time since he left the club four years ago; with the Hammers leaking goals recently, a home win gets the nod.
Match Special:
Portsmouth to score in both halves 11/4

Sunderland v Bolton Monday 26th December 15.00

Sunderland 11/4
Draw 12/5
Bolton 4/5

Get on: Sunderland

The Mackems will win a home match this season.... possibly.
Match Special:
Sunderland to score two or more goals 5/2

Wigan v Man City Monday 26th December 15.00

Wigan 11/8
Draw 11/5
Man City 13/8

Get on: Wigan

Both teams are capable of playing great football; it's what the Yanks call a pick-em. City have lost four of their last five away from home, I'll edge towards Wigan.
Match Special:
Camara to score two or more goals 7/1

Aston Villa v Everton Monday 26th December 17.15 Live on Sky

Aston Villa Evs
Draw 2/1
Everton 5/2

Get on: Aston Villa

The good news: Steven Davis has signed a new contract at the Villa. The bad news: Van Der Meyde has been ruled out for Everton. The good news edges it.
Match Special:
Steven Davis to score at any time 4/1






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