Archive for April, 2017

30 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(30 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, Betting Directory’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

With Barca cruising through their local derby and Real Madrid leaving it late but getting the job done against Valencia yesterday, the status quo was maintained at the top of the table.

Four more games today are trickier, especially as they combine a mix of teams with very little left to play for, along with teams with have different priorities – just see how Las Palmas appear to have clocked off early by going behind almost immediately at home to Atleti yesterday – for a side already on their holidays!

This afternoon in Seville, Real Betis entertain Copa del Rey finalists, Alaves, at the Estadio Benito Villamarin (3.15pm).

It’s 15th v 10th, both struggling to find any sort of rhythm or consistency, neither in danger or about to light any fireworks.

A point would suit both.

This is a very long trip for Alaves, but one in which their players will have Cup final places on their minds – for that reason a little flutter on the draw looks sound logic – it’s a 5/2 opportunity with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Meanwhile, the strongest bet in La Liga today has to be Athletic Bilbao to win, for whom a European spot is very much up for grabs on the strength of recent performances.

They stuck five past Las Palmas a fortnight ago, scrambled through the Basque Derby on Monday against Eibar, and then got the job done against Betis at hone in midweek.

In the evening slot (7.45pm), this is an ideal time for them to play away to a Celta Vigo side who are going nowhere fast in 11th, and are just four days away from the game their entire season hinges on, as they welcome their Europa League semi final opponents, Manchester United, to the north west.

You could forgive them for being distracted, and in their current mood Bilbao will likely capitalise.

Good luck!

Today’s best bets in La Liga:

3.15 – Real Betis v Alaves – DRAW @ 5/2 (Betfair Sportsbook)

7.45 – Celta Vigo v ATHLETIC BILBAO – Away win @ 8/11 (Hills or Ladbrokes)

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Posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

29 Apr
2017

2017 Punchestown Tips for Saturday, 29th April

Punchestown Bets for Saturday

3:10 – Courtown Oscar @ 12/1 (each-way) with Skybet

3:50 – Apples Jade @ 10/11 with Skybet

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Posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

28 Apr
2017

Punchestown Festival Day Four Tips

Friday’s Punchestown Selections

4:20 – Last Goodbye (each-way) @ 9/1 with Paddy Power

4:55 – Definite Ruby @ 7/1 with Bet Victor

6:05 – Fianans Oscar @ 9/4 with Betfred

 

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Posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

27 Apr
2017

Thursday’s Punchestown Tips

4:15 – Potters Point (each-way) @ 7/1 with bet365

5:30 – Unowwhatimeanharry @ 4/1 with bet365

6:05 – Minella Awards (each-way) @ 10/1 with Bet Victor 

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Posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

26 Apr
2017

2017 Punchestown Festival – Day Two Tips

Punchestown Festival, Wednesday’s Picks

5:30 – Sizing John @ Evens with bet365

4:55 – Presenting Percy @ 11/4  with Paddy Power

Double pays 13/2 with Paddy Power

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

24 Apr
2017

2017 Punchestown Festival Tips – Day One

Tuesday’s Punchestown Picks
4:55 – Light That @ 16/1 (each way) with bet365
5:30 – Un De Sceaux @ Evs with bet365
6:40 – Anibale Fly @ 11/2 with Skybet

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

24 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(25 & 26 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, the Sportsman’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

After a crazy, helter-skelter weekend, one capped off by a stunning, stoppage-time Messi winner in the Clasico, you might be tempted to go and lie down in a darkened room for a week or two, and understandably so!

There’s no time for anything of the sort though, as all 20 teams have got to dust themselves down and go again, with the 34th wave of games all being played midweek.

On Tuesday night there are southern bragging rights up for grabs in Andalusia, with Tony Adams still looking for a first goal from his Granada side under his management, having lost his opening two games 0-3 and 0-2 respectively.

Here they welcome neighbours Malaga to Los Carmenes (7.30pm), who unfortunately for Adams have lifted themselves from the doldrums with three wins at just the right stage of the campaign, taking nine points from a possible 12, including wins to nil against both Barcelona and a much-improved Valencia.

Malaga really ought to extend their good run of form here, and are 5/4 with William Hill to take all three points.

On the same night, Diego Simeone’s hard-as-nails Atletico Madrid are back in action, entertaining Villarreal (8.30pm) in their third last league game at the Vicente Calderon.

Their rapidly approaching stadium move isn’t flavour of the month with all of their fans, who understandably adore their current scruffy but atmospheric, tight-knit home out by the river and the gas works.

With that in mind, they not only want to maintain their impressive form but also win all remaining games at the famous old stadium.

Watching them win away to Espanyol on Saturday night was a bit like watching one of those wildlife programmes where a despairing animal is cornered by a python, who slowly but surely squeezes the life out of it.

They barely had a chance during the 90 minutes, but when one arrived the finish supplied by Antoine Griezmann perfectly demonstrated why Europe’s elite will be moving heaven and earth to try and sign him this summer.

Boylesports are 6/5 about Atletico doing what Atletico do, namely win to nil.

Lastly, Real Madrid have a defensive headache for the lengthy trip to the north west to face Celta Vigo on Wednesday night (8.30pm), with just one senior centre back available.

It’s likely Casemiro might fill in against a team who threw everything at them when the the two sides met in the capital in December, Real eventually winning a breathless encounter, 3-2.

