A short but sweet contribution this week from The OptaJoke betting blog. Last week proved a profitable one with Borrusia Dortmund outclassing Bayern Munich and winning the game 3-1 to bring home the 25/1 longshot for the weekend. It’s a weekend of multiples this week so lets dive straight in with a tasty treble.
Portsmouth to beat Sheffield United.
Pompey are on a great run of from in recent weeks, despite their early season difficulties they have added some depth to what was still an impressive starting 11 and are reaping the rewards of a solid defensive line with 3 clean sheets in their last 4. They find themselves midtable and only 7 points from the playoff positions and will fancy their chances this weekend. They host a Sheffield United side who sit second bottom of the league, are short of confidence and have lost their last 3 games. They are also without a win since 18th December 2010. To me they look destined to join their Sheffield rivals in League One next season. Home win for me.
Fulham to beat Blackburn Rovers
I like Fulham under Mark Hughes’ management, they have been playing some impressive stuff of late and their rearguard action has seen them gain credible draws against Chelsea and Manchester City in recent weeks. Their home form is where they have picked up most of their victories this campaign and they haven’t been beaten at Craven Cottage since Boxing Day. Their opponents on Saturday sit only one place below them in the league but Blackburn have been on a bad run lately, they were taken apart by Villa last time out and have lost their last 4 games away from home. Fulham could well walk away with three points here.
Peterborough to beat Exeter
Posh have featured a couple of times in this column over the last few weeks and they have duly delivered. In the last few games they have improved dramatically, particularly in defence and have picked up 10 points in the last 4 games. At London Road their form has been consistently good this season and winning 10 of their 16 games. Peterborough welcome an Exeter side who sit 15th in the league and have had an inconsistent campaign to say the least. Small spells of form are often blighted by losses against teams they may have been expected to beat. They’ve picked up 5 victories away from St James’ park but I think class will show through on this occasion and I’m backing the home side to bag the victory.
This treble returns around 9/2 with most firms as is the more sensible option of the selections.
There is also a longshot option this weekend and it’s a fourfold:
Swansea to beat Scunthorpe
A case of two teams heading in opposite directions this season, the Swans are mounting a charge for an automatic promotion place and to be honest, I can see them sneaking in. They were only one decent striker away from going up last season and had they had a top scorer with more than 7 league goals who knows where they would be. The side is still solid at the back and with Scott Sinclair leading the line they may have found their missing talisman. With 4 wins from their last 4 i’ll back them to beat a Scunny side who have lost their last 2 games and have only won 3 times this season.
West Ham to beat Stoke
The Hammers have been resurgent of late and could still escape the relegation battle that has been staring them in the face since the word go. Their victory over Liverpool could mark the turning of the tide and I think they may have enough about them to beat a very one dimensional Stoke side. I watched the visitors draw with West Brom this week I think they may struggle going forward here. With The Hammers new found attacking line beginning to fire the hosts could take the spoils.
Manchester United to beat Liverpool
Well, this is the big one this weekend. United’s loss to Chelsea in the week has blown the title race wide open and Sir Alex’s side need to get back on track. I still think Liverpool are in a transitional phase under Kenny Dalglish’s management and this season should be seen as one of consolidation. Although results have improved since Roy Hodgson’s departure there is still a gulf of class between the two sides and I think United will shade it on the day.
AC Milan to beat Juventus.
Milan sit atop of Serie A with a genuine chance of winning the title this year and whilst they are still involved in the Champions League they will still want to keep producing in their domestic campaign. Juventus are a side low on confidence and results this year and are currently outside of the Europa League spots. They have lost their last 2 games against midtable Bologna and relegation threatened Leece, even if Milan rest players for their midweek game with Spurs they could see off Juve if Robinho, Pato and Ibrahimovic show up.
This one returns around a rather hefty 25/1
As Paddy Powers match treble treated us so well this week I’ve got one for the live game between Liverpool and Manchester United. It is:
Manchester United to win
12 or more corners in the game
A card index of upto and including 50pts.
This is a 11/1 shot with Paddy Power.
Good luck and gamble responsibly!