Liverpool vs Norwich

Can you believe it!? Last week we correctly predicted that it would be a draw, and that Gerrard and Hernandez would score!

Another week without European football has passed by at Liverpool Football Club, and once again they have to make the most of it. Whilst Arsenal, Chelsea, United and City have had strenuous tests mid-week, not to mention the travel, Liverpool’s players have been working hard on the training field, and will be hoping to make it count when they come up against Premiership new-boys Norwich on Saturday evening.

Liverpool’s hard-earned draw last week, when they created enough chances to win the game, proves that they are more than a match for Champions Manchester United. The return of Steven Gerrard galvanised the midfield, and also gave the Reds a cutting edge coming forwards – expect to see more of that in the coming weeks.

Having won their last three matches before the United game, Liverpool will be confident that they have the form to beat Norwich, though the Canaries have been on a good run of late themselves too – taking all 3 points from matches against Swansea, Bolton and Sunderland, and only losing to Manchester United. Their approach to the game and attacking football has been refreshing.

With a near full-strength Liverpool side playing at home, you would have to think that Liverpool will conquer. Tune in to ESPN (UK) on Saturday at 17:30 to find out if they do!

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RESULT BET
It’s no surprise that Liverpool are hot favourites (at 1.33 with Paddy Power), but if you fancy a more exhilarating ride, we’re backing the Reds to run out as 3-1 winners (11.0 at Ladbrokes).

BEST BET
With Norwich playing attacking football, and Liverpool looking to score from the start, we’re thinking this might be a high-scoring match. Back there to be over 2.5 goals in this match at 1.62 (Bet Clic). Looks good to us…

As ever, let us know your hot tips too! :)

Arsenal vs Sunderland

The international break has given some respite to Arsene Wenger and his backroom staff, with the focus lifting away from the Premier League and on to Wayne Rooney’s impetuousness. Sadly the glare will be back at the Emirates as the Press descend on the stadium to see if Arsenal can improve on their current form and league position.

Whilst the two week break has given Koscielny and Djourou a chance to get fit in time to add some steel to the Arsenal defence, we’ll be without Bacary Sagna who has been ruled out until the new year with a broken leg. The injuries are starting to stack up…

Whilst the media would love Arsenal to struggle once more, we have generally been good for three points at home (the early-season Liverpool loss aside), and our boys generally look calmed when we’re on our own turf. Hopefully Mertesacker will have started to gel properly with the rest of the defence, and can start marshalling them properly!

Sunderland have had a torrid start to the season too, with manager Steve Bruce also under pressure to ger results. They are unbeaten in two matches, but shouldn’t offer up too much of a challenge to us. That said, they will be primed to play the quick tackling, no-space giving tactics that have been successful for Blackburn et al. It makes a big difference who scores first – if we score we can settle into a rhythm, but if they score we might struggle…

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RESULT BET
Someone’s got to come out backing the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League, and thats us! The defence might be shakier than the one he inherited when he first took over the club, but there should be enough about us to grab the win. We’re at 1.5 to win (Paddy Power). If we had to pick a score, we’d plump for 2-0 (7.5 at Ladbrokes).

BEST BET
We think Arsenal will get out of the blocks early (hopefully!) so we’re backing Arsenal to be winning at both halftime adn fulltime – available at 2.1 (Bet Clic). Looks good to us… Come on Arsenal!

Who are you backing? Post your bets below and let us know your success stories!

Liverpool vs United

This is what the Premier League is all about – two massive clubs battling it our amidst fierce rivalry both on the pitch and in the terraces. Nani will remember the brutal kicking he got from Carragher last year, whilst Liverpool fans are still smarting from United taking their ‘most successful club’ crown. And this game might be the game to settle these scores!

It’s Liverpool who enter the tie in the best form, with United having struggled to break-down (or keep out) Basle and Stoke in recent fixtures. Admittedly they won comfortably at home against Norwich in their last outing, but their record still looks poor when compared with Liverpool’s three successive wins.

