Chelsea vs Liverpool: Betting Preview

On Sunday, the biggest game of the Premier League weekend takes place, as Chelsea welcome league leaders Liverpool to Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard’s side will be aiming to stop Liverpool’s winning streak that stretches to 14 games.

Both sides enter the fixture off the back of midweek Champions League defeats. For Liverpool, another loss followed their latest trip to Naples, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli side again proving the European kryptonite to the Supermen of the Premier League. Meanwhile, Chelsea suffered defeat at the hands of crisis club Valencia, who, despite taking the unpopular decision of sacking manager Marcelino, were able to put their European experience to good use and defeat Chelsea on their own turf.

Chelsea

Much has been made of Chelsea’s reliance on youth under Frank Lampard and while the starting XI employed by the former midfielder has been incredibly young by Chelsea’s standards, it’s not groundbreakingly low for the league in general – and it is Southampton who have actually fielded the youngest starting XI in the Premier League this season. However, as mentioned, it is a massive departure for a club that has so often relied on established superstars.

So far, Chelsea have undeniably relied upon their young players. Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have scored all of Chelsea’s Premier League goals thus far this season. New signing Christian Pulisic has just a single assist to his name while Willian and Pedro are yet to register any meaningful statistics. Chelsea’s youngsters have come up short so far in the big games they’ve faced, losing to both Manchester United and Valencia, and in the European Champions, face undoubtedly their biggest test to date.

Liverpool

Liverpool are the form team of the Premier League; unbeaten for 22 games and having won 14 consecutive games scoring two or more goals, they’ve been imperious. Following Manchester City’s surprise loss to Norwich, they’re also 5 points clear at the top of the table after just 5 games. Jurgen Klopp’s men will not be able to rest on their laurels though, having been 7 points clear of Manchester City back in December ’18 and we all know how that finished.

Defeat to Napoli could, therefore, be considered a good thing for The Reds in the grand scheme of things to come; Liverpool should be under no illusions that they are unbeatable. Losing away to Napoli in Europe is a far from unexpected result, even for the European Champions, and should prevent no obstacle to qualification from the group stage. Liverpool, you would imagine, will be keen to put things right against Chelsea and maintain their gap over Manchester City who face a mounting injury crisis in defence.

CHELSEA VS LIVERPOOL: PREMIER LEAGUE BETTING ODDS

Despite being the homes side, Chelsea are not favoured to win and priced at 27/10 (3.70). A draw is also at 27/10 (3.70) while Liverpool are favourites to win at 24/25 (1.96).

Chelsea vs Liverpool: Premier League Betting Tips

Head-to-head in the Premier League, things couldn’t be tighter between the two sides. They’ve played 54 times, with each team winning 20 games (both with 14 home and 6 away wins) and 14 draws. Last season’s corresponding fixture was a 1-1 draw, while Chelsea triumphed 1-0 the season before. But this is a very different Liverpool side to those Chelsea have faced in the past. They’ve got major silverware in the cabinet and are steamrolling their way through the league. We’d back Liverpool to continue their 14-game winning streak, scoring 2 goals or more, and bet on Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals at 14/9 (2.55).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



Manchester United vs Leicester City: Betting Preview

On Saturday, Premier League action returns following the international break. Unbeaten Leicester City travel to Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side that is without a win since the opening day and facing a potential injury crisis.   

The two sides enter this fixture with very different atmospheres surrounding each club. Utd are all doom and gloom; from the Pogba transfer saga over the summer to their less than convincing start to the season, the Red Devils have lost much of the early optimism that surrounded the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Leicester, meanwhile, have a spring in their step; they’re unbeaten and beginning to find their feet under Brendan Rodgers.

Manchester United

The term “injury crisis” is often bandied around without a great deal of justification. But in the case of Man Utd right now, it’s safe to say an injury crisis is looming. There are concerns over both full-backs, with particular concern over new signing – and one of the few bright lights in this early stage of the season – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was forced to withdraw from the recent England squad; Jesse Lingard was also sent home by the Three Lions with illness. Paul Pogba didn’t make the France squad due to an ankle injury and Anthony Martial missed the last fixture due to a thigh issue.

Injury concerns aside, Utd have not looked a tidy outfit even with their strongest XI on show thus far this season. Last time out against Southampton they were unable to capitalise when Saints were reduced to 10 men, prior to that they suffered a home defeat to Crystal Palace. Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be hoping that new-signing Daniel James can continue the promising start that he’s made to his Utd career and that some of the players sidelined with minor injuries can make it back into the starting line-up.

Leicester City

Ordinarily, remaining undefeated after just four games wouldn’t be considered the most impressive achievement. But when the only other sides to match such a feat are Liverpool and Manchester City, it’s ok to feel yourself a little. And under Brendan Rodgers, that’s exactly what the Foxes are beginning to do.

