Posts Tagged ‘ Newcastle ’

Away Teams To Bag Us A Treble This Weekend

berbaOur last treble was a single goal away from landing our 12/1 winnings, so we’ll be aiming to go one better with our 14/1 accumulator this weekend. There isn’t a lot of value available on home team prices on either Saturday or Sunday, so we’re going to avert our attention to the travelling sides. Continue reading

Super Sunday Should See United Pull Clear As City Slip Up

Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the gameTwo huge games on Sunday see four of the biggest names in the Premier League come up against each other. Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to play the table toppers at 1.30 and at 4pm Arsenal host Man City. Man United should come out on top of the earlier tie, the match at the Emirates is harder to call. Yaya Toure’s departure to the African Cup of Nations is going to leave a massive hole in the City team over the next few fixtures, and Arsenal can prosper from this. However, Arsenal’s defensive frailties should be exposed by Man City’s attacking threats. The bookies are offering shortened odds on the draw for this match, and I can’t help but agree that both sides will earn a solitary point.

We’re going to invest our accumulator interest in the Saturday fixtures however, starting at the Madejski Stadium. Fulham stuffed West Brom and so too our bet in the previous round of Premiership matches, and I don’t think the Baggies’ away tie against Reading will be a fruitful endeavour either. They come into this game on the back of three games without a win and are seriously depleted; Youssouf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob are unavailable and the sad news that Zoltan Gera will miss the rest of the season will resonate like a death bell for Albion. Reading on the other hand are showing signs that they have shored up their defence. Narrowly beaten by a late Gareth Barry header against City, their next two home games saw them preventing both Swansea and West Ham from scoring. If they can continue this sort of defensive performance on Saturday, I think that 9/4 are generous odds for the home side to earn a draw.

Next off to Carrow Road, where two teams on a dismal run of form come up against each other. Both teams have lost their last three Premier League games but there can be no doubt which side are cowering in the darker realms of depression. Languishing two points above the drop zone, injury ravaged, knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton for the second year running and having just lost their one beacon of hope light to Chelsea, Newcastle’s season just seems to relentlessly continue to go from bad to worse. The one lonesome positive of the winter is the signing of French right-back Mathieu Debuchy, but I can’t see him dragging his new teammates to victory on Saturday. Chris Hughton will be out to get one over on his former club who senselessly sacked him months after he had inspired the Magpies to promotion back to top flight football. His Canaries should overcome their opposition whose hopes now rely on Papiss Cisse, who may prosper from his fellow countryman’s departure. Norwich are available at 6/5 to win.

The final leg of our accumulator finds us focusing on the match between Sunderland and West Ham, two teams who are looking somewhat busy during the current transfer window. The Hammers have welcomed back one of their many long lost sons in the figure of Joe Cole and he made an instant impact in his homecoming match, creator of both goals in a 2-1 victory over Norwich. West Ham will be heartened by their 2-2 draw with Man United in the FA Cup, whereas Sunderland’s identical result with Bolton should have the opposite effect. The home side are lacking in defense but still pose a threat up front with the exciting Stephane Sessegnon and Steven Fletcher always dangerous. I think this one will end up in a draw; it’s available at 9/4 and means that this week’s accumulator packs odds of about 22/1.

Beat the Budget Blues With Our Premier League Bets

harryHopefully you took my advice last week and backed Swansea to win and for there to be over 2.5 goals in the Spurs match. If not, you can hang your head in shame and grovel for my mercy. Luckily for you of little faith, I am a merciful emperor and am going to let you live to fight another day, a day which offers us many more opportunities to earn tax free money that the pesky budget can’t touch.

Wigan have been on a poor run of form lately but I still think they are overpriced at 13/10 to beat QPR, who are still deservedly grounded in the drop zone despite the arrival of ‘arry. Wigan may have lost 3-0 to Newcastle on Monday night, but had Maynor Figueroa not been sent off early on in the game I think the Latics could prolonged Newcastle’s woes. They were impressive in the second half after Roberto Martinez got them into the dressing room and settled them down and I think the Spaniard, despite having several defenders unavailable, can unlock QPR tactically at the weekend to get his team back on track.

