Premier League Contenders, part deux

No need for an intro to this one, here we go.

Arsenal. Best odds 13/2.

Arsenal are the joint third favourites alongside Chelsea with the bookies ahead of the big kick off. The Gunners managed to sneak second last season but their title bid had faded much earlier. Can they do it this year?

For: It could be Arsene Wenger’s last season in charge and he’ll be desperate to finish with some big silverware if that is the case.  Granit Xhaka is a top signing, perhaps just what they needed in midfield, and fellow summer recruit Rob Holding is also a decent acquisition, although whether he’ll have a big role to play in the season ahead remains unclear.  If they can get Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and a few others firing anything is possible

Against: If Wenger doesn’t agree a new deal or confirm that he’s leaving there will be a lot of uncertainty and that can have an impact on the squad.  Aside from that there are the usual doubts for the Emirates Stadium side.  Can they avoid their now standard mid-season slump? Will the rigours of European action prove detrimental to their domestic hopes? Can they win the league without a real marquee striker? Is their defence strong enough? And so on.

Tottenham Hotspur. Best odds 10/1.

Spurs gave Leicester the closest challenge last season but their form dipped at the end.  I’m quite tempted at 10/1 if I’m being honest, but I’m not sure whether or not I actually fancy them to win the league or if I just think they’re good value.

For: I’m convinced Spurs will continue on an upward trajectory under Mauricio Pochettino but whether or not that will result in a league title at some point is another question.  Vincent Janssen scored for fun in the Netherlands last season and could be the foil/competition Harry Kane needs to push on further.  Victor Wanyama is another shrewd bit of business from the White Hart Lane club and if Eric Dier and Dele Alli can continue to improve they look a stronger side than last season.

Against: There were a fair few Spurs men in the England squad this summer and none really came out with a great deal of credit, Dier aside perhaps.  Do they have the strength in depth to mount a sustained challenge if a key man gets injured?

Liverpool. Best odds 10/1.

Liverpool missed out on the top four last year but maybe they’d have made it if Jurgen Klopp had been in charge for the whole season, who knows?

For: Klopp is a quality manager and – like Pochettino at Spurs – I can only see the Anfield side improving under his guidance.  The capture of Loris Karius this summer was a great move and I think he’ll move ahead of Simon Mignolet in the pecking order when he returns from an untimely injury.  Maybe they overpaid for Sadio Mane but he’s a proven Premier League forward and Joel Matip from Schalke was another good move, I’ll confess I’ve not seen fellow new boy Ragnar Klavan enough to pass comment.

Against: Looking at their squad, I don’t see their best 11 as a title winning side.  I could be wrong of course (who picked out Leicester last year?) and Klopp is a brilliant tactician and motivator – he managed to wrestle the Bundesliga title away from Bayern Munich twice with Borussia Dortmund.  The hunger among the Anfield faithful for silverware might see Liverpool really go for one or both of the cups and that might see them fall short in a Premier League bid.

Leicester. Best odds 33/1.

Has anyone mentioned Leicester were 5000/1 at the start of last season? This year the holders are 33/1.

For: They did it last year and Jamie Vardy didn’t join Arsenal.  If they can keep Riyad Mahrez and find an N’Golo Kante replacement, which they may already have done with Nampalys Medny then who knows?

Against: Losing Kante was a hammer blow to any hopes the Foxes had of retaining the title.  Personally, I don’t think they’ll do it but then again I didn’t last year.  I did believe a bit before most though and am still kicking myself I didn’t jump on and back them at 20/1 around January – stupid Gonzo. They’ll be a real target now as holders as well of course, other than that the big questions are can their squad maintain the levels they managed last season? And will the Champions League prove to be too much of an ask on what is a fairly small group of players in comparison to their rivals? My guess is No and Yes respectively for those two.

And there we go, I’m not going to pick out a winner but I think the title will probably be heading to Manchester. Liverpool are 13/8 to finish in the top four and Spurs are 11/8 – at least one of them will do it I’d think.  Leicester meanwhile are 12/5 to finish in the top six, which is still a big ask but more than doable.

