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Premiership preview – 19 January 2017

Manchester clubs in peril Stoke City vs Manchester United Perhaps forever scarred by being overlooked for the Manchester United job (in truth his peak was a few years before Fergie packed it in), Mark Hughes has responded not only by managing their nearest rivals, but also by consistently raising his side’s game against them. Their fast start last season in this fixture undid LVG, and make no mistake, he will be at it again on Saturday. 5/1 is a huge price on a home win given this United side may be in form, but they are hardly Brazil 1970, and their run of wins has been based on a very kind fixture list. Back the home side at Ladbrokes. Manchester... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, January 20th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

2017 in Sport

4 to Watch 29th April Boxing – Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko, heavyweight world title fight, Wembley Stadium With Tyson Fury away with the fairies (although make sure you don’t make any reference to fairies to his face,) Anthony Joshua has his turn at running rings around Wladimir Klitschko. A packed Wembley, a young buck against an ageing old goat – there can surely only be one outcome. Ladbrokes will give you 4/9 on Joshua, although there are bigger prices elsewhere. June 2017 Sailing – Americas Cup In a summer bereft of an Olympics or a major football tournament, it could well be sailing that grips the nation. Celebrity boatman (if that is a word) Ben Ainsley will be hoping... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Boxing, Cricket, Oggsblog, Rugby)

Premiership Preview – 13 January 2017

4 to Watch Of course in the good old days, the fixture list would be decimated by this wild wintry weather. The games that did survive would be chaotic, broadly unwatchable, and above all, replete with an orange ball. Most of the below are likely to survive – only if the ground’s surroundings are dangerous for punters do matches bite the dust these days. Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion Whilst looking likely to pick up the best of the rest tag, Tony Pulis will have done so by adopting the flat-track bully tactic. The Baggies haven’t troubled the big clubs too often this season. The home win is only 3/10 with Ladbrokes, but it is our bet of the... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, January 13th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Australian Open Tennis 2017

Womens’ Draw – Dame Konta? With Victoria Azarenka busy watching her stomach grow, and Maria Sharapova still talking thus ensuring her nose gradually grows, the Aussie Open is the most ahem open Open for many a year. The Womens’ Tour is a bit of a wild old thing at the best of times, and all the more so without the two standout Eastern Europeans. Serena Williams has won four of these in the last decade, so little surprise she starts off as favourite. But the GOAT has barely played since a semi-final defeat at the US Open, and she looked dreadful against Madison Brengle (me neither) in Auckland last week. ‘Tis true that she regularly shows up to these big... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, January 13th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Tennis)

African Cup of Nations 2017 Part 2

4 to Watch Group C: Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Morocco, Togo Having finally managed to win an ACN last time out, the golden generation of the Ivory Coast, have at last said goodbye. No Toure. No Drogba. And one must conclude no chance. Bailly, Aurier and Kodja should all shine, but the Elephants are still a work in progress – the call-up of Wilfried Zaha attests to that. Morocco have gone for an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ strategy, poaching Herve Renard, manager of Zambia and the Ivory Coast in their winning tournaments. Both should qualify from this group, ahead of a dangerous Congo dramatically weakened by the absence of Yannick Bolasie, and a Togo for whom Emmanuel... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

African Cup of Nations 2017

4 to Watch (Part 1) Group A: Gabon, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau Whilst the hosts usually get an easy ride in international competition, Gabon have, on paper at least, procured a tougher assignment. Guinea-Bissau may be the virgins of ACN 2017, but even they qualified at the expense of 2012 Champions Zambia, whilst Burkina Faso reached the final in 2013. And Cameroon, are of course Cameroon. It is in that latter clause where the hosts may have lucked out. With many senior players (amongst them Liverpool’s Joel Matip) opting to stay with their clubs, and those that are travelling traditionally never more than a funny look away from a row about cash, it may be instructive to note that one... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

King George VI 2016 – 2 to Watch

Cue Card vs Thistlecrack In the wake of a most meh selection of Premier League fixtures over the festive period, it could be left to the racing to elicit the most excitement, as Cue Card takes on Thistlecrack – last season’s World Hurdle winner takes on the King George holder, both from the Colin Tizzard stable. For this, we must give thanks on this Christmas, for the Snooks deciding to let their beast have a gallop on the biggest stage, rather than the Novices Chase at Feltham that many would have expected. But having looked a dead cert to win here again, Cue Card now faces a stiffer challenge, despite his winning effort in the Betfair Chase (by around 15... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, December 26th, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Horse Racing, Oggsblog)

4 to Watch – European Leagues Part 2

Has it been worth the wait? You’re about to find out… Ligue Un: If there is to be an upset in one of Europe’s three most predictable major leagues, it looks like coming in the one with the most submissive field of them all. PSG under new management are incredibly not even second in Ligue Un, and with a brutal tie against Barcelona ahead in the last 16 of the Champions League, this could be their worst season since their takeover. Monaco lie second, although they too have Champions League business to contend with – their recent success against English clubs should mean they have no fear against Manchester City. All of which leaves Nice, or Mario Balotelli’s Nice as... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Premiership Preview – 16 December 2016

4 to Watch Crystal Palace vs Chelsea No Hazard for Chelsea, and Palace still reeling from a real hard-luck story against Manchester United – suddenly this match isn’t the walkover it may have appeared a week ago. Can we see a Palace win? Perhaps – it is their turn for a bit of luck, and maybe Diego Costa’s turn to lose the plot. Take 2-1 Palace at 14/1 with Ladbrokes, but perhaps not the mortgage this week. Middlesbrough vs Swansea City Another team whose luck is probably due to expire fairly soon is the ‘Boro, quietly avoiding relegation struggles until now. It certainly isn’t atypical for a newly promoted team to accrue far more points in the first half of... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Manchester City vs Arsenal – 18 December 2016

Xenophobia then and now Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose as one of these coaches may say. Over twenty years ago, a funny looking foreign chap arrived on these shores, replete with funny advice for his players such as use a fork to stir your tea, and don’t drink the contents of a Heineken factory on the way home from matches. Fast forward to 2016, and along comes another foreign chap – less funny looking but even worse; suave and smooth – replete with funny advice for his players such as use your feet goalkeeper, and don’t tackle whatever you do. Ultimately, Arsene Wenger rode the wave of xenophobic vitriol by being super nice and open to the... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)
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