Sunday January 20th
Hard to know where to start this morning .
Brentford lost a big game, they were off the pace in the opening 45 minutes but could easily have turned things around in the second half and restricted Tranmere Rovers to very few chances, still a long way to go there.
Our outright Championship positions improved greatly with Cardiff City opening up a ten point lead at the top of the table and Watford will move to within one point of second spot if they win their game in hand.
Friday and Saturday were very good days for us ( five winners and one small stake loser), Morocco tired a bit in the second half I thought in their ACN opener, we might see a better performance from them at sea level in the second match, but that looks a weak section.
Justin Rose enters the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with a two stroke lead, as I type this he is due to tee off in 40 minutes time . It would be a terrific start for out Road to Dubai long term bet if he could open his campaign with a win, especially with Rory McIlroy drawing a blank.
Tomorrow looks very promising for a Monday, there will be 3-4 previews and we have some nice looking selections, with NFL, golf and tennis tonight, I will schedule that email a little later in the morning, at 11.00 UK time.
Just a couple of early football selections in this email, the later matches will be covered in the follow up at 13.30 UK time, which will also look at the NFL playoffs, where we have a hugely exciting long term bet and probably our first look at the Australian Open tennis.
I will definitely not be covering the PGA Golf event, the Humana Challenge, where Scott Stallings leads by five strokes, he won in both 2011 and 2012 so knows how to get the job done, but five is a tricky lead to sit on, it looks and feels a huge advantage and indeed is, if no one puts pressure on you early, but if it is down to 2-3 strokes by the time you tee off and Stallings has 51 golfers within 5 shots of second place and a couple will go low early in the round and then he bogeys one hole, it is virtually gone and the pressure becomes immense. Charles Howell III who did us that big favour last week is again going well and is tied with five others in second place, but I cannot even get involved in the other markets with so many golfers involved and the odds offered not reflecting this.
Serie A: Genoa – Catania
Hosts have a decent record in this fixture winning four of the last six meetings in Genoa, they deperately need to add to that tally sitting in the drop zome two points from safety and facing a daunting trip to Turin to face leaders Juventus next week and a home match with second place Lazio after that. A visit from a poor travelling Catania (1-3-5) looks much easier and they will greedily be eyeing up the three points on offer, we spoke about the visitors just before Christmas when I said …. “Catania (are always) happy with any return on the road, having won just once in 2011 and twice in 2012 away from their Angelo Massimino stadium.” They lost 2-1 at Pescara that day and have since lost heavily at Lazio in the Coppa Italia, so no early signs that away days in 2013 are going to be any happier. They arrive without supended midfielder Francesco Lodi (19-4-4) and central defender Nicola Legrottaglie (19-1-0) another key player and midfielder Sergio Almirón (19-2-0) has failed a late test and is not included in the squad. These are amongst the first names on the teamsheet and are big losses.
Genoa served us well a fortnight ago with a 2-0 win here over Bologna, who have played well since, I wrote ….
The hosts at least showed a little fighting spirit immediately before the break, with draws against Torino and on the road to Inter, those points were just about enough to keep them in touch with the clubs immediately outside the drop zone and Cagliari’s defeat at Lazio last night means, that three points this afternoon would enable Genoa to climb above the team from Sardinia. That is a big incentive, they have already been busy in the transfer market with striker Antonio Floro Flores joining from Granada, midfilder Matuzalem-Lazio and right back Eros Pisano from Palermo, they have also convinced, at least for the time being, much admired Swedish central defender Andreas Granqvist (18-1-0) to stay, after he looked on his way out of the club.There was also talk of striker Marco Borriello (11-3-2) being in dispute and missing out, but he is also in the squad along with Granqvist and the three new boys and these are all very positive signs and a clear indication that everyone is fully committed to keeping them the club in the top flight. It is not all good news as young midfielder Andrea Bertolacci is suspended (13-2-3) and striker Bosko Jankovic (13-3-0) injured, along with Ferronetti, Bovo and Jorquera all longer term missing. Hard to know how the new boys will gel for Genoa, but lots of positive signs coming out of the club finally and with their need for points so great.
Ciro Immobile (19-5-2) returns for Genoa after missing out last week, he scored in the draw at Inter and turned provider in the win over Bologna and is in good form, they added another two players in midweek, Bosnian left winger Enis Nadarevic from Varese and midfielder Rubén Olivera from Fiorentina, both go straight into the squad. A couple are missing, including Pisano (see above) but no major problems and things look bright at the club at present. 1.75 units Genoa -0.25 ball 2.07 asian line/ Ibramarket.