I’ve used Oddschecker for the best prices.

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Premier League Contenders, part 1.

Last season Leicester City won the Premier League having been 5000/1 at the start of the season, a fact everyone must know by now.  You won’t get anywhere near that price on anyone this year though, the bookies have topped out at 1500/1 for the likes of West Brom, Watford, Sunderland and Bournemouth as well as the three newly-promoted clubs; Middlesbrough, Hull and Burnley.

I’m not going to plump for a winner at this stage myself, at least not until all the transfer business is done, but I thought I’d take a look at the contenders as the season draws closer.

Manchester City. Best price 13/5.

City were never really in it last year, at least not in the second half of the season.  I don’t think the timing of the Pep Guardiola announcement helped them really, it can’t have been too easy for Manuel Pellegrini to motivate his players with everyone knowing he was on his way out.  Expectations are high this year though following the arrival of the Catalan coach. Can he do it in his first season in England?

For: Guardiola himself is a serial winner but this could be his biggest challenge to date, will he be able to hit the ground running or will the transition to England’s top flight take a while? Only time will tell. They’ve done some good, if a tad limited, business so far this summer with the captures of Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Alexander Zinchenko. Gundogan is pure class, Nolito carries a real goal threat but I’ve not seen enough of Zinchenko to comment.

Against: Their defence looks a little suspect still and will anyone be able to fill the void should Sergio Aguero sustain an injury? What about Vincent Kompany? They looked poor without him last season and as yet there have been no recruits at the back should he suffer another injury-hit campaign. They are working on bringing in some defensive reinforcements but so far their pursuit of John Stones has proved fruitless.

City have every chance but at 13/5 I won’t be risking any money on them just yet, a new centre-half or two and I might change my mind.

Manchester United. Best price 18/5.

Like City, United were way out of the title battle last season but the arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager has seen them installed as the second favourites.  He does have experience of winning the Premier League of course, still this price looks a little short to me.

For: Mourinho is the big draw but they’ve brought in some good signings as well.  Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a top performer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is guaranteed goals, even at the grand old age of 34, and moving Wayne Rooney back into a more advanced position could pay dividends.  If Paul Pogba joins they’ll be a real force, and the lack of Champions League football could allow them to focus more on domestic glory.

Against: United carried too many passengers last season as only a handful performed at the level required – Mourinho has to make sure everyone, or at least his first 11, are at the top of their game.  And how long will it take to get over the hangover of Louis van Gaal’s time in charge?

Chelsea. Best price 6/1.

If United and City were off the pace last season, Chelsea weren’t even in the same race. They find themselves as the third favourites this year though and again a new boss, Antonio Conte, is the reason for the optimism.

For:  The turmoil of the early part of last season appears to now be over thanks to Guus Hiddink’s second interim spell so I wouldn’t worry about that too much. In terms of transfers, N’Golo Kante is a brilliant signing and Michy Batshuayi has a lot of promise.  Like United, there is no Champions League to worry about and the Premier League will be the primary target.

Against: Conte knows how to build a team, he left Juventus years ago and the bones of his side is still winning Serie A every year.  It might not be instant success at Chelsea but if they keep the faith in the wily old Italian it will pay off, which may not translate into instant success in the coming campaign.  Again a lot will depend on how quickly Conte can adapt, and they probably need a few more additions to be truly competitive in the title battle.  Will Diego Costa stay or will a replacement be required? And if he does stay, will Chelsea see the best of him or will we see some petulance? What about John Terry, can the aging war-horse keep playing at the top level throughout a whole season?

My concern with all three of the favourites is the new manager factor.  The prices on City and United are way too short to tempt me, Chelsea look a good prospect at 6/1 though so if you fancy the Londoners I’d get on now before they bring in any more players and the odds shorten.

I was going to cover all the contenders but this already long enough so I’ll end it here.  I’ll be back in a few days with Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and champions Leicester.

