It was a case of much ado about nothing for this column last week with two picks landing, two missing the mark and the fifth being postponed.
There’s little else to write – the two that let us down were home teams with a Double Chance backing, so the logic was in place. We simply didn’t get the luck to go with it!
Maybe this week our football accumulator betting tips will be right on the money….
- Tottenham v Arsenal: Both Teams to Score – Yes (1/2)
- Swansea City vs Burnley: Swansea/Draw Double Chance (2/5)
- Nottingham Forest vs Hull City: Under 2.5 Goals (3/4)
- Rochdale vs Fleetwood Town: Rochdale/Draw Double Chance (21/50)
- Stevenage vs Luton Town: Stevenage +1.00 Asian Handicap (8/15)
- Acca Odds: 7.16/1
Tottenham v Arsenal: Both Teams to Score – Yes
Tottenham have been sensational at Wembley in the Premier League (W8 D4 L1), and they will be full of confidence after rescuing a point at Anfield last time out with a spirited second half display.
But when we talk about confidence, Arsenal must have bags of it at present. The signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – a genuinely world-class goal-getter – has clearly raised the spirits of all at the club, and many pundits predict that Arsene Wenger has been rather cunning in getting his hands on Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the deal which took Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.
The Gunners rattled up a four-goal lead in 20 minutes against Everton last time out, and while Spurs will be nowhere near as forgiving as the Toffees the manner in which Arsenal moved the ball about was a joy to behold.
Tottenham need Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose back pronto. The jury is out on Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies as elite-level defenders, and you suspect they could be singled out for punishment should Wenger name an attacking line-up; which you would expect him to do.
On the other hand, Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet in eight attempts in the league, and as we know Spurs are capable of some fine attacking play. Expect a chaotic, goal-friendly clash on Saturday lunchtime at football HQ.
Swansea City vs Burnley: Swansea/Draw Double Chance
We’re not quite sure what Carlos Carvalhal is putting in the tea at Swansea, but he should bottle it up and sell it whatever it is!
The Swans have lost just one of eight under the Portuguese manager’s stewardship, and in their last trio of outings at the Liberty Stadium have beaten Arsenal and Liverpool ad destroyed Notts County 8-1 in the FA Cup.
Burnley are battling and grinding away under Shaun Dyche, but injuries are derailing the Clarets at present. James Tarkowski and Steven Defour are such key players for them, and they will miss out here alongside the likes of Chris Wood, Stephen Ward and Phil Bardsley.
Nottingham Forest vs Hull City: Under 2.5 Goals
Aitor Karanka is desperately trying to resurrect Nottingham Forest’s season, and the first part of his plan – sign a boatload of players on transfer deadline day – has been approved.
The second is to implement the ‘defence first’ approach that worked so well at his former club Middlesbrough. The strategy worked okay at Fulham, with the Tricky Trees frustrating the free-scoring Cottagers for the first 70 minutes before succumbing to a 0-2 defeat.
The implication of Karanka’s style is that goals generally are hard to come by at the other end; Forest have scored in just one of their last seven Championship outings.
Nigel Adkins is of a similar mindset, so is it any wonder that his Hull City side have failed to score in seven of their last nine? A foot injury to key creative force Kamil Grosicki hardly helps matters.
Rochdale vs Fleetwood Town: Rochdale/Draw Double Chance
After a lengthy break from League 1 action, Rochdale returned with a 1-0 win at Northampton last week in a key relegation six-pointer.
They followed up by beating Millwall by the same scoreline in the FA Cup in midweek; a match overshadowed by that incredible pitch, which more closely resembled a bunker at St Andrews than a footballing surface.
Intriguingly, Fleetwood try to pass the ball around – they may just come a cropper on Saturday. Besides which, they’ve lost four of their last five in the league, have conceded two or more goals in a quartet of those and basically look a little lost at this point under Uwe Rosler’s guidance.
Stevenage vs Luton Town: Stevenage +1.00 Asian Handicap
They say the table never lies, and in League 2 Luton top the pile with 63 points while Stevenage are in fourteenth with 38.
But closer inspection reveals something interesting: Stevenage have taken 24 points on home soil this term, while Luton have earned just 26 on the road.
So quotes on Stevenage winning this one of 4/1 are probably great value, although we’re happy to back the hosts with a more agreeable one-goal headstart.