Liverpool will also welcome back crowd-hero and midfield catalyst Steven Gerrard for his first start of the season – what are the chances he has a meaningful impact on the game?! United might welcome back their tried-and-tested centre-back partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic, with the Serb playing for the first time in months when Serbia faced Italy in the European Championship Qualifiers – though it might be wise for Fergie to give the Serb a rest given that he has been sent off against Liverpool 3 times already. Expect Craig Bellamy to get in his face!

One man who has hit the headlines recently is Wayne Rooney – the whole world will be watching to see if he can come back from his 3-match ban from the Euro 2012 group stages. It’s all set up for a fantastic game, and it’s a close one to call…

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RESULT BET
The bookies aren’t sure who will win, with no clear favourite. Liverpool are at a remarkable 3.1 to win at home (Paddy Power) whilst United are 2.62 (Ladbrokes). We think that United might edge it, but are playing the percentages when we stick our money on a draw (3.4 at BetClic.

BEST BET
Rooney has been in good form, as has Suarez. It’s tempting to stick some money on the returning champions for each team – Gerrard is 3.4 as an anytime goalscorer, whilst Javier Hernandez (back from the kicking of Ashley Cole) isn’t a bad bet at 2.6 Bet Clic). Looks good to us…

Who are you backing? Post your bets below and let us know your success stories!

Montenegro vs England

England have the chance to wrap up their qualification for the Euro 2012 Finals tonight, with a point against Montenegro being enough to secure the top spot in the group, and a shot at the trophy in Poland / Ukraine next year. If we manage to get the point, be ready for the usual spurrious headlines about how England can do it this time, this is the ‘Golden Generation’, etc etc. having managed to remain unbeaten so far in the campaign, you would have to say getting a point is very much do-able.

However, it might not be as simple as all that. In order to guarantee qualification themselves, Montenegro are looking for a win – otherwise it all comes down to their last match against Switzerland to determine which of the two will make it into the Play-offs – so don’t expect the Montenegrans to sit back and allow England to play expansive football.

England will be without a number of first-team regulars – most notably Rio Ferdinand, who was left out of the squad because he had only just returned to full fitness. This gives Capello a chance to hand the baton on to the kids (and future England stars) such as Phil Jones and Gary Cahill, should he choose to use it.

We expect Jones to start at right-back, from where his thrusting runs for Manchester United have been revelatory of late. John Terry should be partnered by Gary Cahill in the centre, with Ashley Cole on the left. With his recent Spurs performances in mind, we expect Scott Parker to be given the nod as the defensive midfielder, with Frank Lampard, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing completing the midfield.

Up front it’s difficult to ascertain who will start alongside Rooney, but we think Danny Welbeck will be given the responsibility, leaving Bent and Zamora to come on should we need a goalscoring cameo.

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RESULT BET
Will we be playing for a draw? Capello says we won’t, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be putting in a tepid performance! To be fair, away from home we have always done better than at Wembley, with the 3-0 in Croatia sprining to mind. We think this is going to be another win for England (available at 1.75 at Paddy Power). If we had to predict the score we’d go for a 3-1 win (15.0 at Ladbrokes).

BEST BET
Wayne Rooney has looked in great shape of late, scoring hatrick after hatrick. With England having an attacking impetus to get an early goal, we think a good bet would be on and English first goalscorer. Rooney is available at 4.75 to score first or 2.4 to be an anytime goalscorer (both with Bet Clic). Looks good to us…

Who are you backing? Post your bets below and let us know your success stories!

Spurs vs Arsenal

Did you listen to our midweek tips? We said Arsenal would win 2-1 (at 9.0), and that both teams would score (at 1.83). If you’d have stuck £20 on each bet, you’d have made a profit of almost £180!