With Jamie Vardy leading the line, Leicester are still as devastating on the counter-attack as ever. However, with Tielemans and Maddison firmly established in the side, Leicester have now added some extra dimensions to their game. Thanks to the creativity of the two youngsters – and the ability of both to play defence-splitting passes – Leicester are now better equipped than ever to operate against the low block just as well as on the counter. Against Utd at Old Trafford, they’ll no doubt be expecting to see less of the ball. But should Utd do what teams short of confidence tend to do, and retreat towards their own box, Leicester will feel confident of breaking them down.  

MANCHESTER UNITED VS LEICESTER CITY: PREMIER LEAGUE BETTING ODDS

Despite losing their last home fixture to Palace, Manchester United are slight favourites to win at odds of 26/33 (1.79), while Leicester are priced at 7/2 (4.50).

Manchester United vs Leicester City: Premier League Betting Tips

Leicester City have an appalling record at Old Trafford and have not won at the home of Manchester United since 1998, but Palace didn’t exactly have a great record either and look what they were able to do. Times are changing and Utd are no longer the juggernaut they once were; their squad far from being the envy of the league – one could argue that in Chilwell, Ndidi, Tielemans, Maddison and Vardy, Leicester have 5 players that would make it into the Utd starting XI. With that in mind, we’re backing Leicester to do a Palace and beat Utd, with a correct score of 1-2 at 11/1 (12.00).


*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.

Leyton Orient vs Swindon Town: Betting Preview

On Saturday, Leyton Orient host 5th placed Swindon Town as they return to League Two action. The O’s followed up a 1-1 draw at Salford with a victory over Southend United in the Football League Trophy and they’ll be hoping to carry this form into their next fixture.

At this early stage of the season, points on the board mean’s more than league position so while there may be 10 places between Leyton Orient and their opponents Swindon Town, it’s a gap of only three points that separates the sides. Secure victory and the O’s will move level on points with their opponents who currently occupy a play-off spot.

Leyton Orient

Orient’s progress thus far could be described as “steady”. With two wins, two losses and two draws, the O’s have sampled every kind of result, and done so twice! Despite making a number of changes to the line-up, Leyton Orient defeated League One Southend United in the Football League Trophy in their last outing. This followed up a 1-1 draw away at Salford City.

The last time the sides met at Brisbane Road was back in 2014, with Swindon securing a 2-1 victory. Obviously, a lot has changed since then and the O’s will hope to maintain the defensive stability that has returned of late, with just a solitary goal conceded in the last two games.

Swindon Town

Last season, Swindon Town managed almost a full season version of what Leyton Orient have done thus far, winning 16, drawing 16 and losing 14. This time out, they’ve started the season reasonably well with three wins, two draws and a loss.

Scoring goals hasn’t been a problem, with 11 so far, they’re the second-highest scorers in the league. While their defensive record isn’t the worst in the league, they have conceded over a goal a game – seven in six fixtures. On-loan striker Eoin Doyle is the clear danger man, having snaffled 5 goals and 2 assists in his 4 appearances so far.

LEYTON ORIENT VS SWINDON TOWN: LEAGUE TWO BETTING ODDS

Despite being the away side, Swindon Town are slight favourites to win the fixture at odds of 13/10 (2.30), while Leyton Orient are priced at 19/10 (2.90).

Leyton Orient vs Swindon Town: League Two Betting Tips

Swindon Town first-team coach Tommy Wright said that he’d back 0-0 if he was a betting man. While we could see a draw happening at 23/10 (3.30), we’d be mightily surprised if either side managed a shutout. So, we’ll be positive and back Leyton Orient to win 2-1 at 87/10 (9.70).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



Salford City vs Leyton Orient: Betting Preview

On Saturday, Leyton Orient travel north to take on another recently promoted side, Salford City. The O’s will hope to bounce back from their defeat to Crawley Town with an away victory against the club backed by the Class of ’92.

Five games in, the League Two season is beginning to take shape. With extra promotion places up for grabs at the end of the season – courtesy of the unfortunate situation at Bury – maintaining the pace, even at this early stage of the season, is important for any side with promotion aspirations. Despite both sides being recently promoted, both Leyton Orient and Salford City will be hoping to fill one of those promotion spots. Making this game incredibly important, even if we’re only five games in!  

Salford City

Attaining four promotions in five seasons will bring the spotlight onto any club. Throw into the mix an ownership group that contains David Beckham and the Class of ’92, and that spotlight only magnifies. Despite the focus on the club, Salford City are yet to set League Two alight. Having gained promotion via the play-offs, following a third-place finish in the National League, a relatively slow start should have been expected.  