Genoa: 13 Antonelli, 91 Bertolacci, 22 Borriello, 3 Bovo, 32 Donnarumma, 83 Floro Flores, 1 Frey, 5 Granqvist, 17 Immobile, 33 Kucka, 21 Manfredini, 27 Matuzalem, 29 Nadarevic, 24 Moretti, 10 Olivera, 7 Rossi, 23 Said, 31 Sampirisi, 38 Zima.
Catania: 21 Andujar, 1 Frison, 29 Terracciano,22 Alvarez, 18 Augustyn, 14 Bellusci, 33 Capuano, 2 Potenza, 5 Rolín, 3 Spolli,28 Barrientos, 27 Biagianti, 19 Castro, 13 Izco, 16 Paglialunga, 24 Ricchiuti, 30 Salifu,9 Bergessio, 35 Doukara, 17 Gomez, 26 Keko.
Serie A : Fiorentina- Napoli
Two wins and draw for Napoli from their last three visits here and they could probably not come at a better time looking for another three point haul. Fiorentina look to have gone off the boil and whilst they could /should have beaten Roma in the Cup in midweek, they looked a little devoid of ideas in the final third, where their play was a bit one dimensional and if Roma had not gone into the match so short of offensive options, they would probably have won inside 90 minutes. That makes three 2013 starts for LaViola, three defeats, a lot of goalscoring chances, but just one goal and Napoli are going to play fairly similar to Roma today and pose the same problems. Hosts are without Matias Fernandez (15-0-0) and Mounir El Hamdaoui (12-3-0).
Big boost for Napoli who got their points deduction reinstated this week and now only trail leaders Juve, who still have to visit Naples, by three points coming into this round. The Old Lady won last night, so Napoli really have to try and follow suit and a free midweek, the early kick off and cup fixture for La Violla is firmly in their favour, as they will strip much the fresher. Paolo Cannavaro (16-0-1) returns to central defence, Pablo Armero might be fit for his debut after joining from Udinese and Emanuele Calaiò (18-4-3 for Siena) has also signed this week. again a match where many of the advantages look to be with one team. 1.25 units Napoli +0.25 ball 1.94 asian line/ Ibramarket.
Fiorentina : Aquilani, Borja Valero, Camporese, Capezzi, Cuadrado, Jovetic, Ljajic, Llama, Lupatelli, Migliaccio, Neto, Pasqual, Pizarro, Rodriguez, Roncaglia, Romulo, Savic, Seferovic, Tomovic, Toni, Viviano.
Napoli: De Sanctis, Rosati, Colombo, Britos, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Fernandez, Gamberini, Grava, Uvini, Armero, Behrami, Donadel, Dzemaili, El Kaddouri, Hamsik, Inler, Maggio, Mesto, Zuniga, Calaiò, Cavani, Insigne, Pandev.
Premier League: Chelsea-Arsenal
I am not going to waste much time on this, the bet I like is for Arsenal to score two or more goals, it is on offer at 2.62-3.00 and if it is available to you at 2.60 +, I would suggest you take it for one unit. You will definitely get this matched on Betfair at some stage if nowhere else is an option. Chelsea home and away are two very different teams at present and they have conceded five in three starts at Stamford Bridge to Swansea, Southampton and QPR, losing two. We spoke a lot last season about the high number of goals in the matches between the top clubs and this fall firmly into that category, despite both falling on “hard times” recently, which is a joke to any supporter of a lower league football club. Chelsea won the Champions League last season and you would have thought they were staring relegation in the face ! Arsenal have scored nine in their last four on the road and notched five here last season. They need three points from this and one goal either way should see the game get incredibly stretched.
I am not going to keep going on about Ibramarket , but the fact that you can bet through them at TWO companies who both offer pretty much industry leading quotes, is a terrific aid in beating the bookmakers long term. Always getting the best available price at the time you bet, makes a huge difference over the course of a year and a “click” or two here or there adds up big time. As I was typing this part of the notes (Friday) I looked at three of tonights matches. Best prices from the two companies available through Ibramarket meant that you could pick from the following….
Espanol ( -0.5) – Mallorca 2.02 – 1.93
Schalke ( -0.75)- Hannover 1.877 – 2.08
Leicester City ( -0.75) – Middlesbrough 1.87 – 2.10