As always I’ve used Oddschecker to hunt out the best prices, I’m not affiliated with them and there are other services available but these guys are the best in my experience.

Follow/abuse us on Twitter @GonzoSportsDesk, we’re not fancy we follow back.

Gonzo’s Betting Diary; Champions League Final and the Play-Offs

After a massively disappointing season on the betting front, at least in terms of stuff published on here – personally I did quite well but anyway, I’ve got one last chance to claw some cash back before I start from scratch for the Euros.  I did manage a 10/1 treble with my last offering though (see pic), so maybe the Gonzo Sports Desk’s luck is turning.

Betting on the Champions League Final

Atletico Madrid hold the edge over their more illustrious neighbours in the last five meetings, with Atleti enjoying two wins to Real’s one.  Indeed, Real Madrid have actually won just one of the last 10 Madrid derbies so the 9/4 Totesport and Betfred are offering for a Los Rojiblancos victory looks pretty decent. There is the small matter of the 2014 final of course, which Real went on to win in extra time, but Atleti very nearly won that had it not been for a late Sergio Ramos equaliser so I’m going to stick to my guns and go for a win for the underdog here.

The Championship play-off final

Often described as the ‘richest game in football’ or some variation of, on Saturday Hull take on Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley in a battle for the final place in next season’s Premier League.  Hull have been a strange team in the final throes of the campaign with some real Jekyll and Hyde performances, sometimes they look like a top flight team and occasionally they look shit.  Which Hull will turn up? Who knows, but given their absymal semi-final second leg display against Derby I’m guessing the latter and I’ll be taking Wednesday at 13/5 with Bet Victor and Ladbrokes.

League One play-off final

Right at the start I went for Barnsley but they will need to be on top form on Sunday.  Millwall are a decent team though so it might take the Tykes more than the 90 minutes to navigate this tricky fixture, as such I’m going for Barnsley to get promoted at 10/11 rather than the straightforward match betting.

League Two play-off final

I also picked out Plymouth at the start of the play-offs and I’ve not seen anything that makes me want to change my mind.  The Pilgrims are 13/8 with Totesport and Betfred to see off Wimbledon in 90 minutes and I’ll be sticking them on this ambitious fourfold.

As a fourfold this pays out at 56/1, usually I just go with trebles so perhaps I might knock one selection off but for the purposes of this site I’m going to throw caution to the wind and keep it at four – if it comes in I’ll be able to say this made a profit over the season as well, which would be a little unjust considering how terrible some of my bets have been but stats don’t lie. 

As always I’ve used Oddschecker but I’m in no way affiliated with them, nor do I have any links to any of the bookies mentioned above.

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Gonzo’s Betting Diary; one last time

This has been a terrible idea but I’m going to try and claw back some of my losses, then wipe the slate clean and start over from scratch for Euro 2016 in a month or so.

The last day, sometimes even weeks, of a season are always tricky.  Teams with nothing to play for can either drop off or suddenly turn into world beaters (think Swansea smashing West Ham last weekend) but I can’t resist one last attempt at beating the bookies so here we go.

The Treble

If the end of the season is a minefield the play-offs are the frontline but regardless I’m taking Barnsley to beat Walsall at Oakwell in the first-leg of their League One play-off clash. The Saddlers were unlucky to miss out on automatic promotion but the Tykes head into the match in great form and at 29/20 they’re worth the risk.

Over in Germany, Werder Bremen face Frankfurt in a huge relegation showdown.  Win and Bremen stay up at Frankfurt’s expense, lose or draw and they go down.  The visitors have won three on the spin going into this but Bremen have beaten Wolfsburg and demolished Stuttgart 6-2 in their last two home games so I’m going with a home win at evens.

The last selection comes from Serie A as second place chasing Roma head to AC Milan.  The Rossoneri can’t finish any higher than sixth and the visitors have been in good form so at 6/5 I’ll be taking Roma.

