Number Game

Numbers Game: Cool Cats can purr again

Friday 24th February 2012 11:39

Sunderland: Can get another three points

Sunderland: Can get another three points

The Value Bet (9/5) and Banker (8/11) both landed last weekend and the Numbers Game is back with all the key football stats and pointers.

After tipping Sunderland last week and plumping for the Black Cats again this week, you might be forgiven for thinking the Numbers Game has morphed into an editorial for 'A Love Supreme'. However, the truth is the Wearsiders look about the best Value Bet around once again after delivering for us last week. In fact @MattPBriggs enjoyed a terrific weekend last time out as the Value Bet and Banker were both successful along with several of the other pointers. Sunderland were the 9/5 headline tip and duly obliged by beating Arsenal 2-0, while in-form Swindon were the 8/11 Banker and they also triumphed at Hereford to leave TEAMtalk Towers teeming with smiles. Barnsley (13/10) were also advised in the Treatment Room, while MK Dons (4/7) and Nottingham Forest (5/6) were fancied in Famous Last Words and both were victorious - making it two from three, with Burton the team to let us down. Two of the four Hot-Shots also netted with David Nugent (11/4) and Michael Chopra (6/4) both finding the target. Our bookie pals, Sky Bet, were also bang on the money as their Traders' View warned us off backing Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday.

    Sunderland to win at WBA at 19/10.

    Sunderland's away form this season is average with four wins from 12 games, but under Martin O'Neill the Black Cats have collected three wins from five in the Premier League and they look a big price to win at West Brom. Their two away-day defeats under O'Neill came at Tottenham and Chelsea and the Baggies, who have lost eight of their 12 home games, have really struggled at The Hawthorns. The Baggies have found it hard to transfer their impressive free-flowing away form to their home games and in-form Sunderland have been rock solid and should be favourites.
    Newcastle have been popular following the off-field turmoil at Molineux in the last 10 days. The barcodes are now 4/7 from an opening price of 4/6 against Wolves.
    Swindon are another mover, 4/9 from 4/7 and it's very hard to see Paolo Di Canio's men not taking all three points against Accrington. The Robins have lost just one of their last 19 matches and have won their last eight games on the spin. We fully expect the weight of money for Swindon to be proved right.
  • WHO'S HOT -
    Man Utd (8/15) are five unbeaten in the Premier League and travel to Norwich (11/2) (Sun).
    Reading (15/8) have won last four Championship games and travel to Middlesbrough (7/5).
    Brighton (6/5) are eight games unbeaten in the Championship and host Ipswich (11/5).
    Ipswich (11/5) have won their last four in Championship and travel to Brighton (6/5).
    Charlton (evens) are eight games unbeaten in League One and host Stevenage (11/4).
    Sheff Utd (6/4) have won their last three in League One and travel to Sheff Weds (7/4) (Sun).
    Swindon (4/9) have won their last eight League Two games and host Accrington (15/2).
    Aldershot (evens) have won their last four League Two games and host Barnet (13/5).
  • WHO'S NOT -
    Stoke (evens) have lost their last four Premier League games and host Swansea (13/5) (Sun).
    Sheff Weds (7/4) have lost their last three League One games and host Sheff Utd (6/4) (Sun).
    Wycombe (7/4) have lost their last three League One games and host Hartlepool (6/4).
    Tranmere (9/4) are nine games without a win in League One and travel to Oldham (6/5).
    Gillingham (7/5) are six games without a win in League Two and host Torquay (7/4).
    Macclesfield (13/2) have lost their last eight League Two games and travel to Oxford (4/9).
    Accrington (13/2) have lost their last three in League Two and travel to Swindon (4/9).
    "Newcastle will be one team we are happy to lay at Sky Bet. It's been coupon busters galore at St. James' Park with wins against Man Utd and draws with Arsenal and Spurs. They have also lost at home to West Brom and drawn with Swansea when odds on, and this is why the 4/7 against Wolves looks a cracking lay. We expect the newly-appointed Wolves manager Terry Connor to get a good response from his team."
    "In League 1 the even money about Charlton doesn't look to represent good value about a team that are stuttering at the top of the table. We'll be keen to lay Chris Powell's men at the Valley on Saturday against Stevenage."
    Bolton (9/1) won none of their last 16 league games v Chelsea (2/7).
    QPR (13/8) have failed to score in last five games v Fulham (17/10).
    Aston Villa (8/5) lost just one of their last seven league games v Wigan (17/10).
    Man City (1/6) lost none of last eight league games v Blackburn (14/1).
    Spurs (7/4) lost just one of last seven league games v Arsenal (11/8) (Sun).
    Swansea (13/5) won last four games v Stoke (evens) in all comps (Sun).
    Cardiff (8/1) won five of last six meetings v Liverpool (4/11).
    Leeds (5/4) only won once in eight trips to Portsmouth (21/10).
    C Palace (9/2) lost four of last five at West Ham (8/13).
    Barnsley (11/5) have made 21 trips to Coventry (5/4) without a win.
    Rochdale (16/5) have won just one of seven trips to Colchester (5/6).
    Huddersfield (4/9) only won one of last five at home to Exeter (5/1).
  • BANKER -
    Burnley to beat Millwall at 10/11.

