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Saturday Premier League Tipsheet: Villa to be stung by talented Hornets

 Aston Villa 2.74 v Watford 3.00; The Draw 3.30
The picture couldn't really look more gloomy for Aston Villa and you have to say that Remi Garde will need to be a miracle worker to guide the club to survival.
Bottom of the table with the longest winless run in the division, the fewest goals scored out of all 20 Premier League clubs, the worst goal difference, and just two points taken from the last 36 available to them. Wow! I can't find one reason why they should be favourites to beat Watford on Saturday afternoon.
For me the Hornets are the best of the three promoted clubs and have a great chance of avoiding the drop. And those chances will be hugely enhanced if they come away from Villa Park with all three points, a result that will take them 14 points ahead of the Midlands club.
Watford may be going into this game on the back of two defeats on the spin but those reversals were by single goal margins to Leicester and Man Utd, the two clubs that sit first and second in the Premier League.
Consider also the fact that Quique Flores' men have scored in each of their last four league games (home and away), their last four matches on the road, and that they've already recorded five clean sheets this season then you have to feel that scoring just once or twice at Villa Park should be good enough to take all three points.
Recommended Bet
Back Watford to Win @ 3.00
 (best bet)

Bournemouth 3.00 v Everton 2.50; The Draw 3.60
Everton aren't exactly the most consistent side in the world but they are now unbeaten in four league and cup outings and have scored a very impressive 11 goals in their last three league matches - albeit 10 of those goals came at Goodison Park.
That makes Roberto Martinez's men of much interest at 2.50 to win against struggling Bournemouth, especially when you consider the Toffees' impressive record against bottom half sides.
As Andrew Atherley points out in his weekly stats piece, Everton have won four and drawn two of their matches against bottom half sides this term, and in five of those six outings they found the back of the net at least twice. It's difficult to envisage Martinez's men not scoring at least two at Dean Court if I'm being honest.
The Cherries haven't won a league game since the middle of September, and although their injury worries have been well documented it's perhaps time to acknowledge that the squadEddie Howe has to select from isn't quite up to Premier League standard.
Bournemouth will make me eat my words one day but I don't expect it to be this weekend when a confident, and free-scoring Everton side are the visitors.
Recommended Bet
Back Everton to Win @ 2.50

Crystal Palace 1.78 v Newcastle 5.30; The Draw 4.00
One of the more noticeable aspects of the first third of the season is the number of clubs that are performing much better on the road than they are on home soil.
Stoke and West Ham, two clubs who are usually strong at home, are just two examples, while high-flying Leicester's away record is superb also.
And then there's Crystal Palace. The Eagles are usually a very tough nut to crack at Selhurst Park but this season they have won just two league games in front of their own fans (drew one and lost four) while they've so far won four times away from home including memorable victories at Chelsea and Liverpool.
This is enough for me to ignore Palace's price of 1.78 about a home win, especially after their lacklustre performance at home to Sunderland on Monday night.
I can't put Newcastle up as a selection either however. Steve McClaren's men were dreadful at home to Leicester last weekend and before that they were completely outplayed by out of form Bournemouth, but somehow they managed to score the only goal of the game.
The recommended bet therefore has to be Under 2.5 Goals at a generous looking price of2.06. The last two games at Selhurst Park have finished 0-0 and 0-1, while Newcastle have scored just a solitary goal in their last three matches.
I'd expect another close affair here, and if Palace continue to struggle in front of goal then it might just be a dull affair also.
Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.06

Man City 1.56 v Southampton 6.80; The Draw 4.50
It's been a very difficult week for Manchester City, and a rather bizarre one too.
Manuel Pellegrini changing his central defensive partnership for the visit of Liverpool was an odd decision, and one that backfired instantly, and then needing a few goals to get back in the game both Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero were substituted at 1-3 down.
Yes, Aguero was playing his first game for around six weeks while Toure wasn't exactly having a great game, but I just sensed that Pellegrini threw in the towel, if not before the game then certainly during it.
Some say the priority was to get a result at Juventus in midweek so that Man City could put themselves in a position to finish top of their Champions League group. But that didn't go to plan either, another defeat, another below par performance.
It all means that City are impossible to back at such short odds against a very good Southampton side on Saturday. As the odds suggest, Pellegrini's men are by far the most likely winners, but it's hard to have confidence in them right now. That Liverpool defeat was extremely worrying for me.
The Saints surprisingly lost at home to Stoke last weekend but Ronald Koeman's men had been in fine form prior to that defeat, winning six and losing none of their previous eight league and cup outings. They're a very well organised side and I expect Man City to have a tough time in breaking them down. A low scoring affair has to be the call.
Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.32