As a treble this pays out at 10/1, not too shabby but not the big bucks I really need…

The match result and both teams to score treble

Southampton are great going forward but have a leaky defence so at 21/10 they’re going on this big odds triple at home to Crystal Palace, Torino are 17/5 at Empoli and West Ham are 11/4 at Stoke.

This pays out at 48/1, which would be a cracking way to end the campaign.

As always I’ve used oddschecker for the best prices.

Follow/abuse us on Twitter @GonzoSportsDesk, we’re not fancy we follow back.

Gonzo’s Betting Diary; I’m back baby

It has been a while but the betting diary is back.  This was going so badly that I decided to stop, then lo and behold I started winning again.  I’m not a tipster, I don’t post on Twitter about guaranteed winners, or systems – I’m a straight-up gambler.  And as such, I took it as a lucky sign that the week I decided to stop posting was when I started bringing in a healthy profit again, and for a few weeks it worked.  But the luck has run out now and last week was particularly tough – two four folds let down by one match in each, both of those games ended in draws.

So I’m back with a slightly different format and a more ambitious attitude.  Fortune favours the brave etc.

The Outsiders Treble

I love looking for value and Las Palmas at Granada sticks out like a goth in Sports Direct.  Struggling Granada are unbeaten in five at home but all of those opponents have been fairly weak, or mid-table teams with little to play for.  Las Palmas however, are one of the form teams in La Liga – over the last 10 games they’ve picked up more points than Barcelona and at a top price 29/5 (mostly 11/2) they cannot be ignored.

West Ham are 11/10 to win at West Brom and they’re worth adding to this treble (admittedly they’re not the outsiders in this fixture but odds against is good enough).  The Baggies managed a huge draw at Spurs last time out and that kind of result can go one way at this stage of the season – either it inspires them to a grandstand finish now they’ve got nothing to play for, or it took a lot out of them.  I’m banking on option B and as the Hammers are still pushing for Europe they’ll see this as one they should win.

It is party time for Rotherham United as they’ve successfully avoided the drop, Blackburn meanwhile are ending what has to be viewed as a disappointing season with uncertainty behind the scenes.  This doesn’t always impact on the performance on the pitch but in any case I reckon the Millers will want to put on a show in their last home game so I’ll be on them at 6/4, making this a tidy 33.59 (just shy of 33/1) treble.

Hollywood Bet

Portsmouth are in the play-offs now, maybe they’ll rest some players at Hartlepool as automatic looks too far away, even though it is mathematically possible.  The Pools are looking to bounce back after two defeats with a newish manager in charge so there is some motivation there.  Big call but a 10/1 Hartlepool win with both teams to score is what makes this a Hollywood bet.

Still in League Two, Wimbledon are 3/1 at Stevenage with both teams to score and in League One Millwall at 13/4 to do the same to a visiting Oldham side.

This ambitious punt splashes out 175.95 (almost 175/1), worth a nibble surely?

This was written on Thursday evening and published on Friday so the odds may have changed. I use Oddschecker, but am in no way affiliated with them.

Follow/abuse us on Twitter @GonzoSportsDesk, we’re not fancy we follow back.

Gonzo’s Betting Diary; back to it

 

After a short break the betting diary is back, sometimes when stuff isn’t going your way you’ve just got to take a step back.  Rather than go for a football treble this weekend there are a few things that look enticing so I’m taking a slightly different approach.

Carl Frampton to beat Scott Quigg on points

This is being billed as the very definition of a 50-50 fight by some pundits out there and maybe it is, but for me I think Frampton is the classier of the two and he may just shade it.  Frampton by decision or technical decision is a top price 15/8, or for the braver a split decision win in the Irishman’s favour is 9/1 with Ladbrokes and may be worth a cheeky dabble.

Stuttgart to beat Hannover to nil

Hannover just can’t score at the moment and have managed just one goal in their last five games, and none in their last four.  Stuttgart are in decent form and although they’re not clean-sheet specialists they might just keep one and take all three points tomorrow at 15/8.

