And it’s a fifty pound week
It is fair to say that Blackpool have been shocking of late, and if I’m honest Ian Holloway is really starting to p*ss me off (wasn’t a fan anyway). It’s fine being all media darling and Captain Quote when things are going well, but with a team that has let in two or more goals in 65% of their games, maybe concentrate more on that than rent-a-quote metaphors.
Having said that, they face a Wigan side that will go down, no questions asked, and the Tangerines won the reverse fixture 4-0 on the opening day. Blackpool have beaten Liverpool and Spurs at Bloomfield Road this season, so odds of 2.3 seem generous.
Combine this with an Everton win at home to Blackburn, which will leave Steve Kean even further out of his depth than he already is, and looking about as comfortable as Stephen Hawking at Go Ape.
£10 on Blackpool and Everton to win gets you £38
It is easy to forget that there are two semi-finals this weekend, with all the furore surrounding Tevez and Rooney’s absence, and it is there that the value stands. Only Wolves have collected less points away from their own patch than Stoke this season, and whilst obviously on neutral ground, the massive pitch at Wembley negates some of their long throw effectiveness. Stoke have their pitch deliberately the narrowest in the PL at 64 metres, Wembley is five metres wider. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a fact.
Even without Dan Sturridge, back Bolton to set up an all North West cup final.
£10 on Bolton to beat Stoke gets you £25
Moving down a division, to the Championship, and Reading are THE form team in the country. After a crazy win at the City Ground last weekend (and by crazy I mean as hard to swallow as a drink made up of Tiger Woods’ lies) they sit just three points of the automatic places. Leicester of improved dramatically under Sven, but this means more to the Royals.
Elsewhere you could do worse than backing Cardiff to dispatch Portsmouth (third best home record) and Preston to beat Sheffield United (second worst away record). Sheffield United deserve a special mention for having fourteen players in their squad that have played in the Premier League and yet looking exactly like a lower league team.
£5 on Cardiff, Reading and Preston gets you £35
Finally this week, we search out some anytime goalscorers, a bet that I do have a penchant (and by penchant, read addiction) for.
Jermaine Beckford is the first shout. A player that looked sulky and a touch lazy at Championship level, whilst he hasn’t exactly flow this season, the striker has bagged his fair share of goals, especially with Saha, Cahill, Arteta and Fellani out. That’s some list. Secondly we are backing the ghost of the returning footballer to return when Bristol Rovers travel to Southampton. Any excuse to pile on Rickie Lambert really.
£5 on Rickie Lambert to score anytime gets you £9
£5 on Jermaine Beckford to score anytime gets you £12.50
£5 on Jermaine Beckford and Rickie Lambert to score anytime gets you £24
And as a little bonus, get on Bournemouth to beat Notts County with ease. They’re sinking like a stone, you see.
£10 on Bournemouth to beat Notts County by more than one goal gets you £55