After Sunday night Zinedine Zidane’s team have zero margin for error – indeed Barca are top on goal difference and have a superior head-to-head record – though Madridistas will rightly point out their game in hand.

Celta, Europa League opponents for Manchester United next week at the semi final stage, are not to be underestimated.

I fancy them to score but Madrid to do enough to take all three points in another entertaining game.

Paddy Power go 17/10 about Madrid to win and both teams to score.

Good luck!

This week’s best bets in La Liga:

7.30pm Tues – Granada v MALAGA – Away win @ 5/4 (Hills)

8.30pm Tues – ATLETICO MADRID v Villarreal – Atleti to win to nil @ 6/5 (Boyles)

8.30pm Wed – Celta Vigo v REAL MADRID – Real to win & both teams to score @ 17/10 (Paddy)

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

21 Apr
2017

2017 Scottish National Tip

2017 Scottish Grand National Pick

3:55 Ayr (Saturday) – Southfield Royale @ 10/1 each-way @ 9/1 with Skybet (6 places)

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

20 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(21-23 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, the Sportsman’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

It’s worth noting, as we head into match day 33, that once again Spain leads the way in Europe’s premier competition, with both Real and Atleti yet again comfortably through to the Champions League semis after their midweek exploits.

For both it’s a return to their excellent recent league form this weekend, with the Clasico towering above the weekend calendar as Real entertain Barca on Sunday night, while Atleti head the other way, going to Catalonia to face Espanyol in the Saturday evening slot.

At the other end of the table, Tony Adams’ stint in charge of soon-to-be-relegated Granada started in calamitous fashion at home to Celta Vigo (0-3) last Sunday, prompting headlines such as ‘The Adams Family’ from Marca, while Mundo Deportivo were less humorous, simply going with: “Disastrous debut”.

Are things about to get much better?

Doubtful, as the first match of the jornada sees the former Arsenal and England stalwart take his team west, making the short hop across Andalusia to face Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan (Fri 7.45pm).

So far 2017 has been a disappointment for Sevilla, because although they reached their second best points tally prior to the last few games of the campaign, they also slipped out of the title race and were bombed out of the Champions League by Leicester City, prompting Jorge Sampaoli to say: “What went well for us before is damaging us now”.

That said, Sunday’s 0-0 draw away to Valencia, as well as the previous weekend’s 4-2 victory against Deportivo La Coruna were more like it, and they come up against ideal opposition to keep the ball rolling here.

Granada are preparing for life in the Segunda, and are unlikely to get much joy here – back Sevilla to win to nil, a 5/4 chance with Paddy Power.

Two places above them, Leganes in 17th look like they’ve done just enough to ensure survival, though a late rally from 18th-placed Sporting Gijon (who incidentally go to bottom team Osasuna) would have them sweating, especially as Leganes are unlikely to get any change out of Villarreal this weekend (Sat 3.15 pm).

The Yellow Submarines have been in and out in recent weeks, winning four and losing three of their last seven, but they’ll be delighted to be playing at home, having won nine league games in total at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Europa League football is theirs in 2017/18 if they keep steering in the right direction, and the home side should oblige at 4/6 with any of Boyles, Hills or Skybet.

As I mentioned earlier, the Madrid teams still have much to look forward to, and Atleti are favourites to get three points on the road as they head to Barcelona to take on Espanyol (Sat 7.45pm).

It might pay to be cautious where they’re concerned though; Diego Simeone’s team have been in some gruelling battles of late, including the two legs against Leicester as well as a drawn Madrid derby, and the Argentine could make changes.

What’s more, they’ve finished all square in eight of their last 21 in all competitions, and it’s also worth recalling Atleti and Espanyol played out a 0-0 at the Vicente Calderon back in December.

With not much to be gained for either in terms of league position another stalemate looks to be the value – back the draw at 13/5 with any of bet365, Betfred, BetVictor, Betway or Paddy Power.

Finally, the game you simply must watch on Sunday night is the Clasico (7.45pm), in which Real can effectively end the title race by going six points clear (with a game in hand) of their bitter rivals with victory in the match which counts for so, so much.

The two sides drew 1-1 at the Nou Camp back in December, but since then Barca’s season has fizzled out whereas the Madridistas find themselves with something of a Midas touch, boosted by the return of Gareth Bale to training on Thursday, the emergence of Marco Asensio, plus a sixth Champions League hat-trick for ‘Viva’ Ronaldo in midweek.

You’d imagine they’ll be eager to get out there and make a statement on Sunday, but don’t underestimate a Barca side who are likely to be boiling with frustration after being shutout by Juventus on Wednesday.

They can find the net here, but the vote goes to Madrid.

Back the home team to win and both teams to score at 11/5 with any of 365, Fred, Victor or Hills.

Good luck!

This weeekend’s best bets in La Liga:

7.45pm Fri – SEVILLA v Granada – Sevilla to win to nil @ 5/4 (Paddy Power)

3.15pm Sat – VILLARREAL v Leganes – Home win @ 4/6 (Skybet)

7.45pm Sat – Espanyol v Atletico Madrid – DRAW @ 13/5 (bet365)

7.45pm Sun – REAL MADRID v Barcelona – Home win & Both teams to score @ 21/10 (bet365)

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

17 Apr
2017

2017 Irish Grand National Pick

Irish Grand National Tip

5:00 Fairyhouse
Fletcher’s Flyer (ew) @ 11/1 with Skybet (6 places)
Lord Scoundrel (ew) @ 40/1 with ladbrokes (5 places)

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Posted 8 months ago