The Will To Shape Up

POSTED: 01 August 2014

We will be looking into a vast sea of old and new faces when the new Premnier League season unfolds later this month.

And if we are looking for someone who has hit the controversy alley in the pre-season, it's easy to pick Jack Wilshere.

The Arsenal playmaker made the news again recently for his smoking and drinking binges whilst on a holiday break in Las Vegas.


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The Veterans

A Diamond Bet

POSTED: 01 August 2014

Last week’s Chinese Super League Shanghai derby bet won, after Shenhua beat Shenxin 2-0 meaning the drinks where courtesy of my local bookmaker – here’s hoping for more the same this weekend.

For this week, I’m looking at Japan’s J-League where I think I can see a ‘Diamond’ bet, which is an ironic play on words in that it’s Urawa Red Diamonds that interest me.

Urawa are top of the table and host 6th place Vissel Kobe this weekend, what I note is a huge difference in recent form. Vissel are winless in 4 games, losing 3 – getting stuffed 5-1 at home last week by 8th placed Gamba.

Whereas Urawa are unbeaten in 8 games, winning 7. Uruwa have also been very good in defence conceding just 10 goals in 17 games, against Vissel who’ve conceded 24 goals in the same amount of games.

The top 3 sides are separated by just 3points, so I’d expect Urawa to make home advantage count and take full benefit of Vissel’s recent poor form. In my eyes they win and remain top of the table come Saturday evening, so lump on.

Pick – Urawa Red Diamonds v Vissel Kobe – Urawa to win @ 1.70

Champions Collide

POSTED: 01 August 2014

As the new football season comes near, we’re set to see Super Cups – and in France the Trophée des Champions will feature Paris Saint Germain against EA Guingamp.

PSG also won last year’s competition – beating Bordeaux 2-1 to claim their third Super Cup trophy. And they’re looking to add another piece of silverware early this season as they take on Guingamp.

Not much should be said about PSG, aside from winning the Ligue 1 title last year, they are desperately striving to be one of the best teams in Europe and have recently displayed their dominance in France. With stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and former Chelsea defender David Luiz, the sky is the limit for the club.

Meanwhile, Guinamp are here after winning their second Coupe de France title in their history. The road was not easy as they clinched the title, beating teams like Cannes and Monaco along the way. In the final, they faced Rennes and won 2-0.

They do not share the same high-profile names like PSG do, but they have shown that they can compete with the best in their country. A win over PSG will be big for them as they get ready to start another Ligue 1 season.

Obviously, the odds favour the league title holders. With -1.5 Asian handicap on PSG, a win pays 2.17, while a Guingamp win pays 1.77.

I’d still be leaning on PSG to get this victory going away, and leave fans of Workers’ Stadium getting their money’s worth.

Pick – Paris Saint Germain win @ 2.17 (-1.5 Asian handicap)

Pacific Matchup

POSTED: 01 August 2014

I am getting on a good roll, especially after Malmo easily cruised past a hapless Kalmar 3-1 in their last Allsvenskan game. After winning four of my last five weekly bets I think I can go for a bigtime wager this weekend.

Unfortunately, most European top flights are still in off season, so my money will go to United States’ premier football competition the Major League Soccer.

The match that I have my eye on this week will be the Pacific showdown between Portland and Los Angeles at Stubhub Center, where Galaxy will try to continue pushing for the first place in the Western Conference of the MLS.

Bruce Arena’s men are just eight points behind West leaders Seattle Sounders, so if LA can continue their upward trend, the Galaxy, who have 10 points in their last five matches, might see that gap lessen.

Caleb Porter’s wards have only seven points in their last five fixtures, though they won their last two matches, including a visit to Eastern Conference’s Montreal Impact.

LA and Portland already met twice this season, and both those matches ended in draws, including the 2-2 stalemate at Stubhub Center.

Dafabet knows LA Galaxy have the better tools, better strategy and better form in this matchup, so they are favoring the hosts and will only pay 1.61 for an LA win. But I don’t think Portland will give up easily, so I think this will be another draw. I expect Porter to let his side play defensively and go for a draw rather than risk playing an open game against a better attacking team.

So here’s my pick.

Pick: L.A. Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers. Draw @3.83

Going For The Favorite!

POSTED: 01 August 2014

Having lost my bets for two straight weeks on the Swedes I promised myself I will not be nearing Allsvenskan for some time!

For this week I’ve set my sight on a different continent altogether and more specifically the MLS. The match that mostly drew my attention is the one between Eastern Conference leaders Sporting KC and their 6th spot rivals, Philadelphia Union.

The hosts are clearly the favorites in this upcoming clash. Looking at their current form, they have won four out of their five most recent matches and the one they lost was a friendly against Manchester City.

Philadelphia Union on the other hand, won the two of their last five matches while settling for a draw in another two. Their 5th and most current match was a loss to Crystal Palace in a friendly. Playing on their home ground is an extra incentive for Peter Vermes’s squad to win as they will want to please their fans and while doing so, please me as well.

The straight win only pays back 1.59 but since I do like to gamble on higher odds I will go for the -0.5, -1 Asian Handicap on Sporting Kansas City which pays much better at 1.81 with Dafabet.

Pick – AH of -0.5, -1 on Sporting Kansas City to win @ 1.81

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