    Millwall, who have failed to score in half of their fixtures, have not beaten a side in the top half of the table in 17 attempts and are notoriously poor starters. They have scored the first goal in only 11 of their league games and have never won when going behind this season and if they concede early on at Turf Moor the writing will surely be on the wall. The Clarets have won three of their last five at home and have scored first in the three of those encounters and should have enough firepower to see off Kenny Jackett's men.
    Ipswich's Michael Chopra has five in four and is 5/2 to score at Brighton.
    Middlesbrough's Marvin Emnes has three in two and is 5/4 to score v Reading.
    Leeds' Luciano Becchio has four in six and is 2/1 to score at Portsmouth
    Plymouth's Alex McDonald has three in three and is 6/4 to score v Dagenham.
    MK Dons' Dean Bowditch has four in three and is 6/4 to score at Bournemouth.
    Walsall's Florent Cuvelier has two in three and is 4/1 to score at PNE.
    Crewe to beat AFC Wimbledon at evens.

    Crewe will be boosted by the return of first-team regulars Adam Dugdale, AJ Leitch-Smith and Byron Moore. Defender Dugdale (ban) and forward pair Leitch-Smith and Moore (both ankle) all missed the win over Accrington.

    Leeds to win at Portsmouth at 5/4.

    Crisis-club Portsmouth are down to the bare bones. Striker Dave Kitson is banned and top scorer Erik Huseklepp has left for Birmingham. Skipper Liam Lawrence (calf), fellow midfielder David Norris (hernia), winger Kelvin Etuhu (hamstring) and forward Luke Varney (knee) remain on the sidelines. Veteran frontman Kanu (back) and defender Greg Halford (knee) are also doubts. Defenders Aaron Mokoena, Tal Ben Haim and Ricardo Rocha and midfielder Joel Ward have been carrying knocks but will have to be patched up again.
    Port Vale to win at Northampton at 11/8.

    Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd thought his men were fortunate to beat Macclesfield in midweek: "It was one of those games in which we didn't play well but even so I never thought we were in any trouble. And I don't mean that disrespectfully. We allowed Macclesfield into the game and their second goal near the end was down to sloppiness again when we should have seen the game out. They were two poor goals to concede and goal difference could be very important at the end of the season, so I've had a bit of a moan at the players for that. I felt we could have had more goals but you can't play in fits and starts. We started too slowly and just like a boxer, we waited until we were hurt before we responded."

    Shrewsbury to beat Crawley at 13/8 (Mon).

    After the midweek defat by table-toppers Swindon, Shrewsbury boss Graham Turner said: "Over my long career I don't often criticise referees. They have a difficult job. But the decision not to award us a penalty was the big decision of the game - and he bottled it. He might have been overawed by the occasion, by the size of the crowd, but even the Swindon defender was ready to walk - he knew it was a penalty, everybody in the ground knew it was penalty. We were on top, leading 1-0, and there's a chance we could've been two up and they're down to 10 men. It was a big lift for them when they got away with something like that, and it had a downer on us."

    Let us know your views on the weekend's football betting action by posting a comment below.
    You can follow Matty on Twitter at @mattpbriggs.



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