Sunderland 3.30 v Stoke 2.44; The Draw 3.50
As I alluded to in my Crystal Palace preview, there are a number of clubs this season who surprisingly have a much better record away from home than they do in front of their own fans, Stoke perhaps being the best example of such a club.
For years the Potters have built their campaigns around a successful, and mostly formidable, record at the Britannia Stadium, but if the first third of this season is anything to go by then we're in for a change.
Mark Hughes' men have so far collected 12 of their 19 league points away from home this term, winning three and drawing three of their seven road trips. Stoke's only defeat on their travels was at Arsenal, so no shame there, but since that reversal in early September Hughes' men have gone more than 450 minutes - five league and cup games - without conceding a single goal.
You sense the Black Cats are starting to find their feet under new boss Sam Allardyce, and even allowing for that 6-2 thrashing at Everton recently they look to be a side that will be difficult to break down, especially at home.
But Sunderland just don't win at the Stadium of Light (unless they're playing Newcastle of course) and I envisage another hugely frustrating afternoon on the cards for the Wearsiders as a well organised Stoke side shut them out and leave with all three points.
Recommended Bet
Back Stoke to Win @ 2.44

Qarabag v Tottenham: Visitors won't bag maximum points

Qarabag v Tottenham
Thursday November 26, 18:00
Live on BT Sport Europe
Juggling multiple competitions is often a stiff test for a top-level manager, and it's a task that has come into sharp focus this week for Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino. The Lilywhites' recent Premier League form has sparked murmurings about a surprise title tilt, and as such, Sunday's London derby against the champions Chelsea surely takes priority over a long trip to Azerbaijan.
The tricky thing is that Tottenham wanted to have qualified for the last 32 by now, but they haven't. They can afford to slip up on Thursday evening and still make it through, but a home game against Monaco is by no means a guaranteed three points.
Spurs are expected to field teenage wunderkind Dele Alli, as he is suspended for the clash with Chelsea. Clinton N'Jie may get another chance to show he isn't just a headless maverick, while we may also get a rare sighting of the lesser-spotted Andros Townsend.
Qarabag eventually succumbed 3-1 at White Hart Lane, but they took an early lead, and they are no pushovers at home. The Azerbaijani champions have drawn with Monaco and beaten Anderlecht, and they hammered Young Boys 3-0 in the play-off round.
Qarabag haven't lost a home game since February, and they haven't been beaten on their turf in European competition in over a year. The hosts are right in the mix for qualification, and I think what is likely to be an under-strength Spurs are underpriced at 2.10.
It's also worth noting that Tottenham's away form in Europe is modest. They have lost three of their last four away games in the Europa League, and have only won two of their last nine road matches.

Recommended Bet
Lay Spurs at 2.10

Liverpool v Bordeaux: Reds to finally enjoy home comforts

Liverpool v Bordeaux
Thursday November 26, 20:05
Live on BT Sport Europe
When Jurgen Klopp took up the managerial reins at Anfield, he pleaded for patience, and was at pains to stress that the rebuilding job was a huge challenge. After the weekend's 4-1 demolition of Manchester City at the Etihad, the charismatic German has about as much chance of dampening down expectation as I have of winning next year's X Factor (my Elvis Presley impression could strip paint off walls).
Not only have Klopp's new charges quickly taken on board the notion of counter-pressing, they have shown a willingness to put in the work the former Dortmund boss demands as a matter of course. More encouragingly, Liverpool are starting to be more clinical when they win the ball back high up the pitch, and that will be the real key to how quickly Klopp can turn things around.
Liverpool have lost just one of their eight fixtures since the change of coach, and after conquering the Etihad and Stamford Bridge, Klopp must now address the Reds' stuttering home form. Liverpool have won just three home games inside 90 minutes, a record that simply isn't good enough for a club with their ambitions.
You would think that such a modest home record would make me run a mile from backing Liverpool, but Bordeaux may be the perfect opponents. The Ligue 1 side have won just once away from home all season, and that victory was in the first week of August. They have won just three of their last 14 matches in all competitions, and they are still looking for their first win in the Europa League group stage.
Liverpool will be without impish playmaker Philippe Coutinho because of a hamstring injury, but with qualification up for grabs if they can win, I'm expecting a decent line-up. Robust strikerChristian Benteke is raring to go after he was left out of the starting 11 in Manchester, whileRoberto Firmino is showing the form he displayed so often in the Bundesliga.
Liverpool should really have won the reverse fixture, and that was when they were labouring under Brendan Rodgers. With the current wave of optimism set to wash over Anfield, I'm expecting Bordeaux to be swept away.

