Steve Claridge has joined Betting Directory to provide his expert views and tips on the latest football betting odds and the latest matches.
Thursday, 18th December 2014
Man City v Crystal Palace (12.45pm, Saturday 20th December 2014)
The first live game of the weekend is Manchester City against Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime and I get the feeling that City will have to be on their guard in this one. Neil Warnock has made Palace hard to beat again in recent weeks and City manager Manuel Pellegrini will have to do without some big players at The Etihad, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Edin Dzeko all injured.
The defending champions will be pleased the match is at home though and they can take confidence from the fact they have won some really big, high-pressure games recently. I'll be interested to see how they approach the fixture because it can be difficult to grind out a result against a team like Palace and I'll go for City to win 1-0, albeit I wouldn't be surprised if they dropped points in this one.
Match Result Tip: Man City to win @ odds of 3/10 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: Man City to win 1-0 @ odds of 13/2 with Betfred.
Newcastle v Sunderland (1.30pm, Sunday 21st December 2014)
The live action them resumes on Sunday lunchtime and it is the North East derby between Newcastle and Sunderland. This is another tough game to call because you are almost punting in the dark with these two teams. If this match had been three weeks ago then you'd have backed Newcastle all day long but it is hardly ideal preparation that they go into this one off the back of a 4-0 defeat to Tottenham in the Capital One Cup in mid-week.
Alan Pardew's men have either been fantastic or awful in games this season and the last two weeks have probably encapsulated their season as they go and beat Chelsea 2-1 before their thumping at Spurs. The way they go through such varying peaks and troughs in terms of form makes them a tough proposition when placing a bet on any match they are involved in.
They come up against a Sunderland side who are very limited going forward but the Black Cats are a tough team to beat. It remains to be seen if Gus Poyet sets his team up to win at St James' Park or will he be happy with yet another draw? I think a factor that could swing the match in Newcastle's favour is the fact that they will welcome several players back from injury and suspension, so I don't see them getting beat and I'll go for the home side to win 2-1.
Match Result Tip: Newcastle to win @ odds of evens with Bet365.
Correct Score Tip: Newcastle to win 2-1 @ odds of 17/2 with Bet 365.
Liverpool v Arsenal (4.00pm, Sunday 21st December 2014)
The later kick-off on Sunday is then Liverpool against Arsenal at Anfield and this is another difficult game to predict because you can't be sure what you're going to get from these two teams. Liverpool will obviously be buoyed by their 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup in mid-week but that can't mask what has been a very poor season for them.
With Arsenal, three quarters of their team is good enough to walk into any side in the country and when they are on song they are excellent. However, they lack the ability to control games when they aren't in the ascendancy and they are so vulnerable as a result. You don't know what you are going to get from them on Sunday and the same can be said of Liverpool, so I'll go for a 2-2 draw at Anfield.
Match Result Tip: The draw @ odds of 5/2 with BetVictor.
Correct Score Tip: 2-2 correct score @ odds of 13/1 with BetVictor.
Stoke v Chelsea (8.00pm, Monday 22nd December 2014)
The live Monday night game is then Stoke against Chelsea and this was a fantastic fixture to watch when they met at the Britannia last season. Stoke won 3-2 here last year and they have made a habit of winning games you perhaps wouldn't expect them to get anything out of again this season, albeit they have dropped points when you would expect them to win as well. It has been a strange campaign for them and they did beat Arsenal at home the other week, although Chelsea's physicality ensures they are unlikely to roll over like the Gunners did.
Chelsea know that they can cope with the physical nature of Stoke's game but it will be a difficult fixture and there should be a fantastic atmosphere at the Britannia. I'll take Chelsea to win a tough match 2-1 because they should have that little bit of extra quality in the final third.
Match Result Tip: Chelsea to win @ odds of 8/13 with Betfred.
Correct Score Tip: Chelsea to win 2-1 @ odds of 8/1 with Betfred.com.
This weekend's treble comes from League One and League Two:
A treble returns just over 4/1 with BetVictor.com.
|The Draw Looks The Best Bet For Man Utd V Liverpool On Sunday||10 Dec 2014|
|Chelsea And Man City Tipped For Wins In Saturdays Live Premier League Games||05 Dec 2014|
|Chelsea To Extend Their Lead As Saints V Man City Tipped To End In A Draw||28 Nov 2014|
|Goals Predicted At Emirates In Battle For Champions League Spot||21 Nov 2014|
|Scotland Can Shade Group D Clash With The Irish||14 Nov 2014|
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