Ireland to beat England

Ireland look hugely overpriced at 7/2 in this one, granted they’ve not won in the Six Nations yet but they’ve not played particularly badly either. England have won two but this will be the real test, as Scotland and Italy have been their previous opponents. If you want to keep it safe 11/10 with a +8 handicap is a gift but I’m prepared to take the risk.

As a treble that pays out at just over 34/1 using all the top prices.  Paddy Power stands out for this particular bet as they offer the best odds on both Ireland and Stuttgart, with a Frampton points win 7/4.  As always I’ll be backing this as singles and the multiple for the purposes of this diary even though I’ve not bothered to work out just how down I am in a while.

I’ve used Oddschecker for the best prices but I am not affiliated with them or any bookmakers in anyway.

Follow/abuse us on Twitter @GonzoSportsDesk, we’re not fancy we follow back.

Gonzo’s Betting Diary; again, so close

Only Swansea let me down last time for what would have been a decent treble, but again backing all as singles as well as the accumulator yielded a small profit so I am getting closer.  Again I’m going to be brave this week and go with three odds against away picks.

Norwich v West Ham

I’m starting to worry about the Canaries.  They’ve hit a sticky patch at the wrong time and have lost their last seven games in succession, including their previous three at Carrow Road.  The Hammers were taken the distance by Liverpool in midweek but that was on Tuesday and they shouldn’t be too fatigued by their cup exploits by the time 3pm on Saturday rolls around.  I’ll admit I’m not massively confident on this one but at a top price 9/4 West Ham are worth a punt for me.

Blackburn v Hull

Blackburn are in terrible form and FA Cup wins over Newport and Oxford don’t detract from the fact they’re without a victory in the Championship since early December.  Hull saw a six match winning run come to an end at Burnley last weekend but I expect them to bounce back with all three points at Ewood Park at a top price 7/5.

Reading v Burnley

The Royals are unbeaten in five at home but Burnley look like a side with their eye on the prize and I think the Clarets may just shade this one.  The away side are pushing for a top two spot and Reading’s season is petering out now, with the promotion places a bit too far away and relegation not really a worry either.  Burnley are a top price 11/5 and worth a go at those odds.

As a multiple that pays out at a very tidy 23/1 or thereabouts. As always I’ve used Oddschecker for the best prices but am not affiliated with them in any way.

Follow/abuse us on Twitter @GonzoSportsDesk, we’re not fancy we follow back.

Championship Relegation Contenders

A couple of weeks ago it looked like there was only one relegation spot in the Championship left to avoid, now it could be any three from six or seven.  Bolton looked doomed and an anticipated January exodus could have been the final nail in the coffin.  Aside from more points on the board, Charlton appeared almost as safe a bet but the Wanderers and Addicks have given themselves a fighting chance and their causes have been aided by rivals dropping points.

I’d suggest Blackburn may just be out of it with two games in hand over most and 31 points, six clear of third-from-bottom Rotherham, despite the exit of Jordan Rhodes. It is worth mentioning the Rovers are without a win in the league since December 11th and if that kind of form continues they could yet find themselves in trouble, but for now they’ve got a bit of breathing space.

Fulham

The Cottagers have 29 points and a game in hand over all five of the sides below them, but like Blackburn their form has to be a cause for concern – they’ve taken just nine points from the last 45 available.  Fulham do have a bit of talent in their squad and keeping hold of Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele last month can’t have hurt their survival chances.  My gut feeling is they’ll be ok, and facing a few of their relegation rivals at home in the run-in could work in their favour.

Key remaining fixtures; Blackburn (a), Charlton (h), Bristol City (h), MK Dons (h), Bolton (h).