While they’ve only been beaten once in the league, Salford have drawn three games on the bounce, with their opening day victory against Stevenage the one and only time they’ve claimed all three points. Last time out they drew 2-2 with Carlisle, having been leading 2-1 via a Danny Whitehead penalty. Unsurprisingly, given their propensity for drawing games, Salford’s goal difference currently sits at zero, with the side maintaining a clean sheet on just one occasion so far.  

Leyton Orient

The O’s form has been a bit more up and down than that of their opponent. Against Mansfield, Orient were able to snatch a late winner and seal a dramatic comeback victory. Unfortunately, in their very next fixture against Crawley Town, the O’s found themselves on the other side of a comeback victory, losing 3-2. With two wins, two losses and one draw, they could consider their start to the season to be “breakeven”.

Goalkeeper Dean Brill has stated that the team needs to rediscover the solid defensive base that served it so well last season. Having kept clean sheets in the first two fixtures, Orient have gone on to ship eight goals in three fixtures. Scoring goals in a higher division hasn’t been an issue though, so if the defensive woes can be put to bed, Orient could justifiably hope to string together a winning run.

SALFORD CITY VS LEYTON ORIENT: LEAGUE TWO BETTING ODDS

As the home side, Salford City enter this fixture as slight favourites to win at odds of 9/8 (2.12). Leyton Orient are at odds of 11/5 (3.20).

Salford City vs Leyton Orient: League Two Betting Tips

Salford City got the best of the matchups between the sides last season, drawing 1-1 at home and triumphing 0-3 at Brisbane Road. Given that both teams have had trouble keeping the ball out of the net, but no problems sticking it in there, we can’t see either side preventing the other from scoring. We’d back Leyton Orient to win though and go for a correct score bet of 1-2 at odds of 9/1 (10.00).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.

Premier League Season Preview

The 2018/19 Premier League season was a battle for the ages, featuring two of the best teams of the Premier League era: Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Both teams look set to do battle again in what should prove another exciting season.

Season 2018/19

In 25 of the 27 seasons since the Premier League was formed, Liverpool’s tally of 97 points would have won them the title. Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp’s men, they ran into the only team ever to score more points, Pep’s Manchester City. Fresh off a 100-point season in 17/18, City would finish the season with 14 straight league wins to secure 98 points and a second successive league title.

The fight for the remaining Champions League places would prove a close one. Chelsea finished 3rd, just one point ahead of Tottenham in 4th. North London rivals Arsenal were a point and a place back in 5th. Manchester United rounded out the Top 6 and took the final Europa League group stage place. Wolves finished an impressive return to the top flight by finishing 7th and making it to the Europa League qualifiers.

At the bottom of the table, Huddersfield and Fulham would have their fates settled relatively early. Fulham proving to have the worst defence in the league, while Huddersfield could only manage three wins. Cardiff and Brighton took their battle for survival to the penultimate game of the season, with a loss to Crystal Palace sealing relegation for Cardiff.

Champions-elect?

MANCHESTER CITY Last season’s winners are favourites to repeat the feat and make it a three-peat by securing their third title in a row. Captain and club legend Vincent Kompany may have left without a direct replacement, but City have plenty of players to fill his role, both on and off the pitch. Club stalwart David Silva takes the captain’s armband while Fernandinho prepares to step into central defence when needed – with new record signing Rodri set to anchor the defence. Guardiola will hope to get a full season out of Kevin De Bruyne this time out, and bank on Raheem Sterling continuing his ascension to the top of the game.

LIVERPOOL – Jurgen Klopp and Guardiola can talk about an open title race all they want; nobody is buying it. Liverpool finished 25 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea last term. And with yet another change of manager and a transfer ban, The Blues are unlikely to overhaul them. Speaking of transfer bans, Liverpool seem to be operating under an almost self-imposed ban. Their signings having been restricted to teenagers and a back-up goalkeeper on a free transfer. Keep their first XI – and in particular the front three – fit, and there’s no reason The Reds can’t push City all the way in the league once more. Especially if City if allow themselves to get distracted in pursuit of feat that Klopp’s men managed last season, and City haven’t thus far come close to; winning the Champions League.

Relegation fodder?

SHEFFIELD UNITED / NORWICH CITY – Of course, the recently promoted sides are always favourites to be relegated back to whence they came. Over the past 10 seasons, on average, one of the three promoted sides will manage to survive. This time around, that side is likely to be Aston Villa, due to the heavy investment that the club has made in its playing staff – of note, Fulham did similar last year.

Norwich were the highest scoring side in the Championship last season thanks to their attacking brand of football. Unfortunately, they were also pretty open at the back, conceding 57 goals in their league campaign. If they are to survive, they’ll need to be much more solid. Sheffield Utd were very much the opposite and finished the season with the best defensive record in the division. They’ll be hoping that captain Billy Sharp will be able to fire in enough goals to keep them up.