Recommended Bet
Back Liverpool -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.85

Champions League Tips: Arsenal's adversaries to attack at the Allianz

Zenit St Petersburg 2.16 v Valencia 4.00; The Draw 3.40
Tuesday, 17:00
Live on BT Sport 2

This is the first time this season that Zenit St Petersburg have gone into a Champions League match not needing to win, with qualification assured and a point enough to confirm first place, but owning the sole remaining 100% record is a source of great pride and 2.16 is a big price on them maintaining it.
They scored three times in Valencia, leading 2-0 by half time, while Los Che showed that they are nothing too special on the road by losing to Gent on matchday four, their third away defeat in four across all competitions. Zenit have won six in seven as hosts, drawing the exception 0-0.
Recommended Bet: Back Zenit St Petersburg to win @ 2.16

Barcelona 1.30 v Roma 12.00; The Draw 6.40
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport Extra 2

Barcelona should secure their round-of-16 spot without much bother having already accumulated ten points, yet it is unclear who will follow them through after Roma and Bayer Leverkusen's frenetic double header. The Giallorossi are currently second on five points, one above the German side and two ahead of BATE Borisov.
When these clubs clashed in Rome in September, both goals arrived in the first half, but the treble winners have altered approach since, with six of their seven Champions League strikes coming after the break. They have played 13 times in all competitions since being held at the Stadio Olimpico, and fired more often in the second half than the first in nine of those. The other three were even splits.
Recommended Bet: Back the second half to have more goals @ 1.96

Bayern Munich 1.14 v Olympiakos 28.00; The Draw 10.00
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport Extra 3

Even if Arsenal beat Dinamo Zagreb, they will exit the Champions League at the group stage for the first time since 1999/00 if Olympiakos leave the Allianz Arena with a point or more.
Bayern Munich are rated firm favourites despite dropping points on either week five or six in each of the past five campaigns, having overcome the Greek title holders 3-0 away.
That was the only zero that Olympiakos have hit in 15 fixtures all season though and it would be misguided to simply assume that they will be shut out again in Munich given their scoring rate on their Champions League travels, netting three at Arsenal in September and two at Juventus last November. Bayern have kept just one clean sheet in four European home games.

Recommended Bet: Back Bayern Munich to keep a clean sheet? No @ 2.20

Champions League Tips: Ibra's Malmo FF return to stick to formula

El Clasico of the season at the Bernabeu : last 10 El Clasicos there have only been two draws

