Friday, January 13, 2012

Week-end football

Don't want to be blowing the trumpet too loud, but Thursday's results at Meydan gave way to massive cheers all afternoon. Musir won and easily beat Mendip in the match-bet. Master of Hounds was second at odds of 7/1 for Place at the exchanges. Fantastic to hear that several of you followed the selections; hopefully the current vein of form continues going into this week-end.

It's another round of football on the European scene; in England, Man Utd welcome Bolton and it's hard to argue the hosts at the Theatre of Dreams, even though they can throw the odd clanker like against Blackburn a few weeks back. Their injury list seems to be easing and Rooney looks to be back on form. Bolton are a disappointing bunch and manager Owen Coyle is on the hot seat at the moment. Man Utd certainly won't lose this game, and are a draw-no-bet recommendation.

There is no doubt that Man City is feeling the pressure. They have lost another home game in mid-week, in the Carling Cup to Liverpool. They have lost their captain Kompany for 4 games. They will still have too much class when they visit struggling Wigan on Monday. It is the perfect game for them to get their confidence back. Man City is recommended as a draw-no-bet as well.

In La Liga, Barcelona welcome Real Betis in what is a must-win game if they are to keep pace with a flee-ing Real Madrid. The hosts should win this game and are an easy Win selection. Real Madrid face a more difficult encounter when they visit Mallorca. I think Mourinho will have his players spot on for getting the 3 points and I expect them to win this match. They are also recommended as a straight Win.

Third-place Valencia host struggling side Real Sociedad and the hosts have to be very well-fancied here. Both teams lost in mid-week in the Copa del Rey, with Sociedad getting thrashed 6-1 at Mallorca. The visitors are in a precarious situation, being only 2 points above the relegation zone and I expect Valencia to deepen their woes further on Saturday. A draw-no-bet on Valencia looks safe.

In Italy, the competition is heating up at the top of the table with at least 5 clubs within an 8-point gap. There is no clear dominant team in the Serie A. Juventus will look for maximum points as they host Cagliari and I expect them to get at least a draw. So they are advised as a draw-no-bet. Same for Fiorentina as they host bottom-of-table Lecce. The hosts have solid form at home and should recover from their 3-0 drubbing at Roma in the Coppa Italia in mid-week.

Win: Barcelona, Real Madrid
Draw-no-bet: Man Utd, Man City, Valenci, Juventus, Fiorentina

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