BURNLEY / BRIGHTON – If one of the promoted sides is likely to stay up, then one of the existing teams is likely to go down. The most likely suspects are Burnley and Brighton, with neither side having invested heavily in new players in the transfer window. Both sides struggle to score goals and this will perhaps be the cause of their downfall. Brighton are as reliant as ever on ageing striker Glenn Murray, who was responsible for over a third of their goals last season. Burnley and shots on goal – at either end – do not go hand in hand. Last season no side had few shots than The Clarets. On the plus side, no side allowed fewer shots than Sean Dyche’s men. And when they did create chances, those chances were normally of high quality. They’ll be hoping that returning striker Jay Rodriguez can stick a few of them in the back of the net.

PREMIER LEAGUE BETTING ODDS

Manchester City are favourites to win the title at 1/2 (1.50) while Liverpool find themselves at 13/5 (3.60). Nobody else is considered to be in with a genuine shot, with Spurs the best of the rest and given odds of 18/1 (19.00) to win the Premier League. There are a number of teams grouped in as relegation candidates, Sheffield United are 2/3 (1.66), Norwich are 9/10 (1.90), Burnley and Brighton are both 13/7 (2.85) while Aston Villa are 2/1 (3.00). When it comes to topping the scoring charts, Harry Kane is favourite 4/1 (5.00). Last seasons joint top-scorers are priced as follows, Mo Salah at 5/1 (16.00), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8/1 (9.00) and Sadio Mane at 12/1 (13.00).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



Leyton Orient Season Preview

The 2019/2020 EFL League Two season should be an exciting one in general – it looks wide open – but also for Leyton Orient in particular. The O’s will look to build on last season’s glory filled season and kick on once more.  

Season 2018/19

Last season cannot be described as anything other than an unbridled success for Leyton Orient. Sure, it was disappointing to lose to AFC Fylde at Wembley and miss out on a trophy, but promotion was always the name of the game for The O’s. And promotion was what was delivered, with the club finishing in 1st place and earning a spot back in the English Football League.

Promotion in any form is an achievement, but to do so via automatic promotion and winning the title adds extra kudos. Title wins do not happen by fluke and Leyton Orient can enter the new season with confidence in the players they’ve retained in their squad. Three of last season’s squad made it into the league team of the season, further illustrating the quality within the ranks.

Despite the season being a resounding success, a shadow was cast across the club this summer with the untimely passing of manager Justin Edinburgh. As a coach and the main catalyst for the success that was garnered on the pitch, Edinburgh will go down in club folklore. As a man, he’ll remain in the hearts of supporters of the club forever.

League Two

The lowest tier of the English Football League, League Two, is often the most unpredictable of all the divisions. As it stands – admittedly before a ball has been kicked – the league looks pretty open. Bradford City, Salford City, Plymouth Argyle and Mansfield could all justifiably consider themselves as being in with a shout of winning the title. Leyton Orient can place themselves within a group of clubs chasing a Play-Off sport, such as Northampton, Forest Green and Swindon.

At the bottom of the table, things are less open. Macclesfield look doomed given the financial concerns that surround the club, and Morecambe will have to perform miracles, once again, to prevent relegation to the Vanarama National League.  

Leyton Orient vs Cheltenham Town betting odds

The O’s open their campaign with a home fixture against Cheltenham Town who finished in 16th position in League Two last season. Orient will fancy their chances of bagging some goals as Cheltenham finished with a goal difference of -11 last season and are 6/1 (7.00) to be relegated this season. Leyton Orient are at odds of 16/15 (2.07) to win the match. A Cheltenham victory is priced at 22/9 (3.35). You can back new signing Lee Angol as an anytime scorer on his competitive debut at 8/5 (2.60). Back Leyton Orient to win 2-0 and start the season with a bang at 42/5 (9.40).

LEYTON ORIENT BETTING ODDS

If you fancy Orient to win the title, they’re at 16/1 (17.00) to do so and just outside the major contenders to take the league. They’re very much amongst the contenders for promotion though and are at odds of 7/2 (4.50) to go up to League One. In the top scorer stakes, Lee Angol has odds of 39/1 (40.00) to finish top of the pile.  

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



EFL League Two Season Betting Preview

The 2019/2020 EFL League Two season should be an exciting one, and not just because the division features Leyton Orient – for whom EnergyBet is the Official Betting partner – but because there are a number of teams with genuine promotion aspirations.

EFL League Two

Generally speaking, the lowest tier of the English Football League, League Two, is often the most unpredictable of all the divisions. Last season’s pre-season favourites, Notts County, would go on to be relegated. Bury, meanwhile, were promoted to League One, but now find themselves on the brink of extinction and financial ruin. It’s a dog eat dog league.

