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"I couldn't believe that City's two centre-halves were wearing gloves"
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Football Betting Tips from Steve Claridge
Steve Claridge has joined Betting Directory to provide his expert views and tips on the latest football betting odds and the latest matches.
Friday, 12th February 2016
Saturday 13th February, 12.45pm - Sunderland v Manchester United
The weekend kicks off with Sunderland against Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime and you wonder if Sam Allardyce is hoping that the fans walk out every week! Credit to the Black Cats for coming back to earn a draw from 2-0 down at a deserted Anfield last weekend but that result cannot disguise the fact that they are four points from safety and no more than a functional team.
They have lacked the little bit of quality that is required to open teams up in games for some time now and it wouldn't be over-egging the pudding to say that Jermain Defoe is single-handedly keeping Sunderland up at the moment.
They take on a United side who have actually been playing as well as they have all season and yet they are falling further away from the top-four, which is in contrast to earlier in the campaign when they had been playing really quite poorly but were right in the mix for a Champions League place!
United still haven't found the right balance under Louis van Gaal but there have been signs of improvement and I'll back them for a 2-1 win in the North East.
Match Result Tip: Manchester United to win @ 4/5 with Paddy Power.
Correct Score Tip: Manchester United to win 2-1 @ 17/2 with Bet Victor.
Saturday 13th February, 5.30pm - Chelsea v Newcastle
It's then Chelsea against Newcastle in the live match on Saturday evening and I'm still scratching my head as to how Newcastle are only one point above the relegation zone going into this weekend's round of games. There is absolutely no way that this squad, with the quality of players they possess, should be getting relegated and their current position is a damning indictment of the manager when you consider the amount of money the club has spent on players during the past two transfer windows.
Having said that, Newcastle are a dangerous side because they are more than capable when they get things right and I quite fancy them to get a draw at Chelsea. The Blues are probably finding their level under Guus Hiddink now as they were never as bad as results under Jose Mourinho suggested, albeit this squad isn't good enough to win the Premier League or Champions League.
Chelsea are a very, very decent football team now but Newcastle are always a dangerous proposition when it comes to betting on their games because there is always that chance that they will click into gear. With that in mind, I'm going to back a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Match Result Tip: The draw @ 19/5 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: 1-1 draw @ 17/2 with Bet Victor.
Sunday 14th February, 12.00pm - Arsenal v Leicester
Moving on to Sunday and I envy anyone who has a ticket for the midday kick-off at The Emirates, where Arsenal take on Leicester. What a story it has been for the Foxes this season and I find it remarkable that there are still people writing Leicester off despite their fantastic 3-1 win at Manchester City last weekend.
I don't think there are any secrets about how Claudio Ranieri's side are going to play and I'll be interested to see how Arsenal line up for this one. The Gunners did beat Leicester 5-2 earlier in the season and Arsene Wenger's men could do with winning this one, particularly as Leicester have a relatively kind run of fixtures towards the end of the season.
Leicester could go eight points clear of the Gunners with a win on Sunday but I do think Arsenal are the more likely to win in North London, albeit I can't back against my old club on current form so I'll go for an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Sunday 14th February, 2.05pm - Aston Villa v Liverpool
The games come thick and fast on Sunday, with Aston Villa against Liverpool the second of three live matches. Villa have battled their way to a few positive results of late but I'm not sure whether they have turned a corner or whether they've played a few out-of-form teams at the right time.
Either way, Sunday's match isn't a great betting proposition, particularly as Liverpool appear to be the 'new Newcastle' with their ability to swing wildly from very good to very bad from one week to the next. I really like Jurgen Klopp's enthusiasm and he's obviously a very good man-manager but the inconsistency in Liverpool's results is remarkable as they have hit some unbelievable highs and some incredible lows during the past few months.
Liverpool are so unpredictable but I'll back them to get it right with a 2-1 win at Villa Park, although this game is perhaps best watched without a betting interest...
Match Result Tip: Liverpool win @ 10/11 with Sky Bet.
Correct Score Tip: Liverpool win 2-1 @ 9/1 with Bet Victor.
Sunday 14th February, 4.15pm - Manchester City v Tottenham
It promises to be a cracking weekend of football and Sunday concludes with Manchester City against Tottenham at The Etihad. There is no question that if City play like they did last Saturday against Leicester then they will get beaten and I will be very interested to see how Manuel Pellegrini sets his team up for this one after getting it so wrong last weekend.
Pellegrini put David Silva on the right, Raheem Sterling in behind the strikers and apparently Fabien Delph is now a left winger! They were mind-boggling tactical decisions and Leicester ran them absolutely ragged.
This may seem like a small thing but I couldn't believe that City's two centre-halves were wearing gloves on what was a relatively mild afternoon for February and something as simple as that sets the tone, whatever level you play at. Jamie Vardy would have relished seeing them turning up for the biggest game of the season in gloves - it was clear that City weren't ready for the battle.
We know how Tottenham will set up with their 4-2-3-1 formation on Sunday and they will make life difficult for City in a similar way to Leicester in that they will get men behind the ball before breaking at pace.
When considering a bet on the game, it is almost worth waiting to see the result of the earlier game at The Emirates as I reckon both City and Spurs would be happy with a draw if Arsenal win but that might change if league leaders Leicester win as the need for three points would be greater.
Furthermore, keep an eye on Pellegrini's team selection but at this point I can only go on what I've seen in recent weeks and I'd expect a reaction from the City players, so I'll back a 1-1 draw.
Match Result Tip: The draw @ 13/5 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: 1-1 draw @ 7/1 with Bet Victor.
|Steve Claridge Treble||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Tips:||CH: Brighton v Bolton - Home Win||@ 4 / 6|
|CH: Derby v MK Dons - Home Win||@ 8 / 15|
|L1: Crewe v Walsall - Away Win
Read our Betting Preview
|@ 8 / 11|
|Treble Returns:||@ 7 / 2||Skybet|
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"I couldn't believe that City's two centre-halves were wearing gloves"
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