Bundesliga Betting: Foals to give Schubert a promotion party

Borussia Monchengladbach v Hannover 96
Saturday November 21, 14:30

After weeks of campaigning by fans and players alike, Borussia Monchengladbach have finally named Andre Schubert as their coach on a permanent basis. Having replaced Lucien Favre in the hotseat with the Foals still looking for their first Bundesliga point after five matches, Schubert has collected 19 points from an available 21, and Gladbach are now just a point off the top four.
I can understand why Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl was reluctant to give Schubert the job too quickly. The 44-year-old had no previous Bundesliga experience as a coach, and a previous spell at St Pauli had been a total disaster.
That background makes Schubert's success this season all the more extraordinary. He has revitalised a group that had totally lost confidence, and has dealt well with an injury crisis which has robbed him of key players like Martin Stranzl and Patrick Herrmann. Not bad for a man who wasn't really sure he wanted the job in the first place.
Young playmaker Mahmoud Dahoud has relished the responsibility Schubert has given him, and players like right-back Julian Korb have suddenly found an extra gear. Attacking midfielder Lars Stindl will get the chance to continue his terrific form against his old club.
Hannover have struggled since Stindl departed, and they have now been shorn of another creative talent. Japanese playmaker Hiroshi Kiyotake missed the start of the season with a foot injury, and he has now fractured the same foot whilst on international duty. Only Ingolstadt and Hamburg have scored fewer goals than Die Roten, and the absence of their set-piece specialist and playmaker is a catastrophe.
Hannover have been better on the road than they have at home, and they are chasing a third consecutive away win, but without Kiyotake they have very little creativity. Gladbach have won their last four home games against Hannover, and it's worth noting that all six of their victories under Schubert have come via a margin of two goals or greater. Against relegation-threatened Hannover, I expect another comfortable victory.
Recommended Bet
Back Borussia Monchengladbach -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at [2.43]

Schalke v Bayern Munich
Saturday November 21, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 1

Such is Bayern Munich's relentless excellence, it's easy to take for granted what they've achieved under Pep Guardiola, and indeed what they did under his treble-winning predecessor Jupp Heynckes. Bayern have played 12 Bundesliga games this season, and have dropped just two points. They have scored 37 goals, and conceded just four. This, by any team's standards, is remarkable consistency.
Bayern are being impressively hunted by Borussia Dortmund, so they need to stay focused. I think they'll collect three points this weekend against a Schalke side that has lost its way somewhat, especially at the Veltins Arena.
Schalke's derby defeat in Dortmund extended their winless run to six matches in all competitions, and on home soil they have won just one of their last five games. They are badly missing suspended midfield fulcrum Johannes Geis, and attacking players like Franco Di Santo and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting just aren't performing well enough in the Bundesliga, which is putting a lot of pressure on young Leroy Sane.
Although both of the league meetings between these sides last season ended 1-1, it's worth noting that Bayern won the seven encounters before that. With talismanic winger Arjen Robben back from injury and scoring for club and country, Bayern's attacking options look even more impressive than usual, and I think Guardiola's men will win handily against stuttering opponents.
Recommended Bet
Back Bayern Munich -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at [1.71]

Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayer Leverkusen
Saturday November 21, 14:30

Eintracht Frankfurt aren't a team that's usually associated with defensive steel and a high work-rate, but a goalless draw against Bayern Munich a few weeks ago has galvanised them. That stalemate was followed up with another 0-0 draw away to Hoffenheim, a game Armin Veh's men could easily have won had they been more clinical in attack.
Frankfurt have seen their goals dry up, with just four scored in their last eight matches, so Veh is having to rely on his team being disciplined and organised at the back.
Leverkusen are having a mini-crisis, after losing their last three matches in all competitions. They have a huge Champions League game coming up away at BATE Borisov, and I wonder whether coach Roger Schmidt will rest key players this weekend.
Leverkusen have won just five of their 12 Bundesliga games this term, and on the road they have won just one of their last five league games. Although Javier Hernandez is in sensational form (Opta tell us he has scored in his last six games), the attacking unit as a whole has managed just 14 goals in 12 games, which is Bayer's worst tally at this stage of a season since 1982.
Given Frankfurt's new-found grit, and the fact they have lost just one of their last 16 Bundesliga home games, I see no reason to support the struggling visitors at evens.
Recommended Bet
Lay Bayer Leverkusen at [2.0]

Hertha Berlin v Hoffenheim
Sunday, November 22, 14:30
Live on BT Sport 1

Hoffenheim brought in grizzled veteran coach Huub Stevens - The Growler of Kerkrade, no less - to steady the ship after a dreadful start to the season. Stevens has concentrated on defensive basics, and goalless stalemates against Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt have been the result. TSG are still in the bottom two, but they have at least picked up their second and third clean sheets of the campaign.
Hertha coach Pal Dardai also prizes organisation and hard work highly, and although his side have been more attacking this season than last, they have still kept four clean sheets in 12 league outings. Hertha are fourth in the standings going into this weekend, but their attack will be harmed by the loss of Mitch Weiser to injury. The former Bayern winger has adapted superbly to playing at right-back, and he has been an excellent attacking outlet.
With Hoffenheim bolting every door and window, and Hertha a pretty solid outfit, this could be a close one.
Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals at [1.96]