It’s also very open. There are at least four teams, Bradford, Salford City, Plymouth Argyle and Mansfield, who would consider themselves in with a shout of winning the title. Whilst Northampton, Leyton Orient, Forest Green and Swindon will all fancy a shot at the Play-Off spots. At the bottom of the table things seem more clear cut – especially due to the financial concerns that surround Macclesfield – but with League Two, you just never know.

Tousling at the top?

BRADFORD – If you’ve been reading our other season previews, you will have noticed a common theme. One of the relegated sides is always heavily fancied to bounce back up to the division from whence they came. For League Two, that side is Bradford. They have an experienced manager in Gary Bowyer, a passionate fanbase that is reengaging with the club and a new captain in former Everton striker James Vaughan.

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE – The Pilgrims are the most interesting side in the division. They are the prime beneficiaries of the uncertainty that surrounds last season’s second-placed side, Bury, who are now in League One. They’ve not only plundered five members of the promotion-winning squad, but they’ve also taken manager Ryan Lowe too. Despite the difficulties faced by Bury, Lowe was able to create a free-scoring side that played entertaining football and somehow secured automatic promotion. Plymouth will be hoping Lowe can create the same again.

No hope but the drop?

MACCLESFIELD –Make no mistake, Sol Campbell worked miracles last season, somehow guiding Macclesfield to safety against a backdrop of financial ruin. The former England international took over in November when the club were bottom of the table and seven points from safety. It’s difficult to see him repeating such miracles this season and the club seems destined to drop of the English Football League. Following three court appearances in three months, six unnamed players have added their claim for unpaid wages to a winding-up order against the club. Things do not look good.

MORECAMBE – It’s safe to say that Morecambe seemed to have found their level. With thirteen successive seasons in League Two an unusual achievement. In Jim Bentley, they have the longest-serving manager in the country, with over eight years at the helm. They’ve brought in some attacking reinforcements to help fire them away from the relegation battle and will be pinning their hopes on Shaun Miller, who returns to the club on loan from Crewe. Whatever happens, they’ll no doubt be up for the fight.

EFL LEAGUE ONE BETTING ODDS

Bradford are favourites to win the title at 7/1 (8.00), closely followed by Salford City at 15/2 (8.50) who are aiming for a fifth promotion in six years. Plymouth Argyle and Mansfield are both 9/1 (10.00) to win the title. Northampton are 33/10 (4.3) for promotion, with Leyton Orient and Forest Green at 7/2 (4.50). Macclesfield are in deep trouble and it’s no surprise to find them relegation favourites at 33/10 (4.30). Morecambe are 7/2 (4.50) to drop down a division. James Vaughan of Bradford, Nicky Maynard of Mansfield and Salford City’s Adam Rooney are all placed at 38/5 (8.60) to top the scoring charts.



*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



EFL League One Season Betting Preview

In a different universe, several of the teams competing in the 2019/20 EFL League One season could still be lining up in the Premier League. Instead, they’re set to slog it out in a battle to reach the Championship.

EFL League One

It’s difficult to look at the League One table and view it as anything other than a sad indicator of the pitfalls of reaching the promised land of the Premier League, only to overextend yourself. No fewer than six sides – Blackpool, Bolton, Coventry, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Sunderland – have featured in the Premier League. Throw MK Dons in there under their former guise as Wimbledon (we’re not trying to start any arguments, just roll with it!) and that makes it seven.

Excluding MK Dons, of the six sides who have played in the Premier League, Blackpool were the only side to have just one shot at survival, the rest having multiple seasons in the top flight of English football. It’s astonishing when you think about it, that so many teams could fall so far. Look past the mismanagement and downfall of these sides though – more on Bolton and also Bury below – and it should certainly make for the most interesting League One season for quite some time.

Aiming for the top?

SUNDERLAND – Last season, Sunderland missed out on promotion in possibly the most heartbreaking fashion: defeat in the Play-Off final to Charlton. Following such heartache – which comes hot on the heels of years of financial mismanagement of the club – you’d be forgiven for thinking that hopes were not high for Sunderland this season. But hopes are indeed high. Title favourites high. With the club now on an even keel financially, they’ll hope to put their budget – which is the biggest in the league – to good use and secure promotion in their second season with the new owners, and manager Jack Ross, at the helm.

IPSWICH TOWN – The Tractor Boys will look for an immediate bounce back to the Championship following the relegation that concluded a season in which they were the worst team in their division. In manager Paul Lambert, Ipswich have an experienced coach who has operated in the top tier of English football. They will be hoping his experience can get the best out of what is currently an injury hit squad. New signing James Norwood – who bagged 29 goals in League Two for Tranmere last season – will need to hit the ground running if a title challenge is to be sustained.

Trying to avoid the drop?

