We weren’t too far away with our acca last week with 3/5 coming in and the other two narrowly missing out.
Manchester City sailed past the 2.5 goal mark by themselves when putting 5 past Cardiff, with the opposite true of Middlesbrough and Swansea playing out a bore draw for our ‘under’ pick. LA FC also comfortably saw off San Jose Earthquakes in a 2-0 home win.
However, despite having 17 shots on goal, Leeds were unable to recover from two first half Birmingham strikes, falling short of equalising in a 1-2 loss. We thought Portsmouth had done enough when they went ahead on 86 minutes only for them to concede a penalty at the death to share the spoils with Wycombe.
Period of reflection over, we’re back in the saddle this week and determined to go two better than last time.
|Cardiff City vs Burnley||Burnley/Draw Double Chance||11/20|
|Blackburn Rovers vs Nottingham Forest||Nottingham Forest +1.00 Asian Handicap||4/11|
|Millwall vs Sheffield United||Millwall +0.75 Asian Handicap||8/15|
|Fluminense vs Gremio||Gremio/Draw Double Chance||3/5|
|Bahia vs Flamengo||Bahia/Draw Double Chance||8/15|
|Five-Fold Acca Odds||6.31/1|
Cardiff City vs Burnley: Burnley/Draw Double Chance
It would be fair to say that Burnley’s early season escapades in the Europa League have hampered their progress somewhat.
Injuries and fitness problems abounded as they tried to manage three fixtures a week while most sides were still inching their way back into pre-season.
But the Clarets showed their worth in the 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth last time out, and really Sean Dyche’s men have little to fear from their trip to Wales.
Cardiff have had a tough run of fixtures, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City consecutively, but lest we forget they failed to score a single goal in a comfier run of Huddersfield, Newcastle and Bournemouth prior to that.
You would suggest that Neil Warnock has got ‘the fear’; that belief of promoted managers that their players aren’t good enough for the top flight, and so they park the bus and defend for their lives.
The absence of the injured Aron Gunnarsson and Lee Peltier hardly helps.
Blackburn Rovers vs Nottingham Forest: Forest +1.00 Asian Handicap
If you believe in the Expected Goals measure of a football match, you will know that Blackburn have been thoroughly outplayed by Stoke, Derby and Bristol City in three of their last four outings.
But they actually took four points from those matches, and so we surmise there has been an element of good fortune in their progress.
They face a tough game against Nottingham Forest here, however, and must cope without absent skipper Charlie Mulgrew, assuming his calf injury keeps him on the sidelines once more. They also made the long trip to the south coast on Tuesday before going down to a 94th minute goal at Bournemouth, so you wonder how the bodies and minds of the rest of the squad are coping.
Forest have only lost once this term, and that came away at a decent Brentford outfit. Aitor Karanka has fashioned a squad that really is tough to beat, and with a hypothetical goal headstart they will take some stopping here.
Millwall vs Sheffield United: Millwall +1.00 Asian Handicap
Sometimes in football betting, we have to look beyond the basic facts for more telling context.
So, on the face of it, Millwall have lost five of their last six matches.
But context is key, and we note that four of those five were played away from home. The Lions are the proverbial ‘home field advantage’ side, with their New Den home a hostile place to go on any day.
An examination of their home form reveals a win over Derby, creditable points taken from Leeds and Middlesbrough, and a narrow defeat to Swansea. That’s a respectable run of results against three of the top six sides in the division.
Sheffield United failed to score at Middlesbrough and Bristol City, and they required an 87th minute strike last time out to halt a run of two without a win or a goal.
Fluminense vs Gremio: Gremio/Draw Double Chance
While there is an obvious home field advantage in the Brazilian Serie A, we’re still not quite sure why Fluminense are such strong favourites here.
They have only won 5/18 matches played since the start of June, and never by more than a one goal margin. The hosts look a shadow of their former selves with top goalscorer Pedro on the treatment table.
Gremio are one of the few sides who travel reasonably well in Brazil (W4 D4 L4), and in that quartet of defeats they have never lost by more than one goal.
Bahia vs Flamengo: Bahia/Draw Double Chance
Punters who regularly bet on the Brazilian league will know that the bookies tend to over-favour reputation in place of reality.
Are Bahia, who have lost just 2/13 at home this season, really a 19/10 shot against a Flamengo side that have won three of thirteen on the road?
The hosts drew 1-1 with an excellent Palmeiras side last time out to confirm their authority in front of their own supporters.
Flamengo, meanwhile, have dropped points at America MG and Vasco – two sides in and around Bahia in the table, and they have the small matter of a Copa do Brazil semi-final against Corinthians to recover from in the early hours of Thursday.