If you don’t mind, I’m going to break the fourth wall a moment and have a bit of a rant.
If you are a keen bettor, try this £10 to £1000 Challenge. Go on, just humour me. Scour the fixture list from across Europe’s finest football divisions and dig out four selections priced between, say, 1/10 and 1/5 that you consider ‘bankers’.
And then sit back as one or more brings you to your knees in fury.
It was Fleetwood’s turn to attract my ire last week. At home (where they are excellent), they failed to find the net against a Port Vale side that had kept three clean sheets in their prior twenty matches. Six shots on target, 14 shots in total and 13 corners….all came to nothing.
It makes you question the sanctity of life, let alone your betting, but then you remember that something like 87 of your last 100 selections in the challenge have landed, and you press on with renewed hope.
So here we are at the start of another attempt at the challenge. Let’s hope that the footballing gods have a smile on their faces for once….
Bet 1: St Etienne vs Bordeaux: Bordeaux +1.50 Asian Handicap – £10 at 1/10
Friday May 5, 19:45
Let’s kick off with a selection that, based on current form, should come in. St Etienne have won just two of their last nine games and are without a win in four on home soil. Pertinently, they have only scored two or more in a game in 2/9 as well.
Bordeaux’s formline reads W9 D5 L3, with those three defeats coming against Monaco, PSG and Nice – AKA the top three sides in the division. If you had placed a +1.75 Asian handicap bet in Bordeaux’s favour in each of their last 17 matches, 16 would have yielded profit.
Bet 2: Leicester vs Watford: Leicester +0.50 Asian Handicap – £11 at 1/9
Saturday May 6, 15:00
Leicester’s formline might not be that impressive – W1 D1 L2 – but all four of those outings have come on the road; at home under Craig Shakespeare, the Foxes have beaten Liverpool (3-1), Hull (3-1), Stoke (2-0) and Sunderland (2-0)….that’s four home wins on the spin by a two goal margin.
Watford are one of those annoying sides that have a habit of being a ‘coupon buster’, but their best work typically comes at home where they have taken 28 of their 40-point haul. Away from home, well, W3 D3 L10 can’t fill their fans with much confidence ahead of this trip.
Bet 3: Lille vs Metz: Lille +0.75 Asian Handicap – £12.22 at 1/10
Saturday May 6, 19:00
Lille come into this game on the back of a pair of 3-0 wins over Guingamp and Montpellier, and with just two defeats in eight that bodes well for a game against a Metz outfit that simply cannot defend (famous last words!)
Of their last six, Metz have won one, drawn one and lost four, and in five of those conceded two or more goals. They have but one clean sheet in their last thirteen outings.
Lille only need to win or draw here for our wager to land, and if they lose by a single goal we get half our stake back.
Bet 4: Lazio vs Sampdoria: Lazio +0.00 Asian Handicap – £13.44 at 1/10
Sunday May 7, 14:00
Lazio, generally excellent at home (W11 D2 L4), come into this game after thrashing Palermo 6-1 (they were 5-0 up at half-time) before taking apart city rivals Roma in a 3-1 humbling.
Consequently, we have no qualms about backing a side that will still have feelings of a top three finish should Roma or Napoli stumble again.
Sampdoria, without injured strikers Luis Muriel and Patrick Schick, plus Edgar Barreto, may just have to plough on until the end of the campaign, but one win in six tells its own story of where they are at right now.