BURY/BOLTON – It feels cruel to mention these two clubs, such is the ruin they face. While Bolton will be better known to fans of top-flight football, both clubs are former FA Cup winners, and both clubs start the season with 12-point deductions due to financial problems. Bolton are facing consecutive relegations – having dropped down from the Championship – possible further points deductions and currently have a squad containing just seven senior players. Yet somehow, the future looks bleaker for Bury whose first game of the season against MK Dons has been suspended after they failed to satisfy the EFL that they have the necessary financial means in place.

WYCOMBE WANDERERS – The season outlook could have been even worse for The Chairboys had Gareth Ainsworth departed to QPR and taken the manager’s job at the club where he made over 150 appearances as a player. Instead, QPR opted for Mark Warburton and Wycombe got to keep the man that helped them successfully battle relegation last season. They’ll be hoping he can once again overcome budget cuts and guide an ageing squad to safety. With Bury and Bolton guaranteed to occupy the bottom two spots, it’s likely they’ll be fighting it out with Southend United to stay out of the one remaining spot.

EFL LEAGUE ONE BETTING ODDS

Sunderland are favourites to win the title at 7/2 (4.50). Whilst the other main contenders to win the league are Ipswich and Portsmouth both at 13/2 (7.50), Rotherham are outsiders at 12/1 (13.00). Peterborough will have aspirations for the Top 6, and therefore the Play-Offs, and are 11/10 (2.10) to fulfil them. Lincoln City are 5/2 (3.50) and Burton Albion are at 11/4 (3.75) for Top 6 finishes.

At the other end of the table Bury are relegation favourites at 1/10 (1.10), followed by Bolton at 1.66 (2/3), Wycombe at 11/4 (3.75) and Southend at 33/10 (4.30). James Norwood of Ipswich is favourite to finish top scorer at 61/10 (7.10), closely followed by Mohamed Eisa of Peterborough and John Marquis of Doncaster both at 38/5 (8.60).

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.

EFL Championship Season Betting Preview

The EFL Championship is arguably the toughest domestic competition across the entirety of English football. Beginning on 2nd August the season stretches all the way to the Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium on 25th May.

The EFL Championship

Make no mistake, competing week to week in the Championship is tough. If you want to excel in the league, you’re going to need to overcome a number of obstacles.

Firstly, the season is a slog. Comprising 46 league fixtures, plus additional matches for teams that make the Play-Offs, long-term fitness is key to a successful season. As is grit. The league has a real mixture of teams and playing styles, but almost every game is a battle. Especially with the sides that are newly promoted from League One.

For promotion hopefuls, big match mentality is a must. Last season, Derby finished in 6th place, nine points behind third-placed Leeds. But it was Derby who triumphed in the Play-Off semi-finals. Play-Off winners Aston Villa finished 18 points behind title winners Norwich, but it mattered not during the Play-Offs as they sealed promotion in “Football’s richest game” at Wembley.

Finally, if you want to win the title, you need quality. Because if you do make it to the promised land of the Premier League, you need to have a core of players within your squad with the ability to step up a level and keep you there.  

The contenders for the top?

LEEDS As the highest placed team from last season that remained in the league, Leeds are understandably favourites to top the table. Marcelo Bielsa’s revolution of the former giant continues unabated, with Leeds hoping to return to where they belong – the top flight of English football. Leeds were unlucky to miss out last season in the Play-Offs – they were the best team in the league on the stattos favourtie stat, XG – and will hope to secure an automatic spot this time around.

FULHAM – The Cottagers have made an immediate return to the Championship following their ‘one and done’ stint in the Premier League. Scott Parker took over managerial duties towards the end of the season and helped squeeze a couple of wins out of the side that would finish the campaign with the worst defensive record in the league. While Jean Michaël Seri and Ryan Babel have both left the club and joined Turkish side Galatasaray the club have retained start striker Aleksandar Mitrović who scored 12 goals in 17 appearances the last time the club competed at this level.

Destined for the drop?

CHARLTON – As is the way of things with promotion/relegation, the promoted sides are almost always favoured to drop back down again. In this case, Charlton are no different. Having secured their passage to the Championship via a dramatic last-minute win in the League One Play-Off final against Sunderland, The Addicks also – eventually – signed manager Lee Bowyer to a new contract. Last season’s top scorer Lyle Taylor has also re-signed, but Play-Off hero Patrick Bauer has moved to Preston.

READING – Of the non-promoted sides, The Royals look the most likely to get sucked into a relegation battle. They finished one spot above relegation, in 20th place, for the second campaign in a row and continued the trend of finishing 17th or lower in four of the past five seasons. Last season they managed back-to-back league wins just once – with those victories coming against bottom side Ipswich and Wigan who were dreadful on the road. Manager Jose Gomes has parted ways from six clubs before reaching the 17 games in charge mark. Reading have also done little business outside of signing Charlie Adam. So, all in all, it’s not looking positive.

