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Posts Tagged ‘football’

England U-21

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2009 at 16:31


England’s future stars have had a terrific performance thus far in the European Championships and are deservedly favourites to see off free-scoring Sweden.

England’s squad is strong and well-prepared and no player has hit the net more than once. However, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott has proved to be a pivotal member of the team during his time on the pitch. He was taken off at half-time in England’s opening match against Finland, was brought on after 60 minutes against Spain, and was introduced at a similar time in the 1-1 draw with Germany.

Despite being pretty quiet against Finland, Walcott was instrumental in setting up James Milner for England’s second goal against Spain. Perhaps manager Stuart Pearce is using Walcott sparingly during the group games to save the lad’s energy for the latter rounds of the tournament. Walcott was used by Fabio Capello in the senior’s games against Kazakhstan (45 minutes) and Andorra (90 minutes), and without getting a break of any significance, Walcott will be heading back to pre-season training with Arsenal very soon.

However, in recent interviews, Walcott has underlined his commitment to the international cause, no matter what England team calls him up, and the 20-year-old’s determination has never been questioned. Dropping down from competitive senior action to under-21 level must seem like taking candy from a baby for baby-faced Walcott. Providing he plays at least 45 minutes of the Sweden game, Walcott’s pace, strength and bravery should provide the ultimate reward.

Walcott is as short as 7/4 (with Ladbrokes) to get on the score sheet at any stage of the game, but Paddy Power are currently offering odds of 3/1. With Walcott eager to prove to everyone (especially Arsene Wenger) that he was correct to play all of these international games during his summer vacation, he will be more determined than ever to get a result.

Even though Pearce’s team selections are as unpredictable as Rafa Benitez’s, he will play his strongest line-up in Friday’s game, and that will surely include Walcott. However, perhaps waiting to see his name on the team sheet is advisable.

Theo Walcott     To score at anytime        3/1 (Paddy Power)

England U21       11/10 (general) Draw     9/4 (general)      Sweden U21      2/1 (general)

Top Tips 3 – Cheltenham Friday 2009

In Top Tips on March 13, 2009 at 12:23

Today is Cheltenham Gold Cup Day. It should be a terrific day’s racing.

I’m a traditionalist. I like Kauto Star and can’t see past him in the feature race of the day.  There will be challengers to his crown but Kauto has the class, talent and the jockey (Ruby Walsh) to regain his Gold Cup crown. At the time of writing, you can easily get 15/8.

Overall it is a competitive day of racing. The opening race is the JCB Triumph Hurdle and any number of the runners could win it.

The form points to Walkon winning this one but I have a sneaking feeling that Silk Drum could run a huge race at a huge price. He has good form behind him and has been consistently improving over his past couple of runs. And the key is that he stays beyond the two miles he’ll face here, a vital compenent needed to get up the Cheltenham hill. If you’re quick, you may get 50/1 about him winning.

In the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, I’m going to plump for Hangover. He won on soft ground at Gowran Park last month over this trip and also won on similar ground over two miles and five furlongs at Limerick at Christmas.  Additionally, he has as super jockey on board in Paul Townend. You can easily get 12/1 on Conor O’Dwyer’s charge winning this one.

In the Premier League over the weekend, there are no stand out bets at all, though there is a stand out match. Manchester United take on Liverpool in a game Liverpool must win to have any chance of winning the title. It’ll probably end up a draw.

If I simply had to have a bet in this weekend’s fixtures, I’d side with a Bolton/Fulham draw. Bolton are rubbish at home and Fulham are rubbish way having drawn half of their matches. In fact, because they’ve only scored three goals away, why not lump on a No Goalscorer in this one?


Any thoughts anyone?

Top tips – Cheltenham Wednesday

In Top Tips on March 11, 2009 at 10:22

Right. cheltenham is capturing the hearts and pockets of punters nationwide this week but there aren’t too many nice bets today.

Yesterday was much better. I backed Celestial Halo, L’Ami and Quevega as part of a Lucky 15 each-way. However, I’ll only be collecting a small amount.

Today, I won’t be having a bet…..but if i was, this is what I would do.

I’d do a Lucky 15 combining tonight’s football and today’s racing at Cheltenham.

Firstly, Mikael D’Hagenuet. Needs soft ground and has four times in Ireland for Willie Mullins on that type of ground. He could have done with more rain at Cheltenham but this is a horse I like a lot and he could be winning the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at around 4/1 today.

Secondly, Master Minded. An absolute machine who will win easy bar a disaster. However, at odds of around 1/3 he is best included in a Lucky 15.

Now, on to the football.

After Liverpool’s brilliant win in the Champion’s League last night, and Chelsea’s win, English football is on a high. This will continue tonight. I can’t see either Arsenal or Manchester United not getting through. However, because I’m a Liverpool fan, I cannot back Man Utd. Therefore, I’m concentrating on Arsenal’s match with Roma.

Arsenal hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg, and I don’t see them crumbling tonight. Roma have a fair home record this season but I don’t see them breaking through what will be a very organised Arsenal team. I’m plumping for a draw in that one at odds of around 9/4.

Now, back to the Premier League. Fulham play Blackburn at Craven Cottage. Fulham’s form has dipped lately but their home record is fairly solid. Blackburn on the other hand, have been very hit and miss all season and currently lie in the relegation zone. Furthermore, their away form is terrible having only won three out of 13 games on their travels this season. I’m fancying Fulham at odds of slightly over 5/4.


A Lucky 15 at the odds quoted costs €15 and will return a lovely €192.38 if they all win. 

Oh sit down!