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Upcoming Football Tips
Thursday, 5th January 2017
Steve's tips will appear here on Friday but in the meantime you can find the upcoming match odds below...
|Saturday 14th January|
|12:30||Tottenham v West Brom||Odds|
|15:00||Burnley v Southampton||Odds|
|15:00||Hull v Bournemouth|
|15:00||Sunderland v Stoke||Odds|
|15:00||Swansea v Arsenal||Odds|
|15:00||Watford v Middlesbrough||Odds|
|15:00||West Ham v Crystal Palace||Odds|
|17:30||Leicester v Chelsea||Odds|
|Sunday 15th January|
|13:30||Everton v Man City||Odds|
|16:00||Man Utd v Liverpool||Odds|
Friday 6th January, 7.55pm - West Ham v Manchester City
The FA Cup third round takes centre stage this weekend and the first televised game is West Ham against Manchester City on Friday night. It is a bit of a shame that this has been chosen as one for the television cameras as fixtures like this aren't really what the third round of this great competition is about and we are inundated with these types of matches every week.
I can't imagine that either manager will play their strongest team on Friday either following a busy festive period and it is very much a case of taking a watching brief before placing a bet as I'd want to see the starting line-ups.
West Ham should be looking to make some headway in the FA Cup as there are three teams worse than them in the Premier League so they shouldn't have to worry about getting relegated, while you'd like to think that Pep Guardiola will take the cup seriously as he has a strong enough squad to compete on several fronts.
We will have to see though and with so little to go on I'm going to have to back a result that neither side wants, the 1-1 draw, albeit I'd advise to avoid betting blind until you have seen the teams.
|Friday 6th January - 7.55pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Claridge Tip: West Ham v Man City|
|Tips||The Draw Best Bet||@ 31 / 10|
|1-1 correct score||@ 15 / 2|
Saturday 7th January, 12.30pm - Manchester United v Reading
Moving on to Saturday and it is safe to assume that Jose Mourinho will be treating Manchester United's lunchtime opponents, Reading, with plenty of respect. Mourinho had a great record in the FA Cup with Chelsea as he understood the competition's importance in this country and he has the squad depth to put out a strong United team this weekend.
Reading have been doing very well under Jaap Stam in the Championship but United should be too good and I'll back them to win 2-1 at Old Trafford.
|Saturday 7th January - 12.30pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Claridge Tip: Man Utd v Reading|
|Tips||Man Utd to win Best Bet||@ 2 / 9|
|Man Utd to win 2-1||@ 9 / 1|
Saturday 7th January, 5.30pm - Preston v Arsenal
The later kick-off on Saturday is then Preston against Arsenal and this will be a decent game as Simon Grayson's side are always very good on their own patch. Deepdale is a tough place to go and trying to second guess what Arsenal are going to do is never easy, as they showed during their 3-3 draw at Bournemouth in mid-week!
They were shocking for 70 minutes before producing some excellent football to earn a draw. The result at Dean Court was perhaps a microcosm of what Arsenal are all about nowadays and I think there is a growing acceptance among Gunners fans that Arsene Wenger is going to give you a top-four finish and the opportunity to watch some fantastic football in the main but the title looks like it will be just out of reach under him.
There is no doubt that their fully fit first eleven are wonderful but they lack depth and the worry for me is that Wenger's summer signings haven't improved Arsenal. The question for the club is whether they want to continue with what they are doing under Wenger or risk going for broke under someone else?
Having said that, Arsenal's record in the FA Cup is pretty good as they won it two years running prior to reaching the quarter-finals last year and they should have enough to secure a 2-1 win at Preston.
|Saturday 7th January - 5.30pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Claridge Tip: Preston v Arsenal|
|Tips||Arsenal to win Best Bet||@ 4 / 9|
|Arsenal to win 2-1||@ 8 / 1|
Sunday 8th January, 1.30pm - Liverpool v Plymouth
There is no doubt that the FA Cup is coming back into fashion and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp gives me the impression that he doesn't want to risk losing any game, no matter what the competition, so I'd expect him to go relatively strong with his team selection against Plymouth on Sunday.
It promises to be a great day for a Plymouth side who have been doing well in League Two and they will take plenty of fans up to Anfield for what is always a special occasion
Liverpool's strength in depth ensures that they will have enough about them to get through this game and I'll back the hosts to win 2-0.
|Sunday 8th January - 1.30pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Claridge Tip: Liverpool v Plymouth|
|Tips||Liverpool to win Best Bet||@ 2 / 11|
|Liverpool to win 2-0||@ 6 / 1|
Sunday 8th January, 4.00pm -Tottenham v Aston Villa
The later match on Sunday is Tottenham against Aston Villa and I can't see past a Spurs win as they are like a well-oiled machine nowadays. This might have been a potential banana skin for flaky Tottenham teams of old but they are a different beast under Mauricio Pochettino and they will be too good for a Villa side that are flattering to deceive in the Championship.
Villa have got an impressive squad on paper but it is 'top-heavy' with forwards and the fact they are struggling to score goals highlights the importance of actually signing players to create chances for your strikers.
There is a lack of balance to this Villa team and Spurs can take full advantage by securing a comfortable 3-1 win.
|Sunday 8th January - 4.00pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Claridge Tip: Tottenham v Aston Villa|
|Tips||Tottenham to win Best Bet||@ 2 / 7|
|Tottenham to win 3-1||@ 11 / 1|
Monday 9th January, 7.45pm - Cambridge v Leeds
Finally, I'm covering Cambridge's game with Leeds for BBC Five Live on Monday night and I have to say that I'm really looking forward to going back to my old stomping ground. People often ask me about the best teams I played for and they are surprised when I say one of them was Cambridge but there were some superb players that came out of the side I played with and I reckon it will feel like the good old days when Leeds visit the Abbey Stadium.
There will be a cracking atmosphere because Leeds always bring a strong following and they have been flying in the Championship of late but Cambridge have been doing well too and I'll back my old side to earn a replay with a 1-1 draw.
|Monday 9th January - 7.45pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Claridge Tip: Cambridge v Leeds|
|Tips||The Draw Best Bet||@ 13 / 5|
|1-1 correct score||@ 6 / 1|
Steve Claridge Weekend Treble
|Steve Claridge Treble||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Tips:||L1: Bradford v Chesterfield - Home Win||@ 8 / 15|
|L1: Bristol Rovers v Northampton - Home Win||@ 19 / 20|
|L1: Scunthorpev Bury - Home Win||@ 1 / 2|
|Treble Returns:||@ 7 / 2|
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"Just what the doctor ordered..."
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