EFL CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING ODDS

Leeds are favourites to win the title at 9/2 (5.50). Whilst the other main contenders to win the league are Fulham at 7/1 (8.00), Cardiff at 10/1 (11.00) and Stoke at 12/1 (13.00). Charlton are relegation favourites at 11/4 (3.25), closely followed by Barnsley at 5/2 (3.50), Reading at 9/4 (3.75) and QPR at 3/1 (4.00). For a top-six finish, and therefore automatic promotion or a Play-Off spot, you can back West Brom at 11/10 (2.10), Brentford at 3/2 (2.50) and last season’s losing finalists Derby at 9/4 (3.25). Aleksandar Mitrović is favourite to finish top scorer at 6/1 (7.00).  

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.

New Zealand vs England: Cricket World Cup Final Betting Preview

On Sunday, hosts and pre-tournament favourites England will take on surprise package New Zealand in the final of the Cricket World Cup, at the home of cricket, Lords.   

England have never been under as much pressure in one day cricket as in this tournament. Entering the competition as world number one and host nation will do that to a side. Despite a few wobbles along the way, they’ve stepped up to the crease and smashed it out of the ground when it mattered. New Zealand, meanwhile, entered with few expectations, all of which have been surpassed on their surprising march to the final. With neither side having won the competition before, no matter what, we’ll have a new World Cup winner come the end of the match.

New Zealand

New Zealand were not supposed to beat cricket powerhouse India in the semi-final but beat them they did. New Zealand entered the reserve day with batsmen at the crease – poor weather causing the game to carry over into Wednesday – and posted a total of 239-8, which should not have been an insurmountable target for India. Unfortunately for the Indian openers, the Kiwi bowlers came flying out of the traps and India soon found themselves at 5-3; a position from which they could not recover.

While New Zealand may be surprising finalists, they are not to be underestimated. In captain Kane Williamson the Black Caps have one of the world’s best batsmen and the player with the best batting average, 91.33, in the tournament. Bowlers Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult are the 5th and 6th highest wicket-takers respectively, while as a team, New Zealand have the highest win percentage in the World Cup.

England

Make no mistake, England absolutely destroyed Australia in the semi-final at Edgbaston. Yes, Australia who have won the World Cup five times and are unbeaten in seven semi-final appearances. Admittedly, the ground is a stronghold for England and a location at which the Aussies have not tasted victory for almost two decades; but when Finch won the toss and elected to bat, there would have been a certain amount of trepidation within the English ranks. This has been a tournament where batting first has been a distinct advantage.

Luckily for England, their new-ball partnership of Archer and Woakes didn’t get the memo and tore into the Aussie openers immediately, with Australian captain Finch falling lbw to the first delivery he faced. Before they knew it, Australia were 14-3 and in a position from which they would not recover, posting a target of 223 all out for England to chase. And chase it they did. Openers Bairstow and Roy, in particular, were outstanding as ever, before Root and captain Morgan entered the fray and quickly put the game beyond doubt, securing a first final appearance for England since 1992.

NEW ZEALAND VS ENGLAND: CRICKET WORLD CUP FINAL BETTING ODDS

England are favourites to win, with odds of 3/11 (3.25) for victory. New Zealand are at 9/4 (3.25) to upset an entire nation.

New Zealand vs England: Cricket World Cup Final Betting Tips

England have already defeated New Zealand in the World Cup, with Jonny Bairstow scoring 106 runs to lead England to victory by 119 runs. New Zealand will have to be at their absolute best to triumph and are at odds of 9/4 (3.25) to win, England are favourites at 3/11 (1.27).

Jason Roy had a terrific knock against Australia – just ask Steve Smith – and, had he not been given out by a poor decision, could have gone on to post a massive score. So, we’re backing Jason Roy as the top match batsman at 61/20 (4.05).



*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



Brazil vs Peru: Copa América Final Betting Preview

On Sunday, hosts and pre-tournament favourites Brazil will take on surprise package Peru in the final of the Copa América at the legendary Maracana Stadium.   

As mentioned in our Copa América preview, few teams have ever been under as much pressure to win a home tournament as Brazil were at the start of the competition that marks the centenary of their first Copa América triumph. Brazil are yet to feel the pressure though and with a solid team based upon the foundations of a robust defence, they are one step away from achieving redemption for the humiliation they suffered the last time they hosted a tournament.  

Brazil

The Seleção had not made it beyond the quarter-finals in any of the past three Copa tournaments, even falling at the group stage three years ago. This led the team’s coach, Tite, to turn to experience in an effort to instil more defensive solidity into their general play than was evident at last year’s World Cup. Thus far, the choices have been rewarded and Brazil have progressed to the final with a perfect defensive record. Goalkeeper Allison Becker is currently in a run of outstanding form, having kept nine clean sheets in a row for both club and country.

