First of all, we’d like to welcome all of our new members! Truly shocked by the response, so we hope we can repay the faith by making decent profits this opening weekend, and each weekend to come! Lewis doesn’t have any tips this weekend, he is busy focussing on the start of the Brazilian Paulista Championship (keep your eyes open for his previews and player analysis).
I have a few tips (5 in total) this weekend from Serie A and La Liga as the teams return from the winter break. George has a few too from England… Please let us know what you think of the emails and of the service we offer via twitter or by email. Below is the format our tips will always be presented. Previews first, and tips right at the bottom. We recommend singles, but there’s no harm in picking your favourites for an accumulator if that’s what you fancy.
Levante v Athletic Bilbao (3pm SAT)
This is one of the absolute stand out value bets of the weekend, and the odds just don’t reflect the chances… Levante are extremely strong at home, and have won 7 of their last 10 at the Estadio Cuidad de Valencia. More interestingly, they have won 7/7 excluding the top 3 sides; losing to Real and Barcelona whilst holding Atletico to a 1-1 draw. Bilbao have won 2 of their last 10 on the road, losing 7 (6 by more than one goal) and conceding 28… Even without the suspended Obafemi Martins, Levante have enough firepower in their side to deal with a struggling Bilbao.
Bristol Rovers vs. Gillingham (3pm SAT)
Bristol Rovers are a different looking side under new manager John Ward. The Ex-Rovers and City managed returned has immediately instilled some confidence in the side, as well as releasing 3 or 4 big names such as Derek Riordan, due to poor attitude. For Gillingham they’ve been nearly unbeatable away from home this season, but I do have an inkling that they won’t pick up a win here tomorrow and Rovers could spring what would appear to be a surprise. However, something I’m more content with is the amount of goals we could see in this one. Despite the defensive worries they’ve had at the back, Rovers are one of the biggest attacking threats in the league when at home. They’ve hit the net 16 times in their last 7 home games, and that does not reflect a type of side you’d see bottom of the table usually. I think the return to form of Joe Anyinsah could see him play a big part, and it’s hard not to see Gillingham adding to the 4 they’ve already put past the gas this season.
Doncaster vs. Colchester (3pm SAT)
Talking of John Ward, his ex Colchester side are in absolute turmoil right now. Slipping closer and closer to the relegation zone and without John-Joe O’Toole, now at Rovers with Ward, who for my money was one of the better players they have and I can only speculate money problems are there to see too. I do think however on the pitch and with both teams at their best, the U’s would be no real match for Doncaster on a slick keep moat surface. The pitch will be flat but very wet which will suit the style Doncaster have always tried to play, and hopefully they’ll get in to their rhythm early on here. The U’s have now lost 7 in a row and 10 of their last 11. Doncaster’s home form has shown to be patchy but it’s been top 8 sides that have taken points. It’ll be a big ask for Colchester and conceding early could see them ship 2 or more once again.
Ebbsfleet vs. Lincoln (3pm SAT)
Lincoln travel to Ebbsfleet on the back of a good, positive 1-1 draw with local rivals Grimsby just days removed from the 4-1 thumping Grimsby gave them at home. Lincoln have longed since turned a corner and now play a very attacking brand of football. This game finished 1-1 earlier in the season and I can’t see that happening again. The best way to describe Fleet to you is to tell you they are a relegation certainty that can’t defend, somehow blessed with a 28 goal strike force. It’s odd, but it’s entertaining to watch and it usually provides goals. We’ll be hoping the Fleet comedy show in the rear guard continues, while Lincoln add to their 26 goals in their last 10 outings.
Lazio v Cagliari (7pm SAT)
Another no-brainer on paper this one, but with the Asian Handicap market we can still find some good value, surprisingly good in fact. With 10 wins and just one defeat in their last 14 at the Stadio Olimpico, this game should be a formality for 2nd placed Lazio. Not only this, but Cagliari are without a win in 8 and have lost 5 on the bounce. Their last 4 games have seen them lose by 2 or more. Lazio to win at 1.60 isn’t bad, and feel free to use that if you like, but my tip offers better value, as a comfortable win for the home side looks likely. Lazio have 3 teams hot on their tail, so a convincing win is needed, there won’t be any complacency here.
Sevilla v Osauna (9pm SAT)
The home side are understandably favourites for this fixture as Osasuna lie in 19th place. Surprisingly, Osasuna have conceded just 19 goals this season, the same as league leader Barcelona. However, they have managed just 14 goals and is a real cause for concern. The home side should really be priced around 1.50 (1/2) in my opinion, with attacking players such as Negredo (who may well be on the move in January) and ex-Arsenal man Jose Antonio Reyes, I expect the home side to be able to break down the resilient away defence. Despite their impressive overall defensive record, Osasuna have only managed 2 clean sheets in their last 13 away from home, and have conceded 2 or more in more than half. A 2-0 win is the most likely outcome, but find my tip below. Get on it quick as the price could drop.
Parma v Palermo (2pm SAT)
Parma are sitting comfortably in mid table at the minute, which is almost entirely as a result of their impressive home form. With a home defence only bettered by Juventus, they should be very confident of getting three points in this tie. They are unbeaten at home this season (8 games), but have actually lost none of their last 13 at home in the league (winning 10/13). Palermo are just in the relegation zone at the minute, and are yet to record an away victory. They haven’t won in 13 on the road and have scored just THREE goals in their last 11 away games (0.27/game). A home “WIN TO NIL” is a solid bet, but the value in the home win itself is more than enough. 2nd best defence faces the worst away attack. Really should only go one way. Keep an eye on ex Juve star Amauri, he’ll cause the away defence all kinds of problems.
Real Madrid v Real Sociedad (4pm SUN)
Understandably, Real Madrid are hot favourites for this fixture, but the odds are far worse than they should be. At just 1.20 (1/5), for the home win, there is no value there whatsoever. Here is a game that optimises the reason for using the Asian Handicap market. Only a brave man would advise an away win for this fixture, and at over 14/1 you can understand why, However, having not lost in their last 7 (4 wins, 3 draws) in the league, Sociedad should really put up a fight against Mourinho’s men. They managed to score 5 at Valencia, and are only one of 2 sides to beat Malaga in their own back yard. They have a few players that could cause some issues, including Carlos Vela, who has managed 7 this season. Despite the apparent gulf in class, the value lies with the away side here.
Terry’s Football Tips
Levante v Bilbao – Levante -0.50 (win) (2.40 – Stan James)
Lazio v Cagliari – Lazio -1.00 (Asian) (2.00 – Bet Victor)
Sevilla v Osasuna – Sevilla -0.50 (win) (1.70 – Ladbrokes)
Parma v Palermo – Parma -0.50 (win) (1.96 – Betfair)
Real Madrid v Sociedad – Sociedad +2.00 (Asian) (2.04 – Betfair)
George’s Football Tips
Bristol Rovers vs. Gillingham – Over 2.5 goals (1.80 – Marathon)
Doncaster vs. Colchester – Doncaster -1.00 (Asian) (2.35 – Pinnacle)
Ebbsfleet vs. Lincoln – Over 3 goals (2.20 – Marathon)
(*prices accurate and available at time of writing, but may fluctuate before kick-off)