Backing United to hammer another nail into the Kean coffin
It’s the final round of matches before the new year, so let’s try (and probably fail), to end 2011 on a high.
December 30th, 2011
We’re going to give the Friday night clash between Liverpool and Newcastle a serve and jump straight to Saturday with this weekend’s preview, where we can already see two “David vs Goliath” ties, those being Man Utd vs Blackburn and Arsenal vs QPR.
And we’re going to pick on Blackburn to get a bit of a hiding in our first pick, given that they’re not on form and United, well, are.
The 2/13 about a home win at Old Trafford isn’t worthy of anyone’s attention so instead, we’re going to up the ante by backing United with a -2 handicap at even money with Sky Bet.
Goals are far from a problem for United, having recorded successive 5-0 victories in their last two outings, one of which at the supposed “bogey” ground of Craven Cottage, whilst Rovers haven’t won in the last four. Sure, Steve Kean’s men picked up a point at Anfield but we’re not fooled. If Liverpool actually had some strikers who could finish, they’d have left Merseyside with a damn good spanking.
Next up, we’re backing Norwich to bounce back from their defeat to in-form Tottenham has they host travel-sick Fulham.
The Canaries lie in eleventh place in the league thanks largely to the fact that they have turned Carrow Road into something of a fortress. Last week, Spurs were only the third team to leave the newly promoted club with maximum points, the others being Arsenal and West Brom earlier in the season.
Fulham on the other hand have won just once away from home (against then-bottom Wigan back in October) and scored just five goals on the road and that tempts us to back Norwich at 13/8 with Betfred and Coral. If you prefer the security of draw no bet, then Coral will offer you 5/6 on a home win.
Dropping down the leagues, our first call is at Oakwell where we find a price of 4/6 on both sides to score in the game between Barnsley and Leeds United.
Both sides are renowned for their leaky defences and relative potency in front of goal, with Leeds having the best away scoring record in the league and Barnsley having the third best attack in the bottom have of the table (behind Peterborough and Ipswich). This is a fixture that does produce goals too – the last seven meetings between these two have seen both sides score, with a combined 33 goals in those games.
In League One, we like the look of the 13/10 on tough-to-beat Stevenage taking three points from lowly Wycombe.
Yes, the Chairboys are unbeaten in three but their last two wins, against Chesterfield and Exeter, came at home fellow strugglers. Stevenage, unbeaten in 12, are a different proposition.
And finally, we’re going to back Gillingham in their Friday night clash with Dagenham. The Gills are finding form after a fine win at table-toppers Crawley and an unbeaten record that stretches back to October, so 5/4 about them beating the lowly Daggers looks good to us.