Norwich have won our trust over the last few weeks but this is no place for emotional attachment. Travelling to Swansea on Saturday, they should be defeated for the first time in seven matches. They have proven tricky opponents to get past but I believe that Michael Laudrup’s troops have enough attacking power to undo the Canaries. They will be boosted by the news that their widely acclaimed keeper Michel Vorm has resumed training while Norwich could still be without their No. 1 choice John Ruddy. Although Laudrup has other injury concerns, Swansea should pull through at odds of 5/6.

The third leg of our accumulator is the most adventurous of the three. I fancy Fulham and Newcastle to draw on Monday night. Hatem Ben Arfa could make a welcome return to the away side’s team and Brede Hangeland returns to firm up the Fulham defence. Neither team have inspired any confidence in them in recent matches. This might be convenient ignorance on my part of Newcastle’s victory mentioned above but I’ve explained how the result could have easily been different. The draw is available at 5/2 and I think this is a welcome final addition to our accumulator.

Putting those three bets together will give you odds about 14/1 and if you want to make even more enchanting, we could look at a Carroll-less West Ham to beat a Suarez-less Liverpool at a price of 6/5 with the draw-no-bet option. Also, in what should be a cracking game, I fancy Everton to beat Tottenham in a clash that is enthralling both on the pitch and on the sideline where the man’s man David Moyes comes up against the new-aged metrosexual AVB. On this occasion, the wise old scrapping Scot should crush the slick and smooth modern man. The Toffees are 11/10 to overcome a Spurs side who are without Gareth Bale and could feel fatigued after their Thursday night exploits.

Personally, I’m going to hedge my bets and safely stick to the first three bets but if you want to put your money where my mouth is then these 5 bets combine to give odds of over 66/1. That’ll see you earn a lot of tax free dosh that you can spend on tax, tax and more tax.

Hibs Irish contingent determined to reward fans with cup win

As Hibs prepare for arguably the biggest game in their history, the Irish contingent at Easter Road are determined to do everything in their power to bring the Scottish Cup back to Leith for the first time since 1902. Pat Fenlon insists that no team managed by him will ever be bullied, First team coach Liam O’Brien claims that the current players deserve their place in the final and striker Eoin Doyle believes that the happiest Irishman this week will be Ryanair owner Michael O’Leary given the number of seats booked by his friends and family.

Speaking from Tolka Rovers ground where the squad have been put through their paces, the former Bohs manager said; “We’ve got to get confidence into them and the belief that we can go and compete with anyone, I’ve said it before, if we play well on the day we can compete with any team. We can match most teams when we play well. It is just important that we believe that.

“We’ve got some really good players at the club. The boys that have come in on loan have given us a lift. We’ve got some good young players who are starting to come back into a bit of form. You can see the confidence coming back into them.

“We have confidence and we don’t fear anyone. As long as I am the manager, we won’t be bullied by anybody. I think that’s happened too many times with Hibs in Hearts games. We’ve just got to make sure we compete and give our best.”

“I’d like to win the cup but I think that’s for other people to enjoy themselves and celebrate on the day. If it happens, it will be a great moment for everyone associated with the club. But from my point of view, it is about trying to bring the club back to where it belongs. That would be a big stepping stone towards doing that.”

Fenlon’s views were echoed by First Team Coach Liam O’Brien who has hit back at suggestions that the players do not deserve to go down in history as legends, particularly given the number of on-loan signings in the team and the poor league form this season.

The former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland star said: “There are plenty of players and managers, who have never got to a Cup final, never had the chance to win it, but these lads have an opportunity to make history and I hope that will happen.