Without Neymar Jr as a focal point, the Brazilian attacking effort has been a collaborative one, with Firmino, Coutinho and Everton each scoring two goals. While there were victories of 3-0 and 5-0 for Brazil in the Group stages, Brazil’s progress through the knockouts has been far from explosive. They required a penalty shootout to defeat Paraguay in the quarter-finals and their win against Argentina in the semi-finals was solely due to the performance of the referee if Lionel Messi is to be believed.  

Peru

It’s safe to say that Peru were not expected to do much in this tournament. In the 2018 World Cup they failed to make it past the group stage and they entered the competition with an inexperienced squad – only five players in the squad having made appearances in the double figures. They also had a 35-year-old striker, in Paulo Guerrero, leading the line.

Despite all this, and despite a 5-0 thumping by Brazil in the group stage, Peru are in the final and hoping for their first Copa América triumph since 1975 and only the third in their history. Since being destroyed by Brazil, Peru seem to have sorted themselves out. They dispatched an experienced Uruguay side in the quarter-finals and dumped out Chile – the winners of the last two Copa’s – in the semis. They are also complete underdogs and under no pressure to triumph.

BRAZIL VS PERU: COPA AMERICA FINAL BETTING ODDS

Brazil enter this fixture as overwhelming favourites to win at odds of 2/7. Peru are given very little chance of winning the final at 11/1.

Brazil vs Peru: Copa América Final Betting Tips

There’s not a lot of value to be found in a Brazil win, given how heavily favoured they are, the previous encounter between the sides in the tournament and Brazil’s perfect defence.

We’d bet on that defence to come up trumps again and go for them to keep another clean sheet. So why not be on Brazil to win to nil at 19/25.

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.



USA vs Netherlands: FIFA Women’s World Cup Final Betting Preview

On Sunday, World Cup holders USA take on European champions the Netherlands in Lyon, France, in the Women’s World Cup Final.   

The USWNT entered this tournament as reigning champions, the number one side in the world rankings and undeniable favourites to win the tournament. They are exactly where they expected to be. Despite winning the European Championship in 2017, the Netherlands weren’t exactly among the favourites at the beginning of the competition, with both France and England favoured ahead of them. Unfortunately for both those sides, they found themselves in the wrong half of the draw and came up against the USA in the knockout rounds, while the Dutch were able to avoid them until now.

USA

The USWNT (United States Women’s National Team) are the team to beat in women’s football and have done their best to demonstrate that fact at every opportunity. This approach has not exactly won them any friends though. A 13-0 drubbing of Thailand drew condemnation for the eager celebrations of every single goal, while Alex Morgan’s tea sipping goal celebration against England didn’t do much for US-Anglo relations.

As mentioned above, Jill Ellis’ side have not had an easy route to the final, facing France in the quarter-final and Phil Neville’s Lionesses in the semi-final. On both occasions the US ran out 2-1 winners, a feat they also managed in the round of 16 against Spain. Alex Morgan is currently top of the goalscoring charts, on six goals, alongside England’s Ellen White. Should White draw a blank in the 3rd place play-off against Sweden, a goal in the final will bag the golden boot for Morgan. Should both players remain level, Morgan will win the tie-break due to her greater number of assists.

Netherlands

The Netherlands may not have entered the tournament among the major favourites, despite winning the most recent European Championships on home soil, but they were certainly considered a strong team with a good chance of making it into the knockout rounds. In only their second World Cup appearance, having debuted in 2015, the Dutch have certainly exceeded expectations.

While they’ve had an easier run through the knockout stages than their opponents, the Netherlands did top a tricky group that contained a decent Canada side. In the knockout rounds, the Netherlands conceded only one goal, overcoming Japan, Italy and Sweden along the way. The semi-final against Sweden was a dull affair, with the only goal of the match being scored by Jackie Groenen in extra-time. Midfielder Sherida Spitse has been the team’s creative catalyst and has the most assists in the tournament, with four to her name.

USA VS NETHERLANDS: FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP FINAL BETTING ODDS

USA are clear favourites to win the final and retain the World Cup at 2/5. The Netherlands are very much outsiders at 63/10.

USA vs Netherlands: FIFA Women’s World Cup Final Betting Tips

Anything other than a USA win would be a complete upset. They are ranked number one in the world for a reason and have seen off some pretty big sides in hosts France and much fancied England.

With such little value to be found in backing the USA to win, we’d opt for a specific bet relating to the scoreline. The USA have won each of their three knockout games 2-1 so we’d back them to repeat that feat and win 2-1 against the Netherlands at 32/5.

*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.





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