Relegation odds; 8/1

MK Dons

I had MK Dons down as relegation fodder at the start of the season but they’re making a decent fight of it and before a ball had been kicked in the Championship the Dons would probably have been fairly happy to be three points clear at this stage.  Boss Karl Robinson has got a tight-knit group together but from what I’ve seen there isn’t a huge amount of quality there, but then again they’re not carrying anyone either.  They’ve responded well to defeat at Bolton and a heavy loss to Chelsea by drawing with Cardiff and Middlesbrough – having been agonisingly close to winning in the latter.  Home form will be the key if they do avoid an immediate return, because they’ve been pretty woeful on the road.

Key remaining fixtures; Bristol City (h), Blackburn (a), Charlton (a), Rotherham (h).

Relegation odds; 3/1 (with NetBet, most are around 2/1)

Bristol City

With money behind them Bristol City will be very much a club on the up if they survive this season but at the moment that looks to be a very big if.  The Robins tried to make a few deals happen in January but as it transpired the biggest change was a switch in manager, with former midfielder Lee Johnson coming in for the axed Steve Cotterill (technically Johnson was appointed in February). They picked up a very important win at Charlton last time out and perhaps a new boss burst will see them pull clear in the next few weeks.  In Luke Freeman they’ve got a game-changer in midfield but there are big holes in the squad and goals have been hard to come by, as have wins on home soil. As things are I think they’ll be in the second tier next season but they are in a precarious position.

Key remaining fixtures; MK Dons (a), Bolton (h), Rotherham (h), Blackburn (a).

Relegation odds; 9/2

In the danger zone…

Rotherham United

Like Bristol City immediately above them, the Millers have decided to make a change at the top with the sacking of Neil Redfearn following a damaging defeat at Bolton.  There is a very fine line between satisfactory and disastrous at the wrong end of the Championship and Rotherham were incredibly close to getting a decent result last time out but ended up with a bad one.  After going behind early on, they probably had the better of the chances and were hit with a killer blow late on.  Defeats to the Addicks and Wanderers could prove costly, as well as giving the bottom two a lifeline, and the million dollar question is what impact will whoever succeeds Redfearn have?  Until that question is answered, any kind of guess on their fate would be nothing more than a stab in the dark.

They do have some quality in the squad, whether they have enough to stay-up remains to be seen and they arguably have the toughest run-in of all the struggling teams with the likes of Hull, Middlesbrough and Burnley – the current top three – still to come.

Key remaining fixtures; Bristol City (a), MK Dons (a), Blackburn (h).

Relegation odds; 19/20 (this is a huge anomaly with Winner, most have the Millers at around 1/2 to go down)

Bolton Wanderers

At the start of January the Wanderers looked destined for League One.  There was no prospect of any new arrivals to aid their cause, the threat of administration and a points deduction loomed large, manager Neil Lennon was in the tabloids and many expected their squad to be decimated. Zach Clough was close to Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday wanted Mark Davies and Charlton had an eye on Liam Feeney but somehow all three remained with football’s latest crisis club.

However, seven points from the last nine available gives cause for optimism and they’re now just four points adrift of safety.  There may be some quality in the squad, the aforementioned Clough and Davies for example, but the lack of a goalscorer and a run-in to rival Rotherham’s has to be a huge worry.  My head is telling me they’re going down, but stranger things have happened than this team surviving and they’re not such a lost cause anymore.  Administration remains a possibility and that would be the end of any survival bid, but until then they’ve got a puncher’s chance at the very least.

Key remaining fixtures; Bristol City (a), Charlton (h), Fulham (a).

Relegation odds; 2/9

Charlton Athletic

The Addicks had been on a torrid run with just four points from 30 available but a win over Rotherham has at least kept them in the fight.  Like Bolton there are some off-field issues having an impact on the pitch at the Valley, and a home defeat to Bristol City last time out was a big blow as they failed to build on that win over the Millers.  However, they did strengthen in January with the captures of the comically named Rod Fanni and Arsenal starlet Yaya Sanogo (‘starlet’ has been used loosely, he’s 23).  Fanni was playing for Marseille last season before a move to Al-Arabi and was a tidy midfielder in his day, but I’ve not seen the veteran play for a good few years so can’t really make any kind of guess as to what kind of impact he will have.  Sanogo looked decent in patches at Crystal Palace last season and may prove to be a shrewd addition, at the very least he provides another option in attack for a frontline who have struggled for goals this term.