After a big match in mid-week, for both Arsene Wenger and Arsenal football club, this is probably not the match we want at the weekend. Having successfully overcome the challenge of Olympiakos, the Gunners now face a resurgent Spurs side who have crept above them in the table. Spurs also had European action this week, but fielding their youngsters against the mighty Shamrock Rovers hardly counts as a tiring and intense battle.

With last week’s comprehensive beating of Bolton, Arsenal will be feeling that they have finally put the worst of their defending behind them. Mertesacker was impressive last week, though will be without regular partner Koscielny on Sunday because of injury. Santos scored and was a constant thorn in the side of the Greek defence on Wednesday, but needs to have a good left-sided centreback to cover him when he goes off on a run. We’re not convinced that we have that just yet…

With Arteta helping to plug the gap in the centre of the park, we’ve looked a lot more composed in the centre, helped also by the welcome return of terrier Alex Song.

Up front we may not have Theo Walcott, but we do have his mini-me in Alex Oxade-Chamberlain, whose pace and power might well be keeping Theo out of the international and Arsenal first-team later on in the season. When he is partnered with Robin van Persie up-front it all starts to look promising…

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RESULT BET
The problems with derbies is that anything can happen! We’ve had some real humdingers over the years, but they invariable work out with Spurs grabbing a last minute draw or winner, especially at white Hart Lane. We think it’s going to be a tough match for the Gunners to win, and right now we’d actually deal on a draw (available at 3.5 at Paddy Power). If we had to predict the score we’d go for a 1-1 draw (7.0 at Ladbrokes).

BEST BET
Having said that, Tottenham vs Arsenal matches tend to feature cavalier defending, and both teams switching to all-out-attack mode in previous years. Neither defence is on top form, so it may well turn into a 4-3 classic… In which case backing Robin van Persie to score at anytime (at 2.5 with Bet Clic) starts to look good value.

Who are you backing? Post your bets below and let us know your success stories!

United vs Norwich

Norwich have come a long way since they started the season as relegation-favourites. They may not have spent a great deal on new players, but somehow they have managed to build a team which can compete in the Premier League, as their two impressive wins over Sunderland and Bolton (away) showed.

They will be heading to Old Trafford with a certain amount of confidence, having seen Stoke successfully hold United to a draw last week, and then United throw it all away against Basel – to the extent that they needed a last-minute goal to scrape even a point from the match. If United go 2-0 on Saturday, don’t expect Norwich to start giving up.

If it wasn’t for the fact that United have both Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney returning to the first-team, you could almost see Norwich doing something at Old Trafford. Jonny Evans is also back and able to play, and with Jones given 90 minutes mid-week we expect him to be partnering Rio in the centre of defence. One United player who definitely won’t be seeing any action is Ritchie de Laet, who is on loan at Norwich and has it in his contract that he isn’t allowed to play against the Reds!

David de Gea likes his doughnuts (allegedly) but will the United goalie be able to keep Norwich down to a bagel score (zero)? He is currently the top keeper according to the Opta stats, so has nothing to prove any more! It should be a quieter match for him, with Norwich keener to play football the right way rather than muscle themselves into the lead. We shall see…

Meanwhile, to try and get new customers, BetClic is offering a £35 No Lose Bet. You can put your money on whatever you want, and if you win you get the full winnings, and if you lose you get your money back. You don’t just get a free bet back, you can actually just withdraw your cash and run. It’s a completely risk-free offer which, frankly, EVERYBODY should be taking them up on! Click here to take advantage of this deal!

RESULT BET
It doesn’t take a genius to bet that the Premier League Champions will beat the Premier League newcomers (available at 1.17 with Paddy Power). If we had to guess the score we’d go for 3-0 to United, but in truth if they get started who knows where the score will end up?! (3-0 is available at 9.0 at Ladbrokes).

BEST BET
With Rooney and Hernandez back, expect some frantic first-half action – certainly a lot faster than last week’s match. With that in mind, we’re backing United to be winning at both half-time AND full-time (available at 1.58 with Bet Clic).

Who are you backing? Post your bets below and let us know your success stories!