Friday, September 28, 2012

Week-end preview

A jam-packed week-end of football and golf is looming on the horizon. The Ryder Cup is under-way and based on the odds, Europe are under-dogs. Their current odds look somewhat appealing considering that player-to-player, they don't have anything to envy to the Americans. If the same tournament were to be staged in Europe, it's the same European team that would have started favourites. Home crowds bring in a huge advantage. My feeling is that Europe will retain the Cup but it's just me making a judgement call; there are no certainties and the resullt can really go either way.

Let's get to the week-end's matches.

Arsenal v/s Chelsea. The big London Derby with 2 teams in good form. Got to go with the home advantage of the Gunners here; Arsene's team is getting more confident with every game and Santi Cazorla is an absolute gem of a playmaker. With the upcoming return in a few weeks of Wilshere, the Gunners should get stronger on the field and they just need to avoid getting into a considerable win-less streak, the like of which has wreaked havoc on their title hopes in recent years. They will oppose a Chelsea team whose mental strength will be tested given the weekly distraction of captain Terry's trial and guilty verdict in Anton Ferdinand's race case. I think Chelsea got somehow lucky to snatch victory last week at the expense of Stoke and they would do well to ride their luck again. I think Arsenal is a great draw-no-bet selection.

Fulham v/s Man City. The Cottagers are very good at home and City look vulnerable at the moment. This could be the best time to face the defending champions. Unfortunately for the hosts, they will be missing Berbatov who's brought their attack to life. Man City still have quality but it might pay to side with Fulham with +1 goal Handicap since should City win, it would be by the strict minimum.

Everton v/s Southampton. The Toffees look the banker of the week-end. They have been consistent this year and can hold their own at home against any team, as Man Utd found out. I think Soton can at most hope for a point here, but it should end up in a home win really.

Reading v/s Newcastle. Much of Newcaste's chances will rest on the scoring prowess of striker Ba. Will Pardew finally have full confidence in starting him? I am not sure what is going on behind the scenes at St James Park, but for me Ba is one of the premier strikers of the league and it doesn't make much sense that Cisse starts in front of him. This match is best avoided as the result can go any way.

Stoke v/s Swansea. Great chance for Stoke to get 3 points here against a struggling Swansea team. After having started strong, Laudrup's men have suffered 2 bad defeats in which they failed to score. It doesn't get any easier going to Stoke who have an enviable record at home. A draw-no-bet on the Potters looks safe.

Sunderland v/s Wigan. This should be the Cats' first win of the season. They have been arguably unlucky in drawing a couple of their past games, conceding goals in the last minutes. I will go for the outright win for the hosts.

Norwich v/s Liverpool. This game is too close to call. The Canaries can really prolong Liverpool's misery and I have the feeling if this game ends in a winner, it will be by the minimum margin. To avoid.

Man Utd v/s Tottenham. This looks set to pit 2 attacking-minded teams, so goals could be galore. Last year, AVB's Chelsea were thrased 3-1 at Old Trafford. I think the result could very well be similar again; it's hard to see Spurs going to snatch a win on this travel. Man Utd looks a good draw-no-bet.

Aston Villa v/s West Brom. Although they went to win at the Etihaad over the week, I still have reservations about this Villa team. West Brom are poor travellers. Can go either way this one.

QPR v/s West Ham. If the hosts were not missing their centre-halfs, I would have given them a great chance. With their current injuries, it's safer to go draw-no-bet with them.

Real Madrid v/s Deportivo. Straight win for Ronaldo and co, who should embark on a good winning streak after their much-publicized recent stumbles.

Win: Sunderland, Real Madrid
Draw-no-bet: Arsenal, Stoke, Man Utd, QPR
Handicap +1: Fulham


  1. Ba must be ahead of Cisse after Saturday, I know that both started, but if there is a 'one or the other' decision to be made any time soon, Ba has to be the decision.

    I know there is more to it than just goals, like leading the line, etc, but I feel both are very similar with their all round game. It should simply be the man in form if one or the other, and that is clearly Ba at the moment.

    Didn't see Arsenal losing yesterday, and the Spurs result was a massive shock as well.

    Think a lot of us traders/gamblers will have lost a bit this weekend, I think it just has to go down as one of those weekends when there was a couple of freak results.

    I keep telling myself, don't chase the losses, it wasn't down to stupid bets, just bide my time and I'll be all right, as Spurs won't win at OT every week (or results like this), etc.

  2. Totally agree! Got to accept that there will be off weeks and freak results like that, which are hopefully/fortunately rare occurrences. As long as you're still up after that, you've got every reason to be hopeful. It's a big mistake to chase losses, just keep disciplined is my motto.

    I believe Ba should be No. 1 for Newcastle. He brings in the goals and if you look at their overall game, it is very debatable whether Cisse is actually better or makes the team better. If Ba leaves Newcastle, the big guns won't think twice before jumping to sign him.