Friday March 7 2014

Betting tips: Win for Chelsea, Arsenal - Everton to draw

Chelsea will hope Andre Schurrle (R) and Eden

Chelsea will hope Andre Schurrle (R) and Eden Hazard (L) return to goal scoring form against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. AFP PHOTO. 

By Mark Ssali

Chelsea vs Tottenham
Here are two teams in good form, with impressive runs of results putting one in a great position for the title and the other for a Champions League place. But if as is most likely the difference is going to be made by the managers, then the master will better the apprentice. The first sign of this will be on the team sheets. If you see Adebayor and Soldado starting together, then … Home win

West Brom vs Man. United
It would take a brave man to bet on a Man United win, and despite their poor form West Brom must inwardly fancy themselves to complete the double over the beleaguered champions. The easier call for United games these days is three or more goals, which should have been the case had Crystal Palace taken their chances or United further exploited their territorial dominance last time round. ‘Over’

Man City vs Wigan
Such is the depth of Man City’s squad that the hangover a club would ideally suffer from following the kind of triumph they had at Wembley will not affect this particular bunch. There are many who missed out, from goalkeeper Joe Hart through midfielder James Milner to striker Alvaro Negredo, and others who ran out for only a bit, like Jesus Navas and Javier Garcia. Revenge is on the cards. ‘Over’

Arsenal vs Everton
When Everton visited the Emirates before Christmas, they produced a brilliant performance and Arsenal were a touch fortunate to grab a share of the spoils despite taking the lead. With their title hopes having been a wee bit dented since then, and their Champions League campaign virtually over, this represents the best chance of a trophy, and the Gunners will be up for it. But so will the Merseysiders. Draw


Juventus vs Fiorentina
Mario Gomez is back after a long layoff and Fio also have Alessandro Matri in from Milan, but still they are not the same attacking force without the injured Guiseppe Rossi. They will keep it tight and play a numbers game in the middle, but it is hard to see them seeing out the 90 minutes without being eventually breached by easily the Serie A’s best team. Home win

Napoli vs Roma
It is a stereotype with a lot of truth in it, that the stronger the teams and the better the players in a Serie A matchup the less the goals in that game, oft times. It is third versus second and the big teams can get quite tactical on days like this, and yet this one even has Rafa Benitez who can choose to be as pragmatic as they come. Instinct tells me though that this will be different. ‘Over’


Wolfsburg vs Bayern
There is a an outside chance of sneaking into the Champions League places for Wolfsburg, especially considering Bayer Leverkusen’s downward spiral. They have the team to compete, an attack that can score goals despite Diego’s departure for Atletico Madrid in January, and at home one of the best chances of ending Bayern’s unbeaten dream. That should only serve to inspire Bayern however. ‘Over’

Schalke vs Hoffenheim
The bookies will obviously have read the signs and noted the trend. Free-scoring Hoffenheim taking on a very potent Schalke side intent on overtaking Leverkusen and getting into third in the Bundesliga, with the reward of automatic qualification for the Champions League to boot. The odds on goals galore must be too low for the betting man’s liking, but it is hard to see it any other way. ‘Over’


Bastia vs PSG
If PSG cannot muster the thrust to rip into Bastia and reap big, they should be paraded on the streets of Paris and publicly flogged! There could have been the excuse of the international break and fatigue, but for PSG’s collection it should have served only to whet the appetites. Besides, Bastia are capable of making a contribution to this game too. ‘Over’

Monaco vs Sochaux
Beaten by St Etienne in their last outing, Monaco too have a great opportunity to make amends against Sochaux and should have the same punishment meted out in the principality as PSG in the capital, should they fail too. Infamously, the stadium’s capacity is only 3,000, but that means there should be at least one goal for every 1,000 fans. ‘Over’

Valladolid vs Barcelona
The slip-up at Sociedad was potentially fatal, but the nature of the La Liga race this season is such that it actually wasn’t. Now Barca are back within a point of the top of the table, and recent days have shown reinvigorated Messi, Neymar, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez. Add the threat of Fabregas and Iniesta, and the two full backs, and Valladolid are up against it. ‘Over’

Real Madrid vs Levante
The table leaders have many men in good scoring form too, with Benzema on a hot streak, Ronaldo just being Ronaldo, and Bale, Jesse, Di Maria, Modric and Isco all undoubtedly capable of inflicting damage at any given moment. In their all-white strip at the Santiago Bernabeu they promise a goals glut against opposition like this, but not necessarily clean sheets. ‘Over’

Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid
With their relatively meagre resources in the manpower stakes, Atletico have been served extremely well by their ‘one game at a time’ policy in which all they evidently care about is being best over the next 90 minutes without worrying about the immediate or far future. Yet, despite a first leg victory in Milan, they surely will have Tuesday’s visit of the Italians on their minds this time. Draw

Sociedad vs Vallecano
Home win

Esanyol vs Elche

Almeria vs Sevilla
Away win

Granada vs Villarreal


Alkmaar vs Heracles Almelo

PSV vs Utrecht

NAC Breda vs Vitesse

Ajax vs Cambuur Leuwarden

Go Ahead vs Twente

Groningen vs Feyenoord


Braga vs CD Nacional
Home win

Porto vs Arouca

Benfica vs Estoril

Setubal vs Sporting Lisbon
Away win


Terek Grozny vs Spartak Moscow
Away win

Zenit vs FK Tom’ Tomsk

Anzhi vs Rubin Karzan