Steve Claridge has joined Betting Directory to provide his expert views and tips on the latest football betting odds and the latest matches.
Friday, 28th November 2014
West Brom v Arsenal (12.45pm, Saturday 29th November 2014)
The first of the weekend's live Premier League games comes from The Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime as West Brom take on Arsenal and you could make a strong case for a home win, away win or a draw in this one. It is a tough fixture to call because West Brom have obviously hit a sticky patch with their recent form and Arsenal have been so inconsistent, albeit they beat an under-performing Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the Champions League in mid-week.
Arsene Wenger's side are safely through to the knockout stages of the Champions League again but they are only going to be making up the numbers because this squad isn't good enough to make a real impression in Europe. The fact they have qualified from their group is effectively part of the problem because it means nothing at the club will change and they will just continue to go through the same old cycle of finishing in the top-four in the Premier League and falling short in the Champions League. There is no doubt that they have some quality individuals but they are still two players short and that has been the story for the last eight years.
Wenger never seems to buy the right two players to help Arsenal really push on and it looks like being another season of underachievement for the North London club. Having said that, I think they should have a bit too much for an out-of-form West Brom on Saturday and I'm leaning towards a 2-1 win for Arsenal first up.
Match Result Tip: Arsenal to win @ odds of 17/20 with PaddyPower.
Correct Score Tip: Arsenal to win 2-1 @ odds of 8/1 with Bet365.
Sunderland v Chelsea (5.30pm, Saturday 29th November 2014)
In contrast to Arsenal's problems, Chelsea have been excellent so far this season and they are in action in Saturday evening's game at Sunderland. It is difficult to make a case for anyone against Jose Mourinho's team at the moment and I can't see Sunderland inflicting a first defeat of the campaign on the unbeaten Premier League leaders. Gus Poyet has stabilised things a bit since the 8-0 defeat to Southampton but I'm still struggling to understand what the realistic aspirations of the football club are.
There is a lack of quality in their ranks as they are short of creativity in midfield and you can't see them scoring many goals. It is a damning indictment of their signings over the years to be honest with you as there has been enough money spent and enough players have come and gone for them to be in a better position than 14th.
Sunderland's return of two wins, seven draws and three defeats from twelve league games tells you all you need to know about their lack of penetration in the attacking third and I don't think they will have the quality to hurt Chelsea on Saturday. For that reason I'll go for Chelsea to win 2-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Match Result Tip: Chelsea to win @ odds of 2/5 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: Chelsea to win 2-0 @ odds of 6/1 with Bet365.
Southampton v Man City (1.30pm, Sunday 30th November 2014)
The two clubs chasing Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table are in action on Sunday lunchtime as Southampton take on Manchester City at St Mary's. This could be a great game for the neutral to enjoy, although there is plenty at stake for both teams as you can't see either of them keeping pace with Chelsea if they were to lose on Sunday, unless City win twelve games on the trot, which looks unlikely at the moment.
Manuel Pellegrini's team still don't quite convince in the way that they should when you consider they have spent nearly a billion pounds on players. They have got the best player in the league at their disposal in Sergio Aguero and they are probably better to watch than Chelsea when at their fluent best but they don't control games like Chelsea do. The opposition always feel like they have a chance against City and the reigning champions still don't have that aura where teams think it is game over when they go a goal behind against them.
City should have that aura by now and I do worry that it could be a case of 'after the Lord Mayor's show' for City following their 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night, so I'll go for a 2-2 draw on the South Coast this weekend.
Match Result Tip: Draw @ odds of 13/5 with Bet365.
Correct Score Tip: 2-2 draw @ odds of 14/1 with Bet365.
Tottenham v Everton (4.00pm, Sunday 30th November 2014)
There is another game with plenty riding on it on Sunday afternoon as Tottenham come up against Everton at White Hart Lane. It is remarkable to think that the pair start the weekend only two points off the top-four in the league standings, particularly after Everton only won one of their opening seven games, and it probably shows how average - Chelsea apart - the division is. There is no doubt that the Premiership is ultra-competitive and everyone has a chance but there is a lack of quality to truly challenge Chelsea at the moment.
Looking at the two teams playing on Sunday, Tottenham and Everton have obviously both qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League after picking up decent results on Thursday night. Mauricio Pochettino has finally become a bit more positive with what he is doing by playing with two strikers, albeit it has taken him far too long to change his system, and there is no doubt that his Tottenham team are better suited to playing away from home.
As for Everton, I'm not too sure about one or two players at the club and Roberto Martinez almost seems preoccupied with keeping the ball rather than producing an end product. Obviously Ross Barkley has come back in recently and there are a couple of others who will make a difference when they return. On current form, I don't see much between the two teams so I'll go for a 1-1 draw in what is a difficult game to try and call.
Match Result Tip: Draw @ odds of 5/2 with BetVictor.
Correct Score Tip: 1-1 correct score @ odds of 13/2 with BetVictor.
This weekend's treble comes from League One and League:
A treble returns 13/2 with BetVictor.com.
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