Friday, November 2, 2012

Football preview

Breeders Cup aside, there is still a good round of European football going on this week-end and here are my thoughts on a few of the games.

Man Utd v/s Arsenal. It's the big one. Last year, Arsenal with Van Persie were demolished 8-2, and although I do not anticipate a similar scoreline, it's hard to go against the hosts here. They have RVP and Rooney who are gelling by the day and will cause serious problems to the Gunners average defence. Man Utd are feeble at the back as well and Arsenal will be keen to make the most of any scoring chance they will get. Still, Man Utd should prevail in this one, or at worst get only a point. They are easily a draw-no-bet selection.

Fulham v/s Everton. Fulham are a very strong force at home but Everton are no slouch either on the road. The Toffees have started the season brightly and can cause problems to any team in the league. They were arguably lucky not to have lost their last derby game against Liverpool after the Kops had a goal wrongfully disallowed for offside. However, they showed they had spirit and combative power by levelling the score after being 2 goals down. Fulham came out of a thrilling 3-3 away tie at Reading in their last match, showing their retained firepower despite the loss of Dempsey and Dembele. If they can keep away from the kind of defensive mistakes of that match, they should either win or draw against Everton. Fulham is a draw-no-bet selection as well.

Norwich v/s Stoke. This could very end up goal-less like many of Stoke's matches. The result can really go either way.

Sunderland v/s Villa. Sunderland is being a big disappointment at the moment. They couldn't even beat Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup despite fielding a rather strong side. They just can't score. At current odds, it might be worth taking a punt on them finally waking up against a Villa team that is nothing out of the ordinary. Sunderland is a value draw-no-bet, with some risk involved.

Swansea v/s Chelsea. I cannot see Chelsea lose that one. Their last 2 games against Man Utd have been full of drama and controversy and they will be keen to resume to normal business by overcoming a struggling Swansea team. Since both teams have played and won during the week, I don't anticipate any fitness advantage on either side. Class should tell at the end and I see a Chelsea win.

Tottenham v/s Wigan. Every year, Spurs land a nugget at home and this year, it could be tomorrow's game against the Latics. The latter are a better team than their table position suggests, and they will give Spurs a lot to handle on the counter-attack. I will abstain from a prediction but long punters might see value in a Wigan draw-no-bet here.

West Ham v/s Man City. The result of this match all depends on what kind of City will show up. Their form has been very sketchy of late and they seem to have trouble getting out of their funk. Champions League football is like a Damocles sword hanging upon them. This match can go either way.

QPR v/s Reading. QPR is the value punt of the week-end. I cannot see them lose this game, particularly against a Reading team that must be demoralized after their Carling Cup exit in mid-week, after having been 4 goals up! It looks safe to have QPR as a draw-no-bet, but I think it might be worth going for their outright win here.

Liverpool v/s Newcastle. Two teams with inconsistent form. This can go either way.

In Spain, I see straight wins for Barcelona and Real Madrid. Nothing new there. Add Malaga to the winning list as well.

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich look safe draw-no-bets.

Win: QPR, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid
Draw-no-bet: Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Sunderland, Fulham, Man Utd

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