“It hasn’t happened for all those great players down through the years but now history can be written and these players have earned the right to be there. You can only beat what is put in front of you and that’s what they have done in every round, so they deserve to be in the final.”

“Our main aim when we came in was to keep the club in the SPL and we managed to do that. We’ve had a fantastic run to get to the final which is a massive achievement. The way the season has gone for us no-one would have predicted that but now we could cap it off by turning what has been a really poor season into a fantastic one.”

O’Brien revealed that it didn’t take long to discover Hibs deplorable cup record after arriving at Easter Road.  He said: “We were asked to do a job and a week later you are told the last time Hibs won the Cup Jesus Christ was wearing short trousers. It’s been a long time, you hear it every week but now there’s a great chance for us. It’s a game of football, there’s 90 minutes to win it and that’s what we will be telling them. I think it’s gripped the imagination of everyone. It’s great for the city of Edinburgh but unfortunately one of us is going to be unhappy come Saturday night. Hopefully it won’t be Hibs.”

Meanwhile former Sligo Rovers hitman Eoin Doyle, who has played in the last three Irish Cup finals, winning the previous two on penalties, insists that it’s the result that counts, not the manner of the victory.

Doyle said: “Obviously the club itself has that connection to Ireland and formed before Celtic. As such there is a following for Hibs in any case. But a good few of the reporters who turned up had reported on us when we’d played in the League of Ireland and the fact we’re now looking to play in the Scottish Cup final has created a great deal of interest.”

Twenty-eight of Doyle’s friends and family have found tickets, booked flights and hotels and are hoping to celebrate a famous victory at Hampden. “I think all of us have quite a few coming over, probably enough to fill a couple of Ryanair flights. They’ve all got their tickets and flights booked and are looking forward to it.

“But I’m sure there would be a few empty seats going back on Sunday if we win; they’ll all want to stay for a party.”

“In a cup final anything can happen. I’ve won the cup in Ireland being both favourites and underdogs so it doesn’t matter when it comes to the day; it all goes out of the window.

“It’s you against them and to me it’s a case of whoever wants it more on the day and I’m sure that will be us. Cup finals are sometimes not the greatest of games to watch, it’s a matter of getting through it and hoping you can nick the goal.

“What we do know is it’s going to be a massive occasion, the first all-Edinburgh derby in how long and there’s obviously the history at this club of not having won it for 110 years. We also know we could forever be part of club folklore if we do win.

“I think everyone is dreaming of scoring the winner; even Mark Brown our goalie threw his name into the hat at one point. But who scores doesn’t matter so long as we do it.”

“The first year I played in the final we were beaten by Sporting Fingal. I’d scored but they got two in the last six minutes. The next one was the very first game in the new Aviva Stadium which was something special as was the match itself. It ended 0-0 against Shamrock Rovers but we won 2-0 on penalties with our goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly saving four of their spot-kicks. And last November we were drawing 1-1 with Shelbourne Rovers when Ciaran came on for the last couple of minutes and then went on to save two more penalties as we won 4-1 (in the shoot-out).

“Winning on penalties didn’t belittle either of those victories in any way. I don’t care how we win; it’s the name that’s engraved on the trophy, not the way it’s won.”

The 24 year old will probably start on the bench with on-form Leigh Griffiths and Garry O’Connor likely to start the game, but his performance and goal against Dunfermline has given Fenlon something to think about. Whether he features or not, Doyle has more than played his part in the historic cup run, with a goal in the 3-2 win at Cowdenbeath and the only goal of the game against Kilmarnock. As Fenlon’s first signing Doyle believes that things are definitely looking up at Easter Road since the January transfer window.

He said: “I think the team has developed massively, a lot of boys have come in and a few left but we have progressed over the last month or two. It’s all starting to come together and we’ll be going into the final with a bit of confidence.

“The gaffer had been talking of making sure we stayed in the SPL, getting to the cup final has been a bonus and to win it would be a great achievement.”