English Championship Tipsheet: Expect goals when Evans faces his former employers

Brentford [2.36] v Nottm Forest [3.3]; The Draw [3.55]
The Championship manager-go-round is becoming a rather embarrassing affair and you just wonder if Dougie Freedman will be in for the chop should his Nottm Forest side, as I suspect they will, lose at Brentford.
No less than six managers have lost their job since this time last month alone, and my theory is that owners and chairman have realised that this year's Championship is so open that with the correct appointment their own club could easily get in the mix.
How else do you explain Kit Symons losing his job at Fulham following a defeat to Birmingham. If the Cottagers had have won that game they'd now be sitting three points off a play-off place. Were Fulham expected to challenge for the play-offs at the start of the season? I doubt they were.
Back to this game and the focus is now fully on Freedman. Failure to beat East Midlands rivals Derby in the game before the international break was expected to see the end of his tenure at the City Ground, but you sense the victory achieved that night has only resulted in a stay of execution unless Forest go on a terrific run of form.
But I'm not convinced Forest are good enough to go on such a run, and following just one win in nine league games - that victory over Derby - I fancy they'll struggle at rejuvenated Brentford.
The Bees themselves have already had a managerial change this season, Lee Carsley replacing outgoing boss Marinus Dijkhuizen, and results have started to go in their favour. Brentford won four on the spin under Carsley recently before losing narrowly to top-of-the-table Hull, and with home advantage on Saturday I fancy they'll get the better of an out of form Forest side.
The question is, will Freedman see the weekend out as a manager of a Championship football club? Lose at Griffin Park at the weekend and I suspect he won't.
Recommended Bet
Back Brentford to Win @ [2.36]

Ipswich [2.26] v Wolves [3.6]; The Draw [3.5]

Dare I say it? A match between two Championship clubs that appear to be happy with their current managers, Mick McCarthy at Ipswich and Kenny Jackett at Wolves.
On current form we have to favour McCarthy's men. The Tractor Boys were amongst the early pacesetters in the league after collecting 10 points from their first four games, but they went on a bit of an inconsistent run after that and slipped to mid table.
They appear to be back on track after a four game unbeaten run, and back-to-back wins courtesy of scoring seven goals with their star striker Daryl Murphy netting a hat-trick in his side's 2-5 win at Rotherham.
The Republic of Ireland striker should be in a great frame of mind after helping his nation qualify for Euro 2016 during the international break, and back at Portman Road I rate Ipswich a decent bet to beat 'inconsistent' Wolves.
Jackett's men have been on an eight game run that reads, won two, lost three, won one, lost one, drew one. They've won only one of their last six however and they've failed to find the back of the net in three of their last five outings.
As difficult as the Championship has been this season nothing should surprise us any more, but I just feel that Ipswich are rediscovering their best form, and if Murphy is on song, as he was when he scored a brace in this fixture last season, then the home side should prevail.
Recommended Bet
Back Ipswich to Win @ [2.26]

Leeds [1.91] v Rotherham [4.7]; The Draw [3.6]

This promises to be a fascinating match between Leeds, now managed by Steve Evans, and Rotherham, who up until six weeks ago were also managed by Evans. The Millers are now managed by Neil Redfearn, who coincidentally used to manage Leeds, not once, twice, or three times, but four times!
What all that effectively means is that both Evans and Redfearn will arguably know more about the opposition than they do about their own side having been in their current jobs for just a few weeks.
And both will be desperate to put one over their former employers.
So we can expect a very intense game with both sides desperate to win, and hopefully that will result in a goal-filled affair.
Rotherham's last seven games have averaged over three goals per match, and one of those outings finished 1-0 at Middlesbrough when they just parked the bus. Redfearn's men will be more adventurous against Leeds given the manager's desperation for not just a win at Elland Road but any win with Rotherham being bottom of the table.
Leeds on the other hand will fancy their chances having won back-to-back league games for the first time this season. A lot of their games in the early part of the campaign were resulting in both sides getting on the scoresheet and I can see a similar outcome here with at least three goals being shared between the two sides.
Recommended Bet
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.26]