That said, it still doesn’t look good and they have some tough games to go, but it isn’t over yet for the south Londoners.

Key remaining fixtures; Fulham (a), Mk Dons (h), Bolton (a).

Relegation odds; 1/7

I was going to put my neck on the line and go for the three I think will go down but after writing this I’m less sure than when I started.  I still think Bolton and Charlton have left themselves too much to do but am not prepared to give up on either just yet, either way we could be set for a battle in the second tier that looked highly unlikely not too long ago.

Championship relegation odds (Oddschecker)

Championship table, form and fixtures (SoccerSTATS)

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Gonzo’s Betting Diary; so close

Only Crystal Palace let me down in midweek but I still made a small profit given the prices for both Leicester and West Ham.  Maybe that elusive win is close, anyway here we go.

Swansea v Crystal Palace

The Swans head into this one unbeaten in three and looking like a team making a real survival push after their early season struggles.  Palace, meanwhile, are bottom of the form table with no points from their last five games and have been hit with a double injury blow this week, with James McArthur out for the season and Jason Puncheon facing a spell on the sidelines.

Swansea are 13/10 to take all three points and I’ll be adding them to my treble.

Stoke v Everton

I find it hard to back against the Potters at home but they’ve endured a difficult few weeks.  Stoke were knocked out of both cups in the space of a couple of days and then outclassed at Manchester United in midweek, and Everton could add to their woes on Saturday.  Ross Barkley is in good form and Romelu Lukaku should be involved, although he is a concern with a back injury.

Everton have been inconsistent all season and they’ve managed to wreck a few of my bets but like the fool I am I can’t resist them at 15/8 at the Britannia.

Burnley v Hull

This should be a cracker in the Championship on Saturday between two sides battling for promotion.  Hull have the advantage at the top of the table with a four point lead over the Clarets in third spot but the fact this one is at Turf Moor might swing it in Burnley’s favour.

Hull have won their last three on the road but those games weren’t against anyone with the class of Burnley.  The Clarets humbled Derby 4-1 in their last home game and could pick up another big win at 45/23 this weekend.

As always I’ve used Oddschecker for the top prices and as a treble this comes in at 18.45.

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Gonzo’s Betting Diary; flogging a dead horse

All in all my weekend picks weren’t too bad, well two of the four came in anyway.  I got it wrong with Oxford, they were easily brushed aside by Blackburn, and Rotherham were hammered by Charlton so the two that didn’t come in failed spectacularly.

Which is pretty fitting… seeing as how this whole enterprise is going. I’m either too stubborn or too stupid to give up so here we go again.

Leicester v Liverpool

Liverpool have played twice since Leicester’s last game, a 3-0 crushing of Stoke, and one of those went the distance as Stoke pushed them to penalties.  A trip to the league leaders is probably exactly what the Anfield side don’t want on Tuesday but that’s the hand they’ve been dealt.  The Foxes are 17/10 and worth a dabble at that price.

West Ham v Aston Villa

Villa took a battering at home to Man City in the FA Cup at the weekend and now face another tough game at West Ham.  The Hammers have actually performed better against the bigger teams this season but they should be too good for Villa, especially at home.  The hosts are unbeaten in 10 at Upton Park in all competitions and three of their last five in east London have been wins.  At 19/20 they’re good value to pick up another three points as they continue their European push.

Crystal Palace v Bournemouth

Palace have been in a sticky patch recently but a win over Stoke at the weekend may have been the start of a resurgence.  The Cherries are no mugs away from home and this could be a close one but at 13/8 I reckon Pardew’s men are worth a punt.

As a treble this comes in at just under 13/1, as per I’ve used Oddschecker for the